Thursday, 2 December 2010

Stranger than your brain

An unlikely,long line between Delphi and Johannesburg

Moses told me the story of Vera the Ghost, a perfect urban legend with a thrilling twist. He was more entertained by his own storytelling rather than stating a proper commitment about the belief; nonetheless he is convinced that ghosts do exist. I giggled a bit, condescendingly to his naivety. Then I remembered the Greeks. Long time ago, the same very wise men who discovered the technique of investigating the true nature of fact, many times said that along the streets of Greece, you could meet gods, heroes and other semi-divine creatures. Should I respect more Heraclitus than Moses (Moses intended as my friend...)? Xenophanes was metaphorical, while my Zulu friend simply lacks a good western education? Or maybe am I really arrogant both with the Greek bunch and with my friend?

What does it mean that the stranger you meet along the way could be a god or a ghost? Pump up the metaphorical interpretation: your attitude with a stranger generates goodness or evil; this powerful reaction can shape your days AS IF you met a god or a ghost (ghosts could be like values, take morality or virginity...). Because we know for sure that no material entity matching a semantic description of a god or a ghost can be encountered on a physical street.

But maybe calling something a ghost is a good strategy to name a feeling your brain grab, without a clear correlation, something like a phantom feeling. Which of the following do you choose as a good naming:“I'm still scared: I'm sure a ghost was following me” or “I'm totally in control: I know that my brain is sending me hallucinations after my nervous breakdown.Though one second more with their company will prove unbearable for my mind and I'm seriously thinking to terminate this agony with a logical, metallic, non-metaphorical bullet in my brain, I perfectly know this is not real...”

Phantom feelings are clearly projections of our imagination, which we suppose is a product of our brain. Our brain extends its informational ecosystem wiring neuro-connections with the semiotic infrastructure of the narrative environment hosting him. The being there of your brain and his representation to play with, is your mind. Though it sounds odd, your brain encounters his mind as a stranger on his way. And gradually accept it, becoming you. You are the encounter of a brain with his mind.

Technically speaking, you are haunting the brain of a Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Moreover we face the hardcore self-esteem question: do you believe in yourself (in your existence)? Say that the response is positive (no matter how insecure you feel at the moment: I'm sure you think you exist!). Now: how ghost are you, in comparison to the entities on the street of Delphi or Johannesburg? Speaking of meeting the strangeness:

On which side of the physical clarity of your brain do you sit?