Musings: Verruca Vulgaris Explains the Ephemera of Men’s Lives… Through Science Fiction….

Most of what I post here are impersonal statements. Logical Arguments. I do that to separate myself from the persona I am presenting. Similar to Ender’s brother and sister in Ender’s Game. To set up an impenetrable wall… of logic…. That’s how academia teaches us to act, if we desire to establish credibility.

I have been Verruca Vulgaris, or Verruca the Vulgar, in one form or another since around 1982. It’s Latin. Vulgar means “common”. It’s the medical name for the common wart. I consider myself common. Exceptionally common. And ugly. Not exceptionally ugly. And… sometimes I grow on people…. And some people would pay handsomely to have me removed….

I am an Introvert in the Jungian Archetypical and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator jargon (INTP if anyone is curious. The Architect Archetype. A reasonable fit.). That means that I recharge my intellectual and emotional energy through introspection. Seems to me that one of the great divides in human relations must be the Introvert/Extrovert dichotomy… because my Extrovert friends ALL seem to feel offended when I withdraw to spend time to recharge…. Extroverts recharge through Social Interaction. I understand that. I don’t personally feel rejected… at this point in my life… when my Extrovert friends want to party…. But… if I am honest with myself… I have in the past taken offense when significant friends have left me behind to “have fun” en masse…. With enough introspection… and some education… on personality types… I have learned to handle “rejection” better…. My idea of what constitutes “fun” and an Extrovert is significantly different…. I’ll just leave it at that….

From the Proto-Psychological Temperament standpoint, I think I am predominantly Choleric, but I must be schizophrenic because I at times demonstrate strong Sanguine, Melancholic and Phlegmatic traits that are often situational. The Sanguine trait can certainly mislead people into suggesting I am an Extrovert, but that’s not how I charge my batteries….

Two significant events today. Well, three. Or four….

First major snow storm, so everything was cancelled. I didn’t drink my first cup of coffee until around 1800. I responded to some comments by a friend whom I have been searching for some time and finally located…. And I slept essentially all afternoon…. Thoughtful napping…. Which happens when I am in a contemplative mood… like today…. And then… I picked up Jack Kerouac’s On the Road….

That’s a list of about six things…. The two significant events was reading my friend’s comments and reading On the Road….

My friend reminded me of many of the defining moments of my life. Sitting with various friends discussing life at critical times. The thought that went into those discussions. Playing chess and ping pong. Sitting in McDonald’s or gyms or football stadiums. Driving around….

I grew up in rural South Mississippi. Two Black friends talked openly to me. I was pretty oblivious. I never realized the courage that took for them to open up and be real with us White Boys…. Doesn’t matter that we were curious and harbored no malice. We just wanted to know what all the noise was about. And we talked openly about it. Turns out… we all pretty much want the same thing…. I felt threatened by Blacks. Racial tension was high. And… I suppose there was legitimate danger for ALL of us…. But… the knowledge was worth the risk…. I guess, in retrospect, it was a lot like talking to girls…. Very threatening…. But… in a very different way…. Emotionally….

That brings me to On the Road. Reminds me somewhat of a mystical… Zen… Odyssey…. I realized tonight that the two main characters are a Sanguine/Choleric Extrovert and a Melancholic/Phlegmatic Introvert. The story reminds me of my childhood. Of my father. Of Sunday drives through the Appalachian mountains past Red Mountain and Vulcan near Birmingham, Alabama in our ’58 Chevy Impala. Th first of the small block V8s. Reminds me of Mad Max and the last of the V8 Interceptors…. Why are so many great stories in the history of literature about journeys…? Jason and the Argonauts. Canterbury Tales. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Star Trek. Star Wars. The Arthurian Romance Cycle. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Don Quixote. Moby Dick. Faust. National Lampoon’s Vacation. Just to name a few.

Travel is an allegory for life. And the act of travel frees our minds…. To wander…. That’s why essentially all truly GREAT ideas occur in one of three places. The Three Bs: Bed, Bath and Bus. Mundane, repetitive acts seem to engage our conscious minds in the moment… and free our subconscious minds… to wander…. To dream…. To create…. To probe…. To understand….

Well… I seem to have managed to meander through this entire post without saying anything to terribly profound… or Scientific…. Or without even attempting to unify anything….

I titled this post Musings intentionally. Musings are ephemeral. Please don’t take anything I’ve written so far seriously. Especially not what follows….

Christians. Are Chosen. Our Faith is External. Secular Humanists exercise Free Will. They choose a different path. That they choose to believe is based in proven Scientific fact. Almost no man or woman can resist the temptation of sex. Inside marriage. Outside marriage. Straight. Gay. Lesbian. Bi. Addicts and alcoholics may forgo sex for their particular fix. Academics get their fix from more cerebral enjoyments. And Ascetics got off separating themselves from pleasure. What do we ALL have in common…?

One word. Dopamine.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for long-term memory, learning tasks… and pleasure…. The Reward Center….

The nucleus accumbens and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (parts of which plan movements) have projections via the limbic system to the amygdala and hippocampus (sea horse) which lay down memory. Different stimuli can result in pleasure for different people, depending on what memories have been lain down and reinforced previously… because memories are REAL physical connections inside our brains. Maybe some of our brains are hardwired to be receptive to God. That’s how we are “chosen”. Maybe not. I don’t know. I didn’t read that anywhere, but that could explain a lot of perceived differences between people. Different choices. Different “addictions”… if you want to view it that way…. Because all of us seem to be addicted to something…. And… we all have the same circuitry for some purpose…. Whether you believe in God and Creation…. Or you chose to believe in blind chance and naked luck…. The energy cost of developing Papes Circuit and the Reward Center and tying the two together so that memory is so clearly tied to pleasure is tremendous…. So regardless of whether you fall more towards Secular Humanism or Reformed Fundamentalist Christianity… you cannot conceivably argue that the amount of evolutionary effort invested in developing all of the circuitry means that it absolutely HAS to be critically important….

After all… haven’t all of the great Secular minds proclaimed the Pleasure Principle to be the most important Philosophical and Psychological premise in directing all human behavior… with its corollary… the Reality Principle… avoiding pain… a close second….

I doubt you’ll find any of this written anywhere. I made it up. It’s a guess. An educated guess. A hypothesis. Certainly not Gospel. And you won’t find it anywhere in the Gospels. Not even the Gnostic ones….

So… just call it Science Fiction….


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