15 December 2005

Meditation on the Tree of Life

in the last installment we argued
that the embodiment of a song's mood
may be more or less

but on the Tree of Life these categories
can only be applied to human performances

(we trust) embody their moods
with perfect authenticity

and the origins of human
bad faith
are unknown

(Jaynes thought c1000BC
from city life or literacy

and noted that Socrates
credited his best instincts
to an inner voice of god
or genius)

let's picture the cross-section of any branch on the Tree of Life
to be a circle with a diameter wide enough
to enclose that creature's brain

but since we've flattened the Z dimension

let's flatten the whole nervous system
to fit in that circle
by representing each nerve-cell as a point
and each relationship between nerve-cells
as a line

and when we flatten this network
we can insist that no two cell-points
(but the relationship-lines
must cross like mad)

relationship-changes between the organism-branch
and the surrounding world
will be reflected in (unknown)
relationship changes between nerve cells

and important changes will lead to
more-or-less-appropriate actions

but in humans
since the crisis of faith
these actions may be authentic or inauthentic

and our only duty that matters

is to under-stand
our inauthenticities

for which Gurdjieff prescribed
in the face of our mechanical reflexes

(more generally termed

and our particular challenge
is those kneejerk emotional reactions
when others punch our buttons

(with Karl Rove a punching ace)

with our network of neurons
producing less-than-ideal actions

and meditation focusing on that
instant of reflex

and visualising, say,
a new layer of nerve cells
widening that gap