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In moving images we see what is not
DEEPAK RANADE5 August 2009, 12:00am IST
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What is vision? We are able to see objects and other externalities because of our visual perceptive apparatus that has the attribute called as
In moving images we see what is not
In moving images we see what is not (Getty Images)
persistence of vision.
A motion picture is made up of a series of still pictures. When each of these still picture is followed by another in less than a sixth of a second, the brain interprets the sequence as a continuum. And so we see the sequence of images as a motion picture without realizing that what we think we see is just an illusion., a perception.
The continuum is implied. The continuum is enabled by a programme of the neurological apparatus. And we are actually deceived by "virtual reality." Each individual and his constituents are all the while in a state of change. Even the skeletal system that we believe to be hard and which forms the infrastructure of the body is constantly being remodeled. Absorption and reformation of the bones are a continuous process. So, when we all are constantly being reformed as it were, the perception of our own continuity is a mere hallucination.
Change is the only certainty. We all are constantly changing and so is the environment. So any perceived continuity or seeming constancy is just an illusion of our perception. If we wake up to the fact that every aspect of existence is in a constant flux, then the question that automatically arises is "What is unchangeable, permanent and eternal?"
The constancy is in the perceiver; it is in the act of observing. All creation is comprised of three distinct entities: The perceiver, the perceived and the act of perception All are manifestations of the same universal consciousness. Saint Dyaneshwara refers to this trilogy as 'triputi'. The perceived is all the while in a state of flux and change. So the perceiver is the only constant in this apparent variable equation of creation. What is perceived all the while is changing.
Quantum Physics expounds that if the observer does not observe an event, then it never happened. Out of the infinite possibilities, when the observer observes an event, then, all the other waves of possible events are squashed. Till the observer observes, all events are in a state of being possible. All perception is centred on awareness. To any observer, the universe exists only till the observer exists. Once the observer ceases to exist, then from his perspective, the universe also ceases to exist.
When ancient scriptures comment on the illusory nature of all creation, they are alluding to is the impermanence and deception created by sensory perception. The continuum of existentialism is only a mirage. We are not the same entity at two discrete points in time. We as well as the environment is continuously changing and any continuity is just an illusion of the perceptive apparatus. In deep sleep, there is a period of non-perception of the outer world. On waking, this world reappears and the show goes on. Despite non-perception of the external world there does remain a certain am-ness, that is aware and says that I slept well. That awareness is the witness and the unchangeable and permanent entity, the immortal Atman.
In death, that personalized awareness again becomes impersonal awareness. In the state of realisation, the trilogy of perceived, perceiver and the act of perception, merges into unity, into the Paramatman.
The writer is a neurosurgeon.