But an interesting paradox
arises from the inherent technology of MRI. Unlike a CT scan, which
can be completed in mere minutes, the MRI is a slow process, often
lasting up to an hour. To the patient, this can feel like an eternity.
There may also be a great deal of anxiety experienced before and
during the MRI procedure, as the results will often determine whether
or not a life-threatening disease is present.
While MRI images of the
body are being generated, the patient is simultaneously embarking
on an unintended exercise of witnessing his or her personal identity
and acknowledging mental states that may have eluded conscious perception.
A multitude of mental states arise and fall away. Hope, grief, sadness,
joy, and anger are often experienced. Reflection on early childhood,
mid-life decisions, and regrets, as well as visions of growing old
and dying, are also common.
In the context of our
daily lives, most of us are distracted and quickly engage in various
activities whenever these mental states arise. But within the tight,
claustrophobic compartment of the MRI, one is forced
to observe them. One has the serendipitous opportunity to explore
one's true nature. When was the last time that most of us can say
we have witnessed our thoughts without the distractions of the outside
world for even ten minutes?
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Imaging" video clip is © 2000, by Kenneth Wilkes.
was born in Monterey, California, and have lived for extended periods
in Japan, Alaska, Louisiana, and California. I have lived in the
San Francisco Bay Area for the past 20 years."
graduating from U.C. Berkeley, I matriculated to the U.C. Berkeley-U.C.
San Francisco Joint Medical Program, which embraced the view of
medicine that integrated the role of society, the community, and
the family. I was also afforded the opportunity to pursue a parallel
tract in the visual arts at the A.S.U.C. STUDIO, as well as continue
an ongoing dialogue with the visual arts community."
both a physician and a visual artist, I have developed a clearer
notion of how I might make a meaningful societal contribution as
an individual. My passion and goals in the visual arts married to
my philosophy and experience in medicine have provided a venue of