The day in which the man contradicted himself

The day in which the man contradicted himself

The day in which the man contradicted himself

A publication by Steven Wolf

The day in which the man contradicted himself

 

We live in a world based on the principle of non-contradiction according to which everything is identical to itself. On this principle Aristotle based his philosophy, Galileo laid the principles for modern science and some philosophers like Leibniz believed that even God was subordinated to this same principle. However, it would be enough to ask a simple question to a physician that this principle, the basement of humanity, would be proven wrong: “What is light?”

The corpuscular theory

The first scientist to explain the nature of light was Isaac Newton in 1600. His theory saw the light as a set of particles, called photons, that behaved like the common matter. The corpuscular theory explained the majority of the phenomena then known, like the propagation of light in a straight line, the formation of shadows and the refraction.

The wave model

In 1637 the Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens proposed a model completely different from the previous one, affirming the undulatory nature of light. It compared light to a wave (what is transported, then, is energy and not matter, the same way as a sound wave).

Up to 1801, for the sake of simplicity, the corpuscular model was considered correct, as long as Thomas Young didn’t discover other properties of light like the diffraction and the interference. Being this last one an exclusive characteristic of waves, people started to suppose the truthfulness of the wave model.

Along the years, however, it remained unsolved the problem of the non-ability of light, unlike waves, to circumvent the obstacles, even though some theory explained this problem supposing that light would have a microscopic wavelength.

The turning point: the dualism particle-wave

Who undermined the wave model was Albert Einstein that, with the experiments on the photoelectric effect, demonstrated the groundlessness of Huygens’ theory. This effect consists of a phenomenon that takes place in the conductors that, exposing them to light, emit electrons from the surface. The only possible explanation was considering the light as corpuscular again. This discovery made Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.

Quantum mechanics

In order to avoid paradoxes, it was then necessary to admit that it was possible to explain some light phenomena with the corpuscular theory and other ones with the wave model. So is the light made of particles or is it a wave? In 1924 the scientist De Broglie affirmed that all the matter would manifest itself with this dualism particle-wave, developing this way the theory of the quantum mechanics. In the end, it was Bohr (colleague and friend of Einstein) to definitively elaborate the principle of complementarity, according to which the wave and particle aspects of a phenomenon can’t be observed at the same time.

This was the day the profession stereotypically more rational, the scientist, declared the failure of the principle of non-contradiction. The discovery of the light dualism has taken the humanity to a even greater level of open-mindedness. And who knows if in the future the researchers won’t discover that we human beings are composed both of particles and of waves and that maybe this wave can exactly be what we have always called “soul”.

Stephen Wolf

“If you have nothing in quantum mechanics, you will always have something”

Lawrence Krauss

L’errore della soggettività

Le cattive abitudini applicate alla Vita dell’inconscio.

La Sirena e il Pescatore

Tra due figure si stabilisce un incontro illuminante dagli esiti inediti..

L’attesa nella malinconia

Cos’è l’attesa se essa è accompagnata dalla malinconia?

Non ti aprirò

Un viaggio fatto di voci, ricordi, odori nei meandri più profondi di sè, fino a giungere dinnanzi ad una porta: una chiusura che lascia aperte mille riflessioni

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Which social phenomena can be at the base of the homogenization of beauty standards? Let’s discover it together!

Lingua Mortis

Le luci della notte rievocano allo sguardo una lingua celata

e così sia

parole si perdono

Rinascita

Una poesia di stile idillico in cui la Verità diviene amante carnale. Il confine tra morte e nascita si assottiglia tanto da far sovrapporre i due concetti. L’orgasmo della Verità distrugge le ombre e le mostra per ciò che sono davvero: una complementarietà nascosta, segreta.

Forse

Nessuno sa dove andremo, soprattutto se aspetti che sia qualcuno a darti le indicazioni

Sulla schiavitù dell’umanità

Esiste il libero arbitrio? E se sì, qual è la sua portata? A queste domande hanno cercato una risposta innumerevoli Liberi Pensatori che sembrano non aver raggiunto una soluzione. Ecco esposta, in questa pubblicazione, una rivoluzionaria teoria che potrebbe segnare una svolta al problema del libero arbitrio. Sei pronto ad affrontare questo viaggio nel labirinto?

On mankind’s slavery

On mankind’s slavery

On mankind's slavery

"What if everything was already decided?"
A publication by Steven Wolf

Italy, 2nd February 2019

Summary

1 – Introduction

  • Let’s become researchers
  • The “scientific” universe
  • To each his roles
  • My theory
  • Warnings
  • How I will proceed

2 – Those brainiacs of our ancestors

  • Ancient wisdom?
  • Logical determinism
  • Mechanistic determinism
  • Against the logical determinism
  • Against the mechanistic determinism
  • Here, all of them
  • Let’s lay the foundations
  • The necessity of a map

3 – Come on: the universe isn’t deterministic!

  • The “libertarians’ land”
  • Replies to the libertarians
  • So what?

4 – Are we divinities?

5 – There is something wrong

  • Let’s summarize
  • The “land of the hierarchical compatibilists”
  • Have we solved the determinism?
  • Other strategies
  • A linguistic problem?

6 – The true problems behind the free will

7 – My dualist perspective

  • From sleeper to awakened
  • An airy-fairy theory?
  • A wrong view
  • Here again the quantum physics
  • Determined by whom?
  • Who is right?
  • Conclusions

 

1 – Introduction

  • Let’s become researchers

Right now you are reading these words in front of a screen. Are you the one choosing to keep reading? Shoo away that banal “Yes” that your mind is almost automatically generating and dig up into the deepness of yourself. Dig deeper and, once arrived at the doors of your unconscious, ask yourself what true power of choice do you have. Everything you have done since you woke up until now, have you done it freely? I don’t mean whether you were forced by someone else or not. I only invite you to question yourself if you are really free in a “strong” sense. Do you have some sort of free will or are you simply a viewer of an already written play? In order to answer these questions, we must ban every intuitive answer that the subconscious generates and wear the clothes of serious and competent “researchers”.
These reflections are anything but original and innovative. There is an immense literature on free will. The question of what we do for our authentic choice is so important that almost every thinker of the past faced it.

  • The “scientific” universe

Science got us used to identify with the name of reality everything that we experiment with our senses and that is calculable and foreseeable. The classic physics show us a mechanistic universe in which everything is perfectly foreseen. Biology shows all the automatisms of our cells. Psychology articulates the particular functioning mechanisms of the human mind. In conclusion, every science seems to suggest us that reality is a big theatre in action. A theatre in which we have no power on the matter. We rigorously follow laws preestablished at a psychological, biological, physical etc. level. Everything seems to have a rational explication and all our “choices” seem predetermined, a pure illusion, a small formality that allows us to maintain our mental sanity. Imagine how would the whole humanity react if it was discovered that everything “is already written”, that anyone action can be foreseen by an enough sophisticated calculator, that freedom is just an empty word, without any “deep” meaning. Personally, I believe that, in case of such a revelation, many people would go through a big trauma. A trauma so great to bring to who knows what mental insanity.

  • To each his roles

Science gives data and experimental results. The interpretation of that data doesn’t belong just to the scientists, but to any Free Thinker. We cannot expect a baker, only for the fact that he bakes bread, to be able to build a food science. The scientist bakes bread, the thinker takes it and, inserting it in a more complete and broad context, builds a food science. Thus, I affirm: stop to this “scientific” view of the world built by the bakers; I hurl an invective to the science that invades the field of other disciplines. I am not referring to any religion, only to the broader conception of the word philosophy. It’s the job of the philosophers to generate a vision of the world coherent to the experimental data. This is my invective: no more scientific dogmatisms; let the imagination reclaim the throne it deserves; let the ideas start flowing freely from every Free Thinker spread all over the world.

  • My theory

In this publication, I state humanity to be split in two: sleepers and awakened. The sleepers don’t have any free will and their life is completely predetermined. In other words, with enough data and an enough powerful calculator, we could foresee any choice of the sleeper. The awakened, instead, have free will and this ability is so incredible to almost confer them the title of “divinity” on Earth.
I’m aware of the strong stance of my statements and I can assure the reader that step by step I will guide him towards my view on the word freedom. I’ll try to show him the reason why do I affirm all of that and the alternatives with which the reader can line up.

  • Warnings

Whoever feels too intelligent to waste his precious time on a publication that raises reflections on free will is already condemned to perish in his mud of presumption. In the “History of Thought”, one needs humility, rationality and a touch of courage. To whoever has the courage to venture in this maze, I dedicate this publication.

  • How I will proceed

I will proceed for 7 steps. First of all, I will lay the foundations on the topic of free will briefly illustrating the historiography of literature on the matter and defining some concepts that will be later used. With the 3rd chapter, we enter in the universe of quantum physics trying to illustrate some stances on free will that base on it. The 4th chapter is dedicated to a theory as fascinating as daring; we’ll end up examining the borders between humanity and divinity. To the lovers of logic and linguistic, the 5th chapter will be very much appreciated: we’ll deal with John Locke and his linguistic redefinition of the concept of freedom and we’ll show whether this freedom is of any consolation or not. The 6th chapter concerns all the positions addressed from a broader perspective, outlining what are the true problems behind free will and how they can be solved. Finally, to whoever will reach the hearth of the maze, in the 7th chapter I will explain to him my personal theory, showing the evidence that supports it.

2 – Those brainiacs of our ancestors

“Unless you expect the unexpected you will never find truth”

Heraclitus

  • Ancient wisdom?

We don’t really know whether we are the one identifying the “ancients” as wise or if they were effectively way wiser than us. I believe that the past is idealized up to an ideological “crystallization” by mutual agreement. Actually, apart from some scientists that see in the past only ignorance and ingenuity, the majority of people considers the thinkers of the past as great “brainiacs”.
Regarding the problem of free will, already on the Vth and VIth century b.C., they existed two forms of determinism [1]:
• the logical determinism by Diodorus Cronus;
• the physical-mechanistic determinism by Democritus.

  • Logical determinism

In the first case, Diodorus analyzes the temporal statements like, for example, the sentence “John sat down at the desk at the instant T”. Diodorus reflects on the fact that these statements are necessarily false or necessarily right and that we can discover it only once the instant T happens. Indeed, they exist a set of true temporal statements that happen in the past. And what about the temporal statements that happen in the future? Before John sits down on the chair, is it possible to already “foresee” what will happen or not? In other words, is it possible to have a defined value of truth for the future temporal statements the same way as it happens with the past ones? According to Diodorus, the fact of not being able to foresee whether John would sit down or not at the desk at the instant T is only given by some flaws on the data in our possession or by the “roughness” of our brain, since the future is as determined as the past looks like to us. In other words, “in potential” we could foresee any event, since logically the determinism based on linguistic of Diodorus stands.

  • Mechanistic determinism

The determinism by Democritus, instead, is very different and it appears far closer to the Newtonian scientific vision of the universe. According to Democritus, the atoms that compose the reality that surrounds us, place themselves with a very specific order and criterion. In other words, without ever making it fully explicit, Democritus anticipated the scientific conception of “law of nature”.
The analytical philosopher Peter van Inwagen [2] calls this kind of determinism [3], based on the laws of nature, nomic (from “nomos” that in Greek means “law”). For the nomic determinism, then, given the configuration of the universe at a certain instant and given its laws of nature, one can foresee the configuration of the universe in every other past or future instant respect to the given one.

  • Against the logical determinism

Still, already in the past, both the logical and the mechanistic determinism received some counter theories. In particular, the philosopher Carneades [4] answered to the logical determinism affirming that the conditions of truth of the future statements depend on the happening or not of the future events and so, they can’t be predetermined. Therefore, while we can affirm whether the past statements are true or false, for the future ones we can’t do it, not because of a lack of ability, but because the events that describe the future are still uncertain.

  • Against the mechanistic determinism

On the Democritus’ determinism, instead, the Latin poet Lucretius debated with the insertion of the clinamen: a sort of deviation, not very determined, of the atoms’ motion that would be an ambiguous way out from the absolute determinism.

  • Here, all of them

Other then the already mentioned determinists, there are other positions taken from our brainiac ancestors on the free will. I will show here below the principal ones, just to give the overall picture on the importance of the topic of the free will already in the past.

1. Epicurus: fate and destiny are masters that tend to enslave us; only what “surrounds us” is masterless and grant us moral responsibility;
2. Zeno: “Only the wise is free. Freedom is the power of independent action”, even though “The wise is rarer than the Phoenix”;
3. Epictetus: “God introduced the man into the world as a spectator of him and his works; and indeed, not just as a spectator but as an interpreter of them”;
4. Galenus: the problem of moral responsibility is substituted with that of social dangerousness;
5. Seneca: “Freedom is obeying God”;
6. Aristotelians: freedom comes from the voluntariness of the action and from its deliberation;
7. Plotinus: against the fatalism, he affirms: ”Indeed, it’s needed to give back to us humans what is ours”. He believes that the authenticity of freedom and the autonomy of action don’t imply the possibility of choosing following contingent alternatives since the human is free when he acts according to his more true and rational nature;

In order to make these positions more clear, I will analyse them here below.
1. What’s this “around us”? The form of freedom of which Epicurus speaks is very fragile and it’s comparable to some positions on the conceptual compatibilism that we will later analyse;
2. What’s this independent action? Furthermore, affirming that only such a rare figure such as the wise stoic is free equals saying that 99,9% of the world population doesn’t have a free will;
3. Once again, here it doesn’t exist a free will because of a “divine” determinism;
4. Galenus, as a doctor, doesn’t treat free will explicitly, but he largely comments on a topic connected to the free will: the moral responsibility;
5. Even here, it seems that freedom is simply an accepting our determinism;
6. Very similar position to Locke’s freedom that we will later analyse;
7. Plotinus steps ahead of time both on what is called “agent causation”, that we will later see, and on Locke’s rational determinism. Indeed, Plotinus does nothing but introduce a determinism different than the one we have called “nomic”, in order to redefine the concept of freedom.

  • Let’s lay the foundations

Don’t you think too that all these analyses of our ancestors leave much to be desired? Maybe it’s because today’s society has “evolved” in such a way to make us needy for a “stronger” sense of free will. Before going on, I will introduce another two concepts that will be useful for our journey through this maze:
rational determinism: it affirms that it’s our rationality the one that chooses for us according to what it’s more convenient for us. In this sense, all of our decisions would be determined by this “module” of our mind (if this is how we can define the rationality) and therefore, we wouldn’t have a free will in a “strong” sense;
psychological determinism [5]: every one of our actions would be determined by psychological mechanisms depending on various factors (education, addictions, beliefs etc.; basically, what I call “chains of will”). We would, therefore, be “dominated” by our own brain and the free will would be a mere illusion.
Pay attention not to confuse the determinism with the principle of universal causation that simply affirms that every phenomenon is attributable to some causes.
Who affirms that the determinism is compatible with the free will is defined “compatibilist”; on the contrary, who affirms that determinism and free will exclude one another is defined “incompatibilist”. The determinism with the compatibilism reach a “soft determinism” (a determinism in which we are free), the determinism with the incompatibilism reach a “hard determinism” (a determinism in which we aren’t free).

  • The necessity of a map

Now that we have investigated the different positions of our ancestors and that we possess the basis to enter this maze, we need to find a “map”. The map that I use here is the “classic” argument against the free will[6]. It is summarized like this:
1. if the universe is deterministic and we can’t change the past nor the laws of physics, our every action is unavoidable;
2. the free will presumes the ability to do otherwise;
3. if the premise number 1 is right, then the free will is an illusion;
4. the universe is deterministic;
5. we can’t change the past;
6. we can’t change the laws of physics;
7. therefore the free will is an illusion.
The first premise, in reality, it’s a result of the “Consequence Argument” on the nomic determinism by Van Inwagen [7]. The premise number 3 simply connects the premise number 1 with the free will. Thanks to this argument, it will be easier to know where we are moving through our journey in this maze. This argument will be a true map for our research. In order to affirm the free will, it’s necessary to negate one of these premises. According to which premise it’s negated, one comes to a theory pro-free will.
• The libertarians negate the premise number 4: the universe isn’t deterministic;
• the metaphysical compatibilists negate the premise number 6: the man has the ability to act on the laws of physics;
• the conceptual compatibilists negate the premise number 2: the free will doesn’t presume the ability to do otherwise.
Regarding the negation of the premise number 5 (that proves to be complicated because of the paradoxes of the time travels), Chris King bases himself on the experiments on the existence of retro-causality in order to affirm our free will. [8]

[1] With the word determinism, I’m referring to the conception according to which every phenomenon/event of the present is necessarily determined by a phenomenon/event happened in the past.

[2] To deepen the topic, see Van Inwagen “An Essay on Free Will”, 1983, ISBN 978-0-19-824924-5.

[3] Be careful with no confusing the determinism with the fatalism. According to the latter conception, in fact, an effect can be reached through numerous causes. For the determinism, instead, every effect is determined only by a cause. In this publication I won’t talk about fatalism.

[4] In reality, Carneades moves this argument against the Stoics and, in particular, against Chrysippus; but, being this a counter-argument to the logical determinism too, I inserted it in this context.

[5] To deepen the topic, see Balaguer. 2010. “Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem”.

[6] To discover the debate on free will in the field of contemporary analytical philosophy, see http://dspace.unive.it/bitstream/handle/10579/6540/955903-1165730.pdf;sequence=2

[7] Actually, in the proposed argument is even inserted the rule of inference that I won’t comment here since it has been affirmed as right more than once (with the right clarifications of Johnson and Mckay).

[8] To deepen the topic of the experiments on the retro-causality, see Dean Radin, Dick Bierman, Helmut Schmidt, Leonard Leibovici, Robert Jahm, Brenda Dunne e Luigi Fantappiè. This last one results interesting for the formulation of an alternative to a deterministic model: the cybernetic structure in which the phenomena are determined from the future and from the past through single choices that we make in the present.

3 – Come on: the universe isn’t deterministic!

  • The “libertarians’ land”

The first land on the map to be faced is the “libertarians’ land”, a place in which the wise scientists seem to base on the quantum physics to affirm the existence, in humans, of the free will. Indeed, from the Uncertainty principle formulated by Heisenberg, it has come to discover that the microcosm follows laws anything but deterministic. Indeed, of a particle, we can’t know “everything” [1], but we must choose what to know. The really strange thing here is that the fact of not being able to know “everything” doesn’t depend on our abilities, on instruments etc., but it’s exactly intrinsic in the nature of the particle! In fact, it answers to the uncertainties that can be described by a probability, but that can’t be fully defined in nature [2]. So, while in the macrocosm we can perfectly and simultaneously know everything we need about an object, for the microcosm that’s an impossible feat. The discovery of a law that makes the microcosmic uncertainty coherent with the macrocosmic determinism would bring to the so-called “theory of everything”.
And it’s exactly on this uncertainty of the microscopic world that the libertarians leverage on. Actually, why should we accept the nomic determinism when quantum physics tell us that the whole reality is based on the probabilistic uncertainty? The problem with the libertarians’ argument lies in the fact that only the microcosm seems to be affected by the uncertainty, while the world we experience every day is completely based on determined and foreseeable laws [3].

  • Replies to the libertarians

The libertarians could reply to this with two strategies:
• affirming that many little differences in the microcosm bring to great differences in the macrocosm. But in this case, how could we generate this accumulation of differences in the microcosm?
• claiming that our brain has the ability to somehow amplify the uncertainty of the microcosm so much to bring it to the macrocosm and here take a decision determined by our will. Reply that introduces a very “powerful” ability to our brain, but that is somehow able to affirm the free will.

  • So what?

There is then someone who affirms that for the free will to exist, the world must necessarily be deterministic. Indeed, if it was uncertain (at a macroscopic level), we couldn’t in any way act on the uncertainty and the free will would fade away anyway [4]. Thomas Reid, in order to remedy this critic, affirmed that while the entire world that surrounds us is based on deterministic laws caused by what he calls “event causation”, the human mind would have particular liberty based on the so-called “agent causation”. So, if the “machine” of the world takes an uncertain decision, we have the freedom to choose whether to “turn on” the machine or not, so we have the freedom to choose (even though the choice is not determined by us) or not choose. I consider the concept of the agent causation very “obscure and gloomy”, a way too fragile and futile freedom to define us as free will holders.
Unless one affirms the “paranormal” abilities of the human brain, the libertarians’ land seems very unstable. At a macroscopic level, the universe is deterministic. If it wasn’t, then we would have never been able to send the first man on the Moon as well as foresee with such precision phenomena like the solar eclipses and so on.

[1] In particular, we can’t simultaneously know its position and its speed.

[2] With a technical language: it’s not epistemic uncertainty, but metaphysical uncertainty.

[3] How Robert Kane well affirms (2003).

[4] This is a topic that it has been reported many times over on the magazine “Mind”, and that’s why it’s known under the name of “Mind argument”.

Exclusive video of an example of agent causation

“Does it look like a free action to you?”

4 – Are we divinities?

After affirming the determinism of the macrocosm (the physicists can breathe a sigh of relief), we must leave the libertarians’ land to enter even deeper into this intricate maze. It has now come the time to walk through the door of the compatibilists; in particular, we are about to cover the “land of the metaphysical compatibilists”.
In this land, we find very particular characters like David Lewis [1] and Kadri Vihvelin [2] that question the fact that we can’t intervene in the laws of nature [3]. Actually, the hypothesis that our mind would have such a power able to intervene on the laws of nature seems to be based on the observer effect discovered by quantum physics. I will come back to this point when I will express my theory on free will in the 7th chapter. Since there is nothing more to say on the theory that affirms that we have a sort of “divine power” in our mind we will immediately pass to the way more delicate “land of the hierarchical compatibilists”.

5 – Something is wrong

  • Let’s summarize

Up to now, we tried to question the nomic determinism starting from the quantum uncertainty of the microcosm and noting how this isn’t carried to the macrocosm (excluding a possible non-linear dynamic); we have now come to the conclusion that the determinism doesn’t seem questionable. Then we tried to give humans “superpowers” so that they could bypass the determinism, discovering that this strategy works, but that makes a very strong supposition on our abilities [1]. But what if the solution to the free will was much easier? What if we were simply starting from the wrong concept of freedom? That’s exactly what we’ll investigate in the “land of the hierarchical compatibilists”.

  • The “land of the hierarchical compatibilists”

According to the American philosopher Harry Frankfurt [2] (that works on the matter of Locke), a subject S acts freely to perform the action A if and only if:
1. S does A because he wants to perform A;
2. if S wouldn’t have wanted to perform A he wouldn’t have done it;
3. S would have desired that its volition V would produce the action A.

  • Have we solved the determinism?

This elegant conditional analysis of the concept of freedom doesn’t mention in any way the ability to do otherwise and this sure will be appreciated by many readers since it resolves the problem of free will with a redefinition of the concept of freedom. Still, it must be noticed that this argument doesn’t elude the rational determinism [3]. So, even though we aren’t “slaves” of the laws of nature we would be slaves of our own rationality.

  • Other strategies

Others, like the already mentioned Lewis, try to solve the “will to do otherwise” with the analysis of the true meanings of the word “will”. In particular, according to Lewis, the free will would imply the will to do otherwise only in a weak sense of the will. In this case, the nomic determinism would be partially substituted by a series of factors that Lewis calls “relevant facts”. So we have partially resolved the problem of the nomic determinism settling for a weak sense of “will”. Furthermore, Frankfurt tries to affirm that the free will doesn’t imply the will to do otherwise introducing the concept of the “guidance control”, still I consider Vihvelin to have excellently refuted Frankfurt’s argument and that’s why I won’t analyse in detail this point [4].

  • A linguistic problem?

Personally, I’m not satisfied with resolving the problem of the free will simply by “playing” with linguistic redefinitions. I believe freedom to be something very “deep” and so it can’t be treated simply like a word to be interpreted in the most advantageous way. Even the land of the hierarchical compatibilists seems to leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
What to do then?

[1] For example, one could ask himself why, if we have such a power, we still haven’t noticed it scientifically. Other would affirm that the observer effect is a scientific proof on the matter. We’ll come back to this in the 7th chapter.

[2] Frankfurt implements to Locke’s argument the 3rd premise to contrast the counterattacks based on the so-called “pathologies of will”. See Frankfurt, “Necessity, Volition, and Love”, 1999.

[3] Go back to the definition of rational determinism in the paragraph “Let’s lay the foundations” in the 2nd chapter.

[4] To deepen the topic, see the counterexample to the principle of the alternative possibilities made by Frankfurt in his already mentioned publication.

6 – The true problems behind the free will

“I was thinking about freedom, great invention

There are no free men

There are no free women

Only the will exists

And the will elegantly dresses itself of victory or defeat”

Axos

So, it seems that the strategies to make the nomic determinism compatible with the free will are more or less unsatisfying. Actually, once the nomic determinism is affirmed, then it’s a direct consequence that we are simply some highly sophisticated machines that, because of the complexity of the system, delude ourselves in having a sort of power that we call “free will”. So it seems that we have sadly reduced ourselves to a completely mechanistic Sphex wasp [1]. The true problems behind the free will aren’t the compatibility with the nomic determinism, but the nomic determinism in itself, the laws of nature (deterministic or otherwise) and the incompatibility with the scientific-nomocratic picture that we have of the world respect to our “internal” vision as agents that make choices. But why does this incompatibility exist? Why does our vision of the world appear so far away from our everyday experience? What’s the problem: a bad interpretation of the everyday-life or our scientific vision of the world? Why do the deterministic model and the actual laws of nature, that we know, work so well in the prevision of some physical phenomena, but are at the same time a great threat to our freedom? It seems like we have a great fundamental problem that none has ever noticed.

[1] See the 10th chapter on my recent publication: https://www.brancobianco.it/on-the-monopoly-of-emotions-and-the-chains-of-will/?lang=en

7 – My dualist perspective

If you arrived up to this point, you will have understood very well how complicated the problem of free will is and you will have gotten yourself an idea on how much philosophical literature exists on the matter. Probably you’ll have embraced one of the solutions that I have shown, still, I remain highly unsatisfied. That’s why I will now show my theory based on years of researches other than personal experiences.
How I have already stated in the introduction, in this publication I affirm that humanity is split in two: the sleepers and the awakened. The sleepers don’t have any free will and their life is completely predetermined. In other words, with enough data and an enough powerful calculator, we could foresee any choice of a sleeper. The awakened, instead, have free will and this ability is so incredible to almost confer them the title of “divinity” on Earth.

  • From sleeper to awakened

The sleepers depend completely on the rational determinism stated by Locke. Just look around for a moment to notice how many “human machines” surround us. To form the basis of rational determinism there are those which I call “Chains of Will” stated in my already mentioned previous publication. Even us, if we don’t force us to watch ourselves from the outside while we take a decision, we are more or less guided by a rational determinism. Every awakened has been a sleeper in the past. So, for every sleeper, there is a possibility to become an awakened. One just need to follow the following path:
1. inform yourself: culture and knowledge are the first steps to instill the doubt, this is in its turn what brings us to the evolution and to freedom.
2. observe yourself: detach yourself more and more from the identification with your body and your personality, observing yourself from the outside, starting at first from an observation while meditating to later arrive at an observation in the meantime of any daily activity. This technique will allow you to detach yourself from your mind rediscovering your essential Self and becoming aware of the limits imposed by your personality;
3. know yourself: this can happen through different techniques, the important thing is to recognise the chains we have;
4. get rid of the chains: act at first on the visible chains and then on the invisible ones through neuro-linguistic self-deprogramming techniques [1] (I suggest starting from the zazen);
5. defend yourself: remain vigilant on the new chains that could form;
6. be discreet: maintain discretion on the path taken to avoid suffering from more or less aware psychological attacks;
7. gain knowledge at a high level: at this point, one should pass from a didactic culture to a more specialized and professional one. I suggest the study of serious scientific-philosophical topics and the practice of advanced techniques;
8. model reality: start, with awareness and always high moral values, expressing your own potential of “divinity”.

  • An airy-fairy theory?

So, I consider Frankfurt and Locke with the rational determinism to be completely right for what concerns the sleepers. The awakened, instead, having abandoned the chains of will, have that power of intervening on the laws of nature that Lewis and Vihvelin mentioned. The suppositions exposed aren’t figments of my fanciful imagination but are based on serious scientific discoveries.
The researcher Riccardo Tuis affirms: “The searches of epigenetics by Bruce Lipton proves that our perception (the filter with which we observe our environment and ourselves) has the power to mutate our gene pool by activating and deactivating whatever active or inactive gene. The biologist Garajev and his colleagues came to the conclusion that the gene pool follows all the rules of the human languages. One just needs to know the right frequency with the right language to obtain the reprogramming of the DNA. In Garajev’s searches, it was discovered that the DNA is able to disturb our environment up to straying in the so-called observer effect of quantum physics. Other searches, made by researchers like Radin, Targ, Dunne etc., have shown that the observer effect is able to modify the environment itself, not just the subatomic world, and even influence people cognitive processes.” [2]
The awareness power of the awakened allows him, therefore, to act on his own DNA bypassing the rational determinism. In reality, I don’t believe that an awakened has the ability to break the laws of nature, I rather think that the actual conception of laws of nature is rather limited. The laws of nature don’t allow us to interact with them, but even we, as observers, are a necessary and determining factor for these laws.

  • A wrong view

“If the idea that we have the ability to modify the reality is rather unlikely for our actual paradigm, let’s think on how we would react to the idea that Earth goes around the fixed Sun if we were in the Middle Ages. In five hundred years, our great-grandkids will observe our obscurantist historical period as the “Middle Ages of the XXIst century”, speechless for our dogma and undisputed truths. Consequently, to the extent to which we are able to doubt our actual systems of beliefs, we have the yardstick with which measure our growth as individual” [3].
Our actual mechanist vision of the world is therefore wrong and survives only because we have an enormous fear of abandoning the dogma of the determinism to embrace the discoveries of quantum physics. Once become awakened, let’s become “divinities” able to act on the laws of nature, no more unaware and no more basing ourselves on the chains of will, but with full awareness and will. All of this is given to us thanks to the power that we have with the collapse of the wave function. Actually, when the philosopher Reid affirms that the laws of nature don’t cover the human behaviour, he has got a point. The deterministic laws don’t cover the behaviour of the awakened. For all the others, the determinism, although illusory, remains an insurmountable problem.

  • Here again the quantum physics

For those who aren’t familiar with the collapse of the wave function, I mention Tuis again “When one makes a measurement, the particle is found only in a specific point, but if it’s postulated that the wave function gives a complete and literal description of a quantum system, this means that in between a measurement and another one, the particle disappears in an overlapping of probability waves and it is potentially present in many different places at the same time. Only when the observation is made, the wave function collapses in the physical reality and the particle can be observed in a specific point. So the wave function in the quantum mechanics represents a physical state of the quantum system correlated to some spatial and temporal coordinates in which the wideness of probability signs the points where the virtual particle will appear in the human reality. Its framework module represents the probability of density of the state on the position of the Matrix 1 space-time. In the quantum mechanics, the wave function it’s needed to determine the probability of space-time position of a virtual particle that will be found in a point instead of another one. The observer effect of the human thought generates a cascade effect of wave functions that shape the probability where people, things, places and event will be positioned in the space-time of reality that the observer will go instigate. The cascade wave function can be foreseen in advance, if we know the unconscious programmes of a person, his expectations and convictions that form his system of beliefs, we will know the models used by the neural processors of thought, then which thoughts the subject will emit and which reality he will go shape. And a person won’t change his thought from ordinary to extraordinary if his neural processors will remain inside the rut of an ordinary reality instead of instigating an extraordinary reality full of new potentials. Luckily, the human being has many variables contained in that gift that we can call will and this is the greatest force of the man to get rid of the predefined thought that imprisons him in the Matrix 1″.
So, the more chains of will you have, the more your mindset is predictable and the more the reality that surrounds you will be based on the nomic determinism. Then, the determinism is not something that comes to us from outside and that condemn us to be machines without the possibility of “authentic” choice, it comes from “inside us” and it reflects on the reality that surrounds us. We are the modellers of reality and the free will depends on nothing but us.

  • Determined by whom?

Tuis comments again: “Victims don’t exist in Matrix 1, but there rather exist people that accept the pre-established reality without really searching for anything else. This state of tediousness given by a heavy mental conditioning, by an absence of will and a push to the self-improvement, brings the person to the condition in which he doesn’t allow himself to have the tools to reawaken and be free; he will believe himself already free and won’t search for any freedom… this is the great trap. The current concept of freedom is very restricted and this limits the possibilities of choice of people and, as a consequence, the potentialities of Matrix 1. To expand the idea of freedom it’s necessary reflecting on this concept and observe our conditioned answers, understanding which and how many are the sources that condition us. The observation of our selves and our interaction with reality reveal us, a little at a time, how many limits and ways of being are imposed to us and how our free will is constantly put under strain”.

  • Who is right?

All the treated positions, thus, seem to be right in their own way. The nomic determinism exists for all those scientific minds that need a mechanistic dogma of which make calculations. At the same time, the quantum uncertainty exists and, through the non-linear dynamics of the collapse of the wave function, this uncertainty can be transported to the macrocosm to support our will. In this sense, even the libertarians are right. At the same time, only an awakened consciously intervenes on the laws of nature. Even the metaphysical compatibilists are right, then. Furthermore, for all those that acted on some chain of will (but not all of them), it exists a weaker sense of freedom, whose weakness is directly proportional to the number of remaining chains. A high number of chains brings to a rational determinism. Even in this sense, the conceptual compatibilists are right.

  • Conclusions

I suggested a dualist theory that seems to be compatible not only with the everyday experience, but even with the modern scientific researches on quantum physics, other than the theories exposed on the free will. If you accept my vision, you found out you are a slave; but a slave that came to this publication for some reason and that, by reading this, has already made the first step towards his own awakening. Now you know which are the necessary steps for the redemption of your free will. You know how to become a Free Thinker.

And you, what are your ideas on free will? Do you agree or not with my theory?
Leave a comment. I will be proud to answer and look for a confrontation.
I have nothing left but wishing you a good journey, with the hope that you will be able to take back your free will, which belongs to you.

Stephen Wolf

[1] Genetic engineering based on the informational frequencies.

[2] See “Zenix” (2014).

[3] Ibidem

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Gattamorta Lasciatela dormire. È sazia, non ha fame di giochi né di caccia. Sopito il desiderio.   Come acqua stagnante, spuma di cascata che a fine corsa riposa, sazia di affanno, paga di viaggio compiuto, è il suo dormire.   Portoni schiusi verso giardini...

On the monopoly of emotions and the chains of will

On the monopoly of emotions and the chains of will

On the monopoly of emotions and the chains of will

"Don't become a machine"
A publication by Wolf Stefano

Italy, 7th January 2019

Summary

1 – The human machine

  • The construction of a clone
  • The ideal characteristics of a non-machine
  • Here’s how we will proceed

2 – The origin of chemical-man

  • Is it better the body or the mind?
  • The “building” of our psychology
  • The suicide of the one’s Self
  • The Emotional Core
  • The immortality of the “chains”

3 – The visible chains

  • An overestimated addiction

4 – The invisible chains

  • The role of the global economy

5 – How does Facebook earn money?

  • The big hit of Mister X

6 – Be careful

  • The new luxury

7 – A theory about the mind

  • The “phenomenal cancer”
  • We were created for the omniscience
  • The last evolution frontier
  • Empirical confirmations of the possibility of an EC
  • Constantly in danger

8 – On language

  • EC role on intuition
  • The emotional anchors

9-Power is will?

  • They want us to stay machines
  • The resistance

10 – A call to the future generations

1 – The human machine

What if I told you that you are nothing but a machine [1]? A meticulously ordered machine, yeah, but still a machine. How would you take this statement? Probably, it doesn’t affect you at all. It could be that you “know” you are something more than a simple machine. You perceive it deep down.

One general morning, you wake up and decide what to wear to go out; you go out and, looking at the sky, you recall a happy memory of your childhood; while you are on the streets, sometimes you wonder on your own on the meaning of life. You can’t simply be a machine!

 

  • The construction of a clone

Let’s imagine building a computer so sophistically similar to you. A computer that has the ability to choose spontaneously between different options, to get access to past memories, to introspection that allows it to reflect on it self. Let’s imagine then to add to it “software modules”[2] that allow it to have communication, intelligence, creativity, phenomenal experiences [3]. Let’s imagine inserting all these components in a body identical to yours. Probably you will think “But it’s not possible to build that with the present technologies!” and I answer back “Not yet”. Technology and neurosciences are making such giant steps that it’s no more science fiction to imagine a situation like the one just described. Maye in the future it will be discovered that those results are “technologically impossible” to reach but still, nothing makes them logically impossible, in my opinion. And if something is worthy of being logically possible, then it’s required to give them the right attention. Now that this hypothetical machine completely identical to you exists, imagine transferring in it even all your “mental contents”[4]. Imagine that suddenly it pops out your spouse and tries to understand which of the two individuals, between you and your artificial clone, is the real you. Both of you will answer and behave in the same identical way. There is no objective criterion to verify who is the real you. The only difference is in the “substance”.[5]: you are a biological being, it is a silicon machine.

  • The ideal characteristics of a non-machine

Are you really sure that you aren’t a machine too? Well, if it’s logical to imagine a machine completely identical to you apart from the “substance”, then maybe we should reflect a moment on what makes us humans “non-machines”. In reality, I believe that intuitively there are some characteristics that distinguish a machine from a non-machine, even though these characteristics do not emerge in the example that we have just debated. Usually it is believed that a non-machine:

  1. It’s alive; meaning that it has a sort of self-preservation system, spontaneously developed during the centuries.
  2. It has the ability to generate [6]
  3. It has some sort of free will.
  4. It has phenomenal experiences.
  5. It’s an intelligent being.
  6. It feels emotions

Well, at first sight it seems that a human being has all these characteristics. But what about our imaginary artificial clone? It:

  1. It defines itself as a living being. Actually, how is it possible to draw a clear dividing line between life and “non-life”? Till nowour concepts on human being[7] are based on the analysis of the majority of the organisms that seems to have in common some characteristics. What right do we have to define our clone as a “non-living”? Let’s imagine that it has a survival instinct, that the silicon of which it is composed has taken some form of “vivacity” and it self-organizes itself like the biological cells. Perhaps the mere fact that it is not a product of nature gives us the right to deny his life? It is a product of a product of nature (the human being). Instead of being given birth by a biological being as we usually imagine, it was born from the whole of other means of men such as intellect, technical knowledge etc. It is convinced it is alive and we can only argue against it by reaffirming our dogmas on the definitions of life that we have created ourselves. Can this be a solution? I don’t believe so, maybe we should grant him the statute of living being.
  2. It has particular silicon particles that can generate one of its own. Again, this could be “technologically impossible”, but it still remains logically possible.
  3. It is free as much as we are. In the end, nowadays the philosophers still debate whether the human being has or not some form of free will. If this clone had all the functional capabilities of choice that we have, then what would make it less free than us?
  4. It swears it lives phenomenal experiences from inside its “body” and all of this seems impossible to prove experimentally, should we then take its word (actually what reasons would it have to lie on the existence of its subjective experiences)?
  5. It is at least as intelligent as the human being.
  6. It prove to feel emotions.

At this point, what would really make this clone a machine and us a non-machine? We don’t have a clear idea on what life really is, nor on the fact whether we have or not a free will, nor on the nature of the phenomenal experiences. We must concede it 1, 3 and 4. Only because we don’t know systems of reproduction outside of the biological ones, it doesn’t mean that point 2 won’t be acceptable. Regarding point 5, it looks so clear as well as banal to me how intelligence is based on the cognitive abilities of inference and that it’s probably the first characteristic that future computer will assume. Still, something doesn’t sound right on point 6. Just because the robot reacts on external inputs as if it “internally” felt emotions, we cannot assume that it can really feel them. I can even concede that it has all the phenomenal experiences that we have, but I don’t believe, for how much it can simulate them, that a robot (at least in this example), even infinitely sophisticated, can’t authentically feel emotions [8]. And I believe that this is the only point on which we can leverage enough to create a clear distinction between machine and non-machine. It can’t exist an emotional amchine [9]since machine + emotions = non-machine[10]. One could notice how only human beings seem to feel complex emotions. In reality, this can be said only on ourselves. I know I can feel emotions, but I cannot say if who surrounds me is nothing more than a machine that simulates emotions. In particular, I point out how all the living species apart from us can this way be defined as machines. Still, to not fall in the Solipsism, I will give for granted that, since there aren’t great structural differences between me and the other humans that surround me, the other human beings can feel the same emotions as I do[11].

  • Here’s how we will proceed

Now, if the reader shares even just in part my topic, then he will feel relieved to know that it exists a certain characteristic that can distinguish him from a machine. Still, I wouldn’t be so calm, if I were in his place. In fact, I consider that there is hard evidence on the fact that human beings are becoming more and more machines and that their “felling authentic emotions” is slowly fading. And that’s what I will discuss in this publication of mine.

To clarify as much as possible this disastrous awareness that came to me I will first reflect on how we arrived individually to be what we are in the present, trying to answer the question: What makes you yourself and not someone else? Later on, I will briefly debate for two chapters on the addictions that make us more and more “less human”. The 5th chapter is dedicated to the analysis of the implementation of media manipulation. In the 6th chapter, I will warn on our present condition of mental control and on what awaits us in the near future. The 7th and 8th chapters are respectively dedicated to cognitive and linguistic in-dept analysis. In the 9th chapter, I will outline my theory on the development of a mechanism of anti-machine defence. In the end, I conclude with the 10th chapter on the possible turn that we can take. A turn that can be decisive for the future generations. Who would like to make a quick read, I suggest lingering on the 5-6th and 9-10th chapters that respectively consist of the central nucleus of the argumentation and the analysis of its consequences.

[1] The term machine has numerous meanings and it’s often used way too generically. In this search, I will refer to the term with the meaning of “artificial system that elaborates information”.

[2] I’m imagining the construction of the “mind” of this machine as a set of functional cognitive modules. For a theory on the modularity of the human mind see Fodor (1983).

[3] With phenomenal experiences is meant the subjective vision (“from inside”) of a certain experience.

[4] Not only all your psychic faculties, but I mean a sort of “mental backup” that copies beliefs, character, memories etc.

[5] Without any metaphysical presumption, here I simply mean the raw material of which we are “made of”.

[6] Even though the reproduction is one of these “scientific requisites” for life, given the extreme relevance of this aspect, I considered it necessary to dedicate a separate point on the phenomenon of generation.

[7] based on: homeostasis, metabolism, growth, interaction, reproduction and adaptation.

[8] With this, I’m not asserting that it will never be possible to create a robot that has authentic emotions, but simply that, if we managed to do so, it wouldn’t be a robot machine anymore, but a true non-machine.

[9] Not with the meaning that it can’t simulate emotions, but that it can’t really feel them.

[10] One could object that my argumentation is built ad-hoc on a simple linguistic reformulation of the word “non-machine”, to answer to this objection I send you back to the 7th chapter in which I demonstrate that there are scientific experimentations that confirm the centrality of emotions on the human mental system.

[11] Not debating Solipsism in this search, I need to give its confutation somehow for granted. To deepen the topic of the Solipsism, see Carnap (1928).

2 – The origin of chemical-man

  • Is it better the body or the mind?

What are we essentially?[1] It could hardly exist, even in a far future, an exhaustive answer to this question, however, we could be satisfied in this place with the answer to the question “What is it that others recognize in us that makes them always judge us as the same identical person?” In a few words, we are asking ourselves why when I wake up in the morning people who know me call me with the same name and recognise the present me as a continuity of the past me? Probably, who surrounds me, recognize in me the same physical continuity. Our parents, watching us day by day, don’t consciously notice those micro-changes of our physical body, and thus they always recognize us as the same “person”[2]. However, I think that this solution works only in part. In fact, if I would unfortunately end up disfigured in a tragic accident and then, after plastic surgery, my acquaintances would see me, would they recognize me? For sure, many of them would be traumatized by seeing my sudden physical change; still, after a while, they would accept my new identity like the continuity of the identity I had before. That is because they recognise in my personality a certain continuity.

As long as the others recognise in us a psychological and physical continuity, for them we will always remember the same person. But what is more important: the physicality of the body or the totality of our psychological features? In my opinion, both have their importance, but the psychological features have greater relevance. Let’s imagine performing a brain transplant on ourselves. My brain goes on the body Y and Y’s brain goes on my body X. After the surgery, a friend of us would be more inclined to recognise us in our old body X with the brain Y or in the body Y with our brain? I think that, for how difficult that “trauma” of recognition could be, the friend would give more importance to the psychological features and recognise us in the body Y. We have simply changed body! This situation can be seen as an extreme case of the example of bodily transfiguration caused by the accident.

  • The “building” of our psychology

Now that we have established the importance of our psychology, at least for what concerns a part of “what we essentialy are”, let’s now analise how does it “develop” over the years. Up to adulthood, we are essentially the product of the education of our parents/tutors with the contribution of the people we hang out with the most. For the formation of the personality, it seems decisive the phase from 2 to 6 years of age (the so-called “second childhood”) and it’s the constant presence of the parents/tutors in this phase that make us psychologically conditioned by the parental “indoctrination”. We accumulate beliefs on beliefs, dogmas on dogmas: from the morality of the family to the rules given to us by the educational institutions. The result is to end up at the end of adolescence with a psychology built by those around us. Still, not for everything is like this.

We have some “matriarchal characters” that we display since we are babies and that seems to have formed independently from the external influences. This default character is given by a particular configuration of the neurotransmitters and hormones that, in their turn, depend on our DNA. So: different DNA = different configurations (even thought all of them are part of a certain biological range). That’s the basis of the theories on psychological types[3]. Therefore, it seems that what characterises us the deepest is the DNA and, on a superior level, the chemistry that comes from it.

We are chemistry. And that’s why I coined the term chemical-man.

“On a biological level, the biological human machine is a chemical factory similar to many others, functioning on the basis of the same chemical laws. It is regulated by tiny electrical impulses that flow through the muscular-neurological system, so the muscles and nerves”[4].

  • The suicide of the one’s Self

Actually, the psycho-pharmaceuticals used in the psychiatric therapies interfere with the neurotransmitters or with the hormones and that’s what helps the patient “heal”. “Let’s change his matriarchal character and every “bug” connected will go away!” It seems like a forced idea, but I consider it logical that the consumption of external substances, that go modify our neuro-chemical equilibrium, “kill” an older self, substituting it with a new one. It’s simply an innovative way to make the matriarchal character kill itself. So, everything that influences this “intimal” chemistry of ours is able to modify who we really are.

  • The Emotional Core

However, we do not notice the matriarchal character, we don’t have since birth a tab that shows us our optimal values of hormones and neurotransmitters, we notice, instead, what first derives macroscopically from this matriarchal character: our Emotional Core (EC). That is a mental structure that regulates every emotional response to the inputs it receives. In a few words, it is our pure and true individual character. Everything that modifies the Emotional Core, modifies our selves. The Emotional Core is what makes us non-machines able to make us feel the authentic phenomenal experiences correlated to the emotions. The psycho-pharmaceuticals interfere on the chemistry of the matriarchal character and therefore, modify our Emotional Core.

  • The immortality of the “chains”

I consider that, as long as it is modified for “reasonable” motivations (like the treatment of a psychic pathology), then it can be considered as a moral act. On the contrary, I consider highly immoral, unfair and to be condemned anything that modifies the Emotional Core for secondary purposes that pertain people external to the one involved. I call these immoral modifications “chains” since they make us slaves of something we aren’t and, in extreme cases, it is possible that the Emotional Core is altered so much that it becomes “mechanised and predictable”; that would make us move from the non-machine condition to the machine one. In the next two chapters, I will analyse the two principal types of “chains” that I have identified.

[1] To deepen the topic of the personal identity, see Parfit (1989).

[2] Not wanting to go into the details on the debate on the concept of “person”, I will give for granted the notion outlined by Frankfurt (it’s about the resumption of Locke). To deepen the topic see Frankfurt (1999)

[3] For a fist theory see Jung (1921)

[4] E.J. Gold in “The Human Biological Machine as a Transformational Apparatus” (1985)

3 – The visible chains

For visible chains, I mean the synthetic or natural chemical substances that modify our Emotional Core. Usually, they are medicines or (more or less legal) drugs. Form the caffeine to the ayahuasca, from alcohol to chocolate. There are very few external substances that we take, that do not interfere with our Emotional Core. Water is one of those substances. Actually, it is able to purify from the chemical overload given by those substances toxic for our true personality. Let’s see the principal effects of the most popular visible chains:

  • Common psychotropic substances:caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. The first two act as stimulants creating a short term “emotional peak” that brings to a following drop of the principal psychic faculties. After a constant consumption, our biochemistry self-regulates itself as if we usually took that substance at that certain moment [1]. This way, our faculties remain latent up to the activation with the consumption of the substance. Alcohol, instead, is able to act both as an energiser and anxiolytic and usually, it has much more unpredictable effects. Alcohol addiction is acquired slower, but it has more decisive effects on the Emotional Core.
  • Anxiolytic, antidepressants or psychostimulants acting medicines: the anxiolytics (in which it is included the cannabis) act in the short term and it is very probable that, since the first consumptions, it develops an addiction. In this case, the effect is opposite to the already mentioned stimulants. The antidepressants act at a biochemical level two weeks apart and slowly modify the equilibrium of our Emotional Core, making it transform completely. Their addiction is much rarer since they act in the long-term, but their effects are more decisive for the personality. Regarding the psychostimulants, it applies the same as the already mentioned stimulants like caffeine and nicotine.
  • Narcotic substances: here the effects for the personality are determined both in the short and in the long term.

  • An overestimated addiction

A separate case to analyze is the glucose. It should be noted that the brain has a protection system that prevents the neurons to come into contact with any undesired substance. In general, the substances reach the cerebrospinal fluid and, in other to reach the neurons, it is needed an action made by the brain to take the substances “beyond” the fluid. The reader can imagine the fluid like a river; on a side, there is the external world and on the other, the mysterious world of the brain. To prevent any contamination, the “brain world” has specific boats that transport some special passengers from one side to the other bank of the river. These “boats”[2] let only three types of passengers pass: the glucose, the oxygen and the DMT[3]. It should be noted that the brain “struggles” to eat: in order to remain protected, it plays an active role to provide itself with the necessary food. The oxygen is obtained breathing and the glucose through the nutrition, however, meanwhile it is not possible to survive without breathing for a few minutes, the nutrition is much more “elastic”. In reality, it seems possible to survive for 21 days without food[4] before that the autophagy affects the vital organs[5].

But then, why do we eat every day, several times a day?

The reason is that we generate a continuous supply of glucose so that the brain eats “peacefully”. The truth is that eating so often, in most cases, is totally optional and furthermore, it can become a chain. Food is addictive and it is able to effect on our Emotional Core.

[1] Caffeine is recorded in our biological clock, modifying it. The reader can prove this on himself noting the feeling of fatigue at the time in which he usually consumes caffeine.

[2] It’s about protein.

[3] On the role of the DMT, read “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” by Strassman (2014).

[4] To deepen the topic, read “The Philosophy of Fasting” by Purinton (2013).

[5] The statistics are, in reality, subjective. The exposed data refer to the statistical average.

Exclusive video of a funny machine in action.

“Do I look like a machine?”

4 – The invisible chains

Far more dangerous and devious are the invisible chains. With this term, I refer to all those non-physical brainwashing mechanisms that modify in an “invisible” way our personality. Usually, it’s about the programmed unconscious indoctrinations.

While in the case of the visible chains we have some form of awareness of the addiction, in this case, the danger is exactly in the unawareness. Every time that you watch television you are collecting invisible chains, it happens every time you use the smartphone, every time you let yourself be convinced by an advertisement or seller.

  • The role of the global economy

The economy is mostly based on power and the difficulty of traceability of the invisible chains. We are addicted to the ideologies of the supervised mass of the mass media (the so-called mainstream thought), we are addicted to the mania of the sharing on the social networks, we are addicted on the purchase of stuff during sales. But the very immoral and dangerous thing is that all of these unconscious conditioning radically and deeply change our Emotional Core. We feel the excitement with the sharing of a post, we feel satisfaction in the purchase of any material object. Our unconscious notion of happiness revolves around external indoctrinations. And, while in the case of the visible chains it would be enough to take away the substance involved in the addiction, in this case, the process is so thin that the liberation from the invisible chains, if made too quickly, could bring to very dangerous psychic pathologies[1]. Here we are on a very delicate ground and to prove it, I’ll show in the next chapter an example of the most powerful unconscious indoctrination process of the last few decades: the marketing algorithm of Facebook.

[1] They are the so-called “defence mechanisms” by Gold in his already mentioned book.

5 – But how does Facebook earn money?

Facebook can be considered the fully-fledged father of the modern social networks. He managed in very few years to reach incredible popularity entering in the popular “culture” in a radical way. Nowadays, Mark Zuckerberg is the eighth richest man in the world. But, if Facebook is free, then how did the dear Mark earn all these billions? “With advertisements!” someone would answer. “Incorrect” I answer back. How many times have you clicked on Facebook advertisements, actually making a purchase? Very few times. The advertisements hypothesis doesn’t really hold up. That’s because its incomes are very low. The true business of Facebook is based on two sources: the selling of personal data + unconscious brainwashings. It’s not difficult to find proofs of cases in which Facebook has been paid to provide, in a completely “legal” way, data and tracking of private profiles. But the truly thorny element concerns the conditioning algorithm.

  • The big hit of Mister X

Let’s imagine being the owners of a multinational corporation, being called “Mister X” and wanting to release on the market next year a product (Y), decisive for the future of our corporation. We have asked our manager for advice and he set us a meeting with an unknown guy, a certain Mark Zuckerberg. Let’s simulate a plausible dialogue:

X: “Is it really possible to install in someone’s mind the desire to buy our product?”

Mark: “Not only it’s possible to do it, but it’s even possible to have the exact numbers.”

X:” Are you telling me that if I asked you to find me 1000 sure clients, will you find them for me?”

M: “I won’t find them, I will generate them

X: “What are you talking about?”

M: “Up to a few years ago, the communication and psychology experts would have thought I was nuts if I had affirmed that I can control the mind of the masses without them being aware.”

X: “Are you saying that this is possible today?”

M: “It’s possible and it has already been put into practice many times. They didn’t believe me when I affirmed I was able to categorise the whole humanity.”

X: “How can you put the whole humanity, composed by people so different one another, into certain preset categories?”

M: “Simple: I eliminate diversity! Through unconscious indoctrination processes, I gently accompany the mind of the people through common beliefs, in order to drastically flatten the diversity and insert those people into functional categories.”

X: “And from this, how can you generate costumers?”

M: “Once people are been reeducated in their beliefs, one just needs to find which of those categories is the one that reacts the most towards the product Y, and then, shift to their indoctrination towards the desire of buying it.” This way, you can generate advertising campaigns aiming those that have the latent desire of buying Y. And then… it’s like reawakening a sleeping shark that you have put on their brain; aggressively they will head towards the purchase. All of this has been statistically proven.”

X: “So that’s why you are so rich…Mr Zuckerberg, we have a deal!”

I admit that at the end of this dialogue, the whole can seem to be inserted in a conspiracy frame, but one just need to do the math and searches to verify that what I have expressed are didactic versions of the geniality of Facebook marketing algorithm. To verify it in a simple way, one just needs to start an advertisement campaign and see how well the Facebook categories work. Invisible chains. Here is what we are dealing with.

6 – Be careful

Reconnecting to the second source of income of Facebook (the selling and traceability of data from private profiles), I can’t not talk about Google and Amazon cases. Google, after being outclassed by the marketing algorithm of Facebook, keeps earning billions from the selling of information to “commercial partners”. In most cases, these partners are governmental secret services. The Internet is a Google domain. When you do a search, you do it on Google; if you have to save pictures or documents, you use Drive (another service by Google); if you need to surf the net, you use Chrome (still Google); but most of all: Google has enormous power on smartphones Its primary operating system (Android) is an unimaginable source of information.

 

  • The new luxury

Yes: privacy is an optional extra, on the contrary, it’s a luxury. And this situation is only meant to worsen. In fact, they are arriving voice first devices like Alexa and Google Home that will track, during the following years, even more data from our Android smartphones. In the next two years, 70% of the global population will have a voice first device at home. An audio spy that continuously tracks every conversation made at home. The reader can see with his own eyes with which insistence Amazon and Google advertisement will make brainwashing campaigns for the monopoly of this new market. Later, the war will move on the operating systems on cars, to later end on the wearable micro-devices. The reader must be aware in the midst of what war he is in. Think about this: you are the bargaining chip in this information war.

7 – A theory about the mind

It has now come the time to end the analysis of future speculations and market dynamics, to now verify the scientific data on which the exposed theory is based on: what makes a human a non-machine is the possession of the Emotional Core. In addition, the Emotional Core should be free from the visible and the invisible chains[1]. I will call this theory MET or “Machine Emotional Theory“.

“Beliefs are like breath: you realize you’ve had them only once you don’t have them anymore.”

Stephen Wolf

Come affermava il poeta Valéry: “I nostri cervelli servono a produrre un futuro”. Credo infatti che la causa per cui l’evoluzione abbia all’improvviso introdotto nelle macchine organiche (tutti gli animali) un Emotional Core sia stato il suo incredibile potere di prevedere eventi futuri con delle intuizioni mai viste prima nel mondo naturale. Huron afferma “The brain is an anticipation machine and emotions are “motivational amplifiers” that encourage organisms to pursue behaviours that are normally adaptive, and to avoid behaviours that are normally maladaptive”[2] (il cervello è una macchina anticipatoria e le emozioni sono “amplificatori motivazionali” che incoraggiano gli organismi a ricercare credenze che sono normalmente adatti, e ad evitare credenze che sono normalmente disadatte).

  • Il “tumore fenomenico”

Il nostro Emotional Core, rispondendo emozionalmente, ci permette di generare le credenze più adatte alla nostra sopravvivenza. In questo senso un Emotional Core inibito sarebbe un “tumore fenomenico” per la specie umana. Significherebbe infatti rendere vani gli sforzi della natura nel donarci uno strumento così tanto potente. Possiamo definire la credenza come un “affidamento a un fatto sul mondo”. Se ho una data credenza, di fronte ad un input agisco con un determinato output. Le credenze sono alla base di ogni comportamento. Nel modello cognitivo JITSA (Just-In-Time Spreading Activation) gli stimoli esterni ci arrivano dagli schemi di concetti pertinenti basati su probabilità passate dell’evento; in questo modo, abbiamo un’anticipazione di ciò che può accadere nelle sue alternative più probabili (tutto ciò avverrebbe così velocemente che a noi sembra essere arrivata in mente semplicemente un’unica idea).

  • Siamo generati per l’onniscienza

In sintesi: di fronte ad una situazione, il nostro cervello elaborerebbe la reazione in base a cosa sia più probabile che accada. E questo concetto di probabilità si basa interamente sulle credenze generate dal nostro Emotional Core. In questo modo il cervello attiverebbe le giuste aree e prevedrebbe le giuste cause. Se cancellassimo ogni catena mentale e accumulassimo solo credenze esatte, il nostro cervello diverrebbe un demone di La-Place; un essere in grado di prevedere qualsiasi evento. Il nostro Emotional Core sembra stato progettato per prevedere e, in questo senso, ogni catena, ogni dipendenza, diverrebbe un ostacolo al vero potere dell’onniscienza che sembra situato in potenziale nel nostro cervello. Come giustamente afferma Dennett: “The emotions are rational, but the system is a heuristic driver of behaviour that operates on incomplete information; so we must accept that emotions will fail us in some ways, such as overreation and addictions, that are irresolvable”[3] (Le emozioni sono razionali, ma il sistema è un conduttore euristico di credenza che opera su informazioni incomplete; dunque dobbiamo accettare che le emozioni ci faranno sbagliare in qualche modo, ad esempio con una reazione eccessiva e con dipendenze, che sono irrisolvibili).

Ogni nostra tipologia di errore deriva da informazioni incomplete, da credenze errate, da catene dell’Emotional Core. È essenziale agire su ciò per essere davvero noi stessi. Sempre Dennett definisce magistralmente così una credenza: “A cognitive behaviour is a mental function: an intentional (in the casual sense of the term) change of intentional (in the philosopher’s sense of the term) states. It restricts the possible future states of the neural dynamics” (Una credenza cognitiva è una funzione mentale: un cambiamento intenzionale (nel senso causale) cambia stati intenzionali (nel senso filosofico del termine). Essa restringe i possibili stati futuri della dinamica neuronale). La visione di restringimento delle dinamiche neuronali è il miglior modo per vedere come agisce empiricamente una credenza.

  • L’ultima frontiera evolutiva

Il potere dell’Emotional Core sarebbe tanto importante quanto la sopravvivenza delle specie. Gopnik mostra infatti i paragoni con la sessualità: “Again, the analogy to sexual drives should be obvious. Nature ensures that we do something that will be good for us (or at least our genes) in the long run, by making it fun (or at least compelling) in the short-run” (Ancora una volta l’analogia su conduttori sessuali dovrebbe essere ovvia. La natura si assicura che noi facciamo qualcosa che sarà buono per noi (o almeno per la nostra specie) a lungo termine, rendendo questa cosa divertente (o almeno avvincente) nel breve termine). L’implementazione dell’Emotional Core sembra essere stata, sotto questo punto di vista, uno degli ultimi passi decisivi per l’evoluzione. Grazie ad esso, noi siamo l’ultima frontiera dell’evoluzione. Ed essendo gli unici esseri biologici ad avercelo così complesso si comprende la profonda differenza tra noi e il resto delle specie viventi. Potrebbe seguire un’analisi sui caratteri unici della specie umana correlandoli all’Emotional Core, ma per non inserire una digressione all’interno di un’altra digressione andrò dritto al punto.[4]

  • Conferme empiriche sulla possibilità di un EC

La tripartizione della mente umana (cognizione, motivazione ed emozione) esposta da numerosi scienziati cognitivi sembra dover dare un maggior rilievo alla parte emozionale e riconoscerla come un nucleo da cui derivano le altre due parti. Questo nucleo agirebbe attraverso processi computazionali discreti (come conferma il rumore neuronale di fondo di circa cento picometri[5]) generando delle credenze. Esse a loro volta sono un pilastro portante per ciò che concerne la nostra identità psicologica. Sempre Dennett sembra darmi ragione in 2 punti; egli afferma: “We submit that the epistemic emotions[6] do not simply encourage us to use our reasoning; they control it. […] Higher cognition in its many forms- what it means to think like a human- is simply that chasing of the pleasures and the avoidance of the pains that are supplied by this eclectic group of cognitive, but of course ultimately neurobiological, emotions” (Noi affermiamo che le emozioni epistemiche non ci incoraggiano semplicemente ad usare la nostra ragione; esse la controllano. […] La cognizione superiore nelle sue molteplici forme – cosa significa pensare come un essere umano- è semplicemente il perseguire i piaceri e l’evitare i dolori che sono forniti da questo eclettico gruppo di emozioni cognitive, ma certamente in fin dei conti biologiche).

  • Continuamente a rischio

Se la MET fosse esatta, ciò significherebbe non solo che le ricerche su una IA[7] forte dovrebbero prendere una piega differente (basandosi su un Emotional Core a computazione[8]), ma che ciò che siamo realmente nel profondo è ogni giorno a rischio. Le continue catene visibili ed invisibili sono delle pugnalate che infliggiamo a ciò che siamo realmente.

Viene spontaneo chiedersi: “Per quanto ancora le modificazioni dell’Emotional Core saranno reversibili?”. Che la MET sia esatta o meno, sarebbe sempre meglio essere autentici e difendere la propria integrità, sia questa dovuta a catene che modificano l’Emotional Core o a qualsiasi altro fenomeno. Resta tuttavia innegabile che le dipendenze e gli indottrinamenti sembrano farci prendere delle azioni che “non derivano da noi”. Come ciò sia tecnicamente possibile lo si vedrà nel corso del prossimo capitolo.

[1] Altrimenti si ha a che fare semplicemente con l’Emotional Core di un’altra persona, con un’altra personalità che non è la nostra autentica.

[2] Huron “Sweet anticipation – Music and the psychology of expectation” (2006)

[3] Per tutte le citazioni rimanenti del capitolo si guardi Hurley, Dennett e Adams “Inside Jokes: using humor to reverse-engineer the mind” (2013)

[4] Basta notare come sia davvero difficile l’esistenza di un carattere specifico della specie umana che non coinvolga credenze, emozioni o altro che può scaturire da un Emotional core.

[5] 10-12

[6] Per emozioni epistemiche si intendono le emozioni che concernono le credenze.

[7] Intelligenza Artificiale

[8] È la direzione che sembra prendere il ramo dell’Affective computing.

8 – On the language

Have you ever wondered about the importance of words with which we express ourselves every day? Behind the use of a word, it hides a deeply rooted belief. The lexicon we use every day can say many things about our psychology. Every profession has its own semantic niche: a mainly technical lexicon that can better give authenticity to the role played. The same goes for the teenager’s slang. In the Fodorain representation words codify mental concepts that are elements of a language of thought (system of representation). They give access to:

  • lexical properties of the term associated with the concept.
  • Logical content (role of meaning postulates);
  • Encyclopedic information on the entities that fell in the extention of the concept.

It seems that the words give us a partial access to those beliefs installed in our minds by the Emotional Core. To reconnect the linguistic to the MET, Fodor[1] comes again in our aid; he affirm that the cognitive systems are divided in modular inputs and non-modular central systems that control the entire decisional process. Let’s imagine, for example, two friends meeting on the street and having the following conversation:

A: “Where is C?”

B: “He stayed at home.”

Even thought B hasn’t specified in which house did C stay, our mind makes us realize that it’s his house (C’s home!). All of this may seem banal, but still there are deep studies on how our brain is able to draw inferences on what it’s not explicitly said in a statement. In this case, our brain made a pragmatic interpretation. It forced itself to match B’s answer with what it’s more “truthful”.

 

  • EC role on intuition

What interests us is Sperber[2] who affirmed that in the pragmatic interpretations (like in the previous example), our cognitive system doesn’t actually make a calculation, it uses physiological levels of future cognitive events (patterns of chemical/electrical activity on specific areas). Then, “calculation” for interpretation is a cognitive phenomenon that happens through non-cognitive mechanisms. The Emotional Core seems to be an excellent candidate as a not purely cognitive mechanism. In particular, I am saying that the intuition (the most typical ability of the human species as well as irony) comes from the existence of an Emotional Core.

“Kabbalists believed that we are the cause all the things that happen in the world: thoughts generate words, words generate actions, actions generate emotions and the emotions represent the energy that moves the world.”

Raffaele Tovazzi

  • The emotional anchors

After having speculated on the possible correlations between the MET and the human language, let’s see how the invisible chains act on the Emotional Core through the language. Sperber affirms that when we have in front of us a speaker S, our brain can enter in three different interpretative strategies:

  1. Naive optimism: it happens when we assume that S is benevolent and competent;
  2. Cautious optimism: if we believe that S is benevolent, but not necessarily competent;
  3. Sophisticated comprehension: if we believe that S is neither necessarily benevolent nor necessarily competent.

Generalizing: when we speak with a friend or an intimate relative we act following 1; when we are in front of an acquaintance we act following 2; when we are in front of a stranger we act following 3.

Think about advertisements. The speaker should be recognized by our brain as an unknown person; indeed, we don’t know who has done that ad and actually, we know that, whoever he is, his intent is exactly to modify our beliefs and take us to a sort of addiction of the external will (assuming one purchases the product on the ad). The advertisements, basing themselves on the leverage effect of the emotional mental anchors (connecting emotions with the purchase of a product) and on the repetitions of the spot in the short and long term, they take our brain to behave following 1. This way, the advertisement bypasses every mental filter and has full power to influence the Emotional Core. In an even faster way, the advertisements on social networks take advantage of the emotions that we feel by looking at the contents of other people. This way, one connects unconsciously the speaker S of the commercial with the “friend” that published the content. This takes our mind directly in mode 1 and, again, the invisible chains are inserted.

[1] To deepen see Bianchi in “Pragmatica cognitiva. I meccanismi della comunicazione” (2009).

[2] Sperber and Wilson in “Relevance. communication and cognition” (1986).

9 – Power is will?

“What brings problems is not what we don’t know, but what we are sure we know but it’s wrong.”

Mark Twain

As long as we don’t know something there is always a remedy, the true problem begins when we have installed in our mind a wrong belief. Indeed, to disassemble beliefs is not an easy process. Socrates tried to do it through his dialectic method based on questions, still nowadays who has the greatest influence on people seems to want everything but disassemble beliefs. We have seen how the majority of the world economy revolves around the objective of manipulating our beliefs and acting directly on our Emotional Core[1]. We briefly travelled on the crawl spaces of a probable mind theory (the MET) and we arrived at the confirms of the linguistics theories.

  • They want us to stay machines

We can now go back to the initial statement. In fact, I affirmed that a certain manipulation of the Emotional Core would bring its “superior” abilities to inhibition, reducing them to a very predictable mechanism. Facebook predicts statistically how many customers will be generated. The predictability is all based on this inhibition of the Emotional Core. In this case, human beings would become true machines. In fact, if machine + emotions= non-machine, then humans non-machines – Emotional Core = machines (namely, predictable mechanical customers).

  • The resistance

I believe the will to be an ability that only a non-machine owns. And to remain a non-machine it’s necessary an intrinsic power of resistance to chains. That’s what I affirm when I say that “power is will”. And it’s only this power of resistance of ours that gives us access to the ability to “will”. Only after our reaffirmation as non-machine, we could transform this will in a sort of practical power. A non-machine that has reached the “power is will” will, therefore, be able to act according to the “Will is Power”. Since it seems very utopian to act on the generation of the invisible chains (that depends on a “power” by now way too strong and affirmed, essential for the global economy), we have to act on two fronts :

  1. Get rid of the visible chains: acting first of all on the addiction to drugs abolishing coffee, medicines [2], alcohol and experimenting for at least 4 days a fast [3] of only water to purify one’s self from the toxins in the system and eliminate the unconscious addiction to glucose. Furthermore, it will be necessary to act on the other visible chains that have a more psychological character, but that remain largely determined by us. As I affirm (in a more “mystic” way) in my novel.[4] it will be necessary to fight the haughtiness with humility, the greed with charity, the lust with love, the envy with joy, the gluttony with harmony, the rage with caution and the sloth with hope.
  2. Act on the visible chains: it will be necessary, at first, a period of purification from social networks[5], television and common opinions, through a period of loneliness and meditation in which create barriers of consciousness for the external conditioning. In order to do so, it will be necessary, first of all, to empty out from every belief and rebuild your “interior palace” following the authenticity of your Emotional Core and, only after that, you can study the methods of media indoctrinations (the PNL for example) to become immune and use them with for moral purposes.

That’s the only way to avoid falling in the condition of machines.[6]

[1] I suggest watching the animated movie “Inside out” under the gaze of a possible hint on the existence of an Emotional Core.

[2] Only after having had the approval of the doctor.

[3] I refer to the already mentioned book of Purinton.

[4] See: https://www.youcanprint.it/fiction-generale/origin-cronache-di-un-angelo-caduto-9788892644656.html

[5] I suggest looking at the project “Lightphone”, it could be helpful for the digital detox. For more information: https://www.thelightphone.com/

[6] For more practical advice and for a more “spiritual” deepening see the already mentioned Gold.

10 – A call to the future generations

“When the time comes for egg laying, the wasp Sphex builds a burrow for the purpose and seeks a cricket which she stings in such a way as to paralyze but not kill it. She drags the cricket into the burrow, lays her eggs alongside, closes the burrow, then flies away, never to return. In due course, the eggs hatch and the wasp grubs feed off the paralyzed cricket, which has not decayed, having been kept in the wasp equivalent of a deep-freeze. To the human mind, such an elaborately organized and seemingly purposeful routine conveys a convincing flavour of logic and thoughtfulness — until more details are examined. For example, the wasp’s routine is to bring the paralyzed cricket to the burrow, leave it on the threshold, go inside to see that all is well, emerge, and then drag the cricket in. If, while the wasp is inside making her preliminary inspection, the cricket is moved a few inches away, the wasp, on emerging from the burrow, will bring the cricket back to the threshold, but not inside, and will then repeat the preparatory procedure of entering the burrow to see that everything is all right. If again the cricket is removed a few inches while the wasp is inside, once again the wasp will move the cricket up to the threshold and re-enter the burrow for a final check. The wasp never thinks of pulling the cricket straight in. On one occasion this procedure was repeated forty times, always with the same result.”[1]

The wasp Sphex seems at first sight, a very intelligent being, a non-machine like many other much less complex animals. Still, testing it, we discover the sad limits of the mechanism of its “mind”. For how complex it could appear at first glance, in the end, the wasp Sphex remains a biological machine.

And what if humans were in the same condition? Wasps don’t realize they are machines, only an external being with “superior” abilities can observe in an experimental way the procedural mechanism. the same way, we human beings could never realize we are fascinatingly complex machines.

According to the Machine Emotional Theory that I presented, the human being has as birthright an Emotional Core that excludes him from the machine world. Still, some people try in every way to inhibit our non-machine abilities. To think is one these “magical” abilities. If we want to be our authentic self, we have to be free thinkers. We need to have the courage to travel through the steps of purifications from the invisible chains. Only then, we could be filled with true light coming from ourselves, with beliefs generated by that mysterious Emotional Core that makes us so unique as well as responsible for this wonderful planet that we must safeguard.

The visible and invisible chains will be more and more on the loose in the next generations, both for the spread of drugs and for the always growing innovations in the field of the media indoctrination. I, alone with this publication, cannot change the world. Still, I believe the ideas to be the most contagious virus of humanity. In this publication, I expressed an idea. A call for the next generations to recognize the light that hides inside of them. A call to courage, to resistance, to action, to mediation, to think radical by daring to act more. The Branco Bianco is ready to welcome anyone who wants to actively take part in the world. Because it’s together that we can make a difference; it’s together that we can change the world.

Wolf Steven

 

[1] Wooldridge in “The machinery of the brain” (1963); extract from https://www.rug.nl/research/portal/files/13139017/2012_Keijzer_Sphex_story.pdf (page 3/30).

Coming soon from Wolf Stefano

"On Mankind's Slavery"
Leaf through the footprints

Il giorno in cui l’uomo contradisse se stesso

La nostra percezione è basata sulla dualità: qualcosa è o non è. Aristotele denominò questo principio logico “principio di non contraddizione” e noi uomini lo abbiamo posto come fondamenta per il nostro edificio del sapere. Tremiamo, dunque, perché la dualità così come la concepiamo logicamente è giunta alla sua estinzione. Un breve scritto giovanile stilato per un concorso alla Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa che dà uno spiraglio di luce ad una teoria scientifica sul concetto di “anima”.

Narc.iso

Narciso non è mai morto. Egli ha cambiato forma divenendo sempre più raffinato e irresistibile. È divenuto un programma invisibile, un file informatico: narc.iso. State attenti, o uomini, perché presto annegherete negli specchi neri dei vostri schermi tanto funzionali quanto inutili e schiavizzanti. Solo l’Arte può liberarci da questa catena soffocante. Diveniamo dunque Arte, insieme.

Caro Covid-19

La tristezza e il dolore si esprimono in parole rivelando la situazione emotiva che sta circondando il mondo

Il mio Albero Rosso

La quarantena ci sta veramente distaccando dalla natura? Ecco la mia versione dell’Albero Rosso di Piet Mondrian

Burning Flame

As a child, you are so carefree that you are able to express yourself in such a free and authentic way as never again. Here is a drawing of my childhood that retraces the memories of the past by illustrating the flame that shines inside each of us!

Dal mondo del pensiero

“Lasciate cadere ciò che vuole cadere; se lo trattenete, vi trascinerà con sé” Carl Gustav Jung

Lingua Mortis

Le luci della notte rievocano allo sguardo una lingua celata

Sull’identità personale

Chi sono realmente? Qual è l’essenza che mi caratterizza e mi distingue dagli altri? Dall’arcaico “Conosci te stesso” quest’ossessione per l’identità personale non è mai venuta meno. Oggi, con secolari studi alle nostre spalle, possiamo forse dare qualche risposta a riguardo; ciò non solo al caso dell’identità personale ma dell’essenza dell’essere umano in generale.

Il giocoliere delle anime

Quando Black Mirror diventa realtà

I think

I feel that our soul is something so marvelously complex.
Beware of the attempt to understand it, it can be a complex and exciting voyage already on its own. Love and hate, black and white that coexist in the entity of the man.

On déjà-vu and the prescience phenomenon

On déjà-vu and the prescience phenomenon

On déjà-vu and the prescience phenomenon

"Doesn't it look familiar?"
A publication by Steven Wolf

Italy, 15th December 2018

Summary

1 – Introduction
2 – Historiographic mentions
3 – The Psychological approach

  • Neurological theories
  • Gloor’s dual processing theory
  • Brown’s inattentional theory
  • Mnemonic theories

4 – The Metaphysical approach

  • Premonitory dreams theory
  • Holographic universe theory
  • Parallel universes theory
  • “Glitch” theory
  • Reincarnation theory

5 – Dialogue on prescience
6 – A new theory?
7 – Conclusions

1 – Introduction

With this research, I want to bring back to light a phenomenon of which it has been said a lot in the past, but that, on my point of view, it has been faced in a very superficial way. From my studies on this topic, I could notice how all theories on the déjà-vu phenomenon could be reduced to two categories: on the one side there are the sceptical psychologists that try to analyse the phenomenon with explanations connected with mental phenomena (I will refer to these theories under the name of “Psychological approach”); on the other side there are the spiritualists that try to show, sometimes exaggerating, how this phenomenon is the proof of other more “pseudoscientific” theories (with this term I don’t mean to express any groundlessness on these theories, instead I want to underline how they are lacking any experimentation possibility and scientific demonstration; I will refer to this group of theories under the name of “Metaphysical approach”).

I will show below the ramification of the two different approaches:

 

Psychological approach Metaphysical approach

· Neurological theories

· Gloor’s dual processing theory

· Brown’s inattentional theory

· Mnemonic theories

· Premonitory dreams theory

· Holographic universe theory

· Parallel universes theory

· “Glitch” theory

· Reincarnation theory

In this research I will set the mentioned theories out, dwelling on where it will be necessary. The 5th paragraph is dedicated to an excursus about the prescience phenomenon; I consider this topic to be transversal to the déjà-vu cases and that it can come to the rescue to let us develop a more methodical idea on the phenomenon in his complex. However, if the reader will consider it appropriate, he could skip the 5th paragraph; this won’t result in any loss of information in order to understand the following paragraphs. I will develop my own theory dusting off Doctor Jung’s researches[1] and draw conclusions in an aporetic way. Indeed, my purpose isn’t to steer the reader towards a theory rather than another one; instead, I want to collect, in the most impartial way possible, everything we know about the phenomenon, sure that the reader will be capable of developing, at a later stage, his own idea about it.

I want to clarify that the term déjà-vu that I will use is a set of phenomena, sometimes distinguished one another:

  • • The Presque vu (already have seen something);
  • • The Déjà rêvé (already have dreamt something):
  • • The Déjà entendu (already have heard something):
  • • And other phenomena strictly similar.

Instead, I won’t debate the Jamais vu (not recognizing something that in reality it has already been seen), neither the Capgras’ syndrome (recognizing well-known people as impostors) nor the Fregoli’s syndrome (the opposite of the previous syndrome), since I don’t believe them to be simply attributable to a phenomenon similar to the déjà-vu (except in a strictly neurological sense; always assuming that one believes in the Psychological approach).

[1] I will refer in particular to the theories on the collective unconscious.

2 – Historiographic mentions

It seems that description of similar phenomena to the déjà-vu are already found in Plato, Aristotle and in ancient Pythagoreans. I am referring in particular to the Platonic anamnesis, to the Aristotelian theories exposed on the “On memory and reminiscence” and to the references present on the Pythagoreans scripts about metempsychosis. Taking a little of a chance, I like to already see in Plato and in the Pythagorean precursors of the metaphysical approach and in Aristotle the equivalent for the psychological approach.

The term déjà-vu was introduced for the first time from the parapsychological French Émile Boirac[1] on his last book (published just after his death) “The Psychology of The Future”[2] of 1917. Embracing the Metaphysical approach, he attributed the phenomenon to a particular psychic faculty called “metagnomy” that, from his description, seems to come closer to the modern concept of clairvoyance.

I will report other descriptions of the phenomenon from famous psychologists of the first half of the XX century[3]

[1] According to Sno (1994), Neppe (1983a, 1983e) and Funkhouser (1983). Against Berrios (1995) and Findler (1998) who, on the other hand, attribute the first use of the neologism to Arnaud (1896)

[2] To consult the text in English, see: https://archive.org/details/psychologyoffutu00boiruoft

[3] The tab is taken from Brown (2003) “A Review of the Dèjà Vu Experience” p.395

It can be noticed how they, given that they are psychologists, have all embraced the Psychological approach.

Notice moreover that Titchner already in 1928 referred to the phenomenon with the term “paramnesia of wrong recognition”, reducing even back then the déjà-vu phenomenon to a simple underclass of those mnemonic disorders catalogued as paramnesias. Other authors that referred to the phenomenon describing it as something extremely common and universal were: Maudsley, 1889; MacCurdy, 1925; Wilson, 1929; Carrington, 1931; Conklin, 1935; Chapman & Mensh, 1951; Murphy, 1951; M. A. Harper, 1969 and Critchley, 1989.

It is imperative to me mention the founders of the modern Psychological approach: Sno & Linszen, 1990; Berrio; Neppe, 1983; Brown, 2003 and Wild, 2005. All their studies took us to the modern definition of déjà-vu (“whatever subjective inappropriate impression of familiarity of a present experience with an undefined past”).

Furthermore, I want to underline how all these psychologists embrace the Psychological approach. I obviously believe that the context and the profession have deeply influenced their studies.

But then where does the Metaphysical approach come from?

It seems that it has formed in parallel as aversion towards the Psychologist approach and that it has entered in the common mentality. Some studies show the percentages of people who seem to believe in the metaphysical approach[1].

I highly recommend to the more interested readers to deepen the Psychological approach reading “The Déjà Vu Experience” of Alan S. Brown (ISBN: 978-1138006010) and the “Déjà-Vu trilogy” of Vernon Neppe [2]. Instead, for what concerns the historiographic of the phenomenon in analysis I recommend reading the “Piramidi di tempo. Storie e teorie del déjà vu”[3] of Remo Bodei (ISBN: 978-8815240156).

In the end, I conclude this paragraph with a data that demonstrate, on my point of view, the increasing rootedness in the common population of beliefs inherent to the Metaphysical approach[4]:

[1] Green, 1966; Greyson, 1977; Palmer, 1979; Kohr, 1980; McClenon, 1988; Gallup & Newport, 1991; Ross & Joshi, 1992; Gaynard, 1992

[2] Books nowhere to be found if it wasn’t for the PNI institute that sells them in eBook format: http://www.brainvoyage.com/shop/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=37. Note moreover Neppe’s reference from CIA, in a document released to the public only the 15/08/2000: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP96-00792R000700810001-1.pdf

[3] For an extract of the book: http://www.bnnonline.it/index.php?it/162/libri-e-letture/27/piramidi-di-tempo-storia-e-teoria-del-dj-vu&printPdf=1&stripImages=1

[4] The tab is taken from https://news.gallup.com/poll/4483/americans-belief-psychic-paranormal-phenomena-over-last-decade.aspx

Age (in years)

18-29

30-49

50+

Percentage of believers in clairvoyance

42

33

26

 

Combining the data of the two tabs it results clear that the last generations of young people are extremely more open to the Metaphysical approach, more than in the past.

Has it come the payback time of the Metaphysical approach?

3 -The Psychological approach

  • Neurological theories

This set of theories affirms that the déjà-vu phenomenon is caused from an epilepsy of a particular circumscribed zone of the brain. However, there are conflicting opinions regarding which cerebral zone. Still, it seems that many doctors agree with the identification of that zone with the temporal lobe[1] (hence, the cause behind the déjà-vu is the so-called TLE, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy). In particular, the Austrian doctor Josef Spatt believes the problem to reside right in the parahippocampal cortex [2].

[1] See Haerer, A.F., 1992, “The Neurological Exam” and https://www.epilepsybehavior.com/article/S1525-5050(08)00273-4/fulltext (unfortunately you need to pay to read the article)

[2] Spatt, J. (2002) “Déjà Vu: Possible Parahippocampal Mechanisms” in: The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences

It is very interesting to see the correlations between the TLE and the “Neuroscience of religion”. Indeed, the American neuroscientist Michael Persinger has discovered that, stimulating the temporal lobe, one can induce in patients mystical experiences and, sometimes, even déjà-vu[1].

Another interesting neurological theory is the one proposed by Osborn already in 1884 and resumed by O’Connor & Moulin in 2006. I refer to the optical pathway delay theory: the information arrives to an eye a few instants later than to the other one, generating a strange feeling of familiarity. However, you must notice that this kind of theory would attribute to phenomena like the déjà rêvé or the déjà entendu neurological characters completely different from the ones of the déjà-vu.

[1] See “NeuroTheology: Brain, Science, Spirituality, Religious Experience” ISBN: 978-0971644588

  • Gloor’s dual processing theory

This theory carries the name of Pierre Gloor since he brought back to light in the 90s[1] Robert Efron’s theories[2] comparing them with the experimental data of patients affected by TLE.

The central core of this theory is that the déjà-vu is the result of the temporary desynchronization of two cognitive processes which are normally elaborated in parallel[3]. Gloor identifies these two processes as the familiarity process and the retrieving one. . In particular, the déjà-vu would take place when the familiarity process is stimulated, but without any effective recovery of past memories (the reverse process could be the cause for the jamais-vu).

[1] Gloor, P. (1990) “Experiential Phenomena of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy“ in: Brain, Vol. 113

[2] Efron R (1963). “Temporal perception, aphasia and déjà vu” in: Brain: A Journal of Neurology. Vol. 86

[3] O’Connor & Moulin, 2006; Brown, 2004

 

Unlike Gloor, de Nayer proposed in 1979, in substitution to the familiarity process, the encoding process; this way de Nayer explained the déjà-vu as a circumstance in which the two cognitive processes, that usually take place at different times, synchronized themselves, letting us record again a memory we already had. In reality, de Nayer never gave any interpretation about how such a phenomenon, like the one he described, could take place, he just restricted himself to suppose its existence; that is why nowadays the dual processing theory is attributed to Gloor.

To summarise:

Gloor de Nayer
Normal conditions Familiarity and retrieving synchronized Retrieving and encoding working at different times
Déjà vu Only familiarity works (otherwise there is the jamais vu) Retrieving and encoding synchronized

In addition, there are two less famous dual processing theories:

  • Bergson affirms that the déjà-vu is caused by a desynchronization between perception and memory [1]
  • Hughlings and Jackson (1888) affirm that humans possess two tips of conscience: the normal conscience, which process information coming from the outside world, and the parasitic conscience, which controls the thoughts of the mental world. When the activity of the normal conscience decreases, the familiarity process is controlled in a superficial way by the parasitic conscience that would deliver us, as a consequence of its mistakes, the feeling of familiarity.[2]

[1] The theory was resumed by Carrington (1931) and by Tulving (1968)

[2] Wigan (1844) proposed a similar concept but referring to the two cerebral hemispheres

  • Brown’s inattentional theory

Alan Brown, Southern Methodist University’s professor, has collaborated in 2009 with the psychologist Elizabeth Marsh from Duke University for an experiment that would involve the students from both universities. The students were quickly shown some images and, after three weeks, they were shown again the same images mixed with others they had never seen. The result was the following one: half of the participants to the experiment had a feeling of déjà-vu for those images that in reality they had never seen before [1]. On both professors’ point of view, this little experiment would suggest the truthfulness of Brown’s theory.

Brown, resuming Mack & Rock’s 1998 studies on selective attention, affirms that sometimes people look at something twice; with a first superficial glance one would record the information on the subconscious, instead, the second glance would let one record the information at a conscious level. The déjà-vu would be caused or from an unknown Perceptual Occlusion that slows the conscious acquisition of the information or from an Inattentional Blindness that would let the subconscious process take place two consecutive times, with the second one perceives that strange feeling of familiarity typical of the déjà-vu.

  • Mnemonic theories

In a 2012 article on the international magazine “Consciousness and Cognition”[2] the professor Anne M. Cleary, along with other colleagues (between whom the already mentioned professor Brown) performed the following experiment: some people looked at different scenarios in sequence with the help of the VR (virtual reality). Later, other scenarios, in some ways similar to the first ones, were added and the participants were asked if they remembered those places. Most of the experimenters, when they were in a scenario similar to the one already seen, swore that they had already seen it the same as they saw it now.

The experiment should confirm that the cases of déjà-vu are provoked by a mistake in our retrieving process that, taking a past memory similar to one that it is processing right now, modifies it to make it more relevant to the present experience, making us perceive the familiarity.

Another possibility, mentioned by the American psychologist William James, is the one of connecting the déjà-vu phenomenon to the one of cryptomnesia. In practice, our brain would unite a present experience to a past memory “blurred enough” so that it makes us perceive the feeling of familiarity.[3]

In order to better understand these positions, I will now refer to the cognitive pragmatics.

According to the New Zealander linguist Robyn Carston[4], there are two tips of words:

  • Words that codify in a logic form full-fledged concepts like for example the word “cat”
  • Words that codify pointers like for example the verb “to cut”

You may notice how, while the first kind of words refers to “uniquely identified Universals”, the second one adapts itself to the context; the brain makes it take, from time to time, different semantic meanings (like for example “cut the bread” or “cut someone off”). The same way the brain, in cases of déjà-vu, it makes past memories “fit” with each other re-elaborating them depending on the context. This way, similar memories become identical memories, giving us the feeling of familiarity.

But why would the brain do so?

Embracing the Defaultness Hypothesis by the professor Rachel Giora[5] , according to whom the brain classifies meanings in terms of frequency and familiarity with a contextual modulation on encyclopaedic knowledge, it seems that, in case of déjà-vu, it “would come in handy” to modify in our mind a “familiar” event so that it would be easier to categorize. In other words, in particular conditions, “it comes in handy” for memory to invent a past memory to which tie the present experience, rather than generate a “mental space” completely ex novo.

[1] “Psychonomic Bulletin & Review”, 2009

[2] “Familiarity from the configuration of objects in 3-dimensional space and its relation to déjà vu: A virtual reality investigation”

[3] For insights into mnemonic theories, look at Reed (1974) and Osborn (1884).

[4] Carston (2002)

[5] Watch Giora (2007)

Video of a mysterious case of déjà-vu

“I have already seen that place”

4 – The Metaphysical approach

  • Premonitory dreams theory

In David Lohff’s book “Dream Directory”[1], it is stated that during the sleep some scenarios rebuilt by the mind are saved in a “blurry” way in the temporal lobe and that, finding ourselves in front of elements that make us resurface to a conscious level those dreamt scenarios, we could come to believe to have already lived that experience.

From this rather scientific theory, there are later evolved other theories that leverage on philosophic bases more or less esoteric. In particular, I refer to the 1918 TSA president (Theosophical Society of America) Louis William Rogers, that in his book “Dreams and Premonitions”[2] addresses in a deepened way the topic. Professor Roger affirms that déjà-vu phenomena would be connected to premonitory dreams based on memories of voyages in the astral dimension, in which it could be possible to fool the usual temporal linearity “peeking” in the future.

  • Holographic universe theory

Starting from David Bohm’s physic theories on the holographic universe[3] and from the foundation of the holonomic model of the brain by Karl Pribram there are evolved a whole set of theories on gnosiology which addresses the holographic universe.

The memories, being the result of interfering wave patterns, could come even from “linearly not present” times given the temporal singularity in the quantum micro-world. Déjà-vu would then be cases in which “future” memories are brought to a conscious level.

  • Parallel universes theory

Putting as the basis the multiverse concept [4] formulated by Hugh Everett III in 1957[5], the déjà-vu would be explainable in two ways:

  • As our own capacity of jumping from a universe to another
  • As a temporary syntonization from different universe temporarily out-of-sync

As deepening of the multiverse theory, I suggest Brian Greene’s book “The Hidden Reality. Parallel universes and the deep law of the cosmos” (ISBN: 978-0307278128)

  • “Glitch” theory

I suggest a subdivision of the theories based on the “glitch” nature:

  • Ontological nature: “A déjà-vu is an imperfection of Matrix, it happens when we change something”; this is the explanation that Trinity gives to Neo after the second crossing of a black cat, in the cult movie of 1999. The set of these theories is based on the common belief of reality similar to the one presented in the movie Matrix; a programmed reality which is not exempt from mistakes. One of those temporary mistakes of the “ontological system of reality” is perceived by us with the déjà-vu.
  • Psychological nature: (concerning more the Psychological approach; it is present here just because it mentions a “glitch”): following Akira O’Connor’s researches published in 2016[6], it seems that the déjà-vu would a signal sent by our brain to communicate the discovery of a mistake.

  • Reincarnation theory

This theory, basing itself on religious or spiritual beliefs in reincarnation, affirms that the déjà-vu does not have anything different from a “normal” memory; simply in the first case, we remember places or events that we have experienced in past lives. The brain would thus be able to bring back to the conscious level the memories stored in the “soul”.

[1] 2004, ISBN: 978-0762419623

[2] It can be partially consulted at the following link: https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en/readbook/DreamsandPremonitions_10065909#0

[3] For insights I suggest to read “The Holographic Universe” by Michael Talbot (1991), ISBN: 978-0586091715; and to read “The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation” di Jude Currivan (2017), ISBN: 978-1620556603

[4] The term was in reality coined in 1895 by the already mentioned American psychologist William James “The Will to Believe”

[5] I remember that a similar philosophical theory was already introduced by Giordano Bruno

[6] https://www.newscientist.com/article/2101089-mystery-of-deja-vu-explained-its-how-we-check-our-memories/

5 – Dialogue on prescience

  • Wolf Socrates[1]Dear Echecrates of Phlius tell me now what do you think of this research coming from the XXIth century.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Oh Socrates, son of Sophroniscus, I must admit that I am rather confused.
  • Wolf Socrates: What does confuse you, Echecrates?
  • Wolf Echecrates: At first, the two completely different approaches and then the numerous resemblances between the theories in their inside.
  • Wolf Socrates: Explain yourself better.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Basically, look at the Psychological and the Metaphysical approach. The first has historiographic roots and experimental data that support it; to the second are dedicated just a few pages of the research with even scarce sources of reference.
  • Wolf Socrates: And to what conclusion do you come from this?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I don’t know, my dear friend. I believe that the author, even if he admitted his wish to remain impartial, has dedicated far too much space to the Psychological approach. Almost as if unconsciously he wanted to demonstrate the far greater scientificity of this approach.
  • Wolf Socrates: Then, do you believe that Wolf Stefano has unconsciously shown his preference to the approach you have mentioned?
  • Wolf Echecrates: Yes, I believe so.
  • Wolf Socrates: Well, you left out the researches from the Gallup agency.
  • Wolf Echecrates: What about it?
  • Wolf Socrates: You see, at the end of the paragraph on the introduction there are shown the tabs with the data from the Gallup on the beliefs of American people.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Now I remember.
  • Wolf Socrates: Right there it is underlined how, even if it is a fresh phenomenon, the beliefs comparable to the Psychological approach are catching on more and more.
  • Wolf Echecrates: You are right.
  • Wolf Socrates: I believe then it to be obvious that the sources of this approach are much fewer and that it has been dedicated far less space in the research.
  • Wolf Echecrates: You talk well, Socrates. But is it not preferable believe in an approach that has a solid historiography in its back?
  • Wolf Socrates: It is not always true what you claim. Some ancient populations believed in the utility of human sacrifices. There is a deep historiography in that. Does this mean then that it is preferable to believe in the benefits offered by this atrocious custom?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I guess not.
  • Wolf Socrates: You guess well, Echecrates. Don’t forget, moreover, that the metaphysical approach is far nearer to our ontological theories.
  • Wolf Echecrates: You say?
  • Wolf Socrates: I say so. Think about your mental doctrine, probably the metempsychosis carries around memories of past lives. Then think about my doctrine on ideas, it is possible that by getting closer to them our soul is able to perceive events out of the temporal linearity.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Now that you make me think about it, it seems that even the Metaphysical approach has deep historical roots.
  • Wolf Socrates: It would appear so. But explain it to me then what do you mean when you complain about the resemblance between the approaches.
  • Wolf Echecrates: I mean that it is really difficult to choose, for example, between a theory purely neurological and one mnemonic.
  • Wolf Socrates: I admit this difficulty.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Some theories, on the other hand, seem to be in some way compatible, actually it seems that they even reconnect each other.
  • Wolf Socrates: Give me an example.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Think about all neurological theories that base themselves on the TLE, in fact a temporary epilepsy of the temporal lobe could cause a perceptive occlusion; furthermore, if that epilepsy would involve the parahippocampal zone we would reunite in a single process three theories straight: the Spatt’s one, the Persinger’s one and the Brown’s one!
  • Wolf Socrates: Wonderful reflection. Indeed, the theories do not exclude one another. What about the Metaphysical approach?
  • Wolf Echecrates: Even here I feel like there is a phenomenon that unites the theories of this approach.
  • Wolf Socrates: What are you referring to, my friend?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I refer to the prescience phenomenon. It seems that it has at least to be mentioned in order to complete the overall picture.
  • Wolf Socrates: Do you want to speak about this phenomenon?
  • Wolf Echecrates: I think it is essential to do so.
  • Wolf Socrates: In effect, your suppositions are founded.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Tell me then about what you know about it.
  • Wolf Socrates: It comes to my mind a lesson on the free will that I made with a professor of theoretical philosophy [2] about the prescience topic.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Then share your memory with me too!
  • Wolf Socrates: For many centuries, prescience has been attributed to a certain divinity, since it is believed that a god, being it out of time, has the capacity to foresee what will happen.
  • Wolf Echecrates: I recall that some ancient philosophers affirmed that such an ability was given by the fact that a god, having created the reality all in once and being the temporality just something that belongs to our dimension, incorporates in itself already all the times, past, present and future Looking at our future for such a divinity would be like our remembering the past. Am I right?
  • Wolf Socrates: Yeah, you are. Do not forget the theories on the Leibnizian synchronicity! He affirms “Like my science doesn’t let past or present things exist, the same way, my prescience won’t make exist future things”[3].
  • Wolf Echecrates: He believed then that prescience would not determine the future events. . It is not because I foresee that in the exact moment “T” I sit down, that so will happen.
  • Wolf Socrates: But, if you foresee it, could you somehow avoid that the exact “T” that you sit down.
  • Wolf Echecrates: That sound impossible. I foresee that so will happen, I cannot modify what will happen.
  • Wolf Socrates: Be careful not to fall in fatalism! Are you perhaps affirming that everything is already written?[4]
  • Wolf Echecrates: If I affirmed so, I would deprive myself from any sort of freedom! On the contrary I believe that with a power of prescience I could simply give a look to that future built by all my free choices.
  • Wolf Socrates: Therefore, you do not believe that prescience could undermine free will?
  • Wolf Echecrates: A madman probably, foreseeing that at the exact moment “T” that he sits, he could try to not let that event happen, but I believe that that event somehow will happen necessarily and that it will take in consideration the free will of the madman.
  • Wolf Socrates: From what you affirm, we come to the conclusions that I remember we have treated in the lesson about theoretical philosophy: “The thesis of predictability implies that if a subject S has in his hands a prophecy sufficiently accurate whose content is that S will execute voluntary a certain action, very simple (A), even if S has the intention to falsify the prophecy, S will change idea before putting into action his purpose.” It appears then that an intention of this kind is an intention that a human being can’t have for a long time.[5].
  • Wolf Echecrates: The alternative is to refuse the thesis of predictiveness: it is not possible to foresee our own future behaviour[6].
  • Wolf Socrates: Maybe the human being, exactly because he is free, is unpredictable even by himself.[7] Just a divinity that can not interfere in our reality could logically have the power of prescience.
  • Wolf Echecrates: And what about the déjà-vu phenomenon then?
  • Wolf Socrates: If we want to suppose truths at least logically possible we must affirm or that it is not possible for us to foresee the future or that, if we foresee it, we cannot act so that it would different.
  • Wolf Echecrates: If we believe in the Metaphysical approach we must necessarily believe in the second possibility.
  • Wolf Socrates: Maybe, my dear Echecrates, the truth on purely metaphysical[8] déjà-vu and their short duration is another of the laws of nature.
  • Wolf Echecrates: What do you mean?
  • Wolf Socrates: I mean that probably, if they exist déjà-vu with causes that fall back on the Metaphysical approach, they are structured so that they cannot modify what it has been foreseen.
  • Wolf Echecrates: Will it be then that Mother Nature has generated this phenomenon in such a mysterious way? So that it cannot be fully understood with rationality, and so that it can avoid paradoxical cases like with the thesis of predictability?
  • Wolf Socrates: Who knows, my dear friend. Who knows.To the future generations the arduous sentence.

[1] The two characters of the fictional dialogue are taken from the Platonic Phaedo, since I needed someone to support the Metaphysical approach and that, at the same time, had a certain open-mindedness, my choice could not fell but on Echecrates that is defined by Aristoxenus as the “last of Pythagoreans”.

[2] Obviously here is the author who speaks. I am referring to https://sites.google.com/site/andreaguardo26/introduction-to-metaphysics

[3] Leibniz (1710), p. 514

[4] Theory that in philosophy takes the name of Nomic determinism

[5] See Leibniz (1710), § 408

[6] see, Scriven (1965), pp. 414-415 and Cuypers and Rummens (2010); whose evidence don’t seem conclusive though Similar theory supported by the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid.

[7] Similar theory supported by the Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid.

[8] Socrates here wants to affirm the possibility that not every case of déjà-vu is caused by the same phenomenon.

6 – A new theory?

I would like to make the reader focus on a theory that connects the Psychological approach and the Metaphysical one. If we give for granted the collective unconscious theory by Jung, this could come in help for the cases of déjà-vu. . According to my interpretation, the collective unconscious would be an ontological place in which, beyond a certain amount of information, there would be conserved the experiences lived by the mind in the form of undulating codification. The peculiarity of this place is double:

  • • On the one hand, having his data an undulating nature, it seems possible that they don’t follow the temporary linearity. This could allow to store events that, in our conscious mental reality, still haven’t happened.
  • • On the other hand, there is a close connection between the phenomenal level of our mind and this ontological locus. This means that we can access to this information “stored” with a certain “phenomenal will” that is not purely reducible to the neurological cerebral phenomena. It will exist a phenomenal mental level that draws on all this information and that sometimes will take them to a conscious level.

The déjà-vu would be explained with a temporary surfacing of this information of events, for us, “linearly future to a conscious level”.

The metaphysical aspect here is clear: It’s about the hypothesis of an ontological place that we cannot prove scientifically.

The psychological aspect resides in the possible correlation between the cerebral neurology and the “phenomenal mental level”. In particular, I do not exclude that a possible TLE could stimulate the phenomenal level and make far more information surface from the collective unconscious.

Mine does not want to by any means be a conclusive theory on the déjà-vu. I want, on the contrary, share a “bridge” position between the two approaches.

7 – Conclusions

I don’t know which conclusion can be drawn by an analysis of the different position on a certain phenomenon. Surely, I hope that the reader didn’t stay “super partes” and that, on the basis of his own personal experiences, he has reflected himself even more in a theory than with an another one. I will not express my own personal opinion to not influence the reader’s judgement. Every reader has to feel free to embrace a position. The initial aim to write down a complete research on the déjà-vu phenomenon has been reached, on my opinion. We passed from a short historiography of the phenomenon to the analysis of the two principal approaches; we then got to the fictional dialogue between two funny characters out of the historical context in order to analyse deeper the question on prescience and we asked ourselves, in the end, whether there could exist a certain position halfway between the two mentioned approaches. I have put much attention on the cure of the notes and the suggested readings, so that the investigation of the reader won’t stop to the simple reading of my research. I will be very pleased to answer to any question about something that you didn’t find clear enough (I admit that sometimes I used a scientific or philosophic language far from being easily understandable). Furthermore, obviously if you want, I would like to know your position on the phenomenon discussed. The comment section is all yours!

Then it only remains for me to wish you a good journey in continuing this path towards the “Truth”.

Stephen Wolf

Coming soon from Steven Wolf

On the monopoly of emotions and on the chains of will
Leaf through the footprints

The day in which the man contradicted himself

Our perception is based on duality: something is or isn’t. Aristotle named this logical principle “principle of non-contradiction” and we humans have put it as the foundation for our building of knowledge. We shiver, then, because the duality, as we logically conceive it, has come to its extinction. A short juvenile essay produced for a contest of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa that gives a glimpse of light on a scientific theory on the concept of “soul”.

L’errore della soggettività

Le cattive abitudini applicate alla Vita dell’inconscio.

Non ti aprirò

Un viaggio fatto di voci, ricordi, odori nei meandri più profondi di sè, fino a giungere dinnanzi ad una porta: una chiusura che lascia aperte mille riflessioni

Poesia senza titolo per un amore non corrisposto

L’amore a volte strappa il titolo perfino ad una poesia. Ed essa rimane lì, inerte, sperando di essere riportata in vita da un lettore ignoto. Scopri l’emozione e resuscita l’amore perduto.

Il Foglio Bianco

Abbiamo cambiato il foglio di carta con un foglio digitale. Pronto ad essere spento in un attimo e perduto per sempre.

On déjà-vu and the prescience phenomenon

Recent researches have brought to light that 60% of the world’s population has had a déjà-vu at least once in their lives. But what lies behind this strange phenomenon? For the first time in Italy, here it is a complete and exhaustive research about it. Will you be ready to face this path to the “Truth”?

Sull’identità personale

Chi sono realmente? Qual è l’essenza che mi caratterizza e mi distingue dagli altri? Dall’arcaico “Conosci te stesso” quest’ossessione per l’identità personale non è mai venuta meno. Oggi, con secolari studi alle nostre spalle, possiamo forse dare qualche risposta a riguardo; ciò non solo al caso dell’identità personale ma dell’essenza dell’essere umano in generale.

Jesus: the first modern coach in the history of mankind

The figure of the coach seems to have become a trend, but where does it arise from? What are the parallelisms with the Socratic method? And again: is there any connection between Socrates and Jesus? Did the last one really exist?

Jesus: the first modern coach in the history of mankind

The figure of the coach seems to have become a trend, but where does it arise from? What are the parallelisms with the Socratic method? And again: is there any connection between Socrates and Jesus? Did the last one really exist?

“Rivelazione” – Messaggio dalla coscienza

Un viaggio della coscienza che da Pascal arriva a Schopenhauer, Bruno, Jung e alla filosofia orientale. Tutto è iniziato con l’unificazione di alcune loro riflessioni. Tutto si è compiuto con la constatazione della natura umana.

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