I know this new period of confinement that we’re in is a strange one. Especially for us creative folks, where engagement with others and freedom of travel is somewhat of a necessity. But I’ve taken this time to dive headfirst into something that I’ve never given much time for, writing. Specifically, writing a book. So, you can expect to see a few more things to pop up on my page as I attempt to practice this new craft of mine. Here below, a little journey with both an artistic, scientific and dare I say spiritual touch, leading me to think that in times like these we should be even more true to ourselves.
Writing a book is apparently a much more philosophical exercise than I had perhaps previously thought. After all, what is a book? You could easily argue that it’s a collection of thoughts. Normally, they’re centred around a particular topic, with a certain breadth that allows the writer to further explain their thoughts by describing the context that they sit in. Often, a (non-fiction) book will be a collection of ideas, theories and experiences, as opposed to a stream of consciousness with no particular boundary of relevance. A book could therefore be summarised as a large collection of ideas, collated by either one author or at times a small handful of authors.
The moment that the pen touches the paper, or the keystrokes visualise the letters on the screen, the ideas are taken from the ephemeral to the real. From a soft and fleeting partial-existence, to a concrete present reality. The electrical signals that were formed in your brain whilst thinking have now been stored in a somewhat ‘Pandora's box’ of potential, waiting to transmit those very signals to the readers brain. The ideas have now entered our perceivable reality at a certain time and place, and can now be shared and eventually discussed or challenged. Bare with me…
If these ideas exist both in a specific space (the pages) and a certain time (the date they were written) then they exist within two dimensions, and their movements and changes can be traced. This ‘meta-location’ could theoretically be followed as they pass from one mind to the next. Similar to how genetic material is passed from one generation to the next. In this scenario, the act of reading is a means of reproduction, and thinking becomes the process of recombination. Mixing your own current ideas with new ideas of the book. I’m fully aware that I’ve essentially described a part of Richard Dawkins’ theory of ‘cultural memes’ (the evolutionary biological kind, not the current ‘Tiger King’ / Lil Duval kind). My point is that if you had sufficient capability, you could follow the spread of a single idea, the birth of off-shoot ideas, and the death of ideas that didn’t take hold, of which there’s an unimaginable amount (after-all, we don’t know of all t