Friday, November 13, 2009

mind vs. mind

there is only a week of school left. i have to make a chapbook and finish a story and then i will be done. for break we were going to go to florida to visit rob, m's bf, but now rob got a job in the mountains around ft. collins, so he's coming here instead. this is good for m, but sad for me. i think pontiac and i will have to devise a different plan. last night she said we could go to russia. i hope we go somehwere by the ocean.

i just listened to this (dr. warren brown on the brain science podcast) the other night.

it talks about how we get stuck in the idea that the mind is a noun, and how really we don't have A mind, and how we lapse back into a mind/body dualism that is problematic. my favorite part is when he says, first we act and then we get feedback, and that the only way we know anything is by actively interacting with the world. if the brain is separated from the world, there can be no intelligence. information is dependent upon our interaction with the world.

it seems like what he was saying is that our world view, which was specialized and reduced to the smallest parts (all causes can be understood by something smaller: physics), is now becoming more holistic and we are considering the entire oranization of the parts to help us emerge. emergence became the focus of the talk--emergence as a natural process.

on to the imagination! a few days ago i read downstream from trout fishing in america, keith abbot's memoir of richard brautigan. i had read some of the chapters before in magazines and online, but put together as it now is! it's incredibly informative. he knew rb for almost 20 years and this books takes a chronological approach to that friendship. there are certain times when i don't feel like trusting abbot just because what he says is sad, and the book does have a tendency, at times, to present the material in a way that makes me feel like he has an agenda. but overall, it's an amazing portrait of rb. and instead of ending the book with the end of brautigan's life, abbot devotes the last part to a thorough criticism of rb's work.

he ends the book like this:

"the curse and the blessing of the imagination is that the mind (noun) wants to create an autonomous object, yet it can't prevent itself from imagining that object's eventual disintegration  and it can't fail to understand that by giving birth to something, that something's death is assured. brautigan's tragedy, which he enacted in book after book and eventually in his own life, was that he defined everything, including himself, in terms of an ahistorical imagination. brutigan wanted to round up life in one mercurial, moving, magic vision, but he recognized that he could produce only books--and he called those 'paper phantoms.'