it seems that the whole notion of being a person falls way short of describing what we actually are.
as i understand it, our brains go because of the bioelectricity that is pumping through our nervous system. it flies around in our brains firing neurons (or maybe it IS the firing of neurons, i’m not really clear on that) and activating our stored memories to reference with current sensory input. it also travels throughout our nerves to control our muscle movements. pretty simple right? i mean, that’s how we move, it’s how we function.
but what are our thoughts then? the most common answer is that they’re something akin to magic. most people just don’t seem able or willing to conceive of their stream of consciousness as just a buzz of bioelectricity permeating some misunderstood grey matter, but isn’t such an explanation sufficient? forget the “unexplainable complexity of thought”, when there are more possible brain states than particles in the known universe (taking into account every combination of neural firings that’s possible) then there isn’t a whole hell of a lot that electro-neural activity CANT account for.
especially considering what our thoughts are actually like. my brain doesn’t read like a book, or like a speech or anything like the wonder of the mind is generally conceived as. it’s more like a cross between a broken record and a dog (is it just me or do animals always seem to be thinking about the word of the thing they’re looking at over and over: “person, person, person, person, BONE!”), repeating itself and always buzzing with total shit. i mean, obviously something productive occurs or i (also you, and you.) would be unable to function, but the volume, the sheer uncalculable and unbelievable quantity, of mental excrement that passes through my head is could be nothing but proof of the essential materiality of the functioning of my brain. it’s no amazing and finely tuned machine, more like a goat on a jewelry store, consuming as many valuables as possible and creating montains of excrement, which hide within themselves the treasures.
i think that’s the most important part of what sartre was getting at in nausea. our brains prize quantity over quality, and somewhere in the evolutionary process we realized (!) that if we just thought ENOUGH, some of it would have to be worthwhile. which leaves us now with brains that go non stop. like a stock ticker you can’t turn off, even if you want to. we have this crap, this multitude of LAYERS of crap that is constantly occupying us, always chugging away hoping to come up with something of value, and it’s fine and it’s dandy so long as you don’t mind. but don’t start to dislike it. don’t question whether it’s necessary.
i think that’s where crazy people come from.
that and texas.