In our last lecture we discussed our western ideas regarding our senses and how our vision is depicted as the heirachy sense. This all stemmed from Classical Greece ideas that eyesight was the noblest of the senses. This is know as Ocularcentrism, and it has been disputed by many psychologists over the last century, such as Pallasmaa who puts forward his argument of vision (to know the world) vs touch, taste, smell (to feel the world), he states that Ocularcentrism……”has left the body and the others senses, as well as our memories, imagination and dreams homeless.” – when we see things we don’t necessarily see the complete picture. This surely depends on our mood, what are particular thoughts are or/and our experiences that we have effects what we see. I also feel that each of our senses have to work together in order to get a greater sense of what is going on in the world around you. Our eyes can not always be trusted, two people can be looking at the same thing, but they may come away with two very different visual experiences.
When we think of Buddhism, which is practised all over the world, but derived from the far east, they have a different life style to what we as westerners have. Just by looking at their culture, art, architecture you get a sense of this. By using their senses in a completely different way, they see they the world very differently. Why is this? Is it the fact they have not been exposed to this notion of Ocularcentrism.
Is seeing really believing, or is just what we have be conditioned to see, as a western society. How much are we missing out on in the world by not crediting our other senses with the merit that they deserve. This is something that I am sure that I will be exploring more.