how the mind works

ben goertzel




I understand how the mind works:
it's a seething population,
each part of it maintaining its own opinions
arguing loving hating lusting
interacting with the other parts in ten
million ways

I understand how the mind works:
	It recreates itself each moment
	It ceases to exist and boils down to nothing
	Then the shadows of parts that used to be
	smile out from the void and rebuild each other
	Nothing that can't be rebuilt by its comrade parts
	will ever exist again

I understand how the mind works:
	It has fingers and genitals
	behind the conscious areas
	that reach out and grab into other peoples' minds
	stealing their feelings ideas and passions
	rebuilding each mind
	from all minds

I understand how the mind works:
	It has numerous components
	Each with specialized abilities:
	Seeing, hearing, thinking, remembering, forgetting,
	wondering, analyzing, debating, talking, blabbering,
	loving, questing status, valuing existence, running wild
	after love, lusting, questioning, and so on and on and on
	The components battle, beat each other to a pulp,
	Caress each others' private parts,
	Borrow from their friends in other minds
	And universes
	And in their interaction give rise to babies
	Babies that are similar to them 
	and yet different
	With indescribable qualities and lives


The babies of our mind creatures
Reflect the whole mind

The wholeness of the mind
Reflects its little baby creatures
creeping out from the void around the edges
every second of every day

I crawl into my mind sometimes,
Curl up in its spacious cavern
Become one creature among the many
I talk to my fear, my joy, my sadness, my lust,
my love, my dreams, my recognition of lines and shapes,
my hearing of music, my sensation of a woman's skin,
smell of a woman's breath, failure to penetrate the depth
in my lover's eyes, routines for solving equations and spewing
out documents and programs and poems 
I crawl inside and talk to my components
and they always laugh and laugh

They tell me "You, you who contains it all,
Why do you bother, really?
Just let us go, let us free,
let us scatter through the universe
We'll find someplace to go!
Be happy, be free of your existence!
Don't worry at all!
Maybe we'll stick around, and keep you coherent
composed and solid
Maybe we'll fly away to Jupiter
or the nine-dimensional puzzle land
you see in her eyes
What does it matter to you anyway?"

I tell them "No, you little fools,
You brilliant nexuses of pattern
with no understanding of context and grace
and the holistic wonder of things  no, no, no no.
It isn't me who keeps you together,
I couldn't do that at all.
You hold yourselves here, you mental
components  
each one of you holds your friends and neighbors
You cling onto each other in complex beautiful patterns
And it's your clinging that produces babies
And it's the baby mental creatures that keep the mind alive,
without them it would all fall down."

And they laugh and touch my skin with knowledge
"We know," they say, "we know, we just
wanted to hear you tell us that."

They kiss my body with surreal lips,
and massage my skin with strange oils
I relax and absorb their strange beauty

And then I pick myself up and return to Earth
where I am a whole being
and proceed to as usual ignore
the teeming world inside

But I know how the mind works:
I've heard it's voices, its calls 
I've been there

I know how the mind works 
I've lived there --
I've written four books on it 
I've lived there  

I know how the mind works 
I don't know any
thing
or thing
at all