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Home Workshop I've Changed My Mind ICMM 9 Disc Cleanup (wiping sentiment)
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Workshop - I've Changed My Mind
Escrito por Alex   
Miércoles 26 de Agosto de 2009 00:35
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9. Disc Cleanup (Wiping sentiment)

If you've come to the decision that sentiment must go, here's how to start.

Preparation: (LO-RES SCAN) –Setting up points of similarity between the known and the unknown.

The basics here are about observation, both of self and of the effect of inputs. The psychological game is to catch sentiment in the act, right when it's happening and at first monitor it, observe it, to find out exactly what it's doing to your brain. You need all the information about yourself, and about sentiment, that you can collect, for example: (physical preparation):

a. Analysis of neurochemistry, biochemistry and brain scans of persons under the influence of sentiment (for comparison, so that we know what we're looking for.) Failing this, you can work with behavioral examples, but you really have to know your emotion from your sentiment to do this successfully, except on the broadest level. It is still a start, however, because usually your awareness of the difference comes up quite fast with experience. Because most of us don't have access to brain scanners, the middle part of this chapter is designed to help you spot sentiment for what it is by watching psychology and behavioral clues.

b. Measurements of vital signs of yourself (and it's important to record these for a while regularly to know what's 'normal' for you). The following gives an all-round basic knowledge of where your physiology is at: EEG (headband array of SE+2xSPE), EMG (3xSE), GSR (2xPE), ECG (4xSE), BP and pulse monitor. You don't have to have all, or any, of this tech, although some components are very affordable and help a lot.

c. Blood and urine analysis, food and drink intake monitoring from 1 week prior to event. Weight record.

d. Current amount of sleep required and in what pattern.

e. Fill in the hack plan from the previous chapter by looking at points in the list above. We'll go through it as an example in a moment, so get your hack preview sheet up onscreen now, okay?

If you are your own volunteer (which is usually the case at first), draw conclusions about your current state, physical and mental. Be realistic and you'll do yourself the best favor. (Taking supplements/drugs to balance your state of mind out is only treating the symptoms. The cause of imbalance is usually anxiety, and that is what we must remove. All erroneous programming causes anxiety. Nine tenths of the western world has cortisol poisoning.) List what you use and why you think you do, for example: "Cigarettes -I smoke them to stay alert and less nervous. Alcohol -I behave much more sociably on alcohol, and I'm much less shy...Coffee -I find it really hard to wake up without my coffee in the mornings"...and so on. Even 'because it makes me feel better' will do as a reason, if it's as close as you can get at the moment. We are looking for the truth, and nobody needs to see this but you, so do yourself the favor of honesty.

(Psychological preparation):

Whilst you're gathering all these bits of information about yourself (it can take days or weeks), you can wander through the rest of this chapter and start investigating sentiment 'triggers', and then start learning how to block the effect. How do you do this? You trigger sentiment yourself on purpose in a controlled situation and you start practicing control of it.

Sentiment can be induced on purpose reasonably easily by various means, either internally with the relevant memories and/or imagery if you're good, externally with movies etc. that make you cry, or soppy music, memories of things that make you weepy, sentimental, or whatever you can find that brings on a 'rush of feeling'. (If nothing does this to you, you're probably not stuck in a matrix and don't need to do this, so skip the rest of this section unless you want to help someone else do it or are really that nosy).

Sentiment can also be induced or enhanced by chemical means, and one of the finest drugs for this is alcohol. It not only reduces the ability of the frontal cortex, giving the midbrain a bit more of an opportunity to play with itself; it also reduces your inhibitions and embarrassment.

Sentiment is a habit; a habitual use of particular neural pathways which were constructed in error. We want to get rid of these familiar but erroneous pathways and replace them with pathways that should be there, pathways beneficial to intelligence.

Some stuff for your sheet now: this is a multiple entry point hack. The neurological response to all forms of sentiment is similar enough in neuroendocrinal terms for it not to matter which 'feeling' you target first. So it's best to choose either the one that hassles you most frequently or the one you find it easiest to block. Most people find the weepy-movie response easy to block; we're used to blocking it in the middle of films when our friend knocks on the door after the Starship Enterprise has just exploded, or something. We can turn the response off so easily because it isn't real. What we'll discover as we're going along is that a great deal of sentiment isn't real. You can't play with real emotion in this way at this stage because it's too powerful. If a spaceship really did just explode, on the news, with your friends in it, you wouldn't be able to shut off your feelings at a ring of the doorbell (although you might pretend to). So this is one good way to tell sentiment from emotion...you can turn the former off.

This is also a feedforward entry point hack, because at every stage you are setting up the success of the next one. Once you have attacked and controlled one, other feelings will become easier to hack as common pathways are used less frequently. A lot of small, petty stuff may almost seem to disappear overnight.

As a side effect at first, you may get snapback (suddenly reverting to a previous state of mind for a short time after changing it) but it does not last long and should be endured. Don't let it con you into thinking nothing's changed. You wouldn't be getting snapback if nothing's changed.

To get rid of unwanted pathways we must prevent them from being used. This can be done in various ways, but it's kindest to do a multiple entry point with a soft take off and slow attack, long, long sustain, fast decay and fast release pattern (it's quite a nice pattern for having sex in, as well, but then of course, sex is a multiple entry point hack too so no change there then). To work with that pattern means we go in gently and we get gradually more assertive until we see results, we then hold to that method for a sustained period of time and we then move rapidly into:

COPY HERE...We can block that response...We've found a level of intensity of control that works and we're sticking with it. We can turn off the tears in the weepy movie, or whatever...we've learned to do that. Now, we need details.

If you're wondering why I opted for the kindest, most gradual experience rather than the most exciting one, I ought to explain that I never approach neurohacking (despite appearances) with that desperado, Goth-with-a-deathwish attitude that typifies many people who experiment with drugs. If you can achieve the desired result by gentle means then so much the better. There is no need to run rampage through the citadel of mind stark naked with a laser cutter. It's best to push your limits, not attempt to break them violently and immediately with a biochemical arsenal and dozens of DP electrodes. Sometimes, the only way in may necessitate pain or shock, that's also the case with some surgery or therapies on the body, but these are either methods chosen by default due to having no other option, or emergency measures. Don't get me wrong; nobody enjoys a good thrill more than I do (except perhaps my wife and a few of her friends), but I don't go looking for them when I'm supposed to be doing something else.

HI-RES SCAN: Filling in the details: Here are some practical methods you have to choose from in the inducing-blocking scenario; you can choose your own and put them on your hack preview:

a. Physical/physiological. Sentiment can be blocked by physical manipulation of the bodily response, by for example relaxing and breathing deeply and slowly, particularly relaxing the stomach muscles. Unexpected sensory motor input, e.g. physical exercise, sexual stimulation, and pain can interrupt it.

b. Chemical. Alcohol can be used to induce sentiment. So can sugar, in fact a combination of the two is really quite powerful. Give yourself a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine, and no sexual stimulation allowed, and see what happens when you try to invoke sentiment.

For blocking, DHEAs and Dopamine can both reduce your brain's ability to indulge in sentiment. Tolerance can become a problem though so this is for short-term use only, perhaps at the beginning. Also, be aware that anything learned under the influence of any drug will be more easily recalled under the influence of the same drug, and harder to recall without it. That's another reason why it's important to keep a strict record of what you are taking and when.

Serotonin or SSRIs may or may not help depending on the chemistry you start off with and what else you are taking. If you start off depressed, they may help for a short while. I preferred to stick with selegiline, dopamine and large amounts of choline, omega3 and B vitamins. Obviously stay away from alcohol during this time once you are able to invoke sentiment without chemical assistance.

c. Psychological. Mnemonics and association training are useful for some people. Saying 'no', aloud and imagining myself taking control; a scene I later pinched the inner visuals for from The Matrix movie, was my own psychological reminder whenever I found myself being pulled towards sentiment or pushed around by it. That word and image was like the password for a firewall that changed the vulnerability. It invoked an attitude ... 'No, I'm not accepting this, I won't be controlled'.

d. Biofeedback. You can pull your brainwave patterns and vital signs away from a 'sentiment' default by feeding yourself pre-recorded signals of yourself free from that space. I record all my major moods and states of consciousness and keep a library, so that in idle moments I can think, 'hmmm, how would I like to feel this evening?'...and play it back to myself. You can also learn to control your vital signs etc. by direct real time biofeedback. A big plus with this is you get to see your progress as you go along, which is positive, optimistic feedback.

e. Surgical. Neural pathways can be destroyed currently only on a relatively large scale with microlaser or electrodes. Nanotechnology is really needed before I would lose my reluctance to use this as a very fast method. With nanotech however you could be looking at superfast techniques with ultimate surgical precision, so watch that space.

The time from entry point to completion and the depth of the work itself depends entirely on how often, how long and how intensely the undesired feeling has been experienced, i.e., it exactly correlates with how much dodgy input you've assimilated. This also determines how far we need to go into memory.

All neurohacking involves memory. Thought is constantly directed by memory, in a literal physical manner, networks are used because they have been used before; they are remembered as the way to go. We have to remember to do things differently until it becomes automatic.

P+V (practice and variation)

Searching memory for all past incidences of sentiment is obviously impractical with our current biological lifespan, so the trick is to go for the ones you remember most vividly. Learn to recognize sentiment by recalling all the times that you ever made an idiot of yourself, because more than likely it was the cause of them. The game later moves into trying to catch any sentiment spam before it can distract you at all. Ride round and cut it off at the password, so to speak. This has to be made a habit, but if you are observant and play the game well your brain will do all that for you.

Although you are beginning this process by blocking the feelings of sentiment, this technique will not work on its own. Blocking emotions or feelings is not the way to get rid of them permanently. The actual response itself needs to be wiped, and the memory of it needs to be wiped. Think of it as though someone has just given you a copy of the world's best shit-hot operating system. It's stunning. You can put it on your PC, but first you have to get rid of Windows, or it won't fit. You have to wipe the old programs, so you have to stop using them, first of all. However, throughout this time, for whatever reason, input to your machine won't stop coming in, and it has to go somewhere to get translated into anything coherent. So we install the new system in sections as we go along, (because it's designed to work that way) by finding examples of healthy input to copy and behaving like that, whilst using chemicals and technology to speed the new network-construction. The brain will do the actual work; it will build that which we wish to employ, using resources taken from unused networks. All we have to do is play, and COMP will both install and run itself. We can then concentrate on wiping the windows.

So to achieve this, what you have to do is look for examples of genuine emotion, identify them correctly, and copy them. These examples can come from books, music, TV, movies, real life persons or your own imagination (although the latter should probably be left until a later stage). They are not easy to find unless you know what you're looking for, so we'll go through some differentiation between emotion and sentiment, and by the time you've finished watching other people's behavior and playing 'sentiment-spotting', you'll be an expert.

The one question I am asked more than any other about neurohacking is; "how can I be sure I know the difference" (between sentiment and emotion? Between attachment and bonding? Drives and instincts?) I have tried to answer this in many ways to many different people and I have found a few universal rules that anyone can apply...


Drives are deep biological motivations. The most frequent drive we hear about is the libido, the 'sex drive'. Biological drives are all firmly rooted in physical biology. Our drives are ancient, and inherent in the oldest parts of our brains, impelling and forceful. They can take over our behavior without our conscious knowledge, or we can use our conscious knowledge to employ them.

They exist for our biological survival and reproduction, and are too strong to be overcome by anything but intense fear or intelligence.

When we're changing over operating systems, deleting sentiment and taking on board emotion, the most difficult things to judge and to control are the thoughts, emotions and behaviors associated with biology's priorities; sex, food, and danger. The most difficult one of all to control is sex.

Drives don't cause sentiment. Thwarting drives can cause sentiment if you're wired badly. We can explore this with a psychological technique. Here's a fun experiment with drives for you: get somewhere warm and comfortable and relax. Start thinking about things that make you feel sexy. Continue until you get a physical response, then think about something decidedly un-sexy until you no longer feel like that. You're not trying to get an on/off change; you're looking for an ability to increase/decrease. When you can do that, without feeling nasty, you've controlled sentiment in real time. That's what I mean by 'control'.

Next, you push it. See how sexy you can feel and still manage to turn it down. Is it easier or more difficult when you're hungry? Tired? Drunk? Find your limitations and practice pushing them.

Next, try the same technique with anger. See whether you can evoke it with imagination, thinking of things that angered you in the past. If it was not real anger, you may find your attitude to those events has changed; you may find the memories embarrassing or even amusing. If it was genuine, you may feel justified and relieved to have confirmed your suspicions, or you may feel saddened because of your greater understanding. Look carefully at and learn the difference between sentimental anger and the real thing (anger based on sentiment is out of control and feels unpleasant; genuine anger involves rectitude). It isn't easy, and it will take a lot of practice. One of the first things you will notice is that you can increase the intensity of pleasurable feelings by relaxing into them, whereas tensing up in response to it automatically increases a painful feeling. This should give you a clue as to how to reduce them.

Why are drives so difficult to control?

Control of the sex drive is notoriously difficult to master. I usually upset people whenever I talk about sex, because I suppose my views are fairly radical. Firstly I believe that lifelong monogamy is not the optimal state for intelligence. By monogamy I do not mean marriage, I mean restriction of sexual activity to one partner for life. This is not a sensible idea from biology's point of view, which is why so many people find it so difficult to get the hang of and tend to want to experiment a bit, especially with potential mates, despite society's disapproval. To find oneself restricted for life to sexual activity with a sterile partner would be disastrous for biology, so it also encourages us to fool around a bit before commitment. From intelligence's point of view, experience matters. So does safety, of course, so we are not talking an all-out desire for orgiastic hedonism here, but interaction. If interaction with a partner is good, sex is usually good too so here again biology and intelligence can work together (if allowed to) in perfect harmony, which is what good, fun, no-strings-attached, explorative sex with contraception is all about.

Survival via sexuality is the most powerful drive biology knows. Sexuality is irrevocably caught up in biology's concepts of survival and will remain that way for not only as long as it takes us to realize that it is no longer necessarily technically true, but as long as it takes us to convince biology that this is the case (maybe for as long as we're in biological bodies, I suspect). As important as sexuality is, other drives are sometimes equally powerful. Fear and anger are also emotionally very intense and very difficult to control. It is certainly not impossible, but it does take a lot of work.

Sex affects various parts of the brain, including the amygdalae, the nucleus accumbens, the septal region and the hypothalamus. The sex hormones in both men and women are important for the normal functioning of the 'bonding hormones' oxytocin and vasopressin. There are a lot of neuroactive chemicals in sperm. (So if you don't want to hack someone by accident, wear a condom.) Sexual desire can monopolize brain activity and is probably the most intense biological high most people experience apart from orgasm itself, (which it knows unconsciously desire leads to.) Sex can shut down other emotion networks. It has a veritable arsenal of tactics to lead you astray, which can con you badly if you are operating out of sentiment. Attachment is one such tactic.

What has any of this got to do with love? Some may ask. Absolutely nothing. Both sex and attachment can occur without love (although love cannot occur without bonding.) The difference between attachment and bonding is as vast as that between sentiment and emotion.


Instincts are unconscious motivations, our ability to 'know what to do', to explicate our drives. The dictionary defines instinct as 'an innate propensity to certain seemingly rational acts performed without conscious intention'. The word comes from the Latin 'incite', which is exactly what instincts do; they incite certain behaviors. The first time you have sex, your drive tells you to do it, but your instinct tells you how.

Pitted against intelligence, an instinct compared to a drive is like a seduction versus a rape. With drives, unless you are very strong, you will not prevent them controlling your emotions and your actions. Drives can be blocked, and very little else, safely. But instincts can be unlearned, wiped, manipulated. Social indoctrination and brain damage can both affect their nature, (but rarely can even brain damage remove the drives, unless severe).

Being aware of your instincts is the first step in deciding whether or not to override them. A good one to practice overriding is the 'jump' when something startles you. You can learn to freeze without the jump, which is far cooler and stops you spilling things.

Instincts can be totally overridden. If instincts could not be removed, no parent or indeed human could sit and ignore a screaming baby, without feeling concern or a desire to help. Nature has programmed us to be strongly affected by a baby's cry so that we will make all efforts to stop it (nature didn't foresee medications and abuse as methods to stop it, but they are used.) People with wiped instincts can be incredibly blind to another human's pain, and those stuck in a matrix can be incredibly careless of it.


Attachment is what people do who cannot bond. If you are attached to something, you may feel that you couldn't live without it. You may view it as your property, whether it is a place, an object, or a person. You will be afraid of losing it, feel bad if anyone criticizes it, and rush to its defense. It may feel like 'a part of you'.

Attachment to place causes the sentiments of homesickness ('I want more') and patriotism ('I will defend it').

Attachment to person causes the sentiments of possessiveness ('I want more'), and jealousy ('I will defend it').

Attachment to material objects causes the sentiments of covetousness ('I want more') and miserliness ('I will defend it').

...What do you suppose are the sentiments associated with attachment to food?

... And what is the sentiment of guilt indicative of attachment to?

When you can answer these questions, you've understood sentiment.

When we become attached to something, we attempt to make it our matrix.

This is a vital point to understand. We literally try to turn it into our source of power, our platform, and our source of input. It seems like the only safe space we can find. Our parents and peers teach us reliance on 'professionals' instead of independence and competence at whatever we need to achieve. In emergencies, adults give children a model of what to do, which, more often than not, is, panic. Run for the doctor/police/fire brigade/teacher/counselor...children learn that adults have no personal power in the world without these professionals, that they have no power to protect their children without these same professionals, that the 'society' matrix is not really a safe space, and this must be provided by the professionals. Society is presented to us like this, as a surrogate matrix. So are sentimental relationships, as is reflected in their pop songs...'You are my everything'...'I cant live if living is without you'. All of this programming instills in people a disinclination to act, to learn, to become competent.

One of the things most people lose, through 'ordinary' brain damage, is their creative ability. The ability to write stories, paint pictures, compose music. I'm not suggesting we should all be Mozarts, but we should all have a basic skill at these things just as we can manage basic dancing or driving skills yet few of us are great choreographers or racing drivers. Creativity is an intended gift for everyone, because it is important to be able to entertain ourselves when we are alone. It keeps bits of our brains busy and prevents them atrophying, just as introspection or learning keeps other bits busy for the same reason. Creativity is there for the ongoing health of our minds. We need never be bored, because we can always think of something to do.

Without it, we are forced to get it somehow. It is one of the most vital things for a human being to have creative input. Something is definitely missing, without it, and we know that. So how do we get it if we can't produce it ourselves?

We buy it. And here is a big clue as to what people really get attached to...How much do we pay those who entertain us? Compared to those who save our lives? Compared to those who do crucial jobs running our power and transport and providing vital resources? We pay billions and billions; to movie stars, to pop stars (wow, we even call them stars, so magical is their ability it dazzles us), and we spend more billions on books, pictures, CDs, DVDs and things that make us laugh, cry and have a wonderful time, because we cannot do it without them. This is what we value, and what we spend our money on...That which should have been given, (our own creative ability) has been taken away (by damage), and is now sold back to us at a vast profit (by society, which largely caused the damage in the first place).

This has led some to believe that there is a conspiracy, much like in 'The Matrix' movie. I don't believe that's true, for the simple reason that, if anyone was doing this on purpose, i.e., damaging people so that they would be ardent consumers, whoever was doing it would not subject their own family to the damaging factors.

And if they didn't, their family would grow up pretty intelligent and have them put away. A person like that would appear totally insane to an intelligence.

Accidental though it might be, by not running COMP we are failing to turn on gene transcription factors that affect many things that go on in our brains, including their patterns of growth. The loss of our creative ability is just one of a number of losses, but surely one of the saddest, because it is one of the abilities which brings humans the greatest pleasure. People become attached to their favorite bands or movie stars because they are perceived as a matrix; a source of ideas, power, a safe space, the known.

Being abandoned by a matrix when there is none other to move into is the most terrible psychological experience a human can face, genetically laden with implicit death, and biology knows it. Once attached, people find it very hard to let go, because the loss of an attachment is perceived, by the unbonded brain, as abandonment. That was, after all, probably their very first learning in life. Abandonment really sucks.R5

The revolutionaries who change society are usually the victims of the greatest disillusion.


Bonding is a part of the function of COMP. It is the building of a bridge between the known and the unknown. It detects common factors between things known and unknown and uses these as a foundation to compare the new bits to. We literally 'bond' to each new skill or ability, as well as each other, places, people, and things. There are several different kinds of bonding, from physical biological to synergetic. In bonding, things become a part of us without diminishing themselves. (In attachment, something is always diminished; usually independence or freedom.)

In a very real sense, bonding is the essence of COMP. When we learn a thing we form bonds, in between parts of our brain, new physical synapses, new receptors, new bits of mind.

Physical bonding is essential for the survival of biology. It is a physical attunement to and awareness of the state of another person's physiology; their needs and moods, their sensory-motor state.R10 Physically bonded people find their body rhythms synchronize, including hormone cycles. Pheromones are partly responsible for this, but the existence of a sufficient number of receptors to detect them is just as vital.

Physical bonding can happen both without conscious awareness and even (and this may astonish you) without conscious feelings. All that is needed is close physical proximity for a long enough time, preferably with pleasant physical interaction and good mental interaction. Physical bonding, even between parent and baby, is not love. Lots of creatures can physically bond. (Perhaps you believe that all creatures can love, too, but regardless of that, the two are not the same thing.) Physical bonding does not even respect species' boundaries.

The process of bonding is exactly the same between two adults as it is between an adult and a child. Sexual attraction need not be present at all for bonding to take place, and sex certainly need not be a part of love, although love will enhance sexual attraction if it is present.

A bonding of intelligence in a relationship or interaction is synergy. Synergy is not possible without interaction. It is a mental state that uses a precise set of hormones and networks to achieve its goal. Synergy is, at some stage, an important drive for intelligence, as important as sexuality is for biology's sake.

There are different kinds of bonding, as I've said. One of the most important is physical bonding, unfortunately it is also now one of the most rare. The degree to which this has damaged intelligence is incalculable. In our entire genetic past (i.e. before medical intervention) babies who were not in contact and bonded with another human being almost all of the time, were not likely to survive. Currently babies are isolated from physical contact almost entirely, in playpens and prams and high chairs and cribs, with blankets and toys and pacifiers and bottles instead of real live humans, which is what they really need to stop feeling anxious.

Instead of bonding, these children form attachments, to the things they spend most of their time with. So we get the children who scream blue murder if teddy gets lost, or cannot sleep without a particular blanket, or sulk all night if they can't watch their favorite TV show. At age seven, when they should be bonding to their environment in a deep intuitive awareness of the world and its natural rules and scientific laws, instead they become attached to society and its rules and laws. And at puberty, when they should be bonding to a partner, instead they attach to a person they are attracted to and call it 'love', which is a terrible joke.


This section is not about sex. Just thought we'd clear that up from the start. Love is a genuine emotion. We rarely see it these days, though, much like honor. (Honor used to mean, 'full of honesty', i.e., integrity.) Most human relationships now are based on attachment and fear of loss.

To experience love, a human must be able to bond. Two hormones are necessary to start the process off; one for girls and one for boys...girls use oxytocin for bonding, boys use vasopressin. One depends on estrogen for its production, the other, testosterone.

There are genetic aspects to our capacity for love. Some animals form long pair bonds with their mates, as human beings do.R27 Others have only the equivalent of 'one-night-stands'. The promoter upstream of the oxytocin- and vasopressin-receptor genes affects the difference in behavior. The insertion of an extra section of DNA text (only about 460 letters long), into the promoter makes an animal more likely to bond with its mate. Having this doesn't guarantee that you will fall in love; it just makes it easier for you to do so. Lots of other factors can interfere with that.

Being stuck in a matrix makes it very difficult to experience love as a pure neurochemical state (all of our moods are dependent on our chemistry, as anyone will know who has ever noticed what amazing things alcohol can do to an audience). Genuine love has its own unique chemistry, just like genuine fear or genuine sorrow.

And the fact is, we can 'turn off' our ability to feel love, (not just the feeling, but the ability to feel it), just like any other emotion, or sentiment, eventually. Many things, behavior being one can control the expression of genetic factors, and ultimately our ability to feel things depends on the expression of those gene transcription factors.

We can also turn it on. But...

The love potion paradox

Thought experiment: If you could find a 'love potion', i.e., some medication or technique that would make one person feel like they were in love, by reproducing the exact same chemical state, and you could only use one dose, whom would you give it to? Would you take it yourself? Would you give it to your partner (with informed consent, obviously)?

What would be your angle? Would you treat it as though it were something that was going to make somebody feel really good for a while, like a long-lasting drug, or would you believe that the state of mind generated by the potion was real love and would be experienced as such?

The paradox of the love potion is this: If you believe that 'love' is a mystical state that cannot be faked with a bunch of chemicals, a 'love potion' can never work for you; whatever happens you will remain convinced it wasn't 'real'. If you think such a potion can produce 'love', then the state itself is no more than a bunch of chemicals and means nothing. People 'love' you because of a bunch of chemicals, not because of your worth...so what would be the point of ever using such a potion? It isn't real!

If you could turn on this feeling whenever you like, about anybody or anything you like, and you could choose to be in love with whomever you pleased, would you do it?

Remember that it's experienced as real. It hurts as much, if something bad happens to them. The stronger your feeling for them, the more it hurts...

... And if they reciprocate... are you conning them? Deceiving them? If their response is natural and yours was the result of a drug, which is really in love?

...And what's really going to hit you later on, is...would you still have fallen in love with them if you hadn't taken the drug?

...You'd never know.

Once you have turned it on, withdrawal can be painful for you too. If the person you're in love with is stuck in a matrix, there will be big complicating problems with their attachment. They will follow the cycle of attached relationships and move on. If you are truly in love that is confounding.

People stuck in attachment behavior cannot love, they can only need. What they need they think they can get from being with you, but what they truly need (freedom from anxiety and a working mind) you cannot give them, even if you have it yourself. They'll get disillusioned, go elsewhere to seek what they need, eventually.

Now it's easy at this point to go looking back at old relationships and blame their failure on the other person's being attached, whereas you of course were really in love. You're probably wrong. You were probably both attached. You can tell, because if it were real love you will still be friends with that person and glad they are enjoying life, even though you miss the interaction. You will still have a comfortable relationship, or you will have realized they're not able to be comfortable, and let it be. And you'll have learned. The next time, you'll be on the lookout for similar signs of insecurity. Once bitten, twice shy. Twice bitten, stupid b******.

So, would you ever use a love potion?

It gets harder... Should such a medication be given to parents who have felt incapable of loving their children, but want to? To people who mistreated their partners? Adoptive parents? Adoptees? People with autism? Child abusers? People who can't form relationships? Anyone who wants to feel that way about someone, and can't?

Would you use it for any of that?

If you knew that such a medication or technique existed, right now, would you tell anyone? Whom would you tell?

Can you think of any reason why using such a thing could be justified?

...If you have answered 'no' to all the questions above, it would probably be good to stop reading about here.


Sentiments are feelings created by erroneous wiring which superficially resemble emotions but the resemblance is skin deep. If we search deeper for their causes, we will find that they are not very nice. There are several key differences between sentiments and emotions:

1. Emotion lasts, long after the input triggers have gone that began it in the first place. Sentiment will wear off unless the input is constantly refreshed. If you are crying, for example, with genuine emotion because, say, someone has died, you cannot stop feeling that way for quite a while no matter how many distractions are offered. If you're crying with sentiment because, say, someone just died in a movie, you can turn off that feeling in an instant if your friends suddenly arrive with beer and the latest PC game. It isn't real. Ten minutes later you won't even remember you felt that way; you'll be shooting monsters or negotiating a difficult terrain on skis.

2. The difference can be measured, of course, because sentiment does not cause the same chemical changes in the brain as genuine emotion. If you're running sentiment you'll have elevated cortisol levels in both your brain and bloodstream.

3. Behavior also betrays sentiment; attachment behavior is always immature and not merely illogical but often blatantly stupid. Attachment behavior puts our lives in danger through physical violence as well as chemical poisoning. Watch for 'playground' behavior, sulks, tantrums, melodrama, name-calling and verbal abuse in toto. (If you get free of sentiment it will never occur to you to use verbal personal attacks again. When you see others use them, you will feel first a bewilderment at the state of their minds, and then strong appreciation at the state of yours...Emotions are real, and they'll be with you for life. They are the honest response to reality, not a fake response to a simulation of it.) If we trace the results of our actions and behavior taken under the influence of sentiment, we will find they have led to deleterious ends (including fights, tantrums, and people no longer speaking to each other.) Actions taken under the influence of real emotion have, on the whole, beneficial results. Strictly, they have results that are logically beneficial. They may still involve pain, unhappiness or distress, but the end results will turn out to have been beneficial.

4. If we are acting from genuine emotion, we will not repeat mistakes. People acting from sentiment make the same mistakes over and over, not learning anything.

5. Sentiment usually comes on with a strong 'rush' of feeling, but fades unless input continues. Emotion begins more slowly, and grows stronger regardless of input. Emotion only uses a strong physical response in situations of sudden shock or surprise.

6. Sentiment is based on fear of loss and abandonment. Emotion is a tool used by creative intellect.

7. Sentiment always implies 'action/reaction' thinking and communication. Emotion always implies interaction.

8. Sentiment is very outwardly intense; melodramatic, histrionic and overplayed, like a ham actor trying to do drama with a bad dialogue...it wants the whole world to know how it feels, and it tires you out. Emotion is more private and inwardly intense, and it enervates you without making you manic. It affects the mind and body more strongly than the outward behavior implies.

Sentiment kills instincts, and enhances drives. The morality of sentiment tells us, "If you comfort a crying baby, you will end up with a spoilt brat, and what kind of a parent would other people think you are?" Or, "Smother the child with affection, because it's cute...Aah! ...What would people think of you if any harm came to it?"...So we raise kids who are either terrified of being abandoned, or whose intelligence is stifled by possession.

Sentiment twists our perception, because feelings are non-discriminatory about reality, which is why we are able to cry at movies. If a false 'reality' is all around, the images inside our minds will not correspond to reality, but to that simulation.

This is why there are problems with self-observation that need to be considered of course. We are used to thinking of 'emotions' as epitomized by the physical feelings they subject us to, not by the mood responses they cause. Learning to watch for the mood response (a desire to thump someone, or to sulk, not an actual action such as yelling or sniveling), is quite difficult to do at first in real time, so we tend to look back in retrospect at incidents and this is problematic because of the inaccuracy of memory when operated from sentiment in the first place...if we're attached, we'll also misinterpret feelings to fit in with the language of sentiment, for example we may mistake the distress of a person at their partner's being late home as jealousy, when in fact it is merely a normal concern for their safety. We may misinterpret assertiveness as aggression, humor as sarcasm, intellectual skill or artistic talent as showing off, protection as possessiveness, and so on. If we are anxious, we tend to twist all input through a screening for how sinister it might be, and the weighting given by sentiment will tell us more things are threats than is really the case. Fear itself makes everything viewed appear more fearful. If you are unable to accept that someone is not jealous, because they seem so to you, you are not seeing reality but a distorted input. You are not reading their body chemistry correctly. You are judging them from your own rules of behavior, not theirs. You would be jealous in their situation, so you assume they must be. Wrong! You've been living in a dream world, Neo. Projecting the way you behave, onto everybody else. No wonder you're not communicating, or understanding, very much.

A good trick is to keep notes in real time, because even if we are doing fine and hacking away at sentiment, memory is unreliable in retrospective self-analysis. People tend to remember the beginning and end of situations with much greater importance weighting than the middle. Thus the outcome of any experience fundamentally changes our judgment of it. It also alters our perception of time. A painful experience where most of the pain comes at the beginning and end will be remembered as lasting longer than a less painful one, even when the opposite is true. The memory of an experience does not reflect the truth until intelligence is well integrated with emotion/imagination and is anxiety-free.

Operating from the basis of sentiment, we will be subject to brainwashing by unscrupulous persons, affected by deleterious input, rumor, gossip and outright lies. We must bear all this in mind when assessing events in retrospect. We must be very, very careful of how we label things verbally, and avoid feeling guilty when we find we've failed five times today already and really don't feel that confident. We have to remember that in the war against anxiety, the truth will inevitably be the victor, as opposed to the first casualty.

There is a cheat for easier self-analysis and it's another computer-system allegory... think of the brain as an information-processing device during your analysis. Track how input/information was processed, rather than focusing on the feelings themselves.

True emotion springs from a healthy mind free from chronic anxiety. It is a tool, like an extra sense, when we are not stuck in a matrix. It gives us the ability to see more of the truth, because it is aligned with the real world and is natural, rather than a synthetic construct created by intellect's idea of what we should feel and when.

I can partly explain here why people trapped in sentiment feel uncomfortable with those who are not. Their unconscious minds still respond to reality, but the signals are blocked from conscious thought because of their anxiety potential.

If you place you ordinary, average person in a PET scanner and wire them up to a GSR (I mean, with their permission, obviously), and show them videos of people talking about things, the more melodramatic the narrative, the more sentimental the watcher becomes. If the narrator expresses sentiment, an area of brain (left interior frontal gyrus) in the listener will increase its blood flow. If the narrator is telling a true story and expressing genuine emotion, the subject's GSR reading will go up and a different area of brain increases its blood supply (ventromedial prefrontal cortex & superior frontal gyrus). These areas get busy when there is anxiety or unresolved conflict. The brain knows something unusual is going on, but it doesn't know what it is, and the watcher becomes more nervous. R28

In a person who isn't stuck in a matrix, these results are initially reversed, and later, the ventromedial PFC/SFG effect disappears.

Long, long ago, in a university far, far away, a friend of mine, whom we shall call Tony because that is his name and he's still proud of this...wondered what would happen if he got into a PET scanner and did this experiment on LSD (I kid you not). Brave man. He lost his job for it, as he got found out. Well, I should say, we got found out (I didn't work there, but somebody had to operate the scanner), but he also lost it partly because of lecturing to his classes about LSD and MDMA and dancing.

The resulting scans decorated my wall for a short while1 Tony's left interior frontal gyrus did the neural equivalent of country dancing with every true emotion expressed appropriately. When sentiment was expressed, it did nothing. He could tell consciously; not by viewing the scans, (which is how I could tell), immediately which of the video narrators was telling the truth, and although his GSR was all over the place, the ventromedial PFC/SFG networks remained unlit throughout. I could have used the man as a lie detector, watching his responses to people's stories. What's more, I could have used him as a sentiment detector.

I don't know if this was an 'average' result, because Tony was unusually intelligent and not very average, but the awareness that somehow our neurochemical state could alter our perception of the truth set me off on a chase to find out how. When I found out how, I incorporated that knowledge into the design of experiments and learned how to do it on purpose, although it is a double-edged sword...and to find out why, you will have to wait another few chapters.

A well developed emotional system is like a sixth sense; it is the trigger behind the 'intuitive' reputation of some investors, it is the thing which gives us the 'gut feeling' about a person or a situation but it is useless to most people because they are trying to run it through sentiment, and fear will color every encounter and their 'intuition' will be mistaken, in a great many ways...

As you know, in the context of this theory I associate feeling with sentiment, as opposed to real emotion.

Feelings are very susceptible to the effects of alcohol, much more so than real emotions. Try this experiment: get a load of pictures of sexy people off the Internet (careful now) and show them to friends, just once, and get your friends to rate them on a scale of 1-10. Wait six months. Do it again, but this time make sure everyone's drunk (well I said research could be expensive.) Compare the results. Let me guess...The scores have mostly gone up by two or three marks.

This is a sexist experiment, by biology's design. Girls will find their ratings for sexy types will change over their hormonal cycle, preferring certain types at different times of the month. So to be realistic you cannot wait six months, or go to the trouble of checking everybody's hormonal state each time, and doing it twice in close proximity may affect the result because of memory and familiarity. So, sorry girls; if you work out an easy method, let me know.

Not everybody's feelings are affected pleasantly by alcohol, as everybody knows who ever goes in pubs. And the problem with aggression is that it too is chemically habit-forming. If a person whose aggression is amplified by alcohol drinks regularly, especially if they do it at the same time each day, the brain will form a habit of releasing the chemicals associated with the state right on time, regardless of whether the person has actually had a drink or not. This is an anticipatory response by the brain, which is smart enough to pick up our regular needs and conform to them, just like a decent word processor does (albeit badly). So remember if you're a regular drinker, you'll quite likely be extra susceptible to sentiment at your usual drinking time, regardless of whether or not you've actually had a drink.

A classic aspect of sentiment is 'altruism'; the preaching of the creed of 'caring' that almost everybody conforms to. Praising things that have no real worth is one example. Parents and teachers show they 'care' by restricting children's freedom and experience, which leads to apathy or resentment, and by lying to children, giving a false impression of worth where none really exists when they do something considered 'good'. This helps to create arrogance, and there is a large chasm between self-esteem and arrogance.

'Self-esteem' could be defined as 'rightful pride in oneself and one's achievements', and 'arrogance' as 'over-confidence; a belief about oneself and one's accomplishments which is not justified or proved in actual fact and behavior'. So self-esteem is basically justified confidence and pride. Perhaps the ability to assess this accurately is a feature of intelligence...'know thyself'... People feel such an urgent need to prove they care because it's socially taboo to admit that they don't. Because their 'altruistic' behavior is based on false emotion (sentiment) there's a sense of guilt attached to it and a need to justify and confirm 'nice' behavior.

In P&V, Practice makes perfect. Variation means, eventually you get to try all sorts of tricks to see if you are a competent sentiment spam blocker. To beta test yourself... You'll induce any feeling you can think of and see if you can immediately turn it off. You'll try yourself out when you're totally drunk, or high on whatever else you normally indulge in. You'll see how a lack of sleep or change of diet affects your ability. See if you can remain unmoved by biofeedback of your earlier recordings of yourself feeling sentimental. You'll run these tests only to ascertain your current limit of control, say, once every month for the first two months and preferably not at all after that. You want to close down those pathways, not use them, and you expose yourself to this stuff only so you get to know the strength of the enemy. When the pathways are gone you'll genuinely feel nothing, but this is only the first hack and you shouldn't expect too much rapid change. Any change is a good change because it sets up the scene for the next successful change; that's how this works. And when we get so good that blocking is automatic we've completed one run of the program and the skill is made permanent in long term memory and we are free to pursue the next stage. For most of us that will be going in another layer, and that needs messing about with memory.

1. Before being stolen, along with a lot of other things that got pinched at the time (shit happens.)

Última actualización el Miércoles 26 de Agosto de 2009 00:37