Monday, August 8, 2011

The mind's eye

(Mycenaen woman, 1300 BC)

I’m very much enjoying Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciouness in the Breadkdown of the Bicameral Mind. It’s not at all impenetrable, despite its title and austere cover. In its pages, the author engrossingly traces the development of consciousness, defining it along the way. It is a total trip.

How about this:
… the early Greek art of the Mycenae and its period shows man as an assembly of strangely articulated limbs, the joints underdrawn, and the torso almost separated from the hips. It is graphically what we find again and again in Homer, who speaks of hands, lower arms, upper arms, feet, calves and thighs as being fleet, sinewy, in speedy motion, etc., with no mention of the body as a whole.
The idea here being that words and pictures reflect what is in a mind, a mentality. When there’s no word for body, it means we don’t have it as an image, we don’t have the mindspace for such a concept or thing.

Even though I have a whole body in my mind, for almost a year now I’ve been drawing unattached heads and detached limbs. I think it’s experiential in that I feel my own body only in parts, sometimes physically unable to feel others.