MindWalks

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The body of the human animal is astoundingly complex. There are, for example, about one hundred trillion cells, plus one thousand trillion micro-organisms, in each of us. This micro-universe more or less behaves as a unity, which is another miracle. Most of us think, it seems, in terms of being a personal self, as if we were truly single individuals. Each of us could, theoretically, behave as an isolated creature, grubbing around for food, maybe occasionally mating as mindlessly as we foraged and fed. We could each be a castaway on the endless ocean of meaninglessness. Yet we seek out other human multicellulars and try to communicate. The extraordinary fact is that some communication does occur. We are even surprised to encounter diversity, as if we might expect unanimity merely because we are the same species. There is a certain degree of community achieved, sometimes aspiring to the dizzy heights of civilisation. We ought to celebrate our fragile, spasmodic, appearance of oneness. These essays consist of explorations of the interactions between about twenty humans who are well-known to the author and who, collectively, form his mini-community of close friends. Names are invented and most of the encounters are semi-imaginary. The essays represent a year in the author's life, focusing on occurrences that seemed epiphanic, that took the author to a new position of awareness. The book is intended as a celebration of personal relationships. These relationships may be all we have, between the reality-bubbles we choose to call 'ourselves'.