Hot Corn: Life Scenes in New York Illustrated by Solon Robinson

In 1854, Hot Corn was a best-seller and turned into plays.  Hot Corn is essentially the Jerry Springer and Dr. Phil of its time.  They are a collection of slightly edited newspaper articles about the wretched lives of poor people in New York City, many who were about to turn their lives around until, dun-dun-dah, the evil rum came to take it all away!  And so goes the misattribution fallacy run amok in America culminating in Prohibition and now drug prohibition.  It just goes to show you that it is easy to misguide and misinform people.  Certainly, the tales of Hot Corn are true.  Certainly, rum and liquor played their part in the demise of the characters in these stories.  But the plot and the story is entirely controlled by the author.  He controls what you see, whether you see the historical context, the cultural context, etc.

Take for instance the high incidence of alcoholism in certain cultures like blacks, Irish, Native American, and Korean.  The easy answer to this is that there must be some genetic cause.  Wow, that was simple, now I can move on to the next problem.  In reality, in order to understand this phenomenon, you have to understand the historical and cultural contexts.  You have to understand that what these cultures have in common is not DNA but rather historical oppression, poverty, injustice, starvation, and mass deaths.  Of course, understanding this will point you toward the injustices of the ruling classes, the perpetrators, the wealthy British who sold Irish potatoes overseas during the Great Famine, the wealthy Americans who displaced Native Americans to grab more land for plantations or Manifest Destiny, the Japanese ruling classes who approved and encouraged Japanese Imperialism and modernization, and the wealthy Southern elite who profited from slavery.  Oh, but if we blame DNA, these great villains of history get a pass.  Now you see why over-simplified and misdirected causes help cover the ruling class.

In the case of this book, the evil rum, or today, the evil drug, is the root cause of poverty, misery, evil, treachery, cruelty, despair, and crime in America, as much so in 1854 as it is today.  Once again, a simple, easy cause is used to distract you from something else.  What else?  The book actually gives away the key.

35% the way through, “Oh, how she worked one whole year to learn her dress-maker’s trade, without one cent of compensation.  Such is the law.  The law of custom with milliners’ apprentices.”  As you can see, the true villain is the collusion between government and established trades in the form of occupational licensing laws.  Unpaid apprenticeships is just a more benign form of slavery.  The book would have you believe that rum and its purveyors have some magical sorcery over us, that unregulated, we might all fall into its traps and wind up as miserable wretched, wife-beating, child-beating scum as is portrayed in this book.  So what do we do?  We pass more laws and give more power to lawmakers who just turn around and create laws in the name of public safety but are nothing more than collusive arrangements with established trades and businesses, a pyramid scheme that goes all the way up to the ruling class.

The book also ignores history.  When German farmers came to America, they did not fall prey to drunkenness and sloth as did their British peers.  Rather, they were industrious and professional farmers who flourished in the Midwest.  As I learned in the ill-titled book, White Trash, The 400-Year Untold Story of Class in America, the British immigrants from big cities were the most wretched and slothful in America, because of centuries of brutal treatment in Great Britain.  Countless were also impressed in the British Navy where rum was daily rationed as a drug to help them bear the brutal conditions of life at sea.  It’s the exact same thing with Native Americans and blacks.  They are not inherently vulnerable to alcoholism or drug abuse just as the British before them.  They turn to alcohol and drugs to numb countless generations of oppression and suffering.  This book is only a snapshot of the outcome of generations of oppression and suffering.  The answer is not passing more laws which caused most of the suffering.  Rather, the answer is fewer laws, fewer regulations and more freedom.  People don’t need close supervision to thrive.

Quite the contrary, close supervision makes them immoral and slothful and susceptible to alcoholism and drugs, because they have their autonomy and freedom taken away, just like a caged animal.  If you cage a rat, yes, it will keep pressing a button to get drugged.  What you miss from the experiment is that when you give the rat freedom and free access to other rats and food, it loses interest in getting drugged.  When you see a rat addicted to drugs, we think it needs more supervision, rehab, more programs to help it, more laws to protect it, but all it needs is freedom and free interaction with other rats.  Of course, if you gave humans what they truly thrived upon, freedom and most importantly, freedom to freely interact with each other, we wouldn’t need our rulers to take care of us.  In fact, we would most likely organize against them to take away all their secret privileges and the laws that rig the economy in their favor.  Their most beloved and cherished being the centralized banking scheme which allows them to print massive amounts of money at the lowest possible rates to then turn around and charge ever higher and higher rates to ever smaller and smaller banks and institutions until finally you the individual pay 10% and more on personal loans and credit cards.  In a most deranged manner, the poorest and least capable of affording the highest interest rates, pay the highest interest rates.  Creditworthiness is just Newspeak for wealth status with large banks, powerful nations, and rich people having the highest creditworthiness.

I could only manage to read half this horribly sad book.  I really wanted to read it to get a feel for life in the 1850’s, clothing, culture, recreation, housing, restaurants, food, etc., but all I got was a confirmation that whatever media was circulated back then is pretty much the same propaganda circulated today.  We see the Cash Me Outside girl on Dr. Phil or all the miscreants on Jerry Springer, and we sit there going, how awful the lower classes, how much they are need of supervision of regulation of laws to protect themselves from themselves.  This is exactly the message they want to deliver.  The masses are incapable of self-regulation, that laws and strong government and intervention are necessary to keep the masses from spreading their horrible afflictions.  Dr. Phil’s solution is generously sending these diseased people to therapy, but oh, if only the masses could afford therapy.  Perhaps we should make therapy free for the masses!  Ah-ha!  Certainly, when you infect the masses with a disease, it would be cruel not to help treat them, but what the masses continually fail to understand or realize is that it would be a lot less expensive and actually more ethical and right not to purposefully infect them in the first place.  What is the disease?  The lack of freedom and introduction of countless laws and regulations into their daily lives that act simply as a cage, and as caged animals, we get sick, we get stressed, we misbehave, we become attracted to drugs, and in effect, we become dependent on government to treat us, the very thing that imprisons and sickens us.

You might react to this as just more anti-government rhetoric or conspiracy theory garbage.  Congratulations, that is exactly what the ruling class wants you to think.  Have you ever once considered that by not thinking exactly as they would like you to think, you might, just might be actually thinking freely???  The fundamental crux of my logic is that government has convinced you that laws and supervision are designed to protect and help you.  Forget for a moment all those silly laws that enable the NFL to get tax money to build stadiums that enable us to work a month each year to finance our ridiculously huge military, let us conveniently forget all those silly laws that make it illegal to feed the homeless without a food license or smoke weed, let us just forget all those laws that put us in prison if we cut someone’s hair without first providing hundreds of hours of free haircuts, just for a tiny minute, let us put that all aside, and remember that traffic laws keep us from crashing into one another.  Now let me make a similar comparison.  Let us forget all the times bad Uncle Sam rapes his nieces.  Let us forget when bad Uncle Sam murdered a man in a bar fight and then burned his house to the ground.  Let us just forget all the times Uncle Sam gave his buddy Joe the monopoly right to sell and distribute alcohol and they imprisoned Bob who sold and distributed alcohol in defiance.  Let us just remember that one time Uncle Sam prevented a car accident by telling his neighbor Jack to slow down.  Wow, we need Uncle Sam, without Uncle Sam, Jack would have killed someone!

I’m not calling for anarchy as the ruling class always argues, that anyone who doesn’t like the current system must obviously want total Communism or Somali-type anarchy where the warlords rule.  Let us forget that the rulers are essentially the Communist Party and warlords all wrapped up into one.  What I am calling for is a wholesale reduction in government and its powers.  Reducing the annual military budget from $700 billion to $70 billion for instance would not all the sudden make our country vulnerable to invasion by China or ISIS.  Russia’s military budget is $70 billion, and China is next door and hasn’t yet invaded them and neither has ISIS, probably because they could nuke China off the planet as can we.  But likewise, reducing social programs by this much would put leftists in a dizzy, but what most fail to realize is that the healthcare industry is a cartel, that prices are inflated because of the cartel structure and rules and laws.  If the healthcare industry charges you $700 for a $70 cast, then perhaps $700 billion in Medicare spending would only be $70 billion if you eliminated the healthcare cartel.  The masses would be the last to suffer with a smaller government.  The ruling class would be the first to suffer as they see catastrophic drops in stock prices in the defense and healthcare industry.  Of course stock prices going from $100 a share to $10 would not leave them in the poor house.  It would make them move from a $100 million home to a $10 million home.  This is what they are bitching about.  This is what they are hijacking our economy over.  While the current scheme puts millions of us in the poor house whenever we get sick or lose our jobs, the rich are bitching about living in a $10 million home instead of a $100 million home.  Oh, but I’m just a conspiracy theorist.  Continue thinking alcohol, drugs, and DNA are the reason why the masses are too fucking stupid to self-regulate.

 

 

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Why Are We Here?

This is not a book review.  This is not a book club.  I can do whatever the hell I want to do, so I’ll just write a little essay.

 Before we get to the answer, first, let us address the idea that you may not want to know.  Some may argue that ignorance is bliss, that people who have no idea the evils going on are happy in their tiny little, safe worlds.  I would argue that in a society where the people on top tend to prey on everyone else including animals, you don’t really want to be as a dumb as a pig or a cow.  And on top of that, most people and most livestock are not treated well.  Pigs and cows may get their small pleasures from eating all the corn they want, but they don’t understand that it’s not good for them, their conditions make them sick, and ultimately, they’ll all be slaughtered for human consumption.  Likewise, while the masses may get their small pleasures from all the junk food and alcohol they want, they don’t understand that it’s not good for them, their conditions make them sick, and ultimately, most of their productive output is used to enrich the humans on top whether through taxes, interest payments on debt, or profits from items they think are important to make them look and feel good. 

 So why are we here?  While there may certainly be explanations outside the realm of science or our ability to measure, with the science that we do have, the reason we exist is because our DNA makes us exist in order to perpetuate it.  It is easier if you think of organisms as temporary carriers of a single entity called the DNA database.  We are all part of this gigantic database that goes back to the origin of DNA.  The DNA database is information.  It is information about nature and the interaction of elements in nature both alive and nonliving.  Through a complex series of trials and errors, it has accumulated more and more information about what works and what doesn’t.  There are two main strategies for a carrier to pass on its DNA.  The first is to consume everything around it whether it benefits or harms others.  The second is to find ways of collaborating with other carriers in mutually beneficial ways.  Herein lies the basic yin and yang of life, those trying to get ahead through exploitation and abuse and those trying to get ahead through cooperation and kindness. 

 While humans do not reside at the top of the DNA database, we are certainly one of the database’s most complex and fascinating modules.  We happen to be one of the most socialized carriers, and we spend years both growing and learning.  In other words, while the DNA database learns through dumb trial and error, humans can learn through working with other humans to create entire systems for adapting to their habitat and working with each other.  In other words, through humans, the DNA database has gained awareness of itself and the ability to use the scientific method and other intellectual devices to learn instead of relying on purely dumb trial and error! 

 Humans have been designed to grow, learn, teach, entertain, work, procreate, protect, identify with social groups, and share.  The practical answer to why we are here is right there.  If you are not engaged in these activities, you are not fulfilling the mission given to you by the DNA database.  However, in more recent times, perhaps since the start of the Agrarian Era, humans have discovered wealth, or surplus grain.  With wealth, humans created hierarchies where those on top controlled the wealth and those on the bottom had no access to wealth.  For the first time in human history, we stopped becoming socially collaborative carriers but the other type, exploitative and abusive.  While some may think this is unnatural, there is no such thing as unnatural.  Whatever humans do is natural.  Unfortunately, it is quite natural for humans or viruses or cancers or parasites to exploit and abuse their hosts or habitats.  In this mode, it is no longer important for humans to grow, learn, teach, entertain, work, procreate, protect, identify with social groups, and share.  In this mode, what is important are abstractions like status, wealth, power, celebrity, intimidation factor, strength, glory, greed, hoarding, dominating, and competing.  If this were the mode humans used for 200K years and intelligent primates for millions of years before, we would feel quite natural being narcissistic, materialistic, power-hungry vultures.  Fortunately, for 200K years of human evolution and millions of years of primate evolution, we were the flagship models of the other mode.  We were kind, sharing, compassionate, growing, learning, teaching beings.  If you feel like fish out of water, like everything you have been taught and exposed to seems counterintuitive and cruel and sick and vicious and boring and tedious and unnatural, what is occurring is the simple collision of millions of years of being a social, kind, caring being and then all the sudden being indoctrinated to becoming an ambitious, exploitative, abusive, materialistic asshole.

 So why are so many humans operating in the second parasitic, virulent mode?  The answer goes back to the concept of hierarchies and wealth distribution.  In order to enforce this unequal system, those on top had to perform a few tricks to fundamentally alter an otherwise kind and sharing species.  They devised a whole other system of raising children not with kindness and respect but with harshness, punishment, obedience-training, or simply callous neglect.  Instead of rewarding kids for sharing and being ethical, kids were rewarded for memorizing rules and facts.  They were rewarded for obedience and conformity.  Instead of punishing kids for unkindness and cruelty, they were punished for creativity, independence, socializing during instruction, and individuality.  Humans have rebelled against the new parasitic system, but they have failed to understand exactly what they are rebelling against and why.  Humans rebelled against religion and the Catholic Church, without understanding that religion was only a vehicle for the Church.  The Church’s true weapon was hierarchies, indoctrination, and oppression.  So religion was replaced with government which just became another institution of oppression, hierarchies, and indoctrination. 

 So far, this has worked, because of economies of scale.  The larger you get, the more cost-effective and powerful you become, so you naturally destroy any other organization that might even reject hierarchies.  Fortunately and hopefully, times will change and we are starting to experience diseconomies of scale as large institutions are becoming too slow, inflexible, risk-averse, and hostile toward creativity and imagination.  As smaller organization with fewer hierarchical structures prosper, I strongly feel that we will once again return to a method of thriving through sharing, collaboration, symbiosis, and benevolence.  You won’t wake up in the morning hating life or work and wondering what the point of it all is, why we exist, why we are here, what is our purpose.  You will wake up knowing exactly why we exist and what we are here for.  We exist for each other, we grow, learn, teach, entertain, work, procreate, protect, identify with social groups, and share.  It would feel natural and rewarding.  The day we become parasites and viruses and stop wondering what we are doing, why we are doing it, why we exist and what our purpose is, that is the day we are truly irredeemable and doomed to self-destruction. 

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

When you first look at all the chapters, you almost have a stroke.  Then you realize, the chapters are only one to five pages long.  The novel is written by Kurt Vonnegut who wrote one of my favorite books, Slaughterhouse Five.  Perhaps I was sick when I read it in high school, but it acquired a surreal ethereal aura for me.  Perhaps because of this, I was disappointed by this novel which seemed to indulge in fanciful, snarky detachment.  Characters are just caricatures, comical.  The novel follows a writer who wants to write about the family of a man who invents Ice 9, a new way that water molecules crystallize that would effectively turn all contiguous water into an unusable solid mass and thereby destroy all life on this planet.  In doing so, he takes a trip to San Lorenzo, a farcical, absurd banana republic somewhere in the Caribbean which has outlawed Bokononism, some religious ideology.  The extremely short chapters disrupt and chop up the story, so you can’t really get into the flow of things, and you just seem detached by the whole absurdist charade.  With Slaughterhouse Five, I empathized with the main character, the feeling of learned helplessness as absurdity and insanity surround you, but with this novel, I felt nothing for the writer.

So in talking about humans destroying themselves with technology, let us digress into my manifesto on how this is a quite likely scenario:

 For most human history, we held a belief system that strongly enforced our ability to harmonize with nature, to appreciate and respect our habitat and each other.  While certainly, there may have been tough times where we clashed with neighboring clans and other intelligent primates, and we may have occasionally committed crimes against our own clan members, nothing compares to the atrocities of modern humans against other humans and our habitat.  The main reason for this is the shift from a belief system of harmonizing with nature to a belief system of exploitation and selfish materialism and hierarchies.  Part of this was influenced by the scientific revolution and the revolution against organized religion and the Catholic church.  Unfortunately, humanity threw out of the baby with the bathwater.  Before organized religion, humans held a belief system that involved the existence of spirits in nature.  This was then contrived into organized religion which was adopted to modern humanity by using a system of hierarchies with those on top exploiting those on the bottom. 

 The scientific revolution helped people overthrow this hierarchy by undermining the system of belief used by religious leaders to stay on the top and exploit those on the bottom.  The first problem with this is that it was not so much the belief system that caused religious oppression and injustice as it was the hierarchical system where only people on top had access to true knowledge of divinity and the system of belief (religion) hence justifying their elitist position.  The second problem was that irrational religious beliefs were then replaced by an equally irrational system whereby scientific knowledge was used to prescribe human behavior incorrectly.  Whole new social “science” fields evolved to apply scientific techniques to human behavior without really having any scientific rigor or validity.  In other words, social “sciences” became irrational beliefs backed up by scientific-looking words, terms, mathematics, statistics, and charts without being real science.  Just like the hierarchy of the church, another hierarchy formed whereby the rich ruled on top and instead of surrounding themselves with henchmen bureaucrats armed with government titles and exams, instead, the bureaucrats came armed with advanced degrees in Political Science, Economics, Sociology, Psychology, and a whole slew of Public and Business Management degrees and specialist certifications that made them all feel special.  It was nothing but the same scam as the Church which used Archbishops and Bishops to do the biddings of the Pope and Cardinals.  Just as the Archbishops and Bishops claimed exclusive access to the knowledge of God, bureaucratic experts claim exclusive access to the knowledge of science which cannot be questioned.  Saying that a study proved that a new highway will decrease traffic congestion is the same as saying God wants a new highway. 

 Today, if you debate government policy, you find yourself in the same boat as those who questioned religion and God before.  Since you lack an advanced social science degree or an archbishop title, obviously, you have no right to your opinion, and you are nothing more than an ignorant fool who does not understand or believe in God or science.  Back in the day we called nonbelievers sacrilegious, satanic, skeptics, savages, and heathens.  Today, words for those who question government policy are called anarchists, conspiracy theorist, tinfoil hat wearers, teabaggers, religious fanatics, looneys, and libertarians.  Libertarianism has all the sudden become a bad word, although, it is the exact same political ideology that was mainstream in the 18th and 19th century in Western Europe and America and called liberalism back then.  Just as the bible rewrites history with God creating the universe and Earth, government has rewritten political history with every political ideology before modern government being faulty and wrong until modern government evolved which was purportedly based on exclusive scientific knowledge. 

 The answer to the new irrational belief system of social “science” and bureaucratic rule is not a return to the Catholic Church and organized religion as they may is the implication.  The answer is once and for all discarding the main problem behind both organized religion and pseudo-scientific government, and that is the dismantling of any mass hierarchical system whereby the elite rule and are protected by a class of bureaucrats or bishops who claim exclusive access to the correct knowledge.  It is a return to a system that was used for most of human history, a system of small groups and authority where anyone can claim access to knowledge and knowledge is correctly divided into scientific and non-scientific.  Anything stated by a social scientist on poverty, psychology, medicine, politics, governance, war, trade, taxation, and government spending is an opinion not a scientific-based fact.  As such, you have every right to debate bureaucrats on any subject outside of pure science.  (Just personal disclosure, I’ve taken classes in political science, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and history and have a degree in Economics.  I have direct knowledge of just how unscientific they all are.)

 The problem with mass hierarchies is that it only serves a small group of humans, those at the top.  Even then, it only creates the illusion of serving them while afflicting them with countless maladaptive behaviors in which they actually become slaves to their unlimited and unchecked impulses and desires.  For most of human history, we believed in the strength of the family and extended family and a small network of acquaintances.  Whatever we did and decided upon, the consequences were directly witnessed.  If we decreed that we would not build a well, that decision had consequences we felt and paid for.  In mass hierarchies, those on top rarely witness or even hear about the consequences of their decisions which directly impact the lives of everyone else.  Most decisions fall into the category of trickle down benefits whereby those on top gain the most out of the decision and those on the bottom the least.  There is absolutely no incentive to stop using trickle down benefits.  In fact, since it benefits those on top more than it does those on bottom, everyone near you, those at the top, will encourage you if not illicitly threaten you to maintain that system.  Some might call mass hierarchies unnatural, but in fact, it is actually quite natural.  If you look at the way we treat relatives and our close acquaintances versus how we treat strangers and foreigners, you’ll understand how this system came to be.  Those on top do not identify with those on the bottom.  They use a system called nationalism or communism to convince the masses that they are one of us when in fact, they have never and will never consider themselves one of us.  Trump is actually a gleaming example of the mentality of elitists.  Act and behave like you’re one of the masses, wear their baseball caps, talk in their language, tell them what they want to hear, and do nothing substantive to help them.  Meanwhile, use your position of authority to give all your friends and buddies at the top more power and wealth.  If those on top are English, we might as well be French or Nigerian or from Mars.  We may sit here condemning them for being so elitist, but just think of how we treat other intelligent animals or even unintelligent animals.  In fact, we all support a similar hierarchical system whereby we treat humans and pets with much more kindness than pigs and insects.  Our system of morality is actually a system of mass hierarchy whereby we treat human and human-like beings much better than organisms that bear no resemblance to us.  The idea that we base morality on intelligence or the ability to feel pain is utterly arbitrary.  Nobody wants to admit that the only true and honest measure is how much the being resembles and acts like us.  Whether you like it or not, those at the top of the human hierarchy actually think of us as nothing more than pigs and insects, as such, they create and reinforce a system that basically treats us like livestock, and there is no doubt in my mind that when the time comes, when AI robots can replace 99% of human labor, they will figure out a convenient way to eliminate 99% of all humans. 

 Just as bishops lied about what God thought was best for us, bureaucrats also lie about what is best for us which they claim is based on access to exclusive scientific knowledge which might as well be called divine knowledge.  Increasingly, the private sector is gaining complete control of government, and in doing so they not only bribe politicians by financing their campaigns, but they now fund research to promote whatever is beneficial to their business.  If they are in the dairy industry, they will fund and promote studies “proving” the benefits of milk and mandate all public schools to provide kids with milk even in high school.  If you question this, you’re just being an anti-science conspiracy theorist and as such, you should be burned at the stake or excommunicated from the legitimate community of “science” minded society. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003XRELGQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Look at Me by Jennifer Egan AKA The Ribald Liaisons of Two Horny Charlatans

I wrote another review for this book as I was reading it, but I changed my mind about it.  In hindsight, this book is really a very well-written, 500-page highbrow literary version of a Harlequin novel involving all sorts of smutty, smutty extramarital and underaged sexual liaisons.  It is 50 Shades of Gray written by a talented, poetic, acclaimed novelist.  OMG, just smutty, smutty, smutty with just enough philosophical bullfuckery about the modern age, image, commercialism, feminism, industrialization, commodificationism, and ordinary celebrityism to make you think it’s not ENTIRELY a smutty, literary romance novel.  So, with a very brief overview of the ribald, bawdy tales of Rockford Illinois, I’ll get on with my own philosophical musings with just enough about the book to make you think this review is not ENTIRELY my philosophical musings.  A model gets her face messed up, desperately trying to continue commodifying her face, she agrees to be part of a website that commodifies the lives of the ordinary and extraordinary.  Along the way we get side stories about a 16-year-old who fucks her teacher, a wife who sleeps around behind her husband, some has been high school football jock who turns moribund, and a terrorist. 

 There are two parts of the human mind, one that we are directly “in control” of and the other that operates without our direct control or even awareness.  We like to call these two sides, the conscious, analytical mind versus the unconscious or subconscious instinctive mind. 

 According to most modern teachings, the conscious mind rules supreme.  It is the most powerful and important mind, and it is beleaguered and harassed by the undesirable and destructive, savage, impulsive unconscious mind.  Everything we consider good and virtuous lies in the conscious mind, our morality, our character, our compassion, and our intelligence.  Everything we consider evil and vile lies in the unconscious mind, immorality, impulsivity, character flaws, aggression, cowardice, and selfishness.  In order to be good, virtuous people then, we must be constantly alert and thoughtful at all times, ever vigilant against drifting away, spacing out and letting the evil, unconscious mind take the reins of our body and thoughts.  Civilization itself is the achievement of the conscious mind as it triumphs over the savage, unconscious mind.  Civilization is what teaches us to utilize and maximize the conscious, analytical mind.  When we fail, when we commit atrocities and violence, it is the failure of our conscious minds in controlling our unconscious minds.  It is the failure of individual willpower and constant mindfulness.  People, like artists, writers, and musicians, who indulge their unconscious minds and go into those artistic trances, are playing with Satan’s fire, the root of all our evil and savage selfish behavior.

 This paradigm of the minds is completely wrong.  All we need to do is look at animals that lack the conscious, analytical mind to realize that the unconscious, instinctive mind is not in fact selfish, unethical, violent, and destructive.  While countless animals are instinctively social like ants and fish, mammals are unique in that we have socially reinforcing behavior and physiology.  We receive strong biochemical rewards for social behavior like oxytocin and serotonin.  In fact, this may be the biochemical foundation for what we describe as love.  Far from being selfish, unethical beings, our entire system of ethics is the product of our unconscious, instinctive minds.  In fact, the conscious, analytical mind is actually asocial.  It neither releases nor experiences the biochemicals that make us feel warm when we are enjoying a social experience.  It simply evaluates the experience coolly.  “Aha, I feel good, therefore this must be a good thing to do.”  It’s like the autistic Sheldon Cooper.

 The problem is not only is the analytical, conscious mind asocial and incapable of feeling or understanding love and compassion, but it is the most self-deluding, confabulating part of our minds.  It is constantly receiving information from the other parts of our mind after the fact and then makes the mistake of believing that it in fact made those decisions.  (It also happens to be narcissistic with a god complex.)  It feels like it is control, when in fact, all it really does is try desperately to explain motive after the fact.  You may argue that the analytical, conscious mind must be the smarter and more accurate mind, because it can add two plus two and the unconscious, instinctive mind cannot.  It can create a story, learn language, write songs, calculate things out, etc.  If it was this deluded deceiver, it would constantly be telling us that 2 + 2 equals F, and the sky is green and the ocean is orange.  What you fail to understand is that the conscious, analytical mind cannot tell you a lie.  When it tells you a falsity like, you decided consciously to reach out to an apple before your hand moved toward it, it believes the lie it is telling you.  It lies not to purposefully deceive you, but rather, it lies to make sense of something it fails to understand correctly.  So why does it do this?

 The conscious, analytical mind did not evolve into itself out of nothing.  Like all our specialized organs, it evolved as an extension of something we already had and then just changed a little.  Our teeth, for instance did not suddenly appear as teeth to cut into food.  Our teeth first evolved as scales on the outside of our skin, moved inside, and then over time, became more and more useful to cut food before ingesting it.  Likewise, our conscious, analytical mind is a slight variation of our unconscious, instinctive minds.  In other words, our unconscious, instinctive minds also deceive us.  It too has the conceit that it is in control where in fact, it is merely reading the code of DNA it is given.  The environment also controls it, as it provides signals to either activate or turn off DNA instructions to our body. 

 So why the deception?  We were not designed to comprehend the true nature of nature, the world around us, the multiverse of multiverses.  We were only designed to get a sufficient idea of what is going on around us at our human scale to get through the day relatively unharmed and to pass on our DNA.  There may in fact have been intelligent animals that were more designed to understand quantum physics or astronomy, but since this did nothing to help advance their DNA or protect their hide, this type of intelligence faded.  What triumphed was an intelligence that made functional albeit technically false assumptions about the world around it.  It was a just sufficient enough misunderstanding to get through the day and pass on DNA.  For instance, we instinctively feel like the Earth is standing still, and the sun is orbiting around the Earth.  This feels right, because we cannot feel ourselves rotating around in an elliptical orbit of the sun.  Since it doesn’t hurt us to misunderstand the orbit of the Earth and sun, this feature never faded from our DNA.  In fact, the ability to sense motion is critical to understanding how to get away from predators and catch prey.  If you looked at the sun and noticed its movement in the sky, and you thought that it was actually still while the Earth was moving, you might also look at a lion in the distance, think it was still, while you were moving away from it.  What happens next?  The lion is actually moving toward you, and you are not running, so you die, and that odd feature is eliminated from the DNA pool. 

 Humans instinctively do not understand that things can be in motion without you feeling it, because they are too large to feel it, and gravity and the atmosphere coating the Earth also prevent you from feeling it move in relation to space outside Earth.  Only the conscious, analytical mind can accept this, because it uses a standardized set of symbols to represent objects and ideas and a standardized set of rules to understand logic, math, and science.  As we apply our more analytical minds to more and more things in nature, we are slowly discovering that most everything we assumed to be real or true wind up actually being illusions and false.  In addition to realizing that it is in fact the Earth that is moving around the sun and in fact, the sun is also moving around the galactic center and also the galaxy moving outward from a universal origin, we are also starting to realize that our conception of ourselves, our decisions, our freewill, our understanding of reality, reality itself, are also illusions and false.  Just like our understanding or I should saying misunderstanding of motion, we also possess a misunderstanding of our decision-making processes, our individuality, our ego, our freewill, our identities, the solidity of objects, and the fluidity of time and space.  But why?

 Just like the misunderstanding of motion, we hold these other delusions or misunderstandings, because it helps us get through the day and pass on our DNA, and it doesn’t hurt us to not know the truth.  Just like not knowing the Earth rotates around the sun, it doesn’t hurt us that we don’t know that we are not individuals, and objects are not solid mass.  But for our functional purposes, we must believe that we are individuals and objects are solid mass, because if someone is throwing a rock at us, we must know that we have the power to move ourselves to get out of the way, that the rock hitting this body will result in pain that we feel, and the rock, despite being mostly space, cannot travel through us harmlessly but rather, its configuration of vibrating energy will do harm to our configuration of vibrating energy. 

 The key to all this is our DNA.  DNA is nothing more than the organic encoding of information, information about how to adapt to our environment with certain behavior or bodily adaptations.  In an intimate orchestration with environmental cues, it control us.  We might like to think of DNA now as this little monster that drives our behavior, but once again by anthropomorphizing DNA, we create an incorrect understanding of it.  It is information.  It is information that passes itself on if and only if the behavior and bodily adaptations it creates effectively adapt to its given environment, nothing more, nothing less.  It is a long-stream of unconscious thought, the single thought about how to continue adapting to nature, and our thoughts are a simple extension of its thoughts, but for the first time, aware of thinking.  We are essentially, an unconscious, natural thought that has become aware of itself after all these billions of years.

 Now, you may think, wow, what a huge responsibility.  We’re now the foremost extension of a huge, historical thought process, and we have to figure out how to adapt to nature and proliferate.  In actuality, we have no choice.  We cannot control what has been thought before.  We are an extension of what has been thought before.  Now, just like arguing that we can veer off course and say 2 plus 2 equals F, you can argue that we can veer off course and destroy humanity and all life.  Why should we continue this long thought process of adapting to nature?  Why not do something else like jerk off into a bucket for all eternity and not procreate?  If you can figure out a way of jerking off into a bucket for all eternity without procreating, then you’re actually still perpetuating the thought of adapting to nature by precluding sexual intercourse for continuing the life of your DNA.  Many might argue that humanity is veering off course.  We are destroying each other and the planet.  This, they argue, is unnatural and destructive.

 Nature is inescapable.  We cannot be unnatural.  We can certainly argue that there are things humans did not create and things humans created, but both are products of nature.  What we are effectively doing is actually quite natural.  There are two major ways of adaptation to nature.  One way is multi-symbiotic collaboration (I made that term up).  Most of the bacteria on and inside us are multi-symbiotic collaborators.  They benefit from us, and we benefit from them.  In fact, without our gut bacteria, we would not be able to break down most food, and we would starve and die.  In fact, there is a proto-bacteria with its own DNA living inside our cells that if removed would instantly kill us.  But there is also another way of adapting.  This is called unilateral competition.  You invade an organism or ecosystem, and you are hostile to everything.  You attack everything whether you need it as food or not.  By upsetting the organism or ecosystem, you weaken the multi-symbiotic collaboration and the system breaks down.  As it breaks down, you devour it as it collapses defenseless.  The only problem with this is that once you have annihilated the organism or ecosystem, you need to figure out a way to move on to another organism or ecosystem.  This is how communicative diseases work.  There is also a dormant period that allows you time to sneeze, ejaculate, or shit your way into another victim.

The question here is obvious.  Which way should humans operate?  So far, it looks like the latter.  As such, as we annihilate the planet Earth, we need to figure out how to sneeze, ejaculate, or shit our way on to another distant, habitable planet. 

 You may argue that this is horrible.  Of course, since we have evolved mostly through multi-symbiotic collaboration, we are inherently put off by diseases that kill us and our loved ones, disfiguring them, weakening them, and ultimately killing them.  However, it’s all part of nature, and it’s all part of the exact same thought process we are all integrally an extension of.  Am I suggesting an amoral or even evil lifestyle?  No.  I can’t really suggest anything since we’ll just do whatever we were meant to do.  Trying to start to live an amoral or evil lifestyle will be like trying to convince ourselves that 2 plus 2 equals F.  It will feel fake and unnatural, and that is how we will always tend to go with what we were naturally programmed to do.

 Fact is, unilateral competition and multi-symbiotic collaboration are both necessary for life and its extension, sort of a yin and yang.  They are both parts of the same thought process.  While they may not get along, naturally, they rely on each other.  Without the unilateral’s systemic need to migrate to infect new victims, life may not have spread out as well.  Our desire to find the technology to inhabit other planets to get the fuck away from the unilaterals on Earth may in fact be a boon for spreading DNA all over the universe.  If there were no unilaterals infecting and destroying everything, and we figured out a way to live perfectly harmoniously and perpetually on Earth, why would we care about going off to other planets that may be hostile or dangerous.  Or why would we risk developing the technology that could also be turned against us as weapons?  Unilaterals create the problems and challenges that make us stronger, more creative, more risk-tolerant, and exploratory.  This is not to say that we should applaud them or even tolerate them, as it is simply not in our nature.  This would be like us finding infectious diseases completely tolerable and neutral.  As multi-symbiotic collaborators, we are simply incapable of tolerating or liking infectious diseases and other unilaterals. 

 So why do we seem to like and even sometimes glorify unilateral humans?  Fact is, ever since agriculture, the ruling class has become unilateral.  They have decided not to play nice with other humans or animals but rather to exploit them for all their worth until they became sick or died.  Of course, they would never dare admit themselves being unilaterals and maintain the scam of making you think they are one of us, and that they really do care about us and want us to thrive alongside them.  That is actually the only way they can live amongst us.  But there are many infectious diseases that do not instantly kill their hosts but continue to live off them and do harm to them.  We call them parasites. 

 The problem with the ruling class is that they are a dormant disease waiting to turn into a lethal infection.  Once we have AI robots capable of replacing most all human labor, they will no longer have any need for the masses.  The masses are a huge liability, using huge quantities of limited natural resources while a constant threat to the lives of the ruling class.  It is without doubt that once AI robot technology is sufficiently mature, the ruling class will have no qualms about the mass eradication of their host.  Just wait for it.

 While both systems work off each other, we cannot help but to view unilaterals as fundamentally different and evil, because we view them through our lens as multi-symbiotic collaborators.  However, through their lens, they view us as victims, as something just as abhorrent as evil, and that is weak, inferior, and too attached to one another.  In their mind, good is being aggressive, exploitative, and ruthless.  They have no problem attacking someone who is hurt or down, in fact, they find it abhorrent that you would not attack a weak and injured target.  This is the whole purpose of their existence, to infect others, weaken them, destroy you defenses, poison your food supply, and then devour them.  Of course, to us, this is sociopathic, but we certainly accept these types running our corporations, our government, and our economy.  The greatest weakness of multi-symbiotic collaborators is that they inherently assume everyone else is a multi-symbiotic collaborator.  It is this instinctive trust that actually makes them such great symbiotics.  So it actually takes a bit of a unilateral to identify and out another unilateral.  “Dude, WTF, you’re sleeping with a unilateral!”  “You just hired a unilateral to run this company into the ground!”  How would you know?  “I’m a bit of one!” 

 But just as symbiotics can have a little unilateral in them, unilaterals can also have a little multi-symbiotics in them, and this is how they hide amongst us, just like some bacteria or viruses can pretend to be harmless, like some spiders can actually kill and carry an ant on their backs to avoid being attacked by other ants.  But fact is, since humans share DNA, we are all capable of being either unilaterals or symbiotics.  We all have it in us and it’s more like a switch on a spectrum than a permanent part of our character.  What switches it on or off is like a videogame where you become a certain color in a grid if you are surrounded by three or more of the same colored players.  We mirror and mimic those around us, so if a sufficient number of us find either unilateral or symbiotic behavior rewarding, it spreads like an infection.  But this is also too simplistic.  Each society could also carry a certain number of symbiotics or unilaterals in reserve as needed.  For instance, unilaterals can better infiltrate a group of symbiotics if they approached them first with their symbiotics.  Likewise, a majority symbiotic group could defend itself better if its periphery were protected with unilaterals.  In a sense, our own white blood cells are mostly unilaterals that we unleash on foreign, harmful germs that get into our blood stream. 

 This is not to say that symbiotics should round up all the unilaterals and hang them, because fact is, we need them, and we’re part them.  This is to say that we know exactly who is who and make a rational, measured decision on whether we use them or not.  For instance, should we select a mostly unilateral as a CEO?  That CEO may fend off takeover attacks from other unilaterals, but he would also sell off the company’s assets for huge profits only to destroy the company. 

 It is perhaps comic how we have unwittingly already made a clear divide between unilaterals and symbiotics with the colors red and blue, the directions right and left.  The right and red, obviously, are unilaterals who feel under siege of attack and believe it is better to be strong and aggressive rather than weak and vulnerable.  They believe in arming up and closing off our borders and getting ready to fight the world.  The left and blue are the symbiotics who feel that the best course of action is living in peace and harmony with each other, accepting diversity, embracing immigrants and foreigners, and working with other nations.  It is not really a question of what you were born as but rather what you believe this country needs, a unilateral competitor or multi-symbiotic collaborator.  Of course, this is a false illusion.  The minds of the left and right are just manufacturing division and premises to get you to support their candidate.  Their candidate may not even be a unilateral or symbiotic after all.  In fact, certain Democratic candidates could be unilaterals under guise and certain Republicans could be symbiotic but in a way that allows them to be overrun and ordered around by unilateral advisors and staff.  But there is no doubt at all that the ruling class, those who are actually above contrived political divisions are all unilaterals.  It is absolutely clear that they don’t identify with any of the masses, and the world we live in is rather an extension of their belief system.  If we lived in a harmonious and peaceful world, I would argue the opposite, that the ruling class were symbiotics. 

 In reality, it is more a spectrum from high symbiotic tendencies to high unilateral tendencies.  It all sounds deterministic, and people may bring up the experiment where students read about how conscious decisions are made immediately after the fact and another group who read about freewill.  The group who read about freewill did much better on a morality test.  Does this mean we can change our behavior if we believe we can change our behavior?  No.  It means that if we are led to believe that we have freewill, we also tend to believe that we are more moral agents and behave accordingly.  If somehow everyone believed that only people with freewill acted evilly or drank milk, if someone convinced us that we had freewill, we would act evilly and drink milk, because we have successfully associated the two things.  After the fact, we would say that we drank the milk or acted evilly, because we were thirsty. 

 Another interesting feature of symbiotics is their gut bacteria which mirrors their symbiotic nature.  It’s hard to tell if the bacteria influences the host, or the host influences the bacteria, or both.  My suspicion is that it is both.  Just as DNA takes cues from the environment using our bodies, bacteria takes cues from the body and adapts accordingly.  If the body is constantly stressed and anxiety and tends to be a unilateral, the bacterial community somehow orchestrates a unilateralist takeover.  If the body is relaxed, friendly, and tends to be symbiotic, the bacterial community then orchestrates a symbiotic takeover.  There is much evidence indicating that our gut bacteria determines what we crave, so once it decides that we have become unilaterals, it engorges itself on food that is beneficial to the unilateral bacterial fauna. 

 I like to think that I’m consciously moving myself toward a symbiotic life, and consciously making wise food decisions also feed my symbiotic gut fauna.  But evidence is suggesting that my move toward symbiotic life was prewritten as I was exposed to more and more symbiotic people and other influences which kept looping around and feeding into itself like that videogame where three green neighbors turn you into a green piece.  But at the same time, the illusion of freewill is natural, and believing in the scam can be beneficial in our human scale habitat while being technically false at the universal scale.  I can’t sit here and consciously decide whether I would like to deceive myself into believing that I am an individual making a freewill decision to become more symbiotic, because I’ve already made that decision.  Yes.  My conscious mind doesn’t knows and also knows that it made that decision and it has freewill and separate existence from all the other DNA carriers.

 The fact that you read this review was prewritten, what some might say was meant to be, purposeful.  It was purposeful alright, it’s purpose was to continue down whatever road you were inclined to go.  What happens next is that, knowing the game, unveiling the small dude behind the curtain, what’s your next move?  You can choose now and throw out all the possibilities, but you’ve already made up your mind.  Your conscious mind reviews not the possibilities but the options you already turned down.  1. Go outside and run naked and go raving mad.  Can’t and won’t.  2. Believe you have no freewill, assume that this means you are more evil and anti-social, become more evil and anti-social.  3. Believe you have no freewill, but don’t assume that this means you are more evil and anti-social, become more evil and anti-social because your unconscious mind has been conditioned otherwise.  4. Believe you have freewill, knowing in the back of your mind you don’t, and assuming it means you will become happier, more kind and social, become happier, more kind and social.  You already know what you picked. 

 When the model looks in the mirror, she knows she’s not looking at herself anymore.  Her real self is dead, suffocated under layers of makeup and commercial delusions.  She wrongly assumes that this means that she is free to abuse herself, snort coke, sleep around, sell her story for a dollar, treat others like a jerk.  Thank you no.  In order to be happier, more social, and treat myself better, I’ll gladly assume that we are individuals with freewill in a material world, but I already knew that. 

 

The Self-Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood

 Okay, so science tells us (through people who have part of their brain damaged) that the self is inextricably connected to and derived from our brains.  Change a part of our brain, and our sense of self and our behavior and personality and character and memory and everything we think of as ourselves gets changed too.  In other words, if our brain is turned off, as in, we die or we’re stuck in a coma, but one without any dreams or inner thoughts, we basically become nonexistent.  There is another twist to this.  Who are we?  If we are the illusion of an individual connected to our bodies, and this is purely a trick to get us to protect, feed, and mate with our bodies and nothing more than a trick to get the DNA passed on, then we are actually nothing more than DNA vessels, a part of a much bigger, grander system of DNA that is inextricably connected to and derived from the community of DNA which is nothing more than information on how to survive and pass on the DNA.  But in this scenario, when we die, we don’t wake up and all the sudden we’re this big, giant DNA monster being that goes, wow, what a nice dream, I thought I was a single organism with a single set of DNA, and here I am actually the DNA monster with everyone’s DNA.  We just wouldn’t wake up.  The individual organism and its sense of self (which is an illusion) just goes away forever.  In both cases, we (as in the illusion of ourselves) just disappear and we wake up to nothing.  In this case, our lives are pretty cool, an opportunity for us to enjoy the life of a single organism thinking it’s a unique individual, and then we all die, and we are no longer a single, thinking, conscious being but rather this amorphous, unconscious, DNA pool system that perpetuates itself without thought and a sense of self or individuality. 

 Personally, I think that sucks, and I can’t imagine that the improbability existence of a universe that can accommodate life and the improbable evolution of intelligent life just randomly created me for 80-or-so years and then I just disappear like a bubble in boiling water.  Perhaps for the sake of my mental well-being, my selfish needs, my desire to perpetuate my DNA and believe the world is meaningful and my life is meaningful, I want something more than that random bullshit.  And this is where I think either science can’t describe everything or we just haven’t reached the scientific capability of understanding that there is something much, much more to our lives than the random DNA bubble illusion of self that bursts after a few decades of life. 

 Our ancient cultures constantly teach us that there is something more, but science then continually comes up with simple explanation for everything.  Perhaps all our spiritual leaders had some neurological disorder that made them hear spiritual voices and see bright lights that made them think they were talking to a higher, kinder being?  That is all entirely possible, but I believe it can’t explain everything.  The key for me lies in quantum physics.  In classical physics, everything can be accounted for and conserved, and everything is mechanical and there are few surprises.  But as quantum physics proves, everything is not that way.  The world of quantum physics does not make sense to us, because our senses are limited to the human-scale world and neither the nano- or astrological scale.  If we are a part of the quantum universe, then we are nowhere near capable of truly understanding our complexity, and I have to believe that consciousness and the illusion of self, possesses a complexity that is beyond our common sense and intellect.  So we basically have to speculate wildly, and while science doesn’t look too fondly upon wild speculation, sometimes wild speculation works and creates hypotheses that turn out to be true. 

 I refuse to believe that my self and persona and character and everything I identify as being a part of me simply evaporates upon death.  To me, that is an ignorant way of looking at things, like saying, well, I have no evidence of life beyond our galaxy or universe, so I’ll just sit here and assume none exists.  I have no evidence that there is no gold or diamond mine anywhere on Earth, so I’ll just assume none exist.  I have no evidence that humans will last past 2050, so I’ll just assume we all die before then.  I have no evidence that I’ll find love or have a happy life, so I’ll just assume I’ll never find love and never be happy.  Our minds want us to believe in meaningful things and hope.  We have organized all of reality into categories that relate to things that can help us or hurt us.  Without the need to pass on our DNA, then reality can’t be organized that way, and there really is no meaning to anything, as it can neither help or hurt us.  Yes, DNA makes us manufacture meaning and the illusion of the self, but does that mean that once we die, once DNA no longer needs us, we just poof, disappear?  Or could it be that while DNA made us believe in the individual self and ego and gave us our perspective of reality as things that help or hurt us, we took this concept and somehow ran with it and surpassed our material deaths? 

 One possible explanation is that our technology allowed us to circumvent death.  At some point in the future, we were able to upload our self, our ego, our memory, our personality, character, etc. into a server that was less fallible than the brain and backed up and never died.  So then what did we do?  We became virtual beings.  We created artificial worlds to explore, to share, to entertain ourselves, to educate ourselves, to challenge ourselves, etc.  Perhaps at first, we got a little carried away and created bizarre worlds with the most incredible landscapes, animals, plants, and other people with amazing artistic or musical talents.  Perhaps we lived there for billions of years.  But at some point in time, we became a bit nostalgic, and we wanted to return to our origins.  But we didn’t want to return as old minds inside a baby or cherry pick the best moments of our lives.  We really wanted to relive our lives from birth to the present. 

 Unfortunately, in this version, it means that everyone who died or will die before we can upload our minds and become immortal, actually do evaporate and die.  Well, here’s yet another twist.  Perhaps, when we die, we enter into another dimension or universe, that this one is just some starting off point, like a butterfly starting off as a caterpillar.  In this scenario, people who die or will die before uploading themselves move on, while those who upload themselves both move on and also get stuck eternally in this universe.  So the question is, are you the one who got stuck, a copy of your real self, or are you the original and will die and move on to the next universe?

 While everyone wants clarity, security, and certainty, I like to believe that uncertainty, the unknown, and the unclear are entirely fine.  In fact, I would rather choose not to know if there is life after death than be absolutely certain there is not.  Since I can’t find any particular reason to believe in any particular theory of life after death, I cannot at this moment commit to any theory.  Instead, I think I will be hugely surprised, because in my life’s experience, I’m often hugely surprised at how things actually turn out.  For example, I was hugely surprised by quantum physics and I was hugely surprised by psychology and how most of our perceptions and thoughts are mistakes and illusions, and I was hugely surprised that our planet is run by psychopathic criminals.  I’m pretty sure when I wake up from my material death, I’ll be in for another huge surprise, and I’m fine with that.  I am not fine with the idea that I will just cease to exist.  In fact, I believe the vast majority of the world, the multiverse or multi-dimensionality or whatever, is comprised mostly of thoughts, then energy, and a very tiny minute part is matter which is actually all an illusion and assembly of energy which is then an assembly of thoughts.  So in my mind, the mind and thoughts reign supreme.  The more you think and believe in an expansive and good world, you don’t create that expansive and good world, you simply connect with it, like a long-lost friend.  At the same time, if you don’t think much and only believe in a horrible material world where you just evaporate in the end and meaning and your illusion of self, evaporates with it, you actually do evaporate, because you haven’t connected with the greater world you truly live in.  My advice to you is to believe that there is something greater and something good out there, and the more you believe, the more you connect with it and can then travel to it when you’re done here.

 If you ever wonder why you live in a world where psychotic criminals rule and make life miserable for the other 99.9%, I believe that it is for the same reason that you sweat and get tired and sore when you exercise.  In order for you to exercise the good part of your soul, you have to encounter resistance and counterforce.  That is the role of evil and selfishness.  But one of the most important lessons is not that the world is full of evil, and evil has in fact become its rulers, but rather the fact that you can identify this evil within yourself and understand how you are an intrinsic part of all the evil in this world, to understand not how others can become corrupted and evil but rather how you could become corrupted and evil. 

 The belief that life ends after material death, I believe is a diseased and dangerous way of thinking.  If this is all there is, one has the tendency to want to go all in, and one cares less about the world after one dies.  I believe this is how most of our rulers think, and it is based on modern post-religious, French so-called enlightenment thinking.  If this is all there is, we tend to want to go all in.  But why not go all in, you might argue?  The answer is that living organisms don’t go all in, and shouldn’t.  We should always be living like we are an intrinsic part of nature, and our death is not the end but rather, we contribute to the great system of nature.  While we are here, we pace ourselves, and we ensure the welfare of not only our future DNA-relations but nature itself. 

 Everything went awry when we discovered grain farming and decided to turn humans into livestock.  We then contrived spirituality and religion into a form of hierarchy, rule, and power.  Naturally, we rebelled against that, but instead of just throwing out the bathwater, we threw out the baby, the foundations of religion and spirituality.  But in actuality, we kept the bathwater and threw out the baby.  We just dyed the bathwater and called it scientism and started to worship it as if it were the Church and the Pope.  Scientism would tell us how to live our lives, and scientism taught us that life ended at death, and we should go all in and not care about future generations and nature itself, just consume and exploit the hell out of everything, because science teaches us that meaning is an illusion, we all cease to exist at death, and we’ll all be obliterated in another big bang anyway.  Not only does nature give us meaning and color our world, but it also gives us a sustainable, moral, good way of living in harmony.  If we are to surrender the notion of meaning, of categorizing things into hurtful and harmful, then we also would surrender the natural way of life, the sustainable, moral, and good life.  In reality, however, scientism is actually a more primitive form of life, one of selfishness, ego, and ambition.  Some organisms in nature survive through symbiosis and sustainable practices, while some like harmful parasites, bacteria, cancers, and viruses survive through wiping out everything they run across.  Humans did not invent a whole new scientific way of living in the modern age.  Rather, they reverted to a primitive form of cancerous, viral parasitism, and it is no wonder their guts are filled with harmful bacteria and cancers.  You cannot escape nature.  It all then makes sense that the ideology of parasites, harmful bacteria, viruses and cancers is one of nonexistence after a brief life of exploitation and destruction.  Modern humans are not unnatural, in other words, they have simply reverted to an ancient way of micro-organic life.  We have become a contagious disease.

 * * *

 In my opinion, and derived a lot from this book and the previous book, is that we are something that is an incomplete picture, pieces of a puzzle that really don’t add up to anything at all.  But we can’t live our lives like these.  We can’t just be random pieces of a puzzle!  We love to solve puzzle.  We want to believe that we can put all the pieces together, and it will uncover something incredible and whole and complete and beautiful, but this is the great deception of life.  What we have to simply accept is that we can only put the pieces together and create a complete beautiful picture in our minds.  So this fact, actually creates unimaginable room for freewill and the ability to actually create, out of random, unrelated pieces, something actually quite beautiful and complete.  And this is how we do it.  Our inception of ourselves is based on multiple sources and weights depending on how trustworthy those sources are, and we can also change the opinion of those sources through our actions, but most importantly, we change through exposure to people who we feel look more like that complete and beautiful picture we want to create.  In other words, if you want to become a complete and beautiful being (inside not just outside), you need to surround yourself with complete and beautiful people (inside not just outside) and also read their books, watch their movies, and listen to their songs.  But something interesting that I’ve discovered in life is that people are imperfect, but their imperfections compel them to excel in other areas much like a blind person learns to become an incredible listener.  So it’s not just being around wonderful people who live near perfect lives, especially if your own childhood has not been so great.  Often it’s a matter of finding imperfect people and teasing out of them their greatness, and then focusing in on that and being careful not to be drawn to their weaknesses and faults. 

 Certainly when I look at myself, I can focus on my weaknesses and flaws, but I’ve also noticed that in dreams, when you focus on things, they multiple and grow, especially scary things like insects, snakes,  alligators, or zombies.  For our unconscious minds, focus creates and strengthens reality.  Whenever I focus on my mistakes and embarrassing blunders, I feel ashamed and useless, and as a result, I behave less responsibly and maturely, and as a result, I make more social gaffes and blunders.  Certainly, I should remember and deal with embarrassing mistakes like getting in fights or yelling at strangers, but I should also focus on my strengths which embolden me and give me the confidence to be more social, kind, and sharing.  Who after all, would want to hang out with an ornery asshole who gets in fights and yells at people? 

 Now you might argue that I’m being delusional and becoming some imposter who tries to believe he’s awesome just so that he may somehow become awesome.  But there is no self.  There is no me.  There is just a few random pieces of a puzzle that compel me to manufacture me, a narrative about a philosophical city boy who grew up to love reading and thinking about mind-bending stuff.  Since there is no real, real me, it truly is all up for the imagination, and why not try to paint a beautiful picture instead of an ugly one that deserves little attention, awe, or value?  I believe in freewill, and I believe this is where our freewill can shine.  We may have started out with what appear to be murky, ugly, shitty pieces, but we can consciously pursue and find different pieces to frame those ugly pieces in such a manner that they fit into a big picture that is actually quite stunning and beautiful.  Compare this to person that starts out with beautiful tiny pieces, but they have no idea that they have control over creating all the other pieces, so just by random luck, they encounter ugly or pretty pieces, but the entire picture is randomly assembled so it all adds up to something that looks incongruent and odd.  I believe matter is energy creating the illusion of solid mass.  I also believe energy is thought creating the illusion of vibrations and motion.  While we don’t live in a world where we can make things move or change with our minds, I believe ultimately, upon death and waking up to our true selves, we do wake up to a world where we can move and change things with our minds. 

 * * *

 Like the last book I read, Neurologic, this book gets a little bit sidetracked and lost in example after example of things going wrong with people’s heads.  It only really takes one or two examples.  Hey, here’s something different about someone’s brain that led them to behave differently.  I get it.  The point is rather simple.  Our brain makeup, our neurology hugely impacts our behavior and way of thinking and our self-image.  Wow, who would have known.  But it doesn’t disprove that environment and culture also have huge impacts.  We are a product of both nature and nurture and the dance between them.  In fact, they need each other to create us.  Our DNA responds to nurture to determine how to manifest itself and we need our DNA to tell us how to interact with our environment.

 * * *

 The idea of the self and freewill may be illusions, and the real world may forever be inaccessible to us, so our version will forever be just a fable, an incomplete possibly completely incorrect version, but for our purposes here on Earth, it’s like going to the movies.  We have a dozen choices.  We can make our lives a tragedy, a comedy, an adventure, a romance, a thriller, a scary movie, etc.  We have that choice, and although, we are predestined to pick one movie and that movie may not in any way reflect reality, it’s still our choice and our movie to live.  If you believe there is no freewill and no individual self, and therefore your life is a tragic absurd comedy, that’s your choice.  Doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be for everyone else.  While some may find this book depressing and self-limiting, I rather interpret all this as quite liberating and exhilarating.  It means there are no fixed rules for how we view ourselves and our lives.  There is no school marm telling us that our self-image is fake and bullshit, and it’s useless to have, and we’re wrong, wrong, wrong, fake self, wrong.  This book does tell us that the self-image is an illusion, that it’s really like a holding place for all the data that is related to us, but it doesn’t say it’s useless.  In fact, it proves that it is critical for our survival, harmony with nature, and sense of self-worth and happiness.  It doesn’t say, hey, believe in this stupid fairy tale and you’ll be happy.  Rather, it says, we have been designed to believe in a stupid fairy tale to make us happy, so what do you do?  Science doesn’t tell you what you should do, contrary to Scientism and the French enlightenment.  Science tells you if you do A, then B will happen.  If you refuse to believe in yourself and the self-illusion, you are more likely to become confused and unhappy, and your chances of protecting and passing on your DNA will be diminished.  You may argue, but I want to live an authentic and real life!  I don’t want to live out an illusion.  I don’t think that’s the real argument here.  Color and our entire language is not real.  It’s just something we invented to communicate meaning to each other.  “Do you see that blue car coming at you?  Get out of its way!”  You’re not going to sit there and go, “Well, actually, blue is just a very broad label we place upon a band of the spectrum of electro-magnetic radiation – “ and boom, the blue car or whatever color you want to call it, hits you and kills you.  Life really is like a board game, and DNA is the key player.  If you help and protect DNA, you get rewards.  You smile, you feel comfortable, you feel strong and powerful, and you feel loved and appreciated.  If you don’t help and protect DNA, you get screwed over.  But if you want to sit there and go, I don’t like this game, it’s all bullshit, it’s not real, I quit, what do you do?  Go kill yourself?  I don’t think that’s a reasonable answer.  We’re here stuck in this game, and we can’t quit, so why not try to play by its rules and flourish?  Just because some scientist came along and told you it’s just really a game of make-believe doesn’t mean that by refusing to play by the rules you can somehow win the game and be happier than everyone else.  Scientists actually are telling you what the rules are and this in turn lets you know how to win. 

https://www.amazon.com/Self-Illusion-Social-Creates-Identity-ebook/dp/B008AJ2FCY/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Self-Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood

Pre-Review

 Having finished Neurologic and almost halfway through this book, it is now becoming clear to me that our minds are designed to be manipulated.  Whether you like it or not, our unconscious minds are extraordinarily designed to take limited information and manufacture a narrative, an illusion of a complete, fluid, over-simplified picture to provide us with certainty and confidence to act to protect and transfer our DNA in a world that is inherently uncertain, disorderly, and beyond both our senses and intellectual grasp.  In other words, our minds are built to deceive and be deceived.  It is therefore no surprise that humans are capable of not only unconsciously deceiving themselves but also consciously and unconsciously deceiving others, manufacturing realities that simply don’t exist based on limited information.  With that said, the entire history of civilization is one big scam, a deception, with the sole intention of benefitting the ruling class at the expense of the masses.

 I love the term “manufactured crisis” and I would take it even one step further to describe our economic system as Crisis Capitalism.  Destruction is more profitable than construction.  With construction, you profit once.  With destruction, you profit thrice, first from building, second from providing weapons that destroy, and then third from rebuilding everything the weapons destroyed.  Additionally, if the masses are led to believe that we live in a crisis situation, they are willing to go to extremes for self-preservation, and that often means surrendering liberties and autonomy.  In crisis mode, antisocial behavior is justified as a means to an end.  Strict hierarchies are created with superiors barking orders at subordinates, because this is a crisis situation and there is no time for courtesy and discussion.  Crises lend themselves to a command and control style of organization. 

 But crises are not the only way for the ruling class to organize strict hierarchies and suspend our liberties and autonomy.  The other method is what I call, “manufactured scarcity.”  The advent of agriculture created massive grain surpluses (i.e., wealth), but this surplus was not distributed equally.  Rather, a ruling class was formed to control all the surplus, and for everyone else, they manufactured scarcity.  They withheld surplus grain and wealth from the masses in exchange for obedience, subordination, and servitude.  Effectively, those at the bottom of the pyramid were simply turned into livestock either through slavery or debt servitude which still exists today.  Why do we take for granted that when you are born, you have no right to live on the land on which you were born?  From day one, your parents pay rent for you to live on land that is not yours.  Don’t you find that odd?  It would probably be odder if you had to pay rent for the air you breathe, but fortunately the masses were not stupid enough to believe that one but not smart enough to resist paying rent to live on the planet Earth.  If chimpanzees were smart enough to work in the field, one way of convincing them to do so would be to force them to pay rent for the land they are born on from day one.

 Fact is, there is enough grain and wealth to go around to make life comfortable for everyone.  In addition to withholding surplus grain and wealth from the masses, the ruling class also manufactures division.  It is natural for us to categorize nature.  You all remember Kings Play Chess on Fine Grain Sand which correspond to the classification system of living organisms, however, the division of humans is not scientific but rather a functional tool to divide and conquer.  If you think about it, the divide and conquer method is so obvious that it borders on the absurd.  We are divided left and right, red and blue, black and white, it’s almost comical.  Why we haven’t figured this all out already and resisted is beyond me, but I assure you, with the Internet, more and more people are getting wiser.

 The strength of scarcity as a tool is that it destroys your interests and abilities to collaborate and cooperate.  In nature, scarcity causes fierce competition even within species and close relatives.  In fact, under extreme conditions, animals eat one another, and this is virtually what happens to humans.  People love the saying, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world,” and proclaim it with pride thinking that being tough and ruthless is something to be proud of.  Humans are perhaps the most socialized animals to ever exist on this planet, and perhaps a nod to the ingenuity of the ruling class, they have successfully accomplished the amazing task of converting humans into some of the most anti-social animals on this planet.  Negativity, pessimism, cynicism, and hyper-competitiveness are all methods of coping with scarcity, and ultimately, they culminate in anti-social behavior.  This is exactly what the ruling class wants.  They are outnumbered by the masses, but if the masses are divided, atomized, and anti-social, there is no chance of them overtaking their rulers. 

 The first step to resisting manufactured scarcity and division is to simply stop believing in it.  I am not saying that we should deny that there are people of different nationalities, genders, and religions, but rather, we should not view them as competitors, and we should take the greater view that they are all humans and more alike than dissimilar.  And while the ruling class has withheld resources and made us fight over them, there are countless non-material resources that enrich our lives.  Not only should we believe that the world has a surplus of resources, but we should regard the non-material, non-commercial resources higher than the material ones.  The ruling class can withhold grain, oil, diamonds, and real estate, but they can’t withhold ideas, relationships, art, music, and knowledge especially in the Information Age.  You may argue that good art comes at a price, and I would argue that you have been successfully brainwashed into believing scarcity of non-material resources.  The idea that a panel of art experts can decree what is and what is not valuable art is simply the ruling class’s way of making art a scarce and valuable commodity to be collected and hoarded.

 Once you believe you exist in a world of surplus, you are more likely to collaborate and cooperate.  The fact that humans are the most socialized creatures on the planet indicate that for the majority of our evolution, we existed in a world of surplus.  Certainly, we had to compete against other intelligent primates and wild animals, but for the most part, we were the top of the food chain and enjoyed natural abundance.  When you live in a world of surplus, there is a much higher probability that everyone’s DNA is passed on, so the competition is to pass on more DNA than everyone else.  This requires social aptitude, the ability to rise through a social group, mate more and pass on your social advantage to your children.  This is perhaps why the ruling class came into existence in the first place.  When they accumulated and hoarded wealth, they mated more, and they passed on that wealth to their children.  Unfortunately, humans had never dealt with what was excessive wealth or surplus which led them to use that excess not only to benefit their relatives but employ underlings to secure their wealth and enslave everyone else.  This has become ever more important to know with the advent of intelligent robots which will replace the vast majority of human labor and make billions of humans redundant.  In a world of manufactured scarcity, it would then only make sense that the abundant humans who cannot find work should starve, fight, and perish, and this is where we are headed unless today, we uncover the scam.  We are quickly barreling toward the greatest mass extermination of humans.  If we are to assume that the ruling class are in fact completely in control of the world, and intelligent robots would make the vast majority of humans valueless to them, it is not a farfetched notion that they would have every incentive to rid the planet of billions of potential competitors as they have already displayed wanton disregard for human life.  The only reason they have allowed billions to live is simply to use them as cheap labor.

Neurologic: The Brain’s Hidden Rationale Behind Our Irrational Behavior by Eliezer Sternberg

This book does a rather roundabout, perambulating manner of explaining neurologic by using extreme cases of people whose brains have malfunctioned, not so much causing neurologic but rather causing havoc with neurologic.  It reads much like Dr. Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat.  He also brings up a number of studies I learned in Psychology 101.  The biggest thing I get out of this book is that we have two minds, or at least we can separate our single mind into two things, one that we are aware of that can use simple logic and reason, and the one we are unaware of that is faster and more powerful, and often better at helping us survive, but tends to overgeneralize and confabulate when it is missing pieces of information or input.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, because without a complete picture to work with, the brain often freezes up, and survival is more about action than waiting around for all the pieces to come together. 

 Our society seems split between these two minds.  For the longest time, we seemed to be in harmony.  We seemed to rely more on what is well known as the unconscious or subconscious mind and less on the conscious mind.  As humans, we triumphed over countless other intelligent primates and wild animals.  But when we started farming and discovered the surplus of grain, we formed hierarchies and turned each other into human livestock.  Although, we were smarter than cows and horses, the rulers were smarter, and they played with our minds to keep us subservient and submissive.  In addition to carrots and sticks which appealed to our unconscious minds, they were crafty enough to manipulate our conscious minds with stories and fables about how special the kings and queens were and how important it was to maintain and fight for their kingdoms and aspire to nobility and all that bullshit.  Instead of just being afraid of the whip and desirous of having enough food to eat, humans enslaved their minds by believing in the rewritten history of the world.  Whether you like it or not, we haven’t changed much.  Instead of believing in bullshit stories of chivalry, romance, nobility, knights in shining armor and pure damsels in distress, we now believe bullshit stories about religions or the triumph of science over religion, or gerrymandering ideologies, left versus right, race wars, gender wars, patriotism, etc. 

 While our analytical minds evolved to correct the overgeneralizations and confabulations of our unconscious survival minds, they also enabled us to deceive and manipulate each other and be deceived and manipulated.  It was a double-edged sword.  What this book teaches me is that the unconscious mind is powerful, perhaps miraculous, and capable of incredible things like creating music, art, and stories, but it is also vulnerable to neurological disorders, overgeneralization, and self-deception.  But instead of disregarding and belittling it as stupid and fallible, we should use our analytical minds to accept, acknowledge, and collaborate with our unconscious minds.  Knowing when to analyze things and when to just stop and act is perhaps one of the most important skills, more so than just really being good at analyzing everything to death.  Those who never stop analyzing actually get trapped in analysis-paralysis, and without putting plans to action, you never truly know what ideas work well in the chaos and complexity of real life. 

 A good example I have is my roller derby.  When I stop to think about it, it’s pretty absurd.  A dude practicing in a female league.  Strapping on roller skates and skating around hitting and getting hit.  It’s absurd.  I can easily talk myself out of going to practice, but I know better.  I know to just shut my analytical mind off and focus on getting all my gear together and walking out the door.  After a good, vigorous practice where I get my endorphins flowing, I never regret going to practice.  And when I’m at practice, I also know not to over-analyze everything I’m learning, because that also stops my muscles and unconscious mind from learning which is often more important, especially for basics.  For advanced tactics, the duet of both analysis and imagination work best. 

 Our inaccessible, unconscious minds use a different type of logic, one that uses error management theory.  We rightly overreact to things that may harm us and underreact to things that appear benign or neutral.  We overly rely on pattern-seeking instead of logic, because we never had access to math and science to help us survive, hence we rely heavily on nature’s clues which is pattern-seeking which is correct enough times to make it a worthwhile tool.  Of course, math and science are now informing us that pattern-seeking is often fallible, but so long as it doesn’t kill us, we’re mostly fine.  The real question is how do we reconcile the coexistence of two minds, the rational accessible one with that kind narrator voice and the irrational associative mind that relies on gut, patterns, and instinct?  The answer is actually quite simple.  In order to get through life, we need both, and we need to learn how to accept and apply each one to each situation.  For instance, let’s say you want to learn to play tennis.  You don’t just read books and watch YouTube videos.  You actually have to go out and do it.  You can fill your rational accessible mind with all the information you want, but you also need your inaccessible muscle mind to learn how to actually anticipate, hit, and return the tennis ball inbounds.  It is not nature versus nurture, and it’s not the accessible versus the inaccessible mind. 

 * * *

 One of the scariest things to emerge out of learning more and more about how we think and who we are is that you start to realize that you were initially completely delusional, and then the scariest thing is that you start to realize that you are and will always be completely delusional, that as much as you are creating a more accurate and clear picture of reality, it will forever be obscure, contrived, distorted, and fuzzy.  Dr. Phil has become more of an exploitative Jerry Springer type show (Catch Me Ousside).  One thing that you realize when watching the show is that there is often one guest who is completely delusional.  Of course, we see it, and Dr. Phil points out all these logical flaws in their stories and contradictions, but they don’t get it.  Are they mad?  No, not really.  We’re all mad.  We all use the exact same rationalizing system they do.  With the limited information they have in placing their life in what we would consider a normal, social context, all they can do is make up one excuse after another for what we perceive as anti-social, bizarre behavior.  But to them, and their fragile ego, it is impossible for them to be anti-social and bizarre.  Instead, their minds make up perfectly good answers to why they act a certain way, which is often blaming others. 

 While we like to think of ourselves as a bit more intelligent and social than the unfortunate freak show guests of Dr. Phil, if Dr. Phil was actually a super-intelligent being with millions of times the insights and knowledge about human behavior and psychology, that being could make all of us look like delusional freaks.  Even if we were a hundred times more enlightened and self-aware, this super-Dr. Phil that is a million times more enlightened and aware would still consider us absurdly delusional and misinformed.  It is often said that the more you learn, the more realize you know very little, while the stupidest people think they know everything.  Now imagine this.  The more you learn, the more realize how delusional you are, while the stupidest people think they are the most sane and clear-thinking people in the room.  In essence, the more you learn, the more you realize you are one fucking dumbass, delusional freak of a self-important, anti-social, self-contradicting being. 

 Some people argue that ignorance is bliss.  The ignorant person is confident in what little they know, but at least they have the confidence to act on it, and pure perseverance gives them the edge over the intelligent yet uncertain and inconsistent nerd.  Now add to this, an intelligent nerd who realizes he is also unbelievably delusional and should probably not trust anything he knows or thinks.  But I would argue against this.  A really smart person would accept that they are rather ignorant and delusional, but they would also realize that they are less ignorant and less delusional than the stupid person.  They would realize that if they want anything in life, i.e., that ever irrational pursuit of fulfilling their desires and overcoming obstacles, they need to invest in the game and indulge their inaccessible minds.  They need to learn to sometimes turn off their conscious minds and get in the game, learn, adapt, struggle, etc.  Even knowing that they are mostly ignorant and delusional, their advantage is that they can choose when and how much effort to put into the game, and if it becomes too much, they can step back and laugh it all off as an abstract illusion of reality.  The stupid person, meanwhile, has a mental breakdown or does something desperate thinking it’s nothing but the game and life and death. 

 The greatest cost to being stupid is that the smart folks have figured out countless ways to exploit the pattern-seeking, inaccessible, survival-oriented mind.  They know how to manipulate it into buying things it doesn’t need, coveting things it can’t afford, and working endless hours to improve their status which does very little to make them happy and in fact makes them ever more covetous of those with greater status.  So, you really can’t afford to be stupid and should not want to be stupid.  Yes, you may work harder and be an incredible entrepreneur with a multi-million-dollar business, but you also eat shit, never workout, have a sick and diseased body and brain, and you waste all your wealth on stupid things and you can never figure out why you’re always tired, frustrated, and unhappy despite apparently doing all the things you’re being told to do to achieve happiness.

 The beauty of the conscious, accessible, analytical mind is that it can fix mistakes made by the inaccessible, pattern-seeking, over-generalizing mind.  However, the conscious mind is not as much interested in survival as logical correctness, and hence the conflict.  For example, a nerd is talking to a beautiful woman, and she seems inexplicably interested in him, but when she starts talking politics, the nerd goes ballistic and wants to make all sorts of corrections to her political thoughts which are overly reliant on generalizations and survival.  What the nerd needs to do is use both minds in unison for his best interests in life, the pursuit of accurate knowledge but also the pursuit of sex or happiness and love.  Yes, our conscious, analytical mind is good at making a fool of our survival minds, but what do you truly gain by alienating your survival mind?  Losing yourself in your thoughts, you get run over by a car or you fail to find or friend or romantic partner.  After a certain point, your analytical mind invariably wonders, what’s the point of life?  If I’m not enjoying it, why keep on struggling?  There is no doubt in my mind that many nerds with big analytical minds perished throughout history.  They failed to mate.  They failed to find happiness.  They ended their lives or just quit trying.  The true power of the conscious, analytical mind is knowing when to use it and when to simply shut it off or dim it down.

 We evolved and our minds evolved in a world where someone creates a weapon, someone creates a new shield, someone creates a new weapon, someone creates a new shield.  I think that the ability to deceive was the first weapon, and the ability to perceive deception was the shield.  Either way, our analytical minds evolved and developed in order to both deceive an adversary or prey or predator and then to perceive deception from another intelligent primate with an advanced analytical mind.  I am a firm believer that our social lives had a greater impact on our evolution than predators and hunting prey.  In other words, it was more important for us to deceive and perceive deception in social situations than it was in the wilderness seeking food or trying not to be someone else’s food.  To this day and for the foreseeable future, our greatest threat or opportunity is produced from another human, and our ability to deceive and perceive deception is one of our greatest tools. 

 Reading this book makes it profoundly clear that the source of our creativity is our inaccessible, pattern-seeking mind, because all it does basically is fill in the gaps of perception with generalizations, associations, or just whatever seems to fit the gap.  In other words, it’s the greatest storyteller around.  This is why it’s so much easier for me to write novels when I’m not really thinking about it.  This is why writers get writer’s block and artists get stuck.  They think too much.  Writing and art is not about engaging the analytical mind.  It is about letting go and indulging our more creative, fictionalizing, pattern-seeking minds.  While you may think there are only two kinds of people, the overly-analytical nerds and the dull but artistic and creative doers, it is more complicated than this.  Most of the people I encounter are neither.  Maybe that’s a reflection of where I live, but I would argue that most people are overly-analytical but also rather dull.  They do think a lot, but it’s often things that are trivial, meaningless, pointless, and a great source of worry and stress.  In other words, they sort of ramble think, and many of them actually ramble talk.  They are alienated from their survival mind, so they don’t know what’s important and not, so their heads are just filled with junk that may or may not be useful or harmful, but better to keep tabs on all of it at the same time with the same amount of focus.  They are like mental hoarders.  They keep all thoughts, and they have no idea how to prioritize which thoughts are important or not. 

 Of course, you can’t think all the time, and the unconscious, survival mind wins out most all the time.  So what happens is the overly analytical person alternates between bouts of excessive worry and over-thinking with bouts of excessive impulsivity and thoughtlessness.  The most thoughtless, careless, and cruel things I’ve witnessed came out of the minds and mouths of over-analytical people.  They’re constantly blowing their mental fuses by overloading their analytical minds.  And once their analytical minds are gone, they are overreactive to threats as well as desires. 

 One of the startling passages is how images arise from the brain stem and the visual processing parts of the brain are activated to make sense of them.  Is it thus possible that the world we think we see out there is actually mostly the world already inside us, in our brain stem, somehow encoded in our DNA?  The world out there is real, but it is not the same reality as the world in our minds.  Certainly, there is a fruit hanging on a tree out there, and we go grab it and eat it.  Certainly, there is an angry human out there watching us, and it can approach us and attack us.  But the vast majority of the world we experience is in our minds, perhaps prompted by the outside world, but for the most part, our minds fill in a lot of gaps and holes, constructing a fantasy world that is more manageable for us to deal with and exploit or identify threats.  And if this is the case, it is our DNA that creates our world, and that DNA does not so much belong to us as we imagine but rather every single one of our ancestors. 

 

Near the end the book talks about our minds can even deceive us into losing our sight and how people with multiple personalities not only manifest psychologically but also neurologically because they all have different vision from decent to nearly blind!  Never, ever, ever, underestimate the power of the mind that is inaccessible to you.  When I was younger, I’d always fight with that mind, chastising myself for forgetting things, saying stupid things, overreacting, etc.  I wasn’t doing myself any favors.  In fact, I was just stressing myself out more by losing trust and confidence in a major part of me.  Imagine if you stopped trusting your legs and arms to obey you?  You would walk around awkwardly or perhaps not at all, and in this sense, I was mentally crippling myself by arguing with myself and mistrusting myself.  Some people with milder multiple personalities can actually become the leader of all their personalities and keep them all in check, and this is actually what we must do with that temperamental, impulsive, creative, powerful mind we have hidden in our heads.  And often times, we need to tell our analytical minds to shut the fuck up and let our unconscious minds run the show for a while. 

 It is without doubt that we, as humans, have very little understanding of how our minds work or what reality is.  As advanced and scientific we get, we are all still living in a world of fables, myths, damsels in distress, and knights in shining armor.  All we truly know is that we have desires and fears, and then we construct this world around the desires and fears to make better sense of them, and then I don’t think we realize that this reality we construct out of our desires and fears is actually all we have.  There is a greater truth and reality out there that is inaccessible to us at this moment, so what is the harm in just admitting that you’re living this delusional, fabled life, playing a part you know is ultimately just a part?  Perhaps the answer is distancing yourself from the gravity of desires and fears.  For those of us who can never satiate our desires or escape a tormenting fear, it helps to create some distance between this reality and perhaps move toward another reality where our desires and fears maybe are not as important as we might think.  Whatever the truth is, I just know that it will surprise me, and I’m not living the life and reality I think I am.  If all I have to predict the future is evidence from the past, and this past if full of surprising and mind-blowing plot twists and quantum physics counter-intuitive fuckery, then all I can do is project that all into the future, and what this tells me is that the reality out there, whatever it is, will make you shit yourself and go crazy, so just hope that it unravels itself gradually so you can adapt at each step of the way.

 

https://www.amazon.com/NeuroLogic-Brains-Rationale-Irrational-Behavior-ebook/dp/B00WCXFMGK