Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Let’s consider (try not to think, yea….just try it) our world from the inside out for a few moments. That is to say this reality that exists inside our skulls as opposed to the perhaps harsher form that we walk, talk and wander through each day.

Now which controls which?

There is no control you say? Try not thinking again.

We walk through our worlds as we rapturously enjoy/suffer through every moment of our transient existence in a fulfilling/futile pursuit of our tragic/triumphant ambitions/dreams. And where do our thoughts come from? From the innumerable stimuli that surrounds us? Doubtless. But don’t they occasionally emerge fully formed and crystal clear as if a bolt from heaven itself, destined to decide the path that our feet will trudge for our remaining ecstatic/depressing days?
Consider that this Super Super computer that we call our brain is switched on from the moment of our birth (and perhaps even before) and then is continuously running at top speed until the moment we bite that tasty dust. This is one mean machine capable of billions of simultaneous calculations instantly being processed through every moment of our waking existence.

“That beautiful girl just smiled at me…….what does it mean? Do I make a move? Dare I?”……
and all this as you’re walking through a jam packed train station avoiding almost constant collisions while calculating the time remaining until your train pulls as you count the money in your pocket, weigh your chances, consider your bills for the month, briefly think of your children, wonder about the girl from 7 years ago, check your watch, scratch your chin and decide your fate all while, significantly, breathing, pumping blood and performing the millions of mechanical functions that allow you to amble upright as the old grey matter hums along as smooth and easy as water flowing down a gentle hill.

Remember that supercomputer Deep Blue that finally beat a Grand Master Chess Champion in that most tortuous of mental war games back in 2005? I’m not impressed.

Let that fucking collection of circuits, microchips and extension cords manage the board as he is simultaneously trying to pay the bills, keep his wife happy, find time for his girlfriend, plot his next career move, check his look in the mirror, fight Father Time, plan lunch and then dinner, remember everyones birthday, scope the crowd, gauge his own worthiness, approximate humility and then let him bust a play. That is the exact moment when I will be impressed.

Yes, I did mention that this personal cerebro of ours is running strong all through our waking existence but consider this as well. While asleep the old head is perhaps on standby but is nonetheless working hard…..or is it easy? How else to explain the incredible vividness and hyper reality of those things we call dreams as we check out of our more immediate reality? The shocking horror of our terrible nightmares is most simply the brain on overdrive or maybe in delete mode, carefully sorting, dividing and ditching the useful from the useless, the profane from the responsible, the psychotic from the coherent, the difficult good from the simple bad as our more corporeal bodies slumber easily, and sometimes less so, in our soft beds with heart pumping, lungs thumping oblivious to the fury upstairs.

And all these countless galaxies of operations occur simultaneous to our body’s ever-present physical deterioration. Just as that beautiful, terrible engine in our skulls hums along the body is ever so slowly falling apart and will, eventually, end us one and all.

Kidney failure, a heart condition, a tumor, infection, disease…….
A bullet, a bus, a bolt of lightening.

But that ageless calculator upstairs just keeps cruising along impervious to any attempts to shut it down, indifferent to any physical realities, contrary to any mortal ambitions yet infinitely aware of every aspect of its owners past, present and future condition, as unknowable and yet as familiar as the most distant star in the blackest sky. Unique. Shining.

Of course occasionally the grey machine fails before the other one below.

This is an anomaly. This is a mistake. This is certainly a tragedy of the most human proportion.
Outside of old age it’s clear that either one or the other fails first and never both at the same time.

You want the cure for cancer? It’s schizophrenia.

The brain going haywire will burn every last cancer cell in the body or blood until there’s nothing left but a madness that beams through your eyes like a burning spotlight of clearest insanity. Of course you’ll most likely end up a homeless pariah spending your last days on Earth jabbering your wisdom to a crowd that will not comprehend as you dive through trash cans and search for suitably safe places to sleep but that cancer will be gone, baby gone and that engine in your head will be spinning furious revolutions of endless freedom and fantastic dreams.

This is what I’ve been thinking of lately.....
So Happy Thanksgiving.

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