Sunday, March 24, 2013

Inside Link's Head

So someone was asking recently "how do you come to write all this stuff". When I pause to think about that question and answer it as consciously and truthfully as possible, the likely answer is:  I don't know. The more I've read on how the brain works, how randomness inserts its own force, how memory is distorted, the more uncertain I am about how accurately I can uncover the true impulse of what I write.

As I  pull back the covers to awaken to consciousness, I am pretty sure that all this writing does begins with impulse. I don't get up in the morning and say to myself, I'm gonna write something on such and such today. Sometimes I can track a specific impulse pretty accurately to a specific incident, passage read, conversation, etc. But of course that only shows up on my visibility screen, not all that is submerged beneath, which like the mitochondria, bacteria, and other machinations going on at the microscopic or subatomic levels that shape who are or what we do go largely unrecognized.

While I don't affirm the presence or existence of some deity, key designer, or guru in this I do feel communion with what for lack of a better word at the moment I would call 'magic'. We are, I'm pretty sure, alive. That means we are moving through time, changing constantly while holding onto some shape of temporary permanence (self). We are obviously shaped and steered by forces around us, including the bigger systems - economic, political, social, etc. Rarely, or least infrequently do we pause long enough to think about how those systems evolved, if they serve us well, and how they drive how we think and respond to the world around us. Perhaps even more rarely, do we examine how crucial some basic parts of our world weave their web on us - e.g. language. How a simple word choice makes such a difference in our relationship to what is being conveyed or attempted to be conveyed.

Take for a simple example the difference between 'I want this' versus 'I need this'. I think we can agree there is a difference. Advertising aims at shifting us to the belief that we NEED something from simply WANTING it. Or one of my favorites from the general semantics folks who discuss E-prime as semantic choice, the difference in seemingly simple declaratory statements, for example,  "The world is going to hell" versus "It seems like the world is going to hell." The reliance on the dogmatic "is" versus the less dogmatic "seems". Language matters. It creates openings or closes doors.

As I age, my experience nudges me to believe that life is not only complex, but evolving into deeper complexity at an accelerating rate. In such a world, this fellow will never be able to comprehend the complexity simply  by honing the rational mind. I lean on some sense of communion with otherness calibrated against a more sophisticated understanding and appreciation of moral/ethical considerations.

This is a long soliloquy to try and explain how I come to write these days. Ideas emerge throughout the awakened day and at some point there is a tipping point of energy to explore an idea or set of ideas in a written form. So this particular verbose effort was initially triggered by the question of a few days back. It settled into the subconscious and emerged as I was glancing back to find an earlier blog only to be surprised at how many I had written in the past few months.