A young man jogging down the
street stopped and told me that his uncle lives in a house around
the corner, while he lives in Santa Fe. Then
he said, we
have the post-Copernican dilemma of being a peripheral and
insignificant inhabitant of a vast cosmos, and the post-Cartesian
dilemma of being
a conscious purposeful and personal subject confronting an unconscious
purposeless and impersonal universe, with these compounded by "I
need a new battery for my car, and don't have enough cash with
me. Would you have..." I shook my head. "It's okay.
My uncle should be home soon," and he jogged on.
Tibetan prayer flags flap over the head of a white bird found dead on the street.
We turn him over, and find a small bullet hole--ants
through-- probably from an air gun or a .22. We
carry him to the dumper, and pray for his spirit, rising above
the rubbish and stink.
A while later, there was a
knock on my door. "My uncle gave me some money, but I'm still
two dollars short. Could you loan it to me? I'll return it tomorrow." Exasperated,
I gave him the money. He smiled,
and blessed me. That's when I knew the extremely acute oneiric
memory displayed by the Indians probably results to some extent
from a broken sleep that is divided into a series of short snatches
by a wailing child, a suspicious noise, the barking of a dog or
an insistent sensation of discomfort when the dying fire no longer
the night chill. Upon surfacing the
amygdala can house memories and response repertories that we
enact without quite realizing why we do so because if
one explores the microscopic network of synapses with electrodes
to detect the results of electrical firing, the majority of synapses
are not expressed, that is, they show no detectable firing activity.
They are what have been called 'silent synapses.' But why are they
silent, and how does their silence relate to the signals, codes,
or messages that the shortcut from thalamus to amygdala completely
bypasses the neocortex. This bypass seems to allow the amygdala
to be a repository for emotional impressions and memories from each
of these little excursions of the soul I'd never see him
and the money again.