Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Cubist Perspective on Life

Les Demoiselles d''Avignon
They say that possession is nine tenths of the law. But isn’t it really perspective that really matters? Cubist painters had no monopoly on the notion that the canvas of life could be seen from unforeseen angles. Your ANS (autonomic nervous system) is affected by stimulae that then go on to trigger a host of reactions and it can be like dark storm clouds moving in on a sunny day. Also there's the serotonin which is flowing in the synaptic cleft between neurons of  of the brain. We take SSRI’s (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) to facilitate the flow of a chemical which has such an enormous effect on mood. The fact is, and it’s hard to truthfully take ownership of something which is likely to make you feel that your feet are firmly planted in the clouds, that you're often a sleepwalker who has little idea of what forces outside the realm of consciousness are creating your immediate conception of the world. The problem is that you're likely to make life changing decisions at moments of great emotional intensity (either of a loving or hateful variety), without having any knowledge that your cup literally runneth over, i.e. you're so filled with one untenable notion or another that there's no way to go but forward or in the case of ending something, backward. You've undoubtedly heard people who're disenchanted with a relationship express disbelief that they could ever have been interested in such an ogre or ogress. Indeed! In his Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments Kierkegaard famously has his character Johannes Climacus iterate, “Subjectivity is Truth.” But what is the truth in all this excess? Is it simply providing the idealizations that allow instinct to avoid the shoals of consciousness? Is it Darwinian natural selection? Or are we all prone to bouts of temporary insanity--a condition that's euphemistically termed, "living life to the fullest."

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