RE: Seeing More Than Meets The Eye

From: Joe Dees (
Date: Thu Jan 03 2002 - 03:49:56 MST

('binary' encoding is not supported, stored as-is) >Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 10:53:02 +0100
> Amara Graps <> Seeing More Than Meets The EyeReply-To:
>From: "Joe Dees" <>
>>Pubdate: Tue, 01 Jan 2002
>>Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
>>Copyright: 2002 Chicago Tribune Company
>>Author: Ronald Kotulak
>>Science Finding Hallucinations May Be Reflection Of Brain Pathways
>>New research also indicates that prehistoric cave and rock art
>>depicting spirals, zigzags and other geometric forms may have been
>>done by artists experiencing the same kind of drug-induced
>>hallucinations that people today have when they take LSD, mescaline,
>>Ecstasy and other psychedelic compounds.
>Seeing "spirals","geometric forms", etc. seem to be very deeply
>wired in humans, in my opinion. I don't know if seeing these
>requires a hallucinogenic state-of-mind, though. Children certainly
>don't need a hallucinogenic mindset.
>In an art history class 20 years ago, my professor taught us that
>children see particular geometric patterns at roughly similar ages,
>all over the world, independent of culture. (Those of you with kids,
>can you verify the following?)
>Reference: Roda Keller: _Analyzing Children's Art_
>(Note: I have sketches from my class notes for how these geometric
>patterns look, but they don't translate well to this ascii medium)
>Between ~2 2/1 -- 4 1/2 years old.
>* First: Children scribble, a finite number of scribbles: 20
>* Next: (~2 1/2 -- 3 years), A child begins to combine the particular
>types of scribbles.
>* Next: (~3-3 1/2 years) After scribbles, the child draws diagrams:
>Six types of these: cross, rectangle, circle, upside-down-triangle,
>x-mark, odd-shaped area
>* Next: Child draws "Combines" = (diagrams + scribbles)
>* Next: Child draws "Aggragates": which is more than two diagrams
>combined. Mandalas are Aggregates.
>* A Mandala (~3-4 years old), is a circle with a Greek cross in the
>middle,. This is the most common, universal "Combine". A child will
>come to this state and stay on it for a long time (weeks/months).
>* Next: (~4 --> ) years old
>After the Mandala are the "Radials" and "Suns" symbols. They start
>with the mandala and then become radial lines out of a circle.
>The radials are drawings of the human figure evolving, born inside
>of a radial. Head appears, and the radial lines become arms and
>legs, as if the "sun is giving birth to the humans".
>The article "Seeing More Than Meets The Eye" goes on to say:
>>Since spirals, tunnels, zigzags and other hallucinatory patterns can
>>be found in the art of almost all cultures and go back more than
>>30,000 years, many anthropologists speculate that they were done under
>>the influence of hallucinogenic drugs or self-induced trances, and
>>that these experiences served as the origin of abstract art.
>>3 Stages Of Trances
>>In their book, "The Shamans of Prehistory: Trance and Magic in the
>>Painted Caves," Clottes and Lewis-Williams outline three stages of
>>In the first stage trance, people "see" geometric forms, such as dots,
>>zigzags, grids, parallel lines, nested curves and meandering lines. In
>>the second stage, subjects try to make better sense out of the
>>geometric imagery by illusioning them into objects of religious or
>>emotional significance, such as construing a zigzag line into a snake.
>>The third stage is reached via a vortex or tunnel, at the end of which
>>is a bright light. When people emerge from the tunnel they find
>>themselves in a bizarre world where geometric patterns become mixed
>>with monsters, people and settings. It is in this stage where the
>>drawings of humans with animal features occur.
>It is possible to make some parallels with these "three stages" to the
>stages that the children pass through in their development of "abstract art",
>that I described above. This is interesting.
My fiancee, who is a Buddhist adept (when she passes her next exam she will be qualified to teach Buddhism at the university level) with 29 years of practice behind her, can enter those states without chemical assistance. I think that Bonewits (Real Magic) is right about the ability of mantra, mandala, mudra, tantra and soma to gateway to such perceptions; I have experienced same in more than one discipline (I'm a secular humanist neopagan).
>Amara Graps, PhD email:
>Computational Physics vita:
>Multiplex Answers URL:
> "Trust in the Universe, but tie up your camels first."
> (adaptation of a Sufi proverb)

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