Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Losing Our Minds


This is a photo by Richard Ansett called "Woman With Wire Cap #1". It is on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and won second place in an art contest. The subject is wearing a cap that's wired up to record her brain activity while she looks at different pictures. It's almost a symphony in white, except that it is not pure and lovely. It is about science and machinery. To me, it is rather chilling and disturbing. I took this picture from the newspaper, where it says that it is reminiscent of the paintings of the elegant Dutch ladies in their white lace caps by Rembrandt. It is said that we use only one tenth of our brains. But why is that, and what happened to the rest? I was watching a T.V. preacher the other day who proposed a theory. He said that Adam and Eve had no illness or decay in their bodies, and were using their whole brains. But after sin and the fall, illness came into the picture, and with that, the loss of so much mental capacity. I'm not saying that I agree with this, but it makes sense and would explain it all. What do you think, where have our minds gone?

"I am determined to be wise-but this was beyond me. Whatever wisdom may be, it is far off and profound-who can discover it?" Ecc. 7:23,24

"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."
Isaiah 26:3

35 comments:

SquirrelQueen said...

Hmmm, I'm pretty open minded (pun sort of intended) about art and my tasted include some pretty odd stuff but this one just doesn't do anything for me. Science and machinery fascinated me for their lines and movement, this is just a little too clinical. I'm not sure if I want to see the first place winner.

hip-chick said...

I find the picture disturbing as well. I don't know why we don't use the rest of our brains but I do know that we will find out in time.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Well---I find that picture interesting... Love seeing the woman's face.. I've always been interested in how the brain works---so I don't find the photo disturbing.

As to why we don't use more of our brains, I have no idea. But--i certainly do not believe what that TV preacher said... How could he know that????

The best thing for all of us is to use our brains as much as possible ALL of our lives. As we get older, they say that we need to keep on learning... My biggest problem is remembering what I've learned... ha

Hugs,
Betsy

Mildred said...

I don't find the picture disturbing. My husband has had to wear one of these before for several days to record brain activity and to aid in diagnosing neurological disorders. I am thankful that God has given doctors the wisdom to develop diagnostic tools.

Sandra said...

i agree with you, it is a chilling photo, it takes a beautiful face that is full of life lines and makes it ugly. i love photos of older people who have all the lines they have earned and have seen photos that told a story. a good story. this one is a scary story to me. i don't know why we don't use all of our brains but what ever the reason, we are the way God made us. i tend to think, we all have differernt parts we use for our gifts and talents and if we all had the same amount of use of brain imagine the chaos. like if bill gates brain comes up with all the things he invents, if we all did who would invent other things or be the people who do all the work. i am rambling andi don't know what i think, can you tell.

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

Her face is fascinating. Interesting post. The little bit of our brain we do use, I'm not sure I even use that much.

From the Kitchen said...

Although I prefer happier subjects in art, it's an interesting painting. I'm grateful to God for giving us great scientific and medical minds. Although I'd have to hear what the t.v. preacher said, I don't think I'd adhere to his theory. I don't think God would have thrown up his hands so early on!!

Best,
Bonnie

Tracy said...

I find the photo quite interesting and my first thoughts before reading the words was this was an elderly woman in the final stages of her life. Then I saw the wires and electrodes as members of her family attempting to gain knowledge of the woman's life before she passed away.

What I also find interesting is all of the different perceptions of the same photo.

pam said...

Oh my...that picture does not give me a good feeling. This is one of those things that will be interesting to know when we see face to face.

Mary said...

That first photo is quite interesting. It really does resemble those done by the Dutch masters. I can only imagine the stories that face could tell. It is etched with time and wisdom. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

srp said...

I saw a program yesterday... Wednesday, the day I thought was Tuesday all day... about people who see letters in color in their heads even when they are black and white on the page. I think it was called synesthesia. A very interesting and rare condition. They hear music in color as well... that would be lovely.

Bobbi said...

Very interesting. It's amazing how far we've come and what man can do to understand human behavior. Some I believe is good, some not so good. It's too bad there's not a devise that can measure ones common sense or lack thereof... The world seems to have a mindset that is different than what the Bible teaches and to those of us who know God, we look at the world and say... 'how can they not see the truth?'

George said...

I'm not sure that this picture reminds me of Rembrandt, but I do find it interesting. It's also interesting that we seem to have lost our minds (pun intended) in so many ways. We can almost certainly find it by turning to God instead of relying on ourselves.

Karin said...

Having worked in hospital settings since I was 15, this photo is not frightening or disturbing to me in the least. I'm so glad examinations like this are available to diagnose and then treat certain conditions.

I believe that our whole brain is in constant use - not all at once - and we're probably not aware of its use - just like all our other body parts (muscles etc.) are in use or have periods of slowed activity or rest. I find the workings of our bodies and particularly our brain very fascinating. Every one I know thinks so differently, using their gray matter uniquely from the next person. There is still so much to learn and so much info that's on my brain hard drive that I can't recall right away! Maybe my brain needs defragmentation to function at its best. Oh, and God's regeneration and renewing of my mind is still in progress!

Snopes has an interesting article on The Ten Percent Myth that may interest some folks.

Karin said...

Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE those magnolias! Thanks!

DawnTreader said...

Well it's not the kind of art I'd like to hang on my own wall (or in a waiting room in the hospital, for that matter), but put in a context it might serve as thought-provoking. (As you have just proved!)

As for the story of Adam and Eve, well it is sort of classical interpretation I suppose - whether you take it literally or not - that they were created perfect, and that disobedience made us lose some of the perfection. I'd be a bit careful with the too detailed interpreation though. Like whether we were ever even meant to use 100% brain capacity. Or if anyone can be sure that we're only using 10% of it now. Might look like that now, but maybe in 50 years or whatever they'll say something else! You know, when the brain gets damaged, it is often possible for another part of the brain (which usually does something completely different) to take over, and restore some of the lost functions of the body. Maybe we should be grateful that we have some "spare capacity" up there...

Nezzy said...

Maybe some of our brains lay dormant so in case we get an injury or illness that takes part of our brain it can hot wire itself and regenerate into the unused areas. Just sayin'...

God made us in a miraculous way.

Ya'll have a blessed day!!!

Fred Alton said...

I love the Living Bible Translation of Ecclesiastes 7:23 best of all. "I have tried my best to be wise. I declared, 'I will be wise.' but it didn't work!"

I don't think we have lost any of our brain capacity in the fall. I do think lots of us don't use our brains enough.

Enjoyed the post as always.

Regina said...

You know, this stuff just intrigues me. There is a poster of a dog's brain at a local gallery- portions of it's brain are sort of mapped out..as to what it's mind is mostly consumed about (pretty funny). Uh, ok..well, I tend to agree about the fall? Yesterday (this might be long, ha ha) I pulled out oranges that weren't getting eaten fast enough..
considered juicing them, but found a rotten one at the bottom..which generally has a way of spreading. I made room for a rather large bag of lemons my son had given and thought about the ground turkey that tasted funny after a only a short time in the fridge? Not just that, there were other things..anyway, we're in constant decay. Outside of Christ, the only hope is by-passing that delima of the brain. Doesn't always seem to come back to that? I'll be honest, it makes me think of hallucinogens because it can bridge (be it temporary) the gap of synapses (joke)..but seriously-those chemicals which trick the neurons..disrupting inhibitory synapses causing a chemical reaction but ultimately connecting what was lost in the fall. Then on the flip side, you have T.M...doing the same thing? But, wasn't it Christians, who discovered you just can't get around the cross (lol). Really thought provoking! I need a boost though.. so I'm open to something God would condone (ha ha) to make me feel better of course..
My last thought is, I used to struggle with limitation (not being academic), but learned God's strength is perfected in weakness..cause he wants us to depend and trust Him, but I'm very happy and often surprised at the wisdom He gives (smile)

Regina said...

Forgot to say just how gorgeous your header is!! What kind of flowers?

Regina said...

Forgot to say just how gorgeous your header is!! What kind of flowers?

Remington said...

That is strange....

Rose said...

Hi! i just had to take some time off from blogging to allow myself not get too absorbed. i agree that the picture is strange. i'm uncertain re the Adam and Eve theory. thanks for sharing rose

S. Etole said...

what a conflicting photo ... and interesting thoughts

Tracy said...

I've been checking back at the comments left by others on the photo...very interesting thoughts, yes?
BTW, yes, I did write the poem on my blog. I penned it when I was 17 years old. Glady you liked it....

gemini said...

Yes...Ginny, these are modernist concept of studying mankind, sometimes we forget that God made us who we are with love....fancy others would love to really dig, what's inside our brain...could they acquire personal disease? I don't know...maybe...HAPPY WEEKEND AND WE THANK THE LORD FOR GIVING US THE GIFT OF LIFE.....our professor will be retiring by March and he just waited that our batch completes academic requirements and he will be off going back to California USA,by summer, he is a US citizen. We will miss him a lot.

LV said...

That is not my kind of art. I may not have much brain, but I enjoy what I have with out this.

Chatty Crone said...

This picture made me feel sad - she looked sad.

I think our brain goes due to stress!

And then we over fill it with worry!

Love, sandie♥

Velvet Over Steel said...

Very interesting theory! Makes a lot of sense & the picture gave me the creeps a little.. you explained that well too.

Many of your post are so very deep and thought provoking, Ginny! I always ponder them for quite a while afterwards. ~ Coreen

Kim-Stuff could be worse said...

I personally believe that God meant for us to use our whole brains. Then sin got in the picture?? The doc does tell me that the MS I have is in the dead part of the brain? So not much of a problem :)

LC said...

Although I find the picture not exactly pleasurable, I suspect that if the art medium was different and we could see the scientists who are passionate about exploring brain function and new ways to diagnose and heal, or hear people who are excited to join the research as subjects just to be on the edge of new discovery, or maybe to give hope to a loved one. . . then the images might make us feel differently.

Ann said...

I won't want people to know what's in my mind without me telling them.

kanak7 said...

I have no fascination for machinery so this picture does not appeal to me at all. But that bit about using our brains...I wonder why...!?

Ann said...

While I won't argue that this is a very well done painting it's certainly not my cup of tea. :)
As for our brains and why we don't use the rest of it, I say because of the advancements in technology there are too many things doing the thinking for us. Example would be store registers that tell you how much change to give a customer. Young cashiers have no clue how to count change back and most times they don't have to because machine does the thinking for them. Maybe? Maybe not, just a thought

Doris Sturm said...

I like to be hopeful in that regard and speculate that we, as a human race, are still only in our infancy and therefore have much room for improvement and will be (hopefully) needing our brain capacity once we get some smarts under our belts...