Another thought-provoking class

Another thought-provoking class this morning.  Thank you all :)

Haven’t seen Cloud Atlas (yet) but have been doing a lot of long distance driving on highways recently, still thinking about the words of that astronomer in the documentary (mentioned in my last post) as it relates to our inquiry into the nature or substance of time.  As I was driving I would look far ahead of me at the stretch of road I would soon be traveling and would reflect on the fact that the image I was seeing with my eyes was actually slightly in the past, as the light bouncing off objects (such as the road ahead) takes some time to reach my eyes, even if the delay is only milliseconds long.  And yet, my “seeing” of the road ahead was very much in the present — seeing in the present moment what, nevertheless, was light which had bounced off the road ahead some milliseconds ago.

My inquiry continued.. what of this ‘mental registering’ I was (apparently) experiencing in the present moment of the image of the road ahead?  Was that truly “present” or was there a delay here, as well (no matter how small)?  Because it can be convincingly argued that even within one’s physical body there is a slight delay of time as neural synapses travel from “thought” to “action” (for instance, from the thought “I will raise my arm” to the actual raising of the arm).  But what of the thoughts themselves?  Is a “thought” the closest thing to the present moment?  What of the delay between the raw data reaching the senses (the light bouncing off the road ahead reaching my eyes) and my mentally registering that image as “the road ahead?”

And then I had to wonder, from what point am I trying to measure this whole time-delay thing?  I seem to have a sense of there being an “aware I” that is prior even to thought itself; that this “aware I” is the closest possible point to true presentness (perhaps even presentness itself? but that’s another discussion).  ….. and then, more questions — I notice that I seem to be trying to pinpoint “presentness” in time and/or space.  That I’m trying to locate someone or something that is ‘truly present.’  Is it possible that “presentness” is not locate-able?

…. just a report on the mental inquiries that this course seems to be eliciting in me :)

This entry was posted in Fall 2012 TSK Online Course, uncatagorized, consciousness, fall 2012 class discussions, inquiry, time, vision. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Another thought-provoking class

  1. Administrator says:

    (this comment is from Michael Gray)
    Good morning, Bev. I always find your remarks invigorating. Your explorations of time and awareness while on-the-road reminds me of driving with my family from Albuquerque to Santa Barbara last month, 900 miles in one gasp. Behind the wheel, time really can feel like a continuum, without significant differentiations or meaningful mile-markers along the way. This morning my cat woke me up before my alarm went off at 5:00am so I have a larger pool of time to swim in this morning. It’s quite another kind of present when opportunity/discretionary time opens up in the midst of the shoals of rushing time. I seem to feel time from inside more, when the importunities of committment/deadlines/appointments/expectation step aside and let me swim to my heart’s content. One way I used this time was to reread the first chapter of the Time section. I had read it before but this morning it seemed clearer, more luminous, more a reading of my own mind in ways my mind didn’t know it could be read. Nice. And perhaps there is an intimation in this experience of how the past lies beneath the present like the cake beneath the icing, and we are able sometimes to take a whole forkful, taste, savor, and pronounce, “Wonderful, Ah, Wonderful”. –Michael

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