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review 2018-08-07 12:13
Sound - The Fabric of Soul, Consciousness, Reality, and the Cosmos
Sound—The Fabric of Soul, Consciousness, Reality, and the Cosmos - Ramiro Mendes,João Mendes

by Ramiro Mendes, João Mendes

 

Non-fiction

 

This was interesting from the start. Physics as it applies to the natural world has always been of interest to me so as soon as it mentioned that sound waves forty octaves above middle C become light, I was completely entranced.

 

It went a little transcendental after that and seemed to strike a balance between science and the metaphysical. The first chapter made an astonishingly good point about the effect of music, how the anger behind gansta rap breeds more anger which made me think of the light-hearted music of the early 1960s that brought out the flower child revolution, then how it was followed by protest music that raised anti-war activism.

 

Beyond that it went a totally different direction than I was expecting. Having found the book under 'Science', I was expecting information about the dynamics of sound in Physics. Instead it leaned towards the cosmic and I think would be better classified under Philosophy or even Theology.

 

Despite my misguided expectations, I found the book interesting. There were some ideas presented that gave me a lot of food for thought and although it sometimes got a little over my head, it made too much sense to dismiss as 'just new age'. I did feel there was a lot more on the power of emotion than on the subject of sound, but I did find it an interesting read.

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review 2018-03-30 15:14
Superstrings vs. The Brain: "Incognito - The Secret Lives of the Brain" by David Eagleman
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain - David Eagleman
"Experimentation and transformation in both art and science spring from the same root - to understand, to encapsulate the world. This is why I've ever found reductionism (and scientism) drearily limiting and worthily pompous - that utilitarian speculation over what art 'is for', that misapprehension of art as a kind of elaborate trickery, only readable in the light of neuroscience or physics. The best writers of fiction, artists, composers and scientists are, I've long felt, the ones who see the 'divide' as porous, and are open to findings in both great spheres of endeavour and experimentation."
 
In "Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain" by David Eagleman
 
 
I've experienced significant creative leaps in shorter timelines than 4 weeks I think because over many years I've become increasingly adept as recognising and leveraging useful elements and catalysts. However I also agree that deep, long-term immersion in a creative problem, descending into disillusion and the chaotic abyss and then often out of failure or accident finding a new path based on hard won knowledge and insight - is where real invention and deeper epiphanies reside. The first time I experienced the creative process at this depth was after months of investigation and it was life changing - not in terms of the creative result so much but because of my first hand experience of the creative journey itself. Sometimes, even Steven King takes thirty years to write a book. Often only a year or two. Sometimes he manages to pop one out in a couple of weeks.
 
 
If you're into the nature of consciousness, read on.
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review 2017-08-08 21:24
'The Hours' well spent
The Hours - Michael Cunningham

This short book was winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1999 and takes as its start point the graphic suicide of Virginia Woolf. The tragic loss of one of the leading lights of the 'Bloomsbury Group' in 1941, finally succumbing to the fatal depths of recurrent depression at the age of just 59, conferred a profound loss on the cultural health of a nation, yet posterity has rightly lauded the author's legacy. In his homage to Woolf, Michael Cunningham interweaves the thoughts and experiences of three female characters: Mrs Woolf (Virginia), Mrs Brown (Laura) and Mrs Dalloway (Clarissa), Located in 1923 London, 1949 L.A. and 1990s New York , respectively. Virginia is mulling over ideas for the fictional character yet to inhabit her most famous novel, while Clarissa and Laura are spending a day in preparation for a celebration in their respective times and place. Successive chapters rotate between the discrete storylines  culminating in an unusual cross-over in the end, but the snapshots also draw on some common themes, which beset each of the protagonists, irrespective of the prevailing social norms in 'their' time.

 

What rescues the book from a sense of cerebral indulgence on the part of the writer though, is the moving beauty of the language and as the reader quaffs down the pages like a smooth, warming liqueur, it is good to savour the interplay of quite sumptuous tones. It also remains consistent with the 'stream of consciousness' storytelling deployed by Woolf in 'Mrs Dalloway' (published 1925), albeit this example is not entirely satisfying, given its fragmentary nature and slightly bitter aftertaste

 

Still, the takeaway theme for me from this book is the individual capacity, indeed responsibility, to create and shape one's life, within the context of the prevailing time and to weigh the personal sacrifices and gains that attend our choices. Some of the metaphors were also interesting, for example, some mistakes such as cake-making are retrievable, others require stoicism to deal with the consequences, but when it comes down to it, life and love is fundamentally fragile...and fickle.

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review 2016-06-28 16:56
Shock value
The Argonauts - Maggie Nelson

The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson was the May book from the feminist book club on Goodreads called Our Shared Shelf started by Emma Watson. This book was written in a style that I was completely unfamiliar with and which at first really threw me off. It's written almost as a stream of consciousness where there are broken paragraphs that at first seem as if they have no connection to one another. In fact, the first paragraph is a detailed description of the author engaging in anal sex. I guess she likes to shock the reader and/or pull them immediately into her narrative. (Hint: It worked.) This is the story of the author as she begins a relationship with her gender fluid partner (now spouse) and the navigating of that relationship while deciding to have a child together. She also becomes a stepparent to Harry's son from a prior relationship which is completely new territory in and of itself. Since reading The Argonauts, I have embarked on a campaign of knowledge about Nelson because this book is simply a snapshot of a few years of hers and Harry's lives. At the time that she was experiencing the struggles of trying to get pregnant Harry was undergoing changes as well (I don't want to give this away because it's such a powerful part of the book). Her description of her internalized experience as well as the observations of those around her are unique and frankly thrilling to read. Her writing is brash, dynamic, and surprising. She hits back against stereotypes of what it means to be gendered, queer, and in touch with oneself. In short, it's a powerful book that seeks to wake the slumbering activist in all of us. I highly recommend this one.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-06-13 02:15

When I'm not writing fiction I'm often out walking and pondering the nature of consciousness. This video makes the point that Quantum Physics proves that consciousness brings material reality into being. It then hodge-podges its way into a discussion of how the brain creates consciousness. So how can material reality and consciousness mutually create each other? 

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