Monday, January 26, 2015
Look at this Figure Now!
"Look at this figure now!" the image above is one of many mother and child joint attention pictures from the floating world of ukiyoe artists which, according to the famed psychologist Osamu Kitayama, express something important about the Japanese mind. It shows a mother showing her rather terrified child a glove puppet.
Osamu Kitayama is right and further, I think that these express the cosmology of the Japanese.
If one has (or has modelled) a linguistic, listening father figure, "super-ego," or "generalised other" in ones mind then concepts or later "matter;" that dark stuff that has properties, can be thought to be the essence of things and the visuals, "res extensa" a fleeting subjective veneer.
But, if one shares ones heart with a vast and joint attentive seeing mother, then the figure, or face, can be the centre of gravity of the self, and of things also.
Words and their meanings are no less subjective. The deciding factor is the nature of ones generalised other: does s/he hear or see.
I don't think that there can be any deciding who is right about the cosmos, but it is interesting to note that scientists are now experimenting to see whether the universe is two dimensional a two dimensional floating world in which three dimensionality is an "emergent" property.
This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.