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Baby Astronomer's First Fantasy (easy-reading transcription)

The following is the "language collage" that I have composed through an extremely thoughtful mixing of sentences from the following 3 sources:

1. D.W. Winnicott's "Human Nature" 1988; Chapter: "Establishment of Relationship with External Reality," Subheading: "Primary Creativity"

2. "Astronomers" ed. Donald Goldsmith ©1991, PBS. Chapter: "We Are All Astronomers.

3. Master's & Johnson's "Sex and Human Loving" reference text ; from the entries on fantasy.

Please see the full visual work here.

As you read below, you may be tempted to give up after the first few lines. Please don't be a quitter. Expect a lack of understanding in the beginning and think not of its persistence through the middle; if you commit to read all 21 lines and do so thoughtfully, you will understand.

Easy-reading Transcription:

FANTASY ALLOWS us to escape from the frustrations and limits of our everyday lives.

How then can we pretend that we are all astronomers?

All the time we have a baby in mind. Let us imagine a theoretical first feed. Here is a baby with developing instinct tension.

Fantasies of all types function as psychological safety valves that discharge inner tensions or needs in a relatively painless way.

To an astronomer, space is a familiar place--the universe, within which his or her objects of interest play out their lives.

At the (theoretical) first feed the baby is ready to create, and the mother makes it possible for the baby to have the illusion that the breast, and what the breast means, has been created by impulse out of need.

Through fantasy, a person can transform the real world into whatever he or she likes, no matter how briefly or improbably.

This statement, which most astronomers now consider to be true, moves astronomy into a strange limbo in which most of the universe remains to be discovered.

Of course we as sophisticated philosophers know that what the baby created was not that which the mother presented, but the mother by her extremely delicate adaptation to the (emotional) needs of the infant is able to allow the baby this illusion.

Even though modern methods of disseminating information have made astronomical knowledge accessible to all, few have cared to make use of it.

Although it is only a make-believe excursion of the mind, fantasy can help people find excitement, adventure, self-confidence, and pleasure.

If the mother adapts well enough the baby assumes that the nipple and the milk are the results of a gesture that arose out of need, the result of an idea that rode in on the crest of a wave of instinctual tension.

This moment, the "big bang," marks the limit of how far back into the past we can reasonably extrapolate from our observations and our assumptions about the universe.

The world is created anew by each human being, who starts on the task at least as early as the time of birth and of the theoretical first feed.

In this way, the amateur community enriches the world of astronomy, and if each of us became an amateur astronomer, the world would doubtless be a better place.

Of course, if and when the fantasy is transformed into fact, the actual event may be considerably different from the imagined one in feelings, tempo, and other details.

Things are not what they seem: The cosmos that we can see may be nothing like the "real" universe.

What the infant creates is very largely dependent on what is presented to that infant at the moment of creativity, by the mother who makes an active adaptation to the infant's needs, but if the creativity of the infant is absent, the details presented by the mother are meaningless.

Sometimes these imaginative interludes are intentionally called forth to pass the time, to enliven a boring experience, or to provide a sense of excitement.

Meanwhile, in the mundane cosmos of a few billion light years that surrounds us, work goes on.

The mother is waiting to be discovered and she need not have an intellectual appreciation of the fact that she has to be created by the infant, play her part and to be created by each infant anew.

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