“I am of the theory that all of our transcendental connections, anything we’re drawn to, be it a person, a song, a painting on a wall–they’re magnetic. The art is the alloy, so to speak. And our souls are equipped with whatever properties are required to attract that alloy. I’m no scientist so I don’t really know what the hell these properties are, but my point is we’re drawn to stuff we’ve already got a connection to. Part of the thing is already inside of us.”
– How to Kill a Rock Star, Tiffanie DeBartolo
Distinctions that have been made between behaviour and experience are that behaviour is external or overt and amenable to scientific enquiry whereas, experience is internal, subjective and not open to scientific enquiry.
These distinctions are in fact misleading. Biological psychologists study internal events using ‘scientific’ techniques such as EEG recordings can be classed as behavioural. Cognitive psychologists attempt to investigate thought processes, memory, perception and attention which are all part of internal, private and conscious experience yet, are amenable to scientific enquiry. Insights into these mental processes may be inferred from an individual’ observable response.
Private subjective experience – personal subjective phenomena and unique to the individual. Private subjective experiences are not easily investigated using scientific procedures.
A better distinction is the criterion of accessibility. Behaviour, whether external or not, can be directly observed by a researcher or at least inferred using empirical methods, whereas private subjective experience cannot.
William James, ‘stream of consciousness’ – a internal monologue that is always present, unique, private and accessible only to the individual. People are aware of external events through the combined information from all senses but this cannot be fully verbalised as it is fleeting and therefore, there is too much report. Private subject experience cannot therefore be fully accessed or replicated. People can never perceive the same experience twice because on the second occasion, the event is a different experience.
Introspective reports – report what went through their mind whilst carrying out some action.
Introspective reports couldn’t be verified, were subjective and accessible only to the individual reporting the experience. Only those processes of which the participant was aware could be reported.
Phenomenology – the study of an individual’s subjective and contemporary experience or unique perception of the world. The emphasis is on understanding events from the person’s point of view rather than focusing on behaviour.
“I hope that someone recognises you as something green, something fresh and still growing, even if sometimes you are growing sideways”
“I think, Mr. Gray, there are tremors around us. Like the vibrations of a note of music. Hidden music. Some might be more attuned to them than others. What do those people do, those who have been chosen? They endure uniqueness.
To be alien. To be disenfranchised from those around you. Is that not a dreadful curse?
To be different. To be powerful. Is that not a divine gift?
To be alone. To be seeking. What?
Another. Like you. Who shares your rarity.
Then you are no longer unique. Nor are you alone.”
– Vanessa Ives, Penny Dreadful
“The world is filled with people who are no longer needed—and who try to make slaves of all of us—and they have their music and we have ours. Theirs, the wasted songs of a superstitious nightmare—and without their musical and ideological miscar-riages to compare our Song of freedom to, we’d not have any opposite to compare music with—and like the drifting wind, hitting against no obstacle, we’d never knows its speed, its power.”
– Woody Gurthie, Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star
“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments by
narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from
the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches
its arms towards…”
I apologise for the lack of posts but the holidays and new year have been keeping us all busy! I hope you all had a great holiday with loved ones and that you bid farewell to 2014 remembering the good memories of that year but also welcomed 2015 with the intention of continuing further in one’s self-discovery, spiritual nourishment and the many more new memories to come. Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) for having blessed us with another year no matter the struggles we may have encountered to reach 2015, in the end we reached it a different person from how we started off as in 2014 and for that we should remain thankful.
I will leave this post with a quote from On Keeping a Notebook in Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion:
“I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.”