Friday, January 13, 2006

Me, myself and I

There is an American psychologist whose name I can't remember and haven't been able to track down on Google who said that when two people meet there are in fact six people present. Each person as they see themselves, each as perceived by the other and each as they actually are. Beyond the existential questions this poses, this week I've been living a proof of this theory. On Monday I collected a new pair of glasses; my first in over two years. Now to me this is quite a momentous change - it's wearing the same item of clothing every day for two years. It becomes part of you and definitely a major part of how I see myself and, I'd assumed, how others saw me. Every time I walk past a reflective surface and catch a glimpse of myself, it doesn't quite seem like me again yet. A new pair of specs is a major moment in any myopic's life. And to prove the point the psychologist made, no-one else noticed. Well a couple of close friends after promting figured it out but no-one's spotted the change of their own accord. I feel that I look as different as if I'd grown an extra limb, my close friends who see me daily see no change at all and I guess the reality is somewhere in between.

It is very true that how we see others, or indeed how we generally perceive the world is based very little upon that which our eyes feed our brain. Instead the majority of what we think we see is in fact conjoured up by the lump of grey scambled egg that sits between our ears. Tricksy little bugger. So if your short-sighted friend keeps looking at you in an appealing manner, take another look and make sure they haven't got a new pair of bins that you didn't notice because your brain was telling you porky pies.


Blogger Mr Atrocity said...

It was William James, brother of the more famous Henry. William James was also a noted pragmatist philospher.

So there.

9:12 pm  

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