Craig said in his comment on yesterday’s post that our discussion about the word “vim” had made him think of the film director “Vim Venders”, and he noted his surprise when, weirdly enough, the name of that august artiste showed up on this blog several days later.
When I first read Craig’s comment, I thought to myself “yes, that is quite a coincidence”. And suddenly I realized that my “Stealth ads” post was probably the result of my own subliminal word association from our earlier discussion.
Now I wonder how many of my posts – indeed how many things one ends up saying and doing in the course of a day – are just word associations tumbling forward. Perhaps we make decisions in life – even large decisions – based on random bits of half-remembered verbiage from conversations left over from earlier in the day or week.
We each think of ourselves as rational beings, and yet the human mind is probably more like a loosely connected soup of tendencies, a mental amoeba, floating through its little sea of immediate possibilities, extending its thousand tentative pseudopods of thought and action. When one of those pseudopods comes upon a tasty morsel, the entire organism will drift that way, seeking with renewed vigor the gradient that may lead to higher concentrations of mental nourishment.
It is not easy to see this happening, for the process generally goes on beneath our level of awareness. We find ourselves making decisions, and we rationalize those decisions, spinning complex and plausible stories for ourselves and for each other to explain the zigzag path of our own mental focus over the course of a day.
And so the mind, that ultimate amoeba, drifts ever toward its nourishment.