For the Conscious Writer
How much value are you adding to your cognitive and social connections?
As a writer and poet let’s begin this discussion with a poem written by the English metaphysical poet John Donne.
No man is an island entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were,
As well as any manor of thy friend’s,
Or of thine own were.
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.”
“‘No man is an island’ was coined by the English metaphysical poet John Donne (1572–1631). It appears in Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Seuerall Steps in my Sicknes — Meditation XVII, 1624”
The first thing we need to do is respect our connections and their weight. Like in the poem above, Donne takes the death of a man whether he knows him or not as a loss from himself. Like Donne, the connections we make with other humans should be respected as if their life is our own.
According to an article in the New York Times written by James G. Greeno,
“Mental processes are interactions between units that are individually simple but have complex results in the overall patterns that occur in the network. The term ‘’parallel’’ refers to the assumption that units excite and inhibit each other throughout the network simultaneously — in parallel operations rather than in a sequence of operations. The term ‘’distributed’’ refers to the assumption that knowledge consists of the connections between pairs of units that are distributed throughout the network rather than being stored in localized structures.”
Even our cognitive knowledge is not a island of localized structures but a wide distribution of collected thoughts throughout the brain.
These connections cognitive and social, have infinite value. Growing up, I often heard the phrase, it’s who you know, that’s how you get ahead. That just brushes the surface of how important these cognitive and social connections are. You can know everyone and not be fruitful because you lack in your cognitive connections or in other words you’re not using your head. On the flip side, you can have enormous amounts of thinking skills and still not be fruitful because you have connected with no man (or woman).
In order to have a fruitful life a man must think and a man must have those who he thinks with. This keeps both imagination and the ground close enough to touch and far enough to hinder. Or bounces a man between the two creating a balance between madness and logic.
Written By Saschia Johnson writer for Jayne.Press
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