writing about my life

The Flesh

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Our minds are instantiated in the flesh and so embodied we assume we are not divine. But the divine emerges from the physical, be not deceived.

Biological, we have survived against the odds, our every ancestor a conquering hero in a long chain of reproductive successes. An organ is as beautiful as a brief blooming flower and how much so the brain, generator of our behaviour. Or is it what we do itself that is the organ? we emanate actions and gestures which intertwine with those of others like the appearance of a bud on a stem, predictable within ranges but in exact timing so whimsical. For the universe loves to host its favourite eccentrics (nothing so complex as a person ever has a perfect twin). Our world is even tuned just right for life’s existence, so is it the universe around us that is our creator then ? I answer myself: it is more inventive than the current human mind but slower too. It made us but we are a seed planted in creation destined to bear a new fruit – evolving evolvability. This seed may even birth new baby universes.

Such a sprout, ready to become something greater, will soon emerge from the mind of a too human designer. For the laws of math are self evident. Once understood the mind sees a higher order than physics, that being just a special case – one flavour of infinite math. Did some previous creator first conceive woman and then design a universe around her, or was it to wait for her to emerge from the equations, expression of dance’s potential ? We cannot be separated from the universe being its conscious organs indeed. And those platonic realms we travel in are free of error and any randomising influence, after all pi is not a constant of physics but of mathematics. No real circle fits perfection – all is approximate in our universe so pi lives in our brains alone. Yet creation generates beings who can imagine flawlessness. Disciplines of number lead to places of insight as our secret doctrine superimposes truth and beauty.

But there’s more than just the science: the spirituality that is its proper complement is where nature is rendered self aware. I’d love to blend the rightness of a green planet with that unique human artifice that stands above nature. To live well involves a merger of nature and artifice. The animal and the angelic are struggling in humans. So stumbling down towards the real depths I laugh with glee, after all every mistake I have made is the starting point for a whole movement! I experience not knowing something as a kind of pain and my voices and telepathy are a mental callus where I dream up conversations to offset the aloneness. Like others I can observe such chaos and form order from it, or is there truly no such thing as chaos? Fuzz on a tv screen – each particle has a history but we have eyes not radio telecopes so we call it random.

I can see a fantasy in the eyes of so many its a desire for “you to accept me as I want to be seen”, why do we feel the reality is so lacking ? An old woman is a pretty young girl, a drunk a handsome Romeo. Is this realm of social fiction, populated by myths, a virtual reality ? what are these depths we see in each other? I know that the sigil and mark of a virtuous heart is one of the powerful images I unconsciously seek, imagining things more substantial behind that mask of yours.

Philosophical questions are available to us as children, so what are these years of adult experience good for ? Do my reflections make use of all through which I have lived or do I return to a simpler core of the child’s awareness? Returning to first principles is a useful mindset, I guess I draw no sure inferences from long living – I merely frame more incisive questions, albeit fewer than the plethora I had as a child. Consider an asteroid orbiting one star merrily for aeons until it’s snatched from its orbit by a passing neutron star. Is there any real struggle for possession ? After years of struggle against losing clarity I will take a change of direction and try to cultivate confusion again.

I would break free of my habitual mind attractor, like the asteroid, and enter a larger space but my paranoia takes me into a state of struggle. I am surrounded by enemies with whom I debate and dispute. Talking to granny in the voices I tell her not to fear the dark, engaging with it is such an adventure. I do a cartwheel of joy in the dark depths and my exuberant dance passes for light. Or is my destiny to be a comedian not a poet? I do think in terms of a theatre of caricatured voices but lately with my plants I’ve seen how eat-shit-sleep is such an important level that lies buried underneath all this thinking.

I think I’d rather be a farmer and a hunter, sifting the soil for goodies and roaming. But whatever I do I’ll need other people, after all you may think you can be like an octopus – an undeniably intelligent animal but yet one that is non-social. But as soon as you have framed this thought you have engaged in communication with yourself. That communication involves an internalisation of your social values and experiences. So as soon as you have thought it you will start to be engaged in positing it as a social event and wondering about how others might hear it, or respond to it. We are not non-social animals and nothing can make us so if the preparedness is not there in nature.

I want to nurture my inner child. This is not a futile or self indulgent aim. It is realised through an understanding that I have an unconscious which contains an encoding of all my past experiences back down to the very start of my life. This start was as a fertilised egg in my mother’s womb, and any attempt to construct a picture of my whole life and what it means to me must include the powerful and structurally deep experiences of childhood. I wonder about the unconscious. I cannot know all that I am at any one moment, I merely flit from one interesting idea to another, my conscious mind being like the fovea of the retina, and the unconscious being that huge unseen landscape that persists even when my attention is not upon it. Childhood is the experiential core of who I am. Amazingly it seems that all parts of us continue developing and stay latent in the adult mind. Since I want to optimise and enrich my total experience it seems I must return to my childhood mind and continue working on the perceptions and feeling/image/pictures that I formed during it.

Another thing that certain supposedly misbegotten individuals desire is to absolutely decondition themselves from all their social experiences. This can sometimes be a dream to escape the limitation of social confines and achieve some kind of pure freedom, such as envisaged by this or that ancient Hindu. I must plead that I have tried this, although it was to learn that sociality is central and there is no way to reach total freedom from others unless one is to become a psychopath or autistic. Both of these possibilities involve a diminution of ones vision not an increase. The reality of other people is part of our canvas and to defuse the dangers, adapt to the challenges and to map the richness is part of a rounded destiny.

I am also interested in the ways that things can look different on the inside of a person’s head from how they really are.

If this is about subjectivity then yes I am interested in that. Of course subjectivity is a tricky one to define. What sort of definition do we want ? Subjectivity as opposed to objectivity speaks to me of the grey area between delusion and true perception, sometimes things seem different to how they really are, sometimes we see correctly, and sometimes we aren’t sure. The “not sure” bit is the interesting part to me, because this is where we ask ourselves creative questions about what is real. Whether or not a subjective perception is about something phsyically real, it remains an important part of our experience, held close and tight to the inner self. This is being human, and no amount of training in empirical disciplines can “cure” us of subjective notions.

Of course as a person diagnosed with an illness that causes me to confuse fantasy and reality, I am in a particular position on these issues. I know my brain can set me up with incorrect pictures, so I am in a position to need to be aware of illusions and delusions generally. Of course also that same brain’s ability to analyse the nature of its own thoughts is compromised so the offending brain may really have no true knowledge of these matters at all.

I am also interested in self knowledge, after tangling for years with various ideas loosely clustered under the heading of “alternative spirituality”. I often wonder if there is any truth in Buddhism, Sufism, Kaballism and that sort of stuff. I maintain my interest in this terrain as a quest for knowledge and truth which is instinctive to me, but my questions about these subjects are often ones I have inherited from studying computer science and physics, with their concerns with objectivity and logic.


Written by Luke Dunn

October 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Posted in Prose

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