The great prophets were described as madmen.
Let’s take the walking dead shall we? Though their brain has stopped giving them a reason to live, so to speak, or even the sense that they can live, even though they can easily understand that other people are alive, and even show social comprehension toward others, empathy of a sort, they understand that they should not make others suffer, they can’t seem to find a reason to live or a sense of living. Is there any suffering this doesn’t relate to? In a lesser form this sort of brain injury projects onto people in the world around the individual. They recognize familiar people, but insist that the person isn’t who they appear to be because they stop having that visceral or emotional reaction to them.
So, the way back… Their brains have been cut off from sensitivity to value, to anything they may have held dear or sacred, but their minds are not gone. Their mind will continue to recognize things that are supposed to have meaning. If you ask them what is supposed to happen, they can answer you. They can even think about what things are supposed to mean. They even express a sense of wrongness. They seem to remain sensitive to the wrongness of the state they are in, but that is where it stays for them with conventional thinking and guidance.
I once met a woman who had suffered extensive brain damage. She had been in an auto accident. She shared with me that she found it very upsetting that she couldn’t recall everything she once knew or act with the skills she once had, and she very firmly believed in the explanation the doctors gave her. She was seriously depressed and couldn’t say why she was even trying to recover in any way. She didn’t feel it was possible. I told her something from my own experience, and maybe it stuck with her, I can’t say. But if her brain was actually her mind, as she seemed to believe, than awareness of her loss shouldn’t have been possible. Recognition that anything was lost, or that anything was wrong at all, shouldn’t have been possible.
Now please bear with me. I know I have shared this before, but maybe I can shed more light on the meaning of it. How well would you say I communicate using this medium here? How clear and meaningful are my words and my general expression?
Pretty clear I think. Coherent. According to science, these characters should make no sense to me. My brain should not be able to process this as meaningful, nor should sounds. Any connection between stimuli and structured thought, any encoding, should be limited or not even possible. Does this make any sense? What does it mean to you from your point of view? My brain was that badly damaged, and I do still struggle even now though usually only when under social pressure, when getting a lot of visceral feedback, witnessing a lot of body language. That scrambles me badly. Now shall I share how I made things have meaning for myself?
No one taught me, no one could have taught me. This was the nature of the brain damage. Things continued to have structure for me. A structure that you could describe as being all my own, and it was even worse as a child. My brain would engage in almost constant feedback, sensory overlay on my physical experience, like everything I saw and heard was tagged by some obnoxious street punk. This is why I have trouble dealing with ordered systems even now, maybe to my wife’s frustration, because I literally do not recognize them. They look broken and disjointed to me as do peoples behavioural patterns, but to go back to how I patched it all together, well… Are you familiar with what science says about the brains associative behaviour?
It’s simplistically demonstrated in Pavlovian conditioning. Ring the bell and the dogs anticipate food. I became conditioned to my own brains playback behaviour, the weird visual auditory and emotional sensations. This is why at one point I entertained the notion I might be psychic. I didn’t really believe it mind you as my experiences didn’t match those reported by other supposed psychics, and well, I just never found a basis for solid comparison. This is what lead me to study all this stuff I now share with you, but that notion as delusional as it might have been, lead me to trust my conditioning or “experience” even more. Even maybe believe in myself as they say, a little bit, and I did discover that some of my innate associations were actually useful in a really strange way. Sometimes, I even came to feel they had a sense of meaning, a sort of mythos. There was a feeling to the weird world I lived in, and if I shared that, sometimes other people understood it also. Sometimes. Which gave me a great deal of hope, and that leaves me where I am now. Does this seem to relate to you at all my friends?
Yes, I understand what you are saying. You could say I was a late bloomer, and meaning was reverse engineered for me, but I did come to it. Do you feel you can relate to it? Is it at all like your personal experience?
My brain is more nature than nurtured and I can relate very much to broad evaluations of self possibility.
No, it’s not like my personal experience…but it’s a very compelling explanation.
I did have a basis for meaning before I had more holistic experiences. Fear. I felt fear and I knew that was not how my experience was supposed to be. I knew there was a me that I could uncover. I haven’t actually had to do very much, but even little things can be a problem. My own stuff seems simplistic to me compared to things people share with me, so though I feel less equipped to give advice, I will now and will continue to do my best.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.