People often anthropomorphize, sometimes seeing facial or other human features in plants or inanimate scenes, and often ascribing human feelings and emotions to pets, to wild animals, and even to important religious abstractions. This human tendency to anthropomorphize can provide comfort or cause unease, depending on the situation. The desire to find human attributes in the non-human may reflect our social nature and the importance of social context in our understanding of the world around us. And it is a good thing if it also encourages empathy for other living things and the environment.
I wonder if the increased speed of our civilization, increased electronic connectivity, and a corresponding reduction in time for contemplation and meaningful face to face contact with each other and with the natural world will affect the desire (or ability) to anthropomorphize — or to empathize.
I think with the ability to see/know what’s happening in every corner of the earth has produced both an empathy and callousness in people. It’s too much for the brain to handle.
A hundred years ago … man that was along time ago … and the rest of the world a million miles away.
People can only focus on so much for so long.
At the end of the day if your regular life goes on as usual; a donation, an acknowledgement that things are not right somewhere else, or a grimace usually does the trick.
note: I still see faces in clouds, flooring tile, and random gravel driveways, … but I never think pets are clever … and humanlike.
They are just pets … and can’t do arithmetic or play darts.
I agree, planetross… it’s often just too much for our brains to handle, especially older brains like mine. It’s that “regular life” as you call it, where you live, that matters. Much of the rest becomes like white noise and static. But pets not clever? Once you understand their motives (FOOD), you will find them brilliant at coaxing it from you, arithmetic or not. They can be very focused.
Very interesting subject–inspiring lots of questions and thoughts.
I completely agree. We are saturated with so much information that we do not need, we must self regulate, and that requires even more discipline. That’s not something that is valued very highly.
Now, I’ve got a GSD that has learned my ‘tells’ so well, that he has been charming more and more treats and devotion from us. It takes our pets awhile, but they are a lot smarter at reading our body in his seven years with us. They are much better at reading our body language than we are at reading theirs, don’t you think?
It is comforting to see human features in nature, a way of connecting to it, too.
I love both of these images! They are definitely “in one’s face.” Very strong work, as usual.
Thanks, Melinda! It is an interesting subject, sort of a tip of the iceberg… Since cultural changes are bigger than any one of us, one strategy is to focus on how to adapt. A similar strategy of adaptation could be applied to current political trends, or even climate change. But then is that just a cop-out that avoids the real work of change?
As for the dogs, ours seems to know when we are going out and leaving her alone well before we tell her. Sometimes before we even start getting ready to leave she’ll be sitting in her kennel waiting for the goodbye treat! They may be short on reasoning power, but they are long on reading the body language and tone of voice. Sometimes they seem better off for it.
Glad you like the pictures!
interesting comments about anthropomorphization. That Bromeli eye is beautifully colored. But why is it staring at me?
Thanks for stopping by Carol! It’s just a plant, you know… it’s not really staring at you. Or wait….?
I’ve enjoyed a “wonder full” snoop through your blog. Your work is intriguing and very beautiful, Donald!
Thanks so much Linny… for your visit, and your comment.
Your art is very soft and expressive. I love your style, and your luminous glowing pictures. Very beautiful and magnificent pictures.
Thank you so much, Shelley! Your use of the word “luminous” pleases me…