Natural Culture vs. Mental Culture

Michael Shermer’s TED conference sparks an insight that there are 2 types of culture: nature-born and mind-born. Nature-born is based on that which is lived moment to moment. Mind-born is based on an interpretation of an experience and/or is completely made-up. The former is includes present-tense cultures of indigenous and First Peoples; the latter is past-tense and includes religions, human secularism, and atheism.

Only one is actually better for our continued existence–and it ain’t the one in a perpetual state of “fixing” things as it breaks them.

Deja Vu To The Crazy Degree

Hey, remember the time I wasn’t a debunker but a guy who had stuff happen to and within him that debunkers debunk? Apparently, it’s time to get back to being that guy because these past 2 weeks the Jer 2.0 energy has been active even though I’ve not been. I think I’ve meditated and let loose the crazy movements once in the past couple of months. Certainly not in the last 2 weeks. But I feel it writhing in me. Actually, that’s the wrong descriptive. What it really feels like is there’s a windy piece of you located in the lower back blowing in every direction for a few seconds. No, we’re not talking about a fart.

That, and waking up in the morning, or finding myself awake, while this energy is moving my hands and arms around as I lie in bed. Also, sometimes there’s this momentary discombobulation I’ve described on Paratopia. (The “wub-wub” feeling. It’s similar to the lower back fluctuations, except it’s more rigid in its sensation of movement and it’s usually centered around the head, but sometimes full-bodied.) These are things that happen from time to time, but it’s been amped up lately for reasons unknown. I’ve been waiting for something to happen, for it to lead somewhere. I don’t know if this is it or yet another in a line of amping up symptoms, but the following bit of also-not-a-fart occurred about 40 minutes ago….

I picked up some groceries across the street and was talking to the the woman behind the register about this flowering plant on the counter. She told me she just bought it for the store but when the flowers fall she’s going to bring it home and plant it. I asked her what it’s called as I searched for its tag. I found it and she told me as she was reading it. “It’s got a pretty name, let’s see… It’s a crossandra,” she said.

When she said this I remembered the other day when I was in line, there was a tall, thin white guy with brown curly hair behind me who had bought it for her. She told me then that it was a crossandra plant and when her back was turned, the dude told me that it’s actually pronounced “Cassandra” but he didn’t have the heart to tell her. Plus, she’s kind of stubborn in an arrogant way and would insist he was wrong–so it was his little joke that she tells everyone it’s a “crossandra.”

Recalling this,  I sort of gently asked, “Are you sure that’s the name? Isn’t it kind of a joke?” I thought maybe someone would have corrected her by now.

She had no idea what I was talking about and was kind of confused and when I saw the confused look on her face I immediately understood that this memory never happened! In fact, nothing about her is arrogant or stubborn, at least outwardly. I’ve never met this man I remember. I know she doesn’t have a boyfriend. She just told me she brought the thing to work. I mean, none. Of. My. Memory. HAPPENED. But it was so real that I reacted to it.

Sooooo… what was that? Did I dream the interaction with the guy as a premonition for this real moment with the woman and the plant, forget about it, and here’s the premonition coming true? Did I slip into some sort of parallel universe memory? Was this real somewhere else, somewhere similar but slightly askew of here? Did I have a momentary bout of mental illness? Do schizophrenics report these types of flashes of nonexistent memory?

It was all within seconds–the memory, the speaking, and the realization that this never happened, so it was easy to cover and get out of there. But what really happened? I wonder if this is what it feels like to be Emma Woods or any of the others screwed over by hypnosis.

Interestingly, when I looked up “Cassandra” to make sure I spelled it correctly, this entree from Wiki came up:

In Greek mythologyCassandra (Greek Κασσάνδραpronounced [kas̚sándra͜a], also Κασάνδρα),[1][full citation needed] also known as Alexandra or Kassandra, was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. She had the power of prophecy and the curse of never being believed. A common version of her story is that Apollo gave her the power of prophecy in order to seduce her, but when she refused him, he gave her the curse of never being believed. In an alternative version, she fell asleep in a temple, and snakes licked (or whispered in) her ears so that she was able to hear the future. Snakes as a source of knowledge is a recurring theme in Greek mythology, although sometimes the snake brings understanding of the language of animals rather than an ability to know the future. Cassandra is a figure of both epic tradition and of tragedy.

As they say in State & Maine, “So that happened.”