Oh MAN, I had the weirdest experience last night.
You know how sometimes you sleep in a strange way, then wake up and your arm has such a pinched nerve that it no longer has any feeling? I imagine it’s a little freaky for anyone, but it’s particularly worrisome if everything you do desperately depends on your left arm being functional.
So, I wake up and reach for my sleeping arm in order to rearrange my sleeping position. When I reach to where I feel like it is, I grasp nothing. Air. I’m sleepy and disoriented enough that it doesn’t occur to me to actually look for my arm. I really feel like my arm is sticking out on my left, even though it’s laying limp on the bed. So, I try again. Once again, I get nothing.
Now I’m getting a little worried. Something weird is going on. I look, and see my arm is not where I feel like it is. But, somehow I can’t shake the feeling that it isn’t the actual location of my arm. My visual perception says the arm is on the bed. My spacial perception tells me the arm is sticking out to its left.
I suspect what’s happening is that I’m mentally telling my left arm to stick out so my right arm can grab and control it. But, my arm isn’t obeying orders. This is so foreign, that it’s hard to mentally grasp, especially when you’re sleeping. My suspicion is that part of how people have fine motor control is that we learn familiar patterns. So, when the pattern is screwed with, it’s very confusing. So confusing that even when I rationally “explain” to myself that I’m wrong, I can’t correct the problem.
Finally, I have my right arm pick up the left arm. Then, I lay on my back and put the left arm on my chest. At this point, there weirdest thing of all happens. I have the sensation of having two arms combine into one. I would compare it to the feeling you have when you cross your eyes then uncross them. You have two visions that coalesce into one, and neither of them has the primacy of being “right.”
I certainly behave like I’m a single mind interacting with reality. But, more and more, it seems to be the case that my brain is more like a parliament, with different parts contributing to the available data pool, and different parts achieving a consensus on what action I should take. I wonder if the “two arms combining” feeling was just a rare manifestation of two competing arguments coming to the same conclusion.
Anyone else ever had this?