Sunday, March 08, 2009

I am not an individual.

And neither are you.
Think about it- if you wanted to get really simplistic, you could classify 'self' as the voice in the darkness behind your eyes.
But that 'voice' isn't a voice, is it? It's a chorus of voices, even if most of us give no thought to subtle refrains and variegated threads of that chorus.
What about the parts of your brain that track the demands of your body? Your body which is always too hot or too cold, too hungry or too full, too uncomfortable...
Sometimes you listen, not even realizing you are- you think it's your idea to eat... and it is- but it's not just 'your' idea.

I am a committee, and so are you.
Freud, Jung and all of those prats would natter on about the ego and the id, the conscious and the subconscious.
But there is only the committee. It is all one thing, yet the components wrestle for dominance constantly.

The parts that communicate with the body have the ability to override logic, compassion, everything.
Why? Because those are the members that are most closely related to the oldest members of the mind- the dark, red, entirely uncivilized parts that coil in the hindbrain, waiting. The parts that joined up before civilization, the parts that were there before we were properly human.
And with the occasional exception, the parts of the mind that end up running the show when the world crumbles under your feet.

Amazing species, humanity. Until it all goes pear shaped, we never know if we're predator, prey or other. Those primal voices from our brain stem are all the same- we all come from the same origins- so why is it that he is predator, she is prey and I am other?

What part of the committee... taints, dilutes, those old voices?

Why did he wet his pants under fire, even thought he continued to fight? Because he is prey, but training allowed him to function, to some degree, regardless. Why did that one go nuts- nearly berserk- fighting back? Maybe he's predator, or maybe he's just particularly dangerous prey... I don't know.

And why did the world slow down for me? Crystal clear and perfect, I'd swear I could see the disturbances in the air from passing bullets, I had nearly been killed, might still be, and the world... was... perfect.
I felt the broken ceramic back-plate grind against me as I shifted target to target, the blood running from my nose and split lips, soaking the cravat tied around my face against the road dust...
This wasn't supposed to be a war story.

The point is, people often talk about your mind playing tricks when it thinks it's gonna die, and maybe it does. But I don't think that's what was going on.

I was calm because the the deep, feral things and the rest of the committee were in perfect accord. The mind cannot be allowed to anticipate death if it's going to destroy it's threats most effectively. Does that make me other?
And it never failed me. Heh. It's probably the last time in my life that my mind wasn't messily fragmented. Maybe that much... integration isn't good for your brain.
That was probably the best time of my life, for all the horrifying shit I saw... Me and my Beast, all of mind, focused...
The Beast sniffed them out, and the rational mind dealt with them- the Beast's aim is, frankly, shit.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Poetic. Great imagery. Body by committee? It’s a wonder anything gets done?