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Monday, June 20, 2011

The Mind's Eye, The Eye's Mind

For a discussion of theories of vision see Rupert Sheldrake, The Sense of Being Stared at, Part 2: Its Implications for Theories of Vision. And for some indications of the close connection between consciousness and vision see below...

"As her physician was closing the incision, Sarah's heart stopped beating...But the emergency was over in a minute for it took no more time than that for the anesthesiologist to defibrillate her...She had something else to show that amazed her and the rest of the surgery team as well - a clear, detailed memory of the frantic conversation of the surgeons and nurses during the cardiac arrest; the OR layout; the scribbles on the surgery schedule board in the hall outside; the covering of the sheets covering the operating table; the hairstyle of the head scrub nurse; the names of the surgeons in the doctors' lounge down the corridor who were waiting for her case to be concluded; and even the trivial fact that her anesthesiologist that day was wearing unmatched socks. All this she knew even though she had been fully anesthetized and unconscious during the surgery and the cardiac arrest. But what made Sarah's vision even more momentous was the fact that, since birth, she had been blind."
-Larry Dossey,Recovering the Soul, pgs. 17-18

'Kuda Bux took two baseball sized quantities of freshly kneaded white flour dough from a box on a table. He kneaded each ball of dough for a brief time and then flattened it into a round inch-thick patty about six inches in diameter. As he handed each volunteer one of the patties, he said, "Hold these." He closed both eyes, leaning his head back. He instructed, "Take the dough and seal my eyes shut." The volunteers were slow to respond. "Just lay it flat over my eyes," Kuda Bux urged. The two men obliged. "Press it down all around so it is completely sealed."
I moved up taking a front row seat to within a few feet of Kuda Bux to watch this process very closely. The dough filled his entire eye sockets and extended out from his eyes which completely sealed both eyes shut. There was no doubt that his eyes were pasted shut.
Kuda Bux continued directing the volunteers, "There are two cotton wads on the table. Take those and place them over the dough." The men obliged. They were pieces of cotton about an inch thick, and about 4 inches wide by 6 inches long. They were placed vertically over the dough.
"Take the tape. There is a roll of tape on the table. Take the tape and tape the cotton in place," Kuda Bux continued. As one fellow pulled a strip of tape from the dispenser, Kuda Bux explained, "Make it about ten inches long. Just tape over the cotton onto my face."
The volunteers got the idea and while one cut ten-inch long strips of this inch-wide medicinal tape, the other fellow took the tape and criss-cross it over the cotton and onto Kuda Bux's face. It was clearly evident that the cotton wads were firmly in place over the eyes, extending from the middle of the forehead down to the lower part of his cheeks. Even if Kuda Bux could somehow peak under the dough, he would not be able to peak under the cotton and the tape as well.
As if this was not enough Kuda Bux instructed, "There are black cloth strips in the box. Take those and place them over the cotton, and tie them behind my head." As the two fellows pulled out the five cloth strips, I could see they were opaque, about three inches wide, and each about three feet long.
"Look them over," urged Kuda Bux. "Can you see through them?" The two fellows tested the cotton strips and began putting them in place. Kuda Bux guided their placement so that two cotton strips were criss-crossed to form an X over each eye. As each was held in place Kuda Bux said, "Tie it in the back. Make sure it is tight."
The criss-crossing of the cotton strips over his eyes left only the nostrils exposed and almost fully sealed off his mouth. Kuda Bux then guided the last cotton strip horizontally over both eyes while the volunteers tied that last one in place at the back of his head as well.
At this point the entire array took on the appearance of a mummified head. Two small openings remained for breathing through the nostrils and only a little space was evident over the center of the mouth. My meticulous scrutiny confirmed that Kuda Bux's eyes were out of commission. Finally, to convince the die-hard skeptic he asked the volunteers to get the small black sack from the table. This sack was made of an opaque thick cloth. "Now put this over my head," Kuda Bux instructed. "Try to see through it," he said. The two fellows put it up to the light and tried to see through it. They were satisfied that it was not a trick bag, and placed it over Kuda Bux’s head.
"Tighten the bag under my chin," instructed Kuda Bux. One of the fellows pulled the draw strings tightly to seal off Kuda Bux's entire head. Breathing was obviously difficult, and seeing with his physical eyes was impossible...
He asked, "Does anyone want to come up and select some balloons?" A girl wearing a yellow dress raised her hand in response and Bux pointed to her and said, "Yes, come right up." As she came forward he said playfully, "That is a nice yellow dress you have on." The girl selected balloon after balloon and Kuda Bux named the colors correctly each time...
Kuda Bux asked, "Does anyone have a book here?" A girl in the audience responded, "Yes," while holding up a textbook. Kuda Bux walked up to the girl and said, "Open the book to any page." Then Kuda Bux read from the book without hesitation. We all crowded around Bux to verify his readings. Nearly everyone got a chance to select a page and point to the paragraph he wanted read. Bux read every selection correctly. Certainly everyone here is not a shill, I thought. I also was sure he did not memorize the entire text book.He again explained that to read with his physical eyes he needed to wear glasses, but his subtle faculty of vision was unimpaired.
An audience member asked, "How can you see?"
Kuda Bux explained, "I can see due to the power of my concentration. I bring my attention to a finer level of my vision. It's my power of concentration." Kuda Bux paused briefly then stated, "My back was broken in three places. Doctors said that I would never walk again. With my concentration I was able to heal myself. I have no problem walking now," he asserted...
"Can anyone learn to do this?" someone else asked.
"Yes," Kuda Bux affirmed. "You can develop your power of concentration by gazing at the gap between a flame and the candle. Do this just a few seconds at first," he explained. "After some time you will be able to do this for much longer. It will take about twenty years of daily practice to get results."'
- As witnessed by Vincent J. Daczynski

"I recall two scientists who were interested in developing screens for aiding in seeing the aura or energy - normally invisible - surrounding the body. The wife of one of them was also present and since she herself was a sensitive who could see auras I queried 'why dont they ask you about the subject?' She then spoke up they don't like me to say this but I see them [auras] with my eyes closed!"'

-Arthur Young, Consciousness and Reality, pg. 22

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

See R. Tzadok in Kometz HaMincha (in the beginning) for his discussion of these two theories of vision