Don't always believe your eyes

Beau Lotto understands the difference between what we really see and what’s an illusion. But do you?

According to Lotto, the visual world we see around is isn’t entirely reality. In–fact: you are only able to make sense of the world you see, these words you’re reading right now, because your mind has been trained to recognize the shapes and colors and hues in a convenient way.

What you’re looking at right now may not entirely be reality, but for functionality – and your sanity – your mind has accepted the reality you see.

Let me try to be a bit more clear with an example. Read the following statement out loud:

Wht   ae   you   reaing?

If you read that last line as –What are you reading?– then congratulations: you are normal. But more than that: why did you assume that the statement was what you thought it was? It’s because your mind has been trained, for convenience, to place the letter “d” between the a and i of the last word. Nothing said there had to be a letter there, however.

When we look at the world around us we are overwhelmed by empty sentences, shapes that can be seen from literally millions of different perspectives, colors that can be misleading (based on their surroundings and anything between us and the colors.

As a creative thinker you must accept the fact that what you see is not certain.

As a challenge for this week: try to find one thing you regularly look at, be it a stop light or computer screen or familiar face, and try to see it from a different perspective. Ask yourself: “Is what I see what is really there?”