Headline July 17, 2019/ '' 'LOOSING ONESELF LOOPING' ''


PHILOSOPHERS TEND TO MAKE terrible patients. I'm fairly sure that by thinking so much about  brain rest I have prolonged my my own recovery time............

I also suspect that my thinking about my own brain and the specter of dualism is symptomatic of the injury itself.

Perhaps when I recover fully, dualism will seem as ridiculous as it once did, receding into the background along with the muscular effort required to read. But I suspect I am altered.

Descartes theory of mind recalls Plato's theory of the soul as the immortal, essential and indestructible part of the human being, the body a temporary prison or shell.

Mind-body dualism is often ridiculed in contemporary philosophy as a legacy of stubbornly metaphysical, patriarchal and Western thinking. Dualism oversimplifies both mind and body and leads to the devaluation of the complexly embodied, psychosomatic ways in which beings inhabit the world.

No serious philosopher or neuroscientist today thinks that mind and body can be neatly parsed into two distinctly separate objects or systems.

But a concussion has a way of changing one's sense of the balance between mind and body, It's one thing to be hit in the arm or the gut. It's an entirely different thing to be hit in the brain.

Dualism is terrifying in part because the separation of mind and body implies the possibility of radical skepticism, brains in vats and other ''Matrix'' like specters of disembodied life.

Such modern-day versions of Cartesian skepticism ask us to imagine the entirety of the external world as an illusion on the intricate deception of an evil genius.

What if we are just brains hooked up to an elaborate virtual reality?

It has been a long time since I took any of these images seriously. They seem easy to dismiss when one's health is good. When things are otherwise, dualism takes on a new dimension.

The injury to my brain highlighted the degree to which my identity and my powers of identification have a specific seat in my brain.

The concussion condition was an intimation of how terrifying dementia and other brain disorders must feel - the loss of a thread that has so far tied together one's life and tethered it to the life of those one loves.

In my case, the loss was temporary, but it was the first time that I have ever felt so distinctly the efforts of thinking, the brain as a muscle and the depression that accompanies the feeling of having lost oneself.

UNABLE to rest my brain, I thought about N.F.L. players and the progressive loss of identity and mental aptitude common to those who experience consecutive concussions and C.T.E. [chronic traumatic encephalopathy].

I thought about memory and the loneliness of being unable to recall names and places that are the road marks of a communal life. I thought about the elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease whom I helped to care for when I was in high school.

I would arrive each morning at her door only to have her greet me with that same-wide-eyed gaze and question : ''Who are you?''

Thought my condition was transient, it highlighted the degrees to which to which the brain serves as an anchoring center of control. For months uncertainty accompanied my every move.

In the immediate days after the concussion I mustered all of my energy to read my daughter several pages of a Daniel tiger storybook [against my doctor's orders], only to fail to reach the end.

I felt embarrassed and and demoralized.

I recalled my grandfather, late in his life, describing his own failing mind as a library where all the books were shelved too high to reach.

With respectful dedication to Life & Living, All Elderly, Students, Professors and Teachers of the World.

See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter.......... - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Philosophy Phonetics '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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