Tag Archives: metaphysics

INSIDE MY BRAIN I PAY NO RENT.

BRAIN 01 ENTRANCE

THIS IS MY BRAIN, AS SEEN FROM OUTSIDE ON A SUNNY AFTERNOON.

Welcome to my brain! Or even better: welcome to an attempt to its spatial representation! You can look at the following images as a big architectural metaphor, a cognitive map or an illustrated trip.

It’s just a personal interpretation, of course, but what’s interesting in this project is that I gave my brain “carte blanche”. Yessir! Since the beginning, my project became its project. My gray matter was totally free to select the pictures that better represented itself.

It was not easy for me to step aside and let it do it but, you know, the brain can do everything in complete autonomy, being it the only subject that analyzes itself, and the only place that is entirely self-built. This circularity is so amazing to me that when I happen to think about it, I’m not sure whether it’s me – or my brain – to be more intrigued.

As you know, our mental evolution has been so fast that the brain lost its personal notes on the way. It was probably too busy in setting up all the wiring for its 100 billion neurons, and so today there’s not a map nor an instruction manual to help the brain to unveil its own secrets and understand how its wunderkammer really works. But I’m going to stop here. I don’t want to bore you to death with scientific details. All I want to do is to let you enter into my brain, have a quick look, and tell me what you think. Enjoy the journey!

BRAIN19 narrow curve

I AM SURE YOU NOTICED THE MINUSCULE DOOR AT THE BASE OF THE DOME (FIRST PICTURE).  WELL, THAT’S THE ENTRANCE, AND AS SOON AS YOU STEP IN, YOU’LL HAVE TO FOLLOW A CIRCULAR PATH WITH CURVED WALLS MADE OF CALCIFIED CONNECTIVE TISSUE. DON’T BE AFRAID: THAT’S MY SKULL.

BRAIN 06 little man

AT THE END OF THE CIRCULAR PATH YOU’LL FIND A LARGE ROOM: THIS IS THE BRAIN’S MAIN DOORWAY WHERE A FACELESS SENTINEL WILL CHECK YOU OUT. NOT SURE WHO IS HE, BUT I KNOW HE’S THERE TO FILTER REALITY AND MAKE SURE THE LIMITED CAPACITY OF MY MIND IS NOT CONTAMINATED BY UNNECESSARY GROUND NOISE.

BRAIN 04 stairs

BEYOND THE VELVET CURTAIN YOU’LL FIND A SPIRAL STAIRCASE GOING ALL THE WAY DOWN. THE INSIDE OF THE BRAIN IS DIMLY LIT AND THERE ARE NO COLORS BESIDE BLACK AND WHITE. THE LIGHT’S TREMBLING QUALITY IS DUE TO THE ELECTRIC ACTIVITY OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS WEAKLY FIRING IN THE DARK.

BRAIN 03 tunnel

AT THE END OF THE 13,263-STEP STAIRCASE, BE PREPARED TO ADJUST YOUR EYESIGHT TO DARKNESS. THE DEEPER YOU GO, THE MORE ANTIQUE EVERYTHING LOOKS. MY REPTILIAN BRAIN FEATURES A MAZE OF CREEPY TUNNELS WHERE YOU CAN EASILY GET LOST. IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA, WHILE YOU WALK, TO MARK THE WALLS WITH A PIECE OF CHALK OR BACKTRACK YOUR PATH WITH BREADCRUMBS.

BRAIN 05 corridor

PLEASE ACCEPT MY ADVICE! ONCE YOU CHOOSE A DIRECTION, STICK TO IT AND DON’T BE TEMPTED TO TURN LEFT OR RIGHT, OR YOU’LL END UP NOWHERE. IF YOU DO AS I SAY, YOU’LL ALWAYS FIND A ROOM OR AN OPEN SPACE WHERE YOU CAN REST, DRINK A CUP OF TEA AND LOCATE YOUR POSITION.

IF YOU LOOK DOWN HERE, YOU CAN HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT YOU REALLY SEE INSIDE MY BRAIN. IT’S NOT A STATIC STATE OF MIND BUT A RATHER KINETIC ENVIRONMENT WHERE YOU ARE CARRIED AWAY BY MY OWN THOUGHTS.

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BRAIN 02 main hall

YOU SEE? EVEN A LONG AND CLAUSTROPHOBIC CORRIDOR MAY LEAD TO AN UNEXPECTED PLACE LIKE THIS ONE. THIS IS THE HYPOTHALAMUS THAT CONTROLS MY SLEEP. IT’S AMAZING TO REALIZE THIS GLAND IS THE SIZE OF AN ALMOND, YET, IT LOOKS SO SPACIOUS FROM THE INSIDE. MY BRAIN CELLS NICKNAMED THIS PLACE “THE NAP LOUNGE”.

BRAIN 20 library

MEMORY IS NOT ARRANGED, AS YOU MIGHT IMAGINE, LIKE THE LIBRARY PICTURED ABOVE, WHERE BOOKS ARE NEATLY DISPLAYED BY TOPIC OR ALPHABETICAL ORDER. THE BRAIN REQUIRES A MUCH FASTER RETRIEVAL OF INFORMATION, SO YOU’LL BE AMAZED BY THE POSSIBILITY TO FLOAT LIKE AN ASTRONAUT AND ZOOM ALONG ‘BOOK PIPELINES’ LIKE THE ONE HERE BELOW.

BRAIN 07 tunnel of books

INFORMATION IS CONSTANTLY GATHERED, COMBINED, REARRANGED AND DISCARDED, AND EACH CONTENT IS SAVED IN MANY PLACES, JUST IN CASE. MY BRAIN MAKES A BACK UP OF EVERYTHING BUT, ON THE OTHER HAND, IT’S HOPELESS TO REMEMBER WHERE THE STUFF HAS BEEN STORED.

BRAIN 08 guggescale

THIS STRANGE BUILDING IS CALLED THE ‘DILEMMAS’ HOTEL’, AND THAT’S BASICALLY WHERE ME, MYSELF AND I ARE SORTING OUT OUR MAJOR DIFFERENCES. EACH ONE OF MY SELVES SHOUTS FROM ONE OF THESE BALCONIES, WHEN TRYING TO WIN AN ARGUMENT. IF YOU HAPPEN TO PASS BY, PLEASE, MIND YOUR BUSINESS AND KEEP WALKING.

BRAIN 09 escalator

IF YOU LIKE ESCALATORS AS I DO, YOU’LL FIND PLENTY OF THESE INSIDE MY HEAD. EACH ONE WILL TAKE YOU UPSTAIRS, TO A DIFFERENT AREA OF THE CEREBRAL CORTEX. THIS FLOOR HAS BEEN TOTALLY RENOVATED TO HANDLE COMPLEX ACTIVITIES SUCH AS LANGUAGE, ABSTRACT THINKING AND VISUAL  PROCESSING.

BRAIN 17 roots

EVERY NOW AND THEN YOU’LL BUMP INTO OLD DENDRITES LIKE THESE. THEY REST IN PEACE INSIDE A SORT OF ZEN GARDEN SURMOUNTED BY A LIGHT ROOF. MY DEAD NEURONS ARE USELESS – I KNOW – BUT I KEEP THEM NO OTHER THAN FOR A SENTIMENTAL REASON.

BRAIN 10 sinapsi wilderness

SINCE THE VERY DAY I WAS BORN, I ‘VE BEEN LOSING ABOUT EIGHTY THOUSAND NEURONS PER DAY. (IF I TELL YOU I STILL HAVE 98% OF THEM YOU CAN EASILY CALCULATE MY AGE). ALL TOGETHER, MY NEURONS FORM AN EVER-CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF BRANCHES AND MUSHROOM-SHAPED UNITS THAT CREATE NEW IDEAS AND RETRIEVE OLD ONES. RABBITS ARE FREE TO GO AROUND, HERE.

BRAIN 11 exit

I COULDN’T IDENTIFY THIS SPACE. MY BRAIN SELECTED IT FOR A REASON IT DIDN’T WANT TO TELL ME. IT MIGHT BE A MAINTENANCE ROOM OR AN EMPTY SLOT. THE BRAIN, AFTER ALL, IS FILLED WITH EMPTINESS.

BRAIN 12 corpus callosus

THE CORPUS CALLOSUM PICTURED ABOVE IS CONNECTING LEFT AND RIGHT HEMISPHERES. THIS GOTHIC PLACE, WITH ITS 250 MILLIONS AXONS, GUARANTEES PROPER COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE TWO PARTS. FROM ITS WINDOWS YOU CAN ENJOY A SUPERB VIEW, ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT, WHEN DARKNESS IS ILLUMINATED BY REM’S ELECTRIC STORMS.

BRAIN 13 lost memories

THIS IS THE CLOSET OF FORGETFULNESS, WHERE IRRELEVANT MEMORIES ARE GRADUALLY ERASED. I AM NOT VERY GOOD IN ORGANIZING MY STUFF AND I END UP WITH HUNDREDS OF SCRAPPY ROOM LIKE THIS.

BRAIN 14 ambitions

THE AMBITIONS’ PALACE IS A VERTICAL, ENDLESS STRUCTURE. I NEVER MADE IT UNTIL THE TOP. THERE’S NO LIFT TO TAKE ME UP, AND THE STAIRS SPIN INTO A MIST THAT IS SPELLING ONLY TROUBLES. NOT FOR ME, THANKS.

BRAIN 18 stairs to nothing

LOOKOUT STAIRS ARE DEFINITELY MY SLICE OF PIE. FROM HERE, IN A CLEAR BRAIN-DAY, YOU CAN CONTEMPLATE THE SURROUNDING, GATHERING YOUR THOUGHTS. THIS LOOKOUT, FOR EXAMPLE, GIVES A GOOD LOOK INTO THE  PLAINS OF MY TEMPORAL LOBE.

BRAIN 15 aisle

ROOM AFTER ROOM, YOU’LL SOON DISCOVER THAT MY BRAIN IS NOT SO DIFFERENT FROM ANY RUN-DOWN HOTEL AROUND THE WORLD. EINSTEIN, AFTER ALL, SAID WE ARE USING ONLY TEN PER CENT OF OUR BRAIN’S POSSIBILITIES AND, HONESTLY, I USE ONLY A FRACTION OF THIS PERCENTAGE.

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I TOLD YOU THE BRAIN IS ALL BLACK AND WHITE. WELL, THERE’S AN EXCEPTION: THIS IS MY PRIVATE HYPERSPACE. PEOPLE WHO NEVER TOOK DRUGS SAY DRUGS ARE BAD BUT I DON’T THINK SO, ESPECIALLY WHEN I’M ON A GOOD TRIP. NATURAL STUFF LIKE AYAHUASCA OR PEYOTE CAN OPEN NEW PERSPECTIVES IN YOUR LIFE.

BRAIN 16 big hole

THIS IS THE END OF YOUR JOURNEY AND I HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT. YOU CAN EXIT MY MIND THROUGH THE LACRIMAL BONE BUT, PLEASE, WATCH YOUR STEP AS YOU CLIMB YOUR WAY OUT, SINCE THIS IS THE MOST FRAGILE BONE OF THE FACE. LEAVE A BRIEF NOTE, IF YOU WISH. IT WILL HELP ME TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE.

THANK YOU FOR VISITING!

BRAINPOWDER

THE PLATONIC POLICE

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

“This is totally crazy!” – that’s what we were told when we first presented our project to the Board of the Police Department of New York City, back in 2003. “How did you come out with this idea, for a start?” – they asked. We explained them our intention was to create a new Police Unit to help citizens in sorting out nonmaterial issues. Crime fighting – we told them – should focus on metaphysics, since people suffer more from spiritual loss rather than from material one. Traditional police, in a nutshell, defends just material property, both public and private, and punishes whoever try to steal or damage it for his or her illicit personal gain. But what about all those fundamental human needs that go beyond materialism? Shouldn’t we protect them, in order to promote another kind of value, namely all Traditional Values? The Integrity of the Soul, The Wealth of Love, The Treasure of Memories, The Richness of the Spirit: aren’t all these a metaphysical currency?  Our proposal to the big shots of the Police Department was to add a new division called the Platonic Police. The name – we said – was a tribute to Greek philosopher Plato, the first one who seriously investigated the nonmaterial essence of human beings and later taught to a young Aristotle the basic principles of modern metaphysics. Our project didn’t require big investments: its objective was to reintegrate retired police officers who, instead of rotting at home in front of a tv set, could go back to the thrill of action, adding also a little salary to their skinny pension. Their invaluable experience could serve a good cause. We proposed to use old, discarded police vehicles, properly restored by car enthusiasts supported by private micro-donations. Our idea, at heart, wanted to give a double social message to all citizens: make them understand and value the nonmaterial side of life, since existence shouldn’t be based only on money and success. The other input was to lessen the social burden of neglected old people, re-introducing them into the social tissue, making good use of their wisdom, selflessness and experience.

After a long debate, we were able to convince our audience. Our first meeting with the authorities was in 2003. Today, almost ten years later, the Platonic Police is a sound reality we are all proud of. It counts 6,000 active officers only in the U.S. and many affiliates are joining the cause in Canada, France, UK, Germany, Japan, Brasil, Chile, Russia, Iraq, India, Nepal, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and, of course, Greece. The Platonic Police is formed by an elite of volunteers from all over the world.

Opening picture (top): the Platonic Police Headquarters in Chicago. On top of the building, one of the most popular platonic mottos has been carved into stone: “THE GREATEST WEALTH IS TO LIVE CONTENT WITH LITTLE”.

board PP

Above: The Brandpowder Team has developed a full corporate identity: the double “P” mirrors into an ancient runic symbol that stands for a “journey through force”.  This ieratic image is adjoined by the Police’s emblem where the face of the Greek philosopher Plato is inscribed inside a circle with a bright sheriff’s star. The five-pointed star, quite popular into American Heraldry and iconography, was selected by the Brandpowder Team for the Pythagorean pentagrammatic perfection, an original manifestation of metaphysical force that is found also in ancient Bahà’ì faith.

old book PP

Above: one of the pages from the Brandpowder’s Sketchbook. Pluto, in our view, is the corrupted symbol of dumb plutocracy promoted by mass media. Its apparent jolly, cheerful, carefree nature hides the poisonous message of a dog subjugated by the childish caprices of a capitalistic rat. Plato, on the other hand, represents the aristocracy of the soul. Aristocracy, in its original meaning, meant the power in the hands of the best people. The Greek philosopher was unanimously voted by the Brandpowder Team as the keystone of a philosophy for a new, ideal city. We added the greek word “polis” to Plato, and the Platonic Police was born.

Below: the Platonic Police’s rubber stamp is used to seal every solved case, at the end of a metaphysical enquiry. This is a very reassuring symbol for the people who are growing fond of this institution. The Platonic Cops are considered like guardian angels serving the Community.

guarantee rubber stamp

Below: The Brandpowder Team was later asked to create a social campaign to raise public awareness, also explaining how the Platonic Police could really help people to find a solution to nonmaterial matters.

STOLEN VALUES

Below: a soul-searching ad promoting the activity of Platonic “bobbies” in UK.

searching PP

STOLEN TIME

Above: another ad run by the Platonic Police in Texas. “People are very much concerned by time, which is now considered the new currency,” – Sgt. Tom J. Forbes told a local paper – “It’s strange nobody ever thought to protect it, before. I’m proud to represent the Platonic Police and help people to get their time back. This is a bloody good way to serve my Country.”
Below: an ad that appeared in several High Schools throughout the Unied States. Love is a critical issue, among teenagers. The Platonic Police helps youngsters to deal with the soft turmoil of their feelings, teaching them sex, for instance, shouldn’t be separated from love. And viceversa.

platonic car poster

Below: the French Gendarmerie offered a fleet of six vintage Citroen SM to the Platonic Polic. These cars are extremely fast and comfortable, which makes them the ideal vehicles for quick response and intervention. Jacques Milieu, Head of the Platonic Police in Paris, said materialism is ruining his Country. We are grateful to the Brandpowder Team for making this utopia come true.  We are all fighting for a better society. People should finally understand that life is much more than smelly cheese, champagne, trufles and parfumes.

FAST SM PP

BOOK PP

Above: The Platonic Police is proposing also “early tools” for helping parents to raise their children with real values. The PP Handbook is a learn-through-fun publication translated, so far, into 17 languages. The Brandpowder Team is currently at work on a new book. People asked us why not a digital version for iPad or an app with a geo-locator that tracks emergency calls on the map? The reason is we don’t like digital tech. We think the Platonic Police should stick to old fashion relationship with their fellow citizen, instead. You can’t hug a person through an iphone, can you?

platonic car 2

Above: an old Platonic Police cruiser in Canada. Days can be very quiet, here. When there are not emergency calls, the Platonic Cops just hang around patrolling the streets, stopping sometimes for a cup of tea. People love them to bits and invite them into their homes to have a chat.

Below: The Platonic Police of Germany couldn’t resist to give their vehicles the usual “panzer” look. This old Volkswagen T1 has been transformed into a snow cat. Metaphysical dilemmas, according to local statistics, are more frequent during the winter season because snow, with its white blanket, can induce gloomy thoughts promoting metaphors of death.

wolkswagen PP

boat PP

Above: this yacht may seem a blatant oxymoron. How come the Platonic Police, who is supposed to fight materialism, is indulging with such a loud symbol of it? The answer is quite simple: the fancy boat was a donation from a Greek millionaire to the Platonic Police serving in the Aegean Sea. Metaphysical emergencies are more frequent than you may think among the filthy rich. This floating dreamhouse is the most convenient way to approach such people, making them feel comfortable during their existential crisis.

coffe PP

Above: A nice cup of coffee is always waiting anyone who happens to stop by any Platonic Police office. The California District also serves delicious star-shaped cookies called Plato’s Chocolate Fudge.

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Above: Leon Panetta, former US Secretary of Defense, awards Liut. George Ruanan, Platonic Police’s coordinator on behalf of the Brandpowder Team, the Medal of Honor for distinguished service and the spiritual improvement of Society.

Please support the Platonic Police by spreading this message. A big thank you from the Brandpowder Team.