A Kind of Contrivance

Poet Rae Armantrout untangles the self with David Naimon on Between the Covers (Nov. 1, 2017):

"Working memory is very short so what can possibly be in your conscious mind is very limited.

There's a lot more going on in your brain and your body than you can ever be aware of. 

And yet, most people identify themselves with this little flash-lit area of consciousness. 

I don't mean to say that's not important, but it's a kind of contrivance, I guess.

It's a user illusion. 

The user illusion [a term from computer science] is how the user interfaces with a computer. 

Some app comes up. Some icon comes up. You click on it. You have no idea what's going on actually in the computer. I mean most of us don't. 

Well, it's kind of like that with our relationship with the world – the way our brain reacts with the world and with itself... 

We're all more complicated than our narrative of our selves allow for, I think."