Monday, May 8, 2017

Sights and symbols

Because I read and think, I believe it is good for me to try at times throughout the day to concentrate on what is happening where I am.  What do I see?  What do I hear?

A major purpose for these blog posts is to consider my experiences.  They don't have to be experiences outside my mind.  I can include ideas, ruminations and other thoughts but being a book guy, an idea guy, a language guy, I want to pay at least some attention to the world around me: cooking, shopping, visiting, housekeeping types of things.  I know about the retina story, the facts that my head and eyes take a moment to process sights and sounds, that by the time I realize I see you, hear the song, taste the food, it is already a processed experience about something a little bit past.  But for the typical day, what I see and hear and taste is close enough to actual physical naive reality. Especially so for a guy who can slip back into his head quickly and comfortably.

I try to ask myself what has been happening.  I look at scenes in my mind and make a note of each theme.  What surprised me today was the relative  speeds of memory and association.  Yesterday, I cut the grass for the first time this year.  When I try, I can think of what I did and what I experienced but I have to work at it.  But, a theme or idea can take off much faster that I collect recalled memories of actual experience.


An idea "takes off" by association with other ideas.  Today's idea for this post is the relative speed with which associations spring up with further associations and connections spring from those, filling the mental space with both pictures and words.  Professors and other thinkers practice stimulating associations and using them to lead off to new lines of thought.  Besides, maybe older people can associate quickly and comfortably, having used their heads for a long time.

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