Is very little, as it turns out.
I have been pondering the question of my eyesight ever since I mentioned it in yesterday’s blog post. And I have reached a difficult but inarguable conclusion.
I’m a high functioning visually impaired person.
I don’t think my vision has ever been corrected properly. My glasses just get me to the function range. But there are still lots of occasions where I run into difficulties due to my visual difficulties and that’s been so true that I bullshit to compensate without even thinking about it. It’s second nature to me.
The big locus for this in my life is noticing things. Thousands of times in my life I have faced the question “How could you not notice that?”, and I never have a satisfactory answer for the person who is asking, often quite angrily.
I’ve passed this off as my just not paying much attention to my environment – and that’s true as far as it goes. I am a deeply interior oriented person. I always have a lot on my mind, both consciously and unconsciously, and that means I do not have much room on my cognitive pathway for input from my senses.
Basically, I think so hard that it blocks my sensory input. I will notice the thing I am paying attention to and little else. It’s rare that I spontaneously notice things in my environment. There needs to be a reason for me to start paying attention to what I see.
Otherwise, I get enough information to enable what I am doing, and that’s it.
.That’s why there is no point in honking at me as you drive by. By the time I pull my head out of clouds and look, you’ll be long gone.
Even as I sit here typing away at my computer, I have most of reality tuned out. I can read the screen and hear my music and that’s it. My bed is right behind me and it could be on fire for all I know. That’s how deep focused I get.
OK, the light and the smoke of a burning bed would likely get my attention. But you know what I mean.
Now when I say I am visually impaired, I am not claiming to meet the legal definition of it. I can function perfectly well in society and that means I am not, strictly speaking, impaired. My problems are more subtle than bumping into things.
But speaking of that, I think my visual acuity issues are behind my lifelong clumsiness. If I find myself unable to do what others find very simple, it’s because I am working with far less information than they are.
For instance, for me, the edges of things have always been blurry, and they have always wavered. To me, there is no such thing as a straight line, at least not subjectively. What others say is a straight line, I have to take on faith.
It’s like I am constantly trying to see things through a thin layer of heat distortion. Must be from my fiery passionate nature and burning desire for success.
Well, okay, that’s only recently come to light. I am working on it.
I think I suppressed it for so long because of the intellectual folly of trying to control outcomes with the power of your mind. That places far too large a burden on your “self control”, or at least what you think it is.
It means that you can never fly off the handle, never directly vent your emotions, never let emotions get in the way of clear and logical thought, and above all, you can never include raw emotion in any of your “logical” decisions.
Well if you’re so logical, why aren’t you happy?
This suppression is at the heart of much of what is wrong with Western culture. At some point (probably the Greek Revival period), the culture embraced this emotion-denying, soul-numbing, life force suppressing rationalist bullshit about how we should suppress our “lower” animal selves and force ourselves into the ignorant ego’s idea of the “higher” self.
As if you can build a tower while destroying the foundation! If we manage to be human, it is on top of (and at the mercy of) our “lower” selves. Those “higher” selves can only exist if the rest of our hierarchy of needs is taken care of, from the bottom up.
A person who desperately needs to use the bathroom is highly unlikely to be thinking thoughts of a deep and spiritual nature or pondering the eternal verities.
The Athenians understood that. That’s why they had “body slaves” whose job it was to look after all those “lower” needs so that their master would be free to think lofty (dare I say Olympian?) thoughts.
I would keep mine SO BUSY.
But no, the West got stupid again and began promoting the lunacy of asceticism as the most holy way of life and even something towards which the average person should aspire in order to be “closer to God”.
You know, the same God that created humans to have those “lower” emotions like lust and hunger and such. Apparently, the life-deniers of Christianity’s death cult (got that one from Nietzsche) think God is the sort of being who does things just to make doing what He wants you to do harder.
Either that, or they think God screwed up when he made us.
And while we have survived generation after generation of progressive reform, we’re still not ready to simply accept ourselves as the complex beings we are. We still wall emotion off from reason and create this inane split in people’s mind where they feel shame for simply being live animals on Planet Earth.
We will not truly be enlightened until we can accept our whole and integrated selves without any unnecessary divisions or mindless shame.
The same creatures that build skyscrapers make sure to put bathrooms in them. The same great people of history who created cities, circuses, and symphonies also masturbated. Human beings have stepped onto the surface of the Moon, but they never would have made it if they hadn’t brought their own oxygen.
We are not purely animals. We are not purely human.
We are animals who know how to be human.
And that’s all we’ll ever be.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.