Do we dream less as we get older?

The origins of the imperative, "know thyself", are lost in the sands of time, but the age-old examination of human consciousness continues here.

Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Tue May 11, 2021 9:56 am

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:
The video I posted was actually in Welsh, so it's not surprising you couldn't understand a word!


That's good to know! I actually thought it was English. I was bewildered because I could not make out anything at all that they were saying. And these seemed to be sophisticated, educated, articulate men and women. I thought the problem must be me.

Maia wrote:As a Celtic language, Welsh isn't even all that closely related to English, though it's full of English loan words, and, though you wouldn't think so to listen to it, lots of Latin ones as well, dating from the time when Britain was part of the Roman Empire. That's another reason why I find dialects and things like that fascinating, because they are living embodiments of history.


Yes, language is something that many simply take for granted. Few stop to think about the extraordinary journey that particular words/sounds have taken down through the ages. And then the part that most intrigues me: how different people can hear the same language and react to it in different [sometimes conflicted] ways. It's like people hearing the same song...some loving it, others hating it.

How does that come to be?

Maia wrote: Sounds lovely, all that arty stuff. Maybe I should give it a try...


There's a movie that I really like called Blind Beast. Unfortunately the trailer is no longer available. It is the story of a blind man who creates a world all his own by reconfiguring art from the visual into the tactile. He kidnaps a woman and is obsessed with creating a sculptured likeness of her. Then their relationship takes on a rather, well, ghastly trajectory. But for him touch is everything.

Maia wrote: It seems that the person you're describing there is "the one that got away" (regardless of who dumped whom), the one your mind keeps going back to over and over again, and wondering, what if? I suppose I'll never know if that guy was put off by me being blind, because there's no way he would ever have admitted it.


What keeps playing out in my mind over and over again is this: would I have chosen different...if I could? The thing is that she turned out to be right. But that was never a certainty. I came close with Supannika [the green card woman I noted above] and there was always the possibility that I might have found someone that I could be absolutely crazy about...and who did share my passions.

It just never happened.

Maia wrote: As for why I don't tend to hang around with other blind people, a number of factors are at work here. For a start, none of my friends from school actually live anywhere near where I do. We keep in touch, of course, but rarely meet up. True, there's a branch of the RNIB in my city, and I very occasionally attend events, such as their national conference a few years ago. But to be honest, I actually find all that a bit boring, and the politics annoying. I also find sighted people, in general, far more interesting (not to mention far more numerous), and would choose their company any day. That may well put me in something of a minority among blind people, but probably not as much as you might think. When I want to hang out among like-minded people, talk things over, and so on, it's to my Pagan friends that I go.


Of course there is no way I can actually understand this. And the reason is simple: I'm not you. I have almost no understanding of the life that you have lived, the experiences that you have had, the people you have met. And I can only attempt to scratch the surface in understanding it up to a point in exchanges like this one. On the other hand, like you, being around "like-minded" people is also very important to me. If only, here and now in my life, virtually.

There's just something about the reality of blindness -- of imaging myself blind -- that would propel me towards finding a close friend who shared this world with me. But, then, as you note, being blind from birth is a whole other kind of blindness. Something that is forever beyond my understanding.

Maia wrote: I'm always happy to discuss anything you like. I doubt anyone else is still reading our random ruminations on life, the universe and everything any more, anyway, but even if they are, that's fine. If you've taken the trouble to write to me, and to share your thoughts and feelings, then I'll always do the same in return.


Yes, this has been a really rewarding exchange. And it's nice to know for both of us. Let's keep it going and see what pops up.

Maia wrote: And talking of random ruminations, what do you like to eat? As you know, I'm currently in a vegetarian phase, and have just made myself a very mild curry with chopped apple, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes and butter beans with melted Stilton and grated Cheddar, which I'm eating right now, between typing.


As with much of my life these days, the food I eat has become just another part of the routine. I pretty much eat the same things day after day. Fruits and vegetables, nuts, chicken, fish, bagels. It's always healthy food however and despite it being routine, it never stops being delicious. Although, admittedly, I do miss the trips to the restaurants I would go to with my daughter.

On the other hand, you seem to be entirely more inclined to explore the world of food more...adventuresomely?

Maia wrote: Thank you, that was a good description, and I'm sure that won't be the last time I ask for something like that.


Please do.

Maia wrote: As for actual life on Mars, I notice that the article has been roundly debunked by a whole load of sceptics. This will keep on happening right up to the moment that they actually find it. If it really is confirmed one day, I think I would be very happy. The life-force finds a way, anywhere and everywhere.


What can possibly be more mysterious than the evolution of matter into biological life on Earth? Any attempt to explain it takes you to things like the gods, or to a God/the God...or to nature itself.

Or, as Dr. Ian Malcolm once put it: https://youtu.be/kiVVzxoPTtg

Maia wrote: Thanks for the links. The first one reminded me of Sonic Youth's version of Superstar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y21VecIIdBI


Yes, this is one of my favorite cover songs of all time. The voice, the music seem to zero right in on how mysterious and fragile and enigmatic relationships can be. Every time I listen to it, I go tumbling back to the most haunting relationships in my life.

Thanks for all the songs that you send my way. Keep them coming please.


It is indeed strange how people can hear exactly the same words, or songs, and have completely different reactions to them. And a good thing too, of course, if not taken to extreme.

I'm sure there's always still time for any of us to find our true love, if it's meant to be. Hope is eternal, as they say.

Yes, that's absolutely right. If you lost your sight, you'd be in a very different position to me, and I can fully understand why you would feel that way. That's one particular trauma that I'll never, ever have to experience. For me, my life is just completely normal.

A rewarding exchange indeed, and I look forward to the next installment.

Adventuresome, definitely! I like preparing food for people, and before the lockdown I had got into a routine of inviting a few friends over on Fridays and cooking for them. While I can't say it was always a success, I can definitely say it was always from the heart. My little "dinner parties" have been more sporadic of late, but I'm sure we'll be settling down into the old routine again soon.

Yes, I'll certainly keep the songs coming, whenever I think of some. And thanks for your selection (the first one wouldn't play again, though, sadly).

I'm off to York in June, by the way, not sure exactly when, though. This has become something of an annual tradition for me, going up and staying with a friend for a few days, and sometimes attending a local Pagan event, if one's on. I even went last year, between lockdowns. York is a really nice city, packed full of medieval buildings and narrow, cobbled streets. It also, allegedly, has lots of ghosts, and even has ghost tours. The Roman and medieval walls of the city are still largely extant, and it's possible to walk round them, and one of the pubs in the city centre still has part of the Roman fortress in its foundations. We will also probably go to the coast, most likely to a town called Flamborough, which has even more ancient remains, including a huge Neolithic earthwork called Dane's Dyke. Again, supposedly haunted. A couple of years ago, at my insistence, my friend and I went round all the pubs in the town, talking to the locals about the folklore of the area, collecting stories. It was really fascinating, and a whole lot of fun, too.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 11, 2021 7:09 pm

Maia wrote: It is indeed strange how people can hear exactly the same words, or songs, and have completely different reactions to them. And a good thing too, of course, if not taken to extreme.


Yes, I like that point. It would be a grim world to live in if we all reacted the same [like robots] to all the words and songs that we hear. Of course here, in turn, where each of us as individuals draws the line in regard to what is or is not extreme is also going to be ultimately uncertain and enigmatic.

I remember once exploring this in regard to a particular song. This one: https://youtu.be/xJeWySiuq1I

It was with a woman that I was exchanging "mixed tapes" with. I had mentioned that it was one of my favorite songs, and she admitted that she, well, hated it. So we went back and forth trying to explain why we felt what we did. But it was futile of course. From my point of view, it all basically fits into my understanding of the "self" as a complex and, in the final analysis, inexplicable aggregation of all the different factors in our lives that come to create all of our diverse reactions to things like "musical taste". What tends to bug me here the most are those who insist that some genres are "better" than others. Always the ones they prefer. Me, I'm all over the map musically...as can be noted on my music thread here.

Maia wrote: I'm sure there's always still time for any of us to find our true love, if it's meant to be. Hope is eternal, as they say.


Well, let's hope that is true.

Maia wrote: Yes, that's absolutely right. If you lost your sight, you'd be in a very different position to me, and I can fully understand why you would feel that way. That's one particular trauma that I'll never, ever have to experience. For me, my life is just completely normal.


Yes, and how strange that might seem to those who, in always having been sighted, will consider that to be the only possible normal. I think my reaction here goes back to my own existential obsession with empathy. The yearning on my part to find those who are most like me in regard to the "big things" in my life. If I were to become blind, I would want to share my passions in turn with someone who was also able to once see. Beyond that though I'm not able to go.

Maia wrote: Adventuresome, definitely! I like preparing food for people, and before the lockdown I had got into a routine of inviting a few friends over on Fridays and cooking for them. While I can't say it was always a success, I can definitely say it was always from the heart. My little "dinner parties" have been more sporadic of late, but I'm sure we'll be settling down into the old routine again soon.


Just as you asked me to reconfigure what I saw in the Mars photo into words, do you ever ask your friends to describe as best they can the food that you prepare for them? Again, for some, it would just seem strange to consume something and never see what you are eating. Unless, of course, as with you, that could never be strange because you never could see it. Back to that at times ineffable gap between these three worlds. The always blind, the once sighted, the always sighted.

Maia wrote: Yes, I'll certainly keep the songs coming, whenever I think of some. And thanks for your selection (the first one wouldn't play again, though, sadly).


Thanks.

Too bad about the Silly Sisters, "The Old Miner" song. As with "The Coming of the Roads" it is song in which the words and the nusic so enhance and reinforce each that the effect is especially moving.

Here's another version of it: https://youtu.be/0fKts0s_St8

The words are the same but the music is nothing at all like June Tabor's and Maddie Prior's. And, in fact, the music here just does not match the gripping sentiment encompassed by the Silly Sisters. Personally, I feel almost nothing at all.

Maia wrote: I'm off to York in June, by the way, not sure exactly when, though. This has become something of an annual tradition for me, going up and staying with a friend for a few days, and sometimes attending a local Pagan event, if one's on. I even went last year, between lockdowns. York is a really nice city, packed full of medieval buildings and narrow, cobbled streets. It also, allegedly, has lots of ghosts, and even has ghost tours. The Roman and medieval walls of the city are still largely extant, and it's possible to walk round them, and one of the pubs in the city centre still has part of the Roman fortress in its foundations. We will also probably go to the coast, most likely to a town called Flamborough, which has even more ancient remains, including a huge Neolithic earthwork called Dane's Dyke. Again, supposedly haunted. A couple of years ago, at my insistence, my friend and I went round all the pubs in the town, talking to the locals about the folklore of the area, collecting stories. It was really fascinating, and a whole lot of fun, too.


Well, when you return, fill me in on all the highlights. Which would encompass what you heard, smelled, touched, tasted and...intuited?

The closest I have ever come to experiencing places like that is, of all places, on the Science and Smithsonian channels. They occasionally have programs relating to the exploration of times long gone. Programs like "Mysteries of the Abandoned" and "Unearthed" and "Forbidden History".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 12, 2021 3:09 am

Sinead O'Connor "Heroine" https://youtu.be/BvKV4_9nV2M
Lyle Lovett "Pontiac" https://youtu.be/rEk7_Y4JRA0
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Wed May 12, 2021 12:24 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: It is indeed strange how people can hear exactly the same words, or songs, and have completely different reactions to them. And a good thing too, of course, if not taken to extreme.


Yes, I like that point. It would be a grim world to live in if we all reacted the same [like robots] to all the words and songs that we hear. Of course here, in turn, where each of us as individuals draws the line in regard to what is or is not extreme is also going to be ultimately uncertain and enigmatic.

I remember once exploring this in regard to a particular song. This one: https://youtu.be/xJeWySiuq1I

It was with a woman that I was exchanging "mixed tapes" with. I had mentioned that it was one of my favorite songs, and she admitted that she, well, hated it. So we went back and forth trying to explain why we felt what we did. But it was futile of course. From my point of view, it all basically fits into my understanding of the "self" as a complex and, in the final analysis, inexplicable aggregation of all the different factors in our lives that come to create all of our diverse reactions to things like "musical taste". What tends to bug me here the most are those who insist that some genres are "better" than others. Always the ones they prefer. Me, I'm all over the map musically...as can be noted on my music thread here.

Maia wrote: I'm sure there's always still time for any of us to find our true love, if it's meant to be. Hope is eternal, as they say.


Well, let's hope that is true.

Maia wrote: Yes, that's absolutely right. If you lost your sight, you'd be in a very different position to me, and I can fully understand why you would feel that way. That's one particular trauma that I'll never, ever have to experience. For me, my life is just completely normal.


Yes, and how strange that might seem to those who, in always having been sighted, will consider that to be the only possible normal. I think my reaction here goes back to my own existential obsession with empathy. The yearning on my part to find those who are most like me in regard to the "big things" in my life. If I were to become blind, I would want to share my passions in turn with someone who was also able to once see. Beyond that though I'm not able to go.

Maia wrote: Adventuresome, definitely! I like preparing food for people, and before the lockdown I had got into a routine of inviting a few friends over on Fridays and cooking for them. While I can't say it was always a success, I can definitely say it was always from the heart. My little "dinner parties" have been more sporadic of late, but I'm sure we'll be settling down into the old routine again soon.


Just as you asked me to reconfigure what I saw in the Mars photo into words, do you ever ask your friends to describe as best they can the food that you prepare for them? Again, for some, it would just seem strange to consume something and never see what you are eating. Unless, of course, as with you, that could never be strange because you never could see it. Back to that at times ineffable gap between these three worlds. The always blind, the once sighted, the always sighted.

Maia wrote: Yes, I'll certainly keep the songs coming, whenever I think of some. And thanks for your selection (the first one wouldn't play again, though, sadly).


Thanks.

Too bad about the Silly Sisters, "The Old Miner" song. As with "The Coming of the Roads" it is song in which the words and the nusic so enhance and reinforce each that the effect is especially moving.

Here's another version of it: https://youtu.be/0fKts0s_St8

The words are the same but the music is nothing at all like June Tabor's and Maddie Prior's. And, in fact, the music here just does not match the gripping sentiment encompassed by the Silly Sisters. Personally, I feel almost nothing at all.

Maia wrote: I'm off to York in June, by the way, not sure exactly when, though. This has become something of an annual tradition for me, going up and staying with a friend for a few days, and sometimes attending a local Pagan event, if one's on. I even went last year, between lockdowns. York is a really nice city, packed full of medieval buildings and narrow, cobbled streets. It also, allegedly, has lots of ghosts, and even has ghost tours. The Roman and medieval walls of the city are still largely extant, and it's possible to walk round them, and one of the pubs in the city centre still has part of the Roman fortress in its foundations. We will also probably go to the coast, most likely to a town called Flamborough, which has even more ancient remains, including a huge Neolithic earthwork called Dane's Dyke. Again, supposedly haunted. A couple of years ago, at my insistence, my friend and I went round all the pubs in the town, talking to the locals about the folklore of the area, collecting stories. It was really fascinating, and a whole lot of fun, too.


Well, when you return, fill me in on all the highlights. Which would encompass what you heard, smelled, touched, tasted and...intuited?

The closest I have ever come to experiencing places like that is, of all places, on the Science and Smithsonian channels. They occasionally have programs relating to the exploration of times long gone. Programs like "Mysteries of the Abandoned" and "Unearthed" and "Forbidden History".


I'm sorry but that song means nothing to me. Hehe.

I certainly wouldn't want to claim that my own favourite genres are somehow inherently superior to any others. My liking for folk, for example, is tied in with my interest in history and folkore, and Paganism, too. Talking of which, did you know that the Pagan movement actually has it's own set of songs, or chants, that everyone knows, and are heard at all sorts of different events? Here's one of the most famous ones, We all Come from the Goddess, also known as Hoof and Horn, written by Z. Budapest, the creator of Dianic (that is, female only) Wicca.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZmrjl5J0kE

Here's another very well known one called She Changes Everything She Touches, written by another contemporary Pagan leader, Starhawk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVwF34LcZCg

This one is equally well know, called Earth my Body, and it seems that no one actually knows who originally wrote it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R72p-Wux6Pc

None of the modern Pagan songs are particularly old, and are certainly not in any way traditional. In complete contrast, though, is the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, which really is a genuinely ancient Pagan ritual, complete with its own music, that has been performed by the same family for many hundreds of years, every September (though its date has varied in the past) in the village of Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire. I've found a clip of it here and as you'll hear, they combine their own unique music, handed down from generation to generation, with other, more well known tunes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYPZdQzNQ_U

I try to make it to the horn dance every year, assuming I can persuade someone to drive, as it's one of my favourite events. Sadly, though, it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, possibly for the first time since Cromwell in the 17th century. The dancers dance round the village and its local area all day, carrying huge, heavy reindeer horns on their shoulders, which have been carbon dated to around one thousand years old. I had the very great honour of being allowed to touch one of them once. That particular clip is from 2013, which I was at, so you'll have to let me know if I appear in it.

Although I can understand why you might feel the need to share your experiences with someone in the same position as you, I don't think that's actually necessary, for empathy. If it were, how similar would the other person have to be?

I do occasionally ask my friends if I've laid the table out ok, or the tablecloth outside, if it's a picnic in the garden. The visual appearance of the food itself is not something I've ever really thought about, though, to be honest. I've never had any complaints on that score, anyway, though I suppose, on reflection, I probably wouldn't do, even if it was a complete dog's breakfast.

I shall of course let you know about my trip to York, and will look forward to describing it for you. Now surely that's better than watching stuff like that on the telly!

And, as always, thanks for the links.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 12, 2021 6:09 pm

Maia wrote:
I'm sorry but that song means nothing to me. Hehe.


Seriously though, back to that sci-fi invention above in which you and another hook themselves up to a machine that allows you to experience the world as each other. You hear a song that you love as another who hates it hears it. You get to experience hating the song too. Just as, hooked up to it, you and I might experience each other's world as blind and sighted.

In fact, in thinking about that [something that fascinates me for reasons I'm not entirely clear about] I went to Google and came up with this: https://nautil.us/blog/what-do-blind-pe ... tually-see

An article entitled, "What Do Blind People Actually See?"

Excerpt:

"What does a blind person see? (It seems that blind people get asked this all the time.) Your first guess might be that she sees a vast blackness.

But imagine telling a goose (who doesn’t know much about humans) that you can’t sense Earth’s magnetic field. The bird, baffled, asks, 'So, what do you sense when you change the direction you’re facing??'

The answer, of course, is nothing. Just as blind people do not sense the color black, we do not sense anything at all in place of our lack of sensations for magnetic fields or ultraviolet light. We don’t know what we’re missing.

To try to understand what it might be like to be blind, think about how it “looks” behind your head. When you look at the scene in front of you, it has a boundary. Your visual field extends to each side only so far. If you spread your arms, and draw your hands back until they are no longer visible, what color is the space that your hands occupy? This space does not look black. It does not look white. It just isn’t."

I'm still far removed from understanding it though. "It just isn't"? How does someone actually experience that?

Maia wrote:I certainly wouldn't want to claim that my own favourite genres are somehow inherently superior to any others. My liking for folk, for example, is tied in with my interest in history and folkore, and Paganism, too. Talking of which, did you know that the Pagan movement actually has it's own set of songs, or chants, that everyone knows, and are heard at all sorts of different events? Here's one of the most famous ones, We all Come from the Goddess, also known as Hoof and Horn, written by Z. Budapest, the creator of Dianic (that is, female only) Wicca.


Yes, since music is one of the most profound ways in which to express yourself in regard to "being in the world", it doesn't surprise me at all that those who experience the world in a way that is apart from others, would be compelled to create music -- sounds -- that intimately resonate in encompassing how they experience the world around them. I wonder if someone who is blind has ever attempted to capture that world in music. And then I can't help but wonder what it might then be like to be a Pagan...and be deaf from birth.



Chants would seem to be the musical equivalent of ritual behaviors. Words are intoned in such a way as to make them a necessary repetitive realty. Something I am no longer able to experience myself...but am able to understand why they would be so appealing to others who are. Old or young.

This song in particular "grabbed" me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R72p-Wux6Pc

To me it conveys all of the profound mystery that intertwines us in nature. Most of course go about the business of living their lives from day to day without pondering such things at all. Nature is "out there" somewhere and it only vaguely seems relevant to the tasks at hand. Instead, most leave all that "spiritual stuff" to God. Me, I'm still no less fractured and fragmented, but I can never really stop wondering if there might someday be a way back into life...teleologically?

Maia wrote: I try to make it to the horn dance every year, assuming I can persuade someone to drive, as it's one of my favourite events. Sadly, though, it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, possibly for the first time since Cromwell in the 17th century. The dancers dance round the village and its local area all day, carrying huge, heavy reindeer horns on their shoulders, which have been carbon dated to around one thousand years old. I had the very great honour of being allowed to touch one of them once. That particular clip is from 2013, which I was at, so you'll have to let me know if I appear in it.


How did you and your Pagan friends react to the pandemic? Deadly viruses are an inherent part of nature as well. How is nature embedded in things like "natural disasters" -- nature that can make human existence a sheer misery -- understood by those in your community.

Also, how do those in your family react to you being a Pagan?

Maia wrote: Although I can understand why you might feel the need to share your experiences with someone in the same position as you, I don't think that's actually necessary, for empathy. If it were, how similar would the other person have to be?


With friends over the years, I was always more than willing to explore our different worlds...and the manner in which we understood these worlds differently. In fact I was ever and always curious about those who were not like me.

But with more intimate relationships -- with lovers -- I was never really able to get much beyond this actual need for them to share my passions. In particular, a love of music and a love of philosophy. But, aside from Supannika, I was just never able to find a partner that "measured up". Even with my wife, the gaps were, at times, excruciating.

Maia wrote: I do occasionally ask my friends if I've laid the table out ok, or the tablecloth outside, if it's a picnic in the garden. The visual appearance of the food itself is not something I've ever really thought about, though, to be honest. I've never had any complaints on that score, anyway, though I suppose, on reflection, I probably wouldn't do, even if it was a complete dog's breakfast.


Dog's breakfast? Had to look that one up: "'dog's breakfast,' is British slang for 'a complete mess'

I suppose there are some things one is actually better off never having to see.

Maia wrote: I shall of course let you know about my trip to York, and will look forward to describing it for you. Now surely that's better than watching stuff like that on the telly!


Telly! That's another one!! Here, of course, it's the rather drab television or TV.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 13, 2021 1:13 am

The Incredible String Band "Job's tears" https://youtu.be/Dd5yq76q51c
Brian Eno "On Some Faraway Beach" https://youtu.be/6-i5sGppXFU
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Thu May 13, 2021 1:05 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:
I'm sorry but that song means nothing to me. Hehe.


Seriously though, back to that sci-fi invention above in which you and another hook themselves up to a machine that allows you to experience the world as each other. You hear a song that you love as another who hates it hears it. You get to experience hating the song too. Just as, hooked up to it, you and I might experience each other's world as blind and sighted.

In fact, in thinking about that [something that fascinates me for reasons I'm not entirely clear about] I went to Google and came up with this: https://nautil.us/blog/what-do-blind-pe ... tually-see

An article entitled, "What Do Blind People Actually See?"

Excerpt:

"What does a blind person see? (It seems that blind people get asked this all the time.) Your first guess might be that she sees a vast blackness.

But imagine telling a goose (who doesn’t know much about humans) that you can’t sense Earth’s magnetic field. The bird, baffled, asks, 'So, what do you sense when you change the direction you’re facing??'

The answer, of course, is nothing. Just as blind people do not sense the color black, we do not sense anything at all in place of our lack of sensations for magnetic fields or ultraviolet light. We don’t know what we’re missing.

To try to understand what it might be like to be blind, think about how it “looks” behind your head. When you look at the scene in front of you, it has a boundary. Your visual field extends to each side only so far. If you spread your arms, and draw your hands back until they are no longer visible, what color is the space that your hands occupy? This space does not look black. It does not look white. It just isn’t."

I'm still far removed from understanding it though. "It just isn't"? How does someone actually experience that?

Maia wrote:I certainly wouldn't want to claim that my own favourite genres are somehow inherently superior to any others. My liking for folk, for example, is tied in with my interest in history and folkore, and Paganism, too. Talking of which, did you know that the Pagan movement actually has it's own set of songs, or chants, that everyone knows, and are heard at all sorts of different events? Here's one of the most famous ones, We all Come from the Goddess, also known as Hoof and Horn, written by Z. Budapest, the creator of Dianic (that is, female only) Wicca.


Yes, since music is one of the most profound ways in which to express yourself in regard to "being in the world", it doesn't surprise me at all that those who experience the world in a way that is apart from others, would be compelled to create music -- sounds -- that intimately resonate in encompassing how they experience the world around them. I wonder if someone who is blind has ever attempted to capture that world in music. And then I can't help but wonder what it might then be like to be a Pagan...and be deaf from birth.



Chants would seem to be the musical equivalent of ritual behaviors. Words are intoned in such a way as to make them a necessary repetitive realty. Something I am no longer able to experience myself...but am able to understand why they would be so appealing to others who are. Old or young.

This song in particular "grabbed" me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R72p-Wux6Pc

To me it conveys all of the profound mystery that intertwines us in nature. Most of course go about the business of living their lives from day to day without pondering such things at all. Nature is "out there" somewhere and it only vaguely seems relevant to the tasks at hand. Instead, most leave all that "spiritual stuff" to God. Me, I'm still no less fractured and fragmented, but I can never really stop wondering if there might someday be a way back into life...teleologically?

Maia wrote: I try to make it to the horn dance every year, assuming I can persuade someone to drive, as it's one of my favourite events. Sadly, though, it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, possibly for the first time since Cromwell in the 17th century. The dancers dance round the village and its local area all day, carrying huge, heavy reindeer horns on their shoulders, which have been carbon dated to around one thousand years old. I had the very great honour of being allowed to touch one of them once. That particular clip is from 2013, which I was at, so you'll have to let me know if I appear in it.


How did you and your Pagan friends react to the pandemic? Deadly viruses are an inherent part of nature as well. How is nature embedded in things like "natural disasters" -- nature that can make human existence a sheer misery -- understood by those in your community.

Also, how do those in your family react to you being a Pagan?

Maia wrote: Although I can understand why you might feel the need to share your experiences with someone in the same position as you, I don't think that's actually necessary, for empathy. If it were, how similar would the other person have to be?


With friends over the years, I was always more than willing to explore our different worlds...and the manner in which we understood these worlds differently. In fact I was ever and always curious about those who were not like me.

But with more intimate relationships -- with lovers -- I was never really able to get much beyond this actual need for them to share my passions. In particular, a love of music and a love of philosophy. But, aside from Supannika, I was just never able to find a partner that "measured up". Even with my wife, the gaps were, at times, excruciating.

Maia wrote: I do occasionally ask my friends if I've laid the table out ok, or the tablecloth outside, if it's a picnic in the garden. The visual appearance of the food itself is not something I've ever really thought about, though, to be honest. I've never had any complaints on that score, anyway, though I suppose, on reflection, I probably wouldn't do, even if it was a complete dog's breakfast.


Dog's breakfast? Had to look that one up: "'dog's breakfast,' is British slang for 'a complete mess'

I suppose there are some things one is actually better off never having to see.

Maia wrote: I shall of course let you know about my trip to York, and will look forward to describing it for you. Now surely that's better than watching stuff like that on the telly!


Telly! That's another one!! Here, of course, it's the rather drab television or TV.


Yes, another interesting article, that tries to explain what it's like to be blind in a way that a sighted person might understand. But apparently, ultimately can't. I don't have a visual sense so obviously don't see black or, indeed, anything else at all. It just isn't there. The lack of a common frame of reference means that it's impossible to describe what this is actually like, but that doesn't mean we can't try. It also, incidentally, proves just how dominant sight is to most people, to the extent that, very literally, they simply can't imagine what it's like to have never had it.

So, for example, when it says:

+++Blind people might not have perceptually driven visual imagery, but they use their other senses to encode spatial relationships (pdf). For example, suppose you take off your high heels under the table at a restaurant. When it’s time to get up, you might feel around with your feet for them, right them, and put them on, all without use of your eyes. You are able to do this because you are encoding spatial information with your haptic system, or sense of touch. The blind, too, use their other senses, such as hearing and touch, to form representations of the world.+++

That's absolutely right. I can imagine any spatial relationship or object in great detail, but it has no visual element to it. Your brain is somehow tricking you into believing that a visual element is essential in all imaginings of this nature, simply because sight is so overwhelmingly dominant for you. Which there are very good evolutionary reasons for, of course. When you see, apparently something like half your brain (or even more, according to some) is used for processing visual information, in one way or another, so it's not surprising that vision is so dominant. Well, my brain is most certainly not being idle. It is using that processing power for processing other sources of information.

And so, circling back to your fictional machine for getting inside someone else's mind, I have to say, perhaps sadly, that I don't believe such a thing is actually possible, at least not in the literal sense that's intended.

Many blind people do indeed express themselves in music. As for being a Pagan, I can describe that to you at great length! I have almost nothing I can usefully say on deafness, though, other than what I've gathered about the deaf community, which seems even more politicised than the blind one.

It's interesting that that particular chant grabbed you, as it's a very simple one, which are almost always the best. Chants have many functions in a Pagan context. At the most mundane level, it's good to have a nice sing-along. Moving up a notch, a chant provides group cohesion and identity. But at its most powerful level, a specific chant, in a ritual context, helps to invoke the forces of nature.

The pandemic is clearly nature's way of hitting back at humanity's constant attacks on it. If we choose to destroy the earth, rob its resources, live in overcrowded, insanitary cities, and all the rest, the result is inevitable. Pagans have reacted in many different ways. Many have organised healing rituals, for example. We need to live in harmony with nature, not exploit it, and there needs to be a complete change in society before we can do this.

And the same is true for any other natural disaster. Whenever I hear news reports of a volcano erupting in Iceland, I always think of it as the gods being angry and hurling rocks at us. Perhaps not quite literally, but pretty close to it.

My family are happy with me being a Pagan, and indeed, are sympathetic towards it. There was no point at which I had to "come out" as a Pagan to them, and incur their wrath or displeasure. I first began looking into it in a serious way when I was at school, but it had always been with me, even when I couldn't put a name to it. And, in case you were wondering, my blindness has certainly been a factor in this, I would say, as it has allowed me to experience nature in ways that most people don't. This is obviously not the case for most Pagans, though.

I agree that shared passions are essential in any intimate relationship. In particular, I can't imagine being in such a relationship with anyone who didn't share my love of nature.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 13, 2021 6:11 pm

Maia wrote:Yes, another interesting article, that tries to explain what it's like to be blind in a way that a sighted person might understand. But apparently, ultimately can't. I don't have a visual sense so obviously don't see black or, indeed, anything else at all. It just isn't there. The lack of a common frame of reference means that it's impossible to describe what this is actually like, but that doesn't mean we can't try. It also, incidentally, proves just how dominant sight is to most people, to the extent that, very literally, they simply can't imagine what it's like to have never had it.


I think you're right. The gap between these two worlds can never be entirely bridged. As much as I try to imagine the descriptions of those who were blind from birth in explaining what they experience, there are just more gaps in turn between words and worlds. Human language has its limitations. And this is an example of one of them it seems. Though, sure, I would always appreciate any attempt on your part to try to make the gap a little narrower.

Maia wrote: So, for example, when it says:

"Blind people might not have perceptually driven visual imagery, but they use their other senses to encode spatial relationships (pdf). For example, suppose you take off your high heels under the table at a restaurant. When it’s time to get up, you might feel around with your feet for them, right them, and put them on, all without use of your eyes. You are able to do this because you are encoding spatial information with your haptic system, or sense of touch. The blind, too, use their other senses, such as hearing and touch, to form representations of the world."

That's absolutely right. I can imagine any spatial relationship or object in great detail, but it has no visual element to it. Your brain is somehow tricking you into believing that a visual element is essential in all imaginings of this nature, simply because sight is so overwhelmingly dominant for you. Which there are very good evolutionary reasons for, of course. When you see, apparently something like half your brain (or even more, according to some) is used for processing visual information, in one way or another, so it's not surprising that vision is so dominant. Well, my brain is most certainly not being idle. It is using that processing power for processing other sources of information.


And then it would seem [to me] it will always come down to how well you are able to do this. Through education, through experiences, through trial and error. The point being to do it well enough so that you don't need to think, "if only I could see". You don't need to see in order to live your life with as much fulfilment and satisfaction and independence and confidence as those who can see. It's just that particular sighted people can't help but wonder about all the times if, blind themselves, they might be confused or uncertain or even frightened not to be able to see. They might imagine instances where others might take advantage of them, or trick them, or mislead them for their own selfish gain.

Maia wrote: And so, circling back to your fictional machine for getting inside someone else's mind, I have to say, perhaps sadly, that I don't believe such a thing is actually possible, at least not in the literal sense that's intended.


Yes, that sort of thing is more in the way of a thought experiment now. In other words, what if there was such a machine...would you use it? And yet with each new mind-boggling invention, technological device and medical breakthrough, who really knows what might be possible down the road in regard to blindness.

Here's just one article that explores it: https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-incre ... 0blindness.

Maia wrote: Many blind people do indeed express themselves in music. As for being a Pagan, I can describe that to you at great length! I have almost nothing I can usefully say on deafness, though, other than what I've gathered about the deaf community, which seems even more politicised than the blind one.


Yes, politics is always going to be tricky. And that's because we live in communities where different people come to different conclusions about the right and the wrong way to do things. In sighted, blind and deaf communities. Then back to those able to force others to do things their way simply because they have the power to enforce their own perceived best interests; those able to all agree on the right things to do; those who accept that there are political conflicts and agree to choose moderation, negotiation and compromise as the best of all possible worlds. That's why communities of like minded people come into existence. A place where there is a minimal of contention...of politics.

Maia wrote: The pandemic is clearly nature's way of hitting back at humanity's constant attacks on it. If we choose to destroy the earth, rob its resources, live in overcrowded, insanitary cities, and all the rest, the result is inevitable. Pagans have reacted in many different ways. Many have organised healing rituals, for example. We need to live in harmony with nature, not exploit it, and there needs to be a complete change in society before we can do this.


Something along the lines of this song, perhaps: Spirit "Nature's Way" https://youtu.be/0V0Vu_utUZY

Unfortunately, nature and the gods do not inflict the retribution just on those who ravage the Earth. But on all of us, one way or another. To me it always goes back to a universe that does not seem rooted in either good or bad...but in the brute facticity of "the way things just are".

And I no longer have access to the communities I was once able to feel a part of. But it's nice to know that others still do. And if they do then, who knows, perhaps one day I might again as well.

Maia wrote: My family are happy with me being a Pagan, and indeed, are sympathetic towards it. There was no point at which I had to "come out" as a Pagan to them, and incur their wrath or displeasure. I first began looking into it in a serious way when I was at school, but it had always been with me, even when I couldn't put a name to it. And, in case you were wondering, my blindness has certainly been a factor in this, I would say, as it has allowed me to experience nature in ways that most people don't. This is obviously not the case for most Pagans, though.


Yes, you are very fortunate in this regard. Think of all the families that have been ripped asunder because in "coming out" -- and in regard to many different things -- the parents simply refused to tolerate the choices that their children made. Or the families [like mine] in which there was almost no bond at all. Parents who were not interested enough in their kids to care one way or another what they did.

I'm really happy for you in this regard.

Just wondering: do you want to have children of your own someday?

Back to dreams...

I found this really interesting article: https://www.healthline.com/health/can-b ... ople-dream

"But more recent research suggests people who are blind, from birth or otherwise, can still experience visual images in their dreams."

"People with congenital blindness may also be more likely to experience dreams through taste, smell, sound, and touch, according to a 2014 study. Those who became blind later in life appeared to have more tactile (touch) sensations in their dreams."

"It can also be difficult for blind people to accurately convey how they experience their dreams, especially if they have little to no experience of sight. But overall, the content of a blind person’s dreams is likely the same as yours. They just experience their dreams a bit differently."

"The bottom line

Everyone dreams, even if they don’t remember it, and blind people are no exception. Several studies have explored how blind people dream. The findings are helpful, but they definitely have some limits."

The word "research" then links you to this: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... via%3Dihub

A more "technical" exploration of it.

Also, the woman in the photograph at the top of the article looks a bit like the photograph you use here. Or so it seems to me.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 14, 2021 1:39 am

Janis Ian "Janey's Blues" https://youtu.be/KYLU6JIqWtg
Jevetta Steele "Calling You" https://youtu.be/hPPS0_rqwcw
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Fri May 14, 2021 12:31 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:Yes, another interesting article, that tries to explain what it's like to be blind in a way that a sighted person might understand. But apparently, ultimately can't. I don't have a visual sense so obviously don't see black or, indeed, anything else at all. It just isn't there. The lack of a common frame of reference means that it's impossible to describe what this is actually like, but that doesn't mean we can't try. It also, incidentally, proves just how dominant sight is to most people, to the extent that, very literally, they simply can't imagine what it's like to have never had it.


I think you're right. The gap between these two worlds can never be entirely bridged. As much as I try to imagine the descriptions of those who were blind from birth in explaining what they experience, there are just more gaps in turn between words and worlds. Human language has its limitations. And this is an example of one of them it seems. Though, sure, I would always appreciate any attempt on your part to try to make the gap a little narrower.

Maia wrote: So, for example, when it says:

"Blind people might not have perceptually driven visual imagery, but they use their other senses to encode spatial relationships (pdf). For example, suppose you take off your high heels under the table at a restaurant. When it’s time to get up, you might feel around with your feet for them, right them, and put them on, all without use of your eyes. You are able to do this because you are encoding spatial information with your haptic system, or sense of touch. The blind, too, use their other senses, such as hearing and touch, to form representations of the world."

That's absolutely right. I can imagine any spatial relationship or object in great detail, but it has no visual element to it. Your brain is somehow tricking you into believing that a visual element is essential in all imaginings of this nature, simply because sight is so overwhelmingly dominant for you. Which there are very good evolutionary reasons for, of course. When you see, apparently something like half your brain (or even more, according to some) is used for processing visual information, in one way or another, so it's not surprising that vision is so dominant. Well, my brain is most certainly not being idle. It is using that processing power for processing other sources of information.


And then it would seem [to me] it will always come down to how well you are able to do this. Through education, through experiences, through trial and error. The point being to do it well enough so that you don't need to think, "if only I could see". You don't need to see in order to live your life with as much fulfilment and satisfaction and independence and confidence as those who can see. It's just that particular sighted people can't help but wonder about all the times if, blind themselves, they might be confused or uncertain or even frightened not to be able to see. They might imagine instances where others might take advantage of them, or trick them, or mislead them for their own selfish gain.

Maia wrote: And so, circling back to your fictional machine for getting inside someone else's mind, I have to say, perhaps sadly, that I don't believe such a thing is actually possible, at least not in the literal sense that's intended.


Yes, that sort of thing is more in the way of a thought experiment now. In other words, what if there was such a machine...would you use it? And yet with each new mind-boggling invention, technological device and medical breakthrough, who really knows what might be possible down the road in regard to blindness.

Here's just one article that explores it: https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-incre ... 0blindness.

Maia wrote: Many blind people do indeed express themselves in music. As for being a Pagan, I can describe that to you at great length! I have almost nothing I can usefully say on deafness, though, other than what I've gathered about the deaf community, which seems even more politicised than the blind one.


Yes, politics is always going to be tricky. And that's because we live in communities where different people come to different conclusions about the right and the wrong way to do things. In sighted, blind and deaf communities. Then back to those able to force others to do things their way simply because they have the power to enforce their own perceived best interests; those able to all agree on the right things to do; those who accept that there are political conflicts and agree to choose moderation, negotiation and compromise as the best of all possible worlds. That's why communities of like minded people come into existence. A place where there is a minimal of contention...of politics.

Maia wrote: The pandemic is clearly nature's way of hitting back at humanity's constant attacks on it. If we choose to destroy the earth, rob its resources, live in overcrowded, insanitary cities, and all the rest, the result is inevitable. Pagans have reacted in many different ways. Many have organised healing rituals, for example. We need to live in harmony with nature, not exploit it, and there needs to be a complete change in society before we can do this.


Something along the lines of this song, perhaps: Spirit "Nature's Way" https://youtu.be/0V0Vu_utUZY

Unfortunately, nature and the gods do not inflict the retribution just on those who ravage the Earth. But on all of us, one way or another. To me it always goes back to a universe that does not seem rooted in either good or bad...but in the brute facticity of "the way things just are".

And I no longer have access to the communities I was once able to feel a part of. But it's nice to know that others still do. And if they do then, who knows, perhaps one day I might again as well.

Maia wrote: My family are happy with me being a Pagan, and indeed, are sympathetic towards it. There was no point at which I had to "come out" as a Pagan to them, and incur their wrath or displeasure. I first began looking into it in a serious way when I was at school, but it had always been with me, even when I couldn't put a name to it. And, in case you were wondering, my blindness has certainly been a factor in this, I would say, as it has allowed me to experience nature in ways that most people don't. This is obviously not the case for most Pagans, though.


Yes, you are very fortunate in this regard. Think of all the families that have been ripped asunder because in "coming out" -- and in regard to many different things -- the parents simply refused to tolerate the choices that their children made. Or the families [like mine] in which there was almost no bond at all. Parents who were not interested enough in their kids to care one way or another what they did.

I'm really happy for you in this regard.

Just wondering: do you want to have children of your own someday?

Back to dreams...

I found this really interesting article: https://www.healthline.com/health/can-b ... ople-dream

"But more recent research suggests people who are blind, from birth or otherwise, can still experience visual images in their dreams."

"People with congenital blindness may also be more likely to experience dreams through taste, smell, sound, and touch, according to a 2014 study. Those who became blind later in life appeared to have more tactile (touch) sensations in their dreams."

"It can also be difficult for blind people to accurately convey how they experience their dreams, especially if they have little to no experience of sight. But overall, the content of a blind person’s dreams is likely the same as yours. They just experience their dreams a bit differently."

"The bottom line

Everyone dreams, even if they don’t remember it, and blind people are no exception. Several studies have explored how blind people dream. The findings are helpful, but they definitely have some limits."

The word "research" then links you to this: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... via%3Dihub

A more "technical" exploration of it.

Also, the woman in the photograph at the top of the article looks a bit like the photograph you use here. Or so it seems to me.


Navigating the world, and understanding spatial relationships and objects, is just something that comes naturally, and I almost never have moments when I suddenly think to myself, if only I could see. We were also taught extra techniques at school. As for being tricked or taken advantage of, I think sighted people are just as likely to fall victim to that as anyone else.

If such a machine existed I would certainly use it, to find out what seeing is like. To say that I've had a lifetime of curiosity about it would be something of an understatement! But please don't confuse curiosity, however intense, with a feeling that my life is somehow defective, because I don't feel that at all.

The first article you linked appears to be behind a paywall.

It's certainly true that nature's retribution is indiscriminate, but then, why should it be otherwise? We are in no position to impose our own morality on nature, and trying to impose things on nature is exactly why we are in this mess anyway. Nature is just what it is. We can either go with the flow, or try, with dire consequences, to paddle against the tide. The ancients understood this perfectly well, and their gods reflected this. It is only with the rise of monotheistic religions, with their supposed all-powerful deities, that we seem to have forgotten this, and become dislocated from nature. The result is a million competing versions of worship of the "one true god" all perfectly willing to slaughter those with slightly different viewpoints, and trash the earth in the process. And also, it has to be said, these monotheistic religions are entirely patriarchal, with a male god and a male priesthood. Quite often, women are treated appallingly, and certainly never with equality. The ancient Pagan religions were very different, and the earlier you go in history, the more likely it is that women were in charge of the spiritual aspect of life. Even the Romans, that most militaristic of all ancient societies, had a female priestesshood with great power and influence, namely, the Vestal Virgins.

Sorry to hear that you were not close to your family. Would you like to tell me more? I've been very blessed and lucky in my life, and having a close, supportive family is definitely one of the things I feel grateful for. And yes, I've always wanted children of my own, to love and cherish.

And that's another interesting article.

+++Research suggests blind people who lose their sight before the age of 5 usually don’t see images in their dreams.+++

Yes, and this is even more the case for those who have never had any sight at all. Which is, of course, pretty obvious when you think about it. How can your mind conjure up visual images in a dream, if it's never experienced any in waking life? What could those images possibly consist of? True, as has been pointed out, I wouldn't even recognise a visual image if I "saw" one. But I know what my dreams consist of, and they definitely don't include a whole extra dimension that I don't recognise from my daily life.

The other more technical article suggests that people who are born blind have visual imagery in their dreams, and can even draw a picture of this imagery afterwards. Well, let's go through this, shall we, because, believe me, it's a subject I've thought about a lot, over the years. What they're actually measuring, to start with, is brain activity. It's no surprise that blind people have brain activity that is very similar to what sighted people have when they are processing vision, because their brain is using this processing power to process other sources of information, as I said before. In particular, just as with vision, they are processing spatial information, which in their case is derived from all the other senses, including echo-location. It's also no surprise that the blind people they tested could even draw this afterwards (though no doubt in a pretty rudimentary sort of way), something I've never tried myself, but why not? In other words, blind people are using the same areas of the brain as sighted people do to produce 3D representations of the world around them. But is this, actually, vision? Does my 3D map of my surroundings in my mind look like your visual (3D) map of your surroundings in yours, albeit without colour or shading? I don't know the answer to that.

+++Blind people have nightmares just like sighted people do. In fact, some research suggests they may have nightmares more frequently than sighted people. This is especially true for people who are born blind.+++

Very interesting, because this is not my experience. I almost never have what I would call a nightmare. Everyone is different though.

+++Your best bet is to go straight to the source and talk to someone in the blind community. If you approach them politely and from a place of genuine interest, they’ll likely be happy to offer their insight.+++

Couldn't have put it better myself!

Can you describe the woman in the photo? I'd be interested to know why you think she looks similar to me.

Here's some contemporary Pagan music, from the German folk band Faun. The song is called Walpurgisnacht, which is a name for the festival that occurs in late April or early May, depending on the specific tradition (it also has many other names).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLgM1QJ3S_I
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Fri May 14, 2021 10:53 pm

Maia wrote:Navigating the world, and understanding spatial relationships and objects, is just something that comes naturally, and I almost never have moments when I suddenly think to myself, if only I could see. We were also taught extra techniques at school. As for being tricked or taken advantage of, I think sighted people are just as likely to fall victim to that as anyone else.


We'll just have to accept that each and every one of us, blind or sighted, is going to have to work this out in our own way so as to achieve the most rewarding life. I can only imagine my own worries in being in situations where I was not able to see what others were doing around me. I think: How could I not feel a sense of uncertainty. Unless, ironically enough, I was able to create the world that I live in now: a place for everything and everything in its place. And much the same for everyone.

Maia wrote:If such a machine existed I would certainly use it, to find out what seeing is like. To say that I've had a lifetime of curiosity about it would be something of an understatement! But please don't confuse curiosity, however intense, with a feeling that my life is somehow defective, because I don't feel that at all.


I understand that. In fact, not many people I've been around appeared more comfortable in their own skin than you seem to be in yours. Also, let's face it, there are any number of things that sighted people see that, well, they wish they had not seen. The world is filled with beauty true, but it is also filled with other considerably less appealing things. That's why some will speak of things "you can't unsee".

Maia wrote:It's certainly true that nature's retribution is indiscriminate, but then, why should it be otherwise? We are in no position to impose our own morality on nature, and trying to impose things on nature is exactly why we are in this mess anyway. Nature is just what it is. We can either go with the flow, or try, with dire consequences, to paddle against the tide. The ancients understood this perfectly well, and their gods reflected this. It is only with the rise of monotheistic religions, with their supposed all-powerful deities, that we seem to have forgotten this, and become dislocated from nature. The result is a million competing versions of worship of the "one true god" all perfectly willing to slaughter those with slightly different viewpoints, and trash the earth in the process. And also, it has to be said, these monotheistic religions are entirely patriarchal, with a male god and a male priesthood. Quite often, women are treated appallingly, and certainly never with equality. The ancient Pagan religions were very different, and the earlier you go in history, the more likely it is that women were in charge of the spiritual aspect of life. Even the Romans, that most militaristic of all ancient societies, had a female priestesshood with great power and influence, namely, the Vestal Virgins.


Here of course we can only come to our own individual conclusions about things such as this. But to the extent that one's spiritual path takes them away from Inquisitions, Crusades, Witch Hunts, Infidels, Fatwas and all of the other beliefs in which a God, the God, my God is "up there" ready to send you to Hell if you don't think and feel and say and do what He commands of you, well, that is definitely going in the right direction as far as I am concerned.

I no longer have access to a belief such as this myself but I will always respect those who have found one. Provided they are tolerant of those with other beliefs and try above all to bring about as few trials and tribulations for others not sharing their own beliefs as possible.

Maia wrote: Sorry to hear that you were not close to your family. Would you like to tell me more? I've been very blessed and lucky in my life, and having a close, supportive family is definitely one of the things I feel grateful for. And yes, I've always wanted children of my own, to love and cherish.


I will tell you more if, some day, I am ever able to actually come to understand it myself. It's never been clear in my own mind as to whether the strife was as a result of the way they were or the way that I was. I've always been different from most people I have been around, but I've always had a difficult time as well communicating to them what that means. My family was very conservative and I have never been that.

On the other hand, being different has always been something that I took pride in because it was always derived from a deep introspection. I wasn't different by chance, but by choice. I thought and felt what I did after much reflection. And in a world that was bursting at the seams with many different experiences. And that's always important in my view because you need to have your beliefs challenged from time to time.

Of course the first thing that will pop into the head of some in regard to blind parents is wondering what it might be like to raise a child without the capacity to see. In fact when I Googled that I found this: https://blindparents.uk/

So, if you ever do become a Mom -- Mum? -- there are those there able to come to your assistance if you need it.

Or the part that was raised in Children of a Lesser God when Sarah was asked whether, if she were to become a mom, she would want the child to be deaf or able to hear.

Maia wrote: And that's another interesting article.

+++Research suggests blind people who lose their sight before the age of 5 usually don’t see images in their dreams.+++

Yes, and this is even more the case for those who have never had any sight at all. Which is, of course, pretty obvious when you think about it. How can your mind conjure up visual images in a dream, if it's never experienced any in waking life? What could those images possibly consist of? True, as has been pointed out, I wouldn't even recognise a visual image if I "saw" one. But I know what my dreams consist of, and they definitely don't include a whole extra dimension that I don't recognise from my daily life.


Wow. What I wouldn't give for that machine now. Both of us hooked up to it. Me having your dreams, you having mine. To actually dream as the other does. To actually understand what that experience is like.

Maia wrote: The other more technical article suggests that people who are born blind have visual imagery in their dreams, and can even draw a picture of this imagery afterwards. Well, let's go through this, shall we, because, believe me, it's a subject I've thought about a lot, over the years. What they're actually measuring, to start with, is brain activity. It's no surprise that blind people have brain activity that is very similar to what sighted people have when they are processing vision, because their brain is using this processing power to process other sources of information, as I said before. In particular, just as with vision, they are processing spatial information, which in their case is derived from all the other senses, including echo-location. It's also no surprise that the blind people they tested could even draw this afterwards (though no doubt in a pretty rudimentary sort of way), something I've never tried myself, but why not? In other words, blind people are using the same areas of the brain as sighted people do to produce 3D representations of the world around them. But is this, actually, vision? Does my 3D map of my surroundings in my mind look like your visual (3D) map of your surroundings in yours, albeit without colour or shading? I don't know the answer to that.


Of course the more technical you get in explaining these things the less those like me are able to understand it fully. You would have to have the education and the experience in exploring the biological and medical interactions in the brains of the blind and the sighted to understand, in turn, the parts that are the same and the parts that are different. And, in fact, you seem to be far more sophisticated in comprehending it than I am.

Maia wrote: +++Blind people have nightmares just like sighted people do. In fact, some research suggests they may have nightmares more frequently than sighted people. This is especially true for people who are born blind.+++

Very interesting, because this is not my experience. I almost never have what I would call a nightmare. Everyone is different though.


I suppose it is difficult however to pin down the meaning of a nightmare. Or even a "bad dream". Do you have dreams that disturb you? Or dreams that make you think about your life in a different way?

Maia wrote: Can you describe the woman in the photo? I'd be interested to know why you think she looks similar to me.


Well, it is a photograph of her only from the chest up. The shape of her face is similar to yours. She has long hair that appears [to me] to be much like your own. She is wearing sunglasses so I cannot see her eyes, but I can't see your eyes either in your photo here. She appears to be about your age and she is what I think most of us would call "pretty".

I think I would have to see a picture of you from the chest up wearing sunglasses in order to pin down just how close the resemblance is. Or, wow, what if it turned out to be you!

Maia wrote: Here's some contemporary Pagan music, from the German folk band Faun. The song is called Walpurgisnacht, which is a name for the festival that occurs in late April or early May, depending on the specific tradition (it also has many other names).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLgM1QJ3S_I


This music reminds me of the songs of Loreena McKennitt:

https://youtu.be/RooTTuLCfNM
https://youtu.be/LzE32ChEp24
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 15, 2021 4:03 am

Iris DeMent "Let the Mystery Be" https://youtu.be/0gQVS2fCsek
zerobio "In The Winter Time" cover https://youtu.be/dpBpwoiIIfc
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sat May 15, 2021 1:41 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:Navigating the world, and understanding spatial relationships and objects, is just something that comes naturally, and I almost never have moments when I suddenly think to myself, if only I could see. We were also taught extra techniques at school. As for being tricked or taken advantage of, I think sighted people are just as likely to fall victim to that as anyone else.


We'll just have to accept that each and every one of us, blind or sighted, is going to have to work this out in our own way so as to achieve the most rewarding life. I can only imagine my own worries in being in situations where I was not able to see what others were doing around me. I think: How could I not feel a sense of uncertainty. Unless, ironically enough, I was able to create the world that I live in now: a place for everything and everything in its place. And much the same for everyone.

Maia wrote:If such a machine existed I would certainly use it, to find out what seeing is like. To say that I've had a lifetime of curiosity about it would be something of an understatement! But please don't confuse curiosity, however intense, with a feeling that my life is somehow defective, because I don't feel that at all.


I understand that. In fact, not many people I've been around appeared more comfortable in their own skin than you seem to be in yours. Also, let's face it, there are any number of things that sighted people see that, well, they wish they had not seen. The world is filled with beauty true, but it is also filled with other considerably less appealing things. That's why some will speak of things "you can't unsee".

Maia wrote:It's certainly true that nature's retribution is indiscriminate, but then, why should it be otherwise? We are in no position to impose our own morality on nature, and trying to impose things on nature is exactly why we are in this mess anyway. Nature is just what it is. We can either go with the flow, or try, with dire consequences, to paddle against the tide. The ancients understood this perfectly well, and their gods reflected this. It is only with the rise of monotheistic religions, with their supposed all-powerful deities, that we seem to have forgotten this, and become dislocated from nature. The result is a million competing versions of worship of the "one true god" all perfectly willing to slaughter those with slightly different viewpoints, and trash the earth in the process. And also, it has to be said, these monotheistic religions are entirely patriarchal, with a male god and a male priesthood. Quite often, women are treated appallingly, and certainly never with equality. The ancient Pagan religions were very different, and the earlier you go in history, the more likely it is that women were in charge of the spiritual aspect of life. Even the Romans, that most militaristic of all ancient societies, had a female priestesshood with great power and influence, namely, the Vestal Virgins.


Here of course we can only come to our own individual conclusions about things such as this. But to the extent that one's spiritual path takes them away from Inquisitions, Crusades, Witch Hunts, Infidels, Fatwas and all of the other beliefs in which a God, the God, my God is "up there" ready to send you to Hell if you don't think and feel and say and do what He commands of you, well, that is definitely going in the right direction as far as I am concerned.

I no longer have access to a belief such as this myself but I will always respect those who have found one. Provided they are tolerant of those with other beliefs and try above all to bring about as few trials and tribulations for others not sharing their own beliefs as possible.

Maia wrote: Sorry to hear that you were not close to your family. Would you like to tell me more? I've been very blessed and lucky in my life, and having a close, supportive family is definitely one of the things I feel grateful for. And yes, I've always wanted children of my own, to love and cherish.


I will tell you more if, some day, I am ever able to actually come to understand it myself. It's never been clear in my own mind as to whether the strife was as a result of the way they were or the way that I was. I've always been different from most people I have been around, but I've always had a difficult time as well communicating to them what that means. My family was very conservative and I have never been that.

On the other hand, being different has always been something that I took pride in because it was always derived from a deep introspection. I wasn't different by chance, but by choice. I thought and felt what I did after much reflection. And in a world that was bursting at the seams with many different experiences. And that's always important in my view because you need to have your beliefs challenged from time to time.

Of course the first thing that will pop into the head of some in regard to blind parents is wondering what it might be like to raise a child without the capacity to see. In fact when I Googled that I found this: https://blindparents.uk/

So, if you ever do become a Mom -- Mum? -- there are those there able to come to your assistance if you need it.

Or the part that was raised in Children of a Lesser God when Sarah was asked whether, if she were to become a mom, she would want the child to be deaf or able to hear.

Maia wrote: And that's another interesting article.

+++Research suggests blind people who lose their sight before the age of 5 usually don’t see images in their dreams.+++

Yes, and this is even more the case for those who have never had any sight at all. Which is, of course, pretty obvious when you think about it. How can your mind conjure up visual images in a dream, if it's never experienced any in waking life? What could those images possibly consist of? True, as has been pointed out, I wouldn't even recognise a visual image if I "saw" one. But I know what my dreams consist of, and they definitely don't include a whole extra dimension that I don't recognise from my daily life.


Wow. What I wouldn't give for that machine now. Both of us hooked up to it. Me having your dreams, you having mine. To actually dream as the other does. To actually understand what that experience is like.

Maia wrote: The other more technical article suggests that people who are born blind have visual imagery in their dreams, and can even draw a picture of this imagery afterwards. Well, let's go through this, shall we, because, believe me, it's a subject I've thought about a lot, over the years. What they're actually measuring, to start with, is brain activity. It's no surprise that blind people have brain activity that is very similar to what sighted people have when they are processing vision, because their brain is using this processing power to process other sources of information, as I said before. In particular, just as with vision, they are processing spatial information, which in their case is derived from all the other senses, including echo-location. It's also no surprise that the blind people they tested could even draw this afterwards (though no doubt in a pretty rudimentary sort of way), something I've never tried myself, but why not? In other words, blind people are using the same areas of the brain as sighted people do to produce 3D representations of the world around them. But is this, actually, vision? Does my 3D map of my surroundings in my mind look like your visual (3D) map of your surroundings in yours, albeit without colour or shading? I don't know the answer to that.


Of course the more technical you get in explaining these things the less those like me are able to understand it fully. You would have to have the education and the experience in exploring the biological and medical interactions in the brains of the blind and the sighted to understand, in turn, the parts that are the same and the parts that are different. And, in fact, you seem to be far more sophisticated in comprehending it than I am.

Maia wrote: +++Blind people have nightmares just like sighted people do. In fact, some research suggests they may have nightmares more frequently than sighted people. This is especially true for people who are born blind.+++

Very interesting, because this is not my experience. I almost never have what I would call a nightmare. Everyone is different though.


I suppose it is difficult however to pin down the meaning of a nightmare. Or even a "bad dream". Do you have dreams that disturb you? Or dreams that make you think about your life in a different way?

Maia wrote: Can you describe the woman in the photo? I'd be interested to know why you think she looks similar to me.


Well, it is a photograph of her only from the chest up. The shape of her face is similar to yours. She has long hair that appears [to me] to be much like your own. She is wearing sunglasses so I cannot see her eyes, but I can't see your eyes either in your photo here. She appears to be about your age and she is what I think most of us would call "pretty".

I think I would have to see a picture of you from the chest up wearing sunglasses in order to pin down just how close the resemblance is. Or, wow, what if it turned out to be you!

Maia wrote: Here's some contemporary Pagan music, from the German folk band Faun. The song is called Walpurgisnacht, which is a name for the festival that occurs in late April or early May, depending on the specific tradition (it also has many other names).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLgM1QJ3S_I


This music reminds me of the songs of Loreena McKennitt:

https://youtu.be/RooTTuLCfNM
https://youtu.be/LzE32ChEp24


Thank you for saying that I seem comfortable in my own skin. Yep, I've definitely heard the phrase, things you can't unsee. How about, things you can't unsmell? Is that even a word?

Yes, I'm always tolerant of other beliefs, because there is no one single true way to the divine. The one thing I'm not tolerant of, though, is intolerance, which might sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but that's the way it has to be, I suppose. I wouldn't even describe Paganism as a belief though, to be honest. It's more of an attitude, a way of approaching the world. True, there are specific traditions within Paganism that could be described as belief systems, but there are lots of them, many contradicting each other, and Pagans are perfectly happy with that, and many don't belong to any specific tradition, or indeed, belong to more than one at the same time.

Being different is definitely a good thing, in my opinion.

Thanks for the link to Blind Parents UK. It may indeed be a useful resource for me some day. As for whether it's "mom" or "mum" well, down south, including in London, they say "mum". Up north, think of Manchester for example, they say "mam". In the Midlands, however, where I'm from, we say "mom". On the question of whether I'd want my children to be sighted, the answer is yes, of course I would. My blindness is not a hereditary condition anyway so the issue is not likely to arise, since any future partner of mine will undoubtedly be sighted. I do, however, know quite a few blind couples with kids, so it's not as big a challenge as you might think.

With regard to nightmares, I do sometimes have dreams, such as in the one I described before, where I'm trying to find something or someone, and not being able to. The emotion of the dream reflects this. But I would not describe these as nightmares, as no actual fear is involved. More a sense of loss or frustration, of something being forever out of my grasp. Make of that what you will, but I think the symbolism is pretty clear there, given that I'm blind. I certainly don't fear those dreams though, and just like all dreams, I like them for their emotional intensity. So I suppose that if dreams make me think about life in a different way, it's to always value the importance of emotion.

If that photo is of me, I'd very much like to know where they got it! I'm sure it isn't, though. For a start off, I don't wear sunglasses. The main reason that some blind people wear sunglasses is that they have some light perception, and are protecting their eyes from bright lights, such as the sun. That doesn't apply to me, though.

Probably the most famous Pagan song that went mainstream is Hymn to Her by the Pretenders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwdZPzz2qLE

The giveaway is the part in the lyrics where it says "the maid and the mother and the crone that's grown old" because the maid, mother and crone are the three aspects of the goddess, specifically in Wiccan tradition, but similar ideas exist in other Pagan traditions too. The song is basically exactly what it says in the title, a hymn to the goddess.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 16, 2021 2:56 am

Maia wrote: Thank you for saying that I seem comfortable in my own skin. Yep, I've definitely heard the phrase, things you can't unsee. How about, things you can't unsmell? Is that even a word?


Well, if it's not a word let's make it one here, okay?

Again, so much seems to come back to the important difference between being born without the capacity to see or hear or smell or taste and having once had these capabilities and then lost them. I've read for example that for some afflicted with the covid virus, they have lost their ability to taste the food they are eating. There are just so many different situations that each of us as individuals might find themselves in.

Maia wrote: Yes, I'm always tolerant of other beliefs, because there is no one single true way to the divine. The one thing I'm not tolerant of, though, is intolerance, which might sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but that's the way it has to be, I suppose.


That's often the thing about language here. Sometimes what we come to believe in our head is true is hard to capture in words. If not resulting in contradictions then in ambiguity and uncertainty and equivocation. The word "divine" for example. Some seem to have a crystal clear understanding of it, others only in leaps of faith, while others have no understanding of it at all. Which is why, from my frame of mind, tolerance is so important. Once someone comes to conclude that only their own understanding of it counts? Well, as they say, the rest is history.

Maia wrote: I wouldn't even describe Paganism as a belief though, to be honest. It's more of an attitude, a way of approaching the world. True, there are specific traditions within Paganism that could be described as belief systems, but there are lots of them, many contradicting each other, and Pagans are perfectly happy with that, and many don't belong to any specific tradition, or indeed, belong to more than one at the same time.


Yes, I think that is a really, really good way to put it. And it would seem to make the experience of being a Pagan broad enough to necessitate tolerance of others who share some things with you but not all things. It is something that I once felt [more or less] when I was a member of the Unitarian Church. Probably the most tolerant community that I had ever been in.

Maia wrote: Thanks for the link to Blind Parents UK. It may indeed be a useful resource for me some day. As for whether it's "mom" or "mum" well, down south, including in London, they say "mum". Up north, think of Manchester for example, they say "mam". In the Midlands, however, where I'm from, we say "mom".


For me it was mother. Except on those rare occasions when it was mom. But how to explain the difference? Again, even I couldn't tell you that. And I was there.

Maia wrote: On the question of whether I'd want my children to be sighted, the answer is yes, of course I would.


Yes, as I recall, that is what Sarah said in the film in regard to the possibility of her becoming a mother. She would want her baby to hear. I wonder though of the arguments of those who would go in the other direction. Is that the wrong way to think? And here I am ever and always back to my own "disability": feeling "fractured and fragmented" in a world where almost everyone else is not. This can actually be just as disorienting as any physical condition.

Maia wrote: My blindness is not a hereditary condition anyway so the issue is not likely to arise, since any future partner of mine will undoubtedly be sighted. I do, however, know quite a few blind couples with kids, so it's not as big a challenge as you might think.


Well, if perhaps someday you do become a mother, please take me along on what, in having become a father myself, is quite simply the most complex experience I have ever had. They say that having children changes everything. Trust me: they are right.

Maia wrote: With regard to nightmares, I do sometimes have dreams, such as in the one I described before, where I'm trying to find something or someone, and not being able to. The emotion of the dream reflects this. But I would not describe these as nightmares, as no actual fear is involved. More a sense of loss or frustration, of something being forever out of my grasp.

Make of that what you will, but I think the symbolism is pretty clear there, given that I'm blind. I certainly don't fear those dreams though, and just like all dreams, I like them for their emotional intensity. So I suppose that if dreams make me think about life in a different way, it's to always value the importance of emotion.


Yes, perhaps that is vision itself. Anyway, if you have any "breakthroughs" from dreams down the road, let me know. Likewise, if I have a dream that blows my mind in giving me fresh insights into my own surreal existence, I'll let you know.

Maia wrote: If that photo is of me, I'd very much like to know where they got it! I'm sure it isn't, though. For a start off, I don't wear sunglasses. The main reason that some blind people wear sunglasses is that they have some light perception, and are protecting their eyes from bright lights, such as the sun. That doesn't apply to me, though.


Okay, let's both agree that the woman in the photograph is almost certainly not you. At least for now.

Only kidding.

Maia wrote: Probably the most famous Pagan song that went mainstream is Hymn to Her by the Pretenders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwdZPzz2qLE

The giveaway is the part in the lyrics where it says "the maid and the mother and the crone that's grown old" because the maid, mother and crone are the three aspects of the goddess, specifically in Wiccan tradition, but similar ideas exist in other Pagan traditions too. The song is basically exactly what it says in the title, a hymn to the goddess.


And then there is the song she wrote about being a mother: https://youtu.be/Vkt_Cmrj1hE

"Kid what changed your mood
You've gone all sad so I feel sad too
I think I know some things we never outgrow
You think it's wrong
I can tell you do
How can I explain
When you don't want me to

Kid my only kid
You look so small you've gone so quiet
I know you know what I'm about
I won't deny it
But you forgive though you don't understand
You've turned your head
You've dropped my hand

All my sorrow, all my blues
All my sorrow

Shut the light, go away
Full of grace, you cover your face

Kid gracious kid
Your eyes are blue but you won't cry
I know angry tears are too dear
You won't let them go"

I went through my own rendition of this with Jessica. For me it all revolves around that time in a parent's life when their child begins to interact with his or her "peers". Suddenly, your relationship is challenged by "friends" who can take your own child's frame of mind in who knows how many different directions.

It would be like you becoming a Mom. You tell your children about the world around them as you understand it. And, in being children, they will see you more or less as the world around them. But as they grow older and go out into the world as teenagers, they meet others who see the world differently. Especially in this day and age where, on the internet alone, kids are exposed to god knows what online.

I always encouraged my daughter to think for herself. To find her own way. And she did. And, then, as it turned out, her own way is now a very different way from mine.
Last edited by iambiguous on Sun May 16, 2021 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 16, 2021 4:58 am

The Rankin Family "Fair and Tender Ladies" https://youtu.be/3JkxuKbi5mo
The Rankin Family "Chì Mi Na Mòrbheanna" https://youtu.be/axMIQACtB-Q
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Sun May 16, 2021 12:50 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: Thank you for saying that I seem comfortable in my own skin. Yep, I've definitely heard the phrase, things you can't unsee. How about, things you can't unsmell? Is that even a word?


Well, if it's not a word let's make it one here, okay?

Again, so much seems to come back to the important difference between being born without the capacity to see or hear or smell or taste and having once had these capabilities and then lost them. I've read for example that for some afflicted with the covid virus, they have lost their ability to taste the food they are eating. There are just so many different situations that each of us as individuals might find themselves in.

Maia wrote: Yes, I'm always tolerant of other beliefs, because there is no one single true way to the divine. The one thing I'm not tolerant of, though, is intolerance, which might sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but that's the way it has to be, I suppose.


That's often the thing about language here. Sometimes what we come to believe in our head is true is hard to capture in words. If not resulting in contradictions then in ambiguity and uncertainty and equivocation. The word "divine" for example. Some seem to have a crystal clear understanding of it, others only in leaps of faith, while others have no understanding of it at all. Which is why, from my frame of mind, tolerance is so important. Once someone comes to conclude that only their own understanding of it counts? Well, as they say, the rest is history.

Maia wrote: I wouldn't even describe Paganism as a belief though, to be honest. It's more of an attitude, a way of approaching the world. True, there are specific traditions within Paganism that could be described as belief systems, but there are lots of them, many contradicting each other, and Pagans are perfectly happy with that, and many don't belong to any specific tradition, or indeed, belong to more than one at the same time.


Yes, I think that is a really, really good way to put it. And it would seem to make the experience of being a Pagan broad enough to necessitate tolerance of others who share some things with you but not all things. It is something that I once felt [more or less] when I was a member of the Unitarian Church. Probably the most tolerant community that I had ever been in.

Maia wrote: Thanks for the link to Blind Parents UK. It may indeed be a useful resource for me some day. As for whether it's "mom" or "mum" well, down south, including in London, they say "mum". Up north, think of Manchester for example, they say "mam". In the Midlands, however, where I'm from, we say "mom".


For me it was mother. Except on those rare occasions when it was mom. But how to explain the difference? Again, even I couldn't tell you that. And I was there.

Maia wrote: On the question of whether I'd want my children to be sighted, the answer is yes, of course I would.


Yes, as I recall, that is what Sarah said in the film in regard to the possibility of her becoming a mother. She would want her baby to hear. I wonder though of the arguments of those who would go in the other direction. Is that the wrong way to think? And here I am ever and always back to my own "disability": feeling "fractured and fragmented" in a world where almost everyone else is not. This can actually be just as disorienting as any physical condition.

Maia wrote: My blindness is not a hereditary condition anyway so the issue is not likely to arise, since any future partner of mine will undoubtedly be sighted. I do, however, know quite a few blind couples with kids, so it's not as big a challenge as you might think.


Well, if perhaps someday you do become a mother, please take me along on what, in having become a father myself, is quite simply the most complex experience I have ever had. They say that having children changes everything. Trust me: they are right.

Maia wrote: With regard to nightmares, I do sometimes have dreams, such as in the one I described before, where I'm trying to find something or someone, and not being able to. The emotion of the dream reflects this. But I would not describe these as nightmares, as no actual fear is involved. More a sense of loss or frustration, of something being forever out of my grasp.

Make of that what you will, but I think the symbolism is pretty clear there, given that I'm blind. I certainly don't fear those dreams though, and just like all dreams, I like them for their emotional intensity. So I suppose that if dreams make me think about life in a different way, it's to always value the importance of emotion.


Yes, perhaps that is vision itself. Anyway, if you have any "breakthroughs" from dreams down the road, let me know. Likewise, if I have a dream that blows my mind in giving me fresh insights into my own surreal existence, I'll let you know.

Maia wrote: If that photo is of me, I'd very much like to know where they got it! I'm sure it isn't, though. For a start off, I don't wear sunglasses. The main reason that some blind people wear sunglasses is that they have some light perception, and are protecting their eyes from bright lights, such as the sun. That doesn't apply to me, though.


Okay, let's both agree that the woman in the photograph is almost certainly not you. At least for now.

Only kidding.

Maia wrote: Probably the most famous Pagan song that went mainstream is Hymn to Her by the Pretenders.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwdZPzz2qLE

The giveaway is the part in the lyrics where it says "the maid and the mother and the crone that's grown old" because the maid, mother and crone are the three aspects of the goddess, specifically in Wiccan tradition, but similar ideas exist in other Pagan traditions too. The song is basically exactly what it says in the title, a hymn to the goddess.


And then there is the song she wrote about being a mother: https://youtu.be/Vkt_Cmrj1hE

"Kid what changed your mood
You've gone all sad so I feel sad too
I think I know some things we never outgrow
You think it's wrong
I can tell you do
How can I explain
When you don't want me to

Kid my only kid
You look so small you've gone so quiet
I know you know what I'm about
I won't deny it
But you forgive though you don't understand
You've turned your head
You've dropped my hand

All my sorrow, all my blues
All my sorrow

Shut the light, go away
Full of grace, you cover your face

Kid gracious kid
Your eyes are blue but you won't cry
I know angry tears are too dear
You won't let them go"

I went through my own rendition of this with Jessica. For me it all revolves around that time in a parent's life when their child begins to interact with his or her "peers". Suddenly, your relationship is challenged by "friends" who can take your own child's frame of mind in who knows how many different directions.

It would be like you becoming a Mom. You tell your children about the world around them as you understand it. And, in being children, they will see you more or less as the world around them. But as they grow older and go out into the world as teenagers, they meet others who see the world differently. Especially in this day and age where, on the internet alone, kids are exposed to god knows what online.

I always encouraged my daughter to think for herself. To find her own way. And she did. And, then, as it turned out, her own way is now a very different way from mine.


Yes, long covid, as they call it. It can apparently cause all sorts of problems, even after the initial infection has cleared up. Losing one's sense of taste, or smell, which is apparently another symptom, would be really bad.

To me, the word "divine" means that which causes the numinous feeling in nature. In particular, how certain places seem to have it far more than others. There may be no obvious reason for this, just certain spots seem to be special. In other cases, there may be something there, such as a stone circle. But which came first? Did our ancestors recognise that a certain place was numinous, and build a stone circle there? Or did the place become special because of the stone circle? Perhaps a bit of both, each reinforcing the other. I've visited quite a few stone circles over the years, and one of the most numinous, in my opinion, is a circle called the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. Here, at a certain spot, everyone who is given dowsing rods, even if they've never dowsed before, always gets a very strong reaction, including myself. And the actual feel of the stones is almost indescribable. A sense of something so incredibly ancient and mysterious, that has sat there brooding for over four thousand years, they reckon. I've even camped there, in the field opposite, and knelt in worship in the circle at night, when everything is still and quiet. Truly amazing.

Here's a song about them, from Traffic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH8oWL9UiAM

I've heard of the Unitarian Church but don't know much about it. Can you explain how it differs from other branches of Christianity?

When talking to my parents, it's always mom and dad for me. Never anything so formal as mother or father.

I don't know of any blind person who would want their children to be blind, and to do so, would indeed be the wrong way to think, in my opinion. It's one thing being comfortable in one's own skin, as you put it, but quite another to actively wish a disability on someone else, especially one's own kids. I can confidently say that no one actually thinks like this. This is not to say that it doesn't happen, of course, because sometimes blindness can be caused by a hereditary condition, but that's a different issue.

Yes, if I'm still around here, and not too busy or exhausted, I shall indeed let you know how it feels if I ever have children, though to be honest, that prospect seems pretty distant at the moment.

I can only, for now at least, imagine what it must be like to raise a child from birth, teach them about the world, and then later they grow up, find their own path in life, and move away from home. I suspect a strong feeling of pride and satisfaction mixed with a sort of wistful sadness and nostalgia, not to mention worry. To try and imagine this I can only fall back on my own experience with my parents. I've made a point of keeping them involved in my life, visiting them regularly, for example (they're not exactly far away, anyway), and in all sorts of other ways. Same with my brother too. And yes, they certainly did raise me to be independent, not least by sending me to boarding school aged 11, which I know was a huge emotional wrench for them. They wanted the best for me, and were prepared to do anything to get it. I hope that one day I'll be able to follow their example.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 17, 2021 4:03 am

Maia wrote: Yes, long covid, as they call it. It can apparently cause all sorts of problems, even after the initial infection has cleared up. Losing one's sense of taste, or smell, which is apparently another symptom, would be really bad.


In part because, once again, when you have lost something that was an important part of your life -- tasting delicious food -- the loss must be endured everytime you consume food merely to survive. How horrible that must be.

It's called ageusia: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23051 ... of%20smell.

"Studies have shown that people who lose their sense of smell end up more severely depressed and for longer periods of time than people who go blind, says Prof Barry C Smith, co-director and founder of the Centre for the Study of the Senses."

And, apparently, one can be born without a sense of smell as well. But, in that case, we are back to not actually losing something you never had.

Maia wrote: To me, the word "divine" means that which causes the numinous feeling in nature. In particular, how certain places seem to have it far more than others. There may be no obvious reason for this, just certain spots seem to be special. In other cases, there may be something there, such as a stone circle. But which came first? Did our ancestors recognise that a certain place was numinous, and build a stone circle there? Or did the place become special because of the stone circle? Perhaps a bit of both, each reinforcing the other. I've visited quite a few stone circles over the years, and one of the most numinous, in my opinion, is a circle called the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. Here, at a certain spot, everyone who is given dowsing rods, even if they've never dowsed before, always gets a very strong reaction, including myself. And the actual feel of the stones is almost indescribable. A sense of something so incredibly ancient and mysterious, that has sat there brooding for over four thousand years, they reckon. I've even camped there, in the field opposite, and knelt in worship in the circle at night, when everything is still and quiet. Truly amazing.


Here we go again: Back to our machine. The one in which we are both connected to it when you have these experiences. For me, just to have them again in an entirely different context through another's mind and body would be, well, exquisite. And, of course, there's the reality of how much the world has changed from the days when, in small communities, nature was ever and always present. In today's modern industrial world, many go about their days barely aware of nature at all. A few trees, a backyard, a garden perhaps. So, consider yourself very fortunate to have found a way back to it again more fully.

Maia wrote: Here's a song about them, from Traffic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH8oWL9UiAM


Reminds me somewhat of a song from Peter Gabriel: https://youtu.be/_OO2PuGz-H8

"He wrote the song about a spiritual experience atop Little Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England."

Maia wrote: I've heard of the Unitarian Church but don't know much about it. Can you explain how it differs from other branches of Christianity?


Mostly in it's orientation toward human relationships on this side of the grave rather than in a relationship with God in order to be "saved" in regard to the other side of it. It's frame of mind was more ecumenical than denominational. Some Unitarians do not consider themselves to be Christians at all. More in sync with the idea of a "oneness" in a universe without Original Sin.

Maia wrote: I don't know of any blind person who would want their children to be blind, and to do so, would indeed be the wrong way to think, in my opinion. It's one thing being comfortable in one's own skin, as you put it, but quite another to actively wish a disability on someone else, especially one's own kids. I can confidently say that no one actually thinks like this. This is not to say that it doesn't happen, of course, because sometimes blindness can be caused by a hereditary condition, but that's a different issue.


Yes, on an intuitive, visceral, gut level, that's how I think and feel as well. But there is always that, at times, mysterious gap between what you think you would do in a given situation...one you have never been in...and what you actually do when for whatever reason you are in it. That's the part where I always focus in on how, given new experiences and relationships and access to ideas, you never really know for certain if something might happen to change your mind.

Yes, if I'm still around here, and not too busy or exhausted, I shall indeed let you know how it feels if I ever have children, though to be honest, that prospect seems pretty distant at the moment.


Well, since you told me you would like to be a mother someday, I can only hope that it is something that you are able to experience. A lot depends on whether you put your mind to making it happen. Though, here, only you know yourself best in that regard.

Maia wrote: I can only, for now at least, imagine what it must be like to raise a child from birth, teach them about the world, and then later they grow up, find their own path in life, and move away from home. I suspect a strong feeling of pride and satisfaction mixed with a sort of wistful sadness and nostalgia, not to mention worry.


Worry. Yes, there's plenty of that. And all the other things. The biggest change of all though is in the realization that this baby, infant, child is wholly dependent on you to give him or her the best chance at whatever they themselves come to believe the "good life" is. It just makes you so much more conservative in regard to certain things. Or it did me.

Maia wrote: To try and imagine this I can only fall back on my own experience with my parents. I've made a point of keeping them involved in my life, visiting them regularly, for example (they're not exactly far away, anyway), and in all sorts of other ways. Same with my brother too. And yes, they certainly did raise me to be independent, not least by sending me to boarding school aged 11, which I know was a huge emotional wrench for them. They wanted the best for me, and were prepared to do anything to get it. I hope that one day I'll be able to follow their example.


Here of course you were very, very fortunate indeed. There are so many different paths that children can end up on in this respect. And the part where for many of them it is all beyond their control. That's always the bottom line: the options that your family provide you with and the options that you are able to pursue yourself. Then passing that down to your own children.

This just popped into my head: How do you do what I do here at the ILP website? Read and submit posts in other words. I found this youtube video: https://youtu.be/2j2x2miPPDQ

In the video is an older man sitting before a computer screen with two keyboards. He seems to be teaching a class of younger men and women.

Is this in anyway at all relevant to your own experience? I've been reading about "Assistive Technology", but I am terrible when it comes to understanding technology. I suspect the only way I could understand it better is if I was with a blind person able to take me step by step through the experience.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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iambiguous
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 17, 2021 5:02 am

Joan Baez "Old Welsh Song" https://youtu.be/jkVDKYlLHQI
Joan Baez "Magic Wood" https://youtu.be/sX6bVr48WxY
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Mon May 17, 2021 12:36 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote: Yes, long covid, as they call it. It can apparently cause all sorts of problems, even after the initial infection has cleared up. Losing one's sense of taste, or smell, which is apparently another symptom, would be really bad.


In part because, once again, when you have lost something that was an important part of your life -- tasting delicious food -- the loss must be endured everytime you consume food merely to survive. How horrible that must be.

It's called ageusia: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23051 ... of%20smell.

"Studies have shown that people who lose their sense of smell end up more severely depressed and for longer periods of time than people who go blind, says Prof Barry C Smith, co-director and founder of the Centre for the Study of the Senses."

And, apparently, one can be born without a sense of smell as well. But, in that case, we are back to not actually losing something you never had.

Maia wrote: To me, the word "divine" means that which causes the numinous feeling in nature. In particular, how certain places seem to have it far more than others. There may be no obvious reason for this, just certain spots seem to be special. In other cases, there may be something there, such as a stone circle. But which came first? Did our ancestors recognise that a certain place was numinous, and build a stone circle there? Or did the place become special because of the stone circle? Perhaps a bit of both, each reinforcing the other. I've visited quite a few stone circles over the years, and one of the most numinous, in my opinion, is a circle called the Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire. Here, at a certain spot, everyone who is given dowsing rods, even if they've never dowsed before, always gets a very strong reaction, including myself. And the actual feel of the stones is almost indescribable. A sense of something so incredibly ancient and mysterious, that has sat there brooding for over four thousand years, they reckon. I've even camped there, in the field opposite, and knelt in worship in the circle at night, when everything is still and quiet. Truly amazing.


Here we go again: Back to our machine. The one in which we are both connected to it when you have these experiences. For me, just to have them again in an entirely different context through another's mind and body would be, well, exquisite. And, of course, there's the reality of how much the world has changed from the days when, in small communities, nature was ever and always present. In today's modern industrial world, many go about their days barely aware of nature at all. A few trees, a backyard, a garden perhaps. So, consider yourself very fortunate to have found a way back to it again more fully.

Maia wrote: Here's a song about them, from Traffic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH8oWL9UiAM


Reminds me somewhat of a song from Peter Gabriel: https://youtu.be/_OO2PuGz-H8

"He wrote the song about a spiritual experience atop Little Solsbury Hill in Somerset, England."

Maia wrote: I've heard of the Unitarian Church but don't know much about it. Can you explain how it differs from other branches of Christianity?


Mostly in it's orientation toward human relationships on this side of the grave rather than in a relationship with God in order to be "saved" in regard to the other side of it. It's frame of mind was more ecumenical than denominational. Some Unitarians do not consider themselves to be Christians at all. More in sync with the idea of a "oneness" in a universe without Original Sin.

Maia wrote: I don't know of any blind person who would want their children to be blind, and to do so, would indeed be the wrong way to think, in my opinion. It's one thing being comfortable in one's own skin, as you put it, but quite another to actively wish a disability on someone else, especially one's own kids. I can confidently say that no one actually thinks like this. This is not to say that it doesn't happen, of course, because sometimes blindness can be caused by a hereditary condition, but that's a different issue.


Yes, on an intuitive, visceral, gut level, that's how I think and feel as well. But there is always that, at times, mysterious gap between what you think you would do in a given situation...one you have never been in...and what you actually do when for whatever reason you are in it. That's the part where I always focus in on how, given new experiences and relationships and access to ideas, you never really know for certain if something might happen to change your mind.

Yes, if I'm still around here, and not too busy or exhausted, I shall indeed let you know how it feels if I ever have children, though to be honest, that prospect seems pretty distant at the moment.


Well, since you told me you would like to be a mother someday, I can only hope that it is something that you are able to experience. A lot depends on whether you put your mind to making it happen. Though, here, only you know yourself best in that regard.

Maia wrote: I can only, for now at least, imagine what it must be like to raise a child from birth, teach them about the world, and then later they grow up, find their own path in life, and move away from home. I suspect a strong feeling of pride and satisfaction mixed with a sort of wistful sadness and nostalgia, not to mention worry.


Worry. Yes, there's plenty of that. And all the other things. The biggest change of all though is in the realization that this baby, infant, child is wholly dependent on you to give him or her the best chance at whatever they themselves come to believe the "good life" is. It just makes you so much more conservative in regard to certain things. Or it did me.

Maia wrote: To try and imagine this I can only fall back on my own experience with my parents. I've made a point of keeping them involved in my life, visiting them regularly, for example (they're not exactly far away, anyway), and in all sorts of other ways. Same with my brother too. And yes, they certainly did raise me to be independent, not least by sending me to boarding school aged 11, which I know was a huge emotional wrench for them. They wanted the best for me, and were prepared to do anything to get it. I hope that one day I'll be able to follow their example.


Here of course you were very, very fortunate indeed. There are so many different paths that children can end up on in this respect. And the part where for many of them it is all beyond their control. That's always the bottom line: the options that your family provide you with and the options that you are able to pursue yourself. Then passing that down to your own children.

This just popped into my head: How do you do what I do here at the ILP website? Read and submit posts in other words. I found this youtube video: https://youtu.be/2j2x2miPPDQ

In the video is an older man sitting before a computer screen with two keyboards. He seems to be teaching a class of younger men and women.

Is this in anyway at all relevant to your own experience? I've been reading about "Assistive Technology", but I am terrible when it comes to understanding technology. I suspect the only way I could understand it better is if I was with a blind person able to take me step by step through the experience.


Yes, I can well believe that people who lose their sense of smell end up being more depressed than those who lose their sight. I know which I would choose, anyway, but then, I happen to know that being blind is, at worst, a bit of a hassle at times, and most of the time no problem whatsoever. But not being able to smell would be very disabling for me, and, on the rare occasions that I catch a cold, that's exactly what happens, and I don't like it one bit.

+++Whether or not anosmia can be cured depends on the underlying cause. Smell can improve for some people but never return for others. It can come back but odours might have been re-coded by the brain so things don't taste the same. Chocolate can smell like beef.+++

I found this bit quite intriguing, because of the implications for other senses, too. When you see a colour, such as red, how do you know that other people are seeing the same thing in their mind? The answer, of course, is that you don't, and, fictional mind-reading machines notwithstanding, there's no way that you ever can. This may account, at least in part, for why different people have different favourite colours.

Yes, I do indeed consider myself very fortunate that I have found a way back to nature, and that my life is so blessed. I thank the goddess every day for that, and I very much wish to give something back in return.

A good song, Solsbury Hill. And a very nice place too, by all accounts, though it's one that I've yet to visit.

I have no doubt at all that I'll want the very best for any kids I may have, and that includes being sighted. And I fully realise, of course, that this apparently contradicts what I said above about blindness being no big deal. I would simply want my kids to be able to experience the world, in all its richness, in all possible ways.

I may well never have kids though, because right now it's highly likely that my life will take a completely different path. The path of spiritual purity, as a priestess of the goddess, which I have pursued for over three years now, involves swearing off sexual activity completely. At least it does for the particular path that I've been called to, anyway. It is my own personal sacrifice.

I can certainly understand how the responsibility of raising kids would make you more conservative. Indeed, I have often been accused of being quite conservative anyway.

Yes, like the speaker in the video you linked, I use a screen reader called JAWS, and have done ever since I first learnt to write, pretty much.

https://www.sightandsound.co.uk/product/jaws-home/

Here's an introduction to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dffx6mvHR9E

And here's one about navigating websites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MUEyYoKwx0

Here's a comparison of JAWS and different screen readers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_K5-4ngDtE

Having been a member here at ILP for nine years, I'm very comfortable with how the site is laid out, and am very glad that it has never been updated, at least as far as I can tell, in all that time.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 17, 2021 6:32 pm

Maia wrote:Yes, I can well believe that people who lose their sense of smell end up being more depressed than those who lose their sight. I know which I would choose, anyway, but then, I happen to know that being blind is, at worst, a bit of a hassle at times, and most of the time no problem whatsoever. But not being able to smell would be very disabling for me, and, on the rare occasions that I catch a cold, that's exactly what happens, and I don't like it one bit.


Here, for those who lose sense perceptions, we would seem to be back to which sense is most important to them as individuals. If you are a painter, it would surely be your eyesight. If you are a musician, your hearing. If you are a chef, your capacity to smell and taste. And then the discussion and debate I have run into from time to time: would you rather be blind or deaf? Well, given my intense passion for music, I would rather be blind. At least I think I would.

But what this exchange with you has really brought to my attention is the part where one is born without the capacity to see, hear, smell, taste. How this reality can be very different from those who do lose something that they did have.

I wonder then about the final sense: touch. Can one be born without the capacity to feel what they touch?

Maia wrote: +++Whether or not anosmia can be cured depends on the underlying cause. Smell can improve for some people but never return for others. It can come back but odours might have been re-coded by the brain so things don't taste the same. Chocolate can smell like beef.+++

I found this bit quite intriguing, because of the implications for other senses, too. When you see a colour, such as red, how do you know that other people are seeing the same thing in their mind? The answer, of course, is that you don't, and, fictional mind-reading machines notwithstanding, there's no way that you ever can. This may account, at least in part, for why different people have different favourite colours.


Then back to the biggest mystery of all: Why?

Why do these things happen at all? Why these things and not other things instead? Why with some and not with others? The part where nature and nurture shape-shift into so many mind-boggling individual realities. Whole worlds that we may or may not be able to communicate to others.

With congenital blindness, I still find the hardest thing to grasp is the experience of blindness itself:

Consider:

"Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. at ThoughtCo website:

A person who has never had sight doesn't see. Samuel, who was born blind, tells ThoughtCo that saying that a blind person sees black is incorrect because that person often has no other sensation of sight to compare against. "It's just nothingness," he says. For a sighted person, it can be helpful to think of it like this: Close one eye and use the open eye to focus on something. What does the closed eye see? Nothing. Another analogy is to compare a blind person's sight to what you see with your elbow."

Nope, I just can't wrap my mind around it. I'll need the machine.

Maia wrote: I have no doubt at all that I'll want the very best for any kids I may have, and that includes being sighted. And I fully realise, of course, that this apparently contradicts what I said above about blindness being no big deal. I would simply want my kids to be able to experience the world, in all its richness, in all possible ways.


For me, contradictory thoughts and feelings -- ambivalence, ambiguity, uncertainty -- is now almost analogous to breathing. There are, of course, many, many things that I am no less sure about than anyone else. But when it comes to things like raising children, I'm not likely to ever know if I did the right things myself. I'm just not able to think about good and bad, right and wrong in the way most others do. This is, perhaps, as close as I come myself to having lost something that I did once possess.

Maia wrote: I may well never have kids though, because right now it's highly likely that my life will take a completely different path. The path of spiritual purity, as a priestess of the goddess, which I have pursued for over three years now, involves swearing off sexual activity completely. At least it does for the particular path that I've been called to, anyway. It is my own personal sacrifice.


Well, one thing I'm reasonably sure about is this:

You think about yourself in the world around you as you do "here and now". But in a world bursting at the seams with what I like to call "contingency, chance and change", you can never really pin down the future. A new experience, a new relationship, a new way of thinking about things and, well, that's the point, who knows? Sexuality is no different. Time will tell. For both of us. For all of us.

Maia wrote: I can certainly understand how the responsibility of raising kids would make you more conservative. Indeed, I have often been accused of being quite conservative anyway.


Again, what a person thinks he or she is here is always connected [for me] to how the life they lived predisposed them to think this way. As opposed to say, as a youth, thinking through all of the different ways that people claim we ought to live and then attempting to pin down the most rational and virtuous frame of mind. "I" for me is always entangled in all the many variables in our life that we only have so much control and understanding of.

Maia wrote: Yes, like the speaker in the video you linked, I use a screen reader called JAWS, and have done ever since I first learnt to write, pretty much.

https://www.sightandsound.co.uk/product/jaws-home/

Here's an introduction to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dffx6mvHR9E

And here's one about navigating websites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MUEyYoKwx0

Here's a comparison of JAWS and different screen readers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_K5-4ngDtE

Having been a member here at ILP for nine years, I'm very comfortable with how the site is laid out, and am very glad that it has never been updated, at least as far as I can tell, in all that time.


Trust me: this is a whole new world for me. But I can better understand how in being born blind you don't think about using these methods and technologies in the same way that someone who loses their sight would. There is no comparison to dwell on. You just learn how to do it as a blind person as a sighted person learns how to do it with vision.

Then the part where the two worlds meet.

In the video that compares the three screen readers, the young woman explaining it appears to be sitting in her apartment. She notes that it can be complicated to learn JAWS and that even though she started when she was 7, she still gets confused about keystrokes and things still go over her head.

Were you able to master it all better? And I can only imagine how doomed I would be if I were to become blind. Being, among other things, pretty much the technophobe.

Also, this:

I don't know if this woman was born blind or not. I don't know if her eyes are prosthetic. But she was ever moving them as though she had vision and was constantly shifting her attention up and down, left and right. I couldn't help but wonder why. Is this something you are familiar with?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 18, 2021 3:57 am

Kellianna "Ancestor's Song" https://youtu.be/TnX0aPOAZEE
Tangerine Dream "Kiew Mission" https://youtu.be/ZPcglRBYfu0
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Tue May 18, 2021 11:58 am

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:Yes, I can well believe that people who lose their sense of smell end up being more depressed than those who lose their sight. I know which I would choose, anyway, but then, I happen to know that being blind is, at worst, a bit of a hassle at times, and most of the time no problem whatsoever. But not being able to smell would be very disabling for me, and, on the rare occasions that I catch a cold, that's exactly what happens, and I don't like it one bit.


Here, for those who lose sense perceptions, we would seem to be back to which sense is most important to them as individuals. If you are a painter, it would surely be your eyesight. If you are a musician, your hearing. If you are a chef, your capacity to smell and taste. And then the discussion and debate I have run into from time to time: would you rather be blind or deaf? Well, given my intense passion for music, I would rather be blind. At least I think I would.

But what this exchange with you has really brought to my attention is the part where one is born without the capacity to see, hear, smell, taste. How this reality can be very different from those who do lose something that they did have.

I wonder then about the final sense: touch. Can one be born without the capacity to feel what they touch?

Maia wrote: +++Whether or not anosmia can be cured depends on the underlying cause. Smell can improve for some people but never return for others. It can come back but odours might have been re-coded by the brain so things don't taste the same. Chocolate can smell like beef.+++

I found this bit quite intriguing, because of the implications for other senses, too. When you see a colour, such as red, how do you know that other people are seeing the same thing in their mind? The answer, of course, is that you don't, and, fictional mind-reading machines notwithstanding, there's no way that you ever can. This may account, at least in part, for why different people have different favourite colours.


Then back to the biggest mystery of all: Why?

Why do these things happen at all? Why these things and not other things instead? Why with some and not with others? The part where nature and nurture shape-shift into so many mind-boggling individual realities. Whole worlds that we may or may not be able to communicate to others.

With congenital blindness, I still find the hardest thing to grasp is the experience of blindness itself:

Consider:

"Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. at ThoughtCo website:

A person who has never had sight doesn't see. Samuel, who was born blind, tells ThoughtCo that saying that a blind person sees black is incorrect because that person often has no other sensation of sight to compare against. "It's just nothingness," he says. For a sighted person, it can be helpful to think of it like this: Close one eye and use the open eye to focus on something. What does the closed eye see? Nothing. Another analogy is to compare a blind person's sight to what you see with your elbow."

Nope, I just can't wrap my mind around it. I'll need the machine.

Maia wrote: I have no doubt at all that I'll want the very best for any kids I may have, and that includes being sighted. And I fully realise, of course, that this apparently contradicts what I said above about blindness being no big deal. I would simply want my kids to be able to experience the world, in all its richness, in all possible ways.


For me, contradictory thoughts and feelings -- ambivalence, ambiguity, uncertainty -- is now almost analogous to breathing. There are, of course, many, many things that I am no less sure about than anyone else. But when it comes to things like raising children, I'm not likely to ever know if I did the right things myself. I'm just not able to think about good and bad, right and wrong in the way most others do. This is, perhaps, as close as I come myself to having lost something that I did once possess.

Maia wrote: I may well never have kids though, because right now it's highly likely that my life will take a completely different path. The path of spiritual purity, as a priestess of the goddess, which I have pursued for over three years now, involves swearing off sexual activity completely. At least it does for the particular path that I've been called to, anyway. It is my own personal sacrifice.


Well, one thing I'm reasonably sure about is this:

You think about yourself in the world around you as you do "here and now". But in a world bursting at the seams with what I like to call "contingency, chance and change", you can never really pin down the future. A new experience, a new relationship, a new way of thinking about things and, well, that's the point, who knows? Sexuality is no different. Time will tell. For both of us. For all of us.

Maia wrote: I can certainly understand how the responsibility of raising kids would make you more conservative. Indeed, I have often been accused of being quite conservative anyway.


Again, what a person thinks he or she is here is always connected [for me] to how the life they lived predisposed them to think this way. As opposed to say, as a youth, thinking through all of the different ways that people claim we ought to live and then attempting to pin down the most rational and virtuous frame of mind. "I" for me is always entangled in all the many variables in our life that we only have so much control and understanding of.

Maia wrote: Yes, like the speaker in the video you linked, I use a screen reader called JAWS, and have done ever since I first learnt to write, pretty much.

https://www.sightandsound.co.uk/product/jaws-home/

Here's an introduction to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dffx6mvHR9E

And here's one about navigating websites.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MUEyYoKwx0

Here's a comparison of JAWS and different screen readers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_K5-4ngDtE

Having been a member here at ILP for nine years, I'm very comfortable with how the site is laid out, and am very glad that it has never been updated, at least as far as I can tell, in all that time.


Trust me: this is a whole new world for me. But I can better understand how in being born blind you don't think about using these methods and technologies in the same way that someone who loses their sight would. There is no comparison to dwell on. You just learn how to do it as a blind person as a sighted person learns how to do it with vision.

Then the part where the two worlds meet.

In the video that compares the three screen readers, the young woman explaining it appears to be sitting in her apartment. She notes that it can be complicated to learn JAWS and that even though she started when she was 7, she still gets confused about keystrokes and things still go over her head.

Were you able to master it all better? And I can only imagine how doomed I would be if I were to become blind. Being, among other things, pretty much the technophobe.

Also, this:

I don't know if this woman was born blind or not. I don't know if her eyes are prosthetic. But she was ever moving them as though she had vision and was constantly shifting her attention up and down, left and right. I couldn't help but wonder why. Is this something you are familiar with?


An interesting question, would you rather be blind or deaf? I can say with absolute certainty that I'd rather be blind! Admittedly, though, I might be a bit biased.

Scarily, it is indeed possible to be born without a sense of touch, according to this article that I've just found.

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... touch.aspx

Two individuals are described, one who was born without the sense of touch, and one who lost it in adulthood. And to be honest, the thought of it makes me feel a little bit queasy. Once again, though, it's clear that those who are born with the condition are much better off than those who acquire it.

Trying to describe to a sighted person what it's like not to see anything is a fundamentally impossible task, I think, despite a whole load of possible analogies. And believe me, I've tried many times. So here's yet another analogy, but I can't say if it will help or not. If you had been completely deaf from birth, what would you hear?

Yes, everything is subject to change, and that's the truly exciting, wonderful thing about the world. Imagine if were not? The workings of fate are mysterious, and awesome too. So don't try and second guess yourself, and worry that you might have done the wrong thing. As long as you do your best, it's all fine in the long run.

Here's something interesting. It's called kulning, and is an ancient Swedish method of calling cattle home. I find it particularly evocative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc7F_qv3eI8

I've never had any problems using JAWS, but I can fully understand how it would be a daunting task to learn it if you lose your sight as an adult. I would advise a person in that position to try one of the simpler screen readers.

It's not uncommon for blind people to have moving eyes, usually completely involuntarily. They would certainly not be prosthetic ones, though, which hardly move at all.
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 18, 2021 7:46 pm

Maia wrote:An interesting question, would you rather be blind or deaf? I can say with absolute certainty that I'd rather be blind! Admittedly, though, I might be a bit biased.


All we can do here is to think about the life that we live from day to day and try to imagine if we were born deaf or born blind. How would it be different? What, given the parameters of the world we know, would be the "for all practical purposes" consequences? But it still comes back [for me] to the part where you are born with or without a particular sense. If you were born blind, it is less likely that you would choose to become an artist. But if you are an artist and lose your sight, that would almost certainly be more of a calamity. Unless, as with the sculptor in Blind Beast, you reconfigured your art from vision to touch.

Maia wrote:Scarily, it is indeed possible to be born without a sense of touch, according to this article that I've just found.

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... touch.aspx

Two individuals are described, one who was born without the sense of touch, and one who lost it in adulthood. And to be honest, the thought of it makes me feel a little bit queasy. Once again, though, it's clear that those who are born with the condition are much better off than those who acquire it.


Yes, and that brings us around to someone like Helen Keller. Born both blind and deaf. But suppose in turn she had been born as well, like Kim in the article, without somatosensation? In The Miracle Worker, Helen Keller makes the connection between what fingers are telling her about the world and the world itself. Shudder to think what her world would have become if she was born without the sense of touch as well.

I couldn't help but Google "born without any senses": https://waitbutwhy.com/table/person-with-no-senses

Maia wrote:Trying to describe to a sighted person what it's like not to see anything is a fundamentally impossible task, I think, despite a whole load of possible analogies. And believe me, I've tried many times.


Yes, I am very much beginning to realize that. But, who knows, maybe someday you or another might actually bring me a bit [or a lot] closer to understanding it a better.

Maia wrote:So here's yet another analogy, but I can't say if it will help or not. If you had been completely deaf from birth, what would you hear?


In Children of a Lesser God, James is able to bring sound a little closer to his students by connecting the dots between sound and vibrations coming from speakers. In a performance at the school they are seen dancing given the way in which they understand music.

Or, in watching movies, there are subtitles that the deaf can connect to what they see on the screen. Or they can learn to read lips. What is the equivalent of that for the blind?

Maia wrote:Yes, everything is subject to change, and that's the truly exciting, wonderful thing about the world. Imagine if were not? The workings of fate are mysterious, and awesome too. So don't try and second guess yourself, and worry that you might have done the wrong thing. As long as you do your best, it's all fine in the long run.


Here though, for me, it always comes down to the actual experiences of each of us as individuals living particular lives. Change can be exciting, true...but also disturbing, even terrifying. And for most people in discussing the best way to raise their own children, they have come to convince themselves that there are in fact right and wrong ways to do so. It just doesn't work that way for me anymore. I can't help but second guess myself because of how I have come to think about value judgments as rooted in the lives that we live as individuals more so than in an overarching understanding of the world derived from religion or political or deontological assessments.

Only in this exchange with you that is of less interest to me than in understanding your world as you understand it. More in the way of what might become a virtual friendship than a philosophical exchange.

Maia wrote:Here's something interesting. It's called kulning, and is an ancient Swedish method of calling cattle home. I find it particularly evocative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc7F_qv3eI8


Wow, that is really, really beautiful! If I were a cow, I'd come to her.

Do you have a way of having the video here described to you? Does JAWS [or some other technology] allow you to do this?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby iambiguous » Wed May 19, 2021 5:03 am

Ellis Paul "Washington D.C. 5/91" https://youtu.be/ExRefj_rfUA
Nanci Griffith "There's a light beyond these woods" https://youtu.be/8YZ3yvXpMOw
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: Do we dream less as we get older?

Postby Maia » Wed May 19, 2021 11:33 am

iambiguous wrote:
Maia wrote:An interesting question, would you rather be blind or deaf? I can say with absolute certainty that I'd rather be blind! Admittedly, though, I might be a bit biased.


All we can do here is to think about the life that we live from day to day and try to imagine if we were born deaf or born blind. How would it be different? What, given the parameters of the world we know, would be the "for all practical purposes" consequences? But it still comes back [for me] to the part where you are born with or without a particular sense. If you were born blind, it is less likely that you would choose to become an artist. But if you are an artist and lose your sight, that would almost certainly be more of a calamity. Unless, as with the sculptor in Blind Beast, you reconfigured your art from vision to touch.

Maia wrote:Scarily, it is indeed possible to be born without a sense of touch, according to this article that I've just found.

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210 ... touch.aspx

Two individuals are described, one who was born without the sense of touch, and one who lost it in adulthood. And to be honest, the thought of it makes me feel a little bit queasy. Once again, though, it's clear that those who are born with the condition are much better off than those who acquire it.


Yes, and that brings us around to someone like Helen Keller. Born both blind and deaf. But suppose in turn she had been born as well, like Kim in the article, without somatosensation? In The Miracle Worker, Helen Keller makes the connection between what fingers are telling her about the world and the world itself. Shudder to think what her world would have become if she was born without the sense of touch as well.

I couldn't help but Google "born without any senses": https://waitbutwhy.com/table/person-with-no-senses

Maia wrote:Trying to describe to a sighted person what it's like not to see anything is a fundamentally impossible task, I think, despite a whole load of possible analogies. And believe me, I've tried many times.


Yes, I am very much beginning to realize that. But, who knows, maybe someday you or another might actually bring me a bit [or a lot] closer to understanding it a better.

Maia wrote:So here's yet another analogy, but I can't say if it will help or not. If you had been completely deaf from birth, what would you hear?


In Children of a Lesser God, James is able to bring sound a little closer to his students by connecting the dots between sound and vibrations coming from speakers. In a performance at the school they are seen dancing given the way in which they understand music.

Or, in watching movies, there are subtitles that the deaf can connect to what they see on the screen. Or they can learn to read lips. What is the equivalent of that for the blind?

Maia wrote:Yes, everything is subject to change, and that's the truly exciting, wonderful thing about the world. Imagine if were not? The workings of fate are mysterious, and awesome too. So don't try and second guess yourself, and worry that you might have done the wrong thing. As long as you do your best, it's all fine in the long run.


Here though, for me, it always comes down to the actual experiences of each of us as individuals living particular lives. Change can be exciting, true...but also disturbing, even terrifying. And for most people in discussing the best way to raise their own children, they have come to convince themselves that there are in fact right and wrong ways to do so. It just doesn't work that way for me anymore. I can't help but second guess myself because of how I have come to think about value judgments as rooted in the lives that we live as individuals more so than in an overarching understanding of the world derived from religion or political or deontological assessments.

Only in this exchange with you that is of less interest to me than in understanding your world as you understand it. More in the way of what might become a virtual friendship than a philosophical exchange.

Maia wrote:Here's something interesting. It's called kulning, and is an ancient Swedish method of calling cattle home. I find it particularly evocative.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nc7F_qv3eI8


Wow, that is really, really beautiful! If I were a cow, I'd come to her.

Do you have a way of having the video here described to you? Does JAWS [or some other technology] allow you to do this?


Well, yes, I doubt if I'll be winning any prizes for art! Not impossible though, as the following list of ten blind artists proves. Only one of them, however, was born blind. Perhaps you can tell me if their paintings are actually any good.

https://www.everydaysight.com/blind-painters/

The idea of being born without any senses at all is just unthinkable, to be honest. As indeed is the thought of being deaf as well as blind. Most of us are far, far luckier than we ever realise.

The equivalent of subtitles for the deaf in films and TV, for blind people, is audio description.

https://www.rnib.org.uk/information-eve ... escription

It's always good to make new friends, so feel free to message me with your email address and I'll email you. And if my life and understanding of the world is interesting to you, then I'm always happy to talk about it. I'm always conscious, though, of the possibility of starting to sound a bit boring by going over the same old stuff all the time.

There is no technology that I know of that can automatically generate descriptions for videos, though there may be prototypes. Here's an extremely lengthy and technical article on the subject.

https://dl.acm.org/doi/fullHtml/10.1145/3355390

So if I want one described, and it doesn't come with audio description, I have to ask someone. If you wish to describe the kulning video for me, please do so. And also, perhaps the fire leap scene from the Wicker Man? I'd be very interested to know the exact details of the ritual they used for the film. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jAJQsq4ZOU

By the way, is it my imagination or has ILP got a lot more active recently? It seemed to be virtually dead at times in the past.
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