Lecture 5:: The Istruct Mind

Due to a pan-temporal anomaly that has curtailed the presence of Professor Årnstay’s and her Zen Dyson research team in this space-time, lecture five is only available as textual notes.

We believe that real-time holographics were to accompany lectures five and six. Some argue that Professor Årnstay will  return when such visualization tools are chronistically available.

3,000 BCE – 2000 CE

The Istruct Mind is the reigning mind configuration for about ~5K years.

Its success can be seen in steady then explosive population growth and in ever-increasing group size – cities, nations, empires, globalization. It is characterized by the take-over of the left side of the brain – the language processes that evolved to handle the social group – now enhanced by narrative operations that form the conscious self and are fabulous additions to the social toolset for managing the intentions and behaviors of others. Left brain domination works well in this erea because the greatest threat to the survival of humans over these millennia is other humans.

Yet as this erea draws to a close, as the Istruct mind configuration faces rapidly changing environmental conditions, human beings are again whirled towards Catastrophe!

I cannot and will not pretend to talk to you about this erea – it is your own, you are the experts! But I want to give one mundane example of how powerfully the new story-building cognitive faculty allows humans to endure/float in the kind of extreme circumstances demanded by the huge group structures of the Istruct erea.

[missing holographic media]

Consider all these people crammed into a subway car, consider the many levels of narrative that keep us in here without freaking out – (we’re wild animals!)

  • I am here because I must get to work, I work to look after my children, for my own self respect/worth/interest, to buy things I want,
  • I am here because I am part of the work force in one of the most vibrant cities of the world, I’m a doer, an insider, urban, worldly
  • I am safe because my society’s science, technology and engineering is efficient, advanced, and the driver’s urine is periodically tested
  • It is bearable because, like me, all these people are clean, polite, know how to behave in this situation and are sexually appropriate
  • It is bearable because WE are all in the same boat, we pull together, we make the best of things

The language practices of command and intention are still tightly woven through these narratives: implicit commands about how to be and what to do; stories that manage our intentional stance towards others.

Now you may ask, what happens to the right side of the brain while the left is busily constructing its stories?  During this erea the right brain is sealed off from the language-based conscious mind – the auditory channel closed. But …

Consider the “Eureka” moment. Suddenly, out of the blue, the solution to a complex problem pops into your conscious mind.

Operating outside language and consciousness, and still working to better understand all the domains of the world so that it can better predict and exploit them, the right brain contributes massively to the success of humans throughout the Istruct erea.

Behold the inventions of the right side of the brain!

  • Broccoflowers – expanding knowledge in the food & inside domains: all the way to biogenetics.
  • Moon walking! – exploding knowledge in the sky-time domain all the way to rocket ships & the big bang
  • Robot production lines! – tools that make tools, an exponential growth of the material-making domain, exponential exploitation of the earth’s resources

In the days of “walkthrough consciousness” – people observed the world, made knowledge, acted on it directly. During these Istruct millennia, the right brain creates symbolic & visual representations of the world, mathematics, maps and diagrams, models and simulations – It uses them to share and make knowledge. “Walkthroughs” were silent, and whatever is silent, as people pore over geometry, wiring diagrams, particle trails, is evidence of the right brain at work – deftly spinning powerful analogies, updating and increasing knowledge in the world domains.

However, there is a catch.

In the Istruct erea, right brain knowledge has to rise into consciousness to be acted on – to obtain funding, source materials, hire workers, for existence of any kind.  Istruct consciousness exists only in language. And language is not a general toolkit, its specialized for handling the group domain. Consequently when right brain knowledge about the world is represented in language it is never done neutrally, but it undergoes a sea change, becoming infused with group domain concerns about trust, cohesion, alliance, power.

Little illustrative example: when Galileo observed the earth goes around the sun, his sky-time theories clashed with the narratives of contemporary Christian powers, and he was imprisoned and threatened until he recanted. Left-brain narratives inevitably bias, warp, and constrict what right-brain work is believed, sanctioned, supported, acted on and even who is allowed to do it. Women shouldn’t do science it overheats their brains and makes them sterile.

In the Istruct erea language-based, narrative consciousness is the gateway to decision-making and acting not just in the group domain but for all world domains. Which isn’t a problem until ….

The explosive success of human runs up against a finite earth and drastically impacts the environment, triggering global catastrophe.

In the Istruct erea the world domains seem to be pulled inside the group domain: quite literally, Istructers discover, domesticate and manage the whole earth and its riches (now outside is off-world) and, as we have seen cognitively, for the Istruct culture to act on world knowledge, it has to be present in consciousness, and the gateway to consciousness is the group-domain process language

But now the world returns, the “outside” reasserts itself

As the melt-down gets under way, the right brain registers the problems in the world and dutifully pushes the knowledge into consciousness. Guided by the central concerns and assumptions of the left-brain, Istruct societies confront the problems with furious negotiations, jostling for power, economic advantage and the moral high ground.

The world catastrophe moves leisurely on …

The right brain processes designed to understand and handle world problems are effectively powerless – dumb, separated one from another, subsumed, misrepresented by language.

Again Humans Beings must adapt or die!