On Stabbing Yourself in the Eye with a Pencil

eye_by_atomiccircus-d6bsphe-1Eye Pencil Drawing by AtomiccircuS

 

This morning I woke up with a shock.

I had just stabbed myself in the eye with a pencil in an attempt to solve a problem.

The problem was a pain in my left eye.

A sharp feeling of having a shard of glass inside the eyeball.

And the pencil was, to my dreaming mind, the cure, the soothing balm which would by stabbing it in my eye, relieve the pain and thus solve the problem.

The pencil in my eyeball was a figment of my dream. The pain in the eye is a reality. Not one which I am going to solve by stabbing myself with a pencil.

My dreaming mind is not that different from my waking mind when it comes to solving problems, but it has enough of a grasp on logic to not be a complete moron. Although sometimes I wonder…

I wonder what the dream was expressing, other than the obvious – my eye is hurting and I’d like it to stop. I can guess what the physical source of the pain is. I am mentally exhausted which has rippled into my body, and when I am physically knackered it always affects my eyes.

 

third_eye_by_babydollb-d5gqe6z

Third Eye by BabyDollB

 

But what else can I read into this dream, which perhaps may throw some insight onto other matters which may or may not be troubling me?

I have no idea what other dreams preceded this one, or what came before this scene in this dream. When you wake up suddenly, the dream world tends to vanish quickly and the waking world comes into focus.

Even though I could only focus on it with one eye. Which is sort of interesting…

Have you ever played that game where you look at something with one eye, while the other is closed, then switch eyes to see if the view your are beholding appears different through each eye separately?

If you have, did you find one eye was more clear in its vision than the other?

Have you ever tried to focus a pair of binoculars and found your eyes don’t agree on what being in focus is? Binoculars always give me a headache which I didn’t have before I used them.

I am fairly certain that there is a theory floating around in the collective consciousness which holds those things known as scientific facts that each eye connects to a hemisphere of the brain… and that the brain only has two hemispheres (as far as we know and since we use our brain to know things… hmmm).

brain

Perhaps the division in my brain is not clear cut. I get confused easily and not just because I have dyslexia, but that does have some bearing, so I am not always certain which side is which until I really think about it, and even then when I decide… I wonder.

 

technical difficulties

I wonder if the captains of the left and right hemispheres of my brain are still trying to decide what bits belong to their side, and maybe they’re fighting, and maybe they have a wonky boundary line… if they have one at all… which keeps being erased and redrawn.

 

unclear sign

And what happens to the bits of the body which fall in the no man’s land between sides? How do they divvy those bits up?

Whose side are you on mouth? – asks the captain of the left hemisphere team.

I picked the mouth, so it’s on my side! – the captain of the right hemisphere team answers for the mouth.

You can’t have the mouth, speech belongs to my side! – says the left.

Screw reason and logic, the mouth is a vessel for creative expression! – says the right.

I need the mouth to expound my opinion, state facts, I have important shit to say! – left argues rather illogically for the left hemisphere.

Yeah, yeah, whatever… you can have the nose, it sticks out, sometimes obscures vision, and thinks it’s more important than it really is, it looks like it is a bit out of joint, that’s the sort of thing I imagine goes with left hemisphere thinking! – right uses the mouth to smile.

Don’t you use the nose and the imaginary scents it smells to justify your completely ridiculous theories about the meaning of… all that gobbledygook which uses up so much of the oxygen in the brain that it dulls my side and means I have to work using an emergency generator – Left sounds a bit tetchy, maybe it’s tired.

Well, while those two continue their quest to disagree on everything and never the twain shall meet… how can I use this to figure out what stabbing my left eye in a dream meant?

And who was controlling the hand which stabbed the eye with the pencil?

I can’t recall which hand it was… perhaps it was the right side which might explain nothing really, but…

In true human style of creating complete chaos out of the unknown and pretending it is order… the left side of the body is controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain and the right side of the body is controlled by the left hemisphere of the brain.

 

Lefthemisphere:righthemisphere - brain body

Of course, how logical!

Why?

Well, that’s the way it is and that’s that! We have facts to back this up, facts which our brains have discovered using our brains to study our brains and our brains are very good at that sort of thing.

So my left eye is controlled by the right hemisphere of my brain, therefore stabbing it is probably a crime committed by the left hemisphere of my brain, perhaps to make sure the right brain can’t see what the left brain is up to… or was it a clever ploy by the right brain to frame the left brain and therefore…

Wait a minute… why would it blind itself? That’s illogical… Ah, but logic belongs to the left hemisphere and thus not to the right. The right hemisphere is an artist and artists do things like that!

Perhaps… it is one of those suicides designed to appear like a murder.

“He was dead, all right. He had been shot, poisoned, stabbed, and strangled.

Either somebody had really had it in for him or four people had killed him. Or else it was the cleverest suicide I’d ever heard of.” ― Richard S. Prather

But what advantage would the right brain get from that and what advantage would the left brain get from it? Is there a middle brain they are trying to impress? An overlord of the hemispheres which science hasn’t discovered through brain examination because the overlord of the scientists’ brains makes sure that its presence goes undetected?

 

lord,what fools...

Which side of my brain came up with that theory?

Or is it just a left versus right which is getting out of hand (and putting pencils in one or t’other hand to stab eyes), a fight which started long ago and continues because that’s the way it has always been and always will be until both sides stop and question the wisdom of it and maybe work together.

 

brain vs heart

Hmmm…

Case closed due to… lack of evidence or too much of it.

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8 thoughts on “On Stabbing Yourself in the Eye with a Pencil

  1. I’m studying psychology, and just came across this misinformation/false diagram (showing the right hemisphere, and documenting it as the left hemisphere, etc). I just wanted to chime in so that the opportunity to correct it was possible.

    The left hemisphere (or “left side”) of the brain, is on the left side of the human’s body that that brain is inside. This diagram is backwards. If you are looking at a diagram of a man’s (or a woman’s) face (and seeing his brain from that same angle) then remember that your “right” is his “left.” That means that this diagram is labeled wrong, since it is showing a brain being looked at from this angle. From this angle, the left hemisphere would be seen on the right side (since the left hemisphere of the brain is always on the left side of a human’s body).

    If you’re familiar with theatre, you can always remember this because it works the same way as “Stage Left” and “Stage Right” (which is always from the perspective of the actor (not the audience).

    I just wanted to leave that comment so that there’s less confusion on the internet over the correct physiology (and labeling) of the brain.

    Cheers,
    ~Holly

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    1. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      You’re going to be very busy leaving comments like this one as a lot of blogs and websites use this very image. If you do decide to do that, may I suggest a softer approach, one which empathises with the person who will read your comment on their post, which preferably does not infer that they are stupid (even if you think they are) and takes into account how the image was used within the context of the post and acknowledges the content of the post. Bloggers are rather sensitive about their online homes, and if you start off the way that you did and continue in that vein, a blogger might decide not to approve your comment and not allow it to appear on their post and your quest to save the online world from confusion might meet with a stumbling block.

      I think you’ll find that this image was designed to be looked at as though looking into a mirror (or as an audience member if you would prefer to stick with your theatre comparison) which is how most people would view this image and when you look at it that way the hemispheres are correct.

      I also think you’ll find that people are intelligent, can assess what they are seeing logically, can make any adjustments which they need to understand it (the brain is clever like that) and that they know which side of their body is which. Even those like me who have dyslexia know which side of their body is which, and we can also read the words ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ and understand what that means, thus applying it without dissolving into confusion.

      I was being humorous in this post, having a bit of light-hearted fun with a dream I had had, I am fairly certain that none of those who have come across this old post have been confused by it, and that even after being exposed to that image, they were still able to function correctly.

      Best wishes in your crusade.

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      1. I had no idea that what I was writing would be taken that offensively. My apologies. I suppose I was either in a very blunt, straight forward mood or else my communication style is just more naturally like that than the style of communication you prefer. Either way though, I definitely did not have the intention of making you feel like I thought you were not intelligent. And, I would never come to such a sweeping generalization from the information I gathered here.

        On the other hand, I have been seeing too much subtle misinformation lately on the internet. And, I don’t plan on going around trying to correct it all, but, I perhaps science misinformation gets to me more.

        Anyway, I’ll have to watch my words, because if doing that sort of thing comes across like I am inferring the person is stupid… Well, that’s not what I want to be doing. Especially when I haven’t actually made that inference.

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        1. Thank you for replying,

          I realise you didn’t mean to sound the way that I heard you. It’s a common occurrence in communication for meaning to get scrambled as it travels through the airwaves between us and the other.

          If I knew you better, as in if you were a regular commenter on my blog, then I probably would not have felt as I did as your style of communicating would have been familiar rather than as though a stranger had walked up to me in the street to inform me that what I was wearing bothered them and they were going to tell me exactly why on a day when I wasn’t in the mood for such a thing. I wasn’t offended, you just happened to hit upon something which gets to me while you were caught up with something which gets to you, and you happened to do it after I’d had a particularly bad day (a bad day which connected to issues of misinformation).

          I appreciate bluntness, I’m fairly blunt myself but I’m aware that bluntness often begets bluntness and everyone ends up a bit sore from it.

          There is loads of misinformation on the internet, quite a few news sites have a regular feature which list the top misinformation and news hoaxes which went viral during the week. It’s a common occurrence in the human experience, an example of macrocosm and microcosm, and many other theories. We used to believe that the world was flat, and anyone who denied it, said it was spherical was considered crazy or worse still a heretic. That ‘fact’ and other scientific facts across a wide range of what we consider to be science, or akin to science depending on the century, have later been debunked.

          You might enjoy this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxIGlMrrhQM – Mental Floss’ 50 Common Misconceptions.

          It’s not so much about ‘watching your words’ as we can’t control how people hear us no matter what we do when we speak – although people are more likely to listen to you, especially if you’re saying something which they might not want to hear, if you lace your speech with honey. No one likes to feel that you’re telling them that they are wrong, whether that’s what you’re doing or not. No one likes to admit that they are wrong, whether they are or not, and certainly not when they are placed on the spot. I’m sure you don’t like it either, so it is easy to empathise with other people on that matter.

          “A man convinced against his will
          Is of the same opinion still.”

          ― Dale Carnegie

          And that ‘man’ may be even more set in his misinformed ways if you tell him he is misinformed, because you were not informed enough about him, his psychology, to convince him to inform himself with your information of his misinformation.

          People are very complex, as I’m sure you are too. I would hazard a guess that this – “science misinformation gets to me more” – is connected to a deeply personal issue which may be a part of what inspired you in your studies and to pursue psychology. What motivates us, what gets to us and moves us, stirs our passionate nature, is usually linked to our earliest experiences of human life and relationships.

          I admire your passion. Perhaps a better way of de-misinforming all of us out here on the internet would be to create a place, maybe on your blog, where you highlight the misinformation which you have spotted and then constructively show what the correct information is. Those who are open to your views, however you choose to express them in your own particular style, will flock to you and find you to be a haven on information which they, of their own free will, choose to take on board.

          I took that particular image and did an image search with it, there were many results to the search, and many of the blogs and websites which use it, use it in a scientific manner as opposed to the way that I used it. Anyone who happens upon this post, and actually reads it, would not likely think that I had used that image to teach science in any way at all. This is a silly post, so perhaps the ‘scientifically misinformed’ image suits it.

          Our interaction, as awkward as it ended up being, gave me an insight into some things for which I am most grateful.

          Thank you for sharing 🙂

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          1. Thanks for that reply. I’m only seeing it now, because I haven’t been on WordPress for a while. But, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the constructive criticism, and I feel much better now about this whole thing. (You sound much less offended now, which relieves me, since I wasn’t meaning to hurt; and you seem to understand that I didn’t mean for my words to come across like such an attack).

            I do see now that my wording was fairly cold though. Perhaps when the brain has been researching scientific data for hours, some of that usual warmness escapes, and is replaced with more “matter of fact” kind of thinking. From what I’ve been reading in Psych, I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. And, I’m not excusing bluntness. I’m just trying to take a step back and observe myself and my own behaviour. Because, I probably WAS more cold than usual. But, I wasn’t in a bad mood, if I am remembering things accurately. So, if I am prone to slipping into very matter of fact, overly to the point, non-honey coated communication specifically when I’ve been reading a lot of very textbook-ish /scientific information… well, that’s just good to be aware of.

            By the way, I’m not actually a Psych major. I’m just taking Psych and Cognitive Science classes right now because I’m interested in them. I’m actually doing a Double Fine Arts Major (so, pretty darn different).

            Anyway, enough about me. (That’s what my own blog is for).

            Thanks for the expression of your gratitude (despite the awkwardness, etc.). Insights and learning is always good.

            Hopefully this all makes sense. I am slightly reluctant to post, seeing as it’s around 6am, and I’ve been up the whole night. But, hey, on the small chance I’ve put my foot in my mouth and don’t realize it yet… go easy: it’s my birthday. 🙂

            Cheers,

            ~Holly

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            1. Hi Holly,

              Happy Birthday! Best wishes for your personal new year 😀

              Awkwardness and things like that are the spice of interactions. We get to know each other through the cracks, trips and feet in mouth moments better than we do through the easier communications. It’s all a part of the adventure of living, being, doing, saying and discovering.

              I’m really glad we met as we did, and am enjoying knowing you a bit better, so thank you for sharing and commenting.

              I used to work in the art business and grew up with artists, studying psych and cognitive science is a good idea, it will give you an interesting edge and perspective. The fine arts is a Gordian Knot, best to have a sharp sword when dealing with it. And I have a feeling that you’re going to create something great, whatever you do once you have finished your studies. You have a wonderful energy and zest in your style step.

              Have a lovely B’day,

              Ursula

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  2. Not sure what I am – dominant left eye, dominant left hand, dominant right ear, dominant right foot. My, it’s a mess in there! 😉 Btw, I wake up sometimes with a pain in my eye (right). It guess it beats a pain in the ass. 😉

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    1. Haha! I recently tried out the Wii Fit thingy and it has this board upon which you stand which measures (judges you) your left/right balance and all these exercises (games) which help you (make you self-conscious) to redress your balance. There’s a Yoga section and you have to keep this red dot inside a yellow circle while doing poses and the yoga instructor (machine) keeps telling you to breath in and out rhythmically, but if I do that then the red dot goes all over the place. So… what I’ve learned so far is my balance is a mess, but if I hold my breath a red dot stays inside a yellow circle and I get points for that 😉 yay!

      I did that thing I rarely do due to paranoia and searched Web MD about eye pain… basically it’s eye strain due to staring at a computer screen and not taking enough breaks for the eyes. Phew! That and I really shouldn’t jab a pencil in my eye in my dreams 😉

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