How Events Create Ventures and Ventures Create Entrepreneurs
3. Psychology and experience Our natural way of thinking about these coarser emotions is that the mental perception of some fact excites the mental affection called the emotion, and that this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression. My theory, on the contrary, is that the bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as they occur IS the emotion. (William James, 1890) INTRODUCTION The man with no memory is in-the-moment and of-the-world. He experiences, but these experiences flow past his consciousness and leave no trace and no meaning and no structure. He experiences the sight of an empty cup but doesn’t remember the experience of drinking coffee. A mashed out cigarette but no experience of having smoked. A waking state without ever having experienced awakening. This man experiences, but the experiences do not congeal to form meaning, which he can later draw on, or structure, which helps him interpret subsequent experiences, or consciousness, with which he can say, “I am alive.” This man experiences the moment, perhaps even more purely than the man with memory, yet he has no experience. In 1985, Clive Wearing’s structure of experience stopped developing. He had contracted encephalitis, a severe inflammation of the brain, which in earlier years would have killed him. He survived. His memory was destroyed, and he became the most severe case of amnesia ever recorded in medical history (Baddeley, 1990; Sacks, 2007). He doesn’t retain memories of...
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