Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Expressing Surprise and Being Surprised by Expression: Words and Identity

I feel disconnected from my blog posts. Rob feels like he sees where his music goes, I feel like I am bearing my core. Maybe he does too.

Either way me and Rob were having a conversation about how it is that we relate to the things that we produce creatively. Rob is a musician, I would like to be a writer/philosopher.

I told rob that with my writing I was often trying to capture some sort of surprising thought that I had. I often have very strange moments where all of a sudden I'm thinking something I've never thought before. My post of 4/6/10 'Planning and Remembering' was me trying to understand why I was so surprised by Efron's false memory. My post of 4/8/10 'Anticipating Moments, Anticipating Memories' tried to explore the surprise and shock I felt at my graduation dinner with my parents where I was thinking about memory in brand new ways.

Even my longer posts, my post of 4/30/10, my post of 3/19/10, are all me trying to deal with the surprising way in which my thoughts present themselves to me. My thought surprises me all the time.

Rob, I think, said he was trying to express emotional surprise with his music. But I don't know if I understand. He isn't here.

But I will say a bit more about feeling disconnected from posts.

That is why my post of 4/30/10 feels so strange to me in hindsight. I'm not sure how I relate to it. I'm not sure what part of me produced it. Is that what I think? Where did that come from? How did I think that? Do I still think that? These outputs come so sporadically to me. They escape my sense of identity in a way, though. I often feel like they have come from somewhere other than myself.

So much of my thought has a sort of disconnect between parts of the mind. I definitely am not in favor of seeing myself in a unified identity. I am not some singular coherent being. My anger takes me different places. Maybe that is why I identified so much with my paper on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which I posted on 5/21/2010. That book is pretty incredible in terms of what types of challenges it is posing, what types of questions it is asking about science, evolution, language, and identity. Suchhh a tight book.

Claxton and emotions as personalities. If an identity/personality is all about goals, perspectives, etc., then don't emotions give us different personalities? Emotions are there to help us achieve a wide variety of goals. They change what we want. My emotions change me into a different thing.

But I'm about to give up on this post. All I know is that I like the way I think. I think that it pops differently all the time. I think I change. I think I am often surprised by how I think. If I surprise myself, how can I have a coherent sense of intellectual identity? Any type of identity?

I think I do identify with myself, and with my writing. But the process of expressing my thoughts feels so different from living with them. My emotions feel very different than my analytical writing does. But they are the same thing. They come from the same place. They are all part of my general brain/mind.

Luckily, I kinda like Buddhism and stuff, so I don't have too much of a stake in a coherent identity.

Me and rob talked about this a bit later. A few hours later. Came to a few more clear conclusions.

Basically, creative output, whether its music or writing, can happen very fast and very unexpectedly. It can be jarring. When I first write something fast it is so strange to see it in front of me that I don't know how I relate to it.

But, when I take the time to really get to know an idea, or really refine a paper, I suppose then I feel like I know it a little better. My Jekyll and Hyde paper I feel like I can identify with. I feel like I know it pretty well and it says a lot of things that I want to say.

So its all about getting to know the things that I have created very quickly and spontaneously. It seems interesting that I would have to get to know myself by reading something I wrote. Lots of famous quotations come to mind. Flannery O'Connor, ahem.

But it is true. Writing comes fast and it feels like it has come from somewhere other than myself, or at least somewhere that I don't understand or have access to. So, I get to know myself through my own writing? Sure.

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