Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

How My Mind Works

Originally posted on November 4, 2016

I got into a mental eddy: I took off on the word, “akimbo,” and my wife looked it up on Wikipedia. The etymology of the word was expounded and I found myself fascinated with how uninterested I was in this information. Apparently there are many people, however small the percentage, who care about etymology. And if they care, why don’t I? And could it be possible that there are multitudes who don’t care about the things I care deeply about? Nah! Wait: Maybe! Wait: as I think about it more, for sure! That’s astounding! There’s lots of things that are interesting to me that are of zero interest to others. Although it seems unbelievable, believe it!

This discrepancy of interest associates in my mind with my dreams, which may be nonsensical if they are analyzed, but short of that, it all seems to make sense enough not to awaken me. Dreams do that, the mental mechanisms of congruence, the part that says, “Oh, well, it doesn’t matter if a flamingo is eating at my dinner table.” It all works, and one can say from afar that it serves to preserve the dreaming. I mean, what the hey?! It’s so very incongruent! But not in that dream.

So what if in small ways we make congruency fit with our interests? It seems entirely natural that people “should” be interested in what I find interesting, but this is an illusion: interest resides in the mind of the individual. Moreover, interest waxes and wanes! One may become more or less interested in anything due to innumerable factors, ranging from distraction to saturation—i.e., simply having enough of whatever.

So I’m thinking about illusion, dreams, fantasy, delusion, all the tricks played by the subconscious mind upon ordinary consciousness—and in this case, how it all overlaps with whether or not one pays attention, or is even interested.

Then I found a book that reminds me of the ways I do like words: A book titled “The Meaning of Tingo”—about words in other languages that speak to experiences for which there are no English equivalents! There are several such books and the fascinate me.

There will soon (in the not-too-distant future) be books with words that speak to experiences with phenomena that did not exist decades ago, such as devices for computers—e.g., “flash-drives” or thumb-sized “sticks”—which have made other devices such as “zip” drives obsolete.

So goes my mind, if anyone would be interested.

One Response to “How My Mind Works”

  • David Blatner says:

    This blog post interested me. Others of yours don’t interest me as much. Or perhaps they didn’t then and would more now.

    Most curiously, I find that things that don’t interest me at all much of the time, do interest me if I really pay attention — really wake up and Be with it. Years ago, Debbie and I drove across the USA and I found that the midwest cornfields could be incredibly dull, or amazingly wonderful (no pun intended with a-maize-ingly!) depending entirely on my frame of mind and how present I felt.

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