December 25th, 2009

Apollo 4 on column of fire

An interesting effect

A week and more ago, when I was so angry about the healthcare reform rhetoric as well as Jesse Ventura’s latest misbehaviors, I was plagued by music in my head, constructed largely from ambient sounds into more musical tones. Eventually, since I was able to control the sound somewhat, and also construct it in quieter surroundings, I practiced and was somewhat able to orchestrate in my head – despite not being able to write down what I was doing. Also I would get stuck in undesired loops due mainly, I think, to obsessive-compulsive behavior.

But the ability was not to last. Unsurprisingly, no longer can I play music in my head like that, or handle orchestrations. I lost the means when I calmed down, and don’t have much of a desire to see if it can be restored on purpose. (Because there are other things I want to work on, which are unrelated.)

Some people who have known me for a while may be familiar with the story of my reading of ‘Zen in the art of archery’, and how I made myself able to do pretty much the same thing – hit an unseen target squarely without consciously aiming – except with two racquetballs instead of bow, arrow, and target. Also I developed the ability to toss a nerfball into a vase slight wider than the ball.

These doings are not mysteries. A book like ‘Zen in the art of archery’ is, in the end, a sad one, because of all books this one should have proven the importance of analytic thinking, and instead it became a plaything for people who make believe they are shunning analysis. It’s very simple: what we call our ‘consciousness’ is a high-level regulatory function of the brain, and ought to be viewed as but a tiny bit of what we ‘are’. I experience the unconscious levels by inference only. Analysis shunners, by contrast, are incurious, and glorify their experience as if it were a god, or simply make believe they experience anything at all. Most other people, on the other hand, simply are unaware of their nervous systems, and they are unaware of the nervous systems of others, and they do not ‘know’, in their guts, that all learning is physical and most of it is unconscious.