Dear kind and patient readers,
The burden of stewardship is great, and though it is with hesitation that I here link to the “Second Sitting” of Cliffson Wolf’s masterwork Tripe, given that interested parties could have easily clicked through from the first chapter to this document, it is incumbent upon me through the terms of Wolf’s will (in which he left me some snacks, now, sadly, quite stale, among other sundries) to maximize exposure of his most eminent philosophy through additional linkage.
Whether additional posts here will continue until each chapter has its own commentarial link during this holiday season has yet to be determined, but depends in part not only upon the tolerance of my fellow podcasters and you our readers, but also on whether level of torment currently inflicted upon me by Wolf’s ghost. In short, my walls are bleeding (a bit), and I hope to assuage his hungry spirit by posting this link:
Here is an excerpt, in which Mr. Wolf makes connects the phenomena of mental illness, neural plasticity, and the placebo effect:
No, my itty bitty children cohorts, don’t you back away and pretend that there is any barrier keeping you from flipping off for any amount of time into loony land. It’s true that mental illness is illness, i.e. the presence of some biological infirmity, but the brain is a silly and wily creature with the lumps to prove it… According to some film I (as writing person, not narrative persona) saw in a biological psychology class I once took, the brain patterns which show up in a clinically depressed person are exactly the same ones that show up when you think of your X and how happy you two used to be before things just got all weird… The difference is only that Mr. Nutcase stays that way and you (probably) don’t.
Here’s a brain-law: if you use a portion a lot, it will get big and strong; if you don’t, it does not (thus the psychiatric term “shrink”). So if you practice yo-yoing enough, that part of your motor cortex responsible for “walking the dog” gets buxom. This doesn’t “just happen,” of course; there are lots of chemicals and little gnomey guys and rubber bands moving and shaping everything, but there is a big link — causal and correlational — to what goes on in consciousness. This means that sometimes, if you act crazy enough, you become crazy… by the same process that makes people with the will to live more able to smash their cancers and makes folks with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be healed on game shows until they die on the bus home as it hits someone who successfully killed off the voice of tripe within him and/or her, thus restoring the balance of nature on two counts.
If this subject actually interests you, I suggest you read something real… reading opens up a rainbow of fantabulous colorful ideas, okay? My point is merely that you’re two steps from the edge at all times, and though you may never jump off, the force that keeps you from doing so is on par with whatever it is that makes some Kids just hate any food that is the least bit endowed with a bluish tint. No, we don’t really understand any of it (and not because it is “beyond the limits of human comprehension,” but merely because we, meaning those of us who know stuff, are sort of dim), but these distinctions between people are not the sorts of things to adequately provide the themes and criteria for elite social clubs. This means generally that if you have ever used the word “weird” to describe things you have no wish to understand, you are a sorely deluded and messed-up puppy.