Sorry. Didn't mean to scare you with that last one. The cat sat on the mat. There, is that better? I thought so. Good. I was merely trying to point out the dangers (I guess I forgot to say) of inflation. It's (oooh!) a Jungian term. As in: "They're American planes. Smoking or non-smoking?" O Superman. O Mom. O Laurie it's you that I've loved all along. Ever since I saw you standing on the edge of that diving board out over the bewildered audience in Tokyo that night, blind with half ping-pong balls over your eyes, playing your electric tape-loop violin. Big Science. O Baby, if they only knew.
To get just a tad more specific, here's what the Oxford Dictionary of Psychology has to say about it:
inflation of consciousness n. In analytical psychology, the expansion of a person's consciousness beyond its normal limits, arising through identification with an archetype, the persona, or, in certain mental disorders, a famous person [such as, e.g., RageBoy], resulting in an exaggerated sense of importance that is generally compensated for by feelings of inferiority. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) described how it arises when the archetypal content "seizes hold of the psyche with a kind of primeval force and compels it to transgress the bounds of humanity. The consequence is a puffed-up attitude, loss of free will, delusion, and enthusiasm for good and evil alike." (Collected Works, 12, paragraph 563).
OK, cool. I'm down with that. Just two questions: 1) "normal limits"? Says who? and 2) "inferiority" relative to what? Jung could be so maddeningly unscientific. Which is why he's become the patron saint of the New Age. If he knew, I ask myself, would he be rolling in his grave? Or adjusting his halo? Perhaps I should channel him to find out for sure...
"So Carl, about the mysterium coniunctionis bit. You made that up, right?"
"Ja, dots korrect. Hah-hah! I vas chust kidding aroundt!"
Oh fuck, I don't know. I suppose my little outburst came from watching Red Dragon back to back with A Beautiful Mind -- you know the scene where Nash's old lady throws open the door to that garage festooned with newspaper and magazine clippings, their hidden meanings and messages all hyperlinked? I felt like somebody finally understood me! And while I'm at it, why did they have to go and lock up Hannibal? Everyone knows that there's just no accounting for taste. Unless you count Arthur Andersen. And various other (fava) bean counters. Imagine me here doing that pschopathically intimate sucking-chittering mouth-noise Anthony Hopkins makes recalling dinner and a good Chianti.
Scott Fitzgerald said genius is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind and not flip out. Something like that (this was just before he flipped out). Shit, two? That's nothing.
What about 4, 8, 16, 32, 64? Hike! What we're talking about here, of course, is computational (heh-heh) linguistics. Or not so conversely, combinatorial explosion. Mirror stage, memory theater, endless intertext. Lacan and Kristeva, Giordano Bruno, John Dee, Umberto Eco, Tim Berners-Lee... Ka-boom!
As in: Ah-choo!
And you say: Gesundheit!
(Which in German means something like "to your health." I'll drink to that.)
As in: Dominus vobiscum.
And you say: Et cum spiritu tuo.
As in: You say tomato.
And I say: Let's call the whole thing off.
But whatever it is we're involved in, it's apparently inescapable. God knows I've tried.
So far this has had nothing to do with Doc, except inasmuch as it implicates us all. So let me conclude by saying that Doc has the mind of a huckster punctuated by the awed innocence of a little child. He has a certain rare capacity for wonder. And that has to make you wonder, doesn't it? It does me. And he's got this great laugh that says he gets it, gets himself and all the rest of it at the same time. Which is something. So Doc, I just wanted to say thanks for that last message you left from Halley's cell while you and she and J.P. were walking down whatever street that was in New York City, J.P. waiting for me to say something back and Halley in the background going "It's an answering machine, J.P., this new technology you might have heard about?" I can't remember exactly what you said. Or even approximately. I'm not sure what to make of it myself.
Uh... let's have that again? To make of it myself. Yes, of course. Wonderful, wonderful...
By the way, a guy just came and replaced my windshield. One call yesterday, today the guy shows up. Just like that, no hassle. Only cost me a hundred bucks. But I was wondering after he left, what if it wasn't really broken. What if he said, wait a minute, there's nothing wrong with this windshield! Then what if I said, yes there
is. See that big crack running through it? Christ, must be four feet long! But he doesn't see it. Because it isn't there. I insist though, and even though he knows I'm off my rocker, what does he do? He replaces a perfectly good windshield, and State Farms foots the bill for my delusion.
It didn't happen that way, but if you think about it, it could have. If you think about it, anything could. So I tell myself that, even without a definite purpose in life or a clear sense of direction, things just keep on taking place. And I wonder. I ask myself: is this what they mean by "moving on"? Hell, it must mean something. Am I right, Dude? I mean, am I right?