30/1/2022 0 Comments
On materiality and the world
What I love about writing is how abstract it is, even when it is about the most material objects or experiences. Words are not the sounds or the letters on the page or the screen, a poem written a thousand years ago can be read today and become the thought in the mind of a completely different person. Even so the body can become involved, is necessarily involved I suppose even if it is just the synapses of the brain firing, even if the hairs on the head aren't prickling or tears coming out of the eyes. And, having loved poetry for its immateriality, having loved abstraction and lived as much as possible in my head for as long as possible, I have become interested at last in the mind-body relationship and have been working on not thinking rather than on having thoughts. I've been interested also in other forms of mind, not only other forms than human forms - I've long been interested in how cats think and how chickens experience the world - but quite different forms like the intelligence of funghi. I love the idea that the spiritual experiences people seem to have on magic mushrooms are not them accessing some greater truth through the unlocking of their own minds, or through the transcendance of mind altogether, but rather are the experience of life lived as funghi experience life, the world seen through funghal consciousness, a consciousness which is without individual identity, dispersed and without borders. And I wonder whether in the same way that medical advances have involved, in part, a separation of our understanding of the mind and the body, there might be a way in which we understand the world as essentially material, and whether there mightn't be a way in which the whole world, too, is animated in a way we no longer understand? Even theologically I think it is common now to think in terms of a division between matter and spirit, divinity and the world. I hardly know how to imagine thinking otherwise, but it could be interesting to try.
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