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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    Selving – The art of living ‘IN’ the edge
    My dear friend,

    It appears that our latest communication has created a flow of sorts within the mind process, which you presumably call your ‘own’. I know it did so for me, and I gratefully acknowledge this communication between us as an interesting one, a rare commodity nowadays, I am unhappy to admit.

    Such ‘flow of sorts’ (I so call it for its being purposefully undefined) is an ambient sensation really, a result of the kind of erectile function of the mind when interest is picked. (Yes, I did use a sexual metaphor to refer to the mind, just as sometimes one meets with the mental emotional equivalent of erectile dysfunction, sad I know, but true nevertheless)

    And when interest is picked, we become instinctively alert. Suddenly a wave of unknown origins elucidates itself into a form of pleasure, a very core-like sense thought of embodied consciousness.

    What is so startling about these kinds of sensations is their naturalness on the one hand coupled with and juxtaposed upon an immediate urge of doing. It is surprising in so many ways that to count them all will take forever; but then we do have ‘forever’, at least in as much as our imagination allows us the ‘time out’ required for the processing of unusual sense thought processes.

    Before I try and tackle your questions I have one of my own for you, if you will.

    Would you be willing to consider ‘Verbing’ your identity? Can you accommodate in your extended emotional reflectivity a process of ‘Selving’?

    Strange question indeed, and yet, think about it for a minute, if the whole route leading to ‘walking on nothing’ is described as a hyper complex process of mind, and no stable ownership of an idea, no full possession of a thought can be ascertained, is it not the case that the same should apply to our identities, or that which erroneously we call ‘our’ ‘selves’?

    This particular question you may find interesting, or so I hope, because to my mind, the main issue we need tackle is the one of language (by which we describe experience) especially and fundamentally when we tend to noun-ize, everything.

    Our tendency to turn everything into nouns deflects the awareness of our process, since by noun-ing we can, as it were, take control of the state of affairs and seemingly stabilize it into submission.
    There is a reason why we do this, or at least have had the tendency to do this for a long while now.
    The reason is the desire to possess (and eventually ‘own’) the autonomy of a self. The thing is that this not only cannot be attained, since the self is not a thing, but the very desire of stabilization, in the sense of owning and or possessing the autonomy defeats the whole purpose of the process.

    Verbing is the very innate act of naturalizing (not an, but) experience (as such) into continuity. It is truly quite an astonishing feat of our minds, in which we consistently and continuously re-describe our realities in fashions permitting constancy of motion.
    This has a lot to do with the freedom of mind that you so desire. But before I jump into that, a word on this elusive concept: Desire.

    Desire is a very strange animal indeed, not least because this beast cannot be tamed. Desire can be leashed of course, desire can be caged, hidden in the dark corners of our minds, not to be let out and smell the morning rain, but desire will not die, nor can it be domesticated.
    It is good to remember again that not all desires emerge equally, in fact not only do not all desires deserve the same attention, some can be disregarded and let play with no concern of our own to interfere with.
    Unlike a will that can be mastered and developed like a muscle, desire carries no such characteristics. Au contraire, the very definition of desire is that it defies both logic and reasoning, at the very least in as much as desire contains the seeds of its own ‘verbing’.
    In other words you cannot ‘have’ a desire, again a linguistic quirk that allows us the articulation of the verb ‘Desiring’ into a noun ‘ Having Desire’; having a desire is a contradiction in terms, since desire is not an object and cannot be owned or possessed.
    Hence in no uncertain terms, expressions such as ‘my desire’, or alternatively ‘I have a desire’, carry a sense of ownership and objectified autonomy that seamlessly make us put on the overcoat of civilized society and seem comprehensible to one another.

    I acknowledge the fact that it is not an easy task you are embarking on here, it is a voyage of immense difficulty and very few can carry it to completion, which is really only another beginning.

    Nevertheless assuming you are serious in your questions I venture to propose to you a few ideas concerning the desire for the freedom of the mind, which you have expressed so eloquently.

    The first idea I propose to you concerns the language you are using when referring to freedom of mind. Consider for example the thought that we are as a society currently using different kind of languages to describe different aspects of reality, be it the language of science (hard facts, empirical observations, measurements and so on) the language of technology (bits and bytes and user interfaces etc.) or the language of philosophy (meta-concepts, logic, metaphors..) or the very elusive language of poetry (with its synonyms and analogies, narratives and so on). What all these different kind of languages have in common is their fundamental attribute of mapping reality. And yet consider the fact that when you think you do not map reality using one language only but are using an amalgam of all of these and others as well, languages made not of words but of sensations, sights, images, colors, and even abstract shapes you will find hard to describe.

    It is important at this stage to understand that mapping one realm of perceived reality in a different kind of language is not only an art of extreme difficulty it may appear at times as completely useless if not utterly banal. What possible reason would you have to perform the act of mappingtranslating a sense of sexual desire transforming into love for example, into the language of neuroscience (it’s probably somewhere in the insula and the striatum- see here if you are interested)?

    (The Accommodations of Desire, 1929
    Salvador Dalí -Oil and cut-and-pasted printed paper on cardboard -The Metropolitan)

    Alternatively you could of course indulge in this most precocious form of human expression and try to create an artistic rendering of the same desire, such as the above painting by Salvador Dali (a painting I happen to like in a particular mode).

    Again the question, why would you?

    My answer to this question, if you care to consider it, is quite straightforward, different languages allow our minds the expression of different varieties of the same experience. Put differently, by mapping and translating experience in and into different languages we may unshackle a very basic fixation of our minds, that an experience has a particular name in a particular language and thus carries a particular meaning and as consequence a particular state of mental emotional accommodation, including if so a particular set of ’recognizable’ behaviors.

    Nevertheless, as I have written to you in my previous letter, the emergent semantic network of our minds, allow us a very special capability, some call it plasticity of mind, I, on the other hand prefer to call it ambiguity. I do not think that meanings are fixed, or definitions set in stone; I think that semantic reasoning is a direct by-product of the capability of our minds to inhere in ambiguity.
    In ambiguity, we find the opening of spaces, of options of descriptions, of possibilities unknown, but more importantly, through ambiguity we may find a very basic key to the freedom of mind.

    This key, which I propose to you here concerns the extended emotional reflectivity embedded in ambiguity, I propose it but will not elaborate now, since this letter is already long enough and I know how little patience you have for extended verbiage.

    Therefore I will engage here in only one more quick point and then will let you be (for now).

    The Autopoeitic system that is our minds permits a finite yet indefinite variety of inner configurations; each of us is such an amalgam of these configurations (from which our uniqueness). Certain particular configurations have tendencies of allowance that are either not present or only slightly present in other configurations. These particular configurations, which for now I will call, the ambiguous ones, have a very specific attribute that we are looking for. This attribute (a set of attributes really) can be summed up as the tendency to ‘verb a noun’ or alternatively to open spaces of descriptions, better yet for our communication here, a tendency towards increased freedoms.

    You could call the particular configuration that is most favorable towards ascending into a freedom of mind state, ‘selving’. (Hence the question I have asked you above).

    Finally, selving is an art, the art of living ‘in’ the edge. Yes indeed, ‘in’ and not ‘on’.

    Soon I will write to you again, my friend, since you have picked my curiosity.

    Until next
    A possible friend in Selving,

    The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
    Ludwig Wittgenstein

    Part of the Ultrashorts project

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