For more than twenty five years I have been sifting through the evidence or wreckage of what I am now certain is a catastrophic structural and functional failure in the most recently acquired areas of our perceptual equipment. I have always felt that if such a problem really exists with our new brain, then an accurate diagnosis in comprehensible language was the initial priority. Without such a diagnosis, the condition may well go unnoticed due to the dementia like perceptual symptoms the condition exhibits. Also, any treatments based on a less than accurate diagnosis could cause more problems than they solve.
However, in the meantime, I would like to point to what a functional perceptual system was capable of, or at least a crude description afforded by our limited current language.
Our distant ancestors left us hints in their own much more contextual language that allude to a divine state of oneness and perpetual wonder. Clues are also emerging from our efforts to understand reality by building an abstract model that is starting to tell us something about the deeper nature of reality.
Before we get to that a brief summary of the current mechanism of adaptive selection that attempts to explain emergence of our highly anomalous new brain.
Conventional thinking goes along the lines of:
Our ancestral mammalian brain (above), a very effective and successful piece of survival equipment evolved in the tropical forest in a seed disseminating symbiotic relationship for tens of millions of years.
Environmental factors that could be advantageously mitigated by enhanced intelligence or generally increased neural function led to a selection pressure and the evolution of increased brain capacity.
Simplistically it is assumed that more neural tissue means greater intelligence and there is some correlation between size and intelligence.
By selective adaptation pressures and mechanisms currently unknown our mammalian brain expanded enormously relative to typical mammalian brains.
Then, sometime over the last couple of million years or so, we left the symbiotic relationship with the tropical forest.
Symbiotic relationships in the tropical forest are the one place where the emergence of large brains are very common relative to any other ecosystem and any other evolutionary epoch.
Once we left the tropical forest, and by selective adaptation pressures or mechanisms currently unknown, our already unusually large brain tripled in size.
The acquisition of such a huge additional lump of neural tissue is, we are told, why we are so 'intelligent' today.
Unfortunately, there are some serious problems with this story.
There are a number of candidates to explain the adaptive pressure but no solid theory has emerged that can begin to explain such a rapid and accelerating expansion, see links below.
In fact there is little more that tenuous correlation between proposed cause and effect at best, and with no coherent explanatory mechanisms at all.
And of course it is very difficult to explain the end product of millions of years of adaptive selection, a neural system that begins to developmentally fail in the uterus and ends up withering away.
Perhaps there may be a connection between the lack of a sensible explanation for the emergence of our neural system and the atrophied end product?
We have been seduced by the idea that we are a highly intelligent species with increasingly advanced technology.
Well I am afraid not even close, at least not anymore...
Our ancestral neural technology was orders of magnitude greater than pretty much anything we can imagine today. The perceptual equipment our ancestral sense of self was facilitated by was the culmination of incredibly rare circumstances. Our new brain was created in a symbiotic hybrid reproductive system, and grown slowly, layer by layer, in a state of perpetual gestation.
Its emergence had more in common with growing a flawless pearl or crystal than classic adaptive selection.
The end result was a huge mass of undifferentiated neural cells that had the capacity to behave in a very different way to our early neural system and induce a perceptual state that is impossible to even begin to comprehend unless you have experienced what today we call a perceptually altered state.
Basically all the expansion happened in the forest. Evidence for our non forest dwelling ancestors are simply examples of post symbiotic refugees that attempted to survive and eventually speciate with the intelligence the symbiotic gestation in the forest womb provided, all the while their new neural tissue was slowly maturing and atrophying.
The crucial difference is that our massive new brain was not more of the same. Quite clearly, size alone is hardly a measure of intelligence, or individually we would be one of 7 billion geniuses.
The trait that set these kind of symbiotic perceptual systems apart was the uniform structure of the neural tissue. Our new brain had more in common with fetal brain tissue, and it is related to our giant fetal like traits that persist to some extent today. So think of our new brain as more of a jellyfish like proliferation of embryonic neural tissue without specific survival functions as they were already well catered for by our early mammalian brain.
So what could it do?
Well scientific data is pointing to quantum resonance (a term for something we don't really understand but we are beginning to observe the properties of) as the underlying ground state of biology. Specific sub-cellular structures and the substrate they provide for ordered or more crystalline forms of water appear to be part of the interface between reality as we think we know it and the infinite and mysterious reality that underlies it. Whatever the phenomena turns out to be it has been proposed as the spark of consciousness that seems to exist in even the most simple unicellular forms of life. It appears to be based on what are called coherent states, a kind of vibrating field that has properties more in common with the mysterious reality of quantum physics but that manifests or intrudes into the atomic or molecular world we recognise usually at the micro level.
A lot of related links on quantum coherence in biological systems at this page.
OK, the mechanisms are less important than why a huge mass of uniform or undifferentiated neural cells would make any difference. Expanding the weak sub cellular micro fields into a much more coherent and powerful macro field is limited by the variation in cellular and sub-cellular structure. A bit like having an orchestra made up of completely different instruments and being played by people reading from sheet music with scores from every imaginable genre. Each instrument creates a sound, but there is no harmony. A uniform mass of undifferentiated neural tissue is like having a huge orchestra in which everyone plays the same instrument and reads the same music. The instruments play the same note and create a powerful unified or coherent sound. It is the capacity to facilitate this powerful unified sound or macro quantum field that is the magic. Rather than disconnected or isolated sub-cellular fields, a singular field emerges that can be considered a portal between the world we think we know and the world we used to know.
A neurological resonance chamber
The individual cells form a connected array behaving more like a single cell with a very powerful coherent field, and if that weren't weird enough the powerful fields these uniform neural systems facilitate could also act like a non-local array, as distance is not relevant when these kinds of fields resonate at the same frequency. So in simple money, the uniform embryonic structure could facilitate a state of connection with everything else, and most easily of all, with structures that resonated the same way. So we became more of a singular interconnected entity with the capacity to experience and know the nature of deeper reality rather than trying to conceptualise it as we do now.
This can be seen more accurately as the cosmos extruding itself into an incredibly complex configuration to create self perception equipment or a lens of such high resolution it can begin to recognise itself.
Sensitivity, rocket fuel and flogging a dead horse.
Before finally getting to the visual analogies, a few words on how our ancestral inter-dimensional lens was powered up.
First thing to say is that a mass of very juvenile neural tissue was very likely to be vastly more sensitive than our neo-cortex is today.
Our current use of psychedelic compounds to access what we call altered states may be more like using electro-convulsive therapy or a powerful defibrillator on the near corpse like remains of our dying neo-cortex. These compounds can, and do, illicit a response that can hint at our ancestral state, and are considered by some to be the catalyst that advanced our evolution. However, if you look at the developmental problems our new brain suffers and the serious atrophication that is now considered normal, it simply does not add up. Our ancestral traditions suggest this approach was one of many integrated treatments for what was, even then, a very serious perceptual condition. The progressive nature of the structural degeneration suggests we are deploying fragments of these treatments at a much later stage of atrophication. We then mistake the relatively large changes in perception as access to a profound and functional experience when they may be little more than vestigial and distorted glimpses.
This recent study shows how LSD overrides the structural limits of our current neural configuration by inducing what are now distinct areas of our brain to work in unison.
In doing so the study inadvertently highlights the underlying post symbiotic condition. What is considered normal maturation, differentiation and structural specialisation leading to functionally distinct areas of neural anatomy would have not occurred during the latter stages of our highly juvenilising symbiotic relationship with our host, the reproductive system of the angiosperms.
LSD Lets The Brain 'Free Itself' From Divisions Dictated by Anatomy, Scientists Find.
LSD alters dynamic integration and segregation in the human brain
The molecular ecology that was an integral part of the evolution and operation of our new brain during the accepted 50 million year symbiotic phase of our past was perhaps the richest biochemical cocktail ever brought together in one place. The flowering plants are regarded as some of the most complex chemical factories on earth. As autotrophs they have evolved extremely complex chemical production machinery and in conjunction with a raft of symbiotic relationships an individual species of tree can produce tens of thousands of chemical compounds. Based on field observations, primate symbiotic relationships can involve the ingestion of many tens of species of plants, and the unimaginable chemical complexity was delivered in the form of a reproductive organ rich in hormonally active reproductive compounds to boot. Mammals being heterotrophs, and essentially parasites, produce a fraction of the chemistry of plants. While our mammalian chemicals continued to play an integral role, their actions were augmented, modified, or inhibited by a permanent and overwhelming flood of plant biochemistry. In co-evolving symbiotic relationships these distinct chemical contributions can be regarded as an integral part of the symbiotic hybrid. This is particularly true for any structure that emerges during the hybrid phase. This incredibly rich molecular ecology was the default developmental and operating environment the emerging new brain required for normal function and to retain its structural integrity.
Looking at the developing pharmacological data on plant metabolites over the last 25 years, our sensitive new brain was immersed in a chemical bath that was very rich in hormonally active reproductive compounds, neuro-active compounds, neuro-protective compounds and slow release simple sugars. In other words it was permanently fuelled with high octane rocket fuel in a highly protected environment that also kept it in a highly responsive embryonic state.
Whenever these kind of symbiotic hybrid relationships fail there is complete loss of the vastly richer contribution from the plant hosts, resulting in immediate and chronic neuro-chemical deficiency, neuro-protective deficiency and the simple sugar molecules to fuel such a huge neural system. The loss of hormonally active compounds exposes the delicate and sensitive embryonic neural tissue to uninhibited mammalian sex hormones that begin to initiate a slow process of maturation and differentiation. As the structure of the embryonic neural cells matures and differentiates, the unique capacity for powerful coherence is reduced and eventually lost. One hemisphere matures more quickly than the other losing its capacity to facilitate coherence more quickly.
The proliferation of a uniform embryonic like new layer of neural tissue was
the result of developing in a increasingly juvenile hybrid reproductive system.
As the cells begin to light up they start to create a unified field.
The more they light up, the more coherent the field becomes.
The cellular structure is part of the world we know, the field opens a connection
to the underlying reality we don't and cannot understand, but the resolution of
the new perceptual equipment was sufficient that we or it could 'know itself'.
As its intensity and coherence increases, its capacity to connect non-locally also increases.
If the field is coherent and powerful enough, it is connected to everything else at a fundamental level.
(Non-local resonance tomography)
Sounds far fetched?
Recent studies support the idea our perceptual system is capable of a quite different kind of function than has been previously assumed if sufficiently stimulated.
LSD Study Reveals Unprecedented "Harmonic" Reorganization of Brain (Article with link to paper)
Also a few introductory links to neural and quantum coherence.
Quantum coherence in microtubules: A neural basis for emergent consciousness?
Discovery of Quantum Vibrations in “Microtubules” Inside Brain Neurons Corroborates Controversial 20-Year-Old Theory of Consciousness
The Hippies Were Right: It's All about Vibrations, Man!
Quantum Consciousness _ And its Nature In Microtubules. Dr. Stuart Hameroff .
Neuroscientists Say They've Found an Entirely New Form of Neural Communication
Human high intelligence is involved in spectral redshift of biophotonic activities in the brain.
Live visualizations of single isolated tubulin protein self-assembly via tunneling current: effect of electromagnetic pumping during spontaneous growth of microtubule
Sir Roger Penrose & Dr. Stuart Hameroff: Consciousness and the Physics of the Brain.
Recent research includes a graphic representation that is intriguing to say the least.
Atomic water channel controlling remarkable properties of a single brain microtubule: Correlating single protein to its supramolecular assembly
Link to pdf download.
NB. Since meeting Dr Stuart Hameroff at a consciousness conference in 1995 we have had occasional email correspondence, Stuart is one of the leading pioneers in neural quantum resonance.
I recently asked him:
'Would a more structurally uniform neural system lets say a juvenile and relatively undifferentiated neo-cortex be more likely to be able to facilitate more coherent brain wide states?'
'Yes. For example babies have more gap junctions, and thus more coherence, than adults.'
Featured Image ‘Aperture’ by Alex Grey. Image linked to www.alexgrey.com
The idea is far more elegantly explained by the genius of Alex Grey, perhaps the most
accurate account of our ancestral state in a format our ancestors would easily recognise.
Our perceptual lens was an eye into the underlying and interconnected nature of reality.
The cosmos could know itself, and that capacity is hinted at in our ancestral traditions.
While it makes for a grim conclusion, the symbiotic mechanisms of our neural system's emergence do predict its atrophication and eventual erosion whenever the symbiotic relationship fails. That is what can and does happen with emergent structures in post symbiotic hybrids. While we are at the wrong end of the process, there is still time to turn this around if we act with the urgency the situation requires. There is just enough structural integrity and perceptual function in our less atrophied right hemisphere to provide us with a relatively sane and more cognitively advanced sanctuary. It can provide immediate relief from our demented self-harming behaviour (it also feels phenomenally good to access) while we figure out how to repair and reverse the damage. We already know how to achieve partial and temporary access with existing fragmentary treatments.
Despite being shrouded in mystery for long periods, these approaches are more or less formulaic. Restore some of the complex symbiotic operating neuro-chemistry, inhibit the most dysfunctional left hemisphere and stimulate the least dysfunctional right hemisphere. When combined treatments are applied the results can be significantly improved, and the experiences are sufficient to force a radical and less deluded change in our perception while simultaneously reprogramming our defunct and primitive left hemisphere with new beliefs more in line with reality and a degree of sanity.
Alternatively we can continue to allow our extremely dysfunctional and paranoid left hemisphere to dictate and pull us past the point of no return and into unrecoverable delusion, or more likely achieve its apparent current objective of self-destruction.
It is a simple choice that can be made with immediate effect, and it is up to us all to begin making that choice or accept the fate of our current trajectory.
As with everything I have said over the last few years, don't take my word for anything. Check the objective data, though I would be very suspicious of existing interpretations.
I would suggest two related areas to explore initially.
1 Is it possible our neural system was the product of symbiosis rather than classic adaptive selection?
2 Is it possible we are suffering a catastrophic developmental failure in our neural system that results in a serious perceptual dementia-like symptoms?
There would have to be a mountain of evidence to support such claims. You really don't need to dig very far at all, and the pieces fall into place with relative ease.
Here are a couple of pieces of data that fit very well.
I would suggest the first one can be interpreted as:
Several decades of research trying to explain the emergence of our neural system with adaptive selection have yet to result in a coherent theory.
Why are there so many explanations for primate brain evolution?
The second one is an analysis of current adaptive selection theories. It does point to swollen ovaries (fruit) as the significant factor in neural expansion, though the authors still speculate about the relevance of their findings under the umbrella of adaptive selection.
Is fruit eating responsible for big brains?
It does seem beyond strange that there is widespread acceptance that for the vast majority of our evolutionary past we were engaged in a symbiotic relationship ingesting swollen ovaries.
Based on very well understood biological mechanisms it is certain that ingesting swollen ovaries that are rich in hormonally active endocrine disrupting compounds for tens of millions of years would have a massive effect on the mammalian transcription environment and every aspect of our development including and especially our hormonally sensitive brain.
It is equally certain that the sudden breakdown of such a symbiotic relationship and the loss of those hormonally active compounds would have an equally massive impact on our hormonally sensitive brain.
As of yet, nobody seems to be looking at the direct bio-chemical and developmental impact of such a relationship on mammalian physiology and the well evidenced correlation with neural expansion.
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