Of Doctors and Monsters
ANNOUNCING THE END OF HUMAN CONDITION
“With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two. I say two, because the state of my own knowledge does not pass beyond that point. Others will follow, others will outstrip me on the same lines; and I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens. I for my part, from the nature of my life, advanced infallibly in one direction and in one direction only.It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; and from an early date, even before the course of my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements. If each, I told myself, could but be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable; the unjust might go his way, delivered from the aspirations and remorse of his more upright twin; and the just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path, doing the good things in which he found his pleasure, and no longer exposed to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this extraneous evil. It was the curse of mankind that these incongruous faggots were thus bound together — that in the agonised womb of consciousness, these polar twins should be continuously struggling. How, then, were they dissociated?”
— Excerpt from the classic The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1885.
Dr. Jeckyll’s tragic ending did not invalidate his discovery:
“… that man is not truly one, but truly two.”
The consequences of this insight into human nature went beyond fiction and contributed to the accelerated neuroscientific advances in the 20th century.
Something similar happened in technology.
More than two thousand years have passed since the first speculations about the atom of the Greek philosopher Democritus to start the Manhattan Project in 1939. And only a few decades before the nuclear accidents in Chernobyl, in 1986, and in Fukushima, in 2011, contaminate with radioactivity part Europe and Japan.
It is estimated that the “ego” — that consciousness imitated and learned from one self separated from the other — is a cluster of synapses that appeared in civilization some 3,500 years ago. In 2009 I suspected the possibility of deleting this internal censor through a voluntary “unlearning” intervention on behavior, language and thinking. This could correct a universal neurobiological limitation that causes what we call “human condition”.
I invested more than a decade to arrive at a theory capable of explaining this hypothesis. It is presented in detail in the first chapters of the book “THE SYNESTHETIC ART OF CONTEMPLATION”.
This theory is simple: the ego sustains itself through its constant use in various everyday situations to perpetuate the identity with which we have been conditioned from the mother’s womb, indoctrinated to believe and invest in a personality, with a soul or spirit inhabiting the body, that supposedly distinguishes us from others.
However, any direct action on the ego would only reinforce its synapses. This has been tried for millennia. And to no avail. Contrary to expectations, one of the side effects of the “death of the ego” was to bring individuals into the world ruled by a Superego. These Enlightened, Saviors and Saints were quickly converted into models creating countless misfortunes. Religious wars, chronic guilt and resentment, “discontents in civilization”, are the most evident tragedies of such attempts at eugenics through extremely dangerous social engineering as we shall see.
Therefore, the action on this tangle of synapses that constitute the ego should be indirect and lateral. It would also be voluntary, persistent and intentional, avoiding the risks of recreating unstable “nuclear reactors” in the form of charismatic and narcissistic sociopaths like Hitler and Jim Jones, to name but a few of the most infamous, whose fanatical followers have regressed to an altered state of schizophrenia, the “bicameralism” pointed out by the psychologist Julian Jaynes.
I have distilled two practices that should be employed simultaneously, one martial and one linguistic, and both rational and pragmatic. However, their combination would only work if it did not depend on the whispers of the ego that appropriated much of the thought.
The last ingredient to add and stabilize this volatile mixture was to understand an unforgettable feeling of unity with the objective world that I experienced during the climbing of a mountain in my adolescence in 1987. This youthful adventure described in the book “THE SYNESTHETIC ART OF CONTEMPLATION” took me, almost three decades later, to the studies of Synesthesia.
Thanks to this natural phenomenon in which the main senses intersect, synesthesia has become the best candidate to ignite the ego’s self-immolation.
The torturing asceticism of the monks or the materialistic hedonism of the cynical nihilists had failed. To insist on following and preaching atavistic religious dogmas, New Age quantum philosophies and revolutionary, environmentalist and utopian political views would be the equivalent of continuing to tilt at windmills.
What cannot be prohibited or punished requires regulation. Requires order.
“Before preparing to improve the world, first look around your own home three times”, says a popular proverb.
And to restore the body’s native intelligence and its delicate organic systems, I chose the training of Tai Chi Chuan and the application of a daily heuristic that I called the 8 Keywords Game. And these two tools neutralize the ego — without leveraging a Superego — when the mind operates from the contemplative state. But not from conventional contemplation that is confused with meditation, but from contemplation in synesthesia.
“Contemplation” in Portuguese means to be given a gift. And there is no greater prize than witnessing the opportunity to be living and to feel and know that you are awake instead of being stuck in a nightmare.
The advantage of synesthesia is that it naturally activates the brain regions responsible for memory, temporarily dislodging the ego. Synapses that were previously part of the ego become channels for crossing sensory sensations. Instead of associating a smell with a memory (the Proust effect), the aromas will be “touched” as in the contact between objects. Ditto for hearing, sight and other senses, including proprioception.
While in CONTEMPLATIVE TAI CHI we give vent to the body’s native intelligence by exercising its control of fine movements and exploring the “sense of proximity” in martial interaction, in the 8 KEYWORDS GAME the ego is progressively neutralized in relationships, preventing this virtual entity take advantage of the instincts and emotions it causes and nurtures to endure.
The CONTEMPLATIVE SYNESTHETIC ART is physical and cognitive and accepts legitimate physical feelings and other organic reactions such as sleep, hunger, digestion, sexual arousal and thought itself, and does not deceive the mind with solipsistic hallucinations and unrealistic promises.
What would be the strategy to circumvent the transmogification of the ego in a Superego? And to circumvent that painful “Calamity” described by U.G. Krishnamurti and others, of certain near-death experiences followed by a random resuscitation known as ANASTASIS?
The answer: by allowing the innate ability of neuronal plasticity to operate without resistance while reaching the peak of relaxation stimulated in CONTEMPLATIVE TAI CHI. And the best and safest time to implement this neuromorphism to dislodge the ego is while we sleep. This hypnagogic resource, diametrically opposed to hypnosis, together with contemplative synesthesia in the practice of CONTEMPLATIVE TAI CHI and in the routine application of the 8 KEYWORDS GAME was the solution.
Men and women free from the inner dualism maintained by the ego are amorally peaceful and altruistic. That is, these and other qualities hailed as noble and ideals will not depend on the fear of punishment or retaliation in life or after death or on the hope of a reward and profits in the future. And neither the sanction and the recognition of the group in which they are socially inserted.
The herd mentality ends with the dismissal of the ego.
The simple fact of living in the always new and dynamic now of the objective world, without being blindly guided by instincts, emotions and thoughts in conflict with the intellect, is the immediate fruit of the visceral knowledge that paradise exists in all countries. places in the universe and at any time. By interrupting the damage and threats to one’s own health and the safety of others, the psychological “ouroboros” — an exhausting and degrading brain loop — disappears like the shadow exposed to light.
There is no way to describe an entire existence living in the present in such a state of contemplative sensory purity.
Living with the body freed from an ego through free, safe and fun work of manumission, is an example that spreads like the seeds of dandelion in this era of ultra-fast communication.
Tele-synesthesia is a reality. It is currently a necessity.
This task on itself finds resistance (the ego wants to survive at any cost). If it doesn’t happen in the next generation or the next, it will be irrelevant. And it will not be shared by the proselytism of the sects or the persuasion of the speakers and influencers.
Discarding obsolete organs is part of natural selection (in nature, use it or lose it). An invention is overcome when another innovation replaces it more efficiently.
Adaptation is inevitable.
The most fearless will be the first to crystallize and break their egos.
An autogenous evolution to accelerate this requires a harmless and practical method, neither spiritualist nor scientific.
Now such a rational methodology is at your reach.
Where this basic neuroscientific knowledge of the human condition will lead other researchers is beyond the views of this author and the most fertile imagination of all writers.
The end of Homo Sapiens Sapiens does not have to occur through catastrophes or plagues …
Or a global economic collapse: breaking one of the weakest links in the food distribution chain — money — would reduce the consumer population by more than two-thirds, whose unprepared survivors forcibly launched into the hunter-gatherer lifestyle would be extinguished by violence, hunger, cold, disease and the loss of the will to raise children and live in the ruins of a post-apocalyptic planet.
THE GOOD NEWS
“The beauty of art will save the world.”
— Fyodor Dostoevsky
For the first time in history, we are facing the birth of a new species: that of “Homo Ludens Artisticus”, in which men and women are the pioneering artists of the Great Art of Living.
And that stopped being a performance and a prophecy.