THE BLACK SHADOW

Basically in my dreams I always saw a black figure hidden in a corner of my dream, but it was never well defined, and I couldn't explain what it could be. Most of the time I woke up, I would find her at the foot of the bed.
Then one night I managed to dream what she was like physically: she was a woman (so he wasn't the man I saw in my mother's room) with a face half skin and half bone, long hair, black and unkempt and a flower. red next to the right ear. Her eyes were wide enough to pop out of their sockets. Hidden inside the sleeve of the tunic he wore, he carried a large butcher's knife. This woman has followed me on many occasions, even in my father's house.
Once, while I was in bed and thinking, I heard a woman's voice in my head smile sharply and then say "Hello" to me. Another time, however, the voice of a small child woke me up saying "Hello beautiful".
Sometimes, walking down the street, I have the feeling that someone is following me, but when I look around there is nobody.
I think this woman is following me, and I think she lives in my mother's room, but then there are the man and the child ... Once I dreamed of that man, I dreamed that I saw him in the reflection of the bathroom mirror. Then I dreamed that I had gone out to the balcony and, when I wanted to close the French door, I saw in the reflection of the glass a little girl crying. I remember that she had a yellowed white dress, her hair disheveled and her skin as if it were soiled with dirt.
Can you tell me who all these people are and what they want from me?
I think it's a family, but I live in an house that was built around 1940 and there was nothing before it.

THE ALIEN KNIFE

A century later, the figure of Tutankhamun still remains full of mysteries. One of this is the nature of his dagger, one of the many treasures of the funeral, which has a total of over 5,000 finds. The question that archaeologists have asked themselves to date concerns the material of which it is composed: the eye is attracted by the handle and the golden hilt, but the protagonist is iron. According to the hypotheses of archaeologists, at the time of Tutankhamun, iron was a more valuable material than gold, and indicated a very high social status.
In fact, there is no archaeological evidence of iron smelting in Egypt prior to the 6th century BC, and the earliest known example of the use of metallic iron dates back to 3400 BC. approximately, therefore before the unification and the era of the pharaohs, which begins around 3,000 BC.
The ancient Egyptians knew this and, after all, they had told us. A papyrus tells of an "iron rained down from heaven". But the mystery of the origin of one of the two daggers found together with the mummy of the child pharaoh, Tutankhamun, has divided scholars since the sarcophagus kept in the Valley of the Kings was opened in 1925. an Italian-Egyptian research, also born after the discovery of a crater. Among the many mysteries and superstitions linked to the pharaoh, starting with the curse that would have struck those who profaned his tomb, at least one unknown factor has been solved. With X-ray fluorescence, scientists have removed all doubts: the iron from the blade of that dagger comes from space.
The dagger, about 35 centimeters long and not at all rusty, was slipped between the mummy's bandages, to prepare for the encounter with the afterlife: suffice it to say how precious it was.
There were scholars who already claimed it was a meteorite, while others thought it had been imported: in Anatolia in the fourteenth century BC. C., when Tutankhamun lived, the iron was already there. "Incredibly, however, so far no one had done any analysis."
But how did it come to be an alien metal? From the composition: iron in fact contains 10% nickel and 0.6 cobalt: «These are the typical concentrations of meteorites. an alloy, in these concentrations, is impossible ». The instrumentation used on the exhibit in Egypt was not invasive, the X-ray fluorescence, then the data and results were analyzed in Italy. The bilateral project, which began in these days, would perhaps no longer be possible in today's Egypt.
The meteorite that generated the crater was of ferrous origin, and crashed to the ground about 5,000 years ago, destroying itself in many fragments. From those pieces the iron would have been extracted to make the blade of the Pharaoh's dagger, an object not of practical but ornamental use.
In the 1970s and 1990s, researchers toyed with the idea that the blade might have come from a meteorite, but their results were inconclusive. However, last year, a team of Italian and Egyptian researchers used a new technology called X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to take another look.
Their results? The blade's composition of iron, nickel and cobalt "strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin".
A meteorite found in the port city of Marsa Matruh, which is 150 miles west of Alexandria, had a similar composition to the dagger, thus giving credit to the scientists' discovery.

SOME ARTISTS WERE MAD?

There are artists who paint what they see, others who paint what they remember or what they imagine. Our brain changes in the face of reality but, at the same time, it is capable of changing it: a "different" brain must therefore have a different relationship with reality.
In art this "process" can lead to the creation of new realities, which will only partly depend on "sensorial information"; our brain, in fact, does not necessarily need the continuous "information flow" coming from our senses. Dreams, memories that "revive" in mental images and also representations "simply" created by our mind testify to this event.
In this sense, art amplifies reality, creates a new "mental channel" capable of opening up to new experiences. The visual stimuli, real or evoked by memory, which excite the nervous system of the artist at the moment of the creation of the work of art, transformed by his hand into colors and shapes, will stimulate the nervous system of the observer. The work of art must be able to arouse in the observer's brain sensations and emotions that have been present in the artist's brain [Maffei L., Fiorentini A., 1995]. Approaching a work of art, looking at it, perceiving it, understanding it and appreciating it, implies the involvement of many brain structures and the activation of very specific mechanisms, starting from the functioning at the basis of visual perception, to those involved in the so-called "psychology of see ", in the aesthetic and emotional experience. This refers not only to the emotion felt by those who enjoy a painting but also to the creative moment that involves the artist to create his work.
Some researchers, especially psychologists and neurophysiologists, have been fascinated by the possibility of studying the properties and characteristics of the brain that are part of the evaluation of a work of art and the pleasure it can give; persuaded by the idea that the understanding of these cerebral mechanisms, together with the knowledge of the events of the life of an artist and of the culture of his time, can favor a greater "knowledge" and appreciation of the work and of those who created it.
A work of art is born from the combination of what the artist experiences "visually" and how he interprets what is communicated to him from the outside world. Both the acquisition of visual information and its internal processing can be altered by pathological causes.
The effects of serious mental illnesses, often altering the artist's perceptive and emotional abilities, can affect his pictorial expression and testify how the painter's life story becomes an integral part of his work.
All this emerges in the paintings of some great painters in particular moments of their life.
Francisco Goya (1746-1828) was suffering from an encephalopathy, due to lead poisoning (an element then present in the Francisco Goya, Detail "Cronus devours his children" Madrid, Prado Museum of pigments of various colors), which caused him deafness and personality alteration. At first his illness hindered him in all activities and was the cause of a deep depression; nightmare figures populated his paintings when he began to paint again.
The depression that afflicted Michelangelo (1475-1564) was of psychic origin. In painting the face of St. Bartholomew while showing the knife to the Judge, the artist brought a painful self-portrait into the folds of the skin of martyrdom Michelangelo Buonarroti, Particular "Last Judgment" Rome, Sistine Chapel. The perceptual, emotional and expressive systems of other great painters have been, more dramatically, altered by severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and manic-depressive syndrome.
Gruesser et al., (1988) described the abnormal perception of faces as a particular disorder characteristic of schizophrenic patients. The faces observed by these patients could quickly change their expression, assuming more and more the appearance of a monster: the mouth opened highlighting the protruding canines, the nose and eyes became larger, the pupils dilated. Some drawings or paintings reported by patients with schizophrenia highlight this particular characteristic and show, while communicating the suffering and perceptual distortions of this terrible disease, how "madness" can, in some cases, suggest a "brilliant" artistic creativity.
Deformations of the faces, anxious and frightened faces, obsessive expressions seem to reach the limits of pathology in the painter James Ensor (1860-1949). The artist's canvases begin to be populated with bizarre figures until they reach the apotheosis of James Ensor, "Christ's Entry into Brussels" Malibu, Getty Museums overcrowding in what is considered his masterpiece: Christ's Entry into Brussels .
The strange figures in the painting may seem the result of hallucinatory visions but, at the same time, they draw on a supernatural reality; the mask with the rice takes on an ambivalent value because its use allows, through transvestism, to modify what is hidden behind it.

Once again the boundaries of pathology, such as those between "reality" and "hallucination", become blurred and painfully distinguishable.

And then other mad artist like:

The depression of Monet, and De Chirico.
Modigliani's alcoholism,
Rousseau's masochism,
Schiele's pedophile tendencies.
The paranoid critical method of Dalì, exhibitionist and histrionic, who proudly claimed: "The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad".

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