Word-picture duality is the idea that every word also possesses the properties of a picture. This duality has been demonstrated by the “double-slit experiment”, in which an individual word is fired through two slits at a sheet of paper by an ink gun to create an illustration of how words behave like pictures when a reader is not present.
The duality of each discrete part of a text has profound implications for our understanding of meaning. It seems that we collapse the superposition of all possible meanings that exist within the picture (which can resemble different things for different people) into a word with a narrowly defined and commonly agreed definition. When we move from seeing a Rorschach pattern to reading a word, it is our perception of reality that changes, giving us the false impression that the object of our perception has changed.
When we look at words written in an unfamiliar alphabet, we see the characters for what they fundamentally are: an arrangement of straight and curved lines on a blank background. When we learn the alphabet, we collapse the unlimited symbolic meaning of the shapes into words, so the surface meaning can never be unlearned. No matter how much you stare at familiar words, if they have been connected as signifiers to signifieds in your mind, you will be unable to see them as blobs of ink again. The price of literacy is blindness.
One way of uncollapsing a word into a picture is the process called semantic satiation, which occurs when we say a word over and over again until it seems to lose all meaning and become a Rorschach sound blot. Anyone who makes use of this or the DMRI's screading technique can transform themselves from a reader into a seer and enjoy the zero-person narrative known as Gorgeousness.