Sense and Spring

Human consciousness is commonly denoted by a brain-shaped region, sometimes surrounded by a nimbus suggesting radiation, sometimes marked by a lightning bolt, which we define as electricity.

Within this region, which is really our whole body and the world that we are surrounded by, there are points and connections.

At the basis of all sense is signal and code. All sense is electric.

(Yes, even taste.)

The meaning we make of sense is dependent on variables of information and context and our experience of sense is mediated by prior lessons learned.

(We can unlearn and relearn.)


Is it appropriate to consider emotion a component of sense? We do feel things as a result of sensory stimuli. However, what we feel has more to do with the meaning that we make of whatever it is that we are perceiving and so the presence of innate emotionality is complicated by the interference of our associated reactions.

For example, are we innately fearful of loud noises…or have we simply learned that loud noises tend to mean that something big is happening? Have we learned that occurrences which produce loud noises likely indicate some sort of destruction, real or potential?

The circus employs loud noises to startle and excite the crowd, drawing on the assumptions that most people will experience a jangling flood of surprise and fear at the unexpected explosion of a cannon during a moment of orchestrated quiet.

When we are at the circus, fear is fun.

(Until we feel sad for the animals, and the noise is too big and we cry and we want to go home.)


What is the nature of emotion and what are the effects of emotion?

I have figured out, in my own experience, that particular thoughts lead to particular feelings, which then have the tendency to reinforce the thought. If I am frightened, I tend to think about frightening things. If I am happy, my mind drifts toward the optimistic. I can also cause myself to feel particular ways depending on the thoughts I think.

I assume that this is the result of the mind and heart’s tendency toward agreement. We tend to think in ways that are in coherent relation to how we are feeling, and vice versa.

Thus, it has been useful to me to become more emotionally aware, as well as more conscientious of reactive automaticity in the patterns of my thoughts.

In all this thinking and feeling and tinkering with the means by which I orient myself with the world, I have observed that there are some emotions which arise unrelated to any presently acute stimuli or circumstance. I experience these feelings as being related to my broad state of being, my larger set of circumstance, in which I am a human being who exists within a world that is governed by near-infinite interconnectivity and which has become terribly distorted in the meaning we have made and the meaning we have denied.

Many people, it seems, exist in a state of profound attunement with their present circumstances and their reactions to what may or may not be occurring determine a great deal of what they feel. Within the present that I inhabit, the present isn’t much worth getting flustered about. It’s here, it’s gone, shiny and slippery, quick to pass into the future.
photo by LBF, age 10

This is not to say that our everyday lives (or even the minutiae within our days) are not important, because they add up to our lives as a whole, in context of who we are and how we impact the world that we live in.  Our small lives, en masse at the culminate level, are unfolding within a much bigger story, one that we are a part of no matter what we do or do not do.

Do you think that it is possible that most people, regardless of whether or not they realize or appreciate it, have the innate capacity to care deeply about the future of the world?

How does the dissonance created by living a material life that conflicts with the immaterial values that we forged as young humans inspired by kindness and super-heroes affect our state of ease or dis-ease in existence?



1) Lately, I have been doing local organizing around radical mental health and mutual aid and have also been writing papers and learning how to be a formal student again. I have taught my children to play gin rummy and have been making a lot of cornbread.  In the evenings, we play cards and eat cornbread with honey.

We now have two large raised beds built in the small back yard and, as soon as it stops snowing and my children return from the foreign country they are currently visiting with their other parent, we will plant things in those spaces.

2) I am on a hiatus from clouds. Sometimes, for at least a few hours, I forget entirely about all of that. I also am no longer so entirely certain that I was as right as I thought I was, that particular energies and wave/intensity formations in the geomagnetic atmosphere impact the rudiments of cloudforms and other responsive natural elements in such a way as to manifest the most simple shapes that we determined to be important enough to write down at the dawn of written history, by virtue of the way we feel at certain times, when the sky is hung with angles and ratio.

Still, when written out like that, it is a nice enough thing to believe about the world, that it is a beautiful place that is alive. That being said, I will probably veer skyward again sooner than later, because – as troublesome as it has been at particular points – very little in my life has held my fascination like the question of how there could be so many shapes like 3s in the sky, such unexpected symmetry and composition.

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