January 2006
Conscious Thought
I worry about my fate when I can’t recall what movies I have and haven’t seen over the past year.  When I remember movies from a few years ago and think, oh, that was just last spring… but maybe not.  When did I take over QFD, when was that last trip?  What happens to those memories?  Are they gone, or just irretrievable, hopefully temporarily?  When I’m old and growing backwards, will those names and faces recall themselves?  My world goes so fast that days and weeks blend into a blur, yet when I look outside myself, everybody is thinking so slowly, painstakingly picking their way through the machinations of today’s ‘benevolent’ society.  Life moves on, and as fast as I can consume it, I am still left behind, straggling, hearing the faint, faraway call of passionate roses picking up their roots and stalking away in disgust.  I wish I could walk with them.

I look at my desires for movement, freedom, travel and I wonder if they relate to basic human needs of safety in movement and the desire to look for better foraging.  Humanity can be so simple, and yet so complex.  Is it amazing how we humans are built upon flesh and bone and genetics.  How we have these physical needs that bubble up within us.  I think many people feel humans are governed by our conscious thought.  I can’t agree.  My engineering mentor was always encouraging me to step back from the problem in order to find a better understanding of what I was trying to achieve and potentially find a simpler more efficient solution.

  I try to do the same with my thoughts, to step back and observe the roiling mass, watching for patterns and directions.  I don’t see purely conscious thoughts, logically ordered as much as the engineer in me would like.  I see a stream of consciousness that is buffeted and directed and hijacked by human needs and desires.  What do you find attractive, what do you fear, how do you relate to a challenge, what soothes pain, what brings tears of joy to your eyes, what drives the passion in life?  All those questions require the conscious to answer and to sort, yet all the answers are derived from subconscious, neurological, human needs.  Attraction can be so physical – smell, sight, feel, taste and sound.  Senses all tied into the core of the brain, senses sometime interpreted by the conscious brain.  Security and safety are another almost physical feeling.  It is very difficult to overcome those instincts and be with somebody who doesn’t smell right, look right, or worse that could or does threaten your security and safety.  Or in some cases, threaten our freedom – movement being yet another biologically hardwired desire.  I wonder just how close that animal kingdom is, the kingdom that doesn’t store information in books or PDAs, but that genetically knows what to do.  Why flap my wings?  Because I’m supposed to.  My little fuzzy bird head says this feels right.

I say, that little bird sometimes has got it good.  This vacation thing let me have some of that instinctual life back, so I’m not complaining!  I may not be walking with the roses, but I'm mostly okay with that... right now.

Peter Newbury's Published Adventures