The Optical Illusion

Old Hag Optical IllusionThe old woman with a head scarf stares back at its viewer. On first glance she seems to be all there is to the picture.

But not so fast! A young woman is also in the picture. Some people actually see the young woman first.

No matter who is seen first, the second person, old or young woman, always requires more concentration to see.

Similarly, in the 90’s, mall art stores sometimes displayed laser art that carried an optical illusion. By standing a certain distance away from the pictures and nearly crossing your eyes, a 3-D picture would leap out of the picture. Those who took the effort and time were rewarded with amazing images.

Some say seeing the young woman first means greater optimism, orientation toward the young, or even an optimistic outlook. So apparently that would mean that if the old woman is seen first, an opposite set of assumptions might be implied.

The old woman/young woman picture seems to be a parable of observation. If theorists are right, what beats in your heart determines what you see with your eyes.

An optimistic person who regards the world as warm, welcoming, and full of potential encounters people with cheer.

A pessimistic person who regards the world as dangerous, full of judgment and hostility will greet people suspiciously. This person says, ‘No one can be trusted because they are all out to get you.’

Conspiracy theorists see enemies everywhere. The world looks like a threatening old hag.

It doesn’t have to remain that way. With some concentration and effort it becomes apparent that there’s beauty to be seen.

It’s a happier way to live.