Crisis and Observation

7 Aug 2022
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A visual blog today! For this to work, you need to stare at the white dot between the red and green squares and count to 60! Yes, you need to stare that dot for a whole minute. Then you can look at the other white dot and notice what you see.

Spoiler alert: even though the two lower images are exact mirror images of one another you should see a different colour cast on each side.

This is because your brain is showing you the information it thinks it should show you to make the most sense of current reality. It is interpreting reality as it sees fit.

If your brain sees the world as a mix of red and green as the dominant colours you pay attention to, then red and green will influence the way you ‘see’ everything else! The brain applies a kind of meaning to everything we perceive.

In other words, we don’t see the world as it is but rather as we see it. Or as Anaïs Nin put it far more eloquently, “We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are.” Or as Neuroscience would put it if there was a personification of Neuroscience, “We don’t see the world as it is but rather as our experience suggests it should be.”

Suppose your cultural upbringing had a strong emphasis on the black-and-white division between ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Your brain would do its utmost to interpret everything coming into it through the senses as either good or bad.

I’m going to recommend you have a day off. Have a day off from ‘bad’. In the perceptual exercise this would mean choosing either to have a red or green day, whichever best represent the colour of ‘good’ for you. For argument’s sake, let’s call it a, “Red Letter Day”! I promise you, if you had only red images at the top, looked at it for 60 seconds, and then looked at the dune scenes, you would not be able to tell them apart aside from the fact that they are mirror images.

Let’s choose today to only see the good in every situation by asking ourselves the question, “In which ways is this good?” And then let’s see what kind of day we have (or perceive to have!)

Lex

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Comments

greenjean

Aug. 8, 2022, 5:58 a.m.

Hello Lex, not sure why but it didn’t work fo me even though I tried it twice??!! However I will try to have a day off from bad, thanks for the suggestion

Reply

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 10:53 a.m.

Hi GreenJean Try this one. "The Dress." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress I'd never heard of it before last week but it was a sensation online in 2015. I can only see blue and gold! Whether it works, I hope you're thoroughly enjoying your day off from bad. Lx

Jul

Aug. 8, 2022, 6:01 a.m.

Good morning Lex I looked at the lower white dot first and then the one between the red and green so had to start all over again. Not a problem but I failed to see anything different. I will do it again. I love your theme today that we perceive the world differently to how it is in reality. This is so true. My imagination plays huge part in how I think things are specially in stressful situations or a situation which is worrying me. I am definitely going to see only the good in today. If my thoughts turn negative, I will quickly turn them around. It works as I've done it before. It requires a bit of effort though! Excellent Lex. Jul xx

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:24 a.m.

Hi Jules Sounds like it is going to be a good day! You could try again with someone else's version of the illusion: https://www.opticalspy.com/opticals/color-changing-sand-dunes-optical-illusion However, the most important thing is the message has come over! Choosing to see a good-in-everything day today! Lx

Teg

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:08 a.m.

Good morning Lex I must be wired up differently. I followed your instructions but I saw no red or green in the lower dot. However I fully support your message. See the good in as many situations as possible. I have made a great a start; so much pleasure in nature and people. Just returned from my early morning walk and spoke to my bowling friend about tomorrows competition. Thank you for reminding me of all the good things around us that are free and easy to access. Have a good day Teg

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The Gardener

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:27 a.m.

Teg, I think the gentleman is winding us up! I have to prepare to take 4 trains France UK tomorrow, Paris going to be 30 degrees. Organising me, phones, plant watering, paperwork - if I manage that and am not frazzled by 5 p.m I might try, I do love a good challenge, but 'sufficient for the day the evils thereof??' Bible? Subsitute good and get on with it. Onwards and upwards.

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:31 a.m.

Hi Teg I believe it is my poorly worded instruction. When you look at the white dot between the two Sand Dunes, you should be able to see the dunes and the sky in a different shade - influenced by the red and green previous exposure. When I stare at the top red and green using the dot in the middle as my focal point, and 'overwhelm' the retina with those colours for a minute, that image is then transferred like a coloured gel to everything I look at for the next few seconds. You've got the message! Our brain's filter everything (and I do mean everything) for 'meaning' - a meaning that we're predisposed towards. If only we can reprogramme the filters that don't serve us so well! Keep having a good day! Lex

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:33 a.m.

Dear Gardener, that sounds like a journey and a half. Wishing you well on that one. It looks like our next rail disruption is planned for a Saturday, so I hope you'll be OK. Lx

M

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:15 a.m.

Interesting blog Lex, but it falls into the trap in the last two paragraphs, by advising we have a "day off from "bad" and choosing to see only the "good". You wrote a blog not so long ago in which you said "according to whom?" I remember this well, since I use those exact words also. The problem is binary thinking as you elude to earlier in your blog. Black/white, good/bad, right/wrong. When we choose one thing - "good" (whatever that means to whomever), we dismiss another - "bad". When we continually dismiss something, it does not go away! Far from it, it becomes more determined. Watch a child vying for attention, it simply gets more demanding until said attention is met. Emotions are the same, keep dismissing the ones that you don't want to feel, and they will simply become more demanding. How about simply observing the day without judgement? It's the judgement we attach to something afterall that causes the division, the binary thinking - "good" day, "bad" day. The practice is to accept the day (or each moment) as it is without judgement, not how we imagined, hoped or wanted it to be. One's feelings will fluctuate moment to moment, joy, anger, satisfaction, dissatisfaction....etc, (yes more judgement and binary attachment, it's so easy to do). What happens when we take the judgement away and instead observe & acknowledge each emotion as it arises? "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet

Reply

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:40 a.m.

Hi M Love that Hamlet quote. You are, of course, correct at the deeper level. Today's blog is meant to be a momentary and conscious choice to 'filter' experience for what's good about the day. If I were to look for the bad, I'd find a list very rapidly, but there's plenty to enjoy today when I deliberately look for it. As Lennon said, "Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." Thank you for your far more profound observations and a more mindful apporach. Lx

Catherine

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:23 a.m.

Morning Lex, I’ve just had a couple of gos, but haven’t managed it. Mind you, I am inclined to double vision, so maybe that makes a difference? I could always ‘do’ those pictures they had in the newspaper a while ago, where you could get the image to change when you moved it away from your eyes. Is this part of your University course? I’ve been wondering how you are getting on with it? I nearly asked when Leah posted her ‘any questions?’ blog recently, but I wasn’t sure if you’d be reading it. Anyway, I hope it’s going well for you and you’re enjoying it. Thanks for the blog.

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:42 a.m.

Hi Catherine... there'll be nothing wrong with you... it's my instructions! You could try this one: https://www.opticalspy.com/opticals/color-changing-sand-dunes-optical-illusion or explore this fascinating story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress Thanks for asking about the course - I failed spectacularly but it's opened the door more widely to neuroscience! Have a brilliant day - it's like the Mediterranean here in Dorset! Lx

The Gardener

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:31 a.m.

Followed instructions exactly, took it as an exercise in mindfulness, dunes remained same colour (reminded me of singing dunes in Qatar). Are you going to solve the mystery for us LexX

Reply

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:43 a.m.

Mystery solved! Poorly worded instructions from me, dear Gardener! You could try this one: https://www.opticalspy.com/opticals/color-changing-sand-dunes-optical-illusion or explore this fascinating story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress Fascinating psychology... Lxx

Orangeblossom

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:52 a.m.

Thanks for your blog Lex. I tried the experiment & surprisingly saw the sand dunes image from a three dimensional perspective. Was my mind or eyes playing tricks on me I wondered. I decided that today may hold some surprising things.

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:45 a.m.

Hi Orangeblossom - that may be like those glasses you used to get (Red and Green) for comics and movies. Main thing is that our brains make up so much of what we see - the mind is a clever inventor! I like what you've decided today! Lx

Sue

Aug. 8, 2022, 8:27 a.m.

I'm glad I'm not the only one it didn't work for. I thought I hadn't concentrated hard enough.I wonder how many of us spent a minute just staring at a dot? I'm going to put my 'good' filter on today and see how it goes.

Reply

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:46 a.m.

Hi Sue... I think I'm going to resign the illusion that I write clearly! There's nothing wrong with your eyes, it is my unclear instructions that are at fault. If you have the patience to have another go, have a look at this alternative version: https://www.opticalspy.com/opticals/color-changing-sand-dunes-optical-illusion or explore this fascinating story: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dress Lx

Norman

Aug. 8, 2022, 8:36 a.m.

Wow! What a contrast! It just shows how the brain can be conditioned. Although coming back to the UK it is quite obvious how people can be conditioned to see that black is white...

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:47 a.m.

Hey Norman, bless you! I thought I'd confused everyone!!! Lx

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 8, 2022, 8:50 a.m.

Oh crumbs Lex, am I going to be the only one this worked for?? I concentrated on the dot in the first pic for a whole minute (actually set a timer!) then looked at the second scene - the colours changed in the dunes and I saw the dunes to the left in a green tint and the dunes to the right in red - so opposite to the first photo. Ah well, I get what you mean - and I also understand what M above points out (above) that having a day off from the bad, isn’t going to make the bad go away, but I thought you meant for us to see the good in things rather than focussing on the bad elements. Yes we know there are ‘bad’ things and things that worry us, but I see it as trying to see the ‘good’ in other people, their motives, rather than if someone doesn’t wave back it’s because they don’t like me or I’ve upset them (that’s my usual default!!) but rather that they didn’t see me or that they’d already waved and I hadn’t noticed at that time?? Also if something goes awry - deal with it and move on rather than catastrophising about it and making it worse than it is! Today I am worrying about meeting a friend who drains me a wee bit, and I always feel like I have to be on guard to whatever I’m asked about, but I do care about her, so today I’m going to relax and not think that whatever I say will be used in evidence against me at a later date!!! (Laughing emojis here) Well that’s my four pence worth!! Thank you for a great blog and hopefully, others may ‘see’ things (and your pic examples) in a different way today. Go well, Lex, Love and Bear hugs x x x

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:52 a.m.

Bear! Bear!! Bear!!! (I'm jumping up and down inside!!!) That's exactly what I meant you to see... Phew! I think you're going to have a fab time with your friend. Recently, I've begun to enjoy other people far, far more simply by trying to stay in the moment and listen for their needs. This is because I'm classically 'away with the fairies' most of the time. In fact, you'd have laughed at a 'moment' in ASDA over the weekend where I blanked out at the entrance to an aisle. "Excuse me!" said a disgruntled chap, "You're blocking the whole aisle!" My gentle and apologetic response disarmed him, I think..."Sorry mate, I was completely 'off-planet'!" I'm a Spaced Man! Lx x x

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:08 p.m.

Great response Lex and thankfully others ‘saw’ it too (phew indeed!!). My friend was ok - the awkward, slightly uncomfortable questioning did arise, but I simply told the truth. Also helped her through some sticky situations for which she appeared grateful, so I was relieved all round! Glad your gentle apology diffused an ASDA situation - tee hee!! You’re not a spaced man - today you are a Rocket Man - a great blog and some great responses that’ll keep you flying high for a few days! Bear xx

Anonymous

Aug. 8, 2022, 9:26 a.m.

It worked brilliantly too for me, Lex - and I enjoyed the challenge of stilling my body and focussing on the dot for 1 minute.Thanks for the diversion as well as food for thought.Hope all goes well with you.

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:53 a.m.

Hi Anonymous - thank you. As you can tell from the above comments, I thought I'd completely confused people today! Lx

Valerie

Aug. 8, 2022, 9:43 a.m.

Another one here Lex who found it worked first time.I tend to extremes,so think I need to see more grey areas at times.Great blog ***

Reply

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:53 a.m.

Phew! Valerie! Phew! Thank you! Do you go to extremes in Personality Tests? I hope you do too! Lxxx

RC

Aug. 8, 2022, 10:10 a.m.

;-) I liked this blog Lex, very interesting. And yes it worked for me too. Take care RC xx

Reply

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:54 a.m.

Brilliant, RC, thank you! xx

Melanie

Aug. 8, 2022, 10:31 a.m.

Dear Lex, I was feeling really low this morning and reading your message uplifted me. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I’m going to try and see things differently, see things through pink glassed glasses ! I wish you all the best !

Reply

Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 11:55 a.m.

Ah, Melanie, bless you today! Your words have lifted me up too. I've always fancied a pair of rose-coloured spectacles! Very cool! Lx

Only Me

Aug. 8, 2022, 12:29 p.m.

Well it worked first go for me. Thank you Lex. I’m trying very hard to focus on the good today but failing miserably

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 1:40 p.m.

Hi Only Me... I tried my hand at some art yesterday, and felt like I was failing miserably. A kindly child passed and saw my work and said, "That's really good." I was so surprised. The fact you're trying is really good too. Go gently... Lx

Patty

Aug. 8, 2022, 2:43 p.m.

Hi Lex. I saw the sky blue on the left side and purple on the right aftet staring at the white dor on top. 'm assuming that's what is supposed to happen. How strange how that works. I will try not to see the bad today.

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 4:51 p.m.

That's it, Patty - you got it and you've got this. Lx

Sally

Aug. 8, 2022, 3:46 p.m.

Hi Lex, a doggy day then a grandkids afternoon. Got up ridiculously early and saw your blog, 5ish, but no time to comment then. Doggy arrives early, mistress works early shift. I thought it a great idea to look for the pluses, and resolved todo just that today. I talked to other dog walkers on a 3 1/2 hour walk, and managed to cheer an elderly couple up a tad I think. Their daughter died suddenly Saturday. I let them talk. They were lovely, but oh- so- distraught, as you would be… Very sad. It was the first time they’d ventured out since Saturday . So…Connection day, which, as is always emphasised on Moodscope, is a healthy way to go about things , as long as one is up to it. I managed your sand dunes! I must say I do always enjoy that sort of challenge, so I’m going to try those others you gave links for. Thanks, Lex! you are one intelligent guy! Smiley face.

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Lex

Aug. 8, 2022, 4:53 p.m.

I'm so glad you were there for them, Sally. You will have had a comforting effect, of that I'm certain. Enjoy 'The Dress'! Lx

Bearofliddlebrain

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:01 p.m.

How lovely of you Sally, to let that couple chat to you about their distress at losing their daughter - so very sad. Glad you were the one who came across them today….must have helped them no end. Bear hugs to you x x x

G

Aug. 8, 2022, 6:29 p.m.

It worked for me, how clever! I wonder why it didn’t work for others. There wasn’t anything wrong with your instructions by the way!

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Oli

Aug. 8, 2022, 6:37 p.m.

The afterimage effect worked well for me Lex. I like this one: with prolonged stimulation the red receptors and the green receptors get "exhausted". When the stimulus is removed and you look at a new fixation point you become aware of the deficit of the exhausted colours -- which makes us think we're looking at an image with a surfeit of the opposite colour. i.e. a negative afterimage. I find it interesting the way the brain adjusts colour. Like you pointed to this morning: the way the brain adjust everything. Thank you for the blog; I appreciate your writing.

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Tutti Frutti

Aug. 8, 2022, 7:59 p.m.

Hi Lex I definitely got an after image which stuck around for quite a while. Totally failed to notice that it was the opposite way round to the red and green at the top but I assume it must have been. Unfortunately I have only just read the blog and have been indulging in a fair amount of grumpiness and general negativity today. Whereas I should acknowledge that I have managed to make a relatively good start at writing up something difficult (even though there is a long way to go and the process is likely to be fraught with problems).

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