We make up our life moment by moment

Some brain-science thoughts giving the same message as yesterday’s meditation one…

Instead of seeing the brain as rigid, fixed in mode, programmed like a computer, there is now a much more biological and powerful notion of “experiential selection,” of experience literally shaping the connectivity and function of the brain.

But how then do our frames, our momentary moments, hold together? How, if there is only transience, do we achieve continuity? Our passing thoughts, as James says ( in an image which smacks of cowboy life in the l880’s) do not wander round like wild cattle. Each one is owned, our own, and bears the brand of this ownership, and each thought, in James’ words, is born an owner of the thoughts that went before, and “dies owned, transmitting whatever it realized as its Self to its own later proprietor.

We come around to Proust’s image, itself slightly reminiscent of photography…..that we consist entirely of “a collection of moments,” even though these flow into one another like Borges’s river.

Oliver Sachs, In the River of Consciousness

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