Sunday, October 21, 2012
Death, Dreams and Neurology
“The Copenhagen Interpretation is sometimes called "model agnosticism" and holds that any grid we use to organize our experience of the world is a model of the world and should not be confused with the world itself. Alfred Korzybski, the semanticist, tried to popularize this outside physics with the slogan, "The map is not the territory." Alan Watts, a talented exegete of Oriental philosophy, restated it more vividly as "The menu is not the meal.”
-Robert Anton Wilson
Language is a measuring stick and the literal measuring stick has no reality of it's own except for it's use to make comparisons and it seems prescient to suggest an old axiom, that Dreams are the little brothers of Death. Perhaps we can introduce one to the other formally by taking Kurt Vonnegut's advice as it was he who observed that ,""We must be careful about what we pretend to be."
Of course science has not come to any agreement whether there is cross talk between Death and Dreams as many a human experience suggests and so, as a result, we now we come full circle back to the issue of measurement. One could say all this is about is the measurement of experience as well as memory.
Is memory as an biological genome have an equivalence that is stored elsewhere?
This has been the exploration of many a post here from quantum plenums to Borge's Library of Babel and all stops in between on our passage through the linear references of language, which , of course, these entrails do not suffice for the description of the multi-dimensional feedback of direct experience..
My old friend Ibn Al Arabi put it more bluntly when he said " No two people will experience heaven alike.."
The neurologists step forward and compare how large the wholes are in their knowledge, or at least thats how I view this interesting report from the merry go round of "scientific" debate.
The Liquid Measuring Stick
There is, of course, another perspective which is shared by Robert Anton Wilson, Gurdjieff and Krishnamurti as well as to many other explorers of experience, which simply put, is that we mostly live in a state where we dream we are awake. Of course, if they are correct this would make any measurement of a NDE, let alone waking "consciousness" a grand delusionary entanglement of referential guideposts. In another words, we are largely incapable of divided attention. What is divided attention? Simply put the watcher is incapable of watching his or her self while watching. Whether you call this self observation, self awareness, or the root of consciousness, perhaps the old "I think therefore I am" might have a variant, which is "I think, therefore I dream I am thinking." However even illusions as states follow contingent traffic laws inasmuch the trees in our yard will not likely get disgusted and simply walk away. I think this is a bone thats buried very deeply. One that drove Einsteins close friend, Godel into many a fugue state, which is how far does entanglement reach? How many strings that are pulled that we are unaware of, both without and within us? The strings will not stand still, remain in a predictable state for their group portrait.
This is the dilemma of measurement as well as that of those who research the anomalous is it not?
Physics seems to explore beyond this monkey see, monkey do but unfortunately, physicists are monkeys as well, let alone their being within a membrane of territorial ownership which to me is is a game of arguing over who owns the yardstick. R.A Wilson tagged this behavior as a contest of who has the better language, which is, in a deeper sense, beyond the shallow end of the pool, entirely beside the point of the game itself.
“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.”
― Lao Tzu
I wonder as I wander. Poe whispers in my ear..."A dream within a dream?"