University of Minnesota Duluth block M and wordmark

UMD > CLA > Department of Studies in Justice, Culture, & Social Change > Anthropology > Tim Roufs > Culture and Personality

 Skip to the ContentsA    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z

  Anthropology in the News

ANTH 4616Calendar f2018

  TR HomePage    TR Courses
  Home f2024

 Culture and Personality 

(Psychological Anthropology)

  Margaret Mead
 Zhuangzi dreaming of a butterfly
(or a butterfly dreaming of Zhuangzi)


 Fall 2018 Calendar
Wednesday, 24 July 2024, 22:40 (10:40 PM) CDT, day 206 of 2024

Mustard seed.
Selected Culture and Personality WebSites

Course Information

Search the site

(all TR courses and web pages)


see also

  Optical Illusions

 Culturally Constituted Behavioral Envoronments (CCBE)

and Species Specific Behavioral Environments

 Altered States of Consciousness (ASC)

 "Alternative Facts"


As to the Question
of the Nature of Reality Itself . . .
an age-old question . . .

There's the . . .

Kung-sun Lung Paradox:

"A white horse is not a horse"

(Fernandez-Armesto, Felipe. Truth: A History and a Guide for the Perplexed.
St. Martin's Griffin, 2001, pp. 88, 104-105.)

 Unidentified White Horse, Wikimedia
Unidentified White Horse

 White Horse, Dimitri Kourouniotis
White Horse
 Dimitri Kourouniotis

For an explanation see . . .
Thompson, Kirill Ole. "When a White Horse Is Not a Horse."
Philosophy East and West, October, 1995, Vol. 45, Issue 4, p. 481.

(and something else to think about . . .)
(and people have been thinking about it a long time . . .)

Mustard seed.

In Ancient Eastern Philosophy . . .
there's the well-known . . .


Zhuangzi dreaming of a butterfly (or a butterfly dreaming of Zhuangzi).
Zhuangzi dreaming of a butterfly
(or a butterfly dreaming of Zhuangzi)

"Last night I dreamed I was a butterfly."

"How do I know that I am not a butterfly now dreaming I'm a man ?"

"Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things." -- (2, tr. Burton Watson 1968:49)

[From The Taoist book "Zhuangzi dreamed he was a butterfly" (莊周夢蝶 Zhuāng Zhōu mèng dié) -- Wikipedia]

Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu)

(4th Century B.C./B.C.E.)

"Zhuangzi's philosophy was very influential in the development of Chinese Buddhism, especially Chán (also known as Zen)."

The Yin and Yang Symbol with white representing Yang and black representing Yin.

The Yin and Yang Symbol
with white representing Yang and black representing Yin.


In Ancient Western Philosophy . . .


Plato's Cave.

 Seminar in Epistemology: Knowledge, Truth and Mathematics -- Russell Marcus

 Allegory of the Cave

  The Republic/Book VII

428/427 B.C. – 348/347 B.C.

Plato, 428/427 B.C. – 348/347 B.C.


Reality Check . . .
Which way is the man looking ? . . .

Man turning head Illusion

Who's holding whom in this picture ? . . .
Optical Illustion: Man turning his head.

In which direction is the dancer turning ? . . .

Can you get her to reverse her direction ?

Spinning Optical Illusion

  Optical Illusions -- Wikipedia

How Many People are there in this picture ? Count them . . .

Wait a minute, then check again . . .
Count-the-people Illusion

And don't forget to check on the "Beer Goggles" . . .

 beer goggles, before and after beer

And check out the Reality of . . .

Optical Illusions

Optical illusion stress test.

  Optical illusion stress test.


"Best Optical Illusion I Have Ever Seen" --

"I promise this isn't a scare video. Just keep focusing on the dot. And if you don't get the illusion, watch it again, without looking at the dot."

"The second picture was grey the entire time and your mind just put all those colors there."

For this one you need to use the YouTube version . . .

and it will start off like this . . .
stare at the dot (on the YouTube version) at the center of the image . . .

 House Illusion

This photo, colored, should "appear" . . . but you need to use the YouTube version . . .

 House Illusion


Go to the "Magic Eye" page and look at the Image of the Week
until you see the 3D image

Click on the image on the magic eye page for help, if necessary

Magic Eye©

 Unidentified White Horse, Wikimedia
  Magic Eye©

Take the Selective Attention Tests
(Be sure to take both tests--they're short)

Read and follow the directions carefully

First take #1  Selective Attention Test (1:22)

Then take #2  The Monkey Business Illusion (1:42)

 Selective Attention Test
  Selective Attention Test

cf., Rashomon Effect

Rashomon Effect -- Wikipedia

Selective Attention and Lifeguards

top of page
 /\ A-Z index



Optical Illusions and Reality
slides: (.pdf) (.pptx)
(Download PowerPoint Viewer Free) (Download Adobe .pdf Reader Free)
[see note on slide formats]

© 1998 - 2022 Timothy G. Roufs    Envelope: E-mail
Page URL: http:// /cla/faculty/troufs/anth4616/cpreality.html
Last Modified Saturday, 04 February 2017, 20:47 (08:47 PM) CST, day 035 of 2017
Site Information / Disclaimers ~ Main A-Z Index