Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's Happening When Nothing is Happening?

Here's a poem set in motion if not inspired by an article in Nature. If nothing else it sup pests neurobiologists have a sense of humor.

Default Zone

    Here, said the guard, is the speech center.
    We were touring the brain. Through the open
    door we peered in but did not enter
     the suddenly cavernous hall
    where all the worlds answering services
    could be poised to respond with all
    words waiting to be expressed. As we
    passed a narrow, unmarked door, I pointed,
   asked, and the guide said, it's just the
   default zone for introspection.
   Not concerned with the world out there,
   active when we're not paying attention.
   It works best when it's left alone
   as it has a mind of its own.

Are we approaching the neurology of meditation?  Meditation as a goal, an objective, a phenomena in its own right? We're certainly not just unraveling complexes of words, not a time to call for Wittgenstein. We can't get there by trying to think hard about nothing.

Genuine meditation, if there is such: would it correspond to a state in which the default zone/system would be maximally active? Is the next question: is thai a state to be saught, to be desired? To be aware yet perceiving nothing?