which is the front?


which is the front?

Look for the square that is the front of this box. Is it in the upper left of the picture or the bottom right? Can you see it either way? Can you see it both ways at once?

Our brain (especially the right neocortex) seeks familiar patterns in holistic ways to move through and interact with the world–or the Web. Backstage in the brain, trillions of neural networks compete to produce what we see, sense, feel, and think–projecting expectations from prior experiences, along with fears and desires.

In this case, the brain leaps from one box image to another, but wants to choose between them, not see them both at the same time. Your inner brain theatre (or cinema) projects one 3D box or the other onto the same 2D set of lines.

Also, you might shade this box, so that it’s not translucent, and imagine what’s inside that you fear or desire….

how old is she?



Look for a young woman and an old woman in this picture. Do you see both? Can you see both at the same time? Is your mind projecting an image and identity (with age features) onto this collection of lines?

One woman is looking away from you, one is looking down.  What does that evoke?  Does she remind you of anyone you know?

When you see someone at a distance  you think you know, walking toward you,  you see her face.  But as she gets closer, the face may change into someone else.  You saw a familiar face on her before, because your brain’s theatre projected it.

curved or straight lines?


curved or straight lines?

Look at this as a whole (using more of your right brain) and then hold a straight-edged piece of paper, or the black border at the top here, along the lines near the center (evoking more of your left brain) to see how you initially projected onto it.

Context is key here.  The arrangement of light and dark boxes affects how we see the lines.  This happens in the theatre of everyday life, too.  Various neural areas interact, backstage in your brain’s theatre–involving deep goal and conceptual contexts, plus the audience of memory traces as Other to your Self–to produce what you perceive as reality, staged within your mind as personal experience.  But they are also interacting with your outer environment, the social context of the current moment and your past cultural training, which shaped your present neural networks.

Most of this is unconscious.  BUT it can become MORE CONSCIOUS, like the animal passions that sometimes arise and make us do strange things: lust, fear, hunger, rage, and so on.  MAYBE the more AWARE we are of the animals, stagehands, and audiences in our brain, the better we can perceive, feel, think, and act in the outer theatres of various social contexts in our lives.  I HOPE THIS BLOG WILL HELP YOU that way.  (Being able to laugh at your Self helps, too.)  Let me know if it does….

(Some of the images and terms I’m using here come from PHANTOMS IN THE BRAIN, by VS Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee, and IN THE THEATER OF CONSCIOUSNESS, by Bernard Baars, both of which I highly recommend.)