Fifth Paper Revising

Fifth Paper Revising - Cheung 1 Andrew Cheung Stephanie...

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Cheung Andrew Cheung Stephanie Clare Expository Writing BU 02 April 2008 An Infinite Series At the crossroad between a new life and the familiarity of an old life, who or what decides which way to go? An estimated 47,000 people become blind each year, or about one every 11 minutes (www.juniorblind.org). For these people a question like this goes from a metaphorical crossroad to a reality quite quick. It is this decision that Oliver Sacks, author of, “The Mind’s Eye,” writes of and of how several people have made their decision and what brought them to it. On a similar note of life altering decisions and, to the common man, surreal events David Abram writes of the effects and intense culture of Shamanism in his work, “The Ecology of Magic”. Together, through their experiences these two authors define the line between the power of the brain and of one’ s own personal experience. It becomes apparent in both writings that the power of personal experience significantly outweighs that of the brain and that experience is a prerequisite for any radical change in the brain. First are the definitions of the brain, mind, and what I mean exactly by a change in them. For all intents and purposes brain and mind can be considered synonymous since it is my belief that the mind is simply an imaginary animation that resides within the organic brain. Furthermore the brain should be considered as a type of capacity. All people are born with a brain but each have a unique capacity for learning. The first time this capacity is altered is when people have their first experience, namely birth. As for 1
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Cheung what a change in the mind is defined as: A change in the mind is any sensory or perceptual input that registers on even the most minute of scales. This being said the mind is simply a capacity that is constantly changing or registering. These changes that occur in the mind are not always for the same reason and vary from person to person and in degree. For example, Abram discusses at great length the aspects of shamanism that alters a person. Abram defines a shaman as someone who has “the ability to readily slip out of the perceptual boundaries that demarcate his or her particular culture-… in order to make contact with, and learn from the other powers in the land” (Abram 7). These shamans also act as healers and therefore this change in perception is for a culture.
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Fifth Paper Revising - Cheung 1 Andrew Cheung Stephanie...

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