Discussions on Rationally Speaking

Nonsense on stilts, an example

by Thomas

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“As the symphony overflows the movements which scan it, so the mental/spiritual life overflows the cerebral/intellectual life. The brain keeps consciousness, feeling and thought tensely strained on life, and consequently makes them capable of efficacious action. The brain is the organ of attention to life.”

 . . . This mistake is so commonplace in much popular philosophical, scientific, and especially mystical/new age literature that it is worth quoting the paragraph in its entirety:

I have re-written the quoted paragraph backwards, more or less, and it makes about the same amount of sense. . . Maybe more; it becomes kind of Shakespearean:

A life’s attention; the organ; that is brain!  In actions efficacious of that capable makes them that which is consequently life? Strained? And tensely thought - this feeling consciousness; keeps the brain in: life; intellectual; cerebral; overflowing - in spiritual life; and the mental so is scans the movements which overflows - like a symphony. 

31 January 2005