All in the Mind’s Eye


Intellect is a matter of perspective and David Foster Wallace’s rendition may boggle you.  Wallace’s insist that, “we easily dismiss the hard to see realities of each moment.”(Wallace 199) Perhaps  knowleged and awarness are the real means to happiness. My beilief inertwine with Wallace intriging argument, “that brilliance is a state of awareness furthermore a mentality of the mind,” (Wallace 201) Thus, ignorance is the equizalance of inncopetence.

Primarily, Wallace celebrates “a radically twisted but enlightening look at intelligence. He views our minds as being warped by our own narcissistic tendencies, thus not allowing ourselves the ability to see any worldly perspectives, but our own.(Wallace 201) Wallace also claims “that our animalistic default-setting causes self-righteouness, a non-understanding and furthermore incourages our unforgiving behavior.”(Wallace 201) Wallace suggests “being intelligence is having the ability to use the knowledge gained to consider all angels thus widening our scope of awarness.” Being able to choose positive solutions help many lead more meaninful lives.

I wholeheartedly agree that self-awareness is the key to intelligence. Although, being self-aware may seem trivial, but in fact it is crucial to ones happiness. For instance,  After a year of trying to help my boyfriends sister get clean by taking her to rehab over and over again. Sitting in hours of Narcatics Ananous meetings.Finally, I decided I was done! Over it! But my father must have seen something I had not, he told me to keep helping a little bit longer. My fathers self-awareness of the situation which led to helping her in ways I could not, through God. As I look back two years later she is still clean. It brings me to tears. If I had given up, she would probably wouldn’t have made it much longer on the path she was on. Each time I see her I think of my father and how he saw beyond the surface. Only by being self-aware can you fully lead a happier more fulfilling life.

On the other hand, while in school I’ve learned that the experience of interacting with others is just as educational as the academics itself. For instance, I’ve had professors at Clark mutter angerly about the lack of  historical knoledge known by my classmates and I. I find it funny. Yes, blame the students, not the high school academics curriculum in America or the lack there of. It’s outragous, ridiculeing students over something they have no control over. Plus, not to mention high school’s ability to make the subject’s a dull mix of US history and oh yeah, more US History! Teachers should be less ignorant and take a moment to understand why this is the case. Instead, students are merely scapegoats for the overall failure of the academic system. In addition, if such a large portion of students are incapable of divulging the information. I would think there must be a larger overriding problem. Why then, in society do people make the choice to stay unaware and ignorant?  

By choosing to be ignorant you are deciding to cage yourself into unintelligence.In society some feel justified in being self-absorbed and unwilling to sacrifice time to think beyond themseleves, but isn’t this the definition of ignorance? Not being capable of considering more than one’s own point of view? Wallaces states, “To be sure of only one reality is to be running soley on your default system, thus being unable to consider any thought but your own because it may come as an annoyance to you.” (Wallace 207)  For example, while at a stop light suddenly my boyfriend burst into a rant generalizing all homeless people as lazy. I stopped him immediatly and explained flaws in our health care system that give poor care to the mentally ill, in connection keeping many homeless caught in a web of defeat living on the street. Often times self-absorbed people with this mind set choose not to use information given to them, but instead ignored it. Possible these type of people don’t fully understanding the information givien or they not able to emotionaly connect, which leaves them being unable to care? But still, ignorance baffles me.

Lastly, Wallace urges,“ us to attempt to understand one another. Live in the here and now.” (Wallace 209)  Such a simple concept of being aware of what is around us. Wallace calls, “for us to continously remind ourselves that awaress is key but it has been hidden so well in our daily lives that its almost impossible to spot. So we must keep telling ourselves over and over, “This is water, this is water.” (Wallace 209)  But by staying humble and attempting to understand all situations through the knoledge you have accumilated in life you take away more then just happiness. You will feel  satisfaction..

In conclusion, Wallaces made many enlightling claims that jolted my thought process. Awareness being the key to our mortality of  life as well as our intellectual intelligence. The use of self-awarness can be used as a productive tool to positivley change a person skewed perspective. Just keep in mind as Wallace points out “Brilliance is a state of awareness furthermore a mentality of the mind. And it can easily be overlooked.” (Wallace 201) Keep your eyes peeled!




4 thoughts on “All in the Mind’s Eye

  1. Hello Jeannette!
    Thanks for following my blog – which led me to following yours.
    I like this post. You are young (I am not 🙂 for having discovered these truths. This ability to be aware of the complexities of what we see (sometimes called “critical thinking,” I’ve learned) is so very important and so unused by most people who take things at surface value only without looking at deeper meanings and truths. You are wise beyond your years.

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