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2014/01/21 / 2015/04/15
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By Dr. Uladzimir Tratsiakou
It was for me as an revelation at reading Prof. Victor Allahverdov’s book “Methodological Travel on Ocean of the Unconscious to Island of the Consciousness” (S.-Petersburg, 2000, in Russian). It appears the very title of this vast 400-page book is playing upon the conceptual metaphor coined by William James, the American philosopher and psychologist. In addition I was, don’t realizing, his follower in last 12 years or so, as my activity was, if to continue his metaphor, to realize how to make this “island” bigger and rearrange better.
Wishing to know more about this great scientist of 19 to 20 century who looked as my like-minded person I have found a more confirmation that one of his conceptual thoughts concerning the future events is as well of my interests and considerations if it is interpreted correspondingly. I mean here his dictum: “The power to move the world is in your unconscious mind.”
Why it sounds as a prophecy and a guidance for acting I want to demonstrate by this article.
Most people seem to share the folks wisdom: "Some are wise, some otherwise." No doubt, we are among those, "first some". Truly, one of us may sometimes say: "What a stupid I was!" – but only in exclusive cases, not "for ever", isn’t it?
I am to present here another approach to human Reason, entitled Top of the evolution. It looks like it to be able to have created our mighty civilization is unable to save it of extinction and self-extinction.
As far back as in mid-20th century A. Einstein said: "We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive". He surely meant a new manner of thinking to overcome our mentality’s backwardness stipulated by evolution. It’d be hard to treat "substantially" otherwise. Moreover the thought should be true in the beginning of 21st century. Twenty years after the Rio Summit of 1992 sustainable development remains largely a goal, and global problems are looming threateningly over the humankind. Global Catastrophes Risk Institute, Global Catastrophic Risks website, World Crisis Web may be considered as any tokens of the time we live at. Yuji Ishiguro’s proposal to bring the population intentionally from 7 to 1 billion (expressed in his book [1} is seen rather as a prediction of an enormous depopulation.
Earth, what is a point under the question mark!
Why the backwardness? It may be hard to grasp right away. Someone may even be indignant: "What? Human Reason, which brought about a mighty civilization and took us to the top of the evolution, is characterized by a kind of backwardness!?"
Nevertheless, it is so. Let’s try to imagine those prehistoric circumstances of the evolution. Over the past few million years Homo’s existence was measured in periods of glacials (up to 100 millennia each) and shorter interglacials (up to dozens of millennia each). In such wild, cruel and dangerous conditions of existence pre-people survived uniting into tribes, mastering bonfires, freeing fore-legs (hands) for producing tools for labor, collective hunting, learning the more secure business of agriculture, coming up with spoken written communication.
Moreover, such good acquisitions endowed Human Sapiens with enormous evolution advantages before other animals, and this species began spreading across the Earth, its numbers increasing exponentially. As a result, the press of eliminating separation diminished, being since historical times generally out of significance. In result, Human Sapiens, this the newest species, had turned out under-evolved.
Thus a woman’s scream at childbirth: "Why I must so suffer?!" may be answered: "What you want, we all are under-evolved".
After times when the Man had been invented he was perfected only with prostheses.
But Reason is not only under-evolved but posted in quite another circumstance of civilization existence, that is why SPT has such wide range of revealing itself. Here is only short list for you to make certain of it.
* Try to solve 2 simplest arithmetic tasks on adding and multiplying with numbers from 1 to 10, but simultaneously; or to draw, as well simultaneously, triangle and circle. Some problem, isn’t it? Well, in order to remain alive our ancestors’ brains must be speedy and work like machines of successive action.
* Human brains are underused. Really, people like (and even adore) to limit themselves with not burdensome mental accompaniment of events. Million-strong armies of frenzied fans of sport and variety idols are a convincing evidence of this.
Let’s build no shelters for mental poverty!
Other addictions to be though publicly not seen – abusing drugs, hazard games, sexual abuse, gluttony, conscious starvation – attest to the above-said.
People as I remarked like such thoughts what do not induce to thinking.
* More on the issue: why we to have in disposition our topical tool for thinking are so suffering and bored when forced to wait for something or somebody? An involuntary association here suggests itself with the fact that only 1/10 part of the brain nervous cells are active.
* We have genes of our ancestors surviving owing to their immediate reacting on extreme situations, and our thinking because of it is too hasty. That is why our thoughts so frequently distorted with mistakes of under-thinking.
* People have little ability to confront one thing with another. Here is just one example however crying: we use terms criminal person, criminal gang, criminal action, quite used to the fact that the same adjective can be found in terms criminal law, criminal policy, criminal legislation. Understanding literally, criminal laws exist exclusively for criminals to lighten them their acts.
30 years ago or so, it was a revelation to me to realize my stupidity (and others’, too): if we speak open the door / window then we have to speak open the eyelids / the lips in place of open eyes / mouth. New reality of the life demonstrates our under-thinking: now doors / windows may be shut already “in grammatically correct way” – with shutters.
* Any language may be seen as a linguistic museum, more correctly, a neglected depository of words, without members of staff (except perhaps in the hall of lexical norms), where somebody brought monstrous lexemes which then appeared apt for masse use and even for careful transmission to next generation. That is why such objects of critical attentions (OCAs) may and must be found, normative lexemes among them being of the highest interest. Leo Tolstoy was sure: "To use the language anyhow means to think anyhow."
* We can see reflection of SPT in humor even. Humorists’ beloved trick is to illustrate their characters’ under-thinking or even as if it were their own. Here is an adage by Milton Berle: "We owe to Thomas Edison – if it wasn't for him, we'd be watching television by candlelight." Why the trick is so dear? A humorist then receives a grateful response from his audience for "allowing" them to feel themselves higher than those, stupid ones.
* But it is not a joke already that within our brains reside “mind-bugs” impending to think good. The classification of these “bugs” was given by American scientist John Warfield in his Mentomology; it gave me a possibility to replenish it with SPT-begot mind-bugs.
* In the light of the above, is it any wonder that SPT gives us numerous problems: corruption, terrorism; interpersonal, inter-ethnic, inter-confessional, inter-nation, military and other conflicts; pathologic (higher than chez animals) aggressiveness, which in utmost way narrows down our field of consciousness and releases violence. Well, we have a right to speak about systemic discordance: the human mind is more and more out of correspondence with perpetually raising complexity of the civilization.
There is a comparison for us to ponder. Deep-water fishes to live in such deep oceanic waters that they know no tsunami nor hurricane may not be pulled from there alive because they are too narrowly specialized to those depths. Homo Sapiens to be “provided” with SPT, i.e. as if "specialized to realize programs of jungles and caverns", are as well pulled upwards to higher civilization tops, with conditions now much more complex than those, of cavern times. We don't correspond as well to new heights of civilization complexity, and this disparity is increasing. Catastrophic events are nearing, and just they along (if humans’ ability to foresee will be able to reach a remote future) are sufficient to command a reform of the world educational system.
When we will launch a rocket of the thought beyond the limit of the Reason?
The appeal is understandable: "beyond the limit of Reason" means for humans to get panoramic thinkers who have the capacity to open up for the civilization the passed-up opportunities to survive and develop. It depends on you and on all of us if we are ready now, even if to realize this existential global problem and to be interested in a plan which actions should be taken first towards this goal.
People have the belated reflex: they understand only in next generations.I’d like to believe that you to be reading this text, are not of those, belated ones. There is hope I am allowed to continue the subject with a plan to describe what, who and how should be attracted for humankind to overcome existential threats over the next decades and ensure sustainable development.
Ishiguro Yuji. One-Billion World. In search of a peaceful sustainable world. Rio: Booklink 2010. -- 136 pp.