Penetrating the “limbic system barrier”… in our time
Note: If you are a Bible-breathing advocate of Jesus Christ as your/our personal savior, then let me tell you from the outset that my column today is not referring to that Jesus.
Respectfully, my Jesus is a special man who, like the Buddha and other spiritual teachers, conveys universal truths—that many are coming to see as especially helpful for fulfilling our human potential. The appreciation of these truths—as a means for breaking thru the major political barrier to human consciousness—is the context for my comments today. — bw
The Sacred Nonaggression Principle (SNaP)
In the beginning there was the nonaggression principle (NaP), and it was good. As we have seen from my first two chapters of the so-called Kindergarten Edition of my book of the same name, human beings are naturally inclined toward adhering to the nonaggression (or natural rights) idea. The belief that we should not assault or rob others, and vice versa, is nearly universal across all communities and creeds; the idea for nonaggressive social behavior jibes with our biological self-interest.
In the SNaP book—the new edition is being written as we speak; indeed, this column is a condensation of Chapter 4—I believe the NaP proof is made successfully through the first two chapters. Then in Chapter 3, I create a graphical scheme for understanding what human characteristics go into the natural progression of society along the “Nonaggression Vector.” The figure below is my conception of the direction and magnitude for achieving a human society without coercion… our destiny.
The axes of this “Progress Diagram” are explained as follows:
- Along the X-axis, we grow to discard blind obedience to authority and learn to think for ourselves. This is reflected in our overall psychological independence and interest in objective truth and reason.
- I conceived of the Y-axis as a measure of interest in ideas. At the bottom of the scale an individual takes no interest in the rest of the world at all. Slightly higher, he cares for his job, his family, or his local sports franchise. And so on. To the few at the top who, for example, passionately work for world peace and justice. [Or, for authoritarian opportunists, passionately work to control and manipulate others.]
- Finally, the Z-axis describes the degree to which a person has proceeded toward spiritual enlightenment. At the lower end, he’s insensitive to the suffering of other sentient beings, in the midrange shows respect for the political rights of others, and ultimately manifests a deeply felt connection with Being.
Quite a bit of thought went into setting up the above architecture, and at least demonstrating a plausibility for the hypothesis that as humans develop psychologically and spiritually, they achieve—as exhibited in the Progress Diagram along the Nonaggression Vector—a society without coercion. That is, a society of freedom and its corollaries: benevolence and abundance.
But the logical question after Chapter 3, where the nonaggression graph is explained, is, “If freedom and humans living in accordance with the nonaggression principle is so natural and inevitable, why doesn’t it exist right now?” Not only is that the perfect question, it’s an incredibly important question.
The Barrier Cloud
Like, “if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” If the nonaggression principle is so natural to the human species, why, when we look around, even (or especially) at our own country, do we find so much aggression in the world? [In the 20th century alone, governments managed to kill more than 100 million individuals.]
“Houston, we have a problem.” Clearly, some impediment or obstacle has been placed in the way of a human destination your grandmother would be proud of. Let me picture the obstacle in the following marked-up Progress Diagram:
We may think of this generic barrier cloud as the longstanding mysterious “something” interfering with the human ideal. So what is the barrier and where does it come from? We know that something has been interrupting the flow of living human energy toward the positive social outcome of the simple NaP. What?
Certainly, we have not yet achieved universal intellectual recognition of the NaP: the libertarians have been making and refining their arguments for decades now… but the reasoning is not penetrating the conventional media and educational institutions to reach the average fellow. [Though welcome signs of change have emerged—consider the Ron Paul phenomenon, the Free State, Hendrickson and others revealing "income" tax truth, even the hundreds of local government victories by big-and-small "L" libertarians.]
The reality of the “media blockade” or the “media barrier” as it serves entrenched interests of the political-economic classes, I believe, provides a hint to what is fundamentally the cause of the obstacle. And in this column, I’ll try to give you the mercifully short form of my analysis:
Internal and External Causes
For those of us who have spent nearly a lifetime prosecuting the libertarian cause—and doing so actively and intellectually, that is: by argument, by reading and writing, by protests with signs, by concepts of morality, etc.—I don’t need to tell you the level of frustration we feel. The litany of state horrors has only grown longer… and intensified: illegal preemptive wars, torture and rendition, torching of civil liberties, drug prohibition, freedom prohibition, wholesale economic rape and pillage by the political classes of left and right. Don’t get me started.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I’m convinced the Barrier Cloud (BC), which I have depicted in the figure above, does not arise primarily from intellectual forces. Hence, while in the long run good ideas will defeat bad ideas, if we seek to break through the BC more imminently we must counter the primary forces that sustain it. I believe these forces are more biological defects than conceptual ones. Briefly:
- The internal cause of the BC lies in the perpetuation (beyond their survival value) of social-conformity functions of a common primitive brain circuitry known as the limbic system—what I sometimes like to call the “blind obedience to authority” brain structure.
- The external cause of the BC lies in the conscious and coordinated actions of a small ruling minority of psychologically abnormal people who have coalesced through the ages, stealthily and secretly. Their biological purpose: to systematically direct and appropriate the creative/productive effort of psychologically normal humans.
In the Grand Scheme of the Cosmos, I feel the internal cause is the prime mover in the Barrier Cloud obstacle—because a stunted limbic system function afflicts the overwhelming majority of human beings. My theory is that the external cause—the persons who actually construct and benefit parasitically from the BC—is only possible to the extent that this internal limbic system defect is present: the external cause is a “crime of opportunity.” Much as we see in nature in other sophisticated, deceptive parasitic behavior, such as the cuckoo’s egg placement strategy.
External Cause—the ASL syndrome
I have asserted that the external cause of the Barrier Cloud comes from persons of “abnormal” psychology. In the book, I speculate in more detail about the nature and origin of the abnormality, even giving the concept a name: the Alien Space Lizard (ASL) syndrome. For all practical purposes, an individual with the ASL characteristic enjoys—or at least is not repulsed by—the act of coercing other humans, usually for his material benefit.
Such a person has no sensitivity to the pain that his aggression causes to others. You could say the same thing about a common criminal, but what distinguishes an individual suffering from ASL is the intellectual cunning of the strategy. Which sophistication is required to survive and prosper long term via the subordination through coercion of others’ lives to one’s own. In other words, ASLs exploit politics, where it is easier to portray acts of aggression as socially necessary and desirable… e.g. compulsory schooling, welfare, taxes, war, and so on.
Keep in mind the ASL defect is a parasitic one, as well as antihuman since humans have a practically universal disdain of aggression. For these reasons, the individual ASL-afflicted biological unit must deceive the potential host (humankind) into “executing the ASL code.” Thus most of us, who are naturally inclined to ban aggression from society, have to be tricked into thinking that certain acts of aggression that benefit the ASLs are somehow not aggression.
Considering that a lot of normal nonaggressive humans are pretty sharp cookies, for the ASL-afflicted community to attach itself to the host and survive/prosper, they must be extra smart, or, more important, diabolically clever at a deep/high level… particularly in the area of words and language. Further, it would stand to reason that ASL individuals, being few in number, would form coherent, clandestine subsocieties with similarly afflicted individuals to coordinate, not to mention hide, the disposition of vast material wealth obtained from the considerably larger host society.
I’m convinced that in the West today, as the distillation
of a multicentury string of oligarchies, sits a <central dominating entity> focusing the substantial financial resources and control technology of this parasitic class. Rather than hypothesize further, let me refer the reader to a book that documents the specific financial reality and personnel behind the dominant Western central bank: G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature from Jekyll Island: A second look at the Federal Reserve. Griffin helps us understand “he who has the gold,” and also about the corollary systems of general public deception that thwart the nonaggression principle… thus keeping the gold rolling in to “them” and away from “us.”
For my discussion, the most relevant of these corollary systems is the whole structure and symbolism of social authority: that is, who/what properly sets, for the uncritical mass mind, what is true or false, right or wrong, for us or against us. For example, a government that skillfully wraps itself in the Flag and brandishes the Cross can cause huge numbers of normal, nonaggressive Americans to abandon conscientious thought, then accept the dropping of napalm, carpet bombs, and/or depleted uranium on millions of innocent (usually non-Caucasian) civilians—without a care or a tear—for absolutely any fairy-tale reason whatsoever.
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire
The false “authority” assumption by the government is specially designed to take advantage of the susceptibility of many human individuals to yield their independent judgment to an external agent… as we will discuss under “Internal Cause” (for the Barrier Cloud) below.
It is important to grasp is that such a government—government of, by, and for “the Unspeakable“—is part of a HUGE, extensive, longstanding system of mind control that serves the <central dominating entity>… i.e. a concealed elite of defective ones (all root ASL-defect carriers) who have no qualms about bashing normal people’s heads in and otherwise messing with us.
Cure to the external cause of the BC: Truth and the SNaP
Breaking down the causation of the Barrier Cloud into external and internal origins helps to distinguish between the types of cures, antidotes, or solutions appropriate to each cause. For the external cause of the BC—aside from simple exposure of the truth in whatever journalistic channels available—the SNaP becomes a dagger to the heart, the ultimate antidote, to the ASL-driven <central dominating entity>.
All the depredations of the Entity—through governments or state-corporations—entail brutal aggression, most of it justified as entirely legal and moral for governments to perform. The SNaP—as a radical no-prohibition, no-compulsion, no-privilege, no-exceptions moral ideal—plays as a trump card to any Entity rationalization of aggressive force. Remember from Gandhi’s confrontation with the British Empire in India: when the agency of aggression loses its moral authority, it loses, period… quickly and decisively. The agency then must abandon aggression, its life blood, and die.
But whether or not the Truth and the SNaP materialize politically, the disinfecting of humanity from parasitical aggression will not go smoothly or sustainably unless we address the internal cause of the Barrier Cloud…
Internal Cause—Built-In Lower-Brain Function
Now let’s consider the internal source of the Cloud: I’ve tentatively pictured the barrier as a cloud, as it suggests a lowering of the average person’s clarity of thought. But what I’ve come to see is the internal cause rests with common brain structures and circuitry.
At one stage of human evolution these structures were appropriate to survival, but today are destroying our chances. Specifically, I’m referring to the limbic system, sometimes called the paleomammalian brain. Shown in yellow on the figure. The ‘tweener’ brain.
The limbic system is to the entire human brain as puberty is to adulthood, especially in terms of how we manage deep urges or emotions… like sex, affection, fear, anxiety, and social acceptability. I’ve discussed the limbic system before, and originally paid attention to its political relevance when Dr. Barbara Oakley described the structure at some length in her book with the flamboyant subtitle: Evil Genes: Why Rome fell, Hitler rose, Enron failed, and my sister stole my mother’s boyfriend.
Aside from being reactive and emotional the limbic system, the “for us or against us” processor, can foster slavish, even ferocious, conformance to authority… which most of us have trouble letting go of. [As evidence, consider that even today a large percentage of Americans believe Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks, an impression carefully cultivated in the mind-control media by the ASL Bush administration in the years leading up to the 2003 Iraq War.]
The diagram below provides a layman’s view of the social context of how the limbic system often filters out factual data from rational consideration.
The diagram is actually of a primitive or “atavistic” (stunted) limbic system, i.e. one not suitably managed by the higher-level brain. [Unfortunately, the stunted condition is overwhelmingly the reality today. Thus, it is the fundamental internal cause of the Barrier Cloud... requiring the big fix.] Let’s look at the diagrammed process one step at a time:
- The limbic system brain (LSB) starts with a stimulus from the external world, that could be as large as a whole system of ideas—say global warming or the official story of 9/11—or as small as a simple fact (the Keeling Curve or “no Boeing 757 debris at the Pentagon”). In general, think of step one as any object presented to one’s consciousness.
- In this step, the LSB perceives who or what has referred the object of consciousness, and that person’s social standing. The thumbs-up or thumbs-down judgment is actually an emotion, and occurs instantaneously; regardless of the decision, the LSB passes the object to the next decision point, step 3.
- In Step 3, another quick but more thorough emotional evaluation occurs based on all the authorities that have become part of the individual’s “constellation of what to believe” or other biological urges—from sex and hunger to “fright-fight-flight”—that drive us.
- The area identified as #4 shows only a few symbols, which indicate the many strong motivations a person can experience at this level of brain. “Etc., etc.” can include teachers, movie stars, a good friend, radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh, and of course all the TV talking boneheads.What the masses regard as LSB “authorities” or motivators has probably been studied more—certainly by the Entity—than any other subject in history… mainly because of the political and/or commercial success one can achieve by knowing what the stunted LSB goes ape for.
- The crucial step in our process is shown as #5: if the person presenting the object of consciousness lacks authority and none of the LSB’s common standing authorities or biological urges supports the object—either as a fact or as a required action—then the stunted LSB stops processing and no action is taken. [It is at here at Step 5 that the LSB in a rational consciousness does not cut off, rather it submits the object of consciousness to the critical-thinking process.] Note: the critical thinking process requires an individual to have an independent, reality-grounded philosophical foundation. Otherwise, there is no basis for judging what is true or false, right or wrong.
- Step 6 is the followup part of the process in the event that the authority and influence systems give the object of consciousness a “Go.” In general whatever fact or idea or action is being considered will be accompanied by authoritative instructions that do not require any conceptual heavy lifting.
[For example, when the official view holds that the "general welfare" clause of the US Constitution allows the feds to enter the social services market, then it's easy for people to accept the same official story to support government health care.]
So that’s a short description of how a limbic system (mal)functions when it is not enveloped and directed by the rational, independent mind. And you can see the survival value of that lower-level, primitive functionality to a social organism eons ago: When your little band of hunter-gatherers is out on the African plain, and Team Leader Jimbabwe grunts, “Lion that way, we go this way,” the ones that wait a millisecond to validate the data individually verify the data often wind up “unavailable for procreation.”
The key issue with continued prevalence of the stunted LSB is it makes humanity highly susceptible to infection by the defective ASL-syndrome carriers. Certainly the history of the West, from domination by the Church of Rome to current domination by the Church of Bank—interrupted briefly by the Enlightenment and the Constitutional-libertarian republic of the United States—, demonstrates the reality and severity of the Barrier Cloud condition.
If the BC persists, the parasitic ASL-afflicted humans “win,” and we all go down the toilet. [The ASL syndrome is a type of parasite that kills its host and thus itself. ASL-afflicted humans are incapable of independent survival.] So we desperately need to stop the disease, particularly at the level of the internal cause: we need to help the vast majority of normal, nonaggressively inclined humans become immune to the external ASL threat… through simple reason and spiritual enlightenment.
This is the term I came up with as the best expression for the combination of reason and spiritual growth standing the best chance to cure stunted limbic system processing… and penetrate the Barrier Cloud, one consciousness at a time.
What I had not appreciated until recently is that
the act of asserting one’s own understanding and commitment to the truth is a spiritual move: one is stepping up from the emotional-perceptual functioning of an automaton (as in Figure 2 above) into a new world of concepts that breathe life for you as a unique being deserving the joy of self-realization.
Rationality is the original act of creation that embarks a human being on the journey to enlightenment… to the next stage of human evolution. I can’t see how one becomes spiritually alive without embracing the rigorous identification of reality, the pursuit of objective truth as a holy mission.
But I’ve also seen how reason can be twisted through false external authority into another form of spiritual stunting. So it’s important to “feel” rationality as the light leading the way toward another enchanting word: atonement… that is, being at one with the divine life force within you. In order to reach that state one must “let loose” a bit from the world of words, let go, in particular, of the need to appear right at the lower level of mind. Instead be right by walking through the door of eternal presence. I know, sounds weird, especially if you’re used to hanging out with Objectivists.
The best way I can express my thoughts here is by way of analogy:
Each of us has an infinite internal peace symbolized by the ocean. The ocean, of course, consists of a surface, representing the affairs our daily lives—what Eckhart Tolle would refer to as the world of form—and a great depth of water, representing the vast reality of our souls, as infinite as the universe itself. We are the ocean in its entirety, and sometimes the little waves on the top become bigger waves, but they are insignificant when compared to the Great Depth of us.
I’m a Randian by history, and, indeed, I recently watched and reviewed both Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life and The Passion of Ayn Rand. They both moved me to see the value of natural philosophy and the truth of things as determined by the most sustained effort of honest intellect one can muster. Key word: honest. Rationality is not a word game, it’s the first step toward reaching what we were meant to be, that eternity of awareness encapsulated in the Now.
The external source of the Barrier Cloud—namely, the ASL-afflicted humans who sadly know nothing but domination and manipulation—has a well-developed artifice of words and other symbols for manipulation. In some respects, you could say the Entity (a la the Matrix?) is “rational.” But it has no soul. All the so-called reasoning justifying aggression—from “(coercive) taxation is the price we pay for civilization” to “we must make the world safe for democracy”—is so much flak composing the Barrier Cloud itself.
That’s why I see the best route for disrupting the antihuman carrier frequency of the stunted limbic system as a spiritual awakening. As a practical matter, millions of people see Jesus as the supreme spiritual teacher. so I’m invoking his name to sell spiritual growth in a rational direction, the only direction such growth truly ever goes.
Considering the Lilies of the Field
Candidly, gentle readers, I must confess that, at best, I, myself, am only somewhere down the road to spiritual enlightenment… perhaps tantalizingly close, but not there. Thus, I lack certainty that spiritual enlightenment is the dead-solid perfect solution—the cure or the “Jesus Immunity”—for the stunted limbic system, where so many people blindly yield to life-threatening authority and enable a mindless world of aggression.
But I do have a hunch.
I want to end this chapter by drawing from Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, the many significant references to Jesus’ ideas. In each of the sayings or concepts, I feel, lies a kernel pointing to the One Big Truth of All that Is (an infinitely deep ocean that each of us is part of and all of). The enlightenment such musings portend is so powerful that it blows away all the trifling ignorance(s) of our time, just as the SNaP so totally wipes out the ASL external threat.
Note: I’m not going to do a lot of my own writing for these excerpts. Not because I’m lazy—which, of course, I am lazy—but because I want the reader to experience the thought without my noise… with as little mental noise of any kind as possible. As Tolle writes, experience the silence from which the sounds come, the space from which the objects arise, and even the stillness surrounding thoughts. And I would especially appreciate comments or contributions to my blog on these items.
- You “become as a branch cut off from the vine.” (p 39) Identification with the mind, the basic mechanics of the unconscious state. [In Tolle's world, mind is "monkey brain," a compulsive word-generator that obscures rather than enlightens.]
- “Take no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” “Nobody who puts his hands to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Per Tolle: “No one seems to realize that [the sayings of Jesus] are meant to be lived and so bring about a profound inner transformation.” (p 43)
- The Now is central to the teaching of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Meister Eckhart, 13th century spiritual teacher, sums it up: “Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time.” (p 44)
- You do not seek permanency where it cannot be found. Everything is honored, but nothing matters. Forms are born and die, yet you are aware of the eternal underneath the forms. You know that ‘nothing real can be threatened.’ (p 58)
- Why are you always anxious? Jesus asked his disciples. “Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?” (p 63)
- “What shall it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?” (p 74)
- Jesus used the idea of waiting. “Be like a servant waiting for the return of the master.” He stays awake, poised, alert, because he does not know. He is totally present. The five careless (unconscious) women who do not have enough oil (consciousness) to keep their lamps burning (stay present) and so miss the bridegroom (the Now) and don’t get to the wedding feast (enlightenment). Even the men who wrote the gospels did not understand the meaning of these parables; these are parables not about the end of the world but about the end of psychological time. (p 79)
- Jesus parable of the lost son, who leaves his father’s house, squanders wealth, becomes destitute, and is forced by his suffering to return home. Father loves him more than before. Journey from unconscious perfection to apparent imperfection and “evil” to conscious perfection. (p83)
- Christ the divine presence. “Before Abraham was, I am.” [and so are we] Zen-like. Great profundity. (p 86)
- “Your whole body will be filled with light.” Belief that Jesus never relinquished his body but remained one with it and ascended into heaven. Pro inner body, the means for spiritual realization. (p 95)
- As long as you are in conscious contact with your inner body you are like a tree that is deeply rooted in the earth or a building with a deep and solid foundation. The latter analogy is used by Jesus in the generally misunderstood parable of the two men who build a house. One man builds it on the sand, without a foundation, and when the storms and floods come, the house is swept away. The other man digs deep until he reaches the rock, then builds his house, which is not swept away. (p 99) [Same page: before you enter the body, forgive. Jesus: "Before you enter the temple, forgive." In Tolle's lexicon, to forgive means to accept reality as real, sort of....]
- The Unmanifested does not liberate you until you enter it consciously. That’s why Jesus did not say: the truth will make you free, but rather: “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” This is not a conceptual truth. It is the truth of eternal life beyond form, which is known directly or not at all. [Using your inner body as a portal.] (p 110)
- … you feel the God essence in every creature, every flower, every stone, and you realize: “All that is, is holy.” This is why Jesus, speaking entirely from his essence or Christ identity, says in the Gospel of Thomas: “Split a piece of wood, I am there. Lift up a stone, and you will find me there.” [and so are we] (p 111)
- If some cosmic convulsion brought about the end of our world, the Unmanifested would remain totally unaffected by this. A Course in Miracles expresses this truth poignantly: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” (p 115)
- If you remain in conscious connection with the Unmanifested, you value, love, and deeply respect the manifested and every life form in it as an expression of the One Life beyond form. You also know that every form is destined to dissolve again and that ultimately nothing out here matters all that much. You have “overcome the world,” in the words of Jesus, or, as the Buddha put it, you have “crossed over to the other shore.” (p 115)
The page numbers are from the book. So that’s where I’m leaving you today. I will state that along the lines of spiritual practice, I have become acquainted with Falun Dafa. It’s a Chinese way that believes in “truth, compassion, and benevolence.” The movement has also been severely persecuted by the Chinese government, thousands of practitioners imprisoned and tortured. From what I can see and do now, Falun Dafa and the freedom movement look like the “beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
The Falun practice talks about “attachments” (read addictions, e.g. drink, women, Monday Night Football) and engaging the power of the universe to help the cravings cease and step up to inner peace and health. It’s certainly true that as one lets go of false needs, those “authority drivers” in the stunted limbic system brain become diminished. As self-consciousness emerges, we also see the nature of aggression. To know aggression is to end aggression. The SNaP is an integral part of spiritual awakening… and vice versa.
May the SNaP be with you.
 Even though human groupings developed in a massively parallel fashion through the ages with the authoritarian model probably taking precedence in the majority of social systems, from our reading of history I believe we see power moves toward total monolithic domination—whether open or hidden. Thus, a steady centralized increase of power, through combination across apparent geopolitical boundaries, would characterize these subsocieties. That is, among the more sophisticated and, therefore, wealthy power elites a “unite to conquer” trend would be natural.
 Yes, I’m theorizing as to specific persons or institutions who compose the Entity. But the evidence is considerable and specific for central domination by a European-centered international bank “Matrix.” Determining exactly who “they” are is a worthwhile project, but it is not the mission of my book; besides, Griffin’s Jekyll Island provides overwhelming justification for the theory.
 Another term I’ve coined to describe the <central dominating entity>, or simply the Entity, is the Kleptocons.
 The Coffee Coaster has presented on a regular basis reviews of books, movies, and columns that expose “the Unspeakable” phenomenon: e.g. 9/11 truth, JFK assassination and other major government crimes and coverups, roots of specific wars, nature of the corporation, the Fed, media mind control and so on. Every germ of truth that works its way into the culture’s consciousness helps to end the reign of brutality by the Entity.
 In keeping with my newfound habit of staying as light as possible, I have not made a point of how horrific and brutal the effects of the ASL syndrome are. I did mention that 100 million people were killed by governments in the previous century, but there are so many horrors, so many centuries, so “not us.” It is painful to look at the ASL-disease progression without turning one’s head. My mom likens it to the lead-pipe cruel self-destruction of the lions.
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