Archive for January, 2010

When we opened our eyes, did we know we were, and were here?? always and never

January 17, 2010

I’m asking those questions because  I’m considering “consciousness”-as the seat of humankind- but will take the poetic detour, which is convenient and by the way, “consciousness” still being a “mistery”-scientifically- it can be claimed beyond a reasonable doubt that poetry can solve-or dissolve- the science of consciousness and make the idea more amenable, or interesting. Nor that we have a Cultural neuroscience field of study, my days as my own private subjective self are numbered.

Lets start somewhere: Vicente Huidobro, a chilean poet, published, in 1916  “Adan“-spanish for Adam:-)”, (ADAN reads NADA in reverse: Nothing, what a bummer) where he pushes with  his “creationist’ agenda-made explicit in “Non serviam”, a manifesto where he proclaimed humans’ independence-at least the poet’s independence- from mother nature.  Adan is  in essence a dramatization of the book of Genesis as a-scientific-myth-according to Jose Quiroga from Georgetown, but it  has NOTHING to do with God , nor with ‘creationism” in its neodarwinian sense.  Huidobro places as a decisive turn in Creation the moment Adan wakes up  from his primeval dream. Before he wakes up there is nothing to consider.  As he wakes up, mother nature: outside from the start, becomes severed from inside: “self, conciousness”. Hence, existencial angst forever. An collectively we never went back.

“”……….Y en medio de los dos grandes silencios                            Between the two cosmic silences
……….de la tierra y el cielo,                                                                  of heavens and earth
……….eternamente cara a cara,                                                          face to face, eternally
……….Adán enorme y solo se elevaba                                             Raises Adan, enormous and alone
215…..mudo como una estatua,                                                         mute as a statue””

This,  is becoming conscious; we severe ourselves, trough consciousness from the outside, through a powerful independence movement: “Non serviam….you mother…. nature”. Mutely. It should be pointed out that it is suggested that language is not a precondition to be conscious (Cristoff & Tononi, among others have written extensively about the physical underpinnings). Which Im not sure if it will stand the test of further work: in my rationale it is hard to imagine consciousness as I experience it without language. It is interesting to consider that speech->language emerged from selves networking. When Adan emerges from the clay,  everything resolves unto itself, blessing him, later,  with the meaning of the words that quicken his independence from the landscape. No longer humans are part of it. When Eve wakes up he tells her. A very unpopular event with feminists.

Later I quoted;  “Original man, shouting his consonants, did so in yells of awe and anger at his tragic state, at his own self-awareness and at his own helplessness before the void…” Barnett Newman, 1947, The first man was an artist. The Tigers’ Eye. N.8. So, here we have the first H. sapiens waking up. And the convergence with Huidobros’ take is remarkable. It begs the question: could H.sapiens ancestors do the same manouver, that is, know they are and dont know where? I doubt it. Could H. habilis, erectus, heidelbergensis have sapiens consciousness? Probably not. The idea that self-awareness and consciousness are a quantum leap in human history, that is emerged with sapiens,  is appealing to me. I cant imagine a lower-in height, not in quality_ consciousness “level” asking and feeling the same way. Although there is some conflicting  reserch about this, it seems that you are conscious or not, which sounds kind of funky.

Talk about a different kind of mentally ill people (MIP) 2010

January 14, 2010

We all have read or watched (have we?) the horribility of the earthquake in Haiti. Now we know why it happened: according, to Pat Robertson, yes THAT one, the Haitian people had made, a long time ago, a pact with the devil, hence it is time to pay up. Needless to say, he knows this from personal revelation. Is Marion Gordon”Pat”, crazy, MIP or just an obsessive compulsive manipulator of the thousands-millions-that follow the Christian Broadcasting Network, around the world?? Im afraid will never know, however, another MIP  manipulator, Rush Limbaugh, mentioned in passing that this is the “right catastrophe for Barack to build more support from”. He must be MIP or rather,  is he ‘evil”? are these men bad?  They dont speak from knwoledge; they “appeal” to something that I cant quite grasp, which lurks in the inner spaces of the worst of the human condition. There are plenty of comments on this today.

2010; the year of mental illness (MI), or not

January 13, 2010

Last Sunday I read a tepid NYT Magazine, Ethan Watters precis of his upcoming book: “The americanization of mental illness”.  The subject is enormously serious. In sum , it deals with what constitutes and who defines mental illness and how the US  psychyatric establishment pushed by the narcopharma are evagelizing MI throughout the world  and making, in passing-what else- millions of bucks. This is indeed amazing if one considers that there is a significant fraction of people, right here, that still believe mental illness is a question of will, normally attributed to moral lazyness, and/or the intervention of Satan or related foreign evil spirits. Some would say we are not “in balance” (sic). I have always been dumbfounded by how mental illness is regarded, in US.  Being a Bipolar I myself,  I have a first hand account what happens to people like me, which is bad. I strongly suggest you get a hold and read (take a read, as said in CNN network..take a read..gimme a break) this article. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/magazine/10psyche-t.html?scp=1&sq=ethan%20watters&st=cse  (still havent learned to write “here”).  Mr. Watters make some sensible and poignant remarks regrding the ‘breakdown of meaning’ as a hallmark for MI-if I read him well. I bring this forth because the breakdown of meaning, the globalization of MI labels and knowledge, especially about humanness-read neocon-darwinism- are all intertwined, ever so desperately in a period where the lack of meaning elsewhere and evrywhere, is paramount  and defines our existence: do I live for….?  We desperately, again, seek meaning where it cant be, it cant be. A friend pointed the following idea:  Are we a cosmic reality show?(sic).  We live in fragmented spirits riding fragmented lives and ending in pieces, scattered. The search for meaning is  tantamount to search for unity. Thence, it begs the question: when MI, we stop searching for meaning?

Luisa Damiano: Unita in Dialogo

January 13, 2010

i have been re-reading the italian edition-the only one I am aware- of Luisas’ surprising book. The reason I do say ‘surprising’ is because her book weaves across impossible biological scales nurturing a better-newer-understanding of living systems acting on their behalf on this universe and a revised way of looking at cognition-a general biological phenomenon -not circumscribed to frontal lobes, but circumscribed to a distinction between inside/outside by a membrane. ..the hand that draws the line. More to follow. I promise