Thursday, October 7, 2010

"map of the universe" an essay

I wrote this back in 1997, when I was 17, and of course have since updated it. This was the very first part of the Idius I wrote.








*  ************************

*  *world

*  *  *********************

*  *  *body

*  *  *  ******************

*  *  *  *mind

*  *  *  *  ***************

*  *  *  *  *habits

*  *  *  *  *  ************

*  *  *  *  *  *assumptions

*  *  *  *  *  *  *********

*  *  *  *  *  *  *memories

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  ******

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *NEEDS



            All men and women live according to the life of their mind, a life in accordance with their philosophy—the systemizing of ideas. System emanates as personality, personality as character. A hedonist seeks joy in his attitude, seeks joy in his thinking, seeks joy in his personality, seeks joy in his actions. Even the most carefree and thoughtless laborer harbors a humming engine of ideas underneath his skin. Insofar as life is to be lived, and lived well, one must think well, and so understands one's own philosophy. To do this, each must consider his philosophy in its basic assumptions. My assumptions are graphed in the Map.

            In the garden that is a man, Need grows up like a seedling in the soil of memories, putting out roots of assumptions to nurture its purpose; our habits carry the force of this purpose into the flower of the mind and the leaves of the body, which blow in the world's breath, and drink in the sun of the universe.

            Man needs; these needs imprint memories, these memories systemize into assumptions, these assumptions blueprint habits, these habits incite the mind, this mind moves the body, this body senses the world, and this world presents the universe.

            Man is his needs and is his tools for fulfilling these needs. We need food, air, shelter, relationships, love, knowledge, achievements, and many other things: lacking some, we suffer; lacking others, we die. Since all our concerns—love, play, work, art, etc.—depend upon us living, needs insist themselves as primary. Need communicates as the pain of lacking, as the joy of fulfillment.

            Needs record as memories. A memory reexperiences events and the reaction of our needs. We may recall any experience, either sensual or abstract: we remember a ruddy sunset, we remember a tearful loss, we remember a clever idea. Memories lump into episodes and abbreviate into event-names. We remember “last summer” in a few minutes; it does not take a whole other summer to remember.

            Memories crystallize into assumptions. Without order, memories would be useless. We need to assume the truth from memories, the truth of what we should do. I may remember touching the flame, but unless I assume it will again burn to touch, that I ought beware it, then that memory will only taunt and distract me. Memories are the concrete things we experienced, assumptions are the abstract things we pull from them. We abstract the concept of blackness from seeing night, cats, and charcoal pictures. A child perceives blackness, abstracts black, notices that black can cause beauty, and decides she ought to use a black crayon to color a night sky.

            Assumptions build habits. We assume what is true, feel its meaning, and decide what to do; havind decided, we desire. We assume music pleases, assume we ought to please ourselves, and habitually listen to music. Acting wants repeating: the more we do something, the more we want to do it. Habits desire to feel, think, talk, and act in certain ways. We habitually laugh at comedic movies, habitually think about the plots, habitually comment on the movies worth, and habitually exit the theater afterwards.

            The desires of habits influence mind. Mind is not how we think, but that we are aware. Awareness is an eye within a palm: what it sees, it may grab with focus. Mind can view the narrative of memory, the concepts of assumptions, desires from habits, the sensation of the awareness moving, and the sensation of the body in the outer world. By focusing on a habit, we enact it; by moving our focus between ideas, we connect them.

            The mind moves the body. We will our body to dance and it dances. We will our body to speak and it speaks. The body limits itself to five main senses, bound by shape and perspective. The body limits itself to the strength of its muscles, bound by their shape and vigor. Through these senses and muscles we masterthe world.

            The body lives in the world of the senses. In this world, we see our friends move, hear them talk, but we cannot see nor sense their mind. The people we love, the facts we incorporate, the objects we possess, all inhabit our world; therefore, we live by earning and loving.

            The world of the senses is but a small part of the universe as a whole: all history, all matter, all geography, all people, all that exists in the absolute moment.

            And so, an infant needs food. She feels hunger pains. She remember asking for her bottle and getting it. She assumes that asking again will again win herthe bottle. She develops the habit of asking. The habit incites her mind to act. Her mind focuses on moving the body, and so she approaches mom, asks, and receives the bottle. The bottle is her desire of the world, and rewards her from the bounty of the universe.

            Man needs; to meet these needs he uses the tools of memories, assumptions, habits, mind and body; he applies these tools on the objects of the world, and so on the universe as a whole: needs, tools, objects, whole.

            Needs are primary; the experience of needs are part of what is memorized, memories are part of what makes up assumptions, assumptions are part of what makes up habits, habits are part of what makes up a mind, the mind is part of what makes up the body, the body is part of what makes up the world of the senses, the world of the senses is part of what makes up the universe.

            From this system, all else follows. 88










No comments: