What if there were a belief - a faith, and a fantasy - that interprets a persons experience of strength - confidence, self-esteem, and capacity to
dominate others - in terms of an elected status; a status, in turn, which emerges as a function of being "naturally selected" by Nature (sic) as an
"improvement" upon the normal Human gene-pool?
What are the desired traits of this "superior breed"? Well, aggression. The masculine qualities of the Hero - like Gilgamesh - or the founders of
imperialist kingdoms, like Elim, Sumer, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Myths like the "amazon" sought to apply this logic to the existence of females;
after all, females were just as intelligent as males, and so no doubt presented the unusual problem of "what does their existence mean in a masculine
What is emphasized within this way of thinking is subterfuge: undermine and exploit their emotional weaknesses and trusting naivete to gain control
and power over them - of course, to your advantage. Thus, what is being emphasized is a vicious anti-humanity - or the opposite of what society in
general has emphasized throughout most of Human history.
The Human mind arises as a function of the dynamical relationships between our body's estimated 40 trillion cells. These cells, in turn, organize the
motions of an estimed 10 octillion atoms. What is the basis of this marvelous vortex of energy transformation? There is a mystery - a beauty - in the
interactions, the selfless motions of atoms, composed in the life of the cell, to come together to produce the tissues, organs and shape of the body.
This simplified figure above expresses the general logic of self organization in nature. When the nervous system arises in the evolution of beings, it
is about a feedback loop between a "motor" direction - coming from the impulse of the whole organism against the environment - and a "sensory"
direction, with sensory organs streamlining the flow of the relevant external "reality" in the form of images and affects, sounds, tastes, smell,
This is the general foundation for all subsequent neurological evolution: complexity of functions are intertwined, with the perceptual guiding the
cognitive, and the cognitive informing the perceptual - bidirectionally occurring, and in the process, generating a "mental flow" - as a being
experiencing the life of its elements.
When people emerge, something called a "self" is constructed out of intersubjective tidbts of relational knowledge. Symbols are formed and concepts
are hatched - and consciousness i.e. the proliferation of neurons - are constructed into the complexity of the organisms mind. What is the basis of
this? Surprisingly, this intuitively recognizable fact is strongly occluded by the practices, feelings, culture and values of the societies we
co-create. Obviously, and as with everything else that exists in a solid form, is symmetry.
Humans and all animals are symmetrical. Our left side mirrors our right side, in dog, fish, and all animals. The only other (to my knowledge)
sttuctural variant in the nature world is radial - or a circle. The first creatures in fact assumed such forms: cells.
What is symmetry for the human mind, but the concept of self-other equivalence? The evolution of consciousness was constantly happening through a
circle - a circle that widened when a stable state emerged, thereby enlarging the circle, and deepening the consciousness within it. The circle was
fed by problems and solutions - interpersonal conflicts and interpersonal solutions. The solutions, of course, deepened feeling relations.
with deepened feeling relations i.e. inducements - came more complex representational powers i.e. conceptualization. Abstraction emerged from feeling
- and so feeling, particularly the feelings of joy (as in laughter, play) care (as in being touched by a mother, or looked at with a face of love and
care, or a friendly and compassionate glance from another when you're feeling insecure) and awe (as in looking upon the image of the world and
becoming inspired by the order and symmetry of it; the way in which geometry functions to hold everything in a delicate and wondrous balance - as if
by magic) are all relational phenomena - fundamentally "emergent" upon the construction of a brain that has become a better and better "sensor" of
a deeper, integrative reality.
Think about this and marvel at its epistemological significance: One brain and another brain, mutually enlivening one another because the experience
of being "known" excites us into continued interpersonal activity. Wondrous! Its a chiefly subjective phenomena! As if the Self were being
"goaded" out by the process of recognition - one Self seeing another Self - and knowing one another along different dimensions, from play, to care,
These emotions even have a clear difference in their significance: play is "superficial", because it is only about self. Care, on the other hand,
moves from the self, to the other self: it represents a progression into a deeper knowing. The Self knows the Other, a reflection, indeed, of the
And what about awe? Awe is the Self going beyond itself into the world: the World inspires the self? Yes. Epistemologically - and thus, ontologically
- the perception of reality as conducted through the sensory system activates the affective processes of the midbrain - the anterior cingulate, and
perhaps, even, mirror neurons, react with a sense of recognition: tat tvam asi - "you are that" the Indian sages say, and in terms of evolution, the
science is clear: experiences such as this are neurogenic
, which means it promotes an increase in metabolic action, and at the deepest levels,
an extension of the geometrical latticework of the brain.
So this is how our brain grew. A simple analytical study of the phenomenology of the phenomena in question - the enlivenment of play, the enlivenment
of caring relations, and the enlivenment in spiritual perception - yields an incontrovertible result: emotions of connection promote integration, and
therefore bolster biophysical complexity. The process seems essentially "other oriented", yet always imply a "knower" who is enlivened - a Self
which is growing more complex by appreciating the value of the process which enlivens it. The knower becomes connected to the "known" through a
particular process of knowing. The Self gets lost when it loses context of how its "knowing" is formed; when it forgets that its knowing is a
function of the way the knower relates to the known.
Navy Seals are wondrous creatures - incredible at what they do, and able to endure physical hardships that strike me as almost super-human. Is it
plausible that a genetic mutation makes these people so effective at what they do? Just think about it. These supermen (mostly men) are able to endure
hours of lying on the beach with wave after wave coming upon their face, forcing them to consciously regulate their breathing, affectivity and
relationship to the movements of the waves.
If you can imagine, these waves pass over them at very short intervals, which means that in order for them to maintain a lucid consciousness, they
must be affectively relaxed to the progressions of the waves - again and again, with no other thought in the mind but the dynamics of the actions -
moving upon them, again and again.