graphic: MetaSelf Logo

The mind is
inherently embodied.

— Lakoff & Johnson

MetaSelf

About

Appreciations

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to George Lakoff, Mark Johnson, Gene Gendlin and Antonio Damasio. They and a multitude of other scholarly researchers deserve public recognition for three revolutionary achievements of recent brain science, linguistics, philosophy and related fields. 

First, they have at last convincingly outlined how the intangible thing we call the mind is structured by and emerges from the body. This has substantially cleared away the four-century-old confusion over the so-called “mind/body split” that was our heritage from Descartes. This of course still leaves us with the confusion that is inherent in being thinking, symbol-using beings who try to represent reality in language and thought but can idealistically or foolishly persist in believing ideas and reasoning that are quite divorced from reality as it exists before them.

Second, these thinkers and researchers have given us back our emotions and our bodies, which now can be seen as legitimate parts of an integrated self rather than as objects of ethical and philosophical suspicion. This is a great gift to the life of the mind and the body. “Heartfelt gratitude” is not just a phrase. It’s felt in the heart.

Finally, by showing us clearly that much of our reasoning is metaphorical and unconscious rather than a part of a transcendent, disembodied Realm of Truth, they have made us more conscious of the responsibility to be self-aware and think clearly. This must include being suitably cautious in our belief systems, rather than fanatical creatures of ideology.

The implications of these achievements are enormous and will take a long time to be spread throughout world culture. But I want all those working in these fields to know that your work has a personal impact. There are grateful people out here who understand the cultural shift you have brought about.

You have given us greater hope of experiencing ourselves as complete human beings, healing mental illness, and avoiding some common human mistakes in reasoning. You are part of a positive vision for the future.

I have also been extremely fortunate in engaging Muiz Brinkerhoff to create the new version of the MetaSelf website. His technical wizardry has been matched by his engagement with the ideas and his suggestions concerning organization. In fact, he made the months-long process enjoyable!

Portions of my writing have not been subjected to his discerning eye, having been imported from the old site or written and posted as drafts so they can be discussed. These lapses are entirely my own. The site is still being built and revised.

With your constructive feedback, I'm sure Muiz will be able to make further improvements to MetaSelf.org.

Thank you!