Posts Tagged ‘consciousness/psychology’

What, Me Worry?

January 25, 2008

  “Everything great in the world comes from neurotics.  They alone have founded our religions and composed our masterpieces.  Never will the world know all it owes to them nor all that they have suffered to enrich us.”     

  Agree with Proust?  Or rather his character Boulbon speaking from the depths of Remembrance of Things Past?  The words are often quoted, but not always to the same end.     

  There are some who apparently believe that Proust had his character speak thus to highlight his idiocy and prove himself a fool.     

  Others, including healers of various stripes, would wholeheartedly accept face value.  What else, they would ask,  could catalyze breakthroughs, innovations, or even personal growth other than some sort of inner conflict conscious or un?     

  Picture a starving artist in his or her garret.  Powerful forces would have to conspire to thwart pursuit of goals more toward the center of the range of possibilities.         

  Furthermore, individual neurosis (let’s just define it as mental conflict, interior pain, questioning) may well have been (and be) the elemental unit of the evolution of consciousness and society and civilization.     

  In an interview [WSJ 1/23/08] Daniel Day-Lewis said: “Perhaps I’m particularly serious because I’m not unaware of the potential absurdity of what I’m doing…. There’s the potential for a certain kind of nobility in the work.  Because, after all, if you’re not exploring human experience in one form or another, it seems that maybe there’s something missing in one’s life.”        

  What’s the opposite?  McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest after his lobotomy – and Chief Broom before?

Let’s Dance

January 24, 2008

In a letter to Oliver Sacks (unanswered, but oh well) I referred to fascinating artilcle he wrote in the New York Review of Books in 1990 – “Neurology and the Soul”.  I asked about his statement that “This evoluton of self…is made possible…by the strengthening of connections within neuronal groups in accordance with the individual’s experiences and needs and beliefs and desires.  This process “cannot arise, cannot even start, unless there is movement.  It is movement that makes possible all perceptual categorizations.”

Recent articles in the Boston Globe [1-13-08] and the WSJ [1-15-08] describe new research in “the emerging field of embodied cognition”.  Investigators do indeed believe that movement and gesticulation enhance cerebration.  “People think with their bodies, not just with their brains…arm movements can affect language comprehension…children are more likely to solve mathmatics problems if they are told to gesture with their hands…”

Makes me wonder first about related ramifications to couch (or computer) potatoism.  Would those most lethargic among us somehow be diminished by more than just the time lost?  Furthermore, would those at the other extreme be operating on some sort of an elevated plane?  One of a state of kinesthetic omniscience like, say, Gene Kelly in American in Paris, or Tiger Woods, or Mia Hamm dribbling through a line of Amazons and getting off a shot?

Finally,  what then is going on mind/bodywise with those in “flow” in situations of great personal risk – in battle or on a lonely tightrope high above the ground or a ski racer rounding a turn at 75mph?