Altered State


The Apple Tree 

Sweet apple tree, growing by the river,
Who will thrive on its wondrous fruit?
When my reason was intact
I used to lie at its foot


The Apple Trees, Black Book of Camarthen


19th century translation of from the Welsh Black book of Camarthen concerning the prophet Merlin. The poem is addressed to a pig. Merlin has lost his reason and has fled into the woods, here he is coming back to his senses, sheltering under an apple tree. He has also developed the gift of prophecy. He reflects upon his past life, his present state, and the future of Britain in its altering state.

Soul Cycles

Useful to find some modern images to go along with the comparisons I am going to play with. Not going to suggest any direct link between, 21st century theory and psychology and early medieval thought but their is certainly a pattern to be played with allowing both subjects to move.

Good to remind myself of the distinction and differences visually (a pig is not a bike but under certain conditions, i.e. when the object is in mind in a particular state, it may be able to be used to remember things about pigs and/ or explore further possibilities about bike’s).

Going to use a subject I do know (the medieval wild man) to help me explore and play with a pattern i don’t know (hypothesis of episodic memory in psychology)

The Mysterious Island

In medieval Britain, Merlin was understood to be two distinct figures, reflects the rather complex cultural and political make up of the island that still continues today (Old and complicated relationship). They have very separate and distinct narratives. Both are formed from an early Southern Scottish, tradition, that moves to Wales and Ireland. The migratory Legend used by the Anglo Norman kings is drawn from Wales, but is a significant alteration of the earlier British tradition, which is not as closely tied to the legend of Arthur.

Prophecy was a significant political tool, used by each of the kingdoms and Merlin was a significant legendary presence in the popular political prophecy that was a feature of cultural life from the early medieval period well into the modern world.

Oddly enough one feature of this form of political prophecy shares some features, with descriptions of episodic memory. Seems at the outset to make for a rather messy difficult pattern. But it also forces me to look much more carefully at terms and what exactly these things are. Can prophecy be described as a way of knowing? If so it seems to raise questions in regard to modern theory.

Can I use the wild man as a form of thought experiment? This philosophical property of this creature of thought, would appear to be apart of what it has always been.

Knot Knowing Feeling 

It helps me to raise questions about the wider conceptual territory these modern ideas are playing out in.


Paragraph 1 (Down At the Bottom of the Deep Blue Sea)

Frenzy, Flightiness, Episodes In The life of a The Wild Man  

“As to Suibhne, son of Colman Cuar, king of Dal Araidhe, we have already told how he went wandering and flying out of battle. Here are set forth the cause and occasion whereby these symptoms and fits of frenzy and flightiness came upon him beyond all others, likewise what befell him thereafter.”


Buile Sublime, Author Unknown, Irish, 12th century


Trying not to think to much, episodic memory interests me as I am interested in wild men.  Creatures on the margins of the human and the animal in early medieval and later thought. Medieval Wild men are somewhat given to refection on the past the present and the future.

Raises a number of questions. I need to get up to speed with the modern subject rather fast, it seems like its still a rather fluid hypothesis.



Snow Flakes

I found myself taking pictures in snow for the first time. I think I may have learned two things about taking pictures. Or I have learned one thing and have another subject that will be determined by future experiment.

Shot above, does not work, tried copping it, but its taken part of the form of the car away. I realized taking the shots the frame wasn’t working and I should take more, but as the camera was having issues with the light, which I could not resolve I just stopped and moved on (seriously cold standing in one spot in this weather). That was a mistake I think, as its not the image that’s important, its the feeling it conveys. But I learn that retrospectively and file away that thought for future reference.

Other issue is lens flare. As its cold I have been wearing a thin pair of gloves. Stopped taking a lens cloth with me, if I got caught in rain I found it was easier just to wipe the lens with my glove. Snow as I have now learned, seems to leave a sort of film on the lens when it hits that  a glove wont remove.


 First shot taken the night after being in the snow. I thought I had cleaned the lens well enough the night before on the street. Clearly not. You live and learn.

I did have a brief look to see if I could clean lens flare using gimp. But I decided against that. Its what the machine I am using does in a particular environment. I can learn to live with it and use it. I can also now note the importance of taking a lens cloth, rather than relying on a gloved finger.

The wider point I find interesting here is with regard to episodic memory. Clearly an important form of learning, it also appears not to be language dependent but related to adapting to a situation.

Cache Recovery Patterns


“One feature that distinguishes episodic from other forms of memory is what I have called “autonoetic” (“self-knowing”) consciousness. When you remember a past happening you have a familiar kind of mental experience that you recognize as “remembering.” It is clearly different from the kinds of mental experiences that you have when you see the sights and hear the sounds around you, or when you think about things in the world “out there,” or when you solve problems, or imagine what people, objects or scenes look like. The autonoetic kind of conscious awareness does not accompany the use of any other kind of memory-based skill, it is a feature of only episodic memory.

Another distinguishing feature of episodic memory is “chronesthesia” (“subjective sense of the past, present, and future time.”) Contrary to popular opinion, no other kind of memory (or memory system) has any special relationship to time. The subjective sense of time (“chronesthesia”) and the self-knowing and self-centered consciousness (“autonoetic” consciousness) are closely related concepts that have been difficult to study in the past, but which now are being investigated by using the techniques of functional neuroimaging (scanning of activity in living brains).”


Dr Endel Tulving, Research Focus


Life Imitating Psychology

Episodic memory rather than Atahualpaness would appear to be the term I was searching for.  Came across the term last night reading. Hoped I would find the subject at some point, but I was not expecting to bang into it full on in what I was reading. Been hoping to find the subject somewhere in anthropology. Taking pictures over the last month and observing the way people seem to be thinking on the street, made me think of looking at psychology. Life imitating psychology it would seem.