“If you are not continuously striving toward an ever higher achievement or state of being, if you have nothing original to say or offer and are only good at repeating what someone else has said or created, if you are ‘proud’ that you can swim faster than others in the pond of mediocrity, or if you compare yourself only with those in your vicinity without ever striving to be the best in the world, then you are caught in the invisible web of conspiracy for mediocrity.
It is only through genuine romanticism and impassioned commitment to the highest possibility of the human soul that you can ascend beyond the heavy cloud of the conspiracy for mediocrity – that you can awaken from the mediocrity existing within and without by breaking the spell of the all-pervading conspiracy for mediocrity. And it is a hallmark of a great leader to enable others to lead romantic and impassioned lives toward self-realization through character development.”
–from “The Portrait of Moses”, by Yasuhiko Genku Kimura
Stanislav Grof’s four perinatal matrices provide a useful guide to why certain types of imagery appear in the Star Wars trilogy and to the dynamics of the struggle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. The human struggle to be born imprints experiences upon the neonate so strongly that they influence the nature of postnatal imagination and behavior. That primal struggle tends to be constantly relived throughout our lives. So when films such as Star Wars project imagery evocative of that struggle, they mirror and evoke memories powerfully present in the unconscious. The opportunity to vicariously relive those experiences is part of the attraction of the trilogy, contributing to its unparalleled worldwide appeal.
–Perinatal Imagery in the Star Wars Trilogy
Consciousness is emotional
The idea of emotions constituting an essential part of our cognitive activity is supported among others by Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux. The importance of this emotional perspective is enormous, for it reconciles body and mind (traditionally separated in our inherited Cartesian views) as both co-sites and co-producers of our cognitive activity and our consciousness. Emotions are born as a response to our environment. Our sensory systems perceive an external stimulus and then take that information to the brain, that sends to our body proper instructions to cope with the situation. Those instructions lead to changes in our muscles, autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. The emotional feeling is completed by the physical response being coded in our brain as a feeling (the conceptualization of emotion). When I read a shocking passage on chapter thirteen of Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, my brain asks my stomach to contract. Such unpleasant emotion goes back to my cortex, where I can match it to any previously coded feeling of similar consternation (if existent) or leave a trace of my physical reaction to those pages, for future reference. In literature and life, emotions are a basic feature of our embodied minds that preside our cognitive understanding of the world. Our consciousness (our awareness of the environment and of our relationship to us) consists, according to Damasio, of a number of sensory inputs that are transformed into a continuous flow of sensations, creating a “movie in the mind,” a first narrative on our selves with respect to the context that surrounds us.
– from “States of Consciousness: Dreams, Literature, and the Neurochemistry of the Brain”, by Isabel Jaén
New York, New York
I won’t go back
Indelible reminder of the steel I lack
I gave you seven years
What did you give me back?
A jaw-grind, disposition to a panic attack
–Mike Doughty, of Soul Coughing
I am still living with your ghost
Lonely and dreaming of the west coast
I dont want to be your downtime
I dont want to be your stupid game
With my big black boots and an old suitcase
I do believe Ill find myself a new place
I dont want to be the bad guy
I dont want to do your sleepwalk dance anymore
I just want to see some palm trees
Go and try and shake away this disease
We can live beside the ocean
Leave the fire behind
Swim out past the breakers
Watch the world die