Unconscious Enlightened Being

...what sounds alter your state of being ....
any other sounds, or smells or combination of things
that put you instantly in a happy place??

Brian hits the proverbial nail on the head again. And my first thought was of a French phrase that I recognize as a perfect embodiment of the "happy place" in which I spend so much of MY days:

le mot juste
(more or less 'the exact word')

I immediately GET IT about Alita's humming, about the joy of externalization of an internal state of pleasure, contentment, enlightened being, the frisson of recognition of "a peak life experience."

I experience this /joy/ across the spectrum of senses—with sound, with images, with smells, with tactile contacts, with tastes, and with words. It's part of what my yellow pads are working to capture, and what my digital documents (texts, images, gatherations) are collecting. I know it when another bit of sensory input passes to the mot juste collection, and I curate those experiences.

So here I am, at 80, putting every day into collecting and curating bits of /sense perception/ that please me: that have crossed the threshold into mot juste territory.

Some of them are TRANSITIVE: I can pass them along to like-minded others whom I think would be affected as I was by the mot juste-ness of... and some remain as private pleasures, as epiphanies that might not convey, or that would take so much backstory that I don't attempt to pass them along (call them INTRANSITIVE).

Case in point, this morning: a New Yorker Blog item on How Mark Duplass Fights the Sadness, which absolutely dovetails with TM Luhrmann's Of Two Minds (an anthropologist looks at American psychiatry) [2001] which arrived on Monday. It's like Betsy's Artifact Puzzles: bits that fit together in a gratifying way. And that enlarge my understanding, and thus my being.

Case in point: YouTube musical discoveries that reach mot juste status, discovered "by accident" (though often via YouTube back-room algorithms that say "if you like that, you might like this." Sometimes they're right... and similarly with Amazon recommendations, though they're not so well-tuned/accurate. Eyeball the last month of YouTube harvest, though I warn you that some will not be anywhere near your wheelhouse, and a few will be Beyond The Pale, well and truly in intransitive territory.

But the point is: I collect these things, I delight in them (or did in the moment when I added them to the page).

Cases in point can be multiplied. Yesterday, half an hour or so at Drift Inn after the rain, at low tide, seeing what the flow of water over sand has brought me:




And recently I've been reading in and about William James, and conveying bits to yellow pads. A few examples:

Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent... on the whole, it is best he should not escape. It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of 30, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again. (The Three Jameses, pg 142)

Consciousness does not appear to itself chopped up in bits... It is nothing jointed; it flows... The mind is at every stage a theatre of simultaneous possibilities. Consciousness consists in the comparison of these with each other, the selection of some, and the suppression of the rest by the reinforcing and inhibiting agency of attention. (pg 144)

If there be higher powers able to impress us, they may get access to us only through the subliminal door. (pg 173)

A recent blog post touched off by a photograph I had never seen oof my maternal grandparents is another case in point:

This photograph led me to a few days of immersion in the family history of Swedenborgian entanglement, which I found absolutely full of revelations this time around, mostly intransitive but certainly in the mot juste realm.

And this just in: Charles Ives: Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840-1860 First Recording, 1945. Beyond the Pale, but connects up with all manner of things... the Concord of Thoreau and Emerson, the mysteries of New England...x

I'm sure that other cases in point will occur to me before this evening's Convivium, and I may add them here, or not...

And in fact there's more...

Another Case in point from today: An early lunch at Home Kitchen Cafe, where one of the Specials was

Smoked Haddock Reuben

Absolutely mot juste in Reubenspeak. Even the cheese was perfectly melted. Smoked haddock and sauerkraut are a perfect combination. And the rye bread was grilled just right (À Point, as the French foppishly put it: the perfect moment of medium-rare in a steak)

Another one of those moments of epiphany came with yoga class yesterday. I unrolled the mat and was greeted by

this being:

And while we're being silly, I took the same delight in this recent New Yorker cartoon:


And here's another thing: joys and epiphanies and transports of delight are where you find them, often in the bosky dells of the Imagination. Often the joy one takes is ...inexplicable to anybody else.