Disabilities of the Mind

This description of Jip from Richard Frost’s Brain and Body is marked by keen observation of being unable to find “the here and now embedded in and explained by what immediately preceded it”.

The more I learn about him, the more I think this was his biggest problem, the inability to build up experience. As Suzanne said, he could pick things up, but it took endless repetition and aeons of time. As long as a situation lasted things were all right, the here and now embedded in and explained by what immediately preceded it. But gaps of more than ten minutes his malfunctioning memory couldn’t bridge. It prevented him from perceiving any continuity besides that offered by continuous time itself. Likewise, if he had learned something, he couldn’t transfer it to a different context. If he wanted to make tea, he went to the kitchen, which by definition meant his kitchen. He couldn’t make tea in Kasper’s kitchen, unable as he was to apply the original skill taught to by his ergotherapist as a more general level. The same went for events. If they didn’t form part of the routine they were merely incidents to him, snapshots, which in his mind were not connected and in most cases didn’t endure. to put it another way: there was no flow. Imagine seeing your days in a strobe light with a low frequency, and you’ll get the idea.

What disrupts the flow here is the lack of connections. What disrupts the flow in other cases is an overabundance of connections. No flow and overflow can both reduce the chances of forming meaningful experience.

And so for day 588
23.07.2008

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