Writer Virginia Woolf watched her own mind. She had plenty of time to do so as she was sent to bed by doctors who, in the 19th century, prescribed the reverse cure to depression that is more often ordered today: get up and out! be with friends! keep yourself occupied! Woolf, fortunately spent her depression bed rest time following the flight of her thoughts while she lay immobilized in her dark moods. The outcome of those times for her was a superior understanding of how the mind works, and a stream of consciousness modern form of writing for which she is credited in literary history. She also came to know a great deal of the mind – and self – from this experiential personal research of hers that was not looked at by science until much later. Woolf’s self as story.
As Woolf watched the chaotic shifting of her mind, she concluded that there was nothing fixed about her self. She linked “self” with “mind.”
“…now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now in a daffodil in the sun.” (Lehrer 169)
Walt Whitman, as I have talked about in previous posts, also reflected on himself – body and “soul”/mind – and discovered things about the self that were only beginning to be looked at by psychologists and scientists in his day. Where Whitman found contradictions and paradoxes in his self, Kurzban finds Continue reading More Mind Watching and “The Self” – (continued from the previous post)