A mantra of art theory and criticism is “the willing suspension of disbelief” … allowing the reality we have to stand in for something else thought to be more valid, authentic, “true.”   It is acceptable as a scaffold: a temporary structure that enables a more permanent structure.  In the way scientists approach truth: by subsequent approximations, each with (hopefully) less error than the one before.

So we may gradually approach TRUTH–or at least the truth we are able to understand, or at least “true enough” to provide sufficient confidence to undertake actions that support our meeting of biological needs.

More on homology, analogy, poetic license, range (or zone) of tolerance … changes throughout DEVELOPMENT

……   Transformation.  Metamorphosis


RE   REFLEX, INSTINCT, HABIT:  When we appeal to the call of the wild to rescue us with ancient wisdom, when action is more urgent than tedious review, congenital mechanisms and rapidly learned habits enable our survival in environments that provide stimuli only known to our evolutionary predecessors.   A simple sketch of the complex interactions between cells and tissues provides a sense of the processes that must work in synchrony. These (exemplary) diagrams, embodying  congenital feed-forward and feedback loops, control systems, and collateral influences that can both enable or impair competing alternative actions:

Figure on right: areas active in REM sleep  (PGO: Ponto-geniculo-occipital waves or PGO waves are phasic field potentials. These waves can be recorded from the pons, the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN), and the occipital cortex regions of the brain, where these waveforms originate.)

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS.  Where you do NOT have answers to questions you think are important, identify those questions and tell what might be done to get an answer.  Do we have to do more study of ancient history?  of psychology? ?  Don’t just say what people know, but also what they do NOT know. What hypothetical experiments might be done to get some helpful information    Or might you find a “natural experiment?”

ABOUT DYNAMIC BALANCE:  Behavioral phenomena  are often the outcome of altered “balance”  —   Homeostasis points toward a set point, but must never rest there, at least not too long.  CHANGE is the essence of life.  The dynamic balance of tissues and organs enables life in the same way the dynamic balance of cognitive functions enables “consciousness.”

CHANGE.  Back to basics:  The organism from which we emerge as sentient beings changes continually.  From conception to demise, the genes in every cell respond to signals and lead to transformations in functions and structure that presumably serve the needs of the organism as cells multiply and the morphology finds form and its processes change.  That these changes are adaptive is assumed in the light of thousands, even millions of ancestral generations in which natural selection gave priority to changes that ramified through the organism to affect its final biological fitness. Often, very small failures lead to catastrophic consequences, underscoring the relatively simple roots of unimaginably complex relationships.

The Cosmos, the Earth, and everything upon is in perpetual flux. We can be aware of this and in that knowledge we can be united,  “But it is a paradoxical unity, a unity of disunity:  it pours us all into a maelstrom of perpetual disintegration and renewal, of struggle and contradiction, of ambiguity and anguish.  To be modern is to be part of a universe in which, as Marx said, ‘all that is solid melts into air.’” [i]

[i] Berman, Marshall.  (1982)  All That is Solid Melts into Air.  Simon and Schuster, N.Y.