Friday, June 18, 2010

Rapid Expression and Identity Crises: Reflections on my Posts of 4/30 and 6/13

So I am really grappling with my post of 6/13 in a lot of different ways. First, and less importantly, it is a major statement of my thought that is prompting tons of new questions and has me thinking about my next step in my writing.

Second, and this is what I really want to talk about in this post, is that it shakes up my identity.

Following my 34 page post of 4/30 and the 69 pager of 6/13 I feel totally wiped and scattered. In many ways I feel a sort of blankness that is strange. Especially because it is mixed with more solid and deep intuitions.

I feel my thinking isn't stopping or slowing down in any way after these enormous expressions. It just thrives on these connections that I have tried, or managed, to articulate. For example, I have two quite major posts in the works (one in 5 pages of writing and one mentally), that expand and refine all the ideas I have expressed so far. It is brand new ground for my thinking.

But what is it that is strange in terms of identity? Why does expressing my thought so substantially make me feel so disconnected from my thinking?

Well for one thing my writing is often uncertain. In rereading my recent post I see paragraphs where I conclude one thing, only to firmly conclude the opposite at the end of the paper. I won't revise it. I want to maintain the raw state of my expressions on this blog. For the most part at least.

Another thing is the uncertain connection all this writing has to my future academic work. I undoubtedly will enter a PhD program at some point in the next few years. So it is kinda unclear how I am going to be working with all of these ideas in graduate school. What is gonna go on with my graduate work. Beats me.

But the most important thing, I think, and that I want to talk about, is how very quickly I write some of this stuff. And how the rapidity of the expression leaves me feeling disconnected from what I have just produced.

At one point in my last post I said "Yikes. This is a bit much for me....I have been brewing these ideas for quite a long time." That is really the issue here. To follow this metaphor of 'brewing,' imagine that my mind is a french press and I have been pouring all of these coffee grounds and hot water into it (i.e. books and thoughts as coffee/water), and then I waited a few years and then I poured it all out. Suddenly I have this product that I have created that is somehow of my doing but has been created in a vessel that doesn't feel like me? Am I the coffee? What part of me is responsible for this product? Am I this product? Is this product me? What part of me does it represent or come from?

I really feel like most of this writing just 'pours' out of me. It just comes out. It just happens.
Most of the things that I do I am simply compelled to do. I probably believe in choice or free will (especially in the form of attention), but I honestly find it easier to identify with compulsion and determinism. But that doesn't help me very much in my identity in relation to my writing.

Anyways, I think the bottom line is that it has to do with the speed of the expression. I feel like I tap into something other than myself and I just roll. It just flows. It just comes out. Every paragraph just prompts the next paragraph and I do my best as I go. Vague structures often present themselves to me and I write them down as a note I end up adding more sections because I remember certain things. This is not systematic work that I am putting up. This is free form work that builds and coalesces as I go. It feels strange.

But I mean I have been thinking about this stuff daily for the last 2 or 3 years. The idea of reenactment, which I can now identify with simulation theory of mind, has literally permeated the majority of my thinking. It happened pretty quickly after learning about it. Foucault's writing, definitely permeates a lot of my daily thinking. ]

Writing these things so fast they have a certain novelty to me when I read them. I read things and I am surprised. I wrote a lot very quickly, didn't do much proofing. So sometimes I read something and I say nice, that is good.

So I guess I feel like I have to go through a process in which I fully incorporate these large writings into my general identity.

I produce them very quickly and they jar me. They just make me feel confused.

But once I read them and I get to know them better as coherent things I can feel more comfortable with their existence. Not that I think my writing is super coherent. I think I am very much locked in the technical terms that I like. But to me there is definitely a sort of internal logic that builds. There are things I want to talk about and they settle into some kind of order that at least I can feel.

Anyways, I will spend a bit more time reading these posts. I'll get to know them a little better. I think it's true, it is about the rapidity. Sometimes we say things when we are drunk and we feel like it wasn't us. Right? Maybe this is the same thing in some way.

Also, I think a part of this is that I feel very personally invested in the descriptions of thought that I am attempting. When I write about the a priori imagination I am very much trying to get a grasp on how my mind works. I really think my mind works in terms of imagination and simulation that unfold a priori. For example, I was driving home and I was about to park on my street. Deciding where to park I thought about one spot, but quickly realized that if my friend were to come home later tonight he would have nowhere to park. So I parked in a different spot so he could have room. This unfolded as a flash hypothetical imagination of my friend coming home and seeing where my car was and that there was no space. I imagined his perspective and made a decision according. Felt like the a priori imagination to me. So in short, despite how abstract this may seem I definitely feel like I am trying to describe my own thinking.

No comments:

Post a Comment