Look with a Hundred Eyes
Take 30 seconds to stare intently at the center of this American quilt which was anonymously created in the 1880’s.
Are your eyes playing tricks on you so that the static red needlework design appears to swirl around and towards the center? If so, and you can’t trust your eyes, what can you trust? The fact that your eyes can’t be trusted is what magicians rely upon to perform their tricks since the human eye can be made to see what isn’t there…or fail to see what is.
Scribbled on a public restroom wall in San Rafael, California, was this graffiti, “The world is composed of rival gangs of hypnotists each competing for our entranced attention.” The location chosen for this bit of folk wisdom shouldn’t prevent us from exploring if indeed someone is trying to hypnotize us.
The San Rafael’s restroom wall insight should prompt the question: Are we being hypnotized by marketing magicians whose spellbinding advertisements try to induce us to buy what we don’t need? Has some politician with personal magnetism and enthralling campaign played upon our fears of strangers and prejudice towards the poor and thus caused us to vote for him or her?
Condemning the hypnotists of the media, politics or religion shouldn’t divert us from the possibility that each of us can also be guilty of practicing self-hypnosis. Pop culture self-help teachers propose to those suffering the raw realities of life the use of the repetition of generalizations like, “I’m alright, you’re alright, everything is alright” or “Day by day in every way I’m getting better and better.” Like snake oil medicine, this cure goes down smoothly instead of the real healing that comes from honestly confronting life’s painful realities.
This reflection began about trusting our eyes and ends with the old adage, “A buyer needs a hundred eyes and the seller none.” This folk wisdom is good advice on how to escape from magnetic merchandizing ads alluring us to acquire something that in reality we have no need of. Such sage hundredfold sight can help you escape from being a fatality of mesmerizing mischief or hypnotic manipulation.