Two Views of My Mind

William Kent
January 16, 1976


When I look at myself in the mirror, I see a tangible physical object. At the top of it I see a roundish thing about the size of a melon. I can imagine that if I had X-ray vision, I would see inside that thing a wrinkled lump of tissue (my brain). If I had microscopic vision, I might see physical things like cells and nerves and neurons and synapses; and there’s blood and electricity flowing through it all.

Now I close my eyes and get in touch with my mind. It feels like an infinitely large universe, with all kinds of ghostly occupants drifting through. I can see people and places and events and other things. If I want to, I can hear conversations, voices, music, birds, the wind, waves, airplanes -- even myself saying these words. There are lots of other ideas and feelings floating through there, and I'm aware of them even though I don’t exactly see or hear them. I can be aware of all kinds of things that don’t really exist now, because they are just my recollections of past experiences (and those memories are probably inaccurate); I can imagine things that will happen in the future, and I can imagine things that never have happened and never will happen.

What’s the connection between those two views of my mind?