Today, we can by using technology create situations that shows us how powerful our thoughts can be and also how confusing the boundaries between our own body and the environment can be. Below are two examples that pushes the boundaries when it comes to our concepts about thinking, the mind, body and the environment.
The idea of a separate body and mind have been discussed by many philosophical and religions traditions.The concept of thinkibility embraces a biological approach to consciousness and thinking. We believe that there is a complex interaction between the brain, body and the environment. In other words, we do not believe that thinking takes place isolated in our heads.
The first example, illustrates how we can by focusing and relaxing our attention influence the environment. Ashley Newton has invented a set of robotic flowers that you control with your mind. You control the flowers and change the shape by focusing and relaxing. Like bioluminescent deep-sea creatures, the flowers blossom and dances. The internal becomes the external and the boundaries between your mind and the environment becomes blurred.
Newton says; “The more you’re able to be aware of your mind and control it appropriately, the more effective you’ll be at doing whatever you want, and the better you’ll feel.” Controlling the robotic flowers can help to improve mindfulness.
Research carried out by Arvid Guterstam and his colleagues has explored what it feels like to be invisible.
The technology has not yet advanced enough to provide us with a real invisibility cloak but it is possible to create a perceptual illusion that makes us believe that we are invisible.
By using clever camera angles, virtual goggles and physical caresses (touching the body) it was possible to create the illusion that a person has no body. Go here
to read more about the experiment.
So what happens to us when we think that we are invisible? The researchers looked among other things at how a person would react in a social situation and they found that feeling invisible reduced the anxiety brought on by standing in front of an audience. Thus, tricking us to feel invisible may help to reduce social anxiety.
An interesting aspect that the research team will look at next is how feelings of invisibility affects our moral.
Why not write a list of things you would do if you were invisible?
Ten positive things and ten more suspicious and even immoral things:-)
Photo: Staffan Larsson