The Mouse In Me

Mouse in the grass

The center of attention at the entrance into life that we each experience was nicely laid out by William James as “one great blooming, buzzing confusion”.


Sits in my skull

A curled gray beast

Molded to its cup of bone,


The outside world

It cannot know.

Not light, air, bulk nor hues.

Just clues.

The nexus of

A finespun net

Which terminates its axon knout

In doubt.

Its billion lines

Transmit responses

Sifting pulses; all compiled

And filed.

Confusion, first ubiquitous.

Unvectored bits, zero, one

‘Til the sources are assigned,


Woven nerves

Festooned with figures;

Puzzled with the patterns, matching,


Lacing through

From point to point.

Architecting, congruencing,


Congealing concepts.

Counting, seeking.

Logic engine freely dreaming,


Fitting this,

Forming that,

Smoothing, joining, multiplying.


Granting trope

Its own dynamic.

Now it all agglomerates

And mates.

Sloughing off

All errata,

Chaos clears.



It’s been the better part of a century since I experienced that epiphany and that moment is lost to me. My terrain is now huge and I wander throughout it savoring scenes, ideas, feelings, flavors, people that are long gone but still speak, react, pass on how they feel about what is happening now. On the long shelves of my memories there are devices I have thought up, poems that I and others have written, songs and   melodies and symphonies that I can listen to again in my mind, and moments in my life in full color and sound that still arouse emotions of long ago. This is the wealth of information of my whole past life. It is not all there but much of it is retained.

But it is not all simultaneously present. These are complex patterns of language and sight and sound and all the other sensations I can experience and think with and compare and manipulate in all sorts of ways to form new concepts which become new patterns to be retained with all the others. As I matured each of these things could be re-examined and re-evaluated and strengthened and weakened in new forms with novel perceptions.

These days the mind is often compared to a computer which can retain a huge quantity of data that is consulted and utilized by software which activates the information in different ways. I tried to think what might be the computer element that accesses all this stored data. What donates that vital element of intent beyond the dynamics of an installed program and what came to my mind was the mouse. Therein the intent was inserted but that mouse which I pictured as myself was not the mere cursor control in my PC. It is the handle of something separate which is motivated. Data in an active mind is not that somehow dead stuff in a hard drive. A living brain is composed of individual cells and even lone single cell organisms must have requirements to react on basic survival reactive qualities. The neurons in the living brain are so densely interconnected that the stored knowledge within a brain is quite different from the rather inert information within a computer stored in digital units.

That living “mouse” which accesses all sorts of vital and incidental data stored amongst the living brain cells and probably within the whole neurological system retains much of the intent donated by the basic environmental necessities of survival and reproduction and whatever associated qualities are demanded in a living creature.

As somebody who does all sorts of original thinking in my activities I am aware that this consciousness I sense as myself (or myself as a mouse) frequently receives ready unexpected solutions to my problems out of the maze of my massively interconnected neurological system. There is much more real thinking going on than whatever appears in my consciousness while my mind tackles a problem. And it has been psychologically discovered that decision making also frequently originates beyond the awareness of my consciousness. There is nothing supernatural about this, I must satisfy myself as being merely the domesticated mouse of a vast unknown nervous system.


One thought on “The Mouse In Me

  1. This is the second mouse you have created, or the mouse comes in new furry fluff. I like them both. They are adorable and look amazingly alive. Your contemplations are highly appreciated. You must have an enormous amount of recources, writing for yourself, for your parents and family. All of this is worth saving, as coming from an artist and philosopher. Thank you, Jan. I hope you are well.


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