I’m reading Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake.
The author writes about David Abram, a philosopher and magician, who was working as a magician at Alice’s Restaurant in Massachusetts. He would walk around tables, and coins would vanish and reappear in new places. Customers started coming up to him saying that when they left, they noticed the sky was more blue, and the clouds more vivid. They heard and saw more. “The magic tricks were changing the way people experienced the world.
The explanation: “Our perceptions work in large part by expectation.” “It is our preconceptions that create the blind spots in which magicians do their work.” “Tricked out of our expectations, we fall back on our senses. What’s astonishing is the gulf between what we expect to find and what we find when we actually look.”
The book opens a whole new world. Indulge!
One example is slime molds. “Physarum form exploratory networks made of tentacle-like veins and have no central nervous system – nor anything that resembles one. Yet they can “make decisions” by comparing a range of possible courses of action and can find the shortest path between two points in a labyrinth.”
One man, who can’t find his way out of an IKEA store, decided to test it out. He built a maze sized for slime molds and modeled on the floor plan of his local IKEA store. “Without any signs or staff to direct them, the slime molds soon found the shortest path to the exit.”