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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How the Mind Perceives

: )

Right back at you!

Recently it was reported that the folks Down Under saw a "smiley face" appear in the night sky caused by just the right alignment and position of the moon and the planets Venus and Jupiter. Isn't that something? Nakakbilib ano po?

Well, what's even more interesting actually is how we're able to see things and associate such on seemingly random or non-related objects around us. Ever hear about the "image" of the Blessed Virgin or other religious figure miraculously appearing in the splash marks of water on the side of a church wall? How about the resemblance or profile of the "face" of a famous actor on--of all things--a potato chip?

In Psychology, we learn that the human brain is basically hard-wired to perceive patterns. It's part of what inherently made us man. This is a natural consequence of our overall evolution since long ago to look for meaning (or purpose subjectively and philosophically speaking) in our existence. This thought process doesn't just stop there though. In our seeing or hearing of the world around us, we acutely zero-in on things and associate with them objects with significance to us.

This mental phenomenon is known as pareidolia. Here's a link for more info -

Oh, below is one very cool example.

(Photo from

If you look at the pic above it's obviously an image of a family; a father, child and mother. It's said to be from Sweden from the early 1900's. Some though, especially religious Christians, may see at first glance a Chirst-like image within the visual context.

Don't see it? Here's the clue: the child's head wearing a cap, if you look at it in a certain way, is the "eye" of Christ and the right sleeve forms his nose. Get it na?

It is said though that the child died afterwards. So is it some sort of sign or miracle? Is the photo apparently indicating that Christ is welcoming the baby? Personally, I wouldn't attach any religious significance to it readily. But I leave that up to your own faith.

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