Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Seeing 2: the amazing brain

Okay, here’s a follow-on to the post “Creativity and Seeing”.

Here’s today’s activity:

Find a tree line or brush line that you can view from a considerable distance. We’re talking at least a tenth of a mile.

Now look at the tree line (or a mountain or hill or even swamp will do), and see the individual trees (or shrubs).

Do you know them by name? Maples, pines, laurels, whatever.

Now look along the bottom edge, where the trees and shrubs meet the ground.

In here you can know that there are many kinds of grasses and weeds. Maybe some dill, wild mustard, Queen Anne’s lace. Depends on the season. Around here we see a lot of Concord grape vines, they grow everywhere, native to the area.


So here’s the point of the lesson: Except for the overall basic shape of the trees and/or shrubs, you really can’t see any of this. Not with your actual vision, with your eye.

You can see this tree line and know the kinds of trees and even the grasses on the ground from a tenth-mile away because of your brain’s data-vectoring ability. Some call this “matrixing”.

This is simply the power of the human brain to store nearly every experience in your life. Your brain has stored hundreds or thousands of views of trees, grasses and shrubs.

When you look across a field and see the trees, perhaps the silhouette of a deer, some snaggly vines, your brain “looks up” the experience in the memory banks.

No, you can’t really see the details of the tree, nor the grasses on the ground, but your brain brings together all your experiences related to the present sensory input and “vectors” or “matrixes” the stored knowledge to give you the info your brain needs to interpret the scene or situation.

“Okay”, brain says, “that’s a tree line. Those tall-ish slightly rounded trees are probably maples. The evergreens are pines of some kind. Maybe they’re fir or spruce, but still evergreen. Based on the time of year, the ground would have timothy and other grasses, some goldenrod, maybe a few purple asters.”

Imagine being able to see an aster flower from a tenth-mile away? Your brain can do it with it’s powerful memory banks and the incredible mind’s eye of imagination.

Your brain can imagine anything it has stored. Think of it right now. You can imagine a tree line with bare trees, a foot of snow at their bases. Now imagine daisies growing out of the snow, and rose bushes in full bloom next to lilacs. We can add spring tulips and fall mums. Heck, we can even have the air 70 degrees and sunny with snow flakes falling!

Take a few opportunities this week to see your brain’s data vectoring at work.

Those little orange and yellowish specks on vines are bittersweet blossoms. I can see them from 100 yards!

Those birds in the field are Canada geese. Yellow feet, white bellies. A little mud on their feathers. I can see them from two hundred yards!

That thing that looks like a stick on the opposite shore of the pond is a blue heron. It’s standing stock still to look like a tree stump, waiting for little fish to swim past. I can see his eye fixed keenly on the water. Heck, I can even see the fish swimming by! At three hundred yards!


One word of caution. Data vectoring is not a perfect science. Whatever data you put into the brain will be interpreted.  That shadow caught out of the corner of an eye can easily become a ghost!

I was lighting the pilot for the space heater this fall, and looked inside to see a bright orange glow reflecting off the back plane of the heater. This was no place a fire belonged, or a glowing-hot piece of metal. Was it a glowing hot electrical connection? I looked and looked. A little panic that there could be an uncontrolled fire in there. Smelled no smoke. Felt no heat. Brain confused. Seeing fire, feeling no heat, smelling no smoke…this did not fit the matrix.

Finally I REALLY saw. The back plane of the heater has a foil liner, a heat reflector. The heater is installed in our parlor, over flame-orange carpet. The “fire” was nothing more than a reflection of the carpet on the foil!

Love that data vectoring!

Next time:

Humankind’s amazing ability (and in fact the entire animal kingdom’s amazing ability) to PREDICT THE FUTURE!

Be at peace,


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