03 May 2008

Radius of trust

One must not lie around like a dead person
- Confucius
No one escapes the tension between world-view and world. Piaget etc. Does reality change by your will or do you let reality change you? You want to see yourself as strong, hard, but you find you are soft, weak. Right?

There are 206 bones in the human body, more than half of them in our hands and feet. The infant has 350 bones, many of which fuse as we grow. The weight of the infant brain triples as it matures.

Dad says one finds meaning by attending to the subjective, by celebrating spirit. Hyde says little, but inhibits the realization that the drowning won't stop until you accept that you must wise up. 'Accept' is the crucial, unfortunate term, because that is the essence of submitting your will to reality. When is resistance admirable?

Be specific: what do you mean 'attending to the subjective'? By what methods can one explore meaning?

Meditation, as I understand it, is a willed focus of cortical electricity into the prefrontal cortex. As the temporal cortex shuts down, time disappears. As the parietal lobe quiets, the line between self and world is blurred, the Tension eased, relaxed.

Anger. Arousal. Intoxication. Rapture. Intimacy. For those of us too weak to meditate, too thirsty to accept the steady trickle of dopamine roused by the prefrontal cortex showering the midbrain in activating glutamate; we go to the world for our supply, we feed off it and it feeds us. We go to war with boredom. We make noise where there is silence. Where people go we build cities. Where there is fire we carry gasoline. Because any attention is better than none. And the inner life and quiet remains unexplored, unsatisfying, alien. Either way, the tension remains: do you shape the world to your image or does it shape you?

You obsess about your weaknesses, your inferiorities. You focus on your own quality, your strengths and direction. You become acutely aware of the anatomy of your midbrain, what jolts it, what quiets it, what lulls it, what sends it into a frenzy, and in your own way you too blur the line between self and world as you energize your embodiment to the fullest.

Yet the tension remains. Are you soft or strong? A man or a mouse, as Dostoyevsky would have it. A Napoleon, a Cleopatra; or a brief flicker of awareness in the bubbling soup of life, a replicating property - a firefly, horny and mad.
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