[“A phenomenological model of consciousness based on information theory”] is phenomenological in that it deals directly with events–phenomena–as we experience and interpret them, rather than focusing on the anatomical structures, neurochemical process, or unconscious purposes that make these events possible. Of course, it is understood that whatever happens in the mind is the result of electrochemical changes in the central nervous system, as laid down over millions of years by biological evolution. But phenomenology assumes that a mental event can be best understood if we look at it directly as it was experienced, that than through the specialised optics of a particular discipline. Yet in contrast to pure phenomenology, which model we will explore here adopts principles from information theory as being relevant for understanding what happens in consciousness. These principles include knowledge about how sensory data are processed, stored and used–the dynamics of attention and memory.
“Don’t aim at success–the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue… as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself.”
Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning
When I’m writing, I think of the whole academic world; I know what they think, and they don’t think what I think. I just have to say, Let the guillotine come down; you’ve got me kid, but you’re gonna get this message. I always feel as though I were going through a Simpeglades that’s just about to close, but I get through before I let that thought come to me. And it’s a very strange feeling of holding–actually, intellectually, holding–that door open to get this thought out. Now that’s, that’s the way to do it. Don’t think about the negative side. There are going to be negatives and they are going to come down and that’s like washing the dishes, you know? You’ve got to hold the door open to do anything that hasn’t been done before. You have to do your thing, you have to hold all the criticism in abeyance. I’m sure that that’s an experience that everyone has in life. In writing, you have it all the time in a minor way, getting that sentence out.
The asshole fails to recognize you to your face… The asshole is especially outrageous, because, whatever his private motives, he can’t even be polite. And when he is polite, or even charming, fundamental respect is not the reason why. Other motives are in play.
Aaron James – Assholes: A Theory
The beginning of a mythic world or a mythic tradition is a seizure – something that pulls you out of yourself, beyond yourself, beyond all rational patterns. It is out of such seizures that civilizations are built. All you have to do is look at their monuments, and you’ll see that these are the nuttiest things that mankind over thought of. Look at the Pyramids. Just try to interpret them in terms of rational means and aims or economic necessities; think of what it meant in a society with the technology of Egypt – which is to say practically nothing – to build a thing that massive. The cathedrals, the great temples of the world, or the work of any artist who has given his life to producing these thing – all of these come from mythic seizure […]. That awakening of awe, that awakening of zeal, is the beginning, and curiously enough, that’s what pulls people together.
Perfection is inhuman. Human beings are not prefect. What evokes our love – and I mean love, not lust – is the imperfection of the human being. So, when the imperfection of the real person, compared to the ideal of your animus or anima, peeks through, say, This is a challenge to my compassion. Then make a try, and something might begin to get going here. You might begin to be quit of your fix on your anima. It’s just as bad to be fixed on your anima and miss as to be fixed on your persona: you’ve got to get free of that. And the lesson of life is to release you from it. This is what Jung calls individuation, to see people and yourself in terms of what you indeed are, not in terms of all these archetypes that you are projecting around and that have been projected on you.
“Traditionally, the first function of a living mythology is to reconcile consciousness to the preconditions of its own experience; that is to say to the nature of life. Now, life lives on life. Its first law is, now I’ll eat you, now you eat me – quite something for the consciousness to assimilate. […] The impact of this horror on a sensitive consciousness is terrific – this monster which is life. Life is a horrendous presence, and you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that. […]