Your brain uses only milliseconds to make its choices.
…the most important thing that matters in regulating our thoughts, feelings, and actions is their first 100-200 msec in the brain, which is when the levers and pulleys are actually doing their thing.
We proceed in bursts, bursts of less than 200 milliseconds. One decision proceeds to the next. Left foot here. See that smile? Hand in pocket. Yes, a smile. There it is. Wonderfully warm flutter in my heart. Oh, there it is. Left foot there. Oh no, that’s not a smile. Right foot stops.
These words fail to explain. They force us into a robotic ladder of mundane maneuvers. Life along an axis. Forty steps ‘x’, Fifty steps ‘y’. We’re not that. We must be more than a cyber-centipede of linked instructions.
And yet, we must admit our mind operates stunningly fast. We rarely sense more than a blur. As one thought follows another, are we tumbling and cascading along or can we learn to see ourselves operating in real time, in milliseconds? There’s a terrific frontier!
Deric Bownds once more:
It might make the strident assertion that the most important thing that matters in regulating our thoughts, feelings, and actions is their first 100-200 msec in the brain, which is when the levers and pulleys are actually doing their thing. It would be a nuts and bolts approach to altering – or at least inhibiting – self limiting behaviors. It would suggest that a central trick is to avoid taking on on the ‘enormity of it all,’ and instead use a variety of techniques to get our awareness down to the normally invisible 100-200 msec time interval in which our actions are being programmed.
“Going too fast for myself I missed more than I think I can remember almost everything it seems sometimes and yet there are chances that come back that I did not notice when they stood where I could have reached out and touched them this morning the black shepherd dog still young looking up and saying Are you ready this time” – W. S. Merwin
Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.
Blest, who can unconcernedly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,
Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
– Alexander Pope, “Ode on Solitude”
“I sometimes think US politicians don’t know which way is up.”
you’ve known this since you were a kid
looming change is your blood
struggling in a shit pile to fix it
and now you’re tired
call it reverence if you must
it’s real exhaustion
relief and more relief
powerful youth could fix it
wouldn’t it be nice to do it over?
what happens isn’t the whole story
you’ve been waiting more than a heart can bear
nonsense month after month after month
hooked into a parade of chains
breathing isn’t what it used to be
you’re stuck with that
stop and you cripple yourself
wound with no weapon but freedom and weary
…her flat just to the right of the lobby. Stoessinger arranged for a neighbor to accompany me. It was decided that I might make a better impression if I were introduced as a musician rather than a journalist, because Herz-Sommer can find journalists tiring. The tactic misfired somewhat. When I was introduced, she commanded, “Play something,” in her richly accented, Central European voice. I sat reluctantly at the upright and stumbled through the first theme of Schubert’s great B-Flat-Major Sonata. She stopped me and said, “Now tell me your real profession.” I confessed that I was a writer, whereupon she looked a bit sad. Nonetheless, we had a lively chat. I had the impression that she was no longer greatly interested in the past, but she was alert to the present, to comings and goings in her building, to news of recent performances. She spoke fondly of her son, the cellist Raphael Sommer, who died in 2001. But she does not spend her time grieving. In her conversations with Stoessinger, she paraphrased Spinoza: “Don’t stand there and cry. Understand.”
reticent tissue, that is the issue,
as time goes by, scratching vast mirrors,
the knitwork network
network to matrix and matrix to node, to coin a modern ode
the synthesis of reliable organisms from unreliable components
the relationship resource in the curiosity of breathing
ol’ english chorus, the metal of anarchy in the monolith of despots,
the analysts of share, incessant wet of relative deprivation,
competitive hostilities pummeling fulfillment
along the way from plankton to pulsar,
the executive HQ of the milieux
“We share our lives with the people we have failed to be.” Adam Phillips: Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life There is always what will turn out to be the life we led, and the life that accompanied it, the parallel life that never actually happened, that we lived in our minds, the wished-for life (or lives):the risks untaken and the opportunities avoided or unprovided. We refer to them as our unlived lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us; but for some reason–and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find the reason–they were not possible. And what was not possible all too easily becomes the story of our lives. Indeed, our lived lives might become a mourning, a tantrum, the lives we were unable to live. But what we missed and suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are. As we know more now than ever before about the kinds of lives it is possible to live–and affluence has allowed more people than ever before to think of their lives in terms of choices and options–we are haunted by the myth of our potential, of what we might have it in ourselves to be or do. Often in “The ways we miss our lives,” we are grieving or regretting or resenting our failure to be ourselves as we imagine we could be.
…the roads untraveled, what we missed, our human identity as a constant looking back upon the lives we have chosen not to live–or the lives that we have failed to live–or the lives that, much to our frustration, have always eluded us.
We are as much a measure of the selves we aren’t as the self we happen to be facing in the mirror today. What about the one we used to love, or the one we picture ourselves loving someday? What about the job we longed for and never got? Or the job we got, but it could be in ten years? As photographer Jimmy Nelson reports, “The purity of humanity exists. It is there in the mountains, the ice fields, the jungle, along the rivers and in the valleys… the world must never forget the way things were.” These are the lives we are.
Our rare and robust claim to make a treasure of ourselves.
Even my poverty.
To fly among the future with our heart intact.
What man of us has never felt, walking through the twilight or writing down a date from his past, that he has lost something infinite? —Jorge Luis Borges
ON THE BANK
On the bank at the end
Of what was there before us
Gazing over to the other side
On what we can become
Veiled in the mist of naïve speculation
We are busy here preparing
Rafts to carry us across
Before the light goes out leaving us
In the eternal night of could-have-been
after all, we are each put through caldron
will you never thunder?
will you never ache?
will you shrink and retreat?
will you burn and wither?
you are not to walk away from you, say it,
and all the angels hear
This is the exalted melancholy of our fate that every Thou in our world must become an It. -Martin Buber
“The tremendous world I have inside of me.
But how to free myself and free it, without being torn to pieces.” —Kafka
The general irresponsibility was to spend his whole year’s allowance in a week. His sister had gone to Hawaii and left behind her white Russian wolfhound. He took this dog to the stage door of the most popular musical of the day, and as the girls came out they all patted the dog. The long and short of it is that he cut an exam, invited the entire chorus line of 30 girls to dinner, spent all his money and got kicked out of Harvard.
Did he regret it?