Copyright © 2013 by Steve Perrin

I got the idea in 2006, and since early 2008, I’ve been using this blog to sort my streaming thoughts on consciousness into a form that could be put into a book. Which is where I go from time to time when I’m not writing the blog but am in my head, putting my thoughts in order, expressing them in written form. I’ve produced two books that way, Consciousness: The Book in 2011; now in 2013, On My Mind, which I’ve just published this week through lulu.com.

OnMyMind_FRONT-COVER-blog-96 Front cover, On My Mind.

Here is the Preface (meant to explain how a particular book comes to be written) from my new book.

This book began a long time ago with an exploding star in a galaxy we now call the Milky Way. Its fuel expended, that star imploded into its own interior when gravity overcame its fading radiation. The collapse created a blazing forge that spewed atoms outward into space. Swirling as a cloud of gas and dust, those atoms circled a nameless star, coalescing five billion years ago into the third planet out from our sun. It didn’t take those atoms long to form self-replicating molecules, to diversify and evolve into complex organisms, some becoming conscious of themselves, their activities, and their surroundings. Engaging those surroundings, one organism stood up, roamed around, and as a creature of the universe, developed individuality from a center of unique experience, coming much later to develop ideas, speech, writing, art, dance, books, and diverse societies.

Waking up in the morning, I discover myself to be one such animal, conscious of myself in this universe, of my surroundings, and of my engagement with those surroundings. I think to myself, this is hot stuff. Hot as in the inside of stars. Fiery. Too hot to get near, much less grasp. So I work for thirty years to understand how I, an assemblage of water, soil, and air in the presence of sunlight, can wake up in the morning with such a thought in my head. I don’t understand how it is possible. Two years ago I brought out my first attempt at describing my mind in Consciousness: The Book. I learned a lot from that exercise and thought I could do better. So here is On My Mind, a second attempt to describe what it feels like for me to be conscious. My hope is to encourage others to make the same effort for themselves; then we can hold long conversations about the similarities and differences between us, and make a start at understanding how we can be conscious for the common good of this planet we all share together.

Steve Perrin, Bar Harbor, March, 2013

The blog I have created from my random thoughts has turned out to be cumbersome. Hard to use, hard to picture as one work having a common focus. In the book, I’ve taken the heart of my blog and developed it through a series of 163 new reflections divided into eight chapters:

  1. Introduction
  2. Depicting a Mind [putting together a map of my mind]
  3. Perception
  4. Action
  5. The Situated Self
  6. Loops of Engagement
  7. Reality
  8. Toward a Theory of Mind

Basically, perception addresses the question, What’s happening? The situated self asks, What does it mean? And action answers the question, What should I do?  The other chapters deal with how those three parts of my mind connect to one another, and to the great world beyond the far edge of my senses.

There you have it, this blog simplified and made coherent in book form. Which was what I was aiming to do from the start in 2006.

I’ve had over 30,000 hits on the blog. If any of you hitters in the U.S. want a copy of the book, you can get it for $17.95 plus postage at Lulu.com. Search for Steve Perrin under Books and you should come right to it.

Y’rs truly, –Steve from Planet Earth

 

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