Volume 2, Issue 12
Have you experienced being in a meeting where someone shoots down your idea dismissively and then presents a longwindedly crude expression of the same idea, without seeing that it is the same idea?
Have you pitched something to a company that is so clearly what they need, and then have them take a pass based on the strength of frozen ritual processes that no one believes can ever be changed?
Impossibility thinking, dream state management, “Earth must be God’s sitcom channel”, and other amusingly cynical thoughts pass through my head as I encounter these events daily. Still, I remain ever hopeful that in time the race will learn to use its prefrontal cortex, and see how the psychotechnology techniques such as those of the Human Effectiveness Institute do push back against the tide of information overload, i.e. Acceleritis, which causes the pandemic EOP (Emergency Oversimplification Procedure) exhibited in these funny behaviors.
It’s healthy and pragmatically useful to take these things as amusing rather than become frustrated by them since that negative emotion brings us down to the EOP level. If Observer state and Flow state are the objective and the answer, then the sense of humor is a major ally in the game. Humor and perspective are closely related, which is why comedians are actually philosopher/poets who express profound truths in an artistic and therefore pleasantly diverting form that cleanses the emotions of negativity or sublimates the negativity to a less harmful species of it.
The prefrontal cortex is a radical evolution. Once it was empowered by seeable (written) language starting about 6000 years ago — a mere eyeblink in human history — this triggered an acceleration process that manifests as a fall from grace, a submersion in self-dwarfing pettyism, a loss of the sense of connectedness to divinity and our numinous birthright. Acceleritis as we call it. Written 2190-2070 BC, much earlier in the accelerating information overload period we are still living in, the Lamentations of Ipou-our recall the spiritual culture that Egypt had already lost by that time.
Prior to the discovery of the first Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, the Nag Hammadi library was found in Upper Egypt in 1945. Whereas the Dead Sea Scrolls appear to be early drafts of the Old Testament, the Nag Hammadi scrolls contain what appear to be early drafts of the New Testament. One muses that the wars perennially fought over the Holy Land might have something to do with the findings of these materials — which cast such revealing light on our early Western spiritual beginnings. Not exactly a grail, the scrolls near Nag Hammadi were found in a large jar. The aspect I find particularly interesting about them is the many writers who groped to explain why, if there is God, the world has gone so wrong. These explanations are all variations on a theme of error-ridden/evil early offspring of the original Spirit creator, bad demiurge gods/archons aka the Devil. The early Christian church edited out these heresies (while retaining Satan) probably wisely as they are so negative and paranoia inducing. Also, the far simpler and perhaps more logical explanation is information overload and the time it takes for information-processing beings to learn to manage their own internal resources after such a powerful mutation (evolution of the prefrontal cortex) and its cascading effects.
The most important work each of us does is the work we do on ourselves, which the Human Effectiveness Institute calls psychotechnology — the broader field containing Buddhism, psychoanalysis, Zen, and a host of other specific methodologies springing up in different regions of the world. Psychotechnology is what propels us out of the Acceleritis-driven EOP state. Many of us, with the coming of maturity, reach a permanent equilibrium in the Observer state that allows us to laugh at ourselves and to appreciate the humor in the challenging, maddening conditions of our historical period. Jews call this being a mensch. This is definitely a hopeful sign, of which many abound all around us. Perhaps in a millennium or two, we will emerge from Acceleritis on a global basis — or maybe we are even closer. What can we do to (at least begin to) make it happen in our own time?
Best to all,