It was David Bohm’s thesis that the ignorance of humanity is a matter of closedmindedness. He considered closedmindedness the “darkness in the human brain,” a darkness closing access to the Universal Mind; so defined as a supreme intelligence that communicates through the mode of insight. In this essay we will describe the evolutionary origins of the darkness in the human brain and ways we can remove that darkness or at least insulate ourselves from it. We will describe the fiery trial we will soon be passing through if we cannot accomplish this.
In the 20th century David Bohm physicist and colleague of Albert Einstein spoke about darkness in the human brain.
In the 19th century Abraham Lincoln spoke about the fiery trial through which his generation was passing.
Annual Message to Congress — Concluding Remarks, December 1, 1862 “The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.”
600/500’s BCE the prophet Jeremiah told us that the heart is deceitful and wicked.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?”
530 million Years BCE Beginning Cambrian Explosion
Paleontologists find that animals were developing spikes and plates for protection, and some well-developed eyes for seeing predators. Predators, in turn eyes for seeing prey from afar, also appendages and mouth parts for getting past some defenses.
We have a dark side. It is embedded in our brains. It has power over our thoughts and actions. No one escapes its power: the rich, the poor, the smart, the dumb, the privileged, the non privileged, the healthy, the sick, the religious, the nonreligious. It ensnares our culture through our economic, social, political and religious institutions. There are no bounds to this ensnarement. Morality and Ethics as we in our modern society have defined them lose all meaning.
David Bohm called this the darkness in the human brain. At the same time he spoke about its antithesis which he identified as “the Universal Mind; so defined as a supreme intelligence that communicates through the mode of insight.”
Today in the 21st century our inability to connect ourselves to the “Universal Mind” through Bohm’s “mode of insight” has become a very serious problem. We find that our governmental institutions are failing us, our religions are failing us and our philosophers are failing us. Areas of the social sciences in academia (in particular economics) are failing us. All are under the influence of this darkness.
Behind the seemingly sophisticated facade of our scientifically advanced human civilization it is driving us toward a fixed action primate behavioral pattern of aggressive self-assertion, and that pattern in combination with our scientific advancements has become so self-destructive as to be threatening our presence on this planet. Soon we will be entering Abraham Lincoln’s fiery trial.
So the questions we must now answer are these: How deeply ethnologically imbedded in our brains is this fixed action dark side? How much control does it have over us? Is it imbedded in some more than in others? How should we deal with those who cannot control it? Over time are there ways we can neurologically/biologically and/or socially eliminate it? If so, how much time do we have? And finally: Why are we so slow to comprehend its danger and take action?
In an attempt to explore this dark side we need to examine our neurological biological development from the beginning of our presence on this planet and understand the genetic survival strengths and disorder weaknesses that over time became a part of our evolutionary brain cage.
We will begin with a visit I made to the Leakey museum at the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in 1983. The Leaky family was a prime mover in establishing a tradition of palaeoanthropological inquiry. Richard Leakey followed in the footsteps of his famous father. He began his work searching for fossils in the mid 1960’s. His team unearthed a nearly complete 1.6-million-year-old skeleton that became known as “Turkana Boy,” then the first known early human with long legs, short arms and a tall stature. During my visit I met Mary Leakey. Among her many accomplishments was the discovery of the Laetoli footprints; proof that hominids walked upright as far back as 3.6 million years.
This multimillion year period seen by these two discoveries marked the beginning of who we are now biologically and neurologically as primates. (actual beginning as noted above began 530 million years BCE with the Cambrian Explosion) Then about 400,000/300,000 BCE came a change. The brain cage began to enlarge. It became the size it is today. And here is the important point: Even though larger, it is in many ways the same genetically as it was then. Study Chimpanzees and Bonobos other such primates and you will come to this conclusion.
Then around 6,000 BCE we entered the Egyptian/Levant period and there came another change. It was a socio/economic religious change, but not a biological/neurological brain change. Biologically and neurologically we were not an exact duplication of the Turkana or Laetoli, yet in many ways we were cranially evolutionarily the same. Many of the evolutionary neurological patterns were the same. The important point here is that there is today a human neurological genetic concurrence between the neurologically/biologically “primitive” human and the new age “modern” human. And that concurrence now institutionally foundationally undergirds the way we moderns from that Egyptian/Levant period think and act.
It is only in recent years that Neurological science has begun to understand this. And it has found that in our New Age some of that early thinking and acting has been and continues to be species’ self-destructive; so defined above by David Bohm, as well as many others, and as being caused by the dark side of the human brain.
For many years this was not a Homo sapiens Planet earth survival problem. Our beneficent behavior was limited to family and select non family members of our tribal group. Those suspect were limited to anyone outside the group. If we fought it was with the other tribe on the other side of the hill. We only destroyed the animal life near us. Then things began to change. The development of primitive weaponry, first spears and clubs then the sling and then the bow and arrow gave us superiority over prey and other humans. With the bronze/iron age all of this took on an entirely new dimension. Bronze and then iron transformed the use of weaponry. Former tribal conflicts became mass murder city/state conflicts. Then came the Industrial Revolution. We began digging out and destroying nonrenewable planetary resources. We burned coal. We destroyed forests. War deaths rose to the hundreds of thousands. Now seven thousand years after Egyptian/Levant entry, our primitive brain cage has become not only a problem, it is about to bring on our planetary end.
To repeat; what is important to understand here is that our underlying cranial dark side came with us when we entered the Egyptian/Levant Age. It was deeply embedded in our brains genetically neurotically. It has not changed. It is in there now. We can observe evidence of this in today’s nation against nation. We observed it in the brains of the American settlers destroying the Native American population. We observed it in the American plantation South when the Southern aristocracy would not free black African slaves. We observed it in minds of Napoleon and Hitler and Stalin. We observed it in the minds of the American Mafia. We see it today in the behavior of many of the leaders of our world. We see it in our own interpersonal relationships. We see it when we read the Newspapers or turn on TV and learn of the homicidal violence across the world.
It permeates the economic behavior of the power elite in our society. Here is a quote from my new book on this observation:
“We continue to see this methodological construct in today’s dishonest advertisements. Ad after Ad deceptive language is used solely to attain end results. Examples: the ongoing token environmental advertising of the American oil companies presenting themselves as planetary stewards. The advertising of the cigarette companies a few years back. Another example was this marketing line some years ago: ‘Lead helps to guard your health.’ A Lead Company sold lead-based household paints. These paints were poisoning millions of children and permanently damaging their brains. Tens of thousands of children died, and countless millions were left mentally impaired.”
Scientific research relating to the neurology of Human behavior and the cranial origins of self-centered individuality has in recent years added greatly to our understanding the psychotic reason for this self-interest and deception. However; among the general public there has been and is today very little interest. Deviant psychotic behavior up and down the line is accepted as being normal. An American example; when Donald Trump was elected President, there was an outpouring of worrisome information from the American psychiatric community. It quickly faded away. Nor would it have mattered in their time with the likes of Lenin, Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Nor would it have mattered to their advisors and their supporting public. Again we are reminded of the dark side.
Now to a discussion of the possibility of our tempering and even doing away with the dark side: This leads to the questions: Can we reinvent our species so as to have it function optimally? Can we take control over the brain cage neurologically and biologically? Even before egg fertilization and then during gestation and then after birth can we achieve this?
There have been indications in recent years that science can be of assistance. We have found that mental health, like physical health, has many cranial dimensions. Also, research shows that change in our individual and collective consciousness not necessarily genomic but by way of social engineering is possible; that is we can avoid genetic weaknesses and isolate and perpetuate genetic strengths. In addition, we have found that neuro/biochemically the negatives that cannot be eliminated can be toned down. Additionally, sperms and eggs can be selectively chosen for more positive fetal development. Clearly, these possibilities point to an optimistic future. As Edward O Wilson writes in The Meaning of Human Existence: (I quote him in my new book)
“No longer will the prevalence of some genes (more precisely alleles, variations in codes of the same gene) over others be the result of environmental forces.”
What he is saying is that after several million years of evolution, we now have the ability to take control of our evolutionary development.
All of this will involve: (again quoted from my new book)
- Some form of brain altering biotechnology
(Manipulation of brain through genetic engineering)
- Some form of brain altering chemistry
(Introducing chemical compounds to functionally affect the brain)
- Some form of brain altering nanotechnology
(Engineering of the brain at the molecular level)
- Some form of generational bio/cranial altering by way of “distributed eugenics”
(Controlled exchange sperm and egg)
- Some form of permanent editing of the human genome
(known as CRISPR which is a procedure that allows the replacing of genes. CRISPR enzymes are used to target and delete a section of DNA or alter it in other ways that can result in favorable or useful traits.)
This brings us to the question of our Age. Even if genetic and social engineering can be accomplished, will our dark side prevent it from occurring fast enough globally? Present global response to everything from population growth to ecological implosion to regional and national conflict indicates that the battle will be hard fought and time consuming.
The dark side has enormous power. The Jeremiah quote shows early Judaic recognition. The Christian faith from its very beginning gave it full recognition by way of its redemptive thought process with a call for human expiation, atonement, redress, reparation, restitution, recompense, requital, purgation and penance. All of the modern social sciences today recognize it. So the question now is this: Do we in our New Age faced with aggressive/compulsive human behavior, materialistic obsession, atomic bomb threat, advanced computerized weaponry, biosphere degradation, advertising and internet deception have the ability to change?
One new challenge that could wake up humans is the feedback loop effect of an increase in Biosphere CO2 and CH4. (as occurred during Permian Triassic Extinction) An irrefutable fact is that Planet earth is racing toward irreversible higher global temperatures and the timeline is compressing. Seas will soon rise 20/40 feet – then possibly to 190 ‑ and temperatures on many parts of the planet will soon be over 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are even greater challenges. Temperature change is only one of many feedback loops to occur. We are destroying un reconstitutable life and un reconstitutable nonlife on our planet at an increasing rate.
Humanity needs to place itself in a symbiotic relationship with Nature that allows both our species and organic and inorganic matter to recycle and renew. And it needs to accomplish this within the next 50 years.
Without such a symbiotic relationship the dark side will have won and we as a species are finished.
David Anderson brings together a wide range of interests in his writings, namely; evolutionary anthropology, philosophy, geopolitics, economics, theology and history. He has written four books. The fourth SEE NEW BOOK has just been published. It is about the necessary geo political, social, religious, economic paradigm shift for human survival.
Video ‑ The Great Courses Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition Professor Robert Sapolsky, Stanford University.
“From time immemorial, the more philosophical among us have pondered: What is the essence of who I am? Behavioral biology is the science of trying to figure this out, with the guiding assumption that an understanding of who and why we are cannot be achieved without considering our biology.”
LIVES IN THE PEACE MOVEMENT John Scales Avery June 15, 2019
“Today, human greed and folly are destroying the global environment. As if this were not enough, there is a great threat to civilization and the biosphere from an all-destroying thermonuclear war. Both of these severe existential threats are due to faults in our inherited emotional nature.”
Beyond climate tipping points: Greenhouse gas levels exceed the stability threshold of the ice sheets in Climate Change — by Dr Andrew Glikson, June 21, 2019
“As the world keeps increasing its carbon emissions and exports, rising in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion ton per year, the atmospheric greenhouse gas level has now exceeded 560 ppm CO2–equivalent when methane and nitrous oxide are included, intersecting the stability threshold of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. The term “climate change“ is no longer appropriate since, what is happening in the atmosphere-ocean system, accelerating over the last 70 years or so, is an abrupt calamity on a geological dimension, threatening nature and human civilization. Ignoring what the Science says, the powers to be are presiding over the sixth mass extinction of species, including humans.”
At 100, Gaia Faces its Biggest Challenges in Climate Change — by Robert Hunziker — June 28, 2019 (Source: Independent, August 8, 2018)
“Humans’ time may have run out and artificial intelligence could be about to take our place on Earth. In that interview, he also proclaimed: ‘The Earth is in dire trouble and could soon experience intense climate-related disasters.’ ”
In A Race Between Two Tipping Points by Rolly Montpellier @Below2C July 18, 2019
“The world is racing toward the irreversible collapse of the Earth’s ecosystems and our timeline is compressing.”
Progressive Christianity Essay
David Bohm Reinventing the Sacred in the Age of the Cosmos by David Anderson February 17, 2017
“He suggested that in our Post Modern World now for the first time in human history one can observe indications of a shaking off of, as he termed it, the ‘pollution of the ages’ (wrong worldviews that propagate ignorance) by way of the beginning of a trusting relationship with one another. He saw this as having the capability to generate the immense power needed to ignite a cosmic consciousness in our species toward a new order.”
The Great Reckoning – A Look Back from Mid-Century
by Andrew J Bacevich
“The postmodern age was ending, though few seemed to know it — with elites, in particular, largely oblivious to what was occurring. What would replace postmodernity in a planet heading for ruin remained to be seen.”