“animal vs. human
These are factors influencing our experiences and behavior. How much of each is at play? How much influence do they have? (since our self consciousness seems more powerful than that of other animals) How much does being conscious of these factors change our experience?” Nonverbal Communication Notes
I recently taught a class on “nonverbal communcation.” How I came to teach this class, and what it was like, I’ll go into later I think. It’s a strange subject, a new one, and one that I knew little about. I’d never heard of it before I’d been asked to teach this class. (This is a little shocking, I think, or should be- how could I teach a class I knew nothing about?)
I’m going to be recycling lots of old material here.
So the little excerpt from the notes, I’ll do that with lots of my writing. I guess other people’s writing too. That is interesting for a few reasons, but not too interesting. THe main thing there is: although I’m going to have my recycled stuff alongside the writing of brilliant people, I’m not suggesting that I’m the same as them. If I have a quote from Shakespeare alongside my jotted notes from a strange college class, please understand that I’m not saying I’m a Shakespeare. I have plenty of illusions of grandeur, but I recognize that they’re crazy at the same time. I’m not saying this well. What I mean is that I want to be able to write about my own writing, and other people’s writing without seeming to say “I’m them.” Of course, this kind of caveat is also a way to excuse the unavoidable comparison and suggestion- making it there acceptably by making it not there (by excuse). The doubling-back becomes spinnier and spinnier, more apologetic, more sneaky. As Trungpa Rinpoche said about a “jealous god type person” when you think you’re talking to their face, they’re already behind your back, watching you.
Who knows? Maybe if I revise what is sure to become a big heap of interesting ideas, I’ll just cut out this apology/intro. It may cease to exist. Then again… It’s time to leave the internet cafe soon so that my hour is basically exact. I didn’t even write about what I started with. Animals vs. humans. How much human is an animal, how animal is a human? It becomes an impossible question because it’s like self-consciousness or free will- if we’re animal at a very deep level, any attempt to sugar-coat or apologize or explain is just an expression of animal instinct. This instinct seems somehow connected to the unconscious, but maybe that’s just confusing things.