28. Altered States of Consciousness: Experiences Out of Time and Self – Marc Wittmann
week thirty – 33.5
yeah but also 10.4 KM hike & 147.4 KM bicycling
2019 to date: 1,415 KM
This little book translated by Philippa Hurd explores consciousness and the experience of through three long essays (okay fine chapters) focusing on altered states of consciousness (i.e., drug use), mindfulness meditation, embodiment, and experience of time and timelessness. I don’t remember why I picked up this book but I’m happy that I did. I really enjoyed Wittmann’s intersecting literature, philosophy and psychology, making for an entertaining and accessible read, without too many trauma flashback to the directed study I did in undergrad on Edmund Husserl’s Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. Many gems to pull completely out of context in here, especially this favourite from the third part: “Boredom actually means that we find ourselves boring. It’s the intensive self-reference: we are bored with ourselves. We are tired of ourselves.” Wittman goes on to quote Rudiger Safranski on Heidegger:
Pure time, its pure presence. Boredom – that is, the moment when no one notices that time is passing because it will not just then pass, then one cannot drive it away, make it pass, or, as the saying goes, fill it meaningfully. … It refuses to pass, it stands still, it holds one i inert immobility, it “thralls.” This comprehensive paralysis reveals that time is not simply a medium in which we move, but that it is something that we produce out of ourselves.Wittman on Rudiger on Heidegger
We have all experienced time slowing to a crawl when we’re bored. Apparently, if you’re bored it’s because you are boring, and your boring ass’s boringness actually slows your own perception of the passage of time. But maybe I’m misinterpreting. Who knows? It’s worth reading it yourself to find out, I think.
Another week and a low running score but no races to blame. Instead, on Saturday Stephanie and I hiked Cypress to Black Mountain and Cabin Lake and Eagle Bluffs with some people from her office and I use the term “with” loosely because apparently they thought that the hike up to the Bluffs was a race, and once we caught up and had a group photo the race was back on back down to the parking lot (and beer).
We stopped again on the way back down and Stephanie got to feed the Whisky Jacks and I was thinking about taking a dive into Cabin Lake but ultimately decided it was a bit too chilly (the air, not the water, which seemed warmer than I’d expected it to feel). We had a good time in spite to getting pretty muddy trudging through the remnants from the downpour the night before. I would like to do it again, maybe not all the way to the Bluffs but I definitely see the appeal of Cabin Lake on a hot summer’s day. I’m in a bit of a running lull right now and that’s okay. I set out to run a race each month in 2019 and seven months into the year I have run thirteen races. So/but, I don’t have a race planned in August. Initially I figured I wouldn’t have any troubling finding one, but in reality not that many races happen in August, so it seems. I won the Seawheeze lottery but declined the entry. (And frankly, when I saw the vomit shorts for 2019 I knew I’d made the right decision.) If I decide that I need an August race my last minute option is the final of the Vancouver Falcons track series: a 10,000 on the oval up at UBC. However, the idea of 25 laps around a track a week and a bit before the Coho Run 14 KM (it’s a maybe) and a couple before the Eastside 10K (it’s a definitely) and a month before the North Van 10 KM (last 2019 chance for sub 40 minute 10 KM), the VFAC 10,000 seems unlikely. But who knows, I might get bored by then.