its 4:30 am here in Zurich. and i wish to write down my thoughts about a moment i encountered yesterday after getting down from Tram number 2 as it came running down a large bridge over the Rhine River. I had missed my station for the Kunsthalle Museum, Basel.
I was visiting basel after exactly one year. I was here in 2018 for an art residency and today revisiting the city to visit the Cartoon Museum and other spaces.
We think there is newness in life. And i define newness as my experience of visiting a place and enjoying everything which is new of that place, seemingly its part of a different planet. As an example visiting a new country and encountering new ways of homes, people, culture etc.
For me it was an unbelievable moment of coming from zurich where i have been staying for two months and i found basel as a shock for my visual perception. Whatever i perceived of basel was from recent stay in Zurich. Yet whatever i perceived of basel was also from experience of being here one year back.
I was literally walking with two visions !!!!!
I felt completely shocked as i could stay with the feeling of newness, of what i felt being in basel last year and or shift to the current experience of seeing basel as a copy version of zurich and not respond to it with any enthusiasm. This meant i could choose it. I could choose my perception !!!!!
This is a mind boggling experience as i felt a certain crack in what we perceive as not having any truth. The newness is a built in phenomena of the mind. It is something we believe as encountering as having newness. I, at the same time can not deny that visiting a place for the first time does deal with this experience of newness. I would not challenge that as an experience but i would like to add, that seeing a city with its architecture, shops, stores is a fake reality which we travel to for a new experience. It is directly related to what our vision sees and there is not much truth in what we see. It’s like being able to see yet being blind.
So therefore i can conclude by saying that we can test this hypothesis by living two versions of the same experience and shift like two lenses at the same time and be confused which one to apply.
My direct experience was the change in the nature of my walk. I felt it so strongly how i crossed the street, how i walked, my pace, my connection with the space around me, was so different as compared to walking in zurich.
The walking was the best way to experience this as walking allowed direct responses to the mind. Every step, every movement of the body i could feel its presence in my environment. I could feel it strongly as i stood extremely restless inside the tram, waiting to get out and walk.
The calmness prevailed in a very uncertain way, as during the night time, i decided to go down to the path near the Rhine river. No one was there. I was only 2 meters above the fast flowing river and the road was much above me. I encountered a path with snow. And lot of my pressure eased as i kept pressing my feet on the fresh snow, as a path being walked on for the first time by anyone. I kept going on this lonely path pressing each time on the fresh and hardened snow which was maybe 2 cm in height. I still had the two vision perception as i laid my eyes on the lighted bridge ahead.
It was time to go back now to zurich. As how typical swiss people run after the tram, i also ran when i saw it later that night. Thinking to myself, i must write on this newness subject when i get back. I am sure Neuro science, psychology would have some term to the phenomena of memory.