Optical illusions and visual phenomena

Interesting collection of 134 optical illusions and visual phenomena.

Which one is your favourite?



After looking at the first couple of them, the “kinegram” is the most surprising for me and has even some humorous flair … The Buddhas “stick & snake”-problem at its best illustrations!
(I’d like to see something similar (set of nice examples) with word-processing.)


I think the brain’s ability to ‘fill in the gaps’, to create continuity is amazing where there is discontinuous sensory phenomena. Vipassana stops the creation of this illusion.

This?: Delusion avijja.pdf (1012.5 KB)


WHoa! Stepping Feet blew my mind!
This is a completely new one to me. It’s a temporal delusion.
Thank you. This is great practice for simply observing.

The illusion only goes away in the eye that is going blind and only as I meditate.
Apparently that is the eye that truly sees. :eyes: :open_mouth:

Hmm. The illusion goes away in both eyes with deeper meditation.
OK. This totally rocks. I can literally see my state of mind. The stepping is irritating and when it disappears into smooth flow, so does my mind immerse.

Stepping Feet is now one my kasina meditations.
:pray: :pray: :pray:


Optical illusions reveal the fact that our perception of structures as they appear is an abstraction and a model of reality and however reality is perceived it’s perception does not transcend the realm of perception.

I think rather than illusion it is an abstraction of reality, a model expression of causes and conditions.

There is ultimately no difference between the perception of an optical illusion and the perception of any other structures, after all we do not see the particles structures as they actually are even if we use instruments to measure and visualize the data in order for structures which would not normally appear to the naked eye appear to us e.g using a microscope or a telescope.

Where we see a rock, that perception of the rock and the idea of the rock is mind-made and whatever we say it is, well it isn’t that. It is only an abstract model expression of the process of changing causes and conditions.

Therefore not an illusion per se, rather it is a model and an abstraction. This is was quite extensively studied and expressed in the early 1900s by Alfred Korzybski, the founder of the field of General Semantics.

I think this is very relevant to the Dhamma and a very good basis for insight.

(Kotthita Sutta: To Kotthita)
[Sariputta:] "The statement, ‘With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media [vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, & intellection] is it the case that there is anything else?’ objectifies non-objectification.[[1]]
The statement, ‘… is it the case that there is not anything else … is it the case that there both is & is not anything else … is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?’ objectifies non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes. However far objectification goes, that is how far the six contact media go. With the remainderless fading & stopping of the six contact-media, there comes to be the stopping, the allaying of objectification.


So, which one of the illusions is your favourite? :slightly_smiling_face:

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I did not look thru all of them but i’ll just pick the skull for it is associated with death.


Perhaps a nice “header” for this thread:
Try to focus the void “to see more”…