Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Listening to Your Mind

My previous post about listening to your body had at its core the idea of the separation of mind and body but this quote from Michael Woods in the current London Review of Books makes that relationship far more interesting by pointing out the separation of mind and brain.

We could drop the metaphor of the brain or mind as a computer. This is what Aamodt and Wang recommend, because it’s ‘not really accurate . . . the brain works more like a Chinese restaurant that we know in Manhattan; it’s crowded and chaotic, and people are running around to no apparent purpose, but somehow everything gets done in the end – and efficiently too.’ What’s most interesting in this image is that we are the customers in this neuro-restaurant, not its owners or managers or waiters; and the same little allegory is at work in the conception of our brains and ourselves being different moral entities (‘Your brain lies to you a lot’).


So now when I go for a run I will picture it in terms people rushing around in a crowded restaurant giving out orders for more speed and receiving demands from more oxygen. Somehow, and I don't know why, I feel strangely happy with this idea of barely contained chaos.

1 comment:

tink said...

that sounds good, but could the little people actually do the running for me instead? :-)

p.s tink is Eva