Photo by Peter Lewicki on Unsplash

I am not the same person I used to be

We play so many different roles on the stage of life

One of the first things that happens when you are examining or adjusting the lenses or filters that focus, obscure or distort our view of reality, is a realization that what we once thought as foundational and sacred has been altered, and our ideas about what is true and real shift slightly. When that happens, we react either with fear or with curiosity, depending on how much those ideas are integrated into our identities.

If identities are in formation, we more readily absorb the new information to better make sense of the world, and to increase our ability to interact with it more effectively.

The Power to Effect Change

Why would children want to learn language? They understand that language gives them abilities to effect, manipulate, and control their environments to better suit their needs.

As infants, we discover very quickly that we have the power to effect change. Crying is an amazing power that, at first, creates an immediate response from responsible care-givers. Over time, however, this power has diminishing returns and other abilities must be increased to compensate.

Humans resort to language.

Of course, if someone in front of you has a sword or a gun, words are going to be almost useless, unless you are quite adept at the power of persuasion.

Sometimes, people are simply unwilling to change.

Maturity

Just because I am older, does that make me wiser? Not necessarily. One would hope that over time, people become wise through experience. But, many of us are stilling learning from our mistakes. Often, we just repeat them.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
— George Santayana

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman on humanity, politics, neighbours and love.

What are we? Kids plus time.

I am right next to Mr. Rogers. I couldn’t believe it that forever I get to be his neighbour.

He is the one who taught me that I am the only one qualified to be me, and I deserve love just as I am.

Life is Consciousness

What do I have to teach you? I don’t know. I may not have anything to teach you. It depends. What do you want to learn?

I figure, the best thing that I can give you is my view of reality as I filter it through memory, experience, and the principles of design.

What I can offer in this world is a shared experience. That experience becomes valuable only if you can remember it, and memory is usually enhanced by sharing it with another person.

So, let’s do something collaborative, to create a shared experience. Do you remember your high school yearbook? Let’s create something to remember our time here. Find something that you created that represents you, or something that you are proud of, or something that the world needs to see or hear. Write or find some text that you can quote. Then, let’s create something that we can point to and say, we did that.

Silence

Or, we can watch this video where Natalie Portman and Yuval Noah Harari converse about the nature of stories, cooperation and conceptions of reality.

Tarana Burke, who started the #metoo movement clearly utilized technology in a very powerful way that, I think, really gave gave women a sense of solidarity and safety in numbers. We’re seeing it today with the very emotionally impacting Kavanaugh hearings in Washington in my country, which is very, very difficult to watch, but also very inspiring because of the courage of people who have been silenced for a very, very long time.

I think one woman inspires another and then it becomes a movement and then people realize that they’re protecting each other.

I think also it was a revelation because so many people — not just women — were were silent about their experiences that I think people didn’t realize how widespread it was, and people thought they were alone.

The technology actually made them realize that there were others like them and not only others like them but many times others with the same perpetrator.

I think, also, once people realized that their silence could potentially hurt other people, they started to come out.

When they realized that their speaking out could help support another person who had come forward to help their credibility, they also bravely came out, because, unfortunately, it is still so devastating for people who come forward. Their lives are extremely impacted. They are terrorized. They are harassed. They have horrible, horrible repercussions for coming forward still after all of this, today.

You really see the kind of sisterhood and solidarity and a decision to to say that this is unacceptable. Now that it’s been revealed, I think even to people who were victims of this kind of behaviour, I don’t think anyone realized how widespread it was.

Stream of Consciousness

In literary criticism, stream of consciousness is a narrative mode or method that attempts to depict the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind.…

Stream of consciousness is a narrative device that attempts to give the written equivalent of the character’s thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue (see below), or in connection to his or her actions. Stream of consciousness writing is usually regarded as a special form of interior monologue and is characterized by associative leaps in thought and lack of some or all punctuation.Stream of consciousness and interior monologue are distinguished from dramatic monologue and soliloquy, where the speaker is addressing an audience or a third person, which are chiefly used in poetry or drama. In stream of consciousness the speaker’s thought processes are more often depicted as overheard in the mind (or addressed to oneself); it is primarily a fictional device. The term “stream of consciousness” was coined by philosopher and psychologist William James in The Principles of Psychology (1890):

consciousness, then, does not appear to itself as chopped up in bits … it is nothing joined; it flows. A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let’s call it the stream of thought, consciousness, or subjective life.

Life as Metaphor

One of the main interpretations of life as a poetic metaphorical concept is a stream or a river. In this article we analyze a well-known verse by Hafiz of Shiraz in which life has been conceptualized as a stream, utilizing domain mapping as well as blending theories of metaphor. It is concluded that metaphors, in general, are multi-dimensional structures which involve many cognitive, emotional, and motivational processes, and poetic metaphors, in particular, act as heuristic device for a world view. Their main function is to provide a shift from one frame to another, based on an emergent structure. The reader, in this shifting process, is drawn into the poem not as an observer, but as an active and dynamic participant. Hafiz’ verse provides us with an excellent example of such a shift on the one hand, and the active role of the reader, on the other.

Your Brain Doesn’t Contain Memories. It Is Memories

Your brain’s ability to collect, connect, and create mosaics from these milliseconds-long impressions is the basis of every memory. By extension, it is the basis of you. This isn’t just metaphysical poetics. Every sensory experience triggers changes in the molecules of your neurons, reshaping the way they connect to one another. That means your brain is literally made of memories, and memories constantly remake your brain. This framework for memory dates back decades. And a sprawling new review published today in Neuron adds an even finer point: Memory exists because your brain’s molecules, cells, and synapses can tell time.

Every Time We Remember, We Rewrite Our Memories

Then again, editing might be another way to learn from experience. If fond memories of an early love weren’t tempered by the knowledge of a disastrous breakup, or if recollections of difficult times weren’t offset by knowledge that things worked out in the end, we might not reap the benefits of these hard-earned life lessons. Perhaps it’s better if we can rewrite our memories every time we recall them. Nader suggests that reconsolidation may be the brain’s mechanism for recasting old memories in the light of everything that has happened since. In other words, it just might be what keeps us from living in the past.

The World Stage

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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