November 8, 2015 at 10:12 pm #5332AmitaiParticipant
I really dug this chapter.
For one thing, it deflates a dualism. There is no fixed sum of reason and emotion, no amount of one we must give up to get an amount of the other. Our bodies produce both, and in learning to make better use of each, we can expect to inform the one by the other.
For another, it points firmly at associative memory, about which (and using and playing with the reader’s) I recently blogged.
For a third, what little I know of William Jennings Bryan had not previously included the claim that he was particularly humorless. When Wallas jabbed at him, I wasn’t expecting that “sudden glory”. I laughed.
Emotions don’t lie, but the precise nature of their truth can be difficult to discern. Learning to hear and heed them is too an aspect of the art of thought.
November 20, 2015 at 12:50 pm #5347
If anyone has been losing sleep over my joblessness, thanks for caring to such a debilitating degree! Either way, you’ll be happy to know good conversations are progressing. I feel confident, which is all I hope for in the situation.
Okay, on to the good stuff!
I found myself experiencing mixed feelings in hearing Wallas describe the specificity of vernacular (e.g., as a student in composition of verse). As I imagined my subconscious exploring the imagery of “the trees swaying against a mountain backdrop” – versus – “the lush green Pine trees swaying against the bright backdrop of the Swiss Alps”, I created two very different scenes in my head… the latter being familiar and somewhat predictable, the former being dark, misty, and full of fantasy. My emotions were triggered in entirely different ways. While none of this is especially unsurprising, I had never given attention to the control of emotion in this manner.
On laughter and humor, is there significance to Wallas’ capitalization of the word?
This section helped reconfirm a feeling I’ve always been suspicious of – that I tend to become goofy, in unpredictable ways, when I’m happy and full of thought… of productivity. Obscure cartoons, odd stories, strange things that make me think “I don’t know why, but this is funny right now”… they appear often when I’m in a state of engaged thought, happiness. The connection between thought and emotion seems rich and complex in this space.
November 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm #5348
Would anyone be able to help me better understand Intimation?
I’ve reviewed Wallas’ writing a couple times and still finding it difficult to understand. Must Intimation occur? Is it just a sense, a feeling, that precedes full recognition of an idea?
December 8, 2015 at 3:10 pm #5356Agile OtterModerator
Oh, I know! I know this!
It’s… oh… it’s…. um…
<whoa am I getting excited>
I know this, umm…
That was an example. I guess you want an explanation….
It is a feeling, pretty reliable, that the idea has formed, but just hasn’t made it to the verbal forebrain yet. It’s there. It’s all connected up, and you just don’t (consciously) know what it is. It’s an anticipation and an excitement. Remember that we’re “thinking with the whole self” so not all thought is verbal and conscious.
So intimation is a feeling you have as the nonverbal thought begins to translate to a verbal thought.
After that is “enlightenment”, which is the instant you realize what your thought is.
I hope that this posting caused it in you.
December 11, 2015 at 1:28 am #5363
This is a good one to practice the art of thought on… your post did create a sense of enlightenment that I am not as mindful of intimation as I could be.
Regarding intimation, I can’t say, “I think I understand now”… instead, I can say, “I think I was able to imagine what it could be like”… in the sense that it’s probably happened to me before, but I didn’t have the knowledge (or presence) to perceive it then.
December 31, 2015 at 11:34 am #5368holyfeldKeymaster
I tried something new this chapter, reading during the day when I’m rested. I’d like to say it makes the reading much easier. But that would be a lie.
I’m struck by the similarity in Shelley’s observations in “Defence of Poetry” (1821) and our current situation. …”The rich have become richer, and the poor have become poorer; and the vessel of the State is driven between the Scylla and Charybdis of anarchy and despotism.” Almost 200 years later, I feel we’re in a similar state.
As for imagination and reason … “the struggle represented a victory of those who could imagine its results in terms of human life over those who only calculate percentages of commercial profit and loss.” To me this focuses my work. Better human life results. I don’t see these necessarily opposed to commercial profit, but of higher or greater importance.
(ps – not taking my book on holiday. I’ll start Chapter 6 when I return on Jan 11).
January 7, 2016 at 7:10 pm #5369Agile OtterModerator
“Every humorist, if he is to develop, and still more if he is to retain after middle life his sense of Humour, requires a long succession of little acts of personal daring”
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