Learning to See

baby elephant


In India

when they want to train a baby elephant

to stay still when it’s told to, they tie it to a green stick.

Its owner knows that when that elephant grows up it might be chained to a tree ~ and if it decides to walk away, it can simply take the chains and the tree with it.

They also know their adult elephant won’t do that.

All its life, when it was time to stay still, it found itself tied to a green stick.

Tie that adult elephant to a green stick, and it will be there when you get back.


pavlov's dogs


So, it goes a lot further than Pavlov’s

simply salivating dogs.

More experiments proved that if fish are made by the presence of a plexiglass barrier to swim in only one half of a bowl, after removing the barrier they will still swim in that half of the bowl only.

Flies, forced beneath a certain altitude by the same type of barrier will also continue to limit themselves to that level after its removal.

Perhaps the definitive (and deservedly award-winning) experiment in this arena of inquiry involved the raising of two litters of kittens in separate rooms.  One room contained only vertical visual stimuli, the other only horizontal.

When those cats grew to adulthood, those raised in the vertical room proved physically unable to perceive horizontal visual stimuli, and would walk straight into them when presented.  Ditto the cats from the horizontal room when presented with vertical stimuli.









In fact

the very latest research indicates

that we never physically see what is actually before us in any moment.

What we see is a ‘smoothed’ composit of the fifteen to thirty seconds prior to its viewing.




Perhaps the reader is now prepared to believe this truth:

At the approach of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria

to their first harbor on the shores of the New World, two categories of Native Americans were on hand to greet them:

Those who could see them, looming larger and larger ~ the biggest construction any of them had ever known.

And those who couldn’t.

These continued to stare at an empty harbor until the moment the first of the sailors rowed to shore, looking ~ very odd, to be sure ~ but recognizably like a human being.




So, how does all this relate to beauty?

     eye of the beholder


Simple: Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder, right?


In case the reader needs backups:


“Beauty is in the heart of the beholder.” – H. G. Wells

“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.” – David Hume


eye of the beholder 2


Put pragmatically…

Dreaming or awake, we perceive only events that have meaning to us. Jane Roberts

You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. Mark Twain

You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something… it’s impossible. Rita Dove


yours foolie find special interest










in the following quotation of Paul Gauguin:


It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable color to every object; beware of this stumbling block.


She reminds her readers of the mainstream attitude of  derision and scorn meted out to those capable of seeing the energetic auras of human beings and other life forms ~ until the advancing science of photography proved them to be seeing exactly what actually existed but remains invisible to most.

Having monkey-climbed up and down the ladder of consciousness more than a few times her ownself, yours foolie can report the visuals to change dramatically according to ones current level of consciousness.


we create what we see


We create what we see

Quantum physics has now proven that the object which next strikes your eye does not actually exist until your eye does strike it, carrying your expectation of seeing it there ~ at which point it coalesces for your express satisfaction.  If it’s a chair, you can then sit down in it.  If it’s a pen, you can use it to write with.

When you remove your gaze, your weight, your hand ~ it flies apart again.


flies apart again


yours foolie suggests

that modern civilization is becoming blind to beauty

… through the continual creation of its opposite.


ugliness reserve 3


ugliness reserve 2










ugliness reserve 4


ugliness reserve 5









ugliness reserve 1



ugliness reserve 7



Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe





manca dida






Beauty awakens the soul to act.

Dante Alighieri


watching the sunset


We are learning, too, that the love of beauty is one of Nature’s greatest healers. Ellsworth Huntington


Not seeing what is right before us

because we’ve never seen it before is a physical phenomenon

but not seeing what is right before us because we are privileged to see it every day is something quite other.

It belongs in that class of “unavoidables” which when we examined them in the first chapters of this series we found to be anything but ~ in fact (one and all, dear readers; please review if you yet doubt it) neither common nor  natural to the human animal at all ~ prior, that is, to the deepening cesspools of modern civilization.


native village


Among the native populations of the Trobriand Islands, Malinowski recounts, courting young couples plan afternoon or evening dates for walking together to nearby locations of beauty.  These are greatly prized, preserved and deeply appreciated by all.

Their innate esthetic refinement is such that it is considered a breach of good taste to bring food to these locations with which to distract and dull the mind and heart from such a joyously lovely spectacle as is presented to their higher senses of beauty and grace.

There isn’t a fine for littering.                             no littering

Nobody litters.






  No one from this culture will ever say

what everyone in our own culture, on hearing, chuckles and shakes their heads over ~ because it’s so true:




Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days?

George Bernard Shaw


charlie chaplin

                                 The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.

                                                                              Charlie Chaplin



see and create beauty


And why was it we wanted to be able to see (and create) beauty, again?

Because, fellow foolies…

“The love of beauty in its multiple forms is the noblest gift of the human cerebrum.” – Alexis Carrel

victor hugo


To love beauty is to see light. Victor Hugo





woman looking in mirror


We go to hours of daily trouble

and spend buckets of money

trying to make ourselves beautiful.

Here’s how it’s really done:


beautiful woman

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.

Maria Mitchell


Taking joy in living is a woman’s best cosmetic.              beautiful woman 2

Rosalind Russell


A woman whose smile is open and whose expression

is glad has… beauty no matter what she wears.

Anne Rolphe


women of character

Real beauty is to be true to oneself. That’s what makes me feel good. Laetitia Casta



“Beauty has a lot to do with character.”

– Kevyn Aucoin


Since love grows within you, so beauty grows.

For love is the beauty of the soul. Saint Augustine



Seek beauty in the world around you


“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson



Create and preserve beauty         katherine anne porter


The real sin against life is to

abuse and destroy beauty. 

Katherine Anne Porter




anne frank


  Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.

  Anne Frank






 yours foolie  Contact yours foolie:




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