Basic Connectomics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Connectomy

     to chart the connections:
     a connectome
     what each part is,
     how it supports the whole,
     how it ought to interact with other parts
          and the environment

     how might we grasp the entirety?

     understanding
     all this complexity
     millions of things
     happening simultaneously
                                                                                     within
without

     no point
     you can say,
     ‘I now understand’

     the world is.
     ideas conform.

     information
     is the enemy
     of understanding

     which details are irrelevant?
     making sense of facts
     truth through an unfocused lens
     sculpted by language
     processed by culture

                                                                                     watching ice melt
we stoke the fire

Basic Connectomics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Connectomy

Altered States

This view—called “cosmopsychism” in modern philosophy, although our preferred formulation of it boils down to what has classically been called “idealism”—is that there is only one, universal, consciousness. The physical universe as a whole is the extrinsic appearance of universal inner life, just as a living brain and body are the extrinsic appearance of a person’s inner life.

You don’t need to be a philosopher to realize the obvious problem with this idea: people have private, separate fields of experience. We can’t normally read your thoughts and, presumably, neither can you read ours. Moreover, we are not normally aware of what’s going on across the universe and, presumably, neither are you. So, for idealism to be tenable, one must explain—at least in principle—how one universal consciousness gives rise to multiple, private but concurrently conscious centers of cognition, each with a distinct personality and sense of identity.

And here is where dissociation comes in. We know empirically from DID that consciousness can give rise to many operationally distinct centers of concurrent experience, each with its own personality and sense of identity. Therefore, if something analogous to DID happens at a universal level, the one universal consciousness could, as a result, give rise to many alters with private inner lives like yours and ours. As such, we may all be alters—dissociated personalities—of universal consciousness.

Moreover, as we’ve seen earlier, there is something dissociative processes look like in the brain of a patient with DID. So, if some form of universal-level DID happens, the alters of universal consciousness must also have an extrinsic appearance. We posit that this appearance is life itself: metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like.

metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like

metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like

metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like

metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like

metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like

metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like

metabolizing organisms are simply what universal-level dissociative processes look like

 

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/could-multiple-personality-disorder-explain-life-the-universe-and-everything/

 

Altered States

The girls were left to inherit a magic to help them become

‖‬ Who knows magic anymore? ‖‬
‖‬ Who reads spells and incantations? ‖‬
‖‬ Who speaks charms and curses? ‖‬

                              I’ve heard there is a secret group,
                              hidden in the hills,
                              who can read the future                               in a cup of tea
                              under the light
                              of a full harvest moon.

‖ ‬In the hills
there is a hut
where the future
has a story. ‖‪

‖ If you want to know more,
you just need to talk
to one of the little girls
who makes the hills her home‬. ‖

‖ ‬But who are these little girls? ‖

‖ Well, not a lot of people know,
except the witches,
and oh! but do they know. ‖

                              The story is a long one,
                              and it starts here
                              in this little hut,‬
                              ‬with the little girls
                              standing on the mud roof.

                              They came
                              from the world of fairies
                              to study this magic,

‖ and when they come
to the hut
in the hills
they must stand
on the roof. ‖ ‪

‖ These are not
ordinary fairies. ‖

‣                               ‖ ‬The world the witches see is one in which the future is a place, ‖ ‬and the world the witches see in the future,…they call The City. ム      ‖ ‬As far as anyone knows, ‖ ‬there are no other cities in the world. ‖ ‬In the past, ‖ ‬there was a time when there were many worlds and there were ordinary fairies. ‖ ‬But then, ‖                              those worlds were destroyed, ‖ ‬and when those worlds finally disappeared, ‖ �                               the little girls left behind were shown how to stand on mud roofs and learn a witch’s way.                                                   ᐛ                                         ༼                            ‖

三三三三三三三三三三三三三三三三三三三
三三三三三三三三三三
三三三三三
三三

The girls were left to inherit a magic to help them become

I know you’re a priest, but I’m not going to be a priest

Every step
is a protopian trek
through a jungle overgrown
with thick roots and poison leaves.

Yes, even the poisonous
cannot contain their self-interest.
Even the revolution
must surely bring oppression.

My advice to people
who are considering
becoming priests:
Be sure to wear clean underwear.
Be aware that not every priest is like you.
Don’t get into fights with other priests unless they deserve it.
Never be ashamed.
Only apologize to children.

I’m not some crazy
priest-hoarding freak
who is going out of his mind
with plans to destroy this world on a whim.

However, if that turns out to be the case, then I’m sorry, I was only kidding. I’m just kidding. Just kidding.

Here is a joke
I wrote in seminary,
by far my favorite joke,
the one that I always come back to:

“How do you think Jesus died?

Do you think he was hit in the head with a rock?

Do you think he was hit by a bus?

Do you think he was hit by lightning?

Do you think he was hit by a car?

Do you think he was hit by a train?

Do you think he was hit by lightning?

Do you think he was hit by a train?

Do you think he was hit by a train?
Do you think he was hit by a train?

Do you think he was hit by a train?
Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was hit by a train? Do you think he was? Do you? Do you?”

Get it?

I know you’re a priest, but I’m not going to be a priest

Then One Foggy Christmas Eve

We were singing
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
at church
instead of
Amazing Grace
and something
didn’t seem
quite right;
like
there was no verve,
no gumption,
no gratification
for caroling
to the heavens.
It didn’t seem
like the right
little ritual
for the time.

And this was,
at bottom,
the very reason
I wanted
to sing
my memoirs
at a Christmas Eve
extravaganza.

I needed
to sing
these truths:
that we must love each other,
that happiness isn’t constant,
that the brain needs melody,
and that life is like a gingerbread house:
quite messy
and prone to collapse
just when you think
you’ve got it all
put together nicely
(but pretty sweet
from start to finish).

The people
in my memoir song
sound different
than they do
in real life.

When my mother sings,
“Would you like
to be
a little elf?”
she sounds like Emmy Lou Harris
and I recall my mother,
wide-eyed and wrinkle-free,
with hair halfway down her back;
when her voice drifts down
to sing,
“Or would you like
to be
buried under snow?”
you must recall
that’s how
I’ve written
her parts
of the song.

When my family comes
to my song’s premiere
no one asks
what the song is for.
They only ask
why they all
sound different
from how they sound
in real life.

After the premiere,
we all go out
to eat fried rice
and steamed veggies.

We wait hours
for supper
to arrive.
We don’t talk
about much,
but we do hum
along to some
jolly Christmas tunes
saturating
the air
around us.

Then One Foggy Christmas Eve

Things We Hold Dear

It only took two minutes to break the world, split it open, let the gooey center leak out into the cold black of space and watch the solid core shiver in its raw, iron nakedness.

Then, the entire thing was still.

“This was the world and all it contained,” read the memorial.

You reached into the stillness and pulled the world to you as though it were something important you’d forgotten. It was as though the old life itself was within you, and you felt the weight of all the old life beating in your own heart and pumping through your own veins.

You reached for the world again and again and again.

“The world and all that it contained, yes?” they asked in a sibilant whisper, smile wide as Orion’s belt.

You pulled the world closer.

“The world is a thing that shouldn’t have broke.”

Their eyes widened and they looked at you with terror, wondering what you would manage to sacrilege next. But you had been here before.

You felt that dusty sense of eternality. You knew they had loved the world in the time before its death, despite their present tone. They had been here, waiting for you, for this. They’d been here before, too, while you were holding the cold world close to your chest in mourning. You felt then, as now, the warmth of their celestial body wrapped over and through your own. And yet you had forgotten how suffocating that warmth could grow.

Their thousand hands touched your skin and you shivered.

“I know you do not like the world to be cold and lifeless,” they said softly through a million mouths in a million tongues. “But I’ve told you these same things many times before and do so again now.”

A billion hands closed tightly around yours, “You have always taken up within in me and then kept this constant vigil, watching over the world. And the more I watch you watch the world, the more I fail to understand love.”

You shook your head and tried to escape their constraints. They closed a trillion eyes then spoke, “No one can keep you from watching. All these years from now, when we’re here again – no one will ever keep you from watching.”

You put your hand inside one of their open mouths and said, “The world is our love, my love, and that’s all we will ever care about. The world will continue no matter what, I promise you yet again.”

And then you climb inside, taking the world with you, keeping it safe and close, like you would a helpless child.

Things We Hold Dear