All of life consists in sensory and perceptual overload.

This is true from Day One, the moment a child is born. We are bombarded with sights, sounds, smells, internal and external tactile information. From the very beginning the brain goes into high gear to make sense of all that information, and to make decisions about what incoming information can be safely ignored, and what should be attended to as a matter of survival. Much of that processing takes place during sleeping and dreaming. I envision the process as follows: during waking moments the child is bombarded with sensory information. Taking such information in requires energy; soon, therefore, fatigue sets in and the child begins to sleep. During sleep, any new overpowering sensations are processed, sorted, arranged, and synthesized, in preparation for the next day’s bombardment. Next day, some portion of incoming data will be recognizable and more or less automatically processed by the traces thus created.

No wonder babies sleep so much. They’ve got a lot to do.

Choice and action are the result of intentional or unintentional filtering of these data.

Personal growth is a matter of making such filtering increasingly intentional while expanding the scope of what can be processed.


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