Thinking about all the people who left stones at Walden while remembering Thoreau makes me think about the connections among different minds, and selves.  I remember I once heard an eminent liver surgeon say it is common for recipients of organ transplants to have memories that belong to their donors. He was speaking in an informal, after-hours venue at a conference, to a group of mostly scientists. Their shocked discomfort suggested that if it were not for his fame, they would have attacked such a statement with all the authority of their profession. But that was his point: in this as in many matters, he said, science does not pursue lines of inquiry that would upend our core beliefs, even when there is ample evidence that something we don’t yet understand is going on.  For example, It may be that human experience is stored in multiple organs throughout the body, as Chinese medicine and bodywork methodologies of all kinds theorize. Perhaps the brain remembers things not only by consulting its own cells, but by somehow “reading” the information that is stored in the other organs and carried through the bloodstream by some kind of molecule. If that is how it works, when you receive another person’s organ, you get the “memory archive” stored in it as well; and perhaps there are specific identifiable factors that make it more or less likely that the recipient will be able to “read the files.” (One terrible example the surgeon gave involved the recipient of a murder victim’s organ having recurrent nightmare images that resembled the victim’s POV of the fatal shooting; other more pleasant ones involved jocular phrases characteristic of the donor that the recipient suddenly began to use.)   Once investigated, this phenomenon might turn out to be no spookier, while still as wondrous, as the mircobiome, the pounds of bacteria that each of us carries in our body and interacts with in complex symbiosis.  Both the microbiome and the phenomenon of organ-connected memories would provide confirmation from the physical sciences of the post-Cartesian turn in philosophy and psychoanalysis.  Those disciplines have has been urging us for a long time now not to think of the body and mind as two separate things.  It seems to me that much of the world either rejects anything paradigm-shifting out of hand, or accepts it uncritically; either way, we don’t think through enough of the implications and connections that could be developed from what we know.  I think we need more of an in-between attitude, one that would be curious, open-minded, and rigorous at once.