Adelson’s Shadow Illusion. The world is an illusion.

The world is not real. We make it up!

Adelson’s Shadow Illusion shows just how much our brains are making up.

Squares A and B are in fact exactly the same shades of grey. But because our brain expects them to be a checker board we do not see them as they are. Our brain makes it up.

Even when we are shown the reality the illusion still works.

Poetry – Within our Dreams

Within our Dreams

Within our dreams

We explore the realms

Of possibility.

It is no different

To the reality

Of open eyes.

Within our dreams

The infinite horizons

Are different

And there are more.

That is all.

I believe they are just as real.

Opher – 29.11.2018

Who is to say what is real and what is a dream?

The reality around us is only understood with the same chemistry as our dreams. It is not real.

It is an impression built up by our senses; a consciousness created mysteriously out of chemical reaction, electricity and trillions of neural pathways.

All we know of the universe is in our heads.

It is no more real than dreams. Who is to say what exists and what does not?

The Stone And Reality

The Stone And Reality

I picked up a stone,

A lump of flint,

And held it in my hand

That I might judge its reality.

It weighed heavy in my hand,

Solid and brittle.

The outside rounded

With nodules,

All chalky white,

Smooth with small holes

Speckling its surface,

Tiny craters,

Glimpses through the crust

To the darker kernel of its nature.

One side had sheered

Into a glassy sheet,

Alive with brown, grey and black hues,

With depth,

As if my gaze could pierce into its deepness;

As if it were an aqueous liquid,

An undulating vitreous fluid

In which the shapes and colours flowed,

But it was only light playing on its surface.

The stone was impenetrable.

This flint,

This brittle rock,

So easily shattered,

Whose shards

Have served us well in ages past,

As knives, arrow heads or scrapers,

But is this the reality of this stone?

The sum total of its being,

Its aesthetics?

Its uses?

Isn’t there more?

Shouldn’t we not consider its history?

Born from great pressure in chalk,

Silica seeping,

Slowly crystallising within the strata

In the earth’s crust

Over millions of years.

Chemicals fusing to form these nodules.

Should we not go back further –

To the birth of those chemicals in distant stars –

Their formation

In the nuclear holocaust inside a sun;

The Nova that spewed them forth into space;

The condensing into planets?

Or yet further back

To the hydrogen

That fuelled that fusion.

Or beyond that

To the Big Bang itself

When the fundamental particles

From which it was formed

Were created in a flash –

Into existence from nothing.

I held the stone

And slowly turned it in my hand.

Billions of years of change

Manifested itself before my senses.

Yet its reality was still elusive.

Should I not consider its molecular structure?

The atoms that it is made from?

The subatomic particles that lie within?

The network of forces binding it together?

The microcosm of my rock?

Should I not consider the energy it possesses?

The heat it radiates?

The light it reflects off every surface?

Its sound as I tap?

The radiation it emits as its atoms decay?

What was its reality?

I had barely scratched the surface.

I turned it slowly,

Examined it carefully,

Before tossing it away.

Opher – 26.7.2021

We are surrounded by mystery, complexity and wonder which we take for granted.

Everything is so much more complex than the reality we afford it.

Nothing is trivia.

I was thinking of Blake when I wrote this.

The Stone And Reality

The Stone And Reality

I picked up a stone,

A lump of flint,

And held it in my hand

That I might judge its reality.

It weighed heavy in my hand,

Solid and brittle.

The outside rounded

With nodules,

All chalky white,

Smooth with small holes

Speckling its surface,

Tiny craters,

Glimpses through the crust

To the darker kernel of its nature.

One side had sheered

Into a glassy sheet,

Alive with brown, grey and black hues,

With depth,

As if my gaze could pierce into its deepness;

As if it were an aqueous liquid,

An undulating vitreous fluid

In which the shapes and colours flowed,

But it was only light playing on its surface.

The stone was impenetrable.

This flint,

This brittle rock,

So easily shattered,

Whose shards

Have served us well in ages past,

As knives, arrow heads or scrapers,

But is this the reality of this stone?

The sum total of its being,

Its aesthetics?

Its uses?

Isn’t there more?

Shouldn’t we not consider its history?

Born from great pressure in chalk,

Silica seeping,

Slowly crystallising within the strata

In the earth’s crust

Over millions of years.

Chemicals fusing to form these nodules.

Should we not go back further –

To the birth of those chemicals in distant stars –

Their formation

In the nuclear holocaust inside a sun;

The Nova that spewed them forth into space;

The condensing into planets?

Or yet further back

To the hydrogen

That fuelled that fusion.

Or beyond that

To the Big Bang itself

When the fundamental particles

From which it was formed

Were created in a flash –

Into existence from nothing.

I held the stone

And slowly turned it in my hand.

Billions of years of change

Manifested itself before my senses.

Yet its reality was still elusive.

Should I not consider its molecular structure?

The atoms that it is made from?

The subatomic particles that lie within?

The network of forces binding it together?

The microcosm of my rock?

Should I not consider the energy it possesses?

The heat it radiates?

The light it reflects off every surface?

Its sound as I tap?

The radiation it emits as its atoms decay?

What was its reality?

I had barely scratched the surface.

I turned it slowly,

Examined it carefully,

Before tossing it away.

Opher – 26.7.2021

We are surrounded by mystery, complexity and wonder which we take for granted.

Everything is so much more complex than the reality we afford it.

Nothing is trivia.

I was thinking of Blake when I wrote this.

Poetry – Reality

Reality

Scenes you may find upsetting!

That’s life!

Torture in the wilderness!

Heated knife!

Butchery and rape!

Lies rife!!

Living here in comfort.

No strife.

Opher – 28.10.2018

Here we are in the West sitting in the comfort of our homes, with full bellies, the central heating on and the TV offering a glimpse into the unpleasant side of life on the other side of the globe.

People are being murdered and raped.

Animals are being cruelly butchered.

Wars are raging.

Torturers are plying their trade.

People are starving.

Babies are dying.

Animals are screaming in agony.

These are the scenes we might find upsetting.

If we’re that upset we should perhaps do something about it.

Poetry – I Have Life

I Have Life

I have life

And I’m gonna live it

I have dreams

And I’m gonna make them real

I have hopes

And I’m gonna realise them

I have love

And I’m gonna give it

I have time

And I’m gonna use it

Opher 7.10.2018

It seems to me that we are here for such a short while – then we are gone. I want to fill every second with love, wonder, awe and appreciation. I’m going to try to do everything I want to do. I’m going to strive to put right the things that are wrong. I’m going to make a difference.

Poetry – The Edge of the Wind

The Edge of the Wind

The gull glides

With the freedom to seek its own destiny.

It moves by instinct

Beautifully through the air.

It has no beliefs that it would die for.

Hanging on the wind’s edge

Wings grip the sliding air

Suspended over the teeming crowds.

But I am the drifting skid

Of the edge of the wing

Slicing through the watery air.

I am the shriek of the pebble

In the distance

Screaming to be heard.

I am what the tree reaches for

Hung through the endless sky.

Turn your head and take delight.

Opher 1985

I wrote this long ago as part of my mystical series. I was taken with the idea of flying was really perpetual falling. Yet in that falling was freedom.

I was taken with the idea of living in the now instead of scheming for the future.

I was taken with the idea of consciousness. What was alive? What was the mystical element in the universe?

Shouldn’t we, like the gull, delight in the moment?

Poetry – Solidity

Solidity

Repelled by atomic energy

With the illusion of reality

Solidity as a fiction.

There’s a force-field

That stops us sinking

Through the ground –

Melting through the universe.

Huge spaces between

The tightest packed nuclei

Like space between the stars.

As hand hits table

No matter really touches

Just a force-field.

We are held together

By wonder.

Opher 30.7.2018

I’m always fascinated by the macrocosm and microcosm and here we are stuck in the middle unable to really see either.

In relative terms there is as much space between the atoms in a solid object as there is space between stars. It seems to me that even with the zillions of atoms in a solid object we should be able to bring two objects together and slide the atoms past each other without a single collision of nuclei. What prevents us is the force-field between them.

Solidity is an illusion.

Poetry – Us

Us

Spinning. Swirling, wheelin’ –

Unaware.

Under skies of all possibilities.

Travelling while standing still.

Stars slowly drifting

In arcs.

Sun and moon slowly passing

Overhead.

But it is us

Who are really spinning

While stationary;

Stuck to the surface

By the glue of gravity

And friction,

Uncomprehending

Reality.

Opher 30.7.2018

We are standing here. We are still. Yet we are spinning madly through space in complex spirals at enormous speeds.

In the past the religious nutters placed us at the centre of the universe while the heavens span around us.

We know a lot better now.

Poetry – The Sun is not the Same

The Sun is not the Same

That sun is not the same today.

Yesterday’s light is gone forever.

This light is new –

Each moment –

A new sun

Reborn from the cauldron of change.

That burnished light

Might look the same;

That warmth might raise spirits

In the same fashion,

But it is new light

That never tasted space before.

These eyes that see

Are not the eyes of yesterday.

They have been renewed,

Rebuilt with new cells

In a perpetual cycle of rebirth.

Everything changes,

For that is the law,

Yet remains the same

In patterns that are set

To evolve slowly;

Patterns that deceive.

Opher 22.8.2016

The Sun is not the Same

We live our lives as if there is stability. It is an illusion. There is not stability – only relentless change. There are patterns that follow a progression. Our days, our lives, our universe are changing patterns.

The seconds, years and aeons roll by. Only with time can we measure the amount of change.

Every three months every cell in our body (apart from neurones) is replaced. We live with a new body and yet we are still recognisably us.

Every day we look up at the sun and stars and the sky looks the same, yet all the light is new. We have never seen it before.

All our lives we fit into the patterns that we are part of. The patterns evolve slowly, yet they change.

One day we wake and the pattern has shifted. The lie of stability has slipped. Things will never be the same. There is a new pattern. An element has gone forever, has altered.

In Aberfan it was the slip of a waste tip.