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Who's Crazy Now?

Oct. 23, 2022

Dr. David Fialk, Editor / Publisher

"The last thing that can be said of a lunatic is that his actions are causeless. If any human acts may loosely be called causeless, they are the minor acts of a healthy man; whistling as he walks; slashing the grass with a stick; kicking his heels or rubbing his hands. The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason." - Gilbert K. Chesterton

The schizophrenic reads meaning, or tries to read meaning, into ordinary acts: whistling, slashing the grass with a stick, heels kicking or hands rubbing. The attention of the person with autism is promiscuous, unprincipled, attracted by any and every thing. Nothing is taken for granted.

Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist (The Master and His Emissary, The Matter With Things) tells us that similar states of mind are revealed in those who have suffered damage to their right cerebral hemisphere. This is the half of the brain, the "Master," that is responsible for putting together the slices and fragments of data gathered by the left hemisphere, the "Emissary," into a meaningful whole.

With only the reductive, narrow, specific, disintegrated, hyper-goal-oriented strategy characteristic of the brain's left hemisphere, without the holistic, intuitive, imaginative, sense-making function of the brain's right hemisphere, we would come to strange conclusions. Schizophrenics posit their own, often bizarre, interpretations of experience, attributing convoluted rationales to simple phenomena. A league of men wearing hats may, indeed, be spying on you, but it is much more probable that these are just random strangers who thought it might rain.

In three volumes, over thousands of pages, McGilchrist boils right hemisphere deficiency down to this:
1) loss of global/gestalt perception
2) deficits in contextual understanding
3) difficulty distinguishing important from unimportant stimuli

Those who suffer this inability to see wholes do not feel anything as normal, as given. They are always questioning, looking behind the curtain of ordinary appearance. They are never at home, never at one with their experience. Think of poor Keanu Reeves trying to come to terms with the Matrix.

Recently, in fact, I have been thinking about the Matrix. I've taken my own trip down that rabbit hole by renewing my acquaintance with my old friend Q, whom I met 25 years ago, when I was 40, and he was 20. Apparently, I had quite an effect on his youthful consciousness. We saw each other infrequently for a few years, and then fell out of touch completely for the better part of two decades. Recently, we've gotten back in touch over the phone. His consciousness has matured.

Over the last 20 years Q. has devoted his remarkable intelligence to the study of the mysteries: ancient, modern, orthodox, pop, religions, and conspiracies. His knowledge on the subject is truly encyclopedic. Over the last six months I've spent many hours on the phone with him as he demonstrated the evolution of our society's concept of God from ancient Sumeria, or illuminated the grip that the same 140 families have had on society since the dawn of agriculture, or comparatively examined Eastern and Western religiosity, or delved into the oppressive shenanigans of the Illuminati and their servants, modern, state-sponsored intelligence services.

Just to name one highlight: Q. asserts that George Orwell was the first director of MK-Ultra, the spy agency program involving illegal human experimentation, most famously with LSD. Orwell's 1984, then, is not a piece of fiction, as much as it is an insider whistle-blower's warning. Q. says that L. Ron Hubbard, of Scientology fame, was a subsequent director of the program.

MK-Ultra's work with LSD explored the possibilities of taking over another person's will. The struggle for agency is at the heart of Q.'s worldview. The powers that be are trying to take it. The individual ought to be trying to keep it. In her fiery acceptance speech, Italy's new prime minister claimed something similar. She warned that the globalists were destroying nation and family, the things that make us strong, to turn us all into good "consumer slaves." The World Economic Forum's mantra for the Great Reset, "You will own nothing, and you will be happy," certainly can be read as an attack on independent self-reliance.

Q. makes a great deal of the Artificial Intelligence (AI), the algorithm that delivers us our internet content, as being our main interface with the Matrix. By showing us news and other content that reinforces what we already believe, the AI strengthens our sense of belonging: "My side is correct." In the same way, our interaction with social media triggers feel-good brain hormones that reward us for belonging. This affirmation of belonging is a terrifically ancient brain response. Group membership was essential for the survival of our species, fighting off threats and sharing resources. The AI manipulates our sense of belonging to addict us to Big Tech's platforms, maximizing profit for shareholders, turning us into good consumer slaves. Media's earnings are enhanced by its turning everything into a crisis. With everything going to hell, we had better stay tuned. By magnifying our divisions, and drawing us away from real life social interactions, the AI is destroying the glue that holds society together.

Say what you will about Q.'s state of mental health, or about mine for listening to him, but I've heard it twice now, from people with high-level government security clearance, "Whatever you think the government is up to, you really can't imagine what the government is up to." If you think that the FBI and the CIA are inherently freedom-loving, think again.

Iain McGilchrist doesn't resort to conspiracy theories. However, he does agree that there is something profoundly wrong with how society is thinking. He draws direct links between right hemisphere deficiency, schizophrenia and the modern condition. All three are characterized by an over-intellectualized, hyper-particularized, standing outside of something that should be an intuitive experience; a not seeing the forest because of the trees.

Things have fallen apart. The world has shattered, splintered into a million shards. Overwhelmed by details, without coherent overviews, we inhabit a randomness, where sights, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and things don't fit together.

"People have lost any sense that things really speak to them from somewhere beyond what they have made up in their own minds. The experience of something great, possibly transcendent, certainly of existential importance is harder now because we live in a world of reductive materialism in which everything is supposed to be explained by the dead movements of mechanical pieces." - Iain McGilchrist

Ours are slices of time and experience, a stasis multiplied, rather than flow. With no organizing principle, society's overly left hemisphere perspective cobbles and stitches meaningless details together into a world where everything grabs the attention, but nothing is interesting.

Opposed, and as an antidote, to this piecemeal fact-based, hyper-rational worldview, McGilchrist asks us to remember that the best things in life: love, friendship, family, music, poetry, nature... transcend reason and analysis. Science might want to deny the existence of the soul, but we all know when we are having a soulful experience. These, the most valuable things we have, are decidedly unscientific, and most certainly, not "things" (hence McGilchrist's second book's title, The Matter With Things). Science, the left hemisphere, ascertaining the facts, makes an excellent Emissary, but a poor Master. (As we have seen in our uncoordinated response to Covid.)

My friend Q. asserts that our primary error is our conception of God (the government, Big Tech) as a Big Daddy/Mommy, who will do the work for us, up to saving us at the last minute. In place of this, he advocates that people make the necessary effort to reveal the "Messianic Age." Q. believes that when a critical mass of us self-enlightens, the grip of the Matrix will dissolve and the world will transform into the Eden, from which we were, and are actively, being expelled. I'm not sure if I believe in paradise, but a holistic perspective and the wiser application of science would push us a long way towards utopia.

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Dr. David, believing that we find meaning most readily in communal relationship, presents Lokkal, the social network, the prettiest, most-efficient way to see San Miguel online.

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