Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The "cyclical" aspect of the human mind

There seems to be two general types of the treatment of time: linear and cyclical. Inuit Qaujimaningat (Inuit Knowledge) seems to be able to see time as both linear and cyclical. Social grace and forgiveness, and personal growth, demand that we view time as a linear phenomenon, that all things pass. Some are fleeting but recurrent, like emotions.

In fact, in IQ the root word for "consciousness" and the "universe/nature" have the same form: sila. I've always taken this to be evidence that IQ spiritualism was some form of ancient Taoism because silatujuq 'wisdom' and its opposite silaittuq 'foolish' suggest that wisdom/intelligence or lack of it is the ability/inability to reflect the way of nature in the mind. Emotions are regard as weather; demeanor, memories, one's name, these things take more permanent hold in our psyche.

In Jewish and other mystical traditions, people talk of rapture and abandonment: that our sensitivities to God wax and wane. I, and have always, felt this too. In my more "religious" days, especially, I felt the approach and withdrawal of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus, and would always look forward to the day when I felt the closeness of divine grace which I appreciated more because I also felt the darkness of its withdrawal (the dark, cold dankness the Jewish mystics call it perhaps in reference to being able to read the script (the waters) but not feel the Spirit (fire)).

I think intellectual knowledge is like that too. I have many books and many of them are scientific and mathematical. There are days (or periods) when I can peruse with ease and comprehension and insight come almost unbidden; then, there are days (or periods) where I'm uncertain of my ability to understand - these, often the same text.

When I was child just learning I used to be able to say to myself: remember, recall into your atavistic memory and you will understand what's before you. -I used to take the notions of reincarnation literally and felt that I already knew and if I tried hard enough I'd remember. Insight is like that: it comes in leaps and bounds, oftentimes comprehension comes in whole, complete chunks. Epiphanies are wondrous things. Mystical.

Sometimes my aippakuluk asks me a scientific or mathematical/physics question, and my insights come tumbling in. I don't pretend to comprehend the often-complex commentaries and provisos of such technical knowledge but often I can "see" the first principles clearly - clearly enough to know that my insight was anticipatory and on the right logical track when I check/recheck whether I was right or wrong.

The human mind is a magical thing. It can be trained and cultivated to perceive what it could not see before learning to place: when comprehension takes hold, whole vistas are opened out, original insight becomes possible. I love drinking to get drunk, smoking up to get high, but I love my brain more so I've stopped drinking (but still unwilling to admit with confidence that I've quit for good - knowing how fragile and vulnerable we really are).

This realization makes me appreciate my aippakuluk and my loved ones even more. I need her, I need the people I love, to carry me beyond my addictive/self-destructive patterns of behaviour: without love, I am nothing. I highly suspect that I'm neuro-atypical - my pedantry, my fascination with abstract patterns, my set ways, my inability to acquire social graces and express emotion but the strong ones, etc. - but that doesn't mean I don't get it. That's the thing: I can understand emotional content, it's just that I have a tendency to not appreciate its relevancy very well. I love art, literature and music: these show I'm human. It's just that after a mystical experience it is often difficult to get back on the ground sometimes.


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