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Vera Nova

Director Research Analysis, NOVA Town Futuristic Development

TEDCRED 20+

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"How seriously does our ability to imagine others in our minds impact our understanding of others in real life?"

We have natural internal abilities to act as a few personalities within our minds. This intuitive acting ability helps us understand others, as well as situations where others are involved.

The more closely we manage to play other characters in our mind the greater we may understand others.
I believe that eventually each of us develops one dominating/leading character, therefore, we identify this character as our own Self. The rest of imaginable characters commonly play only "supportive" roles on the stage of one's personal reality.

When we need to improve ourselves, we are able to find/create not only a new role to play in mind but also to find the way to express in our new actions.

We begin to imitate our parents, cats and dogs, aircrafts and trains in our very early childhood. As adults we laugh at this kind of early stage of acting, but our minds keep acting to the rest of our life. Without internal acting our minds cannot produce any thought.


This amazing instinctive talent, I think, may be developed if we could have learned to explore this talent more consciously in thinking, researching and communicating.

JONAS SALK has described how he conducted his important research by behaving himself as living cells.
He also said:

The art of science is as important as so-called technical science. You need both. It's this combination that must be recognized and acknowledged and valued. ..You can have a team of unconventional thinkers, as well as conventional thinkers. If you don't have the support of others you cannot achieve anything altogether on your own. It's like a cry in the wilderness. In each instance there were others who could see the same thing, and there were others who could not. It's an obvious difference we see in those who you might say have a bird's eye view, and those who have a worm's eye view. I've come to realize that we all have a different mind set, we all see things differently...

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    Jan 13 2014: It's entirely natural to form images and personalities in our minds that we can attribute to others using only scant information. Skeletons, so to speak, need flesh.

    I've found that those who believe their judgements of 'imagined others' to be always accurate, without fail, are actually the least accurate.

    Then there are others who quite naturally form neutral, undefined preconceptions of others merely to fill in a healthy, non-judgemental space in the mind, which then goes on to be reinforced, updated and more accurate, the closer the acquaintance gets.

    The first is driven by ego, and the second is reinforced by empathy. The first seeks confirmation bias, and the second seeks to be informed by actual personality.

    This then goes on to alter how we ourselves act towards those we have formerly imagined, creating a tension, which, if driven by ego, becomes detrimental towards true personalities of others. If another's persona is ego-driven, the more of an acting role it has to become - for both people, as egos commonly compete. It becomes a feedback loop of ego-driven acting, competing for space and status.

    If empathy reaches out to become naturally receptive to others, then it becomes a comfortable, warm interaction in which true personalities are able to flourish. There is no judgement. There are no requirements for the ego to overwhelm others. Acting becomes unnecessary.

    Corporate team meetings, as an example, are often hampered by a thick fog of competing egos. The 'required' acting, which satiates the ego, obscures thinking and intuition in a way that empathy and genuineness would never do.
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      Jan 14 2014: People, as observers, often select individuals they see into ready-to-go categories. It is much easier to play these categorized "images" in mind because the observer does not really need in this case, to know really who this person might be. When people watch TV they have no responsibility for how sharply or poorly they understand the images. However, in life, if we use the same sloppy selection it may cost us problems of all sorts.

      The difference between perceiving real people, animals, events and "things" intuitively and as things in conventional categories is as grand as abyss.

      I'm wondering how do you think one can improve one's internal acting ability and intuitive sense of what is more real and what is absolutely NOT real?

      It seems to me that the most part of the whole human world lives inside their entertaining illiusions, become happy for no good reason, or hostle and cruel for no real reason at all.
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        Jan 14 2014: The considerable complexity of interaction between our own self-image and perceived images we have of others is open to so much interpretation. With that in mind I can only give my personal view on it, which I try to keep neutral and ego-free in the face of sometimes conflicting research and observation (self and others) which have a habit of confounding established behavioural norms.

        It seems to me that the necessity for the ego to act out roles becomes less important if we know that others are acting the same way. I see the ego as a defensive wall, surrounding and protecting the vulnerable self, but even though the vulnerable self is actually the powerhouse of who we are, the wall is what we see in others - and what they see in us. The communication level on first acquaintance is 'wall to wall' if that makes sense. Self to self' (due to vulnerability) is hardly ever reached as a level of communication - except perhaps via close family members, friends and counsellors, where it's ok to display what we personally perceive as weaknesses.

        I have a theory that the more robust an ego seems, the more vulnerable the inner self (and vice versa). This means that people who surround themselves with ego-boosting accoutrements they can ill-afford, who may be irrationally temperamental, who might seek power over others - may well have a very vulnerable self, cowering behind that robust wall. Sometimes the wall is so impregnable, they may not even know their own vulnerabilities.

        Conversely, it would follow that displaying glimpses of the self through a more easily-breached 'wall' is actually a display of 'strength of self'. Men hide behind their egos much more than women do.

        Sometimes letting our own wall down inspires others to the same.

        A sense of what is and isn't real in ourselves and others, I base largely on this somewhat loose theory. However it's by no means fail-safe, due to the exquisite complexity of people - and the very thing that makes us all interesting.
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          Jan 14 2014: Beautiful thinking, Allan. Never expected that this tiny Ted space for comments is enough for someone like you to desplay so much originality. I'll read your post again, later tonight, and be happy to exchange with you my own thoughts regarding the very nature of perceiving as the most vital process.. it is also about how we create our own personal realities around selves.

          You made my day:)
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        Jan 16 2014: Thanks Vera. It's a pleasure to get involved in such a thought-provoking subject!

        Look forward to hearing more from you :-)
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          Jan 17 2014: I think about our "ACTING" MEMORY:

          An employee goes to see his new boss. He enters the office and talks to the boss for a few minutes. He leaves the office with an impression that he knows his boss' appearance, and that he remembers his voice and the conversation.

          This employee has great confidence that he remembers his boss as he really is.

          If we were able to peek inside "print out" the employee's mind, we would see the craziest sights, crazier than surrealistic paintings by Rene Magritte or Salvador Dali. The employee's memory would display a portion of his boss' nose, the top of one ear, the vague image of a window behind the boss' faceless head, a snippet of his boss’ voice, a small part of the surface of his boss’ desk loaded with papers, and just the front of the boss' shoe sticking out from under the desk.

          Incomplete images of his wife speaking to him earlier that day about this meeting would also be scattered about. All of these pieces would be floating in his memory, merging into new and different combinations, falling apart, then merging again.

          This is a typical mind and its memory, composing "imprinted" pieces of our impressions from our experience .

          A reflection of exactly what we have seen is not achievable by any mind.

          The observations of a researcher, scientist, medical doctor, philosopher, teacher, or any of us for that matter, are merely impressions , thus we employ mere fluctuating impressions as the basis for our conclusions.
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    Jan 13 2014: I don't think there is a generic answer to this, the way we interact with each other is a vast complicated mystery. I don't think our perceptions are ever dead on, but they influence ourselves and our world around us in various ways having both wholesome and negative effects. As you say, we do mimic each other through body language, habits, endeavors and accents etc. It is a very natural part of our communication and determines how well we fit into society and influence the world around us.

    Our perceptions are not driven as much as by our (heuristic) understanding, but rather by our morality. Through our perceptions we both inspire and manipulate. Through it we create and destroy. It is our intentions though that determines the outcome. It is said that Adolf Hitler was one of the greatest orators that ever lived; he knew how to take the masses and bend them to his will. He knew how to influence people by identifying with their hopes and fears and drove them to do things they would not normally do. And then there are people like Thomas Jefferson and recently Mandela, who through their perceptions inspired people to great change for the positive and changed the face of history for the better.

    The importance to me is not as much as our ability to imagine others in our minds as much as what we choose to imagine of others in our minds. Some have a natural inclination and gift for it, while others are not as adept, and I don't see this changing. Even a gifted person will not have a completely true perception. We always choose what we imagine to perceive. My perceptions of someone will influence the way I treat them.

    Perceptions create roles. A judge cannot be too sympathetic with a killer or rapist, while a healer may need to have a more conciliatory approach. Our perceptions and empathies often determine our functions in life and collectively their uniqueness contributes to the way the world functions. While it often creates friction, it is often necessary to be so.
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      Jan 13 2014: Martin, thank you for your thoughtful comment. You're very close to what I'm thinking. "The importance to me is not as much as our ability to imagine others in our minds as much as what we choose to imagine of others in our minds"

      I trust it IS the very same process - while we imagine we are choosing. Without imagining we will have nothing to choose from.

      I agree with you that our sense of morality whether inborn or taught, is a powerful drive in our behavior and thinking. It is also based on our imaginative scenarios we create in our minds, act as "bad" and "good guys" for making decisions.

      We choose based on constant comparison of what we are able to perceive. It is our instinctive acting ability to act as everything and everybody in our minds. A real "thing" or a person, objective colors and shapes are impossible in minds. (This is something that drives nearminded postmodern researcher crazy - if they'd accept this undeniable truth well known to philosophy, they would not be able to prove their evidence, based on what their corporeal eyes perceive. As I say - our sight is the most illusive and ephemeral of all sense-perceptions we may possess.)

      You say "Perceptions create roles." I'd say that perceptions give us "material" to create our charachters and their roles. It is quite fantastic how we build our conscious minds - with all images, formations, colors and sounds moreover, we"re playing constantly changing scenarious where all characters are played by one mind!

      Some scientists love to say that the universe is a hologram, well - very close in terms that it is a mind's creation based on our interactions with the objective to us world we never see as it is out there.

      I find it sad reagrding how little we understand about our own internal creative abilities granted by nature.

      I'm working on this new field - this work is about discovering and understanding the primordial laws of our perceptions..

      Again, I'm grateful for your comment
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        Jan 13 2014: Wow thank you, that was a thought provoking response. I often struggle between having to understand the mysteries of our existence and the simplicity of living a simple and happy life.

        Regarding the primordial laws of our perceptions: one of my great inspirations was a Downs Syndrome girl I met when I was younger. I used to be incredibly depressed and always sought in books ideologies and opinions. So many convincing and contradicting ideas waged war in my head and left me perplexed about the direction my core beliefs and values were going. I had a look at Synara who didn't have the intellectual capacity that I did, but somehow she was happy.

        After a long spell of depression living inside my head of greyness, sitting on my porch one day, I saw two birds playing on the lush green grass. The sky was perfect blue and I felt like I woke from a deep sleep to a simple beautiful world around me. It was okay not to grasp and understand it all. Somehow in all my learning I was missing out on life and its wonder.

        I still have ideas and opinions, but I know it is okay not to always perceive or understand correctly from a factual collection of truths. My search now is more along the lines of more abstract principals of love and wonder. Instead of understanding with my mind I am trying to connect and comprehend with my intuition.

        To me this is the realm of the imagination: often chaotic, colorful, crude yet beautiful and mesmerizing. More organic than ordered, a rainforest vs a plantation, soaked in a beautiful mystery, to be engaged with rather than understood.

        I think engaging intellectually should be more in the realm of provoking thought to the part, than containing the whole as a matter of fact. We should enjoy our endeavors whatever they may be, but I find most people, myself included, are more often cage by them. We should be like children mesmerized by a single flower, with a world of wonder waiting to be explored.

        Haha waxing lyrically :)
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          Jan 15 2014: Still reading your post - fascinating. You're describing our deep subconsciousness and its peaceful sensations within the pristine environment. The most precious, very first impressions of our reality we have in our early childhood when we let our deep intuition lead.

          We are soon taught to replace this nature's granted gift with conventional words, images, ideas and artificial scenarios, we call it thinking. The primordial experience is getting "analyzed", chopped to pieces, and labeled as "things". I trust that this is enough for a sensative living being to be depressed, feeling that some part of his/her mind/self is getting corrupted by conventional "reasoning ". I trust it is a perfectly Normal reaction for a sensative person to be depressed.

          I dive into depressions periodically, still living in the large "cage" of the city.

          You wrote "We should be like children mesmerized by a single flower, with a world of wonder waiting to be explored." We maybe talking about some drastically new (to the old recycling human mentality) approach to our existence.

          Have lots of thoughts to share. WIll get back to you tomorrow!
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      Jan 15 2014: Dear Martin,
      I find it interesting, that you begin your comment by saying..." the way we interact with each other is a vast complicated mystery. I don't think our perceptions are ever dead on...."

      And then you proceed to offer quite a LOT of very insightful information, which suggests that interacting with each other is NOT such a complicated mystery! I believe if we are AWARE of all the things you mention in your insightful posts, life and interactions become LESS complicated.

      I am glad you met and interacted with Synara, who sounds like a wonderful inspiration:>) I interacted with lots of Downs Syndrome kids while coaching special opympics years ago, and they were all some of the most encouraging, enthusiastic, energetic, appreciative, loving, inspiring people I ever met! the other coaches and I often asked ourselves and each other...."who are supposedly the "normal" ones here"? These kids bring so much love into our world, and we can learn a LOT from them.

      Regarding..." I don't think our perceptions are ever dead on...."
      I believe our perceptions are very much colored by the information we are willing and able to take in, so they might be "right on" for us as individuals, depending on what information we embrace? Someone else's perception may be "right on" for them, and totally different than our perception?

      I LOVE that...."We should be like children mesmerized by a single flower, with a world of wonder waiting to be explored"........nice:>)

      I find that the curiosity of a child, is one of the elements that has allowed/encouraged me to explore the life adventure and people in it more fully:>)
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        Jan 21 2014: Dear Colleen, you've touched, I think, the most important, intuitive and uncorrupted by conventions ability, with which we are all born. You say "I find that the curiosity of a child, is one of the elements that has allowed/encouraged me to explore the life adventure and people in it more fully.."

        I never lose this uncorrupted, truly primordial ability to sense my reality - it has saved my life, lteraly, and not just once… One may call it Intuition.
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          Jan 21 2014: Vera,
          I think you probably know that I believe everything/everyone is all interconnected. So, whether we are talking about intuition, instinct, curiosity or whatever, they are all important and interconnected in my mind and heart:>)
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    Jan 9 2014: This is a very thoughtful question that may need to be broken down a bit. There is no quick answers here.
    My own understanding is that a newborn perceives the world entirely as "self", but gradually begins to develop a sense that some part of the world is "other" than self. It is usually the mother who serves as the first "other" in the newborns life; she leaves, but returns again.
    I will further suggest that this model, of a self and an other, then develops both an internal and an external dimension. The internal becomes the subjective ("I") and objective ("me"), the external is the much simpler,. "I" and "you".
    In his book, "Self Comes to Mind," Antonio Damasio says that a 'self as knower,' along with a mind, is a key component to consciousness. Developmentally, at around the age of four, a child starts to become aware that others have a mind as well. (See the excellent TEDTalk by Rebecca Saxe for more on Theory of Mind) http://www.ted.com/talks/rebecca_saxe_how_brains_make_moral_judgments.html
    But the "self" is a trick item. What is it exactly? Some say it is merely an illusion, while some make the claim that there are multiple selves within each of us.

    I'll add a few additional thoughts after others have had a chance to comment.
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      Jan 10 2014: Dear Theodore, I have not expected such an encouraging comment.. especially from an advanced learner as you are. Yes, the "subject" is complicated, quite daring (so I've had to do my best to put it in some "soft" terms.)

      Since I was 11 I was reading and re-reading classical philosophy desperately looking for the answers to my very bold questions, for instance How does what I see get into my mind? why everything is instantly changing? why mathematics demand me to think logically while it play childish games with imaginable "identical" copies of units, symbols and their artificial groups impossible in reality? " My questions were endless having no reasonable anwsers. Untill I came to realize that it should be my self who was to do the research. The established institutions as I've tried some, would choke me to death with my unusual work.

      My point here is that as we can never fly out of our minds to observe anything beyond our minds, we must be granted with somewhat fantastic natural tools to compose and recompose our own unique realities, but only within our minds. While we do interact with the invisible and untouchable to us objective world we are able to digest these intuitive (subconscious) interactions into our sensations first, than into formations of all kinds, images that we can animate, and sounds that we also can compose into something we like or hate to hear.

      The most powerful abilities that we all possess for life are not at all comprehended, not even noticed. I have endless (my original) notes on human perceptions, explaining their crucially Important limitations working with a built-in mechanism, running the sets of perceptions in great coherency.

      I see that we have to explore a new approch to the understanding of our own nature. Perceiving is a basic ability of every life form - Perceiving is a highly creative process and has nothing to do with reflecting or coping reality "out there".

      So grateful for your comment.
  • Jan 19 2014: Often I fail trying to figure out other people's motivations.
    In my opinion knowledge is way better in this case. Trying to know through a minimal conversation gets better results.
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    Jan 17 2014: Seems to me that how we "imagine others" is totally dependent on how we are ourselves.

    Having to deal with the public, I learned that my days were a lot less stressful if I could imagine that whatever anyone did was likely based on a good reason.

    It is based on our perspective how we see others.
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      Jan 17 2014: I think we are missing the most important education in all schools - we need to learn that no one can see "things" and other people objectively, but one may "know" only his/her own experience. The only way for us to see others is to try to be in their shoes in our minds. When we grow up we shall learn that our own feelings and opinions may be different from other people feelings and opinions. It is the law of our nature.

      Well, if we want to become more peaceful, a little wiser, we need to change our Golden rule - and say: do NOT do anything to anyone until that person asks you or agrees to get your help. The reason: this person might be hurt by your help, because if something is good for you - might be dangerous for others.

      I think, our nature's granted uniqueness is not truly valued in our society, so we are treated by our manmade systems, as well as we often treat each other, as identical units.
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        Jan 18 2014: --"..until that person asks you or agrees to get your help"--

        You know what Vera? That's exactly the reason why Jesus asked everyone, before healing them, if they wanted to be healed.

        Anyway I totally agree with you. It is alright to keep the door open for the next person, but anything more involved, ask.

        Without having done one step in someoneelses shoes, indeed, we don't really know what we're talking about. Out attitude needs training, we need to learn our limits. We can see someone do something but cannot have any clue why they do it, unless we can read their mind.
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          Jan 18 2014: I made a mistake in this important sentence - I meant to say

          "the reason: this person might be hurt by your help, because if something is good for you - might be dangerous for others.

          Really apologize !
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          Jan 18 2014: What a delight to talk to you, Adriaan :) I'll try a new conversation regarding changing our old Golden Rule which throughout history provokes endless misunderstandings, dictatorship, fights and war… I do too believe that our ethics need to be changed, and drastically. The Golden Rule is all about ethics anyway.
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        Jan 18 2014: Thank you very much Vera!

        Yeah the Golden Rule can also be applied a selfish way.

        I'm very nice to others, if they are at least as nice to me, and think the way I think!!

        In fact, they may even call that 'unconditional love' LOL
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        Jan 21 2014: Good point Vera!
        One may think/feel sometimes, that what s/he is trying to give is a gift, when in fact, it is not. As you insightfully point out.....what is good for one person, is not necessarily good for everyone.

        Perhaps your "LOL" suggests that you are telling a joke Adriaan?

        You say you are nice to others when they "think the way I think!". That is conditional. Unconditional love is without conditions.
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    Jan 17 2014: Perception is always a tricky thing Vera.
    What we interpret from our perception can branch off from reality via imagination. Only those who can put
    themselves in the shoes of others can really see their perspective and understand them.
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      Jan 17 2014: Yes, Poch. I was always wondering Why we are so limited, and perceive only what we see on the surface. As Kant wrote - no matter how many times we cut an apple we would not be able to get into its own real nature, but alsways see its appearances.

      Why I started this conversation? Years ago I came to realise that Our own minds are more creative and surprising than any art, tangible structures or scientific discoveries.

      In order to even eventually see something using our corporeal sight our minds must go through a very complicated process. Our minds, not brains, do the work that an artist does while painting: comparing, selecting, focusing and composing images, thoughts, even scenarios of our internal realities, moreover a mind does this instinctively in every moment!! Before we may comprehend what is happening - the actual objective world is already changed, transformed into new worlds… The universe we may see (and calculate) has to be "constructed" within our mind through perceptions, long before we eventually can look at it - it is already a buit-in landscape which we have created by instinctive sensations, and perceptions of sensations.

      We have to build our reality only within our minds. Something that great George Berkeley and later Kant struggled to explain…. I trust we can discover WHY we have to be so artistic in order to experience our realities.

      Our own minds are the most fascinating artists and actors we may ever know in this life.


      I'm wondering why people feel so much confidence when they say they KNOW something or somebody.
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        Jan 17 2014: You are a bookworm that have consumed dozens of philosophy books,
        right Vera?

        How real is reality? There was a philosopher that said everything is illusion, i.e., everything
        we see now will be gone tomorrow (in the future).

        I had a convo titled Are Art and Reality Opposites?
        How real is art?
        There is one thing realistic in art: Crime forensic photography. When there is possible evidence in victim's genitalia, the police photographer or ID technician is required to make photos appear as real and convincing as possible. And that is realistic art.
        Here are some of our feedbacks:

        Art is the artistic expression of someone's interpretation of reality.
        We may also say every artist try to clarify their perspectives of the world through art.

        'Art is simply a different view of "reality/perception" in an individuals mind that is actualized
        in the physical world. So, just as the roots are as much of the tree as the tree is of its roots,
        art and "reality" are but one.'

        'I'm wondering why people feel so much confidence when they say they KNOW something
        or somebody...'
        When we say we KNOW something or somebody, we're declaring that something is reality.
        And something only becomes reality when two people agree it exists.
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          Jan 18 2014: Well, I have not been called a "bookworm", not even once. If you mean "bookworm - a person who pays more attention to formal rules and book learning than they merit" I'm not that person.

          I do have a few thousand books in my house (one of the reasons is because I do not want to be a fool who asks the same questions already answered thousands of years ago). People who know me well see me as a (very) original artist (in painting, writing/composing music , even cooking..) I'm a workaholic, obviously.

          I'm driven not by what I read in books, but by what I can discover on my own, based on my own experience - independently from any existing concepts or ideas. I do compare what I discover with what is already known. I'm an independent artist and researcher, desperately wondering about life and its natural mystery, so drastically different from our popular concepts.

          The thoughts I'm sharing here, through these tiny post spaces, are my original, except a couple of famous ideas that I bring out, but always describe with a reference, mentioning the authors.
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        Jan 18 2014: The most accepted meaning of 'bookworm' is simply:
        someone who reads a lot. And that's what I mean too. Hyperactive (like me)
        rather than workaholic, seems more like you.

        I can't imagine persons being driven more by books rather than experiences except some
        psychos and socios.

        Nothing wrong with citing authors as long as your thoughts are original as you claimed.
        And your thoughts are indeed interesting Vera.
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          Jan 18 2014: I like to read your comments no matter what you say, Poch. You're a very open person, a rare treat!
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        Jan 18 2014: I hope you're very open too (not shy) Vera but I don't mind since you're a rare treat too :-D
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    Jan 17 2014: “The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way.”
    ― Heraclitus

    Thank you for reading :)
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    Jan 15 2014: In my thinking about the self, the "I", the "me" and other, I've developed a thought experience around being isolated; alone on an island like "Robinson Crusoe." In this experience we might speculate about the need for language and its impact on the amount of inner dialogue that would occur. My notion is that our sense of the "I" reverses back from a subjective to an objective.

    Social language divides the self into the subjective (I) and the objective (me); a sense of I as the subject is reenforce through our narrative discussion with an other. The other is always providing a reflection of the I-ness of self back to us.

    Were we to be alone on the island, would our inner dialogue be altered? Would the lack of reflection of the self that an other offers promote a development of the "I as object", or increase self awareness, where the "I" is absent as a conscious subject thought element in our narrative?

    I am inclined to think that we would be more like other animals and that our thinking would be more based in the present moment. Without others, we would be, task oriented and less language based in our thoughts, more attuned to our nature.
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      Jan 16 2014: Yes, Theodore. We usually think in this fashion " In this experience we might speculate about the need for language and its impact on the amount of inner dialogue that would occur. My notion is that our sense of the "I" reverses back from a subjective to an objective."

      Both, the "subjective" and the "objective", are played by the same Actor, our mind.

      It was a provocative thought when I realized that our human language could make some sense only for us, but can create only "noise" for the rest of the world. The rest of living forms on our planet have more universal language that is so direct and intuitive that it does not need words. We think that animals are less intelligent than us because they do not speak our language - on the contrary, our language is just a noise for them, when they "understand" our intentions in reality they pick up our mood and subconsciousness. Tell you beloved dog or cat "I'm about to eat you up" your animals would not worry a bit. Your direct intonation tells their perception - you love them. If you tell a man "I'm about to kill you" but meaning no harm, you will make this man worry - he perceives the symbols of language.

      What I think most very confusing characteristics of our language is that we often trust that our words/terminology are real objective things or events.

      Love your thought: "I am inclined to think that we would be more like other animals and that our thinking would be more based in the present moment. Without others, we would be, task oriented and less language based in our thoughts, more attuned to our nature." Please let me know what else you wish to say in this direction.
  • Jan 14 2014: It is interesting you bring up Jonas Salk and his thought process. (side note: Salk refused to patent the polio vaccine because it would have limited its distribution and raised the cost.) When I program at the lowest level, I mean at the bit level on the chip and/or at the microcode level, I see the flow of electrons and the switches going from one state to another. Thought I was crazy until I found several others that said the same thing.
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    Jan 11 2014: Hi Vera and thanks for the heads up on the conversation:>)

    I believe our ability to imagine others in our minds (or not) has a HUGE impact regarding our understanding of others in real life. Trying to understand others to the best of our ability.....walking in another person's shoes so to speak....is a foundation for compassion.

    I agree with you that we have different personas/characteristics/archetypes which we can draw on in different situations to help us learn and understand something/someone that may not be part of our regular life experiences. I also agree that the more we are aware of these other characteristics, the greater the chance to understand others, and I believe that eventually each of us develops one dominating/leading character, identifying this character as our own "Self".

    The rest of the characteristics often are "supportive" roles in one's personality, as you say, and the sad part, is that if one does not recognize all the characteristics as part of "self", one will often say....that is not part of me....I don't know where THAT behavior or action came from.....that's not me!!!

    I observe people saying that what they determine to be the "good" characteristics are the "authentic" self, and all the other characteristics that they don't like are not "authentic". In my perception, all of the personas/characteristics/archetypes ARE part of our "self", and when we recognize that, we have more of an opportunity to connect compassionately with others.
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      Jan 11 2014: Colleen, I often feel that you put some of my thoughts together, much better than I could...
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      Jan 15 2014: Colleen, it is admirable the way you re-play someone's thoughts, so closely, but you always keep your own ideas "safe" - you do not lose them while imagining what others feel .
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        Jan 15 2014: Thanks Vera,
        What do you mean by keeping my own ideas "safe"?
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          Jan 15 2014: Many people who've made up their minds forever do not want to bother to change their opinion, for the reason - If they get too involved in understanding others they might be confused and uncomfortable.

          I know some scholars who are very opinionated.. for the same reason. But we cannot learn if we do not understand others, we cannot help them and help ourselves. If we are comfortable with our ideas while understanding others, this means we have great ideas (safe" ideas).
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        Jan 15 2014: Oh....I see what you mean Vera. I think you are suggesting that it is good to be open minded? Open hearted? Willing to listen to, and embrace new thoughts, feelings, ideas?

        I agree that sometimes people don't want to look at new ideas, because they may feel confused or uncomfortable. That tells me that they may be so "attached" to an idea/belief that they totally identify with it, and may be afraid to open up to something more.....it's a choice. Listening to, and evaluating information does not mean that we have to accept everything we hear....it simply means that we are open to listening and filtering through the information to see what feels "right", or "truth" to us.

        For example, the interactions with people labeled with downs syndrome, that Martin and I mentioned in other comments on this thread.....
        We can go into those interactions thinking/feeling that a downs syndrome person is disabled and will not be able to give me anything.....I will be helping him/her.

        Or, we can go into the interactions with open mind and heart, believing that it is an exchange of thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and we can learn what they can give to us. So, it becomes an interaction in which all participants can be the teacher AND the student, and all participants gain something from the experience:>)

        I LOVE being comfortable with the ideas that I have now, and I'm open to more exploration, because that is how I perceive life.....an adventurous exploration. Being comfortable with our own thoughts feelings and ideas WHILE genuinely listening to, and supporting other's thoughts, feelings and ideas (when they make a little bit of sense to us), creates more acceptance, contentment and comfort in our world:>)
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    Feb 2 2014: FROM A POEM by Federico García Lorca

    Can we "follow" his imagination?

    .....MYSELF

    ....It’s filled with light, is
    my heart of silk, and
    with bells that are lost,
    with bees and with lilies,
    and I will go far off,
    behind those hills there,
    close to the starlight,
    to ask of the Christ there
    Lord, to return me
    my child’s soul, ancient,
    ripened with legends,
    with a cap of feathers,
    and a sword of wood.
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    Jan 21 2014: We are routinely acting as two minds and while arguing for both, we believe we can find somewhat better decision to follow..this "process" recognized as "duel thinking" and has been described by William James.

    Duel process, or duel thinking... In my opinion, this is a great example for how one mind can play two and Many More roles on its internal stages of its imagination, invisible to anyone but its Self.
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      Jan 21 2014: Hi Vera,
      As multi-sensory, multi-dimensional, multi-faceted humans, I suggest that we have the ability to connect with several processes, and levels of processes at the same time.....multi-tasking of the brain/mind so to speak:>)

      When we recognize this, it is no longer two or more minds "arguing for both". We begin to recognize all the aspects that make up our "self", and can use them all together:>)
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        Jan 22 2014: Sometimes I'm wondering why the most well known method for delivering original ideas is to create a dialog.. Many great minds act in their dialogs as two different personalities, but arguing with themselves. They probably lived a very lonely "internal" life within their minds, having no real co-thinkers around, on their own level.

        Some were loners on purpose, but someone like Kant had lots of friends….

        "Duel" thinking has been playing around in our minds since the begining of our history, I suppose. Our minds cannot live without this very "method".
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          Jan 22 2014: Vera,
          When people seem to be "arguing with themselves", do you suppose it could be a way by which they are filtering, or sifting through information to discover, validate or reinforce their own beliefs...their own "truth"?

          That is what I perceive when people seem to argue with themselves or contradict themselves....they may be exploring information in their own mind and heart, and that exploration manifests in a dialogue that seems contradictory.
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        Jan 23 2014: Colleen, I feel we think in a similar direction. Our minds are capable of quite fantastic internal acting playing many characters at the same time, become "things" and events. In my work (I've not published it yet) I write that our minds (not brains) have the most primordial art, sound recording and animation studios we may experience.

        When I was in my art school I have noticed that every artist obeys the same hidden Artist's Rules when he paints on canvas. An artist looks around and at his canvas while constantly Compares images shapes, sizes, colors as he perceives them in his mind, memory and on canvas. This common procedure in arts Reveals a basic mental process of Comparison - we can't avoid it when we perceive our reality.

        Every mind must constantly Compare its impressions whether one is an artist or mathematician, philosopher or layman. We must Compare just in order to perceive!

        Nature's change provides us with NEW DIfferent conditions, often opposites, so we become more alert. Monotonous sensations mean illness.

        I think that the loss of memory is very related to this crucial ability to COMPARE whether we keep comparing our sensations, emotions, forms, colors, tastes, smells, or compositions/scenarios of them.

        I trust that Alzheimer's disease and dementia may be healed/reversed in some cases without medications, must by stimulating this very vital sense of comparison in a patient's mind. I suggested to my good friend, when he told be about his mother suffering Alzheimer, to let her put her hands into very worm and then in cold water. Repeat this simple exercise as often as possible. He called me a couple of weeks later saying that they see some good progress in her behavior

        She has been receiving a ton of pills though, and it is hard to see how a heavily medicated person's head may truly react on different methods, especially if our approach is holistic.

        I just wish to show - our minds do have a few nature's hidden laws we miss
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          Feb 1 2014: We do seem to be on a similar page at times Vera.

          My perception of artists, is that they often have different methods and practices to create their artwork....some compare their work to others, and some do not....preferring to do their own thing:>)

          It would be interesting to see some experimentation/explanation regarding the method you mention to treat Alzheimer's disease.

          I am in favor of using holistic practices when possible, and I prefer to have evidence that they actually work.

          For example:
          When I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease in the spine, I chose to use a holistic approach, rather than the conventional practice of surgery, which was recommended by medical professionals at the time.

          My practice to manage the challenge, was to build and strengthen the muscular system to support the degenerative discs in the spine, which has worked pretty well for over 30 years.

          So, rather than having a fused spine, and take pain meds, which would have been the preferred treatment by medical professionals at the time, I chose to strengthen some systems of the body/mind, to support a weakened part of the body.

          It might be interesting to see some kind of evidence of, or explanation for the idea that putting one's hands alternately into cold and warm water, might have an effect on Alzeimer's disease.
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        Feb 1 2014: "It would be interesting to see some experimentation/explanation regarding the method you mention to treat Alzheimer's disease.

        I am in favor of using holistic practices when possible, and I prefer to have evidence that they actually work."

        Oh, Colleen. This is an endlessly fascinating field - beyond any "healthcare" system and their "control".
        It would be wonderful if some people who have their own experience would share with their stories..

        I have a few on my own, once escaping from tthe hospital before major surgery :) I have found the way to survive and heal on my own. I've helped other people too..but it is only possible when people are willing to hear you.

        Your story is Very Encouraging. I'll talk to you a little later about some details.

        Thank you for sharing!
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          Feb 2 2014: I agree with you Vera, that health, and lack of health, is a fascinating field, and I always feel that the more information I have about something, the better able I am to make good decisions regarding the care of my body/mind.

          Health care systems cannot control us unless we allow that to happen. When we are aware of the interconnected body systems and how they work, we can make more informed decisions regarding how to deal with illness, injury and dis-ease of the body/mind.

          I prefer to take in ALL information and use ALL available resources, along with being aware of how the systems work. Our metabolisms, knowledge of the body/mind systems, and belief systems are different, and sometimes, what works for one person, may not work for another person. For that reason, I do not recommend that people simply "hear you".

          Listening to what other people tell us to do has led to some of the challenges you mention with the conventional western health care systems, which use lots of drugs and surgeries that are often times not needed. They often do not consider the underlying cause of the dis-ease, which in my perception, needs to be addressed.
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        Feb 2 2014: You probably know this, but those of us who have had loved ones suffering from Alzheimers or dementia have long been advised to encourage activities that exercise cognitive functions (there are, of course, many choices!), to encourage physical exercise, and to encourage activities that reduce anxiety, which may include listening to music, cuddling pets, or enjoying massage. All of these practices also happen to be beneficial for those not struggling with degenerative illness.
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          Feb 2 2014: Thankfully, I've never had a close loved one impacted by Alzheimer's or dementia, and I have known several other people who WERE affected by it Fritzie.

          I helped some friends on occasion, who were taking care of their parents in their home. I came in once in awhile to give the caretakers some respite for a little while. The father had Parkinson's and the mother had Alzheimer's. The father's mind was sharp as a tack, while the body was deteriorating. The mother was physically healthy, vibrant, joyful, with a very content attitude, and she didn't know who her husband or daughters were, nor did she have any recollection of her life. It was a very interesting dynamic, and very challenging for the two sisters caring for them.

          Yes, I am aware of the recommendation to encourage activities, exercise, using cognitive functions, etc., and as you say, these activities are beneficial for all of us:>)
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          Feb 4 2014: I think that Alzheimer is rooted on this still invisible to sciences, deadly disability, that deprives our minds of a natural “motor” of Comparing. We stop feeling contrasts, for instance, between pain and pleasure, sweet and sour, cold and hot , funny and sad , between faces and names etc . , therefore the very “canvas” of our conscious theater of reality becomes almost blank.

          The true understanding of the very nature of memory is also missing. IT IS A PROCESS which is based on instant Comparison of sensations images or feelings. Memory is not a storage of neurons in brains. Our memory is changing constantly, “renewing” and replacing itself.

          This process is revealing the most vital nature’s mechanism we may ever explore. Every living form perceives its reality uniquely - but is governed by the same nature’s mechanism “working” on Comparison, Selection, Focusing and Composing its instinctive sensations into images, sounds, tastes, temperatures…


          For whatever reason/trauma, when the Mental process of Comparison slows down it can create visible changes in brains. If one’s brain is physically traumatized they can paralyze the “motor” of Comparison related to the bodily sense-perceptions.

          When a doctor recommends some exercises or drugs to improve some sense of alert in Alzheimer patients they only guess based on their previous practice. But the real important reason explaining Why patients DO need to re-learn Alertness is that they need to excite their paralyzed ability to Compare their sensations. Moreover, the process of Comparison stimulates our vital emotional circulation, within bodies and minds.

          I truly believe that we CAN reverse Alzheimer in many cases, just by suggesting very contrasting stimulation to these patients sensations and feelings.

          I have too much to say… having thousands of pages written about the basic process of perceiving and its still unnoticed by anyone natural laws.
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        Feb 4 2014: "The father's mind was sharp as a tack, while the body was deteriorating. The mother was physically healthy, vibrant, joyful, with a very content attitude, and she didn't know who her husband or daughters were, nor did she have any recollection of her life"

        Coleen your description is Strikingly related to my topic. Our conscious minds Do not Recognize any sensations until we instinctively processes them, producing scenarios of images, sounds and colors in minds. We are not able to reflect or copy objective really as it is but we have nature’s granted mental equipment which we instinctively use for to act and direct our reality.

        We all experience this mental process of Comparison without which we never recognize individuals, relatives and their faces, voices, animals, numbers or words

        This process is continuous even while we are asleep - we see dreams full of contrasts to compare.
        Our memory is a Continuos Process- not a storage of tiniest “microchips” in brains described after microscopic brain images.

        We may not perceive anything as it is - our sensations are very random and very limited. However, we may create our internal playhouse of quite fantastic interpretations and scenarios that we believe is reality.

        For whatever reason/trauma when the Mental process of Comparison slows down it can create visible changes in brains. If one’s brain is physically traumatized they can paralyze Comparison related to sense-perceptions.

        When a doctor recommends some exercises or drugs to improve some sense of alert in Alzheimer patients they only guess based on their previous practice. But the real important reason - patients DO need to re-learn Alertness to excite their paralyzed ability to Compare their sensations. Moreover the process of Comparison stimulates our vital emotional circulation, within bodies and minds.

        I truly believe that we CAN reverse Alzheimer in many cases just by suggesting contrasting stimulation to patients' sensations.
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          Feb 5 2014: Vera,
          You say..."We all experience this mental process of Comparison....".

          We were talking about Alzheimer's, and I suggest that a person with Alzheimer's is not "comparing" anything, because it seems that they no longer have the information to compare.

          While the memory seems to be a continuous process in a relatively normally functioning brain, that process seems to be compromised in a brain that is affected with Alzheimer's. The person I dealt with closely, had no "internal playhouse of quite fantastic interpretations and scenarios" that she believed was reality. She was simply living her life moment to moment without benefit of memory.

          You are correct, medical professionals diagnose and treat based on practices that have worked in the past with other patients, in addition to currant information and practices.

          I believe stimulating the mind can possibly contribute to keeping the mind more alert, and if one wants to try stimulating a person's sensations (as you mention, by putting the hands in cold, than warm water) that is fine. I would not suggest it as a way to "reverse Alzheimer's".
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        Feb 6 2014: Thank you for your kind attempt to understand my comments.
        My thinking is crucially different from popular understanding of brain/mind functions. I separate Mind from a brain.
        The fact that many creative living forms survive successfully without any brains tells us - our brains cannot control our entire existence of minds. This can be very clear to individuals with OBE. Our bodily experience is temporary. We only begin to grow our brains in our very early childhood when we “learn” to see new environment through new to us sense-perceptions related to brains.
        However, No brains can really see or hear, or create any images for us. Brains are only additional tools of minds to create our sensations of the “physical".
        Only our minds can see and hear and it is not a physical process in the first place. This is the very "Zone" where doctors, researchers or scientists get absolutely LOST. Whatever they see is already inside their minds. No Brains can actually see other brains. These are just mind’s tools. No brains CAN compare.
        Also here is another fundamental law of nature - no one can jump out of his/her mind in order to see objective reality or anything as it is.
        “The person I dealt with closely, had no "internal playhouse of quite fantastic interpretations and scenarios" that she believed was reality. She was simply living her life moment to moment without benefit of memory.”
        But I believe she must have her reality within her mind, as long as she is alive. But she cannot express anything physically because her brain-tools are almost shut.
        It is very sad that we study our behavior and mental "status" by analyzing physical movements and reactions, chemistry and cells.

        P.S. COMPARISON is the process that Allows Mind to GET info in the first place. This is a process of life itself. Everything we interact with becomes memory, instantaneously. Memory keeps changing and transforming. We simply die if our minds skip this process.
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          Feb 6 2014: I do not separate mind from brain Vera, because I perceive everything to be interconnected. I had an NDE/OBE Vera, and I did not perceive a separation of the mind/brain.

          I agree in some respects that some medical professionals are only aware of established practices, AND I also observe medical professionals who are very open to new and alternative ideas and practices. It does not seem very realistic to me, to label all doctors, researchers and scientists "lost". As I'm sure you know, science has discovered a great deal about the human body, including the brain.

          Perhaps the person I spoke of, who had Alzheimer's had "her reality within her mind", as you say, and that was not apparent. The challenge, is that we never really know exactly what is going on in the mind/brain of another person.

          I relate to what you say in that there are cases where certain functions may be shut down while other processes of the body/mind are functioning. That is how I felt when I was clinically unconscious and yet conscious on different levels. I could not express myself, because the parts of the brain used for human communication were compromised. and I was aware of everything going on in the room. There was still brain activity, as proven with the monitor.

          I do not perceive it to be "sad" that we study mental and physical behaviors by analyzing movements, reactions, chemistry and cells. In my humble perception, those elements are ALL part of the functions of the body/mind. The more we study and research, the more information we have to guide us with healthcare. We always have choices regarding what information we use and how we use it.

          You seem to believe that we get "stuck" in a healthcare system that is not good. I believe in using all available information and practices for healing. To do that however, it is important to not simply give our body/mind over to someone else's care, but rather to be informed in ourselves to be able to make good decisions.
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    Jan 21 2014: Just wondering, when people become crowds, they cannot think independently on their own. They do not see where they are really going, and commonly become victims of shrewed but very nearsighted manipulators of all sorts, politicians, dictators, religious "leaders" or industries trying to sell their products to the masses.

    Squeezed in crowds we are deprived of our own characters, and are physically forced to copy other's moves, However, we ususally think that we do this for the sake of our own survival.
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      Jan 21 2014: Vera,
      I believe that individuals have choices, so they/we CAN think independently if we choose to do so. By saying that we "become victims", we give up our power of choice to someone else, and therefor we also give up responsibility for the choices we make. That is the superficial level, because on another level, I think people realize they give up choices, and that doesn't feel very good.

      Whether we are in a crowd, or alone.....wherever we go, there we are with our "self"....one who has the ability to make choices.
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        Jan 22 2014: I feel simply terrified in crowds. There is no such desperate loneliness may be compared with This one, when I'm in a big crowd.. I can escape, remain my Self but - mentally, and I have to let my body be manipulated - I do not care any longer.. because I simply have no strength to protect it.

        Anyway, I' ve learned to survive somehow. Always love to read your comments.
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          Jan 22 2014: Vera,
          Being "terrified in crowds", as you say you are, seems different (or maybe part of the same?) than being manipulated in crowds, not thinking independently, deprived of our own characters, physically forced to copy other's moves, etc., which is what you first presented.

          Do you feel terrified because of the possibilities which you mention?

          Thanks Vera...you bring up some very interesting points, which lead to interesting conversations....thank you for that:>)
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    Jan 19 2014: It's so true. Moreover, it's very difficult to search for our own true motivations as well - they often coming out from our subconsciousness, which is impossible to put under any microscope for observations..

    In such cases, yes, it is better if we make an agreement with others, just to make sure no one is hurt.

    I believe that even people who have great talents to imagine other's characters and their motivations, for instance, great actors, they still cannot become other people and understand them perfectly.

    Good comment, Jose.
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    Jan 17 2014: Hello Poch. I'm Not talking about art as the result of one's expression - I'm talking about the PROCESS that we call Perceiving.

    I'm saying there is no way we actually can copy or reflect anything from "out there" and put these things in our minds.

    Here is one of the reasons - no one can jump out of one's mind to see "things" out there as they are. There is NO difference in How we express ourselves, scientifically or medically or artistically, when it comes to
    the Process of Perceiving itself governed by the basic nature's laws.

    I'm saying that these laws are clearly revealed in a common routine which an artist follows while painting on canvas.

    The process is instinctive. First, we subconsciously Compare abscure sensations, Select some of them, Focus on some of them and Compose them as images and scenarious of our realities. Why? We must Create our own internal environment in order to see and deal with it.

    The common confusing "understanding" is that everyone sees the same objective reality !
    You explain "When we say we KNOW something or somebody, we're declaring that something is reality.
    And something only becomes reality when two people agree it exists." Very common misunderstanding based on this mentality makes our sciences believe they "prove" their concepts.

    Everyone is unique but we may be similar. If not only two but thousands of people can feel the "same table" see its color, texture, measure its size, touch, sense its density, thinking that this table is "objective" reality - we are deeply lost.

    The unique internal process, governed by our own unique perceptions allow us to CREATE a such thing as a table. This very table does not exist as a "table" for other living forms. A microbe would easily go through, a table would not have any shape or texture, or colors. A micribe has its own unique reality we cannot perceive.

    Does this mean that we, humans, are superior to other lifeforms and can judge them?
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    Jan 11 2014: When I was a very young student in my art school I discovered something crucial about my perceptions. I then came to realize that it was not just my way of dealing with painting . Every artist when painting must keep COMPARING what he/she sees before depicting something on canvas. We select what we wish to put on canvas. I imagined that canvas is a blank stage of mind and it is constantly composing images or better to say some portions of images (we do not see the front and back of any subject at the same time).

    In order just to see something coherent on mind's canvas we nstinctively or willingly Compare what we pick up from what we see in our reality. One painting looks like a real bizarre but the other gives an impression of some real things with which we are familiar.

    We absolutely cannot perceive anything if we do not Compare impressions of our reality, sensations, feelings, shares, colors, smells and sounds. It is our mind that is just like an artist chooses what it feels is important, (lovely, ugly, wrong, perfect…)

    My point is that we can select in our minds only what we have compared with something else. I mean Comparison is unavoidable. When we try to understand someone we must compare our experience with what appears to be someone else's experience. Our understanding of other cannot go beyond.

    This is I'd say one of the basic natural laws of perceiving (no one has noticed this as the law yet, but it is unavoidable) THE MORE WE COMPARE THE BETTER CHOICE WE ARE ABLE TO SELECT.

    If one memorises tons of information. like some robot, one has practically very little use for this knowledge in real situations.

    I trust PERCEIVING is all about internal acting. We have to act as others in our minds, moreover act as water, trees, skies, universe… (When one memorises names and appearances of others this person does understand anyone.)
  • Jan 11 2014: Imagine me(other) in your mind and then see what impact it creates in understanding me(other) !! I would prefer here to be on the listening mode.
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      Jan 11 2014: It is crazy how others imagine you in their minds!! You cannot appear in any other mind as your real Self, as a whole person.

      When we say we know someone, it is only some image we know from some segments we put together as abrupt pieces of information, your shape, colors, the sound of your voice etc. There is absolutely no other way to know anything, but collect some pieces of impressions.
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    Jan 10 2014: One plays the vague image of its own Mind, and perhaps, its own Brain, and then its Body.

    Who is the Acttor who plays them all, on the stage of one's conscious theater ?

    Where is this stage of reality on which one is able to watch reality, participate in and effect this reality?

    Can we "map" the geography of mind (not brains!)
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    Jan 9 2014: Even when having no brains, all sorts of living forms act out in every instant as unique selves. They are driven by their interactions within their environment and other living forms.

    This primordial ability to act while expressing our characters, and our reactions towards constantly changing situations and conditions, within and without, is one of the most fascinating nature's gifts we, humans, may possess.

    This form of this vital interaction, which we might recognize as primordial, intuitive or/and instinctive acting, is one of the most basic parts of our natural "mechanism" of life.

    We, humans, have developed this ability on a somewhat illusive stage of our imagination. We call this stage - conscious mind, where we put together our images, sounds, characters and :"things/objects" into scenarios of our individuals reality .


    Our consciousness mind is impossible without our internal acting and its theater.

    We have to play everything and everyone we perceive on that stage while we observe and think. This internal and external acting, whether it is poor or brilliant, is absolutely crucial in our existence, it can lead us to the safety or to the deadly end, can allow us to learn about ourselves and others and make fascinating discoveries, or turn us into prisoners of our own blindness towards the world.