It’s complicated

“In a complex relationship with the environment, very similar substances with the same chemical structure can become quite different in their reality and form”

-Michael Gazzaniga-

“On the evolutionary tree, we humans are sitting at the tip of our lonely branch…We have the same roots as all living organisms.  All those similarities are there.  Our cellular processes depend upon the same biology, and we are subject to the same properties of physics and chemistry.  We are all carbon-based creatures.  Yet ever species is unique, and we are too.  Every species has answered the problem of survival with a different solution, filling a different niche…Homo sapiens entered a cognitive niche…

…in one sentence Garrison Keillor captures humanness…such a simple sentiment, yet so full of human complexity…

BE WELL.  DO GOOD WORK.  KEEP IN TOUCH.

-Michael Gazzaniga-

Another strong recommendation from me for those interested in the what’s and how’s and some where’s and when’s of being a particular we.

Our Propensities

“identifying a function for dreams or pretend play or fiction doesn’t mean that we’ve identified the function”

-Jonathan Gottschall-

I am enjoying this book more than I expected.  Often overview-type books of aspects of human phenomena leave me with a touch of “yeah, we all know that (i.e. we experience that), but tell us something new, give us opportunities to create knowledge from new data!”  Gottschall’s book is a well-written tour (akin to the work of de Botton on aspects of human life) – representative of current knowledge, suggestive rather than pedantic, and fluidly engaging.

“Consider the following information:

Todd rushed to the store for flowers.

Greg walked her dog.

Sally stayed in bed all day.

Quick, what were you thinking?…

In the same way that your mind sees an abstract pattern and resolves it into a face, your imagination sees a pattern of events and resolves it into a story…studies show that if you give people random, unpatterned information, they have a very limited ability not to weave it into a story…the storytelling mind is a factory that churns out true stories when it can, but will manufacture lies when it can’t…it’s usual method is to fabricate the most confident and complete explanatory stories from the most ambiguous clues…the Sherlock Holmes in our brains job is to ‘reason backwards’ from what we can observe in the present and show what orderly series of causes led to particular effects…we will always rather fabulate a story than leave experience unexplained.”

And so on.  In fact, the sentences he writes above are on-the-fly conjured random fact-statements unrelated.  Most of us probably had already begun to fit it into something ‘meaningful to us’ before we finished the third one.  Does this help you see how your view and perspective on reality – your ‘automatic’ or instinctual or deferral mode comprehension ALWAYS needs sorted out with CONTEXT and the empirical world?  Our minds are amazing and unbelievable in their functions and operations (literally), factories of fictions based on ancient genetic messages qua homo sapien, empirical experiences from our own individual lifespans, and an untangleable web of socio-cultural input and in-formation.  We’re fascinating…and utterly unreliable.  Thus we have each other, and our senses and myths and science and all sorts of other-world perspectives to adjust and possibilize our own stories.  Perhaps there are moments our thoughts align with facts, but those will be rare in our lives.

Taken in a context of Nelson Goodman’s Ways of Worldmaking, John Canfield’s Becoming Human and Alan Singer’s The Self-Deceiving Muse, Gottschall’s delightful foray into the impulsivity of fiction-like brain behavior makes for a savory meal. I’m concocting stories about it even now (it’s sure).

Congruency: Of Delight in It

Thank you Superstitious Naked Ape for such a spot-on condensed rendition of (I think) what Pelevin’s Helmet of Horror evoked for me as well!  Really readers – check these out together – incredible lucky spontaneous occurrences of “synchronicity”?  Almost?

brain-in-hands1

“The God Machine”

by The Superstitious Naked Ape

with the personal caveat that it may as well be named “The Self Machine,” “The Reality Machine” and so forth…

The Helmet of Horror (selected emissions)

by Victor Pelevin

The Nourishing Silence

In the midst of busy, sometimes harried, rhythm-bashing holidays, Holly and I find our first day of quiet self-direction, spending a full day of her sketching, submitting images, reading… and myself completing an essay and Ida’s blank notebook and polishing on some poems…and, probably most nourishing of all (for me)…input.  Here are the sumptuous nuggets I’ve been sampling today:

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Roughing (ralphing) a Draft

Bare Bones and Synapses : Oscillating (a Story)

Feel like I’ve been out of the game…aside from Friday Fictioneers I haven’t had time for concocting, playing and revising original texts for awhile…feeling this time opening up a little bit I’ll be trying to finish up some long-term projects, while also working out some ideas that have been swaying to and fro in me cranium…here’s a gutturally wrenched structure that I barfed up today…we’ll see what becomes of it…

 

#1 perks up, signaling  “it’s about time something truly great were written…at least what we’re capable of writing…the best we can do, right now.”

#2, energized by this, by the vibe that the entire gang might be on board, the whole shebang ready to summon resources and operate, sync up, as it were, breathlessly quivers, smiling shyly, eager

#3 promptly curls over and balks, doubts, folds under, clenches.  Mostly afraid of failure, or of not having what it takes to see this thing through – concoct something “great” – shimmies and blocks out, switches off the snaps and veils the crackling lights in nearest hallways

#4 is feeling good, having been freed to excesses in the night, sensing the throbbing in the basement and burning like a reptile in the sun, pleased and exotic, inspiring

#7 with pleasurable visions of fantasies and victory.  Floodlights on, matched to #4’s bask, but also pulling in air, rolling back shoulders and drawing up the chest while sucking in the tummy

#5 babbling away nondescript utterances, filterlessly spilling data, codes and equations of plots, prose and characters grabbed here and there from the crooks and crannies, gutterways and mushy sewage-scapes like pebbles stuck in gluey glia.

#1 now boisterous and bellowing, carried away in surges, blurting out hurrahs and coach-cliches, beckoning a kind of connective huddle

If #4 could think alone, he’d claim erotic inception for the will of #1, having woken aroused by images spun from #7 throughout their “sleeping” 8Hz

But #1 is wanting more and #3 isn’t giving or opening up

#6 and #7 providing soundtracks and scenarios, pressuring #4 to kick up the heartbeat, #2 to activate arms and hands

Four of the seven are joined, yawping and dipping, rippling a recursive wave – this group is on the move

#4 sends chills down the surface and tingles spine and loins

#2 adjusts all openings, focusing on bright lights and sparkly things, deep greens and muted blues

#4 pounds “approach” and “happy” buttons like timpani

#6 starts sweat and shuffles memory volts of breezes

#3 begins to forget as #5 yammers and badgers and #4 jacuzzies the mass in hot syrups

#1 commands #2 to to focus, clip and edit #5, while #6 and #7 distract with many-colored bouncing balls

Optimally they’ll link up and ride this wave in balance – each informing the other – shocking, supporting and inspiring the murky mass trapped in 22 inches of bone.

                          

Oscillating

Like margins, thresholds, beginnings.

Species of relation.

I am drawn to synthesizing agents, it seems.  I find myself attuned to, and triggered by, generalizations, and yet curiously constantly in search of them.

Fitting things where they converge, borders of meetings and passings.

.

Oscillation is one such theory.  Neurologically cognizable perceptively, passaging to and from hemispheres and lobes, neurons and systems, and productive.  From which we get “fire together – wire (conspire) together.”  Symphonic circuitry.  Fluctuate congruity.  A jazz band improvising.

Extended to bodies in spaces and times, collective moods, or space and time themselves, if you will.  Constructive theory of observation.  Oscillation.

As if a structural template for an expression of personal creative process.

As if an introduction toward a story, that story that’s been brewing, surging, throbbing and stewing throughout my physiological corpus for days, since an opening of light, of breath – a semester’s impending conclusion – aptly (I hope) nominated “break.”

If “break” belongs with “dance” and poetic feet fall into step, or sentences seek their stride.  She hopes so, as does he, now ungendered in a unison of copulatory oscillation, my hope for the tremoring bits that vibrate me toward a Nathan : writing.

…to be continued…

Happy Monday this Tuesday. Begin.

Today I woke up.

I woke up in love.  In joy.

A song was sparrowing to and fro in my mind’s sky (Boxer Rebellion – Soviets)

We have new puppies and they are loving and cute.

The heat has broken and there were clouds in the sky.

we have twins of these

In love?

In joy?

What might those mean?

We danced the pups to trauma to the Lumineers “Ho Hey”.

Like coming out of a slump.

Like post-coital bliss.

That full, that relaxed and open.

For no particular reason.

For so many particular reasons.

plus we made a pistachio bundt cake

How does the brain chemistry experience?

How do the senses collage reality?

How are we?

this is your brain on joy

 

I woke today in bliss and joy.

I woke today in love.

.

Happy Monday this Tuesday.

Begin.