Tuesday, October 15, 2013

mental space

For several reasons which have presented themselves over the past few weeks, it has occurred to me more recently -- yesterday in fact -- that I need time every day not only for my independent studies (which, I take it, are vital to my mental health), but also time within this time to just think.  I think most philosophers would have called this reflection.  But I think of this "dimension for reflection" not as temporal, but as spatial.  I need mental space, room to move, to stop, to expand, to stretch, etc. Of course, as Einstein, no less, has taught us, to require space is to require time, and to require time is to require space.  Not that Aristotle, 2300 years before him didn't already realize this.  But old Alby certainly made a quaint point by showing us that they are not two different dimensions, but the same dimension, considered under different aspects -- i.e., the spaciotemporal, may be considered qua spatial and/or qua temporal.  I am probably giving Einstein a bit more phenomenological credit than is due; indeed, how I have just presented spacetime is the result of a collision:  there was a time (or space?) in my life when both phenomenology and relativity were brought to my attention, and I found marvelous parallels between the phenomenological study of "temporality" and Einstein's conclusions about the "fourth dimension."

But enough of all that.  My point is simply that I cannot overcome my writer's block, reader's block, living's block, unless this Time for Mental Space is made a priority every day.  I know from experience that without it, I am like Mark Antony who

Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.

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