19.377 contemplation and computing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 05:37:17 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 377.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 05:36:00 +0000
         From: Norman Hinton <hinton_at_springnet1.com>
         Subject: Re: 19.374 contemplation and computing

Willard, I can say this much about comtemplating and computing, at
least: back when I was working as a programmer (the word shows how
long ago it was), when I was hard at work composing programs and
entering and debugging code, the world outside the monitor screen
shrank and vanished. When I have been engaged in deep contemplation
-- either the methods taught by the Jesuits, descended form ST.
Ignatius, or the rather different Quaker (among others) methods of
"centering prayer", the rest of the world disappears also. My eyes
are usually closed, but there is an awareness of the outside world
which lessens and goes away.

Writing is similar, but not so total a disappearance -- I am usually
checking notes, gazing at the ceiling while trying to think of a
word, goofing off,etc.

Reading can be similar but not as profound a concentration unless
it's the best poetry.

The relatively little time I have spent in Eastern-type meditation, I
have been told by gurus,when distracted by something, to think/say
"aware of (whatever)", then return to my thoughts. It works rather
well,I find, and the same disappearance happens.
Received on Sun Oct 30 2005 - 01:49:08 EST

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