My previous post on music magic is actually not only or even ‘really’ about music but about what is and how we can be sort of sure about that. Music is ‘merely’ one possible and beautiful aspect of it, for me an enjoyable stimulant of thought.
At the core of my mind searching is wonder about its fundamental social nature, its deep connection to everything else, but nevertheless embodied mediation. One scientist with plenty of interesting stuff to say about these fancies regularly pops up as a ‘friend’ of others that I admire, like Oliver Sacks or Jaron Lanier, neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran. I want to share a short clip with you, in which he makes some fascinating observations about mirror neurons.
His observations resonate strongly with the way Douglas Hofstadter talks about the self in I am a strange loop. And also with the intriguing, much older, work of anthropologist Edward Hall. We are embodied but that doesn’t mean we are disconnected, far from it. I believe Rama’s evolutionary speculations are off the mark, and the whole presentation has a rushed feel to it but I haven’t come across a better (short) evocation of our embodied sociality. For a proper lecture about his work and thoughts, go here.
Another fascinating perspective on our embodied minds and the way we connect to reality is offered by Jaron Lanier. The plasticity of our brains and how that potential connects us backward through evolutionary history with near every other living organism. And our social nature which is sort of the only difference between us and squid. And plenty of other brain candy.
And just to remind you how that really looks like, brains mingling with each other, but equally because I enjoy listening to the sounds of my youth, breeze along with Carlos Santana and George Benson: