painter on Fri, 15 Jan 1999 21:04:52 +0100 (CET)

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At 12:25 PM -0800 12/28/98, Nino Rodriguez wrote:
> From: Nino Rodriguez <>
> My intuition is that the only antidote for narrative is simultaneity --
> a multitude of things not in a list, not in a space, but simply
> co-existing, interpenetrating, happening all at once, somewhere but
> nowhere.
> The only problem is, how is it possible for our minds to deal with such
> an entity?

But Nino, that's just it. Our minds are dealing with 'such an entity' 
every moment--including this one. Our senses are constantly bombarded 
by a seamless field of energies which, as sorted and organized by the 
mind, appear to us as 'our experience of living'--not to mention 'our 
sense of self'. This self/world *is* a narrative. "*I* am a story I 
tell myself." It doesn't matter whether we're talking about a sense 
of orientation in space, or a sense of orientation in time, or, for 
that matter, a sense of orientation in society--or a sense of 
orientation in the didactics of denotational and operational 

It appears that even when the mind is subject to experiences that 
fall outside the social/self generated and narratively limited range 
considered 'what is real and/or possible', the experience is given an 
interpretation and identification as (in some sense of the word) 
'real'--regardless of how fanciful this interpretation and 
identification may be from the perspective of the narrative norm. 
Thus 'Visitations of the Virgin Mary' and 'Encounters of the First 
Kind' exhibit remarkably similar phenomenology (and may, in fact, be 
representations of an identical supra-noumenal event for which we 
have no socially agreed upon explanation) even though their 
respective identifications and descriptions arise from two quite 
different epsitemologies. Similarly, we experience our dreams as 
'real' even though their 'reality' remains ambiguous. That is, we may 
not know what dreams are, but, generally speaking, to the extent that 
they are subjectively experienced psychic events, our social norm 
concludes that they are real. The dream state can be measured and 
recorded although the dream 'content' can not.

One thing we can say about dreams, however, is that all dream 
content, however fantastical, is a subjectively real 'self/world' 
experience, subjectively indistinguishable from waking consciousness. 
(Lucid Dreaming *may* be a special case but at this point there is no 
agreement that such a state even exists, so I'll not digress.) 
Ultimately ALL events are psychic events. This is not to say there is 
no source of energy external to the body (noumena); only that the 
experience *as* experience is psychic in nature. The light that 
physicists study, for example, is invisible--it is not the light we 
'see'. The 'shine' of visible light is a combination of light energy 
in its noumenal form interacting with a living neurostructure. One 
could very easily say that this neurostructure is itself a kind of 
narrative--a pattern of dynamic and self replicating meaningful 
relationships (the very definition of a living body). Thus, not only 
does a tree not make any sound when it falls in the forest if there 
is no one there to hear it, without some kind of 'observer' there is 
neither tree nor forest, much less 'falling' or 'sound'.

What I can't understand is why on Earth, outside of a Zen monistary, 
anyone would be searching for an 'antidote' to narrative in the first 
place? Sounds like a bunch of post-modern deconstructivist rhetoric 
to me. Narrative is more fundamental than breathing; if you COULD 
suspend it, even for a second, YOU, as a self/world experience, would 
cease to exist. After the fact, to the extent that you could recall 
anything of this novel not/self state, this recollection would itself 
be a narrative fiction seemlessly (intentional) integrated into the 
narrative fiction of the self.

Mike Wells
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