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What Are Illusions ?

Updated on January 31, 2013

Illusion comes in a few different varieties;-

  1. the brain's interpretation or perception of visual stimuli
  2. the brain's interpretation or perception of a combination of words

Enter the Anomalous zone, a deviation from what is normal or expected, the brain has a mind of its own in this area. The visual examples below are circus tricks purposely designed to present the brain with conflicting information - the result - something that is at odds with reality.

Eyes Center ..people

life is an illusion to me now.....

Your eyes are making these circles move, to test this, stare at one spot for a couple of seconds and everything will stop moving.

Or look at the black center of each circle and it will stop moving. But move your eyes to the next black center and the previous will move after you take your eyes away from it.

Get those eyes under control people..


Where Does it Come From

The Etymology for illusion reveals that it is from the Latin illudere to mock at, from in- + ludere to play, mock. Often the explanation is vanilla, quite simply someone who is an adept creates an 'illusion' designed to 'mock' the senses of the viewer by altering the interpretation in a way that deviates from the actual reality.


Illusion from a poet's perspective

Poetry is all about perceived reality, (IMHO) this means entering the swamp of illusion and dis-illusion. We interpret words and images from the standpoint of our own version of reality, perhaps this explains why life is so chaotic.

It is all about the metaphor and the battle with explicit statements that actually mean something and those that are, shall we say, illusionary :-)

I could say;-

I loved her with my whole heart...

at least until Tuesday

..if you read this in 2 halves (constructed in two lines purposely) you may find a degree of empathy with the first line but be totally destroyed/dismayed by the second, this is good..

We see this in all types of poems, particularly those that invoke a deep emotional reaction, e.g. love | hate | anger | loathing... all those base human emotions that make us get out of bed every day...

Why Does This Work (or not rather)

These are optical illusions, the brain does not like what it receives and acts like a politician and presents you with something completely different that you do not want and does not really exist, but which is, nonetheless better for you... :-)

These images help to convey that idea, we cannot really trust our brains. so look sharp people...



Why Is This Like This are an American and completely out of touch with reality... just joking... :-)

Why - this is a tough question, different people see slightly different versions, there is a deeper question here in the nature of reality and how it may or may not stretch across dimensions.

In terms of the cognitive process going on, you see objects in the context of what you know and what you have 'learned'. When what you see conflicts with the model held in your brain you have the classic 'does not compute' reaction. The brain resolves this mental dilemma by producing what it considers to be the best effort at representing what it thinks is there versus what is really there. (there is a lot of this in day to day life)



Floor tiles at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The pattern creates an illusion of three-dimensional boxes.

You could go to the Basilica and attempt to climb these... good luck with that.. !!






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    • Drax profile imageAUTHOR

      des donnelly 

      11 years ago from NYC....

      so you're always on the look out Eye Illusions.... that's kinda surreal..

    • profile image

      Eye Illusions 

      11 years ago

      I love these things! I can't get enough!

    • MortimerWorth profile image


      12 years ago from Germany

      That's what I'm talkin' about.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      ah, I'm a big escher fan. I loved his always downflowing water thing among others.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      12 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Escher was a mathematisian and involved with a lot of "eye-crossing" illusions.

      I'm still seing spots, great HUB regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      "apparently the brain does not believe what it is seeing (a regular phenomenon) and 'edits' the image" (you)

      that sounds remarkably like the processing technique of the average American GOPer. :p

    • Drax profile imageAUTHOR

      des donnelly 

      12 years ago from NYC....

      thanks very much folks, apparently the brain does not believe what it is seeing (a regular phenomenon) and 'edits' the image.... this then is the result, a fixed image that uumm moves...

    • djtphn1 profile image


      12 years ago from Riverside County, California

      That is weird, how does this happen!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I get butterflies when I read his Hubs too sometimes, so I don't think you are wrong. :)

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      12 years ago from Sydney

      I looked and looked and they appear to revolve and I thought of butterflies. Still I will not complain , if you tell me I was wrong.

      It happens to me sometimes, being wrong I mean

      Thank you for the entertainment.

    • Mark Rollins profile image

      Mark Rollins 

      12 years ago

      Drax, you rock!

      I actually thought that was some fancy trick of Flash animation.

      Very much worth posting!


    • Rapidwriter profile image


      12 years ago from UK

      Amazing. Thanks.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      12 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      The eyes can sure play tricks on you with this sort of thing. Thanks for sharing

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      life is often an illusion to me and perhapz it's better that way. :)

      neat hub~


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