Monday, January 26, 2009

Consciousness: Who We Are

After a month full of intense work related stress, I've finally come around to finish my WIP (work in progress), David Lodge famous novel Thinks. Lodge's main character is called Messenger, a persona that many of us can either relate to or have acquainted. Messenger is a philosopher converted to computer science specifically AI (Artificial Intelligence). The mastering of the English language along with his passion of the human mind has landed him a job as a Director of Human Science in a university and a TV show on qualia. Lodge, in his rather fascinating rambling about human consciousness, gives a definition of it that truly struck me in a different way: "The privacy of consciousness, the secrecy of thought, it's the filing cabinet to which only we ourselves have the key." The veracity of this statement led me to muse over human relationships. We can't never come to totally, completely know someone. We may know their habits, their routine or even their character but we will never be able to permeate the hidden cage of their thoughts unless they're revealed to us. In this novel, Messenger uses a pearl recorder to chronicle his reflections and he comes to share some rather "disturbing" thoughts about his relationship with his wife. He entertains for a quick second the thought of copulating with his step daughter before dreaming of an affair with a colleague of his.
Had you known that your friend would not hesitate to steal from you or slander you, would you have still befriended them? Had the groom known that his bride would use surrogates for her sexual desires, would he have married her? I remember reading a long time ago about a survey suggesting that more than half of us would go ahead and do something totally unthinkable, were they given the reassurance they would not get caught.
Personally, I believe each and everyone of us have two sides: a good and a bad one. The truth is, at some level, in different circumstances, we're a fraud. Some of us are just better than other at hiding or revealing it.
However, we also have a free will that allows us to cultivate more of the bad or good side in us, which ultimately weighs in a lot in determining our personality. And as far as relationships are concerned, one can only take a leap of faith and hope that they've made the best choice for themselves and ultimately for those surrounding them.


V said...

I wonder why you chose the word "copulating" to describe what he thought of doing... Its so.. scientific.. I would expect "have sex with" or "sleep with".. not so much "copulating" :)

Tresor De Beaute said...

That is actually the author own word that I've borrowed.

Prince Hamilton said...

I wonder sometimes too why people are even scared to say penis or vagina.Perhaps to be socially correct.

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