October 30, 2016

Keyhole Kofun Tomb Shape as Nose

Some of the largest tombs in the world, up to 220 metres long, were constructed in Japan in the 4th to 7th cenutry. These "old tombs" (kofun) were often built in a characteristic keyhole shape. These are also found (in far smaller versions) in Korea, and also similar smaller shaped, keyhole and pendant bronze age structures are found in Saudi Arabia. These are also believed to be tombs.

Japanese keyhole shaped tombs were constructed in a variety of orientations so it is not clear which way up they are, or whether they have a right way up.

There are a number of theories as to the origin of their shape. One scholar (Kishimoto, 2013) claims that they may have been tombs to for two rulers, one sacred one secular, such as found described in the Wajinden. I have sugested that they might represent the female sex organ in an earlier post.

It also occurs to me that, possibly like stupa as discussed previously the shape of keyhole tombs might also represent the first person body view of our nose. In the image above I have superimposed a drawing of my nose on blurred Google maps image of the largest example found in Sakai City near Osaka which is 486 meters long including moat and surrounding park.

Those with a larger Aramid or Syrid nose would see more nose and a finer, possibly pendant shape like the tombs in Saudi Arabia.

In any event since our first person body view frames everything that we can see, including the night sky for instance, the nose(s) can be felt to be extremely large. If it were the case that we have personified our first person body views, and that our third person perceptions are as it were carried around inside them, then it would be a truth so terrifyingly big that it is difficult to convey in a sobre scientific way. It may be more meaningful to build massive keyhole shaped tombs, or say "the Kingdom of God is within you."

Kishimoto, N. (2013). Dual Kingship in the Kofun Period as Seen from the Keyhole Tombs. UrbanScope (electronic journal), 4, 1-21.

via http://flic.kr/p/NDW1Fs

Posted by timtak at 07:20 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2016

Gennady Golovkins Bow

After every fight that he wins, and he only wins, the awesome Kazakh middleweight boxer Gennady Golvkin does a strange bow with one hand on hip the other to his chest. The New Yorker describes his bow as "dainty, ballet inspired." In the past he only bowed once. These days he does it to all four sides of the ring even when, such as after the fight with Kell Brook in London, there are few of his own fans in the arena.

The Japanese are fond of bowing too. I think that it encourages the bower to feel humble, believe that people who love him are watching, and allows him to see his first person body view: the super-spectator.

Thumbnails from Google Image search fo Gennady Golovkin bow at reduced size. Please leave a comment if you would like me to remove this image or email via the email link on nihonbunka.com

via http://flic.kr/p/MxYkKh

Posted by timtak at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2016

Urasawa's Friend as Rochat's I-See-I

Phillippe Rochat (1998,2009) contends that our self takes place as a "negotiation" between our "first person" (Rochat, 2009) or "ecological" (Rochat, 1998) self -- which I dub the "I see I" self -- and our third person self as reflected in mirrors photographs or expressed in language. I think that Friend and the Symbol from Naoki Urasawa's "20th Century Boy" are a representation of Rochat's "I see I" self. It should be our friend but we caught it doing something shameful, or the other way around, so it hid itself away. This has put it in a vendetta kind of mood.

Rochat does not mention, overtly, that our friend tends to be ashamed of what we are doing, and also vast, so in that respect Urasawa's manga has more to say.

The manga "20th Century Boy" has been made into a three part film which I have yet to see. I have only just started reading the comic since I was a major fan of โ€Monsterโ€ which I felt at the time was barking up the same tree.

Bad drawings by me based upon Urasawa's excellent drawings. The one of Friend with the world is superb.

Rochat, P. (1998). Self-perception and action in infancy. Experimental Brain Research, 123(1โ€“2), 102โ€“109. http://ift.tt/2cNK4xN
Rochat, P. (2009). Others in mind: Social origins of self-consciousness. Cambridge University Press.
Urasawa, N.(1999-2996). "20th Century Boys." Shogakukan. Tokyo

via http://flic.kr/p/MtRnh2

Posted by timtak at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2016

The Cyclops with the Mousy Hair: Here she is

The Cyclops with the Mousy Hair: Here she is
On the wikipedia page regarding the mythic ancient Greek Cyclops (circle eye) there are some theories as to its origin. One is that since they were associated with blacksmithery, they might originate in the practice of wearing an eye patch by blacksmiths to protect their eyes from flying sparks. Another theory has it hat perhaps originated in ancient Greek reactions to mammoth skulls whose tusk socket may have appeared as eye sockets. A third theory has it that perhaps Cyclops represented deformed humans, born with one eye due to exposure to teratogens.

I suggest than the Cyclops is simply another representation of self from a first person perspective. From a first person perspective we all have only one eye. Mach drew his visual field with one eye closed, and thereby concealed this fact, but this visual field would been the same single ellipse with none, one or even both eyes closed. The origin of the Cyclops as self representation, would be poke-your-eye-out obvious if it were not for the fact that she is wearing a wig, as it were. That is to say that in my case at least my mind is feminised, pretending to be the opposite sex. This makes the Cyclops too (Fire-in-Cairo) hot to be visible.

Looking at the above image someone in me feels an affinity for it. It is quite mesmerizing. On the one hand I feel I should look like a Cyclops, because my monocularity in the image above corresponds to the subjective experience more than the usual two-eyed version. But at the same time, the guy or lady here above represented with one eye is not me. This one eyed guy is another, a hermaphrodite 'beast' or Buddha and very big. The Cyclops is not me at all. I am the little guy I see in mirrors.

This final bit may be religious mumbo jumbo (the above is purely experiential and or scientific!) but I have the strong premonition that we are all going to meet the Cyclops with the wig, not that we don't every moment of our lives, but that we will one day see her clearly. Will we be forgiven for keeping her hidden?

Or on the contrary I worry whether I will I be forgiven for showing her? Have I caused anyone grief? Did anyone go mad watching my photo-compilation?

My hope is that some folks, who I love, will not be surprised to meet her, the Cyclops with a wig, and that I will not be surprised either.

When I made this video, the wig was even more metaphorical.

Posted by timtak at 05:46 PM | Comments (0)

The Buddha's Lap

The Buddha's Lap
Whose legs are these? I don't think that they can really be mine. How could I not have noticed that they always point upwards, or I down? I lived my life not realising that I am upside down, like a foetus in the womb of my mind. Will I be born before I die!?

After The Buddha in the Womb, the Hadith, a Bowie song in which he says skull designs upon my shoes, Rochat's research in which he find that children like looking at their own upside down feet move from their first person perspective, and Buddhist priest (•ส•{M‹๓ใl) who found that his lap was rather Amida's lap. After hours of beating his drum and chanting in a seated position, presumably when he was looking down at his lap, the Amida Buddha said to him "You say 'please meet me, please help me', but before you realised, I was already holding you so tightly wasn't I? Don't you understand? Can't you see, you are on my lap?"

u‚จ‘O‚อ‚จˆง‚ข‚ญ‚พ‚ณ‚ขA‚จ•‚ฏ‚ญ‚พ‚ณ‚ข‚ฦŒพ‚ม‚ฤ‚ข‚้‚ชA‚จ‘O‚ช‹C‚ช‚ย‚ญ‘O‚ฉ‚็Ž„‚อ‚ฑ‚๑‚ศ‚ษ‹ญ‚ญ•๘‚ข‚ฤ‚ข‚้‚ฬ‚ล‚อ‚ศ‚ข‚ฉB‚ฑ‚๊‚ช•ช‚ฉ‚็‚ศ‚ข‚ฉB‚จ‘O‚อŽ„‚ฬ•G‚ฬใ‚ษ‚ ‚้‚ล‚อ‚ศ‚ข‚ฉv@

•ส•{M‹๓ใli2015jwŒป•จŽา‚ฬŠ์‚ัx–@‘RŽ› p36

(I have never seen heaven nor the Buddha anywhere near my lap. The above picture was taken when I was seated normally on the floor.)

Posted by timtak at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 13, 2016

The Sphinx: The Return of Mr. Long Paws

The Sphinx: The Return of Mr. Long Paws
If you look at a Sphinx from the front it can look like a lion with the head of a human, but from the side the Sphinx has the strangely elongated forearms, and hand like paws. I never knew. Why should this be? What else has massive pair of forearms and a strangely inappropriate head, like the Sphinx?

If you stand up and look down at yourself, it may give you pause, groan; you may agree that you too are the Sphinx. If you are anywhere near as thin as an Egyptian at least, then in a standing position all you are to yourself is a glimpse of a headless torso and a pair of long forearms (above top). This beast, our body, has no head, but I think we feel that a human is looking out of it.

Once again I think that Sphinx (Dogū, Venuses, the Buraq, and Barlachs Angel) is the terrifying self-body view, from whose perspective we see ourselves.

This makes the riddle of the Sphinx all the more poignant, "Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?" The answer should be nothing, or "The Sphinx." There is no identity that connects these representation of a human life, were it not for the Sphinx, who is watching and listening.

Sphinx statues too are brilliant visual riddles. From the front they look like a familiar third person image. From the side, or knowing what the are from the side (Mr. Long Paws) and so from above, they look like a first person body views.

But then along came Oedipus, the man who said in answer to the riddle "man," and named himself, with the help of his mother. Perhaps the Oedipus event, when the poor old Sphinx threw herself from her high rock and died, refers to the point in time when the Sphinx as watcher was replaced by a "passive" "acoustic cap"/"hieroglyphic bonnet" and the relationship between human self-representations and first-person perspective became sexualised, and Oedipus gauged out his eyes. Come back Sphinx, all is forgiven.

I am reminded of Yeats' Second Coming. The audio made me shiver. I have always liked the poem, but I never fully realised before that it was about the return of the Sphinx.

Sphinxes from Wikimedia

Posted by timtak at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

Cancer in the Neck of God

A Cancer in the Neck of God
I am more into horror and taboo than truth. It seems to me that the real world, the "out there," is largely a fiction. Sure it enables us to make smart phones, so it has to be partly true, but then termites make beautiful nests, and fish navigate the oceans, but their view of the world is surely silly, and ours, an evolutionary blip away, likewise.

So the more interesting question to me is "why do we believe in the world?"

(The image above shows me being pleased to get a message from Yasuko and has little to do with the contents of this post)

It seems to me that we believe in the world for the same reason that we believe in ourselves, or rather because we believe in ourselves. I think that Buddhists are right to say that the world is a fiction that starts with the self.

Basically, I think that I am the I of my self narrative. This is a silly as thinking that I am the face in the mirror but nonetheless, I think I believe it.

Various psychologists claim that our self-representations, especially the I, is believed and understood from the point of view of some sort of "other in mind" (Rochat, 2009) -- someone else in our consciousness. It follows I think that, it is less that we have internalised an other, but more that we have externalised ourselves, as narrated "I" or image in mirrors.

What keeps this fiction in play is less the believability of the fiction, than the horrific nature of the "other" that we hear or see our fiction from. Only a few, Nietzsche, Freud and Derrida and a few of their acolytes (of which I am one) hint at this possibility.

Once we have, or rather become, an "other in mind" (Rochat, 2009), then the the self is believable. and world as symbolised in words and math, can seem real.

I write in this way because I have seen the horror.

When I was in my early twenties, I had an experience where I went right off my rocker, feeling (or knowing) myself to be a complete fiction, a voiced, a whispered fiction, and a loving, sexualised fiction at that, by a colossal giant pretending to be my mother.

The "horror" of the situation kept, and keeps, it hidden. My "true self" (in quotation marks because it was not anything like a self, just vast) was infected by a sort of sexting, telephone sex, or pornographic radio play. "I" am the fictitious hero of that sexting, whispering in the heart. The vastness was playing a mother-whore in which there was talk of me, and everyone else. It seems slightly (but only slightly) strange to me that the vastness was very pissed off since I guess that the vastness is doing it.

And likewise the excuses that Adam said to God (the woman you made for me gave me the fruit), and the excuses that Eve said (it was the serpents fault).

Writing, as I am, from the normal, sane, narrative self perspective I should take the blame. I have lived my life "thinking," that is to say listening to my whispering.

I guess that this grotesque sexual story that I am, evolved to promote procreation and domination of my species. There are psychologists who claim that God likewise evolved to prevent freeloading and get us to get on with multiplying. I think they have it the wrong way around. God is the truth. I am a whispering in my Adam's apple. I am a cancer in neck of God.

I am looking for research or books that link the theories of psychologists with physics.

Adam Smith -- The impartial spectator
Sigmund Freud - The acoustic cap (later the super ego)
George Herbert Mead -- The generalised other
Derrida -- the ear of the other
Michail Bakhtin -- The superaddressee
Thomas Jefferson -- a female Reason
David Bowie -- The girl with the mousey hair etc.

Mead studied Kant, but I can't find a theorist that says that the "generalised other" (the Whore of Babylon methinks) is that which anchors and supports our belief in the world "out there."
Mead is very down to earth. His "Mind Self and Society" is very down to earth, not at all French. He argues for instance that e.g. threats can not be understood unless we hear them from the point of view of an other.

Adam Smith likewise. His explanation is very short -- we can't evaluate our behaviour unless we split ourselves since the subject and object of evaluation cannot be the same.

Aha Mead (1917) wrote a great pragmatist paper on the philosophy of science from which I quote below.

"While the scientist may as a metaphysician assume the existence of realities which lie beyond a possible experience, or be a Kantian or NeoKantian, neither of these attitudes is necessary for his research. He may be a positivist -- a disciple of Hume or of John Stuart Mill. He may be a pluralist who conceives, with William James, that the order which we detect in parts of the universe is possibly one that is rising out of the chaos and which may never be as

(214) universal as our hypothesis demands. None of these attitudes has any bearing upon his scientific method. This simplifies his thinking, enables him to identify the object in which he is interested wherever he finds it, and to abstract in the world as he conceives it those features which carry with them the occurrence he is endeavouring to place. Especially it enables him to make his thought a part of the socially accepted and socially organized science to which his thought belongs. He is far too modest to demand that the world be as his inference demands.

He asks that his view of the world be cogent and convincing to all those whose thinking has made his own possible, and be an acceptable premise for the conduct of that society to which he belongs. The hypothesis has no universal and necessary characters except those that belong to the thought which preserves the same meanings to the same objects, the same relations between the same relata, the same attributes of assent and dissent under the same conditions, the same results of the same combinations of the same things."

In other words, there probably is no thing in itself: to be is merely to be agreed upon.

And why? Here comes the internalised "generalised other"

"The completion of this program, however, awaits the solution of the scientific problem of the relation of the psychical and the physical with the attendant problem of the meaning of the so-called origin of consciousness in the history of the world. My own feeling is that these problems must be attacked from the standpoint of the social nature of so-called consciousness. The clear indications of this I find in the reference of our logical constants to the structure of thought as a (221) means of communication, in the explanation of errors in the history of science by their social determination, and in the interpretation of the inner field of experience as the importation of social intercourse into the conscious conduct of the individual."

But that is specific as Mead gets. It will do. The world of science is felt to exist out there because we have "imported" "social intercourse into the conscious conduct of the individual." But who is aware of this interior social intercourse? It must be (it is) really nasty for it to be so well hidden. It is for this reason that if were to unveil and be horrified at the nature of this "social intercourse," and stop doing it, the myth of the real world, including the distant stars could drop "like figs."

Posted by timtak at 06:16 PM | Comments (0)

People seem Upside Down

People seem Upside Down
The late great David Bowie in one of his last songs, Blackstar, claimed that we are inside out and upside down. The suggestion that we are inside out is fairly approachable from a psychological viewpoint. Several psychologists claim that our selves are representations with which we subsequently identify. In that sense, the "I" and mirror reflections, as representations, are more exterior than that which they are meant to represent; we are inside out.

But why should we be upside down? We view ourselves in mirrors and others before us, of course, out of our own eyes. As mentioned in a previous post, if we have a model of the self as seer from a first person view point then, it, that seer is upside down. We don't usually notice this, but if you look at yourself you will find that your hands are higher in your visual field than your shoulders and your feet at the highest position of all. That we are upside down is so counter intuitive that it may be necessary to have a look of the photographs of first typical first person body views (and on the right a first person view of a paleolithic figurine) in black and white above from Leroy McDermott's seminal paper (McDermott, 1996). Compared to this I-see-I first person self view, all people, in mirrors and walking around, are upside down.

I showed subjects pictures of a park, a group of people, and their own face superimposed with four shaded disks, each with light and shade. Humans tend to feel that light comes from above so the disk that has light coming from the direction that conforms most with the subject's sense of top should look most convex.

The results showed that there was little differences between the four conditions in how often the students felt that the light was coming from the top of the pictures one or other side of the pictures. But, the picture of the park was less likely to have any effect at all, leaving the top to be felt to be at the physical top of the photo conforming with reality, and the pictures of people (self and group) were more likely to be felt to be upside down.

For example in the pictures above, in the pictures of the park the uppermost disk was felt to be most convex conforming with reality rather than being dragged off kilter by the picture. Compared to the park, the pictures of people and the self were more likely to seem to be felt to be upside down, with the left most disk appearing more convex in the second and third (people) pictures above!

This is not what I had predicted at all but from the point of view of David Bowie's monster, first person "girl with the mousey hair", it is not entirely implausible. Quite by chance, I may have operationalised "the whore of Babylon" if it is to our first person self that "the whore" refers. Or it could just be a random artefact since I was only showing 18 photos each to seven people.

McDermott, L. (1996). Self-representation in Upper Paleolithic female figurines. Current Anthropology, 37(2), 227-275.

Posted by timtak at 06:14 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2016

Shinto Prayer and the First Person Self

Japanese people traditionally prayed at Shinto shrines without words, but by bowing deeply twice, clapping twice, and bowing once again.

The bow before a shrine, and the spirit within it, is the most formal of bows otherwise reserved only for extremely respected persons, where the torso is brought to within 90 degrees of the legs. This is not quite as radical, perhaps, as a Tibetan Buddhist and Muslim prostration in which one brings ones forehead into contact with the ground but, first of all, it encourages those at prayer to feel humility which, at least in Japan, is generally thought to be a good thing.

The clapping part of the Shinto prayer struck me as a reminder of the fact that not only can I whisper (think) and speak but I can make noises with my body, so thus draws me away towards an active awareness of the autonomy of my embodiment: look, your body, your hands too speak.

But now it occurs to me that Shinto prayer may be a way of encouraging an awareness of the first person self: the self which sees itself.

As I often point out, there are a large number of scholars that emphasise the need for an intra-psychic other in order to be aware of self. In the words of many social scientific researchers we take in the perspective of another (Haidt, 2001; Hermans & Kempen, 1993; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Mead, 1934/1967) such as when we address our thoughts to absent friends. This phraseology emphasising the interiorisation or internalisation of something sounds natural and persuasive.

Rochat (2009) however points out that the adult self, as represented by the pronoun "I" or as seen as reflected in the mirror, is a self for others: a "third-person self". The me in the mirror is not anything that I will ever see on this side of the glass, but only something that others can see. And though we use a different pronoun for "I" as opposed to "me," as Mori points out unless there is a "third person" the "I" is a "you for you," an explanation of me, for others. Though both are only representations, we get used to thinking that we are one or the other. Usually in the West we tend to identify with the hero of our self narrative as many scholars (e.g. Dennet, 1992) attest despite the fact that it is becoming plain that our self-narrative, this whispering that we listen to, is not "will" but an excuse after the event (Nisbett & Wilson, 1977).

Rochat (2009) takes a different view. He reminds us that children have a first person self prior to their third person representations of themselves. That is to say that we can hear, see, and touch ourselves, and in all cases become aware of our movements and distinguish between self originating movement - the double touch, sound variations that we have created, closed circuit videos - and other generated movement -- the single touch by another object, sounds created randomly, delayed movements on video tape. Rochat argues that our adult sense of self arises out of a "negotiation" between these two self positions. That is to say that the first person self remains, and it is from this perspective from which our third person self-representions are seen and heard.

In other words it is not that we take the perspective of others into our heads as it were, or model others in our minds, but really that we model ourselves (as narrative and image) and forget the first person self that is watching.

How might we become aware of this first person self (assuming we want to)? I have suggested wearing spectacles, looking at ones nose, and touching ones face.

It also seems to me now that Shinto prayer encourages the worshipper to become aware of their first person self. Bowing deeply we see our own legs. Clapping we see our hands, their movement, their "double touch" as palms meet, and their self-created clapping sound. By so doing perhaps we remember just a little, the giant that we have forgotten is staring out of our eyes.

Perhaps I could use bowing and clapping as independent variables, or take up Shinto again.

via http://flic.kr/p/MRaJjy

Posted by timtak at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)