Friday, February 13, 2015

Cosmic Defense Mechanisms and the IKEA Brain

Yesterday we discussed the bilateral integration of left and right cerebral hemispheres. But there is also the vertical integration of hindbrain, midbrain, and frontal cortex (AKA brainstem, limbic areas, and neocortex). You'd think their integration would be automatic, and the brain certainly tries to converge toward a complex wholeness -- a unity-in-diversity -- but not always successfully.

Siegel asks, "Why would anyone not have such important access to the wisdom of the body, to the regulation and protection of the survival reflexes of the brainstem, and to the evaluative, emotional, and attachment-focussed limbic system processing?"

In other words, why might our sensory and emotional input fail to flow harmoniously into the higher executive functioning of the self? (The question is not fundamentally different from why our pathological governmental executive would ignore input from the legislature and the citizenry.)

Think, for example, of how emotions can be split off, repressed, and projected. Or, how someone may become paranoid, or hypochondriacal, or develop somatic delusions, or veto bills everyone else favors.

For paranoiacs, it is as if they develop a kind of global, reptilian fear of their surroundings. For hypochondriacs, it is as if they develop a similar fear with regard to the normal sensations of the body. A rumbling in the abdomen is magnified into colon cancer, a twinge in the chest to a heart attack, a tension headache to a brain tumor. But enough about me.

Siegel writes that "one reason" for the disconnect "is attachment history." That is, "if the relationships you may have had were not attuned, the signals from your body may never have been seen by others, and, in fact, you may have felt overwhelmed by the unfulfilled needs emanating from the subcortical regions," i.e., the limbic system and hindbrain.

I don't know how much of this is new to my readers, but I have been thinking along these lines for some 30 years, so it's pretty basic to my worldview. What is novel about it is that it takes much of the unnecessary mystagoguery out of psychoanalysis by locating what used to be called the "unconscious" in easily identifiable regions of the brain and in clearly recognizable patterns of attachment, i.e., relationships (remember, it is always mind-brain-relationships, never just one).

As I highlighted in the book, it is not difficult to understand how disturbances in early attachment and bonding might lead to a failure to integrate various parts of the brain. It is similar to economics: there is no need to explain the phenomenon of poverty, since that is the universal condition. Rather, what needs to be explained is the creation of wealth.

Likewise, we come into this world -- meaning the post-uterine condition -- in a state of neurological immaturity, such that our brain is wired together at the same time we are bonding with the primary caregiver(s), usually a mother. So the brain is a little like IKEA furniture, which also comes to us in need of final assembly. Just as your furniture may bear the scars of poor assembly (but enough about me), so too can the brain be haunted by the synaptic shadows of troubled attachment.

Yes, in one sense this seems a bit unfair, but if you really think about it, there is simply no other way to grow a human. And when it works the way it is supposed to, it is such a beautiful thing -- truly an icon of God.

I suppose it's like sexuality that way. There is a logical fallacy -- can't remember exactly how it goes -- to the effect that the improper use of something does not invalidate its proper use (for example, with regard to guns, or booze, or freedom). Anything, no matter how sublime, may be misused, which I believe goes to commandment against taking the name of the Lord in vain.

I'm not sure where the typical person locates "meaning," but it can't be in the left brain. The left brain, being logical, can only generate ultimately circular tautologies and self-imposed models. Again, if you really think about it, meaning comes from someplace else -- from the gut, or the heart, or above the head, or the whole cosmopnuematic sensorium. It's really a whole-body/mind/relationship sensation, is it not?

When I deploy the term "infertile egghead," I am referring to someone who lives -- or subsists, really -- in his own ideas, which is a much more narrow and shallow area compared to our whole body-mind-relational world.

Just as in "climate science," the models can only simulate an infinitely more complex system. Which is why mere intellectuals tend to be such an impoverished class. Nevertheless, they are a proud bunch, which is why they are compelled to try to one-up a Scott Walker, or anyone, really, who lives outside their Ønanistic leftworld constraints. It is primarily an exercise in propping up their own inappropriately high self esteem by projectively shaming someone else.

With a little personal mindsight, these spiritually impoverished cretins could perhaps dig beneath their own superficial mental maps, but then, that would spell the end of the left.

"Promoting vertical integration involves cultivating awareness of the lower input from the body, brainstem, and limbic areas..." (ibid.). I can only emphasize that human beings, because they are free, have many alternatives to this, a whole menu of what are called psychological defense mechanisms: denial, splitting, repression, projection, regression, somatization, fantasy, wishful thinking, acting out, idealization/contempt (two sides of the same defensive coin), etc. Or just say liberal.

One of the three pillars of Christianity is Incarnation, the idea that God becomes man all the way down to the brainstem (which in turn branches down and out into the whole body). Perhaps we should take a hint and follow his pneumasomatic example. Around here we call it I-AMbodiment.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Whole Brains vs. Halfwits

We're in the midst of a discussion of the various domains within the brain-self-relationships trinity that need to be integrated in order for us to be "healthy" (or to have a whole in our heads). In short, if we wish to potentiate, we must integrate.

Next on Siegel's list is bilateral integration, or a harmonious relationship between the left and right hemispheres. These two rascals perceive the world and process information in very different ways.

As Petey has said on many occasions, "homosexual marriage" is impossible for the same reason it would be impossible to have two left (or two right) brains and still be fully human. Rather, our humanness emerges stereoscopically, so to speak, in the mindstage produced by their complementarity. To eliminate this fruitful complementarity is to render oneself barren.

It is quite interesting that our brains are set up in this heterospheric way. It seems to me that if God and nature went to all the trouble of lending us these two very different brains -- and sexes -- then we ought to pay attention.

Most of the time we don't notice the two hemispheres. I suppose this is no different than health in general, in that if we feel well, then our body becomes somewhat invisible. When we start to notice it -- as in pain, weakness, dysfunction -- then we know we have a problem.

Likewise, "When the two sides of the hemispheres work well together, there is no need to intentionally try to promote bilateral integration," because "it is already fully in place!" (Siegel; BTW, I dock him half a star for excessive use of the exclamation point. Has he no control over the grammatical enthusiasms of his right brain?).

So, much of the time the marriage between left and right is harmonious. However, "given the anatomic separation and unique dominance of these two modes of processing on either side of the brain, sometimes one side or the other can dominate in a person's ever-changing life" (ibid.). Or maybe one side will lag behind or run ahead of the other.

As it so happens, the nonverbal right brain does run ahead of the left in early infant development, with important consequences, since that is where un-verbalizable mind parasites will lodge themselves. Siegel has an interesting term for this: synaptic shadows. You could say that a mind parasite lives in the synaptic shadows, or that it is a synaptic shadow. Either way, they are not just in the mind, but etched into our hard drive. To be perfectly accurate, they will manifest in the brain, in the mind, and in relationships.

I don't know if we need to go into a great deal of detail, since we already covered this subject not too long ago we, in our discussion of McGilchrist's The Master and his Emissary, the Master being the right hemisphere. The discussion seems to begin with this post. Let's see what we can yoink therefrom.

Hmm. The following all seems pretty sound to me, and is entirely consistent with the Interpersonal Neurobiology perspective. I'll try to condense it:

Perhaps the most provocative research finding is that our primary experience of the world is located in the right hemisphere, whereas our abstract "mapping" of this same world is located in the left.

Frankly, I don't think we need all this brain research to tell us something we all know -- that there is a primary, lived experience of the whole of reality, over which we superimpose an atomized grid of knowledge. In my autographed book for cheap I use the symbols (n) and (k) to distinguish the two. Not surprisingly, it turns out that there is a neural substrate for (n) and (k), but that doesn't mean that knowledge of either type can be reduced to neurology.

Rather, we begin with the principle of the Person, and it is not possible for a Person to incarnate in the absence of the "opponent processing" of the "divided" brain. But of course, the divided brain isn't really divided at all; or, to be perfectly accurate, it is divided so as to be united at a higher level. A non-divided brain couldn't possibly host the unitary person.

Yes, you could say the hemispheres are distinct but undivided, like a certain godhead we know. Which is why we don't (usually) subjectively feel as if we are two different persons. We are aware of the input from both sides, but there is something in us that usually unifies the two -- and it's not just "two," because, as McGilchrist explains, there is also a front-back structure in the brain, i.e., frontal to hindbrain, and a top-down one, i.e., cortex to mammalian to reptilian to Sharptonin brain.

In fact, perhaps only the left brain sees the brain as divided; indeed, McGilchrist points out that the right brain is able to take the perspective of the left into consideration, since it is part of the "whole," whereas the left cannot do this vis-a-vis the holism of the right.

It reminds me of how conservatives must deal with liberal arguments, since they permeate the culture, whereas it is possible for a liberal to live in an entirely friction-free cognitive world, since he must go out of his way to deeply understand the conservative point of view in a way that is unfiltered by the left wing hate machine.

Under the best of circumstances, we are all faced with this problem of integration, especially in the contemporary world, since there is a virtually infinite amount of data to consider, so much that no single person could ever literally integrate it all. Which is one of the main reasons left wing ideologues take refuge in their simplistic left brain fantasies of cognitive and social control. This is also what allows the typical low-information liberal voter to nurture his delusions of adequacy.

To cite one glaring example, when monohemispheriacs talk about the Republican "war on science," what they are mostly referring to is the conservative resistance to scientism. And the resistance to scientism comes partly from the right brain, which knows full well that scientism is not true because it cannot possibly be true. And it cannot be true because the right brain is precisely what mediates our connection to being as such. The right brain knows of what it speaks, even if it must express itself via the mythopoetic.

One doesn't have to be aware of brain research to understand why the fantasies of scientism are quite literally delusional. In every branch of science, the persistent application of purely "left brain" scientific methods has resulted in ambiguities that come back around to a right brain view of the world. This is the proper Circle of Being, whereby experience starts in the right, is broken down and categorized by the left, and then re-dreamt and integrated by the right. Reality doesn't just dream itself.

In physics, for example, we have the uncertainty principle, complementarity principle, and nonlocality. In logic we have Gödel, in math Cantor, in biology Rosen. Such "transformative developments," writes McGilchrist, "validate the world as given by the right hemisphere, not the left." No worldview can hope to be adequate without taking these fundamental orthoparadoxes into consideration.

I might add that in psychology we now have interpersonal neurobiology, which integrates anthropology, molecular biology, cognitive science, genetics, linguistics, neuroscience, physics, psychology, psychiatry, attachment, mathematics, computer science, sociology, and the Bo Diddley beat. To which the Raccoon adds cosmology, theology, philosophy, metaphysics, and the Bobby Blue Bland squall.

This cannot be accomplished by the left brain alone, since it is, as Siegel describes, too committed to the L modes of logical, linear, literal, and linguistic. The most important things obviously cannot be understood with mere logic, and to pretend otherwise is to be an unintegrated halfwit.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

End Psychic Segregation Now!

Yesterday we spoke of various types of integration that result in the release of human potential. Two of the main types are vertical -- brainstem/midbrain/cortex -- and horizontal -- left hemisphere/right hemisphere/corpus callosum. But then those two (vertical and horizontal) need to be integrated with each other, so you see how things can get complicated pretty quickly.

Let's see how many relatively autonomous systems we can identify, in order to understand how they must be integrated with the restavus. Remember, integration must be preceded by differentiation.

Siegel mentions one we tend to take for granted because it mostly happens automatically -- unless one is a Brian Williams or Barack Obama -- that is, the integration of past and present. Like everything else in our mind (and relationships) this has a physical substrate, whereby the present "enters" us, either from the senses or from higher centers, but then encounters "the past," AKA memory, or our working maps of reality.

The cortex, for example, "serves as a source of perpetual filtering, shaping the nature of what we are aware of as it compares prior experiences of similar events or objects with ongoing, here-and-now sensory input" (Siegel).

In other words, the world is always streaming into us on a nonstop basis. Siegel analogizes the latter to a kind of "bottom-up flow of ongoing sensory streams of energy and information," which in turn encounters -- or sometimes crashes into -- the "top-down flow" from the accumulated past. These two waves must find a way to coexist harmoniously, or the world will simply make no sense.

So every moment is like two waves from opposite directions that must somehow become one. Fortunately, waves can do that. Most of the time. But think, for example, of trauma. Trauma is like a present-wave that completely crashes over us, like a psychic tsunami. My wife, for example, is having a very hard time with the recent death of Tristan's teammate's mother. In addition to the tragedy itself, it is just too close to emotional home. It is overwhelming the present, and is impossible to assimilate.

Which I think is what bereavement is all about: the slow assimilation of an unassimilable event. In the past I have compared trauma to one of those snakes that swallows a whole rabbit. Our minds too must metabolize experience, and some experiences take a long time to digest. Indeed, some are only partially digested, or not digested at all, in particular, very early trauma that ends up hardwired into the nervous system (more on which later).

As an aside, I want to highlight how different this is from Brian Williams-style lying. In his case, it is not due to bottom-up (or outside-in) trauma disrupting and overwhelming his top-down narrative memory. Rather, it is quite the opposite: the conscious imposition of a false narrative on the past for some secondary gain in the service of his narcissism. Big difference.

As we shall see, integration and narrative are intimately related. In short, an accurate narrative is an integrated one, and vice versa.

Siegel has a helpful chapter called Domains of Integration. Each of these domains can be characterized by rigidity or chaos, which is the hallmark of un-integration, the latter of which preventing intra- and extra-psychic harmony.

He also mentions the subtle point that "when integration of consciousness is not present, individuals may be prone to identify thoughts and feelings as the whole of who they are."

For example, when a person becomes depressed, it is very much as if the depression displaces everything else in the psyche. Or, it is like a mind parasite that hijacks the machinery of the host in order to reproduce itself in the form of more depressed thoughts and feelings. The part becomes the whole.

In fact, Siegel's first category involves the integration of consciousness. Easy, right? Well, a schizophrenic, for example, absolutely cannot integrate consciousness, which becomes a moment-to-moment unfolding of catastrophic novelty.

An acquaintance recently experimented with psilocybin and had an unfortunate experience along these lines. It can be visualized as Munch's scream, only forever. He was plunged into a dreadful realm of unintegrated and persecutory psychic bits, so to speak. Later I ran into this article on what 'shrooms do the brain, causing it to go from the image on the left to the one on the right:

As the author writes, "the shrooms" facilitate "a whole lot more connections between disparate parts of the brain...." (emphasis mine). Yes, this can allow "creativity and imagination to blossom when we let go of the old ways of thinking," whereby we leap -- or are pushed, rather -- from our familiar attractors, those "established patterns of connectivity" that may "limit our potential."

But for how many shroomheads does this actually succeed, and for how long? Look at John Lennon, who took LSD everyday for like a year. True, we got the classics Rain, Tomorrow Never Knows, I Am the Walrus, and Strawberry Fields Forever, before he burned out his neural fields forever. So, this is not the ideal way to try to integrate unintegrated parts and explore new psychic territory.

Importantly, there are times that we want to become dis-integrated, or to oust ourselves from our customary attractor(s). I do so every day, only not with psychedelic drugs. Here is how Siegel describes it: we may become "swept up by a feeling" -- or thought or activity -- "and lost in the power of its persuasion. Sometimes this flow is a useful way of getting lost in an activity, of joining fully, without reservation and perspective..."

It is definitely what I try to do with these posts, i.e., abandon control and just let it flow where it will. But afterwards I always need to exercise another part of the brain in order to edit it -- to clean up any loose s*it -- which comes down to integrating it and making sure it is a "whole" that also fits in with the rest of the Whole.

There are some forms of consciousness we don't want to indulge and abandon ourselves to, for example, anger, resentment, envy, grandiosity, despair, hopelessness, victimhood, etc. Or, if we do, it is only for the purpose of shining light on them so they do not become semi-autonomous mind parasites with unintegrated agendas of their own. Or in other words, we want to re-member them, as opposed to them dis-membering us.

Well, that's about it for today. Funeral to attend, which is in so many ways an exercise and a ritual to help us try to integrate the most difficult thing of all to integrate, which of course brings us back around to the central purpose of Jesus' mission.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Respect Your Monkey! Honor Your Reptile!

As we've been saying, one of the principles of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) is that mind, brain, and relationships represent an irreducible trinity, in that you can't have one without the others.

However, it occurs to me that each of these components may be further divided (but not separated) into three. For example, vis-a-vis the brain, we have the hindbrain, the midbrain, and the neocortex -- or the reptilian, the mammalian, and the human. Thus, when we talk about integration, it is not just between mind, brain, and relationships, but within the brain itself.

For which reason the Raccoon says: Integrate your monkey! And don't forget your lizard!

Likewise the mind, which I visualize as spanning a vertical hierarchy from the divine to the human to the infrahuman. Importantly, the infrahuman is not analogous to the mammalian or reptilian, but is something far worse than mere animals -- like Nazis, or ISIS, or Al Sharpton. Matter can only go so low.

With regard to relationships, there is always self, other, and the link between them. Here I follow Bion, who mainly posited links of (L), (H), and (K), or love, hate, and knowledge. Others might include empathy, passion, and curiosity, but in each case the link is from interior to interior, or soul to soul. And to meet souls where they actually are, we have to possess the "mindsight" to see them, more on which later.

With this in mind, I think we are in a better position to understand what Siegel means when he says that the triangle of mind-brain-relationships is a "process by which energy and information flow." This is obvious, say, in education, where information passes from one mind to another via our relationship to the teacher (and the relationship turns out to be critically important). But such links also occur in far more subtle ways.

For example, in a paper I published back in 1994 -- before the internet permitted me to bypass the middleman -- I talked about "the back-and-forth interplay between mother and infant" through which we come to know ourselves (and without which we could never know ourselves).

Therefore, certain obstructions, blind spots, and inflexible repetitions in the mother will be internalized by the baby. Although the self cannot develop without a brain, it obviously cannot be reduced to mere brain activity. An isolated brain is just a disorganized blob of cells, while an isolated self isn't really a self at all.

However, there are such things as a healthy brain, a healthy mind, and healthy relationships. Things can go south in each realm, which will in turn affect the others.

For example, a brain tumor will probably not be good for your mind. Likewise, a painful relationship, or a death or loss, will cause real structural and chemical changes in the brain. And we all know how the internalization of a dysfunctional ideology causes both soul and brain damage.

The keynote is integration: "From an IPNB perspective, integration is the definition of good health," and "integration is the linkage of differentiated elements." Failure to integrate always results in one of two outcomes (or else an alternation between the two): either chaos or excessive rigidity.

Here we can see how rigidity may become a habitual defense mechanism against chaos, but how excessive rigidity inevitably results in more chaos. (Of note, this applies to any system, which is why the rigid, top-down economics of the left doesn't work.) Obama, for example, is an unusually rigid ideologue. The result? Global disorder. Economic disorder. Medical system disorder. Racial disorder. Immigration disorder.

As Siegel describes it, "Brains or relationships that are not integrated move outside this river of integration." That is, the integrated flow of an open system can be analogized to a river. On one bank is rigidity, the other chaos. Siegel is absolutely correct that every single diagnostic category of the DSM is characterized by either rigidity or chaos.

To cite some obvious examples, a compulsive personality is too rigid, while a borderline personality always generates chaos. Narcissists are generally too rigid, while a person with bipolar disorder goes from extreme to extreme -- from a static depression to wild mania, the former functioning like a fixed point attractor, the latter a strange attractor in subjective phase space.

As it so happens, I'm reading a rather comprehensive biography of Beethoven in the hope that it might contribute to our Glass Bead Game of integrating music and the structure of reality. Interestingly, Beethoven was deeply unintegrated in certain areas (e.g., emotions, relationships), even while creating perhaps the most vertically and horizontally (and intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually) integrated music that had yet appeared (from what I am told; I don't pretend to be a classical music maven).

Being that he was one of the first representatives of the then new cult of genius, we have ever since had the romantic image of the "crazy genius," but it is not necessarily so. One doesn't have to be crazy to be a genius, but one can see how, in an excessively rigid cultural or academic environment, it may require someone who has no ability to stay within the lines -- the river banks -- to discover new territory. Thus, there are times that chaos can be in the service of development, but it is not the ideal.

On the one hand, Beethoven strived "for unity within diversity," and "struggled for greater unity and at the same time for greater diversity than any composer had aspired to before." And yet, outside the context of composing, he "had little grasp of the world at all. In childhood he did not truly comprehend the independent existence of other people. He never really did. He reached maturity knowing all about music... but otherwise he did not know how to live in the world."

To be continued....

Monday, February 09, 2015

On the Genetic Transmission of Original Sin

As you know by now, one of the purposes of this blog is to try to make traditional religion relevant to intelligent people in the modern world. After all, it made sense to the most intelligent people of the premodern world, meaning that it must have "fit the facts" -- or better, must have addressed man's ticklish existential situation.

One doesn't want to say "facts," because they weren't really discovered in an unambiguous way until just a few hundred years ago, and there are still some atavistic stragglers who haven't yet reconciled themselves to their existence, such as Brian Williams.

In fact, if you check out that link, it can be seen that Williams not only rejects the world of fact, but exists in a cognitively undifferentiated state in which fact and religion are still fused -- in his case, the secular religion of liberalism. The conscious lies are one thing, but they pale in comparison to this unconscious fusion that renders his entire perceptual apparatus dysfunctional. Who can read that catalogue of liberal pieties of without cringing? I couldn't even finish it.

After the 2008 presidential election, "This nation woke up this morning changed. As one columnist put it, America matured in 2008 by choosing Barack Obama." So now we're mature. Like Brian Williams.

"This is our President. To see people, whatever your politics, that excited about our new chief executive after a line of what the ordinary voter would maybe describe as bad choices or choices of evils, for years, generations, it is unbelievable to me.”

I agree. It is unbelievable, in the sense that "the damage he has wreaked is beyond calculation. He has hobbled our economy, trashed the Constitution, eroded trust in government, politicized one federal agency after another, poisoned relations among the races, stifled opportunity for poorer Americans, weakened our armed forces, conducted a perverse foreign policy, made the U.S. a laughingstock abroad… the list goes on and on" ( PowerLine).

Anyway, back to a religion that fits our existential situation. One of the first principles of Christianity is that there is something wrong with man. In fact, each religion expresses this principle in a different way: for Christians it has to do with sin -- thus being located in the will -- while for Buddhism and Vedanta it has more to do with ignorance and illusion -- more in the mind.

There is also the notion that this pathology is somehow handed down through the generations. Note that this was not a "theoretical" observation, nor any kind of deduction from abstract principles, but rather, an empirical observation that anyone can confirm for himself. In the words of Michael Novak, "A system built on sin is built on very solid foundations indeed."

Denying this foundation leads directly to an Obama and to the left more generally, which builds on an entirely different metaphysical foundation. Even so, leftists do not deny that there is something wrong with man, but simply project it into their domestic enemies. Which is why Williams can suggest that presidents prior to Obama were "evil," or that capital punishment is immoral, or that the Tea Party is an extortionist, hostage-taking "suicide caucus."

Now, in my opinion, when we talk about man's proneness to sin, we're talking about something analogous to a parasite -- a mind parasite. To even talk about this subject implies that there is a proper and healthy way for man to exist, and that there are things that interfere with this healthy functioning. I say: why not use the modern tools at our disposal to illuminate this pathology instead of, say, attributing it to "original sin," or blaming it on our first mythological parents?

Remember, the facts are one thing, the explanation another. We can still believe man is fallen without accepting the ancient explanation, just as we can believe the world is created without suggesting that it occurred in six days.

This subject is discussed in the Encirclopedia Raccoonica, and fleshed out in Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology. For example, Siegel writes that "In relationships within families, one can see the intergenerational transfer of patterns of communication that are reinforced by the repeated experiences of energy and information flow exchange patterns."

In a moment (or maybe tomorrow) I'l explain more about what he means by "energy and information flow exchange patterns," but for now let's just highlight that fact that these pathological patterns and tendencies are handed down from generation to generation, which is what our forbears would have noticed (again, empirically).

Siegel highlights the critically important point that this intergenerational transmission is not only behavioral but genetic -- or epigenetic, to be precise. That is, "Recent discoveries in the field of epigenetics" reveal "that alterations in the control molecules regulating gene expression may also be important in this intergenerational passage of patterns of communication."

Now, think back to our furbears. Unlike us, they had no way of knowing that the cosmos was 14 billion years old, or that life had emerged 4 billion years ago, or that man had been here for 200 thousand years. In such a context, "original sin" is not a bad theory, in that it certainly accounts for the observable facts. It's just that we now have some additional cognitive tools to illuminate those same facts.

But one thing I want you to notice is how much more scientifically realistic is the idea of original sin, in comparison to the modern leftist assumption that man is born good and therefore infinitely malleable. Rather, given the complexities involved, we will rarely find the person who has escaped the exigencies of human development without his share of intergenerational mind parasites -- so rare that we might as well say that it happened just once!

It is really quite fascinating how this transmission works, and what sorts of things can be transmitted. For example, "extreme stress in one generation may be passed through gametes, the egg and sperm, such that the ability to regulate stress may be compromised in future generations."

And it turns out that the inability to regulate stress has all sorts of adverse consequences that directly affect the development and the wiring of the brain. Again, it doesn't affect the genome per se, but rather, the expression of the genome (i.e., switching some genes on and others off).

I won't bore you with all the brain parts and neural networks that are affected, but one thing we can say is that the transmission of a mind parasite always results in a lack of differentiation, an absence of integration, and a failure to achieve one's potential.

In fact, this goes directly to how we may define psychopneumatic health, which (and this is identical to what occurs collectively, based on our recent series of posts on Inventing the Individual) results from the differentiation of initially fused dimensions and modalities, followed by a "linking" that reintegrates them at a higher level. This integration is precisely what allows us to achieve our potential.

This has been a rather simple and straightforward summary. I hope the subject will become more queer as we proceed.