Alice, when she’s 10 ft tall!

The workings of our minds have long been a mystery to us.  Most of what we know about our brains comes from seeing what happens when they break. We know several reasons we believe we are someone.




When I was an infant, people told me I was Robert– and that is who I am. And for a long while, I was satisfied with knowing who I am! But it has since occurred to me that, I do not know what I am!!  And I am likewise, marvelously fuzzy on when, where, and how (or why) I am!!!   (In my opinion, a good education should provide one with the tools necessary to cultivate this depth of skepticism, introspection, and awe.)


Alone in the still of the night, my heart beats, I breath, my head shifts (I know I am someone because I have a body). Waking, I look about me, the morning sun lights the room, a window is open and I hear birds chirping outside (I know I am someone because I have a unique perspective of the World). I walk to the kitchen, I make a pot of coffee– only one day of coffee left– I edit my 2 do list and get on with the daily grind (I know I am someone because I make things happen). I have been to 53 countries, stood on the summit of Mona Kea, and read by the light of the Milky Way; I blew my thumb off on July 3rd, 1976, and ironically, the first thing I remember is a book, a collection of words: The How & Why Book of Dinosaurs (I know I am someone because I have a personal history). An untold number of people know me: casual acquaintances, students, colleagues, friends, relatives, and, a Mother and Wife– both of whom know me better than I know myself.   (I know I am someone because I am known to others)


In an attempt to unravel the caterpillar’s question: Who R U ? , many of this week’s readings are focused on our psyche. Four readings are a single page: 1) Tim Dean’s Two and the Same and 2) Archibald MacLeish’s Eleven, couldn’t be more different; 3) Einstein’s Letter 2-12-50, and 4) James’ Principles of Psychology (Ch1 intro), are two and the same. I recommend you read all four ! — did I mention they are only one page ? There are also four chapters from Anil Ananthaswamy’s The Man Who Wasn’t There, and two from Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia; these look at minds that are, well…, curiouser and curiouser. Alan Watt’s The Book, supplies an ancient answer.

 Let the class hear what you think– Questions or Comments ?   

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