Brain Symmetry

It is arguable that it is possible to reveal, in literature as in science, that symmetry exists between human brains. Though no two human brains are alike, where there is symmetry between interests, common circumstances or experiences, and genetic data, there is also brain symmetry. The effect between characters in a drama of this phenomenon— brain symmetry— is an interesting one, because, like William Wordsworth finding interest in “similitude in dissimilitude” generally, why two brains that have symmetrical properties might make for greater intimacy but also greater antagonism is an interesting question. For Inter-Dialogism— the jumping of consciousness into other consciousness and out again— the individual who makes the Inter-Dialogic leap, if it is into a brain which shares some symmetrical proportions, may then experience extreme euphoria or extreme discomfort, but the reaction is likely to be much more drastic, intense, and compelling then if the leap was into a brain entirely Other. Brain symmetry syndrome manifests in Elegy 414:

And out of this nexus, O sacred
scribe, came absolutely no one.
I don’t know what you expected
to find here. This warm, safe,
comforting suburb has a smother
button by which souls are unraveled.
Who would know better than you?
Even if you’re only in the back of
your mind asphyxiating. He looked
out the window— cars dashed by
on Limekiln Pike. What is it, he said,
are you dead or do you think you’re Shakespeare?

The Inter-Dialogic energy here is all over the map— this Antagonist is so close to the Elegiac Protagonist, on so many levels, and yet so distant on others, that we can feel both his despair and irritation. Troubled brotherhood again. The 414 Antagonist is also, we can intuit, someone who might have developed into a writer or artist, but has been held back by circumstances which did not plague the Elegiac Protagonist. Yet, neither he nor the Elegiac Protagonist may know or realize why this may be the case. We find ourselves, as readers, awash in ambiguities— why is intimacy so frustrating, both in its ability to enlighten and its ability to tantalize, between two characters? When a character finds him or herself jumping in and out of another’s consciousness, and then repelled out again, and yet so close (possibly) to revealing the entire truth about the character in question, the dramatic tension, scintillating to watch if “scribed” in the right way, also demonstrates why closeness and intimacy can be so frustrating among the human races. The partial— partial revelations, partial knowledge— is a tease. In 414, the Antagonist is so entirely teased by the Elegiac Protagonist that he attempts every semantic trick in the book to get the visceral reaction he wants— he flatters, insults, cajoles, levels with, laments, compliments sideways and backwards, all with the sense that he is talking with another, more successful, version of himself, which is its own torture chamber for him. Because, as the scene is lit, we never see the Elegiac Protagonist’s reaction, all we know is that he does not feel it is important to interject. He wants the camera to remain closely focused on his Antagonist, knowing (as we know) that this is someone not that different from him, who has been forced to say “I” and not mean it. The Antagonist is articulate and has some depth and some honesty consonance to him. He may or may not also have literary talent. But the lighting effects want his voice to be heard alone in 414. Not just that— by lighting him alone and his rap, we can see how the Inter-Dialogic energy is working from him into the Elegiac Protagonist and back out again, including what in the Protagonist might be repelling him away, without the reciprocating energy from the Protagonist into and out of him being visible as well. That is how the levels of ambiguity frame the drama of 414. It is for the reader to reject closure and figure out some of those dynamics if there is any symmetry between their brain and the poet’s.