What is Real and True?
What is Real and True? "You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free" --John 8:32
In 1420, realistic paintings appeared and the sudden "burst" of Realism was described in superlatives.
"Van Eyck's spatial world is no less crisply constructed than Giotto's, but it is intimate rather than epic, its quintessence the interior where man is not noble but homely, positively at home in a personal environment which had never been so exactly mirrored before until Van Eyck painted the double portrait of the Marriage of Giovanni Arnofini and Giovanna . " Levey, Michael "A History of Western Art" Oxford University Press; 1968. Pg. 122. Mr. Levey had no idea how accurate his phrase "exactly mirrored" was.
First, a little history: In 1010, Abu'Ali Al-Hasan ibn Al-Haytham, aka Alhazen, wrote the mathematics of optics, lenses and telescopes.
In 1420, suddenly "Realist" paintings appeared and portraits of many great masters also "exactly mirrored" their subject.
In 2002, it was noticed that "mirrored" exactly described the art. For example, a disproportionate number of subjects were left-handed! Monkeys were left handed, as they would appear in a mirror image
Using computer graphics it is possible to superimpose sketches of the subject over the paintings and they proved an exact match, except for some, relatively distant parts like ears in paintings of a face. Computer graphics showed that they were out of focus, as they would be if made with a mirror focused on the front of the face.
Such observations led, in 2002, in CBS 60 Minutes, to conclude they were made by great painters who used a mirror to project a reverse image of the object on canvas, which they traced and these sketches, as projected by a "Camara Oscura."survive.
Further proof: Al Hazen's "Optics" Vatican manuscript is annotated by Lorenzo Ghibertii [1378-1455], who cast the bronze doors of Florence's Baptistry (a copy in San Francisco). "Optics" included equations of visual perspective used in sculpture, painting, mirrors, and lenses. While history credits Giambattista della Porta with the pinhole camera, in 1570, an annotated copy of Al Hazen's book on optics, from 1010, was found in his library.
A Guru asked his disciples how they could tell when the night had ended and the day begun. So how can one tell what is Real and True and Day from Night? A Guru asked his disciples. -"When you see an animal in the distance and can tell whether it is a cow or a horse." -"No," said the Guru.
-"When you look at a tree in the distance and can tell if it is a neem or a mango tree." -"Wrong again," said the Guru. -"Well, then, what is it?" asked his disciples.
-"When you look into the face of any man and recognize your brother in him, when you look into the face of any woman and recognize in her your sister. If you cannot, no matter what time it is by the sun, it is night."
The subtle point of the story is that what our eyes perceive is not what we think we see. This is apparent if you show a lipstick, a gun and a silk stocking, with a tear, to a group of people. Some will be indifferent and others fightened by the gun, for example. This indicates that something else affects what we see so much that even strong emotions, like fear or reassurance will dominate our personal reactions.
What matters is not only what we see but what did we learn, in all of our life, up to the present moment, about what we see. Gee, do you think we are all biased? Except, some of us don't think so.