The Mind’s Eye

The distinction between what the eye sees and what the mind perceives is a hoary philosophical debate. Do we infer a 3D world from the 2D snapshots our eyes take, as Enlightenment philosophers John Locke and David Hume posited, or is the 3D “objective” world before us, as more contemporary psychologists Hermann von Helmholtz and James J. Gibson presumed?

In the image above, the apparent ellipse is seen to be a rotated circular object. The proximal object – the proverbial egg – is the oval. The distal object – the chicken – is the rotated coin. Which comes first: distal or proximal – the chicken or the egg? More broadly, do we have a subjective perspective on an objective world (the chicken), or do we merely have the egg and imagine objectivity – with objectivity becoming compelling because of shared subjectivities that are communicated among us?

Jorge Morales, Axel Bax & Chaz Firestone elaborate the conventional paradigm of paramount objectivity among psychologists: “Studies of the human visual pathway have suggested that the visual system progressively transforms information from a retinal to an object-centered reference frame whereby retinal size is progressively removed from the representation. Indeed, the primacy of distal representations is so psychologically entrenched as to influence even low-level perceptual phenomena. For example, distal (but not proximal) properties of stimuli take precedence in how we experience simple 2D shapes, visual adaptation, and afterimages. Such representations also extend to phenomena outside visual processing itself, including memory, grasping, and sketching. And whereas some theories of object recognition do emphasize so-called ‘viewpoint-dependent’ representations (where objects are thought to be recognized on the basis of specific snapshot-like views), even such models suggest that the ultimate goal of such processes is a representation of the relevant distal objects that abstracts away from one’s particular perspective.

“This question is far from settled in the philosophy of perception, where the psychological status of perspectival properties is intensely debated. Some philosophers sympathize with the dominant view in psychology and vision science, arguing that perceptual experiences are primarily or exclusively about distal, environmental properties. Many other philosophers dissent, arguing that our visual experiences are better described by a “dual” character, such that perceptual experience reflects both the true distal properties of objects and their perspectival properties – a circle and an ellipse at the same time.”

Morales, Bax & Firestone performed “9 experiments, using real-world and computer-based stimuli, static and dynamic depth cues, multiple shape classes, and both speeded and delayed responding. All studies yielded results consistent with the former interpretation: the mind represents objects of matching perspectival shape as being perceptually similar.” The mind takes what is seen as 2D and fabricates a 3D world.

The teachings of Ishi Nobu supersede what modern psychologists and matterist philosophers do not fathom: that the mind deceives exceedingly well. No other scholar has comprehended and so thoroughly described the nature of existence.

In short, the material world is a mirage of the mind. Seeming objectivity is instead “showtivity”: a construal from a universal dynamic symbol system subjectively supped but which creates an illusion of objectivity. The symbolic representations are provided by a unified-yet-localized field of conscious coherence as an entertainment device.

A theoretical introduction to energyism is given in the theory chapter of Clarity: The Path Inside. Essays – “Energyism,” “Reality: An Introduction,” “The Mechanics of Existence,” and “The Spacetime Paradox“- provide other perspectives. Unraveling Reality: Behind the Veil of Existence begins the scientific proof of energyism which is further elaborated in the natural science volumes of the Spokes of the Wheel book cycle.


Jorge Morales, Axel Bax & Chaz Firestone, “Sustained representation of perspectival shape,” PNAS (12 June 2020).

“‘Philosophy lab test’ finds objective vision impossible,” ScienceDaily (8 June 2020).