PRINT October 1987


the brain.

“THE SPIRITUAL IN art,” “the spiritual in people”—we inherit and we read and we watch and listen to descriptions of a person, or a thing made by someone, as “spiritual.” Such an idea is commonplace, but in reality, of course, we are all mammals, and what we make are the products of mammals. It’s true that we have realized certain inventions that sometimes allow us to behave as if we were something different: for a while now we have been able to make machines that we fly like birds, for example, and human females’ eggs can now be fertilized outside the womb, like those of fish. As a rule, though, we eat, digest, sleep, copulate, give birth, get sick, and die as apes do. We think we humans are different because of our famous brains. Come to think of it, it’s surprising that we have used our brains to change so much about the shape of things in our surroundings but not radically to change

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