1. We learn that the will of a pattern on the floor is to be followed and
the will of a window is to be looked out of. We know this simply because
that's what the patient does.
2. We learn that the will of the pattern on the floor is apparently
stronger than the will of the window to be looked out of. We know this
because the patient is unable to follow the will of the window, until the
pattern extends all the way to the wall. She is unable to break away
from the will of the pattern on the floor, even though she would like to
follow the will of the window if she could.
Me, with my fancy education and the information revolution on my
desktop... I wouldn't know what the will of a pattern on the floor is or
what the will of a window would be. But the patient, who otherwise is a
vegetable, she knows what the will of the pattern and the will of the
window are. She knows these things almost instinctively.
Another case in point is the man sitting in a wheelchair looking at the
tv set. The tv is messed up and all that shows are color patterns
flickering continuously across the screen. And even though there's no
real picture to look at, the patient sits there transfixed in awe and
admiration. Then when someone adjusts the picture so that a sitcom is
clearly visable, the patient fades back into that mental netherland of
vegetable-ness. If the tv is mal-adjusted back to the patterns, the
patient comes back to full attention, awe and admiration.
So, what is the will of patterns on a tv set?
Let's start with: What is the will of people (in a sitcom) talking and
going about their business? Well, first of all, those people do not will
that you would sit there staring at them, eavesdropping on their
conversations while they go about their private business. That would be
incredibly rude, in fact. So, it's perfectly reasonable that the patient
would tune out and go back to netherland when people are actually
displayed on the tv screen. In fact, the patient is following their will
NOT to be watched and have their privacy invaded as they go about their
But what is the will of patterns on a tv set?
Maybe we should say it this way instead: What is the will of beautiful
patterns on a tv set? Or, in other words, what is the will of beauty?
You, with your fancy education and the information revolution on your
desktop... You don't know what the will of beauty is. But this man, who
otherwise is a total vegetable, he knows. The will of beauty is to be
admired and appreciated. And that's exactly what the patient does.
What is the will of beauty? ...to be admired and appreciated. Now
that's an amazing and profound lesson to come from a man who's a total
Think about it.
tripeu at telis.org
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