In America, in the late 20th, and early 21st Centuries, one is not supposed to talk about the workings of one’s Mind. I was never told this, outright…it was, rather, Gleaned from reactions of peers and others…and inferred, from the overall Antiintellectualism that defined the educational and political milieu of this period.(Mrs Dorris’ admonition to “sit down and shut up” mentioned elsewhere, aside.lol)
Since it has become my Policy to eschew the opinions of the Mundane, I’ll have a whack.
I have been blessed with a Mind. It seems to work quite well…always has…and I find myself amazed, sometimes, with what it contains…and how these elements present themselves, in the process of Thinking.(Thinking, as an Activity)
In a Facebook discussion, I was made aware of this…and had some insight as to how my own particular Thought Process came about.
I learned to read, by the time I was 3. I don’t remember Not Being Literate. (That it feels uncomfortable to talk about this is evidence of the Antiintellectualism I was referring to,lol)
The subject was the word, “Ratio”, and it’s various meanings.
I knew that it was Latin , for “Reason”….and a mathematical Construct, dealing with Proportion…but I looked it up, anyway.
Wiki…and Cross-References…and my Habitual Weakness to getting Lost in them…”Ratio=>Ratio Decidendi=>Obiter Dicta=> Santa Clara Country vs Southern Pacific Railroad=> Corporate Personhood”, and away, we go…
When I was 7-8, my folks let an Encyclopedia Salesman into the house. Soon, I had the Deluxe Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica(approximately 900#’s of Books!)…consisting of a complete set of “Micro-Paedia”, covering Specifics…and a “Macro-Paedia”, involved in more Broad and Deep Knowledge. There were also a 3 volume Dictionary, with a 7 Language Dictionary, and a whole set of American Experience…all the way up to Jimmy Carter. All of these were Cross Referenced(E.G.) to each other… add in my Mom’s prized Dictionary, and it was like a Pre Internet. I spent hours and days reading this material…wandering around in C.F.’s and E.G.’s…
It became Habit…and a Habit of Mind.
Add another layer to this…I can’t find, with a cursory search, a name for the specific thing…just a cloud, of sorts, around it: Eidetic Memory,”Exceptional Memory”,”Savantism”, etc…It’s similar to these things, containing parts of them, but not enough, to where any of these terms quite Fit.
I remember everything I’ve ever read.
It is not always Conscious, but it is there when I need it.
Some Stimulus…a conversation(meatspace or virtual), a TV program, a book, whatever…and some word or phrase or idea elicits a Hole in the Film of Consciousness, through which Information bubbles up.
Napoleon described his Thought Process as a Bureau, with many Drawers.
Mine is more like a Pond, I guess….of unknown dimensions.
I am Amazed, and Humbled by this.
It is further confirmation…that I feel it necessary to deny that this is an example of some masturbatory “Lording-It-Over”, some self gratifying “Tooting My Own Horn”.
It is not.
…and it says Volumes, that our “culture” is so averse to such rumination.
It’s taken years, and is an ongoing struggle, to get my Wife past this…
To understand that, just because I have this quality, and can’t help but Use it, does not mean that I’m using it as a Weapon, against the whole world; that it is just “how I am”…and should be taken in that light.
Instead, it appears to me that this Aversion, this Dislike of Smart Folks actually deigning to Use their Gifts, is a function of Low Self Esteem, Collectively.It seems to be encouraged, at least tacitly, by our current Political Landscape(Right Wing-ism,lol)
My Wife continually belittles and negates her own Quality of Mind, her own Abilities.
It would seem that most folks do.
Contrary to my Ability, my Pond, being a Weapon , with which to Bludgeon all those with Smaller Ponds, it is , instead, a source of Joy…Bliss, almost.
It Feels Good. I get real excited when I begin a research Frenzy, a Cross-Reference Meander, a Cognitive Tangential Roam.
I think these things are Important to talk about.
Such Habits of Mind can Likely be Taught…and Learned.
Such wide ranging Curiosity about the Universe, can be Encouraged and Promulgated…
…and the World would be Better , for it.