Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Premises: Images, Sounds and Words

Images have always been around us from time immemorial. Primitive man used his talents to draw pictures of his hunt on the walls of the caves. The trend continues through history with paintings and frescoes and murals being depicted on walls of houses and temples across the globe.

Primitive man also used some sounds and later on developed a form of writing to convey his ideas and thoughts.

Today, man has been ‘bombarded’ with myriad images and consequently has probably lost the fascination that these images once provoked. The words we read in books, newspapers, internet etc. also serve to generate a visual imagery – albeit inside the confines of the mind.

Sound is also an indisputable factor in creating images – the effect is far more subtle and more entrancing for human beings. When we listen to certain kinds of music and hear certain lyrics, we are often creating images in our mind – here the effect is dual.

Thus, it is not easy to ignore the effect that images still have on the human mind – whether the effect is subtle or is in your face – the effect remains. The effect created by these images we see, the sounds we hear and the words we read also creates within us a subtle perception shift. We ‘see’ things differently – we identify with certain lyrics, whereas we don’t like the sound of certain kinds of music or some pictures move us from within.

My perception is that the reason behind this like and dislike is the mental imagery created by these words and sounds. Images speak to us as humans on a deep level. The symbolism present within these images may not be too direct, but images convey a lot to us and we, unknowingly, get sucked into their world.

A variety of different media are used to transmit these images / sounds / words to us – television or film, pictures or paintings, illustrations in books, photographs, music (whether it has lyrics or not) – even the internet has become another media where all these seamlessly come together. Each media has its own pros and cons, but we are not going to get into that here.

The fact remains that we are visually ‘bombarded’ with images, sounds and words all the time. And these mental images make a lasting impression, unconsciously or consciously, and affect us or our psyche on a deep, internal level.
So what does this mental image really mean? What does it stand for? What is it trying to subconsciously convey to us?

These and such related ideas are going to be explored by the articles on my blog here. Hopefully, it will enable us to understand ourselves better and to reach within to unlock our own personal mysteries.

Towards that end, we are going to look at each image from various perspectives – such as from the perspectives of mythology, symbolism and of course, logic. All these perspectives should help us evaluate what the image is all about and what happens to us when we see it.

I invite you to join me in this journey of discovery and write to me with your thoughts, ideas and comments.