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ashaffer's picture

“If I were blind, I would be the first to know it”

I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s reading! Here are just a few thoughts that came to mind and points that I found particularly interesting:

The idea of a distinction between a “dream” state and a “real” state. Being in a state of “waking consciousness”, “but dreaming constrained by external reality.” The boundary between waking and sleep/dreaming. In thinking of Greg, I am reminded of the dot and the square from Flatland- Greg is described as sweet and docile because he is not aware that he is blind, but when Sacks explains/insinuates his blindness, he becomes agitated at the possibility. I see Greg as like the dot- convinced that he can see, and nothing you tell him could convince him otherwise. Is is better to be like Greg- “blissfully unaware,” or to be like the square- the surgeon in the second chapter. The surgeon is aware of his “disease” and can alter his behavior to accommodate it, though the level to which he can “control” it- in terms of restraining the behaviors altogether- is quite low. Personally, my reaction to the surgeon- who works with and around his impediment- is one of extreme respect: I’m just plain impressed. I believe that I would rather know, even if I were (am?) blind and work through any frustration this may cause. I would prefer to be the square.

The idea that sometimes we want to escape the “weight of consciousness.” I have thought for some time that the appeal of movies for some people is the escape for reality that they can provide. Books and daydreams that allow one to escape are also tempting outlets for this desire. (I also enjoyed the question brought up of the ethics of introducing this effect onto someone else via tranquillizers).

“If I were blind, I would be the first to know it”


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