The Westworld Psychology: What Is The Real Secret Symbol In Michelangelo's "Creation"?By Chris Brandt
Westworld's season one has just ended with an unexpected twist, and a lot of people still can't get over it. Theories about its timeline, location, and inhabitants continue to proliferate. Yet there is none so intriguing as the Westworld psychology presented before the series ends.
The Westworld psychology in question is none other than the puzzle Robert Ford subjected Dolores before she shot him. He told her that Michelangelo's painting of the Creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has a secret message. He said that when God created man, he does not only bestow life upon him but also consciousness or intellect.
As ingenious it may sound, that idea was not just suddenly concocted by the writers and makers of the series. That was inspired by an ongoing theory whether God's billowing shroud was a brain or a uterus.
The theory that God's shroud is a representation of a brain came from Frank Lynn Meshberger 20 years ago in his paper called An interpretation of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam Based on Neuroanatomy which was published in the Journal of American Medical Association.
He said that when you drop an ax to a person's head in between his eyes, the image will look exactly like the red shroud behind God and his angels. Moreover, he said that the green sash floating is like one of the arteries that connects the brain and the neck. Ian Suk, a professor and medical illustrator at John Hopkins said that there are indeed uncanny resemblances between the brain and the painting.
This theory might not be a theory at all given the fact that Michelangelo was also an anatomist. Furthermore, one of the things he did to understand the human anatomy is dissect corpses, which was also the reason why he is able to create life-like paintings and sculptures.
Aside from this observation, there is a rival group that thinks the red shroud was a uterus. Gynecologist Andrea Tranquilli wrote a paper published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine arguing that it was a human uterus containing a placenta. He added that God's outstretched arm is the umbilical cord while the green robe is the amniotic fluid. He also added that medical experts are prejudiced by their medical backgrounds.
Michael Salcman, a neurosurgeon, shared his observation that the perception of the painting can be prejudiced. He wrote in his paper, The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo Bounarotti, saying that the visual systems "fill in the details and create meaning where no pattern or meaning may have been intended." Thus, one can conclude that someone's perception of God's shroud in the painting depends on his belief. In fact, that could even look like a hammerhead to a carpenter.