Archive | February 2016

The Fear Factor

As I suspected might happen, everybody has taken away the wrong lesson — and I daresay “perverse” lesson — from the recently published West Coast research on the role of fear in maintaining equilibrium in ecosystems, as reported in Nature Communications, (“Fear of large carnivores causes trophic cascade“). What they should have taken away is the insight that subjective states — moods, emotions, feelings — are an integral part of the environment, and not that “fear is good” or that we’ve discovered a “surprising new weapon in the war against raccoons“.

Wrong lesson.

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Whenever I think about the issue of Angst, or anxiety, I always recall a scene from an Australian movie I once saw called Walkabout. Walkabout is about two Australian children lost in the Outback who are found, befriended, and cared for by a young Aboriginal boy who is on walkabout. In one hunting scene, the Aboriginal boy tracks down and corners a kangaroo which, having been backed into a corner, begins whimpering, knowing it is about to die. It is a very piteous scene. It is a very important scene in the film, though, because in time the hunter becomes the hunted, and at the film’s end it’s the young Aboriginal boy who becomes cornered by death. His response to his own end, in contrast to the kangaroo’s, is very different. He performs his death dance.

The kangaroo’s anxiety at being cornered is heart-wrenching. It’s one of the most poignant portrayals of anxiety that I’ve seen in art. But we all end up like that kangaroo — cornered. Death is the hunter, and we can go out whimpering like the poor kangaroo, or singing like William Blake or dancing like Castaneda’s don Juan.

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Candidate Trump and the New Normal

As y0u know, I’m a collector of references to “the new normal”. Some people collect butterflies, some people collect stamps, some people collect coins, I collect references to the “new normal”. Whenever I read a reference to “the new normal”, I get as giddy as an entomologist who has discovered a new species of insect.

If you followed my earlier postings on the new normal, you will also know that I consider it a clear indicator to Gebser’s anticipated disintegration of the mental-rational consciousness and personality structure of Late Modern Man — the normalisation of what is, actually, a very abnormal and aberrant situation. I won’t review the developmental history of the new normal again, but only point out that one of its characteristics is the normalisation of duplicity in all its forms — what I’ve called our “four riders of the apocalypse” as Double-Think, Double-Talk, Double-Standard, and Double-Bind. These are the symptoms of that disintegration. And another way of talking about the “new normal” is in terms of the eruption of chaotic emotion.

Candidate Trump is the candidate of the new normal, and as such the candidate of chaotic emotion.

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William Blake and the Placebo (and Nocebo) Effect

You have probably all heard of the placebo and nocebo effects (and perhaps the former moreso than the latter). The words are Latin for “I will please” or “I will harm” respectively, and might be construed as the red and blue pills that Morpheus offers Neo in The Matrix, or the potions and pills that Alice takes in Wonderland — one pill makes you bigger, the other makes you small.

Experimental science very much deplores the placebo and nocebo effects, not only because they are uncontrollable but also because they smack of “magic” (which they are), and tend to throw a monkey wrench in the works. Nonetheless, placebo and nocebo effects are unavoidable and, moreover, are connected with the issues of Observer Created Reality (OCR) or Consciousness Created Reality (CCR) in the musings of much contemporary physics.

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The Premises of Our Existence

While I’m still in a retrospective mood, perhaps I should once again recap some of the premises of The Chrysalis in light of my past personal experiences along with the benefit of new information, new meaning. Or, I should say, rather, befitting Mr. Holling’s adaptive cycle, that these are conclusions from an earlier course of development that have become premises for a new one.

And the first premise is, that we are not primarily “human” at all. We are energy beings — energy entities.

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The Shape of Consciousness: A Review

The addition of C.S. Holling’s “Adaptive Cycle” to the discussion, along with the revelations of Iain McGilchrist’s neurodynamics described in The Master and his Emissary, have added a new dimension to the exploration of “consciousness structures” and their evolution. It would seem that a review of the material covered in The Chrysalis so far is in order, not only to integrate this new material into the discussion of consciousness structures, but also to brief new subscribers to the blog who may be puzzled as to what The Chrysalis is about.

So, let’s refresh our memory of what it means to be “modern”, or what Jean Gebser in The Ever-Present Origin described as the “mental-rational consciousness structure” or the “perspectivist” consciousness now in the process of disintegration. And after this, it will be seen also what it means to be “post-modern” or even “trans-modern”.

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Reason, Revelation and the Divided Brain

Jean Gebser, in The Ever-Present Origin, chose the term “irruption”, rather than “e-ruption”, to describe the emergence of a new consciousness structure or of “unconscious knowledge” (in Seth’s terms). And it’s pretty clear that “irruption” is a substitute term for revelation or revealed truth.

Thanks to the research of Iain McGilchrist on the divided brain in The Master and his Emissary, we’re in a position to interpret revelation and reason as issues of neurodynamics, related “dialectically” or, perhaps better, “dialogically”, as issues of the first and second attentions or the two cognitive minds associated with the right and left-hemispheres of the brain, respectively. To the second attention, the sudden “irruption” of the insights of the first attention or “Master” into the cognitive matrix of the second attention, or “Emissary”, appear as revelations — not as something it itself has “made”. This is the key difference between revelation and reason — revealed truth versus man-made truth. Or, to put that another way, “the truth that sets free” or “the facts of the matter”.

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