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…on such a Winter’s day. December 7, 2010

Posted by therealtinlizzy in Uncategorized.

Back from Miami as of last night. As always I marvel at the  coping/compartmentalizing abilities of our brains in processing exceedingly disparate and obviously not-mutually-possible stimuli. To be body surfing in the ocean under a blazing sun at 2pm, followed relatively shortly by stepping out of doors at 9pm into a biting 5 degrees should cause some serious cognitive dissonance. But somehow the brain manages to move forward without short circuiting or causing itself an aneurysm over the matter.

Makes me think that it’s a similar function/process in the brain as coping with particularly odd, unrealistic, and/or troublesome dreams, when you awake with all of the memory and emotion swirling around you as though you experienced it in reality – in some cases you would swear you can still taste/smell/hear/feel the remnants. And while your cognitive awareness knows full well that it was just a totally whack dream, your emo/memories are conflictedly* report back that it was all entirely real – setting you up for a cognitive train-wreck. But your brain smoothly transitions into coping with it as just a dream, allowing you to move forward without having a psychological break with reality. Well generally, and for most of us anyway. 🙂

So brain function-wise, perhaps the brain deals with the unreality of stepping from the sunny warm salt-water bliss back into stinging bitter frostbite exactly the same way, as though it was all just a dream. The two realities certainly don’t comport experientially* into a cognitive whole – thus for the good of the cause (i.e. it’s in the best interest of my brain to facilitate me continuing to function rather than letting me fall into psychosis),  my brain perhaps opts to treat the whole seeming non-comportive* bundle of nonsense as though I’d just awoken from a particularly pleasant dream.

Even now it’s probably tweeting to its brain friends: “oh how cute, my human really thinks she was actually, physically in Florida swimming in the ocean – poor dear.”

*words I know full well don’t exist. However like MacGuyver when need arises, I occasionally have to jury-rig my own tools, er words from whatever duct tape and chewing gum is available.


1. Preflash Gordon - December 8, 2010

You make me think quite happily of theatre. This brain trickery is why drama works, ’cause your brain will go along with whatever leads you give it, provided you’re in the mood. In rehearsal halls and acting classes they call it the “willing suspension of disbelief,” which I always thought was a neat little phrase for a fairly awesome ability all humans seem to have. Like you go to a movie or watch a play and just … somehow … let go of the obvious paradoxes (“The guy in the mask with the chainsaw is coming! Even though there’s an Exit sign in the dark over to my right. Aaaahhh! He’s coming anyway!”) and enjoy yourself.

It’ll be *really* interesting in a couple hundred years when space travel and teleportation are possible (I really think they will be). You step into an elevator and press “Mars” and get out a minute later … on Mars. Then you can have a swim in Florida for lunch and sit at the foot of Olympus Mons for dinner. Ha! Won’t that be fun?

2. therealtinlizzy - December 8, 2010

True that – suspension of disbelief in all its glorious forms. Well and so much more so for theater – where the set is obviously not-reality, and actors coming/going on and offstage. It shouldn’t work emotionally/psychologically – and yet it does. Even with the most sparse of sets and the most unreal of scenarios.

The brain is kind of rad, and not just a little creepy. Hence my suspicions that it’s got some sort of long running conspiracy going on me…

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