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Friday, 5 June 2009

Multiple Screen Window Display

Like so many tiny pixie tv's
Flashing messages to each other all night
The hundred billion neurons in your brain
Replace identity as such with deep
Cosmic gossip while your body's arrested
In mid flight back toward an old savannah --
A hundred billion neurons seeking shelter,
Losing that deep self because you're asleep,
Lost in your dreams, a functional state
Of your brain lapsing into disappearance,
Your brain not bothering to compute you,
Your sense of who you are going up in smoke,
Though if the soul be several not one
There's only now and that now has presence.

Windows: Charles Sheeler, c. 1952 (Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York)


Annie said...

This reminds me of an exchange I had with my mom,who was struggling with Parkinson's and dementia, yet aware of the process of losing control over her persona. I remarked about the time lag between where you are and how you see it, how just as soon as you get acclimated to where you are, things change again. She looked at me with total wonder, as though I had read her mind. I have always had questions about the separation between what the Aborigines term dreamtime and regular experience, uncertainty about the border between what is truly real and what is created by our minds.

TC/BTP said...


The post modern view evangelized by a MacArthur Foundation supported theorist of internet behavior is that in the world we now inhabit the self is multiple anyway, so we shouldn't mind feeling fragmented into multiple personae. One minute you're you, the next minute you're somebody else, it's all good. But telling that to someone in your mother's position would seem cruel; when your persona is well and truly shattered by brain events, the outcome is the reverse of uplifting. Remembering that persona reduces to per+sonar, a sounding-through, as with sock puppets. One of those at a time is almost too much, already. (Being reduced to none at all might be the price of admission to dreamtime?)