I am a compass point in an unending universe, embodied individual, imperfect processor with selection bias – they tell me there is no central intelligence, no consciousness observing, overseeing the multifaceted psyche – no woman in the Cartesian theater of the mind, no audience observing the play of my life

yet I can’t let Baar’s global workspace theory rest when asked to paint a self-portrait in words I wish to defend the existence of consciousness – to believe my thoughts, perceptions, memories, emotions, will and imagination are a concatenation, a gestalt, a self, a soul, a sentient mind, a meaning! constellation of attributes that create my relationship with the world, engaging objectivity and subjectivity, the binding problem, central enigma, hard question of consciousness (to locate the integrated coherent global response that allows me to stand at Hecate’s crossroads and choose)

fractal cascade of central nervous processes – query: do I have wave or particle nature, or both? neurons exhibiting stochastic resonance, signal to noise ratio maximization in a ‘∩’ shape plot – am I the signal, a self, a capital I subject? dynamic chaos rules under these blue eyes, star trails ink pathways beneath porcelain skin, correlation matrix maps burn into my endothelium, scar tissue reminds me of all my xenophobic visitors

don’t edit, don’t rewrite, don’t debride the wound as the error light flashes – global brain excitations, an inflated quantum system – entangled anticipation resonating future brain states, he says, ‘the anticipatory quantum chaos of the living cell has become the conscious mind . . . generations of conscious beings traversing the sentient wave-particle universe’ – but you want something more personal, more specific

I dissect and create in equal measure so here is some objective data I’ve compiled, indexed, and collated: 99.99th percentile IQ and EQ, 99th percentile achievement test results spurring an interest in the theoretical and abstract, I’m a highly conceptual complex thinker who seeks out deeper meaning and layers – exhibiting extremely high reasoning, organizational, spatial, logical, mechanical, numerical, verbal, and visual capabilities

what of ethics? under quantifiable circumstances I value empathy, equality, sacredness, engagement with natural, artistic, and moral beauty, all balanced by a high need for cognition

tested and verified personality traits compared with hundreds of millions of people/’selves’ around the world – very high: friendliness, assertiveness, activity level, altruism, sympathy, self-efficacy, dutifulness, achievement striving, self-discipline, cautiousness, artistic interests, emotionality, adventurousness, intellect, liberalism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience – very low: modesty (you’re shocked?), depression, self-consciousness, immoderation, vulnerability, and neuroticism (if you knew my childhood you’d see this as miraculous)

in my subjective view I embrace the objective and add generous, resilient yet fragile, prone to question, defined by and baffled by love, spiritual, flawed, an optimist in love with the world and ideas, always seeking engagement, strategic, passionate, curious, always connecting the dots whether they should be or not,  limited in one state and unlimited potentiality in another, a less than stellar speller, embroiled in an inevitable process of biology

I am a ghost in the machine, an unbounded magnolia and a speck of stardust, no one yet everything I’ve got, a mythic beast and a mystic seeker, an explorer, a constitutive defensible line, an act of imagination and an embodied person, artistic filter in photoshop and the camera’s cold eye, a corpus collosum, a liberation and confinement, a querist let loose in the imaginarium

This prose poem/stream of consciousness was written for Fred at dVerse Poet’s Pub. Its alternate title: Lost in Translation. His excellent and thought provoking prompt on self-portraits shouldn’t be missed. http://dversepoets.com/2012/10/27/poetics-self-portrait/#comments

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