Books, Portals, Doorways in the Mind

Continuing the discussion from my art museum notes, on books.

The cover of a book, a portal, is treated as a symbol by the brain. It stands for that which it contains.

And if there is some anxiety or aversion to the content beyond this gateway, the brain will find it easy to project its fears and assumptions onto this cover without ever opening it again to see what is really there. Symbols are whatever one projects through them - they will never talk back to refute one's ill-founded assumptions.

So if you want something to be seen or read that someone holds some reluctance towards, don't leave it out, closed, a symbol easy to dismiss. Instead, leave it open.

There are activities that are good, but are seen with apprehension or distaste by the mind, reducing the entire activity to a symbol, replacing the book with the cover. There are also cases in the reverse.

A better analogy might be doors - hints or suggestions thrown up by the mind, that seem appealing but lead to unfulfilling courses of action.

For example, I might think of a positive memory or feeling associated with deviantART. This is like a door - it then stands for all of deviantART in my mind. I am compelled to pass through the door and go onto the website.

But the experience I get there is not what I had hoped for, not what compelled me to go on in the first place. But of course by the time I am past the door enough to discover this, I can hardly find my way back.

I am very glad that I have been able to identify this behavior pattern, because now I can consciously choose not to open whatever doors look nicest, but to predict what will actually be a fulfilling course of action.

All those fairy tales and stories about the path that looks easiest, the path that's actually most treacherous - maybe they were actually about this.

No comments: