THE SPLINTER IN YOUR MIND
THE REVOLUTION OF THE MIND
Congratulations, you have turned the page and now your exciting journey can begin. One by one, ideas and concepts will come together like pieces of a puzzle. Some of the pieces will look familiar while others may seem strange and out of place at first, but rest assured the picture will emerge. Since this book is about the splinter in your mind, there is no better place to start than inside your mind. We will explore important questions about how your mind works. The first question is to define what makes us the way we are today as compared to ancient man. This comparison will naturally extend to other questions about what changed, and why the change occurred. Finally, what do the answers to these questions tell us? It is understood that we evolved physically, but what is rarely considered is how we evolved mentally. We clearly see that we are different in the animal kingdom, but what is the best way to define that difference? What happened to ancient man to bring us to where we are today? The story of man’s mind is truly astounding. Around 11,000 BC ancient man began an incredible journey. At this time he started to domesticate the plants and animals around him, speak complex languages and standardize his behavior and practices. This allowed for settlements to eventually evolve into complex cities and incredible empires. All this was accomplished with a very impressive, yet naturally evolved brain. During the early years our brains worked naturally like all other animals, except on an extremely elevated level. The mind of the ancients worked with a two-step process where one side issued an order and the other side of the brain worked with the body to carry out the actions. The two sides of the brain were not yet well integrated in the sense that they worked together like they do today. This is not to say that the brain itself was different, but it points to the fact that the mode and method of thinking in modern man changed. Also, at this time, people were very much like all other animals in that they could not even think of things like guilt, deception, evil, justice, philosophy or the future. They had no subjective sense of time or space, and had no memories as we know them. They were innocent and totally dependent on the functions and capabilities of the natural, evolved mind. In time, this incredible, yet natural mode of using the mind managed to bring society to a level of complexity that became too much for it to handle and in order to survive, we had to invent a new way of thinking. The old way was incapable of developing the necessary solutions that were required to stop the anarchy, confusion and societal collapse that was happening throughout the old world. In those early civilizations, cohesive cooperation between large groups was possible because people mindlessly looked to the leader and did what they were told. People in those days saw themselves as part of a group and not as individuals. They went about their business without second-guessing the truths, rules and other forms of guidance that were spouted by their leaders. The natural state of their mind permitted them to be dominated and controlled by external authorities and leaders without question or opposition. It’s reasonable to wonder about the inner workings of the ancient mode of thinking that allowed this seemingly bizarre behavior. Start with the fact that people thoughtlessly accepted the voices in their head as an external phenomenon, and used these voices for guidance. Ancient man was not aware that these voices were generated within their own mind but rather, hallucinated and was unable to distinguish internal thoughts from external guidance. The leaders reinforced those voices by promoting symbols, rituals and stories to remind the clan of what the group expected of them. As the ancient civilizations drew closer to utter breakdown, these symbols, rituals and efforts became more intense, elaborate, forceful and complex. The final death throes of the ancient world gave us pyramids, complex religions rife with rules, and infinite arrays of cues that were all meant to revive the guiding voices. In time, as writing became more prevalent and recordings more permanent, the authorities and effectiveness of the hallucinated voices weakened. Eventually the voices became more distant, confused and dangerous. Around 3,400 years ago men were forced to develop a new way of using their minds or die in a chaotic and total collapse. They had to systematically solve more complex problems and enhance general thinking in order to invent better solutions. That is exactly what happened, and the vehicle for this change was found in language. One by one people created, personally adopted and taught this new way of using the mind with a newly-found tool in our language. Although ancient man had complex language, it was not yet evolved enough to support the new way of thinking that would allow this to happen, but suddenly all that changed. The key to understanding this epic leap in man’s thinking lies in how the mind works. Language is not a vital function of communication, rather, it’s a vital function of thinking. Communication delivers the ideas but powerful ideas come from language that depends on models for thinking known as metaphors and analogs. For example, the mind uses the model of a head to stand in for the head of a class, a nail and a table. As well, maps are analogs that act as representations in the mind that give us the capability to imagine the construct of cities, states and countries. So the secret to man’s lurch forward was language, specifically the mental flexibility afforded us by metaphors and analogs. To take the point further, it was the metaphor of “me” and the analog of “I” that made all the difference in how we took in, assessed and used information. This new model of thinking was injected into our shared vocabulary, thus our mental mind-space about 3,400 years ago. These new mental models allowed people, who once thought of themselves as members of a group, to suddenly think of themselves as individuals, and this changed everything. Sure, ancient man created architecture, math, music and art because these things do not require personal introspection. But with a new map of self and the mental model of the individual, ancient man became modern conscious man who could turn inward for the first time to engage in internal debate. Suddenly men heard and recognized the voice in their heads as their own. Conscious people could make their own decisions and dramatically extend the range of their thinking power. They could act on the authority of their own minds and leave behind the outmoded, ancient dependence on the leaders and authorities. The word “consciousness” has many meanings, such as being awake, or keenly aware, but its true meaning is embodied in this new way of using the mind through the metaphor of “me” and the analog of “I”. Consciousness has no physical location in the brain, but rather it’s a specific way the mind is organized to assess and use information. It seems incredible that we could invent such a thing but that is exactly what we did. Ancient man acted naturally, so things that we would, today, consider bad or wrong were just natural behaviors. Ancient man had to be controlled by external authorities who imposed hard, fast rules, whereas conscious man could reason on a whole new level and take personal responsibility for his actions. With consciousness man could enter into new areas of critical thought. He could see himself as personally responsible, thus the areas of morality and ethics were born. Consciousness allowed for the mind to tackle and solve infinitely more complex problems and begin to methodically create insights by comparisons of more and more efficient metaphors and analogs. That expansion allowed ancient man to move to a new level and understand the relationship between himself as an individual and the world with increasing accuracy and clarity. Conscious man made his own decisions rather than have solutions imposed on him. The customs, traditions, parables, symbols, rules, chants and external authorities were replaced by a stand-alone, personally responsible individual. The old mentalities that lured people into searching for sure-thing guidance from higher authorities were replaced by an inner dialogue that weighed and considered things in a whole new way. The ancient thinking process was characterized by inflexibility. It operated in concrete terms and here-and-now specifics. The process of the conscious mind was flexible, powerful and generated an infinite array of subjective perceptions that allowed for ever broader understanding and better decisions. Consciousness meant a new world had been created. This new world was a metaphor-generated, conceptual world that paralleled the actual world. That is why it could not be invented until language developed sufficient complexity to produce the analog models and metaphors required to allow introspection. We take our mental state of consciousness for granted today, but it was never a part of nature’s evolutionary scheme and had to be invented. The construct of the conscious mind is built upon the foundations of the natural mind. And because consciousness is not natural it has a distinguishing feature from all other natural survival mechanisms: All animals use their naturally evolved survival mechanisms as if they were instinctual, but conscious man must choose to use his. Our ancient mind was used effortlessly prior to the invention of consciousness. But now, the new mode of thinking, that has become our survival method and defining characteristic, is unusual in the sense that we must choose to use it. More will be said in upcoming chapters about this choice. Throughout this book you will see unbeatable advantages that come from understanding the left-over tendencies of our ancient mind. These advantages will be crucial in capturing your potential to have the personal power to truly self-lead, self-guide and self-motivate. People still retain remnants of the ancient guidance system that generates the will and ability to create realities, avoid responsibility and rely on silly ideas that harm their ability to live a full, rich life with competence and personal power. A rich and rewarding life fulfills a worthy destiny. A life worth living is one that fills your heart’s desire for love, happiness and prosperity. You can embrace the full power of the conscious mind to carve your own destiny and take command of its form and direction. It is no exaggeration that turning this page is the most important step you take toward your new future.
EXCERPT FROM THE OPENING OF CHAPTER TWO, COMMAND YOUR OWN DESTINY If you understood the ways you were being manipulated in every situation but knew exactly what to do, you would be in total control of your life! You would experience your genuine power to design your life virtually any way you wanted. You could realize your full, potential power to achieve all the love, happiness and prosperity you desire. The first chapter referred to our mode of thinking as our survival mechanism, and that we must choose to use it. We must choose to employ the mind’s powerful introspective abilities to gather, analyze and use information. At the heart of this method of living is the decision to take personal responsibility for your actions. It begins by recognizing a few facts, namely, all things are knowable, that conscious thinking is flexible and powerful, and that it gives us superior insights and unbeatable advantages. Certain ideas here are keys to achieving the rewards the book promises, namely to identify what is wrong with this world and you, and give you the knowledge you need to fix it. The two most critical ideas that begin this process are that everything is knowable and, you are competent to lead and guide yourself. We don’t know everything, but in our practical life we can successfully gather the necessary facts and ideas required to make the best decisions. We are taught that some authorities are special, and we must rely on their exclusive or mystical link to higher powers, (withheld from us) and follow their guidance. That is an appeal to our ancient mind’s desire to seek sure-thing knowledge and external leadership. That method of thinking is outmoded, lazy and what led to great disorder about 3,400 years ago. The natural mind led to incomplete, inflexible and ineffective problem solving that resulted in the inevitable conclusion – total societal collapse. Vestiges of the ancient mind lead nations to war, mounting debt and chaos, and leave individuals unhappy, unfulfilled and aimless.
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