A silly little book by the name of
Breaking Out of Homeostasis
, makes the ridiculous claim that the mind can operate "outside" of homeostasis.
Here's some details:
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Stop Human Biology From Sabotaging Your Success.
Homeostasis is the invisible biological force that's sabotaging your success and preventing you from living a healthy, happy and adventurous
Homeostasis runs in the background of your brain. It fights every change that you make.
If you don't learn the truth about how homeostasis permeates your life, then you'll probably go through life unconsciously... drifting along the
path of least resistance in everything that you do.... headed for eternal mediocrity.
But, by learning how to Break out of Homeostasis, you can use your newfound knowledge to:
[*]Get in the best physical shape of your life
Live a bold & adventurous life that will be exciting to look back on when you're older
Become much smarter (speed up your learning) in less than a year
Gain a big psychological edge that helps you dominate in a fast-changing & uncertain future
Overcome nearly any obstacle you face, and develop a healthy addiction to winning
This book provides you with all of the information, tools and exercises you need to take control of your brain and body, and live the life you
It even has an imprimatur from a powerful finance billionaire: "Breaking out of Homeostasis is one of the most important books I have read in a
long time. Typically you read one or two books every few years that completely change the way you see the world and this is definitely one of
So lets address some of these extremely tendentious points one by one:
Homeostasis isn't sabotaging anybody's success. Indeed, your very capacity to cognize derives from homeostasis, which is more or less a catch-all
phrase for the sum-total of metabolic processes in your body and the way your body distributes that energy.
How can you think - how can your forebrain work, without glucose and oxygen? Does he mean to say that his book will help you a) stop breathing (stop
taking in oxygen) and b) stop eating (stop absorbing carbs for energy mobilization)? Silliness.
Homeostasis, also, is not in the 'background of your brain'. I wonder whether the author (who perhaps may have a skewed inner experience i.e. is a
sociopath) understandings what the word "homeostasis" even means, even though he evidently takes this claim of his as legitimate.
While the sociopath does indeed have a brain that dilutes affective signals from the body, and as a by-product, the affective signals from the social
world, this doesn't mean that homeostasis isn't motivating and generating activities within the brain-mind itself. Again, the hypothalamus connects
with the forebrain: when you're hungry, you eat, yes? How do you think hunger becomes consciously produced? A little area in your hypothalamus called
the median eminence absorbs molecules from the blood, and in doing so, produces neurotransmitters that stimulate the orbitofrontal cortex, producing
feelings of hunger, or sex, etc.
The author of this childish fantasy also seems to think that homeostasis is identical with the 'unconscious'. But this is wrong. They are different
things. Homeostasis DRIVES the unconscious because the entire body and mind is built up from the ground-floor of homeostasis itself. The unconscious -
in a Jungian sense - is the repository of images that ultimately derive from self-with-other, and so constitutes experiences of self (or self-states).
These self-states are driven by homeostatic processes - for instance, if I am hungry, an image of my body of being "hungry" dissipates, or controls,
how my mind will respond i.e. proceed to eating food. Psychological images (or schemas) are fundamentally under the control of homeostasis.
What he could perhaps be promising is: "you can dissociate yourself further from awareness of weakness", and, if you're lucky, and the world keeps
affording you opportunities, you could 'grow', while at the same time stepping on person after person (let alone the natural world) to secure your
'happiness'. This indeed can happen; sociopaths appear to be less responsive to social signals, which would appear to derive from an impairment in
continuity between areas in the insula, orbitofrontal cortex and the cingulate region of the brain. These affective signals are for the purpose of
coherently guiding the organism, but for various reasons - all social - the self can be forced to self organize with reference to its own 'cognitive
desires', and even come to feel very powerful and effective in these ways of being; but it would be an incredible error to assume that this state of
affairs is sustainable: the sociopath is a profoundly motivated human 'stuck' in an individualistic attractor, created by interpersonal experiences
with others, so that they both a) don't benefit from the force of loving interactions and b) also don't feel the need to seek the love of others.
This personality difference is also based in a genetic difference: Children with Low activity of the MAOA allele is associated with antisocial
behavior, as well with children who have a history of abuse and neglect. Children with high level MAOA activity (a different allele) had substantially
less childhood maltreatment.
Lower MAOA production means lower dopamine-production, lower noradrenaline production, as well as lower serotonin production. All of these
neurotransmitters are essentially involved in social-signalling processes: dopamine to feel motivated to act; noradrenaline to register negative
feedback, and therefore to experience shame; and serotonin to regulate the way these two systems relate with one another, and so determines how facile
the mind can move from one state to another.
The sociopath, then, possesses a mind which has never been properly attuned to reality and truth: it is has become genetically wired to function
according to a different attractor and different 'laws'. But underneath this, in the background, lies a history of errors, of breaks, of trauma,
that ultimately reduces back to the same early life break in expectancy for a loving mother.
On top of this lies a history of positive feedback: to be a sociopath, apparently, is to "be specially built". This world of ours seems to funnel
people with these ways of being to the 'top', and their presence there becomes even more complicated when mysticism and occultism is brought into
the picture, and the mysterious biosemiotic nature of the universe becomes apparent to them.