Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Our leaky minds

After ten more readings, I probably would not claim to fully understand Clark's presentation in Being There. However, after just one reading, I appreciate Clark's attempt to broaden our perspective and blur the lines between body, mind and world. The idea of our minds and selves leaking into the world around us fits my innate sense of things.

To explain myself, I could analyze Clark's assertion that "Much of what we commonly identify as our mental capacities may likewise, I suspect, turn out to be properties of the wider, environmentally extended systems of which human brains are just one (important) part" (p. 214). But I'd rather defer to a poem by Kabir (from p. 56 of "The Secret Teachings of Plants" by Stephen Harrod Buhner):

"I have been thinking of the difference between water
and the waves on it. Rising
water's still water, falling back,
it is water, will you give me a hint
how to tell them apart?
Because someone has made up the word 'wave,'
do I have to distinguish it from water?"

2 Comments:

Blogger jmj said...

What a good poem. I would suppose that both are true, that becuase the word is created, you have to treat the two as being different in relation to those words, even though you recognize that the distinction is artificial.

2:24 PM  
Blogger IB said...

Very nice poem indeed. It shows how powerful language is because the mere existence of two words could after cycles of interactions between individuals, these words and the world end up in new schemata and from there on a distinction is made between e.g. persons that had simply not existed previously. Many examples can be found in the history of psycho-pathology.

3:52 PM  

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