Monday, June 27, 2011

The Mind and Satyagraha

MIND, INSTINCT, INTELLECT                                  

The mind, like the body, is the result  of evolution. It too has traveled down the ages with our DNA from the beginning of time, with each bodily birth, from parents to child, it retains the memory of the universe in its unseen depths. It is never thought only, but also instinct. Reason is the greatest faculty and far above conditioned ideas like law and morals, but Reason is even then only a part of the mind. Instinct it is my belief is higher than reason because it is not conditioned and is evolved through instinct into a higher form of intelligence . Instinct is beyond  reason and is impelled from within, or inwardly driven. Rather than being irrational it is supra-rational and is directly linked to the growth of the mind since primordial times and possesses an animal nature in its innermost depths. Scientists such as Einstein  claimed that instinct was the guide to the greatest scientific discoveries. Instinct is that part of our mind which regular conditioning destroys, and realizing this fundamentalists attack this centre of understanding and change thinking patterns especially in unconditioned ethnic societies.

Birth and motherhood are the products of instinct. When a human being is born he or she inherits the mind of their parents which is a continuing collection of thoughts and experience of generations of parents back to the first human. Instinct is born out of this long chain of thought and experience. In our materialistic and unnaturally conditioned modern world which is the product of the industrial revolution,  instinct is our most threatened faculty and more particularly in this present time when forced conditioning and scientific thinking is all but killing the reality of a metaphysical world. Conditioning kills instinct as surely as lack of water kills a plant. It is the seduction of human intelligence into robotic conditions which could, if unchecked, mean the end of humans. We choose to challenge this before we lose the faculties to challenge this danger.

Physical existence itself is the result of  instinct and our biological machine is kept alive by instinctive actions and reactions through our daily lives from birth to death, from breathing and that inner cave into which breath withdraws at the end of life. Instinct comes  from the same invisible cavern  from where both spirit and matter emerge and from where the mind itself emerges. Conditioning of the mind according to set ideas kills the instinct which is born of primordial intelligence, and when conditioning of the mind deprives it of instinct it becomes the robotic servant of its master and today the world is threatened by the conditioning of science and materialism and where it is all to easy to use humans is senseless robots. We saw this in the first great war of the last century and before it in the  rape of the Transvaal by the British, when soldiers were sent to their certain doom and could do nothing about it. More people were killed by conditioned thinking by their masters in the last century’s two wars than the whole of human history’s little wars. And yet, it was expected of them to die for their country. And it was expected of their leaders to kill for their country. Those who condition men and women towards their own ends – be it their faiths or their agendas , even to the point of killing them – are expounding a great violence against humans in whatever name it may be.  It is toward this end our institutions of learning and higher learning have been developed to bend green branches into whatever shape they like killing the inner genius of life and twisting it towards their own ends as if they are slaves.

The world is a greater mystery than we know and our minds an even  greater mystery than we may understand, and this is the great lie of science which is unable to measure the metaphysical and hence denies it. It is a denial in order to ensure its own survival. It verges on a fanaticism which in political times will countenance even genocide.  When societies develop such forms of intolerance even when they will put up with the unscientific beliefs of their own faith – then things become very dangerous. Materialism has become a creed, forgiven its effects by faith. It has led to the present ecological crisis the planet faces.  The planet has been changed by human intervention from a blue to a brown planet. Today ever greater numbers of humans are being threatened by climate change than  predicted. The future of the world’s livable environment has been predicted by that self-same science will become in the next few decades an inferno of heat waves and drought due to steadily increasing carbon dioxide emissions from industries trapping solar infrared rays. But still current economic and industrial development agendas ride over future hazards and continue to pollute the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the greatest threat being from carbon dioxide from industrial burning of coal..

In these times of conditioned thinking imagination and instinct have been confused  and novelty is seen as creation and inventiveness understood as imagination. Instinct is portrayed as a dark spirit of a tribal underworld. The old order by which reality and unreality were comprehended have been erased from the minds of modern infants and the younger generation is unable to tell the unreal from the real.

The link between intellect and instinct

Modern psychiatry has identified a link between intellect, the highest faculty of the trained mind,  and instinct, which is the highest faculty of the primordial mind  (or what some would like to call the primeval or primitive mind). The latter as I have pointed out is the genius of our ancestors which was used in facing the unknown in harsh and changing times. The faculty of instinct was in the primates which preceded the human and indeed which is in all living things. Instinct is in all life, it is a part of life’s survival mechanism itself. It was understood in past  pre-Enlightenment society as perhaps the highest faculty in man apart from mystic spiritual consciousness. Ever since science became the arbiter of truths instinct became an embarrassment! Today in the dying hours of our race  it is more than ever important to realize the place of instinct as a faculty of the intellect before the vast stores of past wisdom contained in the instinct are destroyed by modern  mental conditioning. This instinct is vital in discriminating the validity of the products of the intellect and intelligence . Today we are seeing the destruction of natural resources and atmospheric pollution on such a vast scale by science supposedly for the good of humanity. On the other hand we are told that these activities are reducing the livable atmosphere and environment to a few decades. Have humans lost the power to recognize truth from untruth ? Food and water security face us on our door-steps, vast environmental calamities shake us from our stupor almost every day – heat waves, droughts, hurricanes ,tornadoes, escalating effects from seismic caused tsunamis and volcanoes. The scientists shrug and say they aren’t connected with global warming induced climate change. Which is right, the Deniers or the Accusers ? Huge unnecessary wars and justification of nuking civilian populations are considered  maintaining the status quo. We have been forced to accept these as a necessary part of civilized life. We are not supposed to question them.

Modern educated human society has lost the wisdom which caused the ancient world to develop great philosophies and arts, the highest glories of  architecture and  obeisance to the metaphysical among the very elements; even the very primitiveness of the simplest human societies which had developed a higher intelligence than our literate world can offer. The world has entered into a world of new laws of its own causing, --diminishing returns, endless need for lebensraum, hierarchical despotism, hierarchical  higher standards of living for the few at the cost of the impoverishment of the weak multitudes, loss of environmental security, --the list is endless. The planet and a few powerful rich are becoming a threat to the survival of the weak. Society as it was understood uptil only yesterday no longer has a future environment left  to survive. The time has come for the worm to turn. Society may no longer become into a plaything for the exploitation of the rich and powerful. The old order recognized the good of the maximum to be conserved for the good of the whole of society, which is the same as even distribution of natural resources between all for a just and sustainable society. This planet we live on has no credit cards operating in outer space. We are facing an unprecedented loss of species and changing climate. We have to all live on whatever we have left.

In this quest for a right balance between what can be had and what is needed for fulfillment, the instinct will be an invaluable guide, even more so than the intellect or intelligence. Even though this knowledge has by its nature declined in conditioned urban materialistic society it has nevertheless been preserved in the underdog primitive ethnic society wherever it has survived. India is one of the last great polytheistic tribal civilizations of the world even if it has been mauled by economics, industrialism and materialistic greed of a few. It is important to find out very quickly, in the very near future, whatever it takes humans to survive on very very little without destroying the means and resources of survival itself. And here we must turn to this vital knowledge bank in countries like India and Africa and South America which have been exploited for forests, ores and minerals  and torn apart by the politics of colonization. It is in this disappearing world that we will find the answer.

An intellectual renaissance is needed which challenges the shibboleths of economic growth. The divine rights of politicians and corporations will have to be challenged.  The primacy of the filthy rich and the filthy powerful, even the prelates, will have to be challenged. (This has already started happening).The forced stratification of society through levels of education into social classes separating the Haves from the Have-nots and the exploitation of resources for their benefit at the cost of the deprived, these will have reached certain limits beyond which they cannot go. Human rights will only be found in the archives of their institutions.  And then people will try and figure out what went wrong.

Intellectual Satyagraha

The internet today offers the possibility of such a communication network as a new age of discovery requires, a new age in which resources like food and water rapidly diminish and even disappear, in which natural resources become rare commodities and will have a higher price than any industrial products, heralding in a new economy. The human tragedy caused by a rapidly changing planet – heat, thirst, and inadequate food will stalk the future generations unless they are very wealthy and the ordinary will become extraordinary and the once easily available will become rare. There will be an increasing hegemony by military superpowers in the interests of their own populations. Globalization is not about a better globe but the exploitation of the planet by certain superpowers. The meaning of democracy will change. How to bring these visions to the common man and how to appeal for sense to the powerful elite who rule the nations. How to express our fears for the future and try and bring change to this juggernaut of incessant change, incessant Growth, incessant economic growth ?

Futuristic in concept, practical in application  the concept of intellectual satyagraha  -- clinging on to the truth – through the powers of reason and logic (logos), with unwavering faith in the collective good sense of our common humanity, calls upon the World Wide Web, the greatest weapon of the twenty-first century, or any century, because it allows the mind of humanity to address itself. The moral and social development of human societies has been dependant upon  information and communication, and today the World Wide Web brings to humans across the planet the possibility to join into one great democratic harmony, to join in the making of a new world order, one based on justice and sharing and not on Growth and War. The internet enters both as a tool and a weapon in deciding the way forward for human progress as humans everywhere would like to have it, not at gunpoint of some selfish greedy people.  The massive destruction of the planet’s natural resources, the growing massive pollution of the atmosphere with greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide heralds the certain brutal  living conditions and premature deaths in our future generations, these all must be immediately addressed and stopped. We are in a time when our actions will shape the future of humanity. Humanity has not the way to find a common voice against a common oppression, and to my mind the practice and application of intellectual satyagraha is just such a way.  It is a reaffirmation of faith in our collective will as a race, of our common needs as humans. What future generations need is not economic Growth but survival conditions, not money and material goods  but food and water, and any act or acts which deny these to future generations are crimes against humanity. It is a reaffirmation of the collective will of our race at a turning point in our evolution. The decision making ability of a global internet population is awesome even as the internet and the World Wide Web reaches into the darkest corners of the planet and allows more and more voices to be heard. It presents the scope for a global democratic voice.

The World Wide Web has changed our world in more ways than great civilizations of the past have done. Its influence is everywhere – in politics, laws and the arts. Why should it not be an effective tool for the world to talk to the masters of global Growth, to the leaders of nations  --
to the human spirit and heart and mind ?Why should not people everywhere have their say in a world still governed by selfish feudal interests, by cartels and juntas and totalitarian regimes functioning in the name of economic growth and democracy and relentlessly exploiting nature and humans for Profit. Profit is the step-child of Growth. Intellectual satyagraha and the World Wide Web together offer limitless possibilities if they can be organized as a new  democratic voice , a world wide voice of global society. The idea sounds revolutionary and it is, -- a peaceful revolution through communication and reasoned protest against injustice to humans and nature. It is a revolution of thought and action.

Writing and Expression

The difference between instinct and intellect is that the instinct came first. The intellect proceeds from the development of writing and knowledge as separate from wisdom. Instinct belongs to the pre-literate mind, the so-called savage mind, the mind of our primitive ancestors. As I have pointed out the industrial age built on the economic foundations of Loot developed into an age of so called “enlightenment” which challenged the norms of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and successfully wiped out the glories of twenty thousand years of creative intelligence. We are entering an age of counter enlightenment. Our race has developed destructive technologies far in advance of our anthropological evolution to control weapons of mass destruction. We have become more powerful than is good for us. Technology has outstripped human evolution itself. The children of tomorrow will be robots with intelligences primed by the then ruling disposition – which appears to be materialistic and non democratic for the masses –and highly democratic for the few. It will be a tomorrow of survivors and their obliterated generation. I am talking in the context of the imminent hazards of global warming and climate change within the next  thirty years when the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will be four times pre-industrial levels (at 60 Gigatonnes), with sea level rise  around seven metres, and with atmospheric temperature 3C higher than today  in the tropics and 6.5F higher in the northern latitudes. Certainly these will not be livable conditions. Human life will only be possible under controlled conditions --in air conditioned cubicles. The methods of production of energy will have to change radically to meet these conditions. The numbers of deaths by this new plague – Global Warming – will not be countered easily simply through technology, it will be impossible to manage to save human beings in a  world scorched by heat and denuded of  food and water resources. These will indeed be extraordinary times. Robotic intelligence and mechanical assistance will be required even for decision making and the human will have to take a back seat (if it is there). The priorities of being human will be with only a very few in controlled laboratory conditions.  This transition of human to non human  operation will very likely happen suddenly after a certain point has been reached and no alternatives will be any longer possible. Mankind is accelerating towards this point and this very acceleration is slowing down the process of our realization of the reality.

I have spoken above of the pre-literate mind and the literate mind. Abrahamic scripture begins with the mission statement, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The meaning of Ecology becomes suddenly God-defined by the followers. It isn’t plain logos (Gr. Logic), now it means Word. Church and  Theocratic State apply ecology to their actions as if all its concerns are defined by them and not by logos or Reason, i.e. ecological considerations  do not require to be logical.  Economy on the other hand is law-directed – nomos (Gr. Law), and economic considerations depend upon the law, military, police, etc. Its become a very dangerous law since economics depends on unlimited growth in a world of diminishing resources. That’s why thinkers have started despairing if we’ll ever make it beyond the present century.

Growth is dependant on subsidies by governments to corporations, kickbacks from corporations to governments, the destruction of natural resources without their being calculated in the production costs, the GDP. The abuse of economics and environmental resources  is paid for by the defenceless landscapes which are industrialized and the equally defenceless poor who live in these landscapes. Growth, growth, growth – that’s what economic growth is all about – and in an economic world what else can be done ? The divides between the poor and the rich, the Haves and the Have-Nots is the  essential outcome of Growth. This Growth is represented in the flawed Gross Domestic Product. And both are out of the reach of the common man to affect in any way. An economic despotism holds the world in thrall and growing military control of the planet escalates with escalating Growth. Totalitarian political regimes and their corporate cartels control the business as usual planet we live on. The last isolated ethnic environments are ready to be exploited through neo-colonial carnage. Hope is dead since  modern neo-liberal  economics is a deeply criminal fetish for the world’s leading economists and politicians and it is backed by police brutality and military power.  Displacing the last ethnic societies and taking over their natural environments is government policy in developing countries  unlike established economies which have a slow growth rate, such as Japan (1.5%). The old method of  judging a nation’s health on the basis of its fine products,  arts and crafts, the genius of its creative people, etc. is over. Now it is money, money, money – and more money -- which is the cri de coeur of the present economic global structure. In an age of global economy following an industrial revolution, a so called age of Enlightenment, and two world wars which left eighty million dead, we have the option of adopting the status quo or being left out in the cold.

It is no longer possible to ask any government riding a growth economy to be considerate or reasonable, honest or caring, since growth – economic growth, highly competitive economic growth – is based on corruption. Greater the corruption, greater the growth. That’s why a new system of morals is emerging in today’s world, one which condones the most immoral and colossal corruption. And the problem which arises in highly moral souls is that this is not right. But of course it is not. Clinton called a spade a spade when he charmingly observed “It’s the economy, stupid!”

We are globally at a stage of great danger. As the glaciers dry up – as they are doing in the Himalayas – and as the northern rivers dry up in time water is the potential cause of the next great wars between India and her neighbors; as the climate changes and affects food production in South Asia with increasing heat waves in the midst of growing populations; as more and more forest land is cut down or turned to plantations to increase growth; as the poor will die by the wayside, even so more people will be flying Spice-Jet and talking of champagne and caviar. And this is Growth, big bad Growth. The leaders understand the game perfectly. Which great general could afford the luxury of caring for the safety of society or his troops ? No, that luxury is not possible in quest of victory.

Everything else the Sage said is poetry, and poetry doesn’t buy food, or for that matter even water. The age of poets is over. The poet says “Helping the masses to return to the ancestral genius of the land, to help them bring up their children according to the old craftsmanship traditions, and to allow them to plough the land and reap a bountiful harvest” well, that’s all over. We’ve changed the playing field so fast and so permanently – or rather, the They who have done it, are tuned into a whole new dynamics for survival. Ruined rural India and her masses toiling in the sweltering, waterless desert India is fast becoming, they have read the writing on the wall: Join the bandwagon as the slogan says ! So the government plays to the audience. Chocolates and television, fine linen underwear and condoms, fulfilling the dream of simply riding on a train… this they say is what the simple ethnic societies want ! And they have created dangerous survival conditions which probably makes them right ! There is little place here for “ simple living and high thinking”. It is a fact that lower organisms are tougher than higher ones and that primitive societies are better adapted for survival under extreme conditions.  I believe that the masses are tougher, more resilient to change than the seemingly higher human types formed through wealth and education’ and these more primitive types will enter the ecological crisis for survival  well armed.” The poor shall inherit the earth” was the observation of the wisest man the world has seen – the gentle  Nazarene. Surely they will inherit the ghastly future we are going into! Till it lasts.


Bulu Imam
Jharkhand, India

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