Monthly Archives: February 2021

Floating into Awareness

Finally getting something out of sensory deprivation float tank time. Most recently went in for 90m, spent first 30-45 minutes just paying mindful awareness to my defense mechanisms anxiously craving reference points, and then I started spontaneously exploring range of motion for my left arm, gradually adding integration with other motion. This is a LOT like my experience of solo MDMA trips. I don't think I could do this work without prep work in Feldenkrais's modality (most value coming from solo ATM practice from his book, and most of the rest from a single guided-meditation session from a top Guild instructor.)

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Who controls the vertical? Who controls the horizontal?

Recently I've been investigating a phenomenological distinction between two different kinds of vision.

The first is horizontal, peripheral, reactive, associated with "shifty-eyed" lateral eye movement, evasive behavior, functioning socially as a sort of stimulus-response machine, treating bids from others as a kind of social threat to be either hidden from or deflected by making the appropriate response. Herd and prey animals have widely spaced eyes, the better to see threats from many angles. Call it Epimetheus.

The second is more vertical, centered, involves activation of the area around the "inner/third eye," has better lookahead both visually and mentally, and can have active preferences and intentions around the future. It feels "taller," like it sticks out more. Call it Prometheus.

Prometheus is photopic, Epimetheus is scotopic.

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The Trauma Coup

After the storming of the Capitol, the President of the United States has been banned from Twitter (the main way he communicates with the general public) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put out a video in which she says in the first few minutes that she doesn't know what she's allowed to talk about, that she doesn't know how much of what happened to her she can share because of "security reasons," that she's traumatized, and that she needs to be in the care of mental health professionals. And for the first time ever, the US military announced their opinion about who the next president will be.

These events point in a related direction: the silencing of elected politicians. While they are probably not centrally planned, they seem synchronized, like a lot of people in different places are responding to related cues in similar ways. Trump getting kicked off Twitter, and the harder to pin down forces acting on AOC, come from a shared sense among many people that the thing to do with clear evidence of authorities' failure is to cover it up.

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