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TOPIC: Clarity of thought / Empathy

Clarity of thought / Empathy 10 months 3 weeks ago #39372

Howdy folks,

I realized I'm rocking this aphantasia malarkey last week, after talking to people around me about how they claim to be able to visualize/feel things in their 'minds eye'. I've always been very analytical, but extremely poor at remembering things unless I've taken the time to mentally store them. Since finding that people are able to do this little trick, I've reached a bunch of potential conclusions about the effect such a thing could have on people's day to day lives, and am curious to see whether they're applicable in general, or are simply a product of my perspective on life.

One thing that struck me, was that whilst I tend to be very open to new ideas, and challenging my assumptions, I find that those around me seem to have their beliefs far more firmly embedded in their mind. After pondering this, I've come up with a theory that seems like it has potential. Do you think it's possible that the act of visualizing something somehow cements it in your mind somehow? Gives it more credibility, perhaps? I imagine it would, as people tend to trust what their eyes are telling them, is there any reason why they wouldn't trust what their mind's eye is telling them too?

I was discussing this with my girlfriend, after she said she found visualizing extremely useful as a tool, as it made it easier to remember things. When I pointed out that her visualizations may not accurately reflect any sort of objective truth, she became fairly defensive, and I've seen this with others I've raised the topic with too. Personally, I believe that by only analyzing things on a conceptual level, as opposed to grouping things together into images, the mind is more likely to be malleable, as all it sees are points of data that are easily replaced without conflicting with any sort of greater image. I could be talking nonsense, or this could be down to some other traits of mine, merged with a lack of visualizing, so I think it's worthwhile bringing up to others with a similar limitation, to see how it fits into their worldview.

I believe this can also lead to a greater sense of empathy, offset by the experience others have described, where they feel emotionally detached from anything not immediately in their vicinity. I think if I had a visualization of someone, it would be harder to break any assumptions that are held within that visualization, and that by only analyzing the points of data that I'm aware of, it's easy to see which pieces of the puzzle are missing. An example of this would be a photo of a man robbing a store - that visual image would indicate they were a bad person, whereas without that, it is simple to see that their motivations are missing from the image, and that they could potentially have reasons for performing such an action that are not 'evil' or 'cruel', or even 'bad'.

Like I said, this is just thoughts I've been mulling over since finding this distinction between others and myself, and I may be completely off the mark, but I think it's worth getting feedback on.

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Clarity of thought / Empathy 10 months 3 weeks ago #39376

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Gunfight, yes, you are correct in your thoughts about form eliciting judgment. But, simply lacking a "mind's eye" doesn't preclude the propensity to judge. That requires the diminishing of the ego and the tendency of humans to enhance their self worth by devaluing that of other people (or possibly things). Seeing, observing without judging puts us on the path to truth and beauty, concepts which seem to embody judgment, but when accepted on a macro level and without filtration present us with the world as it is. Two of my favorite sayings are attributed to William Shakespeare, and lead us toward the light of wisdom regarding leading unfettered lives. The first is, "Expectation is the root of all heartache." In other words, if you have no expectations; how people should treat you, for example, or what this or that other thing will do for you; you will never be disappointed. The other tidbit is...well, it's very late and being old, I've misplaced the other bit of wisdom, so that's that. Ah, just remembered: it goes thusly; "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." How true! Well, I hope this has somehow helped, if not, sorry for wasting your time.
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