Chapter 2: The CircuitsThe following model of human consciousness employs a metaphor termed the bio-circuit and a psycho-stat. Each bio-circuit, sometimes referred as circuits, and a psycho-stats functions much the same as the channel selector and volume control on your home stereo. In our electro-colloidal processor we call a brain we have physical connections, the physical neurons that contains our memories and processes our thoughts and the information connections, the meaning that is stored in those connections. When we think a thought or react to some stimulus we use these circuits by default. We literally don't know things that we don't know and cannot do things we haven't learned. The bio-circuits are the programs which govern the thoughts and actions we employ in our daily life. The psycho-stats are the controls which allow acceleration or deceleration, the intensification and diminishing of the bio-circuits. Via the use of a psycho-stat we can emerse ourselves in a bio-circuit or turn the intensity down to just a trickle. We have a choice in how deeply we experience a circuit.
It is our experience with others whom we share the CyberCraft metaphor that just knowing where one is on the map enables the CynerNaut to pilot their way to other circuits and manipulate the psycho-stats to make their lives more enjoyable.
The ModelWhat the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves. This was stated emphatically by Dr. Lenard Orr. Because the human brain, like other animal brains, acts as an electro-colloidal computer, not as a solid state computer, it follows the same laws as other animal brains. That is, organically driven programs get into the brain as electro-chemical bonds, in discrete organic quantum stages.
This is not to say that the human brain is a computer, but only that it acts something like a solid state computer. The computer model best fits current knowledge. Let's review just briefly what we know about solid state computers.
A solid state computer has two chief components, hardware and software. Of these the hardware portion is the physical part. It consists of five necessary parts: a device to process information, the Central Processing Unit (CPU), an input device to send instructions to the CPU, the keyboard, an output device for receiving messages from the CPU, the display or printer, a temporary storage area for the CPU, the memory, and a permanent information storage device, the floppy or hard disk.
In this hardware model the brain acts like a computer in that it receives, processes, transmits and files information. And like the solid state computer the devices or individual parts of the brain or computer are discrete and manipulatable either by electro-chemical processes or mechanical force. The discrete elements can be created, modified or destroyed easily in one place and at one time.
The other component is software. These are the instructions given to the computer to operate upon. They, (software is generally plural in nature), exist both inside and outside the computer simultaneously. While one can easily locate the hardware in space-time, the software is more ephemeral; it can be in many different places at one time. One can destroy the hardware while the software(s) live on unhampered.
Of the softwares there are two basic types of software, operating systems and applications. Operating systems, sometimes called monitors or master control programs, are the backbones of software. All applications travel through the backbones to their appointed ends. Applications are the individual instructions that cause the CPU to compute, to make decisions and move information around.
Brainware'What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.' Today we have a better idea of how the brain works than ever before. I'll get to the hardware aspects in a later section. First I'm mostly concerned with the software aspects of the human brain.
The brain software, or brainware, has three basic parts:
IMPRINTS These are the more-or-less hardwired (physically present electro-chemical connected) programs which the brain is genetically suited to accept ONLY at certain points in its development. These points are known, in ethology, as times of 'imprint vulnerability.' Imprinting is involuntary by nature.
CONDITIONING These are programs built onto the imprints. They are looser and fairly easy to change with counter-conditioning. Conditioning is relatively more voluntary than imprinting.
LEARNING This is even looser and 'softer' than conditioning. Learning is relatively more voluntary than conditioning.
Generally, the primordial imprint can always overrule any subsequent conditioning and/or learning. An imprint is a type of software that has become built in hardware, termed 'firmware' in computer jargon, being impressed upon tender neurons before they were fully developed, or modified at some point when they are singularly vulnerable. Imprinting is extremely difficult to change once the imprint has been made. Some think that imprinting is impossible to change, period.
Imprints are the non-negotiable aspects of our individuality. Out of the infinite possibilities of programs existing as potential brainware, the imprint establishes the limits, parameters, perimeters within which all subsequent conditioning and learning must occur.
Before imprinting the consciousness of the infant is a clean slate, it's 'formless and void'. Another analogue is the exploded or unconditioned consciousness the mystics call enlightenment. When the first imprint is made structure begins to take form. The emergent mind becomes trapped within this imprinting structure; it identifies with the structure. And in a sense it becomes the structure.
Each successive imprinting adds to and complicates the previous imprintings. Through part of this 'deep brainware' we experience life events which are interpreted in light of the existing imprintings.
Further, conditioning and learning add branches to this basic framework of imprintings. The total structure of this brain circuitry makes up our world map and our worldviews. In essence we experience our realities in reference to and in accordance with the software in our brains. The reality we know is one that is a construction established and maintained in our brains, our minds. In this mental-macrostructure the Thinker thinks and the Provers proves mechanistically, fitting all the information into previously existing frameworks.
Brainware Centers - The Bio-CircuitsRAW slightly modifies Dr. Timothy Leary's previous 8 bio-circuits. It's rather important to remember that the following descriptions are metaphors. They are something akin to the menu's representation of the meal. It's apparent that the menu isn't very tasty or nutritious. Please remember that each of the following Circuits can be affected either positively or negatively for any conceivable reason to any accidental or intended end.
Lower Four Circuits
- The Oral Bio-Survival Circuit.
- The Anal Emotional-Territorial Circuit.
- The Time Binding Semantic Circuit.
- The 'Moral' Socio-Sexual Circuit.
Lower Four Circuit Map Circuit Imprint
Names in other Psychologies Freud Jung Berne Sagan I Limbic Oral Sensation Natural Reptile II Thalamus Anal Feeling Adapted Mammal III Left cortex Latency Reason Adult Human IV Left neo-cortex Phallic Ignored Parent Ignored
- Circuit I
- Narcissistic - Soft Narcissist
Relationship to Mom/Body/Food
- Circuit II
- Emotional - Hard Militant
Relationship to Pop/Family/Society
- Circuit III
- Rationalistic Philosopher Relationship to Abstract/Speech
- Circuit IV
- Moralistic - Lover/Parent
Relationship to Sex/Lover/Parent
Circuit One - OralCircuit One is the center which most closely approximates the perspectives we have about our bodies. Should a bodily threat occur we automatically and completely retreat into Circuit One operations. 'I didn't think about it, my body just moved,' the pugilist says. When such a retreat into Circuit One happens, all other centers are bypassed instantly. Circuit One is the first and oldest circuit to operate. Some call it the reptile brain. Its earmarks are complete automatic movement and unthinking reaction to a physical influence.
At birth the first imprinting is that of Mother. Anything can be imprinted as Mother. Wild animals have been known to imprint such things as animals of other species, Ping-pong balls and Jeeps. Accidents, intrusions and intended events can all affect imprinting at this level. Additional imprinting can occur later in life when a bodily threat occurs. Areas of interest for Circuit One are the health fields, martial arts and any interest which stimulates or depresses the human body.
Sometimes this circuit gets out of control. We leave the psycho-stat turned fully on or nearly off. Then it is possible to imagine threats to the body that have no basis in reality. The results can be quite tragic.
Circuit Two - AnalCircuit Two is the next imprinting stage. Once the child learns to move around it encounters others. The immediate Circuit Two imprinting involves authority. Typically this is symbolized by Father. The child first imprints its relationship with Mother, sharing bodies and food. The second imprinting is of its relationship to Father. Now there aren't two things in its universe, there are three. Along with the imprinting of Father is authority conditioning. If the child does something 'good' or 'bad' it learns that Mom and Dad can do something. From this triangle political situations arise. How quickly the child learns family politics!
Authority effects personal elimination--potty training. Personal elimination requires more precise control of the body. Mom and Dad use their power and authority to condition the child's personal elimination. This circuit is normally extended out into the great big human world with rules, regulations, laws and politics. Bodily excretion is replaced with ink and electronic excretions. It's appropriate to refer to this as an anal stage. And it's not surprising that military and political personel refer to themselves with 'shit' or 'ass'. 'Gotta' get my ass outta' here', 'cover your ass, pal,' 'you asinine idiot,' and 'you shit head' are typical references to the self and others. Where authoritarian or political concerns arise the human mind retreats into Circuit two for instruction. Areas of interest for Circuit Two are of course authority structures, the family, the penal system, the military and politics in general.
Generally Circuit Two social problems are dealt with by threatening Circuit One, either with bodily incarceration or by threatening removal of bio-survival tickets (money).
Circuit Three - Semantic Time BindingCircuit Three takes us out of the physical world into the abstract. Once the child learns to speak,it senses its relationship to symbols. It must learn to symbolize, to describe the abstract. Circuit Three is a center which utilizes and manipulates ideas, concepts, facts and figures.
It's tempting to refer to Circuit Three as 'the Mind'. But it isn't. The primary expressive organ for this circuit is the mouth, the portal from which symbols, concepts and ideas tumble. In consensus reality WoMankind uses the artificial distinction of mind and body. The mind is the body and the body is the mind.
Korzybski said those who rule symbols rule us. Humans beings (domesticated) primates are symbol-using creatures.
If Moses, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammad, Jesus and St. Paul can be considered living influences, and they most certainly are for many, then it is because their 'signal', their meaning has been transmitted across time and space to our little corner of the world. Their meaning and purpose has been transmitted to us by symbol systems. These systems include words, artworks, music, rituals and unrecognized rituals, ie. 'games' through which culture is transmitted. Marx and Hitler, Newton and Socrates, Shakespeare and Jefferson, etc, continue to rule parts of humanity in the same way--through the semantic circuit. It then becomes plainly obvious that the symbol system conditions the information transmitted and thereby conditions the mind which receives conditioned information.
We are ruled even more, and even less consciously, by the inventors of the wheel, the plow, the alphabet(s), even the various engineers of roads throughout history. The founders, the religious engineers of the world religions rule us through their creations, conditioning our minds to accept their message and reject others.
Circuit Three is time binding in that it provides a reference from one point in time to another point. It is also used to subdivide and reconnect things, at pleasure. There seems to be no end of the busy analyze, synthesize, create, divide and rejoin, labeling and packaging of experience. This is the internal monologue which is then externalized into the continuum. On the historical level this is the time-binding aspect as one generation adds to or subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge and experience.
Since words contain both denotations (referents in the sensory-existential world) and connotations (emotional tones and poetic or rhetorical hooks), humans can be moved to action even by words which have no real meaning or reference in actuality. This is the mechanism of demagoguery, advertising, and much of organized religion.
Circuit Three can run away. The psy-stat turned way too high. Persons involved with the higher circuits (V-VIII) tell us that 'reason is a whore', ie. the semantic circuit is notoriously vulnerable to manipulation by the older, more primitive circuits. However the rationalist may resent this, it is always true in the short run. That is, it is always pragmatically true.
Circuit Three can become so idealistic, so revolutionary that a society cannot cope with the rapid change. Generally a society deals with such problems by a violent Circuit One or Circuit Four threat. Whoever can scare people enough (produce sufficient bio-survival anxiety or sex guilt) can sell them quickly on any verbal map that seems to provide the needed relief from the anxiety. Once either threat is experienced Circuit Three is bypassed, and new symbols can be plugged into the human computer.
More will be said later about Circuit Three and its associations with what Richard Dawkins refers to as memes.
Circuit Four - MoralCircuit Four is the next center of operation or mode of thought. This center is approximated by the sex hormones awakening in the teen's body. Once a sexual awakening occurs society has a perceived duty to regulate sexual expression. This circuit could be called the Guilt Circuit since it is mostly used to control individuals, not enhance human life.
Imprint vulnerability is acute. The first sexual signals to turn on the adolescent nervous system remain fixed for life, defining the individual's sexuality. They lurch about, the bewildered possessors of new bodies awakening to a new rhythm. Sex!
As any adult can tell, this time is delicate. Accidents do happen which lend to the general imprinting which may or may not contribute to a positive experience. Accidents which impinge upon this imprint are just as effective as fully intended ones. Yet time moves on. The individual's sexuality develops. Parents and peers all have a say in the conditioning. Schools play a part in the learning process with sex education. Society itself takes a guiding role in Circuit Four defining what is and is not acceptable in our activities.
Circuit Four can be used in two ways to regulate other circuits. A Circuit Three social concern can be alleviated by threatening Circuit Four. Take away a human's opportunity for sex and they will consider their options. A still more useful way to modify an individual's behavior is to threaten their children. Circuit Four is the Parent stage. Society both enhances and threatens the parent with beneficial social programs while hinting at removal of benefits and children.
Circuit TaskingThe task of the CyberNaut is to employ a psycho-stat to accelerate and decelerate all Circuits in such a way as to provide optimal protection from outside influences, liberate the circuit for newer, better working, and optimize the imprinting, conditioning and learning to ethical ends chosen by the CyberNaut. By using metaprogramming exercises for each circuit we can willfully fine tune each circuit so that our perspectives and actions closer match consensus reality. Or we may skillfully explore those areas which interest us the most.
ConclusionWhat the Thinker thinks the Prover proves. Whatever our perspective of our bodies, our reputations, or our philosophical stance and our sexuality we prove to ourselves that what we think is accurate. Fortunately we now know what affects the internal programming. That makes it much easier to modify our very beings for a more optimal life, more enjoyable existience.
The above descriptions are of the lower four Circuits. The intent of the article was to inform. Much work needs to be done in the way of positively integrating these ancient centers for a better life. It's time we took control of the reins of our lives. Long have the medias, the political-religious propaganda machines, our peers and loved ones manipulated us toward goals previously selected. The task of the CyberNaut is to holistically and positively reimprint, recondition and relearn toward a purpose of their own.
Between the lower and upper circuits lays a period of doubt which we term Darkmoor.
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