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mcrepeau's picture

The Universe from the inside and other things

As has been previously stated, I would like to generally thank Professor Grobstein, as well as, the members of and participants in this class and forum for contributing to how I look at, view, and understand myself (especially in establishing the implications allied to the suggestion of just how odd and interesting that self-objectification really is) and generally helping me to get it less wrong. For me the most significant part of this course, beyond obtaining a better and uniquely approached understanding as to the underlying mechanics behind certain neurological systems i.e. how the eye works, corollary discharge, reafferrent loops, etc. function, has been the dialogue between the quote un-quote perceived "abnormal activity" (the implications of hallucinations and auditory phenomena, possession, voices, even some psychosomatic issues) experienced by the brain which can be construed as "paranormal" and workings of the brain itself. The understanding that the brain is perfectly capable of generating its own input and output and experiencing these activities as indistinct from external stimuli does not detract from a fascination with out-of body experiences, past life experiences, "ghostly" encounters, possession, etc. but instead only serves to augment the neurological orchestrations which are able to produce these inputs and outputs and then format them into a story, a story that is just as amazing and "real" to the nervous system as any external, perhaps more expected or more accurate stimuli.

Also, the break down of the dichotomy between the mind/body paradigm and the quest for the authentic self within that paradigm has likewise been a fascinating, useful experience for me. Especially, the realization that the "self" is not limited to the special part(s) of the nervous system designated as the objectifying, storytelling "I-function" but is composed of all the distinct qualities and aspects of the whole nervous system (beyond the brain and part of the body), the mannerisms, learned and innate, and idiosyncrasies, and unique patterning of physical behaviors that are as much apart of who we are, both to ourselves and to other people, as the "I" in our head. That ourselves are both mind and body, all that is recognized and objectified by the "I-function" adds an interesting twist on eons of philosophical, theological, and medical debate concerning the place of the body and the mind in the universe. The mind is just a part of the body and the body is just a construct of the mind and somehow together they form the universe from the inside.

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