11 May, 2009

Trepanation 2.0

Figure A: Trepanation. I almost laughed at the expressions on their faces, until I realized that these grimaces were likely due to strokes, hematomas, or hydrocephaly.

So I asked how you all perceive yourselves, your mental selves, and promised my own response later. This is that.

As far back as I am able to remember, I have had difficulty thinking in a linear fashion. My mind has always seemed to move in more of a swarm, thinking several thoughts and juggling lots and lots of things at the same time. This isn't to say that I cannot focus upon one consideration, but that absolute concentration is rather rare* and there are usually several things going on in the back on my mind at any given point. However, this doesn't usually prevent me from entering the flow state of creativity and/or knowledge synthesis.

I have not been able to fathom the shape of a container for my mind because that would give it a finite volume (and Klein bottles aren't big enough). But I do think of it on an x-y-z axis plan with core autonomic functions at the origin (e.g., my hypothalamus shouting "Feed me, you bastard!" would be at [0,0,0]) in a sort of "tip of the tongue" vs. "back of my mind" vs. "top of my head" dialectic gadget. In practice, this translates to the wheeling jabber of the swarm occupying the backchannels of my mind while I speak, write, and am generally intelligible at the front of my mind as a sort of command line function. Memories seem to be stored farther back, behind the swarming backchannels but these also frequently interact. I perceive short-term thoughts and memories as being stuck to the "ceiling" as it were where I can conveniently access them.

From what little I've read, it seems that I dwell more or less continuously within a cognitive map of my own devising and frequent editting. From what I understand, cognitive mapping can be consciously learned and taught.

I asked the question because I am curious as to how others experience their mental selves.

*Needs very powerful or engaging stimuli to happen.

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