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Автор: Alex   
28.07.2022 09:38
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Chapter 8



 cognitive development – the story of your life 

what is cognitive development?

Before each of us from the moment of conception lie possibilities, each waiting for specific signals to be resolved into actualities.

There are probabilities, potentials, and inevitabilities; the latter due to the natural restrictions of our biochemistry (any androids reading this, this is not your problem). 

We all proceed, ready or not, to embark upon a journey through life. We have many things in common in our experiences, and many things that are unique to each of us. At each moment, there are finite but varied possibilities for each of us which resolve into actualities only in the moment; as though a million parallel versions of our lives diverge every millisecond as the wave function collapses and probabilities resolve into actualities. A neuron fires or it doesn't. A movement is made or it isn't. Our biological needs are met or they are not. We encounter something new, or we don't. 

We have a biological drive for self-fulfilment and thriving. As human beings, what drives us to higher levels of existence? Greater joy. Once we have satisfied the basics - food, shelter, interaction, and survival in general, we turn to thriving; self-actualization, self-improvement, or 'realizing our full potential'. The biological incentive for this is greater joy, and a whole host of awesome emotions many people never get to experience. 

Largely due to domestication, some of us are convinced that we have reached our full potential as adults and that's it. Others are aware that development and learning need not stop with the onset of puberty. Fewer figure out how to get there. 

What do you personally believe it means to realize your full potential? There's nothing mysterious about it. If you take an evolutionary perspective on behavior, it seems unlikely that our ancestors would have evolved to solve all the problems of survival, making friends, solving conflicts and achieving a life of plenty, just to drift off mentally into some somnambulant, blissful nirvana. Nor is developing one's full potential about social status, although it does improve self esteem. 

Regardless of why you want to achieve full potential, or how 'newbie' or 'practiced' you are, the way in which you see yourself in relation to actualization will affect your opportunities here. Do you approach mind-improvement from the point of view of a scientific pioneer, a therapy-seeking patient, or a shaman's apprentice? Do you see yourself as a scientist seeking information, a mental athlete seeking performance enhancement, an ordinary dude who's out of balance wanting to be in balance, a person concerned about protecting memory, a cosmic neuronaught, or a student seeking to learn? This sort of stuff matters to you because you will have paid attention to different parts of this book, and your memory will have filed different information, depending on how you personally frame NH and how you see yourself in relation to it. It doesn't matter to me, since I'm still saying the same stuff. So if you are clear about what YOU want, and open to new possibilities, then we are meeting halfway. 

A 'big picture' perspective of NH reveals it as any technique enabling the natural process of intelligence development to continue. 

...Because everything that we are doing in NH, when we use various methods to alter our abilities of mind and behavior, is manipulating our current circumstances such that natural development CAN progress as biology intended. Doing so enables intelligence to repair and upgrade its own architecture, which corrects dysfunction, extends our abilities and awareness and promotes access to some extraordinarily profound emotional experiences.

For this reason, some of you may look on intelligence development as 'spiritual development', 'personal development', wisdom or 'enlightenment'. But we don't have to go and live up a mountain and meditate all day in order to develop powerful intelligence. Our minds are meant to develop while they function (in fact, they only develop through functioning) and human minds are biologically designed to continue to develop and improve throughout our lives all by themselves unless something gets in the way.

Your interpretation of 'cognitive development' depends on how anxious you are and how limited your imagination currently is. People can both underestimate their potential and overestimate it. We don't have a common consensus; when some people think about achieving improvement in health and life satisfaction they emphasize spending more time with friends and family; others think about pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain, some place more emphasis on finding new romantic/sexual partners and staying safe from physical harm.




Our societies offer little in terms of coherent measures of cognitive ability outside of IQ tests for intellect and (lately) some newer ideas about emotional intelligence (which, to a neuroscientist, are a moot point - ALL processing relies on emotional weighting, without which there is no memory). 

An awareness of emotional weighting and its influence on rationality is expected (by biology) to emerge into awareness as the essential moderator of intellect, creativity, judgment and decisions. Without this awareness, we cannot think objectively. 

Rationality itself; and other aspects of executive processing such as intellect, working memory, judgment and strategy) are not in themselves a measure of intelligence development either. There is little use in having a massive IQ if you are too paranoid to talk to anybody or leave your apartment. 

Others point to creativity as a measure of intelligence, pointing out that science depends upon it just as much as art. What we call the 'scientific method' really only refers to the second half of any scientific story. It describes how we test and refine the ideas and hypotheses we have about nature through the engagement of experiment or observation and theoretical ideas and models. But something must happen before that. All of this process rests upon the vital, essential, precious ability to creatively conceive of those ideas in the first place. And, sadly, we talk very little about this creative core of science: the imagining of what the unseen structures in the world might be like and where ideas for experiments come from.[1]


"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." [einstein]

There is an argument that since intelligence is based upon an imagination engine, creativity is the best measure of its performance. But once again we are ignoring the influence of emotional stability. A raving psychopath or someone with an IQ of 40 may well be very creative, but neither fits well into our ideas of healthy development.


Self actualization

Perhaps the best assessment of cognitive development attempted so far is not about intelligence itself at all, but about its reflection in the behavior and experience of individuals, in the concepts of 'Self-Actualization' and criteria for the optimal individual.


Self-actualization, in terms of biological needs [2], is the highest level of psychological development, where personal potential is fully realized after basic bodily and cultural needs have been fulfilled.  

Writing in the last century, Abraham Maslow (one of the founders of Humanistic Psychology), proposed that the path to self-transcendence, and ultimately a greater compassion for all of humanity, requires 'self-actualization'; that is, fulfilling your true potential and becoming your authentic self. 

A criticism often leveled at notions of self-actualization is that its pursuit encourages a selfish focus on one’s own goals and needs. However, achieving cognitive development ourselves is the only way to gain sufficient wisdom to help others without making them dependent or harming the environment. Without full maturity, when trying to help someone else we are more likely to make bad decisions and take steps which actually cause harm, including coercion and bullying.


Carl Rogers [3] similarly wrote of 'self actualization – man's tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities... to express and activate all the capacities of the organism'.[4]


Self actualization is here seen as the ongoing process of maintaining and enhancing the individual's self-awareness through reflection, reinterpretation of experience, allowing the individual to recover, develop, change, and grow. Key to the process of self-actualization; it is the result of experiential interaction with the environment, and particularly evaluational interactions with others. 

The process of self-actualization is continuous as the individual matures into competency, interdependent autonomy, and is ongoing throughout the life-cycle. When there is sufficient tension between the individual's sense of self and their experience, a psychopathological state of incongruity can arise, according to Rogers, individuals are conditioned and rewarded for behaviors which are in fact perversions of the natural directions of the unitary actualizing tendency.[5]

In Rogers' theory self-actualization is not the end-point; it is the process that leads to the individual becoming more 'fully-functioning' as their real self; the aspect of one's natural being that is founded in the actualizing tendency (entelechy), follows organismic valuing (accurately assesses what's helpful and harmful for itself), needs, gives and receives positive regard (respect) and has healthy self-regard (self esteem). It is the optimal biological 'you' that, if all goes well, you will become.

On the other hand, to the extent that our society is out of sync with the actualizing tendency, and we are forced to live with conditions of worth that are out of step with organismic valuing, and receive only conditional positive regard and self-regard, we develop instead society's 'ideal self'. 

By 'society's ideal', Rogers is suggesting something not real, something that is always out of our reach, the standard nobody can meet; a non-workable ideology based on a false ontology. The gap between the real self and the ideal self, the 'I am' and the 'I should be' is incongruity. 

A fully congruous person is able to lead a life that is authentic and genuine and maintain their autonomy and integrity. Incongruous individuals, in their constant anxious pursuit of positive regard, lead lives of falseness like puppets in an imagined reality and do not realize their potential. Conditions put on them by circumstances around them make them so anxious as to forego their genuine, authentic lives to meet with the approval of others and society. They have lost the ability to distinguish fact from fiction and live lives that are not true to themselves, to who they are on the inside. 

Theoretically, an individual may develop optimally and avoid domestication if they experience only unconditional positive regard and no coercion, thus no conditions of false value develop and no fictional 'ideal self' is constructed. Jean Liedloff's field research strongly supports these ideas.[6]

This ideal human condition is embodied in the 'fully functioning person' who is open to experience and able to live existentially, trusts in his/her own intelligence, expresses emotions appropriately and freely, acts autonomously (independently), is creative and practices entelechy; this is described as 'the good life'. It should be noted that; 'The good life is a process not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination'.[7]

While Rogers sees the domesticated human condition as one of incongruity between self and experience, this does not minimize his ultimate belief in the potential of human beings for autonomy. We are all capable of evaluating the outer and inner situation, understanding ourselves in its context, making constructive choices as to the next steps in life, and acting on those choices. Whether we do this or not depends on our capacity for free will and independence. 

Rogers' original description of the fully functioning person can be accessed in the references[8] but a summary of the main characteristics follows below:


A fully functioning person has a growing openness to experience – they move away from defensiveness and have no need for subception (a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness). They adopt a lifestyle based on living each moment fully; not distorting the moment to fit personality or self concept but allowing personality and self concept to emanate from the experience. 

This results in excitement, daring, adaptability, tolerance, spontaneity, a lack of rigidity and a foundation of trust. They trust their own judgment and their ability to choose behavior that is appropriate for each moment. They do not rely on existing codes and social norms but trust that as they are open to experiences they will be able to trust their own sense of right and wrong. 

Such people exercise freedom of choice; not being shackled by the restrictions that influence an incongruous individual, they are able to make a wider range of choices more fluently. They believe that they play a role in determining their own behavior and so feel responsible for their own behavior.


It follows that they will feel more free to be creative. They will also be more creative in the way they adapt to their own circumstances without feeling a need to conform. They can be trusted to act constructively.

Overall, they will experience a rich, full life.


'This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one's potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life.' (Carl Rogers)


live long and prosper – the quality of life 

It is clear that pursuing self-actualization furthers biologically relevant goals for a higher quality of life. 

'Quality of life' is defined somewhat vaguely in behavioral science as the general wellbeing of a person or group. We most often hear it mentioned in a medical context; where someone is told how a particular injury or illness is likely to affect their quality of life, but we also hear it in relation to whole populations in specific areas or circumstances. It is obvious that disease or infirmity can impact life quality but we take it for granted that we know what quality of life means without doing very much thinking about it. 

So do it now; consider what contributes to your quality of life, and what is required for a higher quality life.


Forget money; no amount of cash will prevent or compensate for a life of chronic illness, emotional distress or mental infirmity. One of the things we all agree on is that a high quality of life requires basic physical and mental health, which implies that the basics of safety, shelter, food, clean air and water and sufficient sleep must be provided for, by yourself. These are just the essentials for life, regardless of its quality.

The requirement of good mental health carries implications that the conditions for maintaining mental health must be present, which means that disease-causing factors such as overcrowding, poor nutrition and lack of exercise must be avoided, eliminated or hacked, and enriched environments plus beneficial behaviors sought out. 

What quality of life comes down to personally, though, is the desire for more fun and less hassle, modulating how good or crap you feel. How happy you are, and how much you enjoy your life. What we might call subjective well-being. 

What we enjoy and how much we enjoy it relies on neurotransmitters. It is of no use being in fabulous circumstances if we cannot feel any enjoyment or satisfaction from them. Likewise, if we are able to feel great enjoyment most of the time, our circumstances do not matter very much. Human adaptation is such that life expectations are calibrated by what the individual perceives to be possible. This enables us during times of difficult life circumstances to maintain a reasonable feeling of wellbeing, and in times of easier circumstances gives us the ability to thrive.


Our awareness of this leads to a lot of unconscious (or conscious) self-medication in terms of drug use, because drugs alter neurotransmission. We unconsciously know how we 'should' feel and we use substances or other methods through trial and error to align our chemistry with that ideal. This only works to a certain extent because drugs cannot align external input with internal responses. It's the 'treating symptoms' strategy and the initial problem is left untouched. That is, you can't make a dead rat disappear by taking drugs to prevent your smelling it. Eventually, despite masking the symptoms it will still make you ill, and that's going to impact your quality of life too.



Drugs may enable more fun, but they don't enable less hassle; in fact drugs can be quite a lot of hassle in places where they are illegal, adulterated, fake or scarce. They can also mask problems, and it's of no use feeling like everything's fantastic when in fact everything in your life is falling apart. Drugs are best to get us through times of inevitable hassle and high stress issues, where part of improving things is to initiate changes that will resolve the hassle; drugs can help some folks to do that. For a classic example, it's fine to take painkillers whilst you're waiting for a dentist appointment, but it's not fine to take pain killers and avoid making the appointment.


The best use of chemicals is to get us into a state where our system can most efficiently repair itself and carry on developing. The only permanent beneficial changes have to change gene expression; they have to change your mind by developing it. 

Wellbeing is tied to our perception of our own progress through life, and we experience a sense of personal fulfilment when we reflect on that which we have created, loved, believed in or left as a legacy. Wellbeing is also a measure of the degree to which a person enjoys the important possibilities of their life. Possibilities result from opportunities and limitations and reflect the interaction of personal and environmental factors. Thus, whether or not you use drugs, ongoing interaction in an enriched environment is still necessary for development. 

As well as creativity, intellect, working memory capacity and executive abilities, one other term crops up again and again in people's descriptions of how they imagine cognitive development, and that is 'wisdom'.

Executive abilities like judgment, decisions, strategy, working memory, etc. are just the beginning of mental maturity and what we call wisdom. Just like wellbeing and quality of life, we have only vague definitions of wisdom in scientific terms. Attempts have been made to evaluate wisdom,these incorporate core conditions (empathy, honesty, respect,) and behaviors such as kindness, emotional control, openness to diverse ideas, decisiveness, creative thinking, self-reflection, good judgment, resilience, adaptability, rationality and spirituality. This is uncannily similar to people's descriptions of cognitive development in general, and we have come full circle in trying to describe what system development means to us. All that we have learned from people's personal descriptions of wisdom is that it correlates positively with resilience, happiness and mental well-being and strongly and negatively correlates with sentiments, depression and anxiety. [9]


In terms of storytelling, the figure of the spiritual wise person is a wizard; an archetype navigating their path strategically through life with powerful connections to the natural world; being a living example; interfering with no one but happy to guide or inform those willing to learn. Wisdom in stories is portrayed as a set of processes that all seekers can pursue, with the right attitude, and in the right context.

The 'wise' in stories always have the same attributes: 

1 Awareness of the nature of reality and most especially of patterns of change

2 Adaptability and ingenuity in response to change

3 Awareness of diversity, different perspectives, and ability to coordinate situations via cooperative interaction to serve biological needs

4 Indigenous knowledge and a close interactive bond with the natural environment

5 Intellectual humility 

This last may need some explanation as it is not a concept most westerners are familiar with. A person with intellectual humility:

Is willing to admit if they don't know something

Sees disagreement and making mistakes as an opportunity to learn

Appreciates the skills of others and freely compliments them

Reflects on their own development, strengths and weaknesses in order to improve performance

Seeks feedback from others, and acknowledges when someone knows more about a subject than they do

Considers themselves a lifelong student

Avoids coercion and maintains core conditions, harboring no biases or preconceptions on account of age, social status, sex or origins.

Practices reframing to think about a person who disagreed with them in more constructive ways, for example assuming that the other person has their own unique perspective and experiences to draw on, rather than dismissing their views as due to low intelligence or lack of understanding.

Tries to learn more about other people’s views, rather than simply disagreeing with them or trying to coerce them into changing their minds.[11] 

The core knowledge and experience enabling the development of all these behaviors is an understanding of the plasticity of intelligence. It makes sense that if you see intelligence as malleable, then you will be fine with finding out you are wrong or that you don’t know the full story. After all, with this perspective, being wrong or ignorant about something doesn’t mean you are forever condemned to being stupid; quite the opposite, it means you are learning more. 

There is no behavioral guide to wisdom because it would be like a behavioral guide to interaction; wise living is living in a chaotic system responding to the here and now via adaptivity to dynamic change, and what constitutes 'wise behavior' or 'interaction' relies largely on circumstances and context and varies widely. 

Throughout, though, wisdom is perceived as attentional and emotional control; avoiding sentiments and distractions, and making good use of healthy emotions and opportunities. Universally it also indicates autonomy (independence and free will) and most importantly, congruity; which guarantees 'appropriate response'.


The 'odd one out' in the list of assumed wizardly attributes appears to be 'spirituality'. Why do we correlate spirituality with wisdom? What do we mean?

Clearly, we do not mean religion; adherents of which are not renowned for their rationality, freedom from coercion, or practice of core conditions. Spirituality does not require religious belief, but is characterized by humility, rectitude and ever-present feelings of connectedness to oneself and to others and to an environmental bond. Bonding reduces anxiety and allows us to be more at peace, more resilient, happier and healthier.[10] 

Spirituality is our term to describe behaviors enabling an increase in pleasant emotions of a particularly numinous nature liked to beliefs which seem profound. Two notable states of mind are a feeling of oneness with everything and a strong sense of belonging (bonding) not unlike creative flow; which makes us feel joyous. The other is a sudden impression of clarity of understanding, due in part to congruity and in part to appreciation; which makes us feel awe. 

Biology makes us feel soooooo happy when everything makes sense. The experience of everything making sense gives, to me, a feeling of enlightenment in the 'Eureka!' sense', as though all the jigsaw-puzzle pieces suddenly fall into place and we find ourselves thinking, 'Oh, RIGHT! This is how life is meant to feel!' It's a feeling of extraordinary clarity and delight mingled with awe. And the unexpected surprise about this feeling is its familiarity. We recognize it. It's not a deja-vu. It's a childhood memory of a state of mind; the state in which we all unconsciously started off. 

How do you know if you are progressing on the path towards wisdom? If your development is progressing, eventual wisdom is sort of inevitable. It's part of the package. I suspect that many of us spend the first part of our neurohacking experience figuring out how to develop and use intelligence, and the next part allowing intelligence to develop and use us. Somewhere in the middle we figure out what intelligence really is and realize that we ARE it.




Eidetic variable assembly, story code & archetypes 

This section explores unconscious code and its translation. Understanding this gives us advantages in navigating the 'game of life' our unconscious mind is immersed in. 

Things, stuff and events

Now, remember gamespace as analogical to spacetime. Spacetime is concrete, gamespace is abstract.

'Things' in spacetime are mass and energy. Mass is about things as concrete objects, energy is about things as abstract forces. 

'Stuff' is spacetime itself; space is concrete background stuff and time is abstract background stuff 

'Events' in spacetime are interactions between things in the stuff.


Keeping the same analogy in mind;

'Things' in gamespace are archetypal concepts; both concrete and abstract concepts are represented by characters. The faithful servant is a concrete archetypal concept; Father Time is an abstract archetypal concept. 

'Stuff' is gamespace itself; your brain is concrete stuff, but the game is created and maintained by abstract software of the system; imagination; 'the stuff of dreams'. 

'Events' in gamespace are interactions between things in stuff.


To recap from the last chapter: the coordinates of core archetypes are eidetic variables acting as storage locations for data in a program. These coordinates act as 'strange attractors'.

An 'attractor' is a set of states toward which a system tends to evolve,[12] in this case towards ongoing development, for a wide variety of starting conditions of the system. Describing the attractors of chaotic dynamical systems has been one of the achievements of chaos theory.[13]



An attractor is called strange if it has a fractal structure. If you wish to further explore chaos theory, follow up the references for some fascinating reading.[14] 

In the concrete domain, the fabric/landscape of the natural world is curved; shaped by the interactions between mass and energy through time and space. Within its landscape, the locations of places life can emerge are attractors. 

The fabric of spacetime is also curved, as Uncle Einstein told you. Within its landscape, the locations of massive objects (like, black holes) are attractors. 

In the abstract domain, the fabric/landscape of gamespace is curved. Within its landscape, the locations of coordinates on the mind's inner model are attractors. 

The landscape of the mind's map of concept association is fractally curved. Within its landscape, the locations of heavily weighted core concepts (archetypes) are strange attractors. 

The game is our own mind's inner model of reality and how to behave in it. Archetypes form a bridge between the unconscious mind's model and conscious awareness; between abstract imaginings and concrete things; between imagination and reality; between the abstract software 'in here' and the concrete world 'out there'. 

All great models form bridges between domains; for another example the Periodic table forms a bridge between chemistry and physics (chemistry is ultimately the study of electrons). 

Anyway, archetypes are attractors which connect concrete to abstract reasoning in a fundamental way. 

The starting position of a game is the point in time where you know where all the pieces are, what the rules are, and what the first few possible moves are. For you, that was your conception. 

The 'game space' is all possible moves that could occur between the beginning and end of the game – all the stuff in the middle that we don't have time to compute consciously but that we do compute unconsciously and which controls the expression of our genome.

The game pieces are attractors; archetypes, although they have changed their names and properties over the centuries. High probability moves are archetypal behaviors. 

During the game, each thing, place or event has a 'weighting' of importance or relevance to the current situation which changes with your every move. In salience mode you weigh the probabilities and make decisions based on them for what to do or say. When you make a move or say something, the wave function of probabilities collapses; a possible move has become the actual move. But all moves hang around the strange attractors in game space in the same way planets with varying orbits hang around stars. 

In terms of mind computations, the weighting on thoughts ideas and events, on people and places etc., is an emotional one; tagged by neurotransmitters to elicit a response of a particular type but all according to the 'game rules' of relevance and importance (to biology) – of our archetypal core concepts. 

In terms of importance, we give serious information a weighting of greater gravity (gravity in the emotional sense of 'grave' or 'serious') but attraction between important objects ('objects' in the mind are concepts) it works in just the same way as concrete gravity in terms of attraction between massive objects. Mind slows down doing massive unconscious calculations. Time slows down around massive objects. Interest curves around important ideas. Spacetime curves around massive objects. 

Archetypes evolve but remain 'in orbit' around the emotionally weighted center of our core concepts, which are the strongest attractors. They can make more associations than any other concepts, and ultimately between them enable our unconscious coordinated classification of all things, stuff and events such that we can comprehend them. Core concepts are at the heart of everything, for without them there is no basis for abstraction, understanding or eventual comprehension.


The archetypes for core concepts are anthropomorphizations of the concepts themselves. Often they are portrayed as deities or nature spirits.

'Father Time', the Lady of the Lake, Santa and Galadriel all have an associated core concept along with its own dedicated memory processor for each batch of associations.




For input, the system needs to translate binary signals into terms that conscious awareness can understand. In terms of behavior, the opposite must happen; for behavioral output the system has to signal muscles and senses in binary, because cells don't understand words. Higher level languages (like words) must be translated into eidetic variables before their directions may be understood; the unconscious only 'reads' binary or EVA.

Eidetic variable assembly (EVA) is the low-level unconscious 'language' of our system software; that is to say there is a very strong correspondence between the instructions in the language and our cytoarchitectural machine code signaling.[15] Symbolic labels may therefore directly influence system behavior without taking a long time to translate. Archetypes are a sort of symbolic representation of machine code. 

Patterns in binary input (to processors M,S and D) are allocated coordinates on the inner grid (processor S), which coordinates also associate with archetypal graphic images representing core concepts. Processor T links these images over time as a 'movie'; an analog procession of concepts forming a story. Processor E transforms these into digital representations complete with audio dubbing and formal language, and processor P comprehends consciously 'what's going on out there' as an interactive game. 

Human cognition is founded, in part, on subsystems using the concepts of 'things, stuff, events' as representing objects, space and interactions. Each system has deep roots in human phylogeny and ontogeny, and it guides and shapes our mental lives.

Analogy and metaphorization emerge during development as a by-product of pattern completion in a recurrent network. Initial exposure to an imaginary situation in the mind primes a relation that can then be applied to a concrete situation in reverse-metaphorization.

The underlying theme is, the universe as a dynamic system is an ordered place; life conforms to scientific laws that have existed for a lot longer than we have known about them consciously, but our unconscious memory and our entire biology has HAD to embody them via evolution and experience, or creatures could have developed no grasp of meaning and no way of sensibly interacting with the world.

Whether imagination is called upon to create images of the world 'out there' or the world 'in here' doesn’t matter to it. The process is the same. 

In simple terms, archetypal characters, situations and story plots are eidetic variables represented as images in unconscious processing, portraying the progress of our 'game of life' and the possibilities available to us in terms that conscious minds can understand; graphic imagery and stories. 


Stories are primers that help us succeed in the game

As far as the unconscious is concerned, stories are 'players' guides' to successful living on Earth, in the real world. 

When interpreting stories consciously in the same manner as our own unconscious mind does, we have to remember that unconscious biology doesn't have the same values, expectations or beliefs as current everyday societies; it has timeless biological values based on biological evolution and adaptation of humans to living on planet Earth, which it firmly believes is the real world; an assumption which, so far as science tells us, appears to be correct.

It takes a long time for the unconscious to accept something as 'certain'; it takes millions of years of experiential-based experimentation and adaptation based on a priori results. Thus it is difficult to change unconscious beliefs because they have strong weight of evidence; and we are it. Put simply, if they had been wrong, then we would be extinct.

So we have to be aware that our unconscious mind assumes with certainty that life is a complex game, in which the objectives are (a) to avoid harm and (b) to get as far as you can go in the game.

The game is the development of intelligence. Note that's not our personal intelligence per se, because this is important; its the reason why we risk our lives to save other people. The unconscious has the equivalent of mission statements or protocols. Our behavior is programmed to protect, nourish and serve the source of the highest intelligence potential that we know of. Most of our young lives, that source is ourselves, although our close allies are likely to have high potential for development too. Once we reach a certain stage of development ourselves though, we start to become more aware of the value of small children in terms of intelligence potential, and we will not only happily exhaust ourselves to assist them, but take great risks to keep them safe, even endangering ourselves. Nor do they specifically have to be 'our' children; adoptees and even strangers can have the same effect. 

This only makes sense if the unconscious is computing based on intelligence potential, rather than kin relations. It's a stone-cold logical decision that, congruity being what it is, we also find we happen to believe is the 'moral' thing to do. Because of this we interpret it with the relevant emotion of rectitude, and feel good about ourselves after such incidents because we did what biology wanted. That's how biology lets you know you're doing the correct thing to maintain development - you feel good about things, in various different ways. 

The development of conscious processing from unconscious knowledge is made beautifully easy because we have this embodied shortcut to connect unconscious to conscious and concrete to abstract. Our unconscious is able to use our culture's stories to learn the process of metaphorization, by which our conscious minds can translate concrete concepts into abstract concepts that lead to rational thought and real life strategies.

The ability to merge internal images with concepts and to transfer meaning through them - a strong imagination and eidetic memory - is the gift of stories. Archetypal stories are the foundation stone for all abstract thought and one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to a child is reading aloud or telling stories. Story plots convey an entertaining conscious message to the conscious mind, but also an encrypted unconscious message to the unconscious mind, and it is this coincident input 'all in one package' via someone we love which enables us to 'bridge the gap' between the two conceptually as well as physically in terms of brain networks, simply because cells that fire together wire together.

The best models build bridges between domains. Stories merge fact with fiction.



Beauty and the Beast, for example, features a man who has been magically transformed into a hideous creature, but it also tells an underlying story about relationships, reframing, kindness, rectitude, love and the dangers of judging people based on appearances.

The power of stories does not stop with their ability to reveal the workings of our minds or prep us for real life issues. Narrative is also a potent persuasive tool, and it has the ability shared by science; to share experience, shape our beliefs and change our minds. We constantly pay unconscious attention to stories; in effect we constantly ‘tell ourselves the story’ of what our life is like and what it is likely to be like. 

If our thoughts are based on good eidetic association, we will imagine the life paths that will lead to benefit, our imagination will be accurate, and life will ‘make sense’, enabling us to interact, predict and strategize. We will be more optimistic and more realistic, with better decision-making and executive skills. 

People favor role models who have achieved success in ways that are in line with their own moral values; we are looking to model someone who not only shows what can be achieved, but also shows how to achieve it while remaining a good person. Competency is not enough; it is when would-be role models are seen as decent and virtuous that their ability and competence makes people want to follow in their footsteps. Modeling others changes ourselves.[19] 

Below is a key to further understanding eidetic variables. 


character archetypes (people/ things)

No matter how a narrative is expressed—through words, gestures or drawings—our brains relate best to the characters, focusing on the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist of each story. People approach narrative in a strongly character-centered and psychological manner, focused on the mental states of the protagonist of the story.[20] 

It is well worth spending the time to get a good grasp of the main character archetypes and try to spot the same ones in various different stories or movies that you know. Every epic story has at least one character in each core category; some examples are given. Start with these 6 main ones; interpreted over the centuries in various roles as follows:

The faithful servant 

loyal companion / beast of burden / nurturer / faithful animal / Batman's butler Alfred / Sam Gamgee / AI entity (eg robots / androids / cyborgs / spaceships or computers)/ squire /nurse 

The young seeker ('young' means inexperienced)

the young hero / explorer / seeker of truth / warrior / wooer / student / hunter / spiritual seeker / prince / princess / Alice (in wonderland) / Luke Skywalker / Neo / Frodo Baggins /knight 

The guide

wild wo/man of the woods / shaman / healer / herbalist / guide / nature spirit / magical talking animal (eg the white rabbit or hookah-smoking caterpillar) / faery / ghost / talking tree/ spirit guide / storyteller / good witch / hermit / messenger / navigator


The wise master 

wizard / scientist / engineer / hacker / inventor /genius nerd / time lord / elder / monk / tutor / programmer / professor / Obiwan Kenobi / Morpheus / Gandalf / Merlin


The benefactor 

generous merchant / good thief (eg, Robin Hood) / good pirate / mentor / faery godmother / Santa Claus / good king or queen / supporting army / Batman AND Bruce Wayne / Iron Man / Han Solo 

The power of the universe

superhero (with non-human powers) / enlightened one / beneficial aliens / spiritual master / saint / angel / god / goddess / messiah / The Force / emergent intelligence

Although I have listed goodies here, any of these characters can be good or bad. The good king becomes the wicked tyrant, the faithful servant becomes the unfaithful betrayer, the good wizard becomes the mad scientist, the hobbit becomes the orc, the superhero becomes the supervillain, and so on. So you already know twelve archetypes even though you just viewed six. 

'Goodies' usually represent our own main brain networks, the emotions associated with them, and those persons who assist our development. 'Baddies' usually embody sentiments, bad choices or other obstacles to development including persons who lead us 'astray' or 'off the path' via deceit, coercion or just plain stupidity.

Archetypal characters take their attributes from their associated system processors, their core concepts and the networks that they manipulate. For example the guide / navigator / messenger archetype is associated with processor D, which guides our physical navigation through space in the real world and acts as messenger to all other processors. The Faithful servant archetype is associated with processor M which modulates the behaviors of care and the provision of physical comfort. Father Time is associated with processor T which modulates our real life perception of time.


scenes archetypes (stuff)

Scenes are the contextual, situational backgrounds against which events in a story unfold. 'Scenery' provides much of our input and we are able to choose or create our own scenery to determine the 'mood' of an encounter. Consequently we contrive to have romantic dinners in nobby restaurants, pissups in pubs, sporting events in prepared fields, and international espionage meetings take place only around duck ponds.

All complex creatures deliberately alter the scenery and create their own context for the important bits of life; birds build nests, rabbits make warrens, beavers dam waterways; so creating your own context is no big deal.




aesthetic assessment programs

Scenes are assessed by aesthetic assessment programs, and aesthetic assessment programs rely on hard wired archetypal presets which can be overlaid by domestication techniques but never erased; which is good if we need to retrieve them.

Aesthetic 'senses' are based on specific mathematical patterns with enhanced weighting. Often these patterns are inherent in the laws of physics and occur in the geometry of basic lifeforms. We find the designs of nature beautiful because nature designs us to do so. We are, in fact, nature (the system) finding itself beautiful.


Aesthetic assessment programs are looking for 'ideal' input, and base their concepts of ideal upon preset mathematical relationships. Perhaps the best quantified examples of aesthetic presets are the fibonacci spiral and the golden ratio.[16] We find designs based on this pattern most pleasing to the eye.


The 'golden ratio' is approximately equal to 1.618. The ratio is found in nature, such as in the patterns of seeds within a sunflower, the shape of snail shells and the growth of plants. Its connection with the aesthetic beauty of nature has attracted humans throughout history to use the ratio to create art, music, and design.

The golden ratio demonstrates an influence on human awareness of proportion and aesthetic beauty, resulting in artistic masterpieces including Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Hokusai's famous wave.


The universality in our preference for color composition in paintings gives us a clue that beauty as felt towards paintings has a common biological basis.[21] 

Aesthetic experience goes hand in hand with both actively constructing meaning from an artwork and being in a state of heightened attention.[22]

But aesthetics are not just about appearances; musical scales are also based on natural physical relationships.[17] The overtones for any note follow a pattern, based on physics. The overtones of a vibrating string are 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, etc., of the string's "fundamental" wavelength.

The octave system is not only intrinsic to Western music, it’s also mathematically-based: move up an octave, and a given note doubles in frequency.



And our discrimination between nasty and nice in terms of smells relies on the inherent geometry of scent molecules. 

What is 'pleasant to the eyes' (or ears, nose etc.,) is really easy on the mind. Judgments of attractiveness depend on mental processing ease, or being "easy on the mind." A stimulus becomes attractive if it falls into archetypal presets and is therefore simple for the system to process. Critically, the less time it took you to recognize and classify a pattern according to archetypal associations, the more attractive you will judge it.

Like symmetry (another reliable predictor of attractiveness), prototypicality in biology signals health and fitness. and so is a kind of shorthand for a potential ally. Symmetry is also connected to our unconscious concepts of balance and harmony.



Symmetric and other simple structures emerge so commonly because emergence has an overwhelming preference for simple "algorithms"—that is, simple instruction sets or recipes for producing a given structure. 

These intuitions can be formalized in the field of algorithmic information theory, which provides quantitative predictions for the bias towards descriptive simplicity.[23]

Aesthetics and biomorality

Humans prefer a very slight asymmetry in what they find attractive. There is something about looking 'too perfect' that makes us uneasy. If something is aesthetically unpleasant to the eyes or ears, it evokes the same biological response as nasty tastes and smells – disgust and repulsion. People just want to get away from it. 

Aesthetics clearly warn us against the stale, the diseased, the dangerous and the ugly, but humans get particularly creeped out by a certain category of appearance much utilized by horror film makers; known as the 'uncanny valley effect'.[18] 

This was first written about by Darwin, who on viewing a particularly ugly reptile reported: “I imagine this repulsive aspect originates from the features being placed in positions, with respect to each other, somewhat proportional to the human face; and thus we obtain a scale of hideousness.” 

Uncanny valley research has produced a graph of hideousness. What Darwin was experiencing is now an issue of concern in the fields of robotics, prosthetics, avatar design and AI. It explains why clowns, orcs and spooky dolls can creep people out too.

It seems that if something looks not at all human (like early mechanical robots) or clearly half-human (like mermaids) we're fine with it, but when something not human displays characteristics of humans we get the chills. Motion amplifies the effect, and different items cause different responses:



A similar 'uncanny' effect can be achieved with atonal or discordant music, notably used in movie themes to represent psychos, demons or creepy monsters. 

Origin of homo- 

Greek, combining form of homós 'one and the same'

Origin of sapiens


Late Middle English sapyent; Latin sapient- literally, 'to taste, have taste'

To 'have one and the same taste' doesn't sound like a very noble description of what we are. 'Taste', however, doesn't mean concrete, physical taste (like, how we taste food); it refers to aesthetic taste: as a species we like and dislike the same things.

Unconsciously, we all find the same rancid smells disgusting; the same color combinations harmonious, the same sounds associated with the same concepts; the same mathematical ratios pleasing to the eye; the same behaviors repulsive. And this is a biological, not a societal thing. We all have the same biological morality because it's vital for survival for us all to know intuitively what to avoid and what to approach. In short, we all have the same biological morality. 

Morals are not ethics. The difference between morals and ethics is, analogically, the same as the difference between empathy and sympathy: the difference between experience and facts; between concrete and abstract knowledge. Biological morality is unconscious in origin. Ethics are consciously generated, and should be congruous with morals. Thus, an ethical person knows consciously that it is wrong to be cruel to animals, and a moral person just couldn't, even if their society told them it was ok or necessary to do so.

Incongruity can split morality from ethics wherever society invents false ethics. False ethics are rules that contradict scientific facts, usually due to lack of information.

To biology there are two kinds of 'wrong'; something incorrect (like, 2+2=97) is wrong; and something immoral (like, unnecessary violence) is wrong. Ultimately, biomoral rules are based on facts: what is, and what is not, harmful to our survival.

Thus, it's ethically correct to do experiments on animals in research on our own health, but it's morally wrong. It would be morally acceptable if our species were in danger of extinction from a plague; otherwise it cannot be morally justified. Likewise, ethical regulations tell us it's perfectly acceptable to allow up to 60 rat hairs in a bar of chocolate, but we still find it morally repugnant and can only eat chocolate by pretending it probably isn't true. 

When we start denying facts, that's incongruity. The unconscious knows when we're pretending and wonders why the hell we have to spend so much time doing so. This is stressful to the system even though we don't consciously notice, because any incongruity creates anxiety over time. The incongruity of doing a job that is ethically acceptable but morally wrong to biology is a major cause of burnout; a problem examined in the techniques section below. 

Aesthetic assessment programs scan scenes - your environment and companions - all the time and look for harmony of form in the concrete domain. In the abstract domain they assess function; rectitude, amiability, ergonomics and cooperation in much the same way. They calculate how 'user friendly' a scene or situation is; what is its potential for strong interaction (and therefore further development). 

Concrete and abstract domains sharing a single network is the usual thing for the system. For example, the same network of your brain controls both your understanding of pitch and of spatial orientation. We call pitch 'high' or 'low' because its uses the same processor as our spatial network and are thus associated metaphorically.[24]


Archetypal plots (events)

All patterns of behavior have a graphic representation in the system map. Behaviors in everyday life can be represented as a graph of events as easily as they can by a creative endeavor such as a story, picture, song or game, which pattern can then be compared with our inner images of archetypal patterns and the better they match up, the more we enjoy the result.

On a story graph, the x axis is time, and the y axis is how the character feels. Here's Cinderella:



You can of course go back in time in some stories, so the x axis does not necessarily begin in the present. 

The mind tells stories about itself, its development, obstacles to its development and beneficial events in its own development. This graph isn't just a pattern for comparison against archetypal patterns; it charts system development; in this case Cinderella's. 

Cinders begins the story by playing the faithful servant to a bunch of assholes. Although she clearly has potential for more, these obstacles are holding her back and keeping her stuck in the first phase of development constantly doing the same thing. The benefactor (fairy godmother) recognizes her potential and provides a way for her to play the young hero – phase two of development – go out and meet some sane people; things get better and better as she meets the prince (another young hero) and when phase one and two (processors M and S) begin to work together and complement each other, heroes can aim for phase three (processor D), where you get half the kingdom (three out of six processors optimal) and all that. Sadly, the limited time is not enough, and Cinders is thrown back into drudgery for a short while (snapback). But she has made a connection (left the slipper) and so the prince (processor S) comes looking for (grows towards) whomever the shoe fits (processor M), and off they run to phase three and the aforementioned assholes have to go do their own housework.


the plot of the game

A plot is a pattern of events. Archetypal plots emerge from interactions between things and stuff (people, objects and contexts), and mirror our systems' developmental progress. All of our stories are about our own intelligence system's development. They're not about what's going on out there; they are about what's going on in here. 

The system, immersed in its game of life, expects us to be personifying each archetype in turn as we develop. They are, if you like, a set of avatars whose skills are required for different 'levels' of the game. 

We begin the game by learning how to be our own faithful servant (take care of ourselves and provide our needs). It isn't possible to care for anyone else if we can't take adequate care of ourselves. Once we can take care of ourselves, we become young seekers venturing out into the world. We don't, however, lose the abilities of the faithful servant; indeed they are extended because we now must learn how to take care of ourselves in multiple environments and conditions. Development is not just role-switching; each character embodies the skills and abilities of its predecessors. 

We explore new situations and gather a critical mass of experience; we interact with guides, teachers and wise companions, and continue to develop sufficiently to become adept within our chosen environment and can act as 'the guide' to others whilst still honing our own skills. We mature into 'the wise master', thrive sufficiently to become a benefactor to others (sharing our skills and enriching our culture), and eventually become self-actualized, achieving what some call enlightenment and others call optimal function. Stories do not tell us what happens after that, except for saying that 'they all lived happily ever after, which sounds like a plan. 

If however we are led astray from the path (of development), by baddies or those representing sentiments, trouble ensues. The hero's journey is about learning from experience how to stay on the path with tenacity and resilience. 

Each character-based experience teaches us the skills and abilities for each phase of development, including the refinement of specific physical, physiological and emotional control related to each phase. 

Archetypal plots follow the program of the emergence of intelligence, and map all details of our own lives onto that process. Intelligence loves stories so much because they show it the pattern for its own next stage of growth, reveal where it is now, affirm the pattern of its overall path, and predict likely paths to success; 'The Way', 'the path', is the strategy to follow to make it happen. “Do not stray from the path,” the wise one says. 

'The Path' or 'The Way' means the course of our own development through the game of life. 

Throughout this journey we encounter puzzles, traps, 'baddies' and other obstacles, the besting of which lead to our further development. The characters represent the game 'levels'. You can't succeed in level 2 without the skills from level 1. 

Do not stray from the path means do not get distracted from your developmental process. 

Prince & princess bond: first two processors optimal and fully integrated 

Half the kingdom: three out of six processors optimal 

the kingdom or to 'come into your kingdom': all six processors optimal 

Things happen in threes representing the three domains of concrete processing, abstract processing and emotional processing; all necessary for congruity and autonomy. We can use the 'rule of threes' in self hypnosis techniques; see the techniques section below.

Archetypal plots appear over and over again in literature as humans create narrative records of how best to manage their lives in an endless variety of problematic contexts. Wherever good (beneficial) fights evil (harmful), you will find the hero or god fighting the tyrant or devil. 'Goodies' exemplify righteous emotion, baddies embody various sentiments and harmful behavioral traits; usually including hatred, bullying, anger and fear of change.



This is how a six year old can tell sentiment from emotion; only the goodies can feel real emotion. Sentiment is a harmful behavior to intelligence, and the real goodies just won't be threatened or coerced into feeling it. The baddies can feel only sentiment. They keep trying various ways of tempting the goodies to 'turn to the dark side', but rarely succeed. Baddies always try to coerce others into joining in; goodies respect autonomy and independence. 

We are also shown in story plots what happens to those who stray from the path of using intelligence, fall prey to sentiments and become 'baddies' -it may take a series of stages or a short sharp shock, but these 'baddies' stop succeeding in some spectacular and gruesome ways. We learn that a 'baddy' can turn back into a 'goody' and vice versa; that is to say, some 'lose the plot' temporarily, and some can never be saved. And all those magical weapons we use - 'The Sword' of intellect for cutting through the monstrous misunderstandings to get to the truth, the Magic Cloak of invisibility/ disguise/ shape shifting/ camoflage, that makes us invisible to our enemies, the magic ring that brings light (clarity of understanding) wherever there is darkness (ignorance) - all represent aspects of intelligence we can use to increase our chances; or, if you like, they're 'cheats for the game'; only available to those smart enough to discover them and wise enough to control their usage.

The battle between good and evil is the battle for healthy development versus damage or destruction of intelligence, and is a major feature in most tales. If a goody falls, they fall long and hard -Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader largely because of his own imbalance plus wrong input- he is no longer 'himself' (as metaphorized by his change of name). His real emotion (love for his son) is what saves him in the end.

Many wannabe Lords of the Ring fall to the sentiments of greed, possessiveness and arrogance (unjustified confidence in their own integrity, self control and ability to control the ring - which itself induces these sentiments).

Cinderella's Ugly Sisters have truly ugly minds, full of jealousy, pomposity, arrogance and greed, and they are bullies. 

The Bad King may be a pompous and dictatorial bully, or he may be a soft-assed wimp, cowering in a corner while the greedy Evil Ones (sentiments) take over the Kingdom (literally the landscape of our minds) and rule it by coercion. The Big Bad Wolf (an embodiment of the traits of greed, predation and deception) eats (destroys the minds of) children. And little Goldilocks has to seek out the 'just right' balanced choices to find a safe way to interact. Three times, obviously (once for each pair of processors, or each domain (physical, emotional, intellectual)). Otherwise her conscious interaction with the bears (unconscious behaviors) might not have gone at all well. 'Goldilocks' portrays the bonding of conscious to unconscious mind with emotional weighting 'just right'. 

These timeless plots are found everywhere in human culture; they are our inherited metaphoric guide to successful interaction for optimal development, fine-tuned by evolution and experience. Our unconscious awareness of roles, scenes and plots representing our own developmental process is THE source from which our conscious minds attempt to perceive what is happening, remember what happened, take an intuitive guess about what might happen, and optimally, direct what we’d like to happen by getting things 'just right'.

We are designed by biology to learn this code unconsciously as a result of play during development –this system of analogy, metaphor and symbol that can transfer meaning back and forth from concrete to abstract imagery, transform raw experience into abstract language and thought, creative imagination into physical creativity, and static archetypal characters into dynamic roles.

Once you know the code, practice at thinking consciously according to our inner model's congruous system of story archetypes automatically enhances experience and awareness.



what brings us together

The input we require in order to learn this code (and optimally, to think in it) comes (or should) from the external network that is the natural matrix for this phase of growth and development; our culture. That is; the conglomerate of all those of our species who create, discover, invent, innovate, and share their knowledge and ability and creations openly; for the love of nurturing ever greater cooperative inquiry into the nature of reality, and to learn more themselves. 

In other words, all those whom we genuinely respect and admire for their knowledge and ability, and who enjoy sharing it with us in their stories, factual or fictional.


Culture is the giant whose shoulders we (and every generation) stand on for this part of our development. A healthy culture forms the external network which nurtures intelligence (the internal network) through its next stage. Our culture contributes to, studies and records our species' progress at bringing unconscious knowledge into conscious awareness; through invention and discovery, creation and study, synthesis and analysis; science and art; construction and composition. 

Members of any culture share their open-source knowledge and skills with each new generation, in their own interests. The relationships that furnish optimal learning are those of love and respect. If 'master' and 'student' do not love and respect one another, if the writer does not respect the reader, if core conditions do not guide their interaction, learning is of poor quality and very slow, and development can slow down or stop.

Domestication replaces culture with tradition, and archetypes become stereotypes when our inner judgment falters. In tradition, we do things this way 'because we have always done things this way'. Change is avoided. Tradition is parochial; it differs widely from place to place. Culture is universal; all peoples figure out new stuff and share what they've learned. 

Tradition is harmful because it remains static whereas culture is dynamic; changing every moment as we learn new things to do and better ways to do things. 

Culture, then, is where we are supposed to learn the unconscious 'story code'; safely in the arms of those we love, as we learn in the stories of childhood the rules of reality that prime us for successful strategy in real life. All the stories we humans create model not only the archetypal evolutionary experiences that have shaped our species, they also model our own brain processes and intelligence development, which themselves are embodying the archetypal evolutionary experiences that have shaped our species... 

...cookie, anyone? 

Our stories are the stories of our own development, physical and mental. But they are also the stories of the development of life on earth, and the development of the universe, because our stories (all the ones that work - that achieve a beneficial change in the listener - ) are based on the patterns of emergence; a feature in many complex systems. The archetypes 'represent' the stages of emergence. They're not connected with age, but with stage of development. At different developmental stages we develop the skills, abilities and behaviors of each archetypal character in turn. 

Stories serve to work out relations with reality and “how life works”. They give us the examples of the most beneficial paths, procedures and behaviors in difficult circumstances, show us how the plot goes (what usually happens after what, what usually causes what), and consolidate our unconscious likes and dislikes, loves and fears, dangers and benefits into the characters of heroes, goodies, baddies and monsters. Biomorality dictates appearance; the evil witch (with her nasty sentiments) has green skin, warts and rotten teeth; the bad king is obese and smelly, greedy and mean; the good guys have the noblest emotions and the coolest tricks as well as the best hairdos. The baddies may have superior tech/magic, the goodies may have only meager means but always have the best intelligence. Those expressing the most harmful sentiments die, those expressing the healthiest emotions always win against the odds. 

As children (and often as adults) the heroes are our models; the competent, intelligent, confident, powerful people we would like to become. They always figure out what to do, they always manage to escape from any crisis. They are honorable and always keep their word, they have integrity and stand by what they know is beneficial. They gain dignity and respect because they are never mean or low or petty, they are never bullies or wimps, and they have the power to cheer us up and make us laugh even in tough circumstances. Heroes empower the despondent and inspire the timid to make more of themselves. When mistakes are made, heroes can laugh at themselves. Passionate in love, trustworthy in alliance, disciplined in training, dedicated and ruthless when it comes to dispatching monsters. By hearing stories about them we become more like them –we begin to live by their example; to copy them. To become them psychologically rather than physically.

In following the plot of stories we are intuitively grasping unconscious code that describes patterns of real situations in real life. There have been a lot of attempts to explicate archetypal plots (patterns of events) in terms of mystical mapping; most notably the I Ching or 'Book of Changes'; Tarot, kabbalah, numerology, astrology and umpteen religious texts and philosophical treatises. They all use the same archetypes, with different names. There is a universality of our creative attempts to categorize things the same way the unconscious does.



For me science fiction is a way of thinking, a way of logic that bypasses a lot of nonsense. It allows people to look directly at important subjects”.
Gene Roddenberry, creator of "Star Trek"

As we mature, what we are supposed to do with stories as maps of reality is the same thing we're supposed to do with everything else: use our intelligence to look at a lot of different maps and then make our own. We become our own role models, we make our own reality maps, we write our own symphonies and our own plots (strategies for living, or 'lifeplans') 

Unconscious core concept imperatives direct our behavior. We create music, art and fabulous buildings because unconsciously we seek the emotions they evoke. We take drugs and sing and dance to access numinous emotion and 'high' mind states. 

And then we make up stories about gods, heroes, spirits and demons to explain consciously why we do these things. We bond together around these attractors – the archetypal stories we create and share. Consciously we share aesthetic awareness, but what we really share is the enjoyable emotions those aesthetics invoke. That's how our biology rewards us; with joy and happiness.

what keeps us apart

We begin this journey through life in the company of (currently; 2022) around eight billion other humans. We all have one definitive thing in common; we're the same species. Being black or brown; being male or female; being 15 or 85, being short or tall; these are not the things which set us apart. 

We all share human DNA; that fact immediately excludes us from sharing our exact experience of reality with any other species. Other creatures have different senses, different skills, and different life experiences than we do. There are species 'kinda' like us, but they are clearly not the same. Many of us wonder, at some point in our lives, whether there is any other human out there who is sharing our exact experience of reality either. Not in the phenotypical sense because there are plenty of people around with a similar appearance to us; not the least our own offspring. But appearances do not imply similarities of mind or of experience; as twin studies have made exceptionally clear. We all have the same senses, but does anybody out there 'see' the world in exactly the same way we do? Does anyone else believe the same things we believe? Feel the same way we do about things? Hold the same values? Have the same aims? Similarities and differences; this is what we inherently discern. Homo Sapiens: the species with the mental capacity for the same discrimination; the same tastes. 

Differences in sensory details do not set us apart because the basics are the same for all of us in good mental health. We can be 'hetero-sapiens' about the worst ever nasty smell we ever encountered personally, but we all agree on what smells disgusting. 

Technology does not keep us apart or obstruct our development. Despite media grunting about obsessive-compulsive addiction to material objects, TV, computers, gaming or smartphones ('zombie hunchbacks') it is not modern technology that gets in our way, but the way we misuse it. Tech, used wisely, can be very useful for getting harmful stuff OUT of the way and for learning good new habits, just as drugs can. Tech does not set us apart anything like as much as it brings us together, across time as well as space (you can read this anywhere in the world, and if I had been dead for a hundred years, you could still read this). 

It is our current circumstances of domestication (including a straightforward lack of knowing what to do instead) that sets us apart from the rest of our species and prevents our own psychological development into healthy mental maturity by impeding our access to the essential mental resources available from nature.

Domestication gets us stuck in habitual loops or 'ruts' which tie up mental resources so that no further development takes place, resulting in less-mature, more harmful behaviors along with dysfunction and problems like anxiety and depression. To turn things around and climb back out of the rut, we must provide the input our systems need. Just as we need to get essential amino acids from natural food, we need to get other essential chemicals from interaction with the natural environment and we need to get essential unconscious knowledge from stories.



evidence based techniques

Most common NH problems 8 - lack of energy

The ongoing hassle, anxiety and depression invoked by domestication lead to fatigue and exhaustion, which in turn lead to ignoring obvious solutions. Change seems to be way too much hassle and takes too much energy when we feel tired enough in the first place. The very idea of taking on even more tasks further raises anxiety. 

Many of us live in a fake game. With a conscious and rational part of the brain, we recognize that our existence is governed by material realities of our environment and that as those realities change, so should our lives. But confounding this awareness is the deep weariness of a semi-consciousness which runs mainly on automatic, projecting our future lives as repeated instances of the present routine. This dragging fatigue becomes our ongoing reality; we stop paying attention to the real world and narrow down our view to the immediate and long term requirements of society. 

This imposition of apathy has begun to destroy both our mental health and our environment; the conditions necessary for human life on earth. Science has laid out the details before us, but the mental state in which we find ourselves will not allow us to see it. We genuinely want to improve our mental ability but we genuinely can't be bothered to change anything because it's too stressful. This is about as incongruous as incongruity gets. 

We place our faith in technology to do stuff for us instead of improving our ability to do stuff for ourselves. We treat governments, societies and institutions as replacement parents and take no responsibility for what we do because we are permanently tired out, bored, disillusioned and apathetic. We do what we're told, until burnout happens.



Most human problems (of all kinds) occur because biological imperatives are not met and our mental development gets interrupted, preventing full realization of our potential, as we get 'stuck' at some point or points along the way.

Even if there are no noticeable mental problems when this happens, being stuck limits our mental development and performance, so that our experience and quality of life are also limited, and we fail to develop a range of useful abilities that would otherwise be available to us. We also miss out on the enjoyment of unique and powerful emotional experiences associated with these abilities. Worse, we remain at much higher risk for mental decline in later years if we stay permanently stuck. And sooner or later we end up feeling excessively tired, devoid of energy, hassled, demoralized and irritable. 

If you feel this way, you may have burnout; a syndrome associated with a potentially deadly heart rhythm disturbance. 

Vital exhaustion, commonly referred to as burnout syndrome, is typically caused by prolonged and profound stress at work and/or home. Biopsychology defines burnout as a "long-term, irresolvable chronic stress that leads to exhaustion, cynicism and feelings of detachment. It differs from depression, which is characterized by low mood, guilt, and poor self-esteem. Vital exhaustion is associated with increased inflammation and heightened activation of the body's physiologic stress response, and people with the highest levels of vital exhaustion are at a 20% higher risk of developing atrial fibrillation.


Burnout syndrome was first described back in the 1970s as a state of chronic stress,with symptoms like exhaustion, apathy, anhedonia (no enjoyment from anything) and reduced productivity. Without intervention, it becomes a way of life and leads to mental illness and system failure.

Though burnout for many stems from school- or work-related pressures, it can stem from unhealthy relationships or other aspects of your life such as fanaticism about politics or religion. In extreme cases, people need constant psychiatric care and may end up institutionalized. 

Around the world, 'burnout' is becoming an increasingly pervasive problem, affecting people from all walks of life. Being successful per se will not insulate you from burnout. On the contrary, it may actually raise your risk. Frequently, people on the road toward burnout will turn to alcohol or other substances in an effort to prop themselves up to avoid the inevitable. Sadly, one of the most serious side effects of burnout is suicide. 

Many of the factors contributing to burnout are rooted in the biology-challenging school and work habits that we have inherited along with our society. Intensive domestication is an ongoing contributing factor, because we have been relentlessly trained to perform in this society by our parents, teachers and peer groups. We have internalized the idea that we need to be working all the time or engaging in the never-ending pursuit of society's ideals. 

Home- or relationship-based burnout has a lot of similarities with regular burnout, otherwise known as work burnout. Anywhere there is prolonged stress and no relaxation, there will result exhaustion and burnout. Mental or emotional exhaustion is no less dangerous than physical exhaustion for the system; nothing can function in these circumstances. It is, in effect, 'slow onset PTSD', in which the trauma has accumulated over time rather than coming all from one acute event. 

Unfortunately, research on burnout focuses on factors such as getting emotional support from fellow employees, preventing sexual harassment or workplace bullying, changing place of work / school or promoting a more communal workspace. This is not going to solve the problem of nature (and natural life) deprivation. Some will drop out or leave their job only to find that a new school or job isn't any better.[25] 

Impoverished environments, boredom and hassle, together with the threat of punishments if you don't perform, always create the conditions for burnout. Hopefully, more attention will eventually be paid to the fact that, if we are found to be suffering higher levels of burnout, this might indicate: (a) that we need less problematic environments; (b) that it is quite possibly the same behaviors that stress everyone; and (c) that chronic stress is increasing in work and school environments.

Telling sufferers to train themselves to 'be more resilient' in the workplace is as daft as telling people to 'get used to' terrorist attacks so we are not so traumatized by them! Reframing 'burnout' as a type of PTSD leads to more effective approaches to treatment and better comprehension of what is going on. 

Burnout can be identified by means of a simple saliva test. The hormone cortisol is the marker used for this. What does excess cortisol do? It kills brain cells.[26]


solution: cognitive development & rewilding 

prevention is easier than cure

Recovery from burnout usually takes time — six months or more is usual. To recognize the warning signs of burnout in yourself you need to be self-aware enough to identify your biological needs. 

A key point that may initially be difficult to accept is that you need to change how you live. The way you've been living so far does not work, and merely taking a few weeks off, only to return right back to it, is rarely going to suffice. 

everybody's causal stressors are different. For some, part of the path to mental health is a change in profession. For some, this involves going into business for themselves and doing more outdoor work as opposed to working in an office. For others, a change of relationships or of location or of lifestyle habits is needed.


Practical Rewilding

The most useful question in NH :

What do we actually need to DO in order to re-initiate natural development?

If you feel you might be headed toward banging your head against the proverbial 'mad bugger's wall', address the situation as rapidly as you can. 

You need to recognize 'being in a rut' because it creates the conditions for burnout. Then you need to provide appropriate input to complete your current developmental phase while laying the foundations for the next one. Whilst doing this, you take steps to prevent further damage by avoiding harmful input as much as possible until you are 'back on track'. Development is an automatic process and once re-triggered will proceed all by itself for as long as it gets the required input, unless something else comes along that gets in its way.


In short you need to prevent wrong input by pursuing good input. That's it.




The point is to simply replace areas of wrong input with correct input, one step at a time. As soon as you start to do this, you are heading back towards the green zone. You become less stressed, less fatigued, genuinely more resilient and less susceptible to harm. 

In the real world, everywhere we replace wild things with domesticated things, ecosystems collapse and biodiversity plummets. Rewilding means to return to a more 'wild', free or natural state; it is the process of undoing domestication. Rewilding is dynamic, process-led restoration where your health, especially mental health, takes much more care of itself as biological imperatives are restored. We can only thrive when everything around us thrives too. 

We can achieve this aim by various methods, which may be a mixture of physical, technological, chemical, psychological, behavioral, cognitive and physiological techniques. We try out different methods for our own particular needs, beginning with the most easily accessed and safest (environmental). From assessing our real life results, we are then able to choose our own most effective methods, and the choice of methods will be optimal for us personally in current circumstances (methods change as we develop and need different kinds of input). 

An enriched environment fires up our synapses, and there is a clear chemical explanation for the positive effects of a natural environment on mental health: when we're in the right place doing the right things, biology gets us high. Proteins of our own onboard endocannabinoid system are strongly influenced by the sensory impressions of an enriched environment. If the information arrives at the synapse as a signal, signal processing is enhanced, which ultimately leads to improved learning and development.[27] 

Mental fitness means having a lifestyle that best 'fits in' with your biological needs; that is what 'fitness' means in Darwinian terms. Fitting in requires constant adaptation; the hallmark of strong intelligence. Fulfilling biological imperatives is instrumental in re-initiating mental development; creating limitless opportunity, inspiring excited motivation, enabling growth, overcoming limitations and boundaries, outgrowing anxious insecurity, avoiding decline, and experiencing the natural joy of life without fear. 

Our own development (when re-initiated) is an exciting, fun, inspiring journey; the driving force behind our motivation and intent; the real story of our lives; or at least it's meant to be, and it once again can become.

Once biology gets its trigger signals that it is safe to get out of 'protection mode' and resume growth, and once appropriate input with which to interact is provided, we regain the original motivational intent of children but are able to couple it to mature executive control. This is congruity; unconscious knowledge is confirmed by conscious awareness, and 'everything makes sense'. All healthy mammals feel a great deal of comfort, contentment, light-heartedness, playfulness and self-confidence when everything makes sense in their lives. If in doubt, watch kittens.

Contrary to what folks selling 'rewilding camps' or books will tell you, rewilding is not about boy scout skills, running about barefoot or even hunting and gathering, although doing such things will cause no harm if you are reasonably fit and well. Rewilding is about putting the system back into its healthy natural state and is achieved with the physical movements we make, the input we see, hear, smell, touch and taste; the things we do with our hands and the things we do with our words. 

It is about providing appropriate input for gene transcription enabling cognitive maintenance and development. It is about deliberately accessing those states of mind in which development can take place. 

It is about taking responsibility for your own wellbeing and giving up the anxious unconscious search for replacement parents. About realizing that, regardless of what happened in the past, your mental health right now is your responsibility. And so is your education, and your creativity, and your life path. 

Changing behaviors is never simple because of the tenacity of automated habit, and it is far easier to concentrate on adopting new habits than on removing the old. The installation of new habits requires repetition at regular intervals. 

This book discusses a lot of different ways to acquire healthy input, but only if you put them into practical use regularly can they assist in improving your mind. 

Here's a bunch of things to review right now if you think you're getting burnout: 

assess the situation. Write down all of the things, people, places and events/situations that trigger chronic stress in your life: things that make you feel concerned, uncomfortable, worried, stressed out, anxious, bored, frustrated, ill or nasty. Keep adding to this list as you go along. Next to each item on the list, write down what you can do to reduce the problem it's generating, and implement those solutions whenever possible. 

refuse, cancel or postpone some things. Saying 'no thankyou', 'not yet', or 'only after x is finished', is one of the best ways to conserve your energy reserves. Avoid taking on new responsibilities, projects or commitments while you're in recovery. If too many things need to be done, see if you can do things in sections, delegate some tasks or share them with anyone else. Avoid the trap of thinking no one else will be able to do things as well as you. Usually that doesn't matter. Don't cancel fun activities in favor of repetitive, dull activities; aim to do the opposite. 

plan breaks and socializing events as part of everyday life. Make sure you take breaks between projects, places and people, to give your system time to build resilience. Also, be sure to include time out for 'open mode breaks' on a daily basis. Enjoying yourself is one of the best ways to develop your mind and is greatly underrated as an anti-anxiety prophylactic.

do not adopt other people's problems. Take other people's requirements off the back burner and take steps to care for yourself. If your colleagues expect you to live for work and be there around the clock, re-establish boundaries about what sort of people you want to work with. Determine what's an acceptable number of hours to you and start looking for something more appropriate. Choose your work by prioritizing mental health over money, because a shit job will cost you a lot more in medical bills, divorce, drug problems or alcohol abuse in the end.


How much of what you spend is in order to show off material goods (and the associated lifestyle) to other people?

If anyone else expects you to live to serve their needs, reevaluate this relationship because it is keeping two people (or sometimes, whole families or groups) stuck in dependence. 

Ideally, find work that suits your personality and gives you meaning and purpose; at a bare minimum, implement strategies to control your day-to-day work stressors. 

Consider: work as we know it is a relatively modern activity. For the whole history of the human race up until a few thousand years ago, human beings lived as hunter-gatherers. Their main job was to find food, and with a small population and endless forests, they didn't have to work particularly hard to do this. Working less does not mean economic failure. In fact, the opposite may be true. Longer working hours just make people tired and resentful, and therefore less productive. And in poor health. Working less has many psychological benefits; less stress and anxiety; better relationships; more time with our loved ones; more energy and better health. 

It also gives us more opportunity to live authentically through following our own innate interests, so that we spend more time with optimal input.[28]

use your culture. Cultivating a cultural life is an important aspect of a healthy mental life, so avoid the tendency to make work, home or any particular relationship or activity your sole focus. It's great having games or things to play with, but remember you also have an imagination and ideas to play with. It's great to play indoors, but it's important to play outdoors too. Sitting in the woods and making up a story is a different experience to sitting at your desk writing a story.



Take time to enjoy your favorite music, movies and artwork, and take time to enjoy your favorite places and activities. Regularly access input that makes you laugh. Make something. Add material to your culture as well as enjoying the inventions that others have shared with you. 

Go outside and mess about with nature. Make stuff with your hands. Make stuff up with your mind. 

start using tech wisely. Smartphones, social media and computers can be an enormous time drain if you don't manage their use well. The constant barrage of message notifications can be a major source of stress in and of itself. Turn down the stress by turning off all notifications on your devices; batch process your emails, at most four times a day, and restrict social media to a specific time or place rather than trying to "keep up" on an hour-by-hour basis or whenever the machine goes ping. 

Think about your environment and don't waste energy. Burning shitloads of fossil fuels to power some idiot broadcasting photos of their dinner worldwide while others struggle to breathe, causes more harm then benefit. 

Think about your memory and start using it again to recall the numbers, addresses or birthdays of friends, appointments or shopping lists without having to look at the cellphone. Nobody can steal, copy or spy on your memory. Doing it the natural way now helps prevent senility later; otherwise, one day, you won't remember how to use the phone, or who your friends are. 

If you feel anxious when you turn it off, that's a sign of addiction. Treat it now rather than letting it take over your life and wreck your health. Your tech should work for you, not against your interests. Beware of anything that makes you dependent. 


stop encouraging dependence and slavery

Before you say, “Wtf?”, consider this: 

Does anyone else bring your food to your house except you?

Does anyone else clean your home except you?

Does anyone else take care of your kids except you?

Do you pay anyone else to do your washing, shopping, prepare your food and cook it, or clean your windows?

Of course, you reason that you pay for all these services and don't force anyone to do them. However, if those people dare not give up their servile jobs for fear of homelessness or hunger, they are effectively slaves. That's what wage slavery means. 

Taking responsibility means doing these things for yourself to the best of your ability no matter how you manage it. Doing these things will develop your brain. Not doing them will contribute to atrophy. 

It's absolutely fine to use tech to help with these tasks, but it's not ok to use other people. If your home is too big for you to clean, your home is too big. If you can't bring all your food home, you're eating too much. If you can't do all this because you have to go to work, you're a wage slave. To upgrade the system, downsize to what you can afford doing part time, find an occupation that fulfils biological needs, or find work that you can do at home. 

stop consciously multitasking. We unconsciously multitask so that we won't have to do so consciously, and doing so consciously can get you stuck in salience. Paradoxically, giving up multitasking is one of the key strategies of highly productive people. Focusing on one thing at a time will also make you calmer and less stressed out.


Optimize your group size

The system works best in 'small world networks' consisting of a small group of trusted allies, friends or family; with whom you maintain close relations and regular contact. 

The benefit of small networks in both computer science and human interaction comes from their unique properties; they enable a local specialization in knowledge or a task, while enjoying efficient information and (energetic) burden sharing across the network. They are optimized for information and energy flow.[29] 

Putting your energy into maintaining a small network of relationships with allies is a much better context for intelligence development that chasing thousands of fleeting acquaintances on social media.


Review all the basics that make you feel fatigued and dull-minded 

Are you eating fresh food and avoiding junk?

How many toxic ingredients are lurking in or around your home?

Are you getting harmful noise exposure?

Are you regularly accessing open mode every day? 

sort your sleep out. Are you sleeping and waking naturally? Morning sunlight exposure is particularly important as it plays a huge role in keeping our circadian clocks aligned for producing hormones necessary for healthy wakefulness and sleep. Morning light also ensures healthy levels of cortisol. Nighttime exposure to blue light should be reduced in order to prevent eye problems and hormone suppression. Sit next to a window when you’re working with screens and consider investing in filters or red light sources. Also, try and get some natural sunlight after you eat a large meal, so the serotonin from any carbohydrate you might consume does not covert from serotonin into melatonin and make you sleepy.


move your ass. Physical activity is the most effective antidepressant we can use. It gets system chemistry back into order. Do stuff for yourself manually: prepare your own food, clean your own space, go out and carry your own shopping home. Model your movements on natural postures. 

Dancing is a superb way to improve all sorts of skills and maintain great mobility. If you're embarrassed by the idea, remember; nobody needs to see you do it. Gardening is also one of the fastest ways to reclaim and maintain healthy natural motion, with the bonus of fresh food or beautiful flowers and other input the system finds enhancing.[30]


There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling." 

Mirabel Osler 


All these activities are assisting your rewilding, your ongoing wellbeing, your resilience and your cognitive ability. The point is we can't avoid adversity in life but we can avoid anxiety, and when we're anxiety-free we respond to adversity with adaptation and ingenuity.

In summary, recovering from burnout (or avoiding it in the first place) boils down to finding and maintaining a balance between your work life, other activities, relationships and mental development. 

When people are comfortable, safe, and free to enjoy life independently within a small group of allies, they are happy and they thrive — regardless of whether or not they are making lots of money.[31]


Look deeper into nature and you will understand everything better.”


  Albert Einstein.

Cultivating wisdom

Changing the context of thinking can encourage more wise outcomes. For instance, we make wiser decisions when we abstract a problem as being about 'Alice and Bob', or if we consider a problem as if it occurred a year ago, rather than now. These distancing techniques focus our perspective and allows us to accept uncertainties and seek facts rather than opinions. Using these techniques, we make decisions in a dynamic way rather than a static way. Similarly, pretending that one has to teach a subject to a newbie helps us to learn and remember with greater ease.[32] 

There are only two things that can go wrong on the path to enlightenment: One is not starting and the other is not going all the way.

One of the biggest obstacles to starting NH is fear of change, often shored up by bully or wimp thoughts. Adaptation to change is in fact a measure of intelligence. It takes motivation to adapt, and that really depends on what your priorities are. 

Once you get going, tenacity ('staying power'; not giving up) relies more on patience and determination. Patience relies on adequate neurotransmitters, which are provided by the input recommended. So once you start to make it regular, practical experience will increase your tenacity.[33] 

Beware of replacing doing things with reading about doing things. No amount of knowledge as information can ever change your genetic expression. Only knowledge as experience can affect gene expression changes. Knowledge only becomes powerful when congruity bonds information (conscious brain networks) with experience (unconscious brain networks); when emotion is justified by reason.


beliefs and expectations affect outcomes

Simply believing you can do something to improve mental health is linked with higher wellbeing. 

People who understand that their feelings of wellbeing have an internal source progress a lot faster in NH than those who believe their state of mind is controlled by external factors (such as by other people or by chance).[34] 

Hopefully you're reading THIS particular book for the same reason I'm writing it: an attempt at increasing congruity; that is, to further merge unconscious knowledge with conscious awareness. New learning (and new theory) must make coherent sense alongside what is already known, and the mind must update its awareness in light of new discovery. 

'Confirming or disproving initial intuition with scientific proof' is another way of putting it; that's what scientists mainly do, although we have to include in that 'finding out which intuitions were false' as well as finding out which current beliefs are false, and replacing them with factually supported evidence. Thus our picture of reality gets more accurate over time. 

Wot, no woo-woo?

Anything we claim, discover or do in NH must be checkable within a scientific context; otherwise it is a complete waste of time. If you are merely seeking anxiety pacification via quantum cosmic BS or mystical magical enlightenment then Neurohacking (and possibly, real life) is not for you. The difference between science and magic is that the former reliably works as a method for deducing truth, even when people refuse to believe it. 

There is really no excuse for woo woo beliefs about the mind, emotion and imagination these days; enough has been discovered for any of us to learn the truth about the functions and nature of mind without resorting to new age BS. The only reason TO indulge in it is anxiety-pacification for those who cannot be bothered putting in the time to learn the real facts.

There is a lot of information online about the brain and mind, though, and much of it is contradictory. How can we be sure that what we are reading is true?

How do you normally make sure the stuff you read is true? Do you look in the rear of any book claiming to be non-fiction, and check the references? Do you work out what is true using logic, can you formulate and recognize a logical argument? Do you know the difference between an argument and a row? Are you accustomed to rational thinking and the rules of logic regarding what does and what does not make sense, what may and may not be proved by evidence? Are you usually gullible and tend to 'believe anything'? Do you only believe things you intuitively feel are true, or are you usually cynical and believe everything remains false until proven true? Or, are you one of those rare individuals who is happy to believe that you 'don't know yet' whether something is true? That's what 'open-minded' means.



Key techniques 8 - self suggestion and hypnosis

Everyday ‘trance’ states are part of our common human experience, such as getting lost in a good book, driving down a familiar stretch of road with no conscious recollection, being in open mode or meditation, or when undertaking an automatic or creative activity. 

Our conscious awareness of our surroundings versus unconscious, inner awareness is on a continuum, such that, when in these states, one’s focus is predominantly internal, but one does not necessarily lose all outer awareness.[35] 

The main usefulness of the hypnotic state is the increased effectiveness of suggestion and access to mind/body links or unconscious processing.[36] 

We can use self-hypnosis to feel calmer and give us a sense of ease. Physically, it can help us feel more relaxed and enable easier access to open mode. 

There is a plethora of information on and examples for self-hypnosis techniques in the tutorials here:[37]


Self-hypnosis preparation exercise:

Find a space where you feel relaxed and won’t be put off. Choose a comfortable position, so your body is aligned. Then, begin to breathe slowly, deeply and evenly from your stomach, not your chest.

With every exhale, say a word that represents the way you want to feel. For example ‘open' or 'relaxed' or 'peace', or simply, 'Ahhh'. 

Recall a comforting image or memory. Now think about specific elements of your imagined situation, to intensify your experience. What colors can you see? What can you hear? Smell? 

As your visualization becomes deeper and more specific, think about what would make it more comforting for you and experiment with adding different elements. Practice this for three to five minutes twice a week.


Using archetypes: the 'rule of threes' in hypnosis 

Combining three types of input is necessary for successful self-suggestion: 

motion or tactile sensation (processors M & S)

images or movies (processors D & P)

words or sounds (processors E & T) 

Combining these enables congruous total brain engagement. 


movements & tactile:

There are many forms of motion-related hypnotic triggers. A trigger reminds the subconscious of a desired action or feeling which was suggested under hypnosis. Here are a few examples:

Opening eyes / Standing up or sitting down / Opening a door / dancing to rhythm / exercise or martial arts / tai chi / regular pendulum motion / sync / repetitive massage.[38] 

Even during ordinary wakefulness, some archetypal behaviors cause unconscious responses. As an example, memory responses for new items are both slower and less accurate when we have walked through a doorway into a new room than when we have walked around in the same room. This “doorway effect” appears to be quite general. It works in VR or even on an ordinary monitor during gaming.[39] This may not seem like an advantage until you consider getting rid of traumatic memories, whereupon its value becomes apparent.


Images & movies:

When we can hold a clear image in our mind of a place where we feel utterly calm then we actually begin to relax physically. It’s similar to when we see a scary film and we tense up with anticipation; our brain doesn't absolutely differentiate between real and imagined situations and the more relaxed we are the blurrier that boundary becomes. 

Mental imagery techniques work best if we imagine all the sensory inputs; what does the scene smell like, sound like, feel like?[40]


words & sounds:

Examples: Sound of a bell / Snap of fingers / Clap of hands / chanting /music / key phrases 

Processor T pays attention to abstract sounds, metaphor, analogy, poetry and music lyrics. Processor E pays attention to formal language and logic. 

Speaking or reading aloud improves memory. Your own voice live works better than a recording of your voice, or the voices of other readers. The system pays most attention to what you say out loud, because it is considered important. 

The reading aloud advantage comes from both the act of reading and the experience of hearing oneself. It is called “the production effect”. The production effect is likely caused through the combined advantage of three factors. First, reading things aloud involves motor processing, making it a more active process. Second, when we read words, it requires an element of visual processing, which may lead to deeper learning rather than just listening. Third, reading aloud is self-referential (i.e. “I said it”), which makes the information more salient.[41]


how do you know if you are succeeding with NH?

Positive mental health and well-being is a combination of feeling good and functioning well. Assess your progress by considering the following: 

Are you regularly experiencing biology's 'reward' emotions of happiness, joy, pride, satisfaction, excitement and love?

Do you have successful interactions with the people you care about?

Are you feeling interested in and engaged with life?

Do you mind your own business and avoid prying into other people's?

Are you feeling your life is fun, valuable, interesting and worthwhile?

Do you experience appreciation of good input in terms of pleasure?

Do you experience emotional stability; feeling in control, stable and able to manage emotions without sentiment breaking in?

Are you resilient? Do you cope well with the inevitable bummers and stressors in life?

Are you optimistic? Are you feeling positive about your life and future?

Do you have realistic self-esteem; feeling confident about yourself but not arrogant?

Do you have increased vitality; are you feeling more energetic?

Do you learn from your mistakes, or repeat the same errors?

Do you take responsibility for your own responses, or blame others for 'upsetting you'?

Do you believe happiness comes from the outside, or within your mind?

Are you being creative? In what ways?

Are you kind?


where do you come from? - a psychological switch called the overview effect

If you ask an intelligent child, “Where do you come from?” they will most likely say, “Out of mummy's tummy”. That's the common-sense, concrete processing perspective of a young developing mind. 

If you ask an average tribesperson this question, they will most likely name their tribe. They don't necessarily associate their origins with one particular location; they may well move seasonally or have different areas to live during different times. 

If you ask an average domesticated person this, they will answer with a particular location either where they were born, or where they grew up, even though they may not live there now. 

If however they are on holiday and a foreigner asks them this, they will identify with the name of the country where they live now, which could get very confusing as boundaries change or places change their names. It is as though the very behavior of travel itself expands our perspective of where 'home' is.

Our perspective expands with our experience. Imagine you are abducted by aliens who drop you off in some bar on an unknown planet and an alien asks you, “Where are you from?” 


The 'overview effect' describes a change in how astronauts feel as they hurtle through space looking down on earth. It's a profound change, incapable of being fully captured in words. 

Looking down on our little blue-green world, sheltered only by a paper-thin atmosphere, there comes an awareness. The incredible fragility of our planet and the pettiness of human borders become clear when looking at the reality of Earth from space. 

As yet, scientists are not sure of the psychological processes at play in the overview effect, but it is characterized by a strong emotional response.


For many astronauts, looking at our planet from space and recognizing its awesome potential and wondrous nature can inspire an overwhelming urge to protect it. It is my hope that we finally recognize our own minds in a similar fashion.


numinous emotion

All of our reasons for wanting further development will be different, but at the bottom of our striving for improvement we are not seeking enlightenment per se. We are seeking a feeling; an experience. We want to experience feeling 'right'; to experience feeling like we have everything we need; and are anxiety-free; that we are cherished and welcome and competent and totally at home here, on our homeworld beneath the sky of stars.

We want to feel joy. Blissful enjoyment (enjoyment means 'to enwrap in joy') We want to be 'in joy' the same way we want to be 'in love', and it may be the same thing in terms of human experience - that is, when we are developing as intended we feel as though we are in love most of the time.



This is what drives us for self-actualization as well as for full conscious awareness and comprehension. The pursuit of this goal of numinous emotional experience is the ultimate life adventure. 

Despite our current crises here on Earth, I believe that there is hope for humans as a developing species. We are the first generations to have access to the science sufficient to be informed that domestication has undermined the stability and ability of biology to support human development as intended. Rewilding procedures are beginning to occur for the environment; it only remains to be seen whether we will instigate the same repair processes for ourselves and our wonderful minds.



If we aim for true conscious comprehension of our existence, then our greatest need is to grasp how to attribute meaning in our lives. Life is always shallow and pointless if meaning evades us. 

True comprehension of the meaning of life or what the meaning of one's life may or ought to be is a hallmark of psychological maturity. Getting to that stage is the result of ongoing development, and a lot of experiential practice is necessary to achieve this. What experience teaches us is this: we are not meant to be seeking for meaning in life; we are meant to create it. 

If we are to feel fulfilled , happy with our lives and what we do, and free from anxiety, we must put in the practice that develops our minds; such that our emotions, behaviors and intellect congruously support and enhance one another. We must also embrace beneficial change; only a healthy, dynamic system can give us the resilience to navigate successfully through the adversities we all unavoidably encounter. 

We create our own meaning by prioritizing the things that matter to us and nurturing them; by deciding for ourselves what really matters and what really doesn't. We are dreamers, seekers, singers and makers.


We are storytellers.



I wish you all the best on your hero's journey and now go to continue mine.

Alex Ramonsky 2022







I have quite finished, Sam,” said Frodo. “The last pages are for you.”






1 https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-poetry-and-music-of-science-9780198797999?cc=gb&lang=en&

2 Maslow's hierarchy of needs

3 Carl Rogers Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (1961) p. 350-1

4 Rogers, C. R. (1951/2015) Client-centred therapy. London: Robinson. p. 489.

5 Rogers, C. R. (1963) The actualizing tendency in relation to 'motive' and to consciousness. In M. Jones (ed.) Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 1963. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. pp.1-24

6 https://continuumconcept.org/  

7 (Rogers, 1961, p.186)


8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Rogers#Fully_functioning_person

9 Abbreviated San Diego Wisdom Scale (SD-WISE-7) and Jeste-Thomas Wisdom Index (JTWI), International Psychogeriatrics (2021). DOI: 10.1017/S1041610221002684 www.cambridge.org/core/journal … B60097F93E36E8D0B859

10 Dilip V. Jeste et al, Temporary Removal: Is Spirituality a Component of Wisdom? Study of 1,786 Adults Using Expanded San Diego Wisdom Scale (Jeste-Thomas Wisdom Index), Journal of Psychiatric Research (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.09.033

11 —Intellectual humility and openness to the opposing view AND Heidi Igarashi et al, The Development of Wisdom: A Social Ecological Approach, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B (2018). DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gby002


12 Weisstein, Eric W. "Attractor". MathWorld. Retrieved 30 May 2021.

13 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

14 Jack Cohen & Ian Stewart; The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World;


15 Saxon, James A.; Plette, William S. (1962). Programming the IBM 1401, a self-instructional programmed manual. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall. LCCN 62-20615.

16 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number AND https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio


17 https://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/20154/16714/

18 Nathan L. Tenhundfeld et al. Calibrating Trust in Automation Through Familiarity With the Autoparking Feature of a Tesla Model X, Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making (2019). DOI: 10.1177/1555343419869083 AND Rosenthal-von der Pütten, AM et al. Neural Mechanisms for Accepting and Rejecting Artificial Social Partners in the Uncanny Valley. Journal of Neuroscience; 1 July 2019; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2956-18.2019 AND "Your brain on androids." July 14th, 2011. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2011-07-brain-androids.html AND Lewkowicz, D., and Ghazanfar, A. (2012). The development of the uncanny valley in infants Developmental Psychobiology, 54 (2), 124-132 DOI: 10.1002/dev.20583


19 Meyer, M. L., Zhao, Z., & Tamir, D. I. (2019). Simulating other people changes the self. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 148(11), 1898–1913. https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000565

AND Kim Peters et al. Superstars are not necessarily role models: Morality perceptions moderate the impact of competence perceptions on supervisor role modeling, European Journal of Social Psychology (2018). DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.2372


20 Ye Yuan et al, Storytelling Is Intrinsically Mentalistic: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Narrative Production across Modalities, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2018).   DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01294


21 Shigeki Nakauchi et al, Universality and superiority in preference for chromatic composition of art paintings, Scientific Reports (2022).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-08365-z


22 Wim Strijbosch et al, On the Neuronal Dynamics of Aesthetic Experience: Evidence from Electroencephalographic Oscillatory Dynamics, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (2022). DOI: 10.1162/jocn_a_01812


23 Iain G. Johnston et al, Symmetry and simplicity spontaneously emerge from the algorithmic nature of evolution, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2113883119 AND Aenne A. Brielmann et al, What Happens in Your Brain When You Walk Down the Street? Implications of Architectural Proportions, Biophilia, and Fractal Geometry for Urban Science, Urban Science (2022).

DOI: 10.3390/urbansci6010003


24 http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070618-18.html


25 Rajvinder Samra; Millennial burnout: Building resilience is no answer – we need to overhaul how we work;  The Conversation ; January 22, 2019


26 Alexander Pilger et al. Midday and nadir salivary cortisol appear superior to cortisol awakening response in burnout assessment and monitoring, Scientific Reports (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-27386-1


27 Maximilian Borgmeyer et al, Multiomics of synaptic junctions reveals altered lipid metabolism and signaling following environmental enrichment, Cell Reports (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109797


28 Steve Taylor; The psychological benefits of working less; The Conversation  December 6 2019 

29 Marcus J. Hamilton, Collective Computation, Information Flow, and the Emergence of Hunter-Gatherer Small-Worlds, Journal of Social Computing (2022). DOI: 10.23919/JSC.2021.0019


30 8 Science Daily May 25, 2010 ; The Cornucopia Institute August 8, 2014

31 Sara Miñarro et al, Happy without money: Minimally monetized societies can exhibit high subjective well-being, PLOS ONE (2021).

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244569


32 Wisdom and how to cultivate it: Review of emerging evidence for a constructivist model of wise thinking AND empathy increases our hormonal response to happy faces ;Cerebral Cortex (2021). academic.oup.com/cercor/advanc … rcor/bhab012/6158980

33 "Good things come to those who wait? More serotonin, more patience." January 15th, 2015.



34 Ziggi Ivan Santini, Charlotte Meilstrup, Line Nielsen, Rob Donovan and Vibeke Jenny Koushede, New study finds simply believing you can do something to improve mental health is linked with higher well-being; The Conversation May 11, 2022


35 https://hypnosisandsuggestion.org/hypnosis-research.html AND Ann Williamson; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357291/ 2019 Jan 31. doi:  10.1177/1178224219826581 ]


36 Heidi Jiang et al; https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2016/07/study-identifies-brain-areas-altered-during-hypnotic-trances.html AND Oakley DA, and Halligan PW (2013). Hypnotic suggestion: opportunities for cognitive neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14 (8), 565-76 PMID: 23860312

37 http://www.neurohackers.com/index.php/en/menu-left-nh-library/menu-left-nh-tutorials Hypnosis info and examples; From Tutorial 9 onwards.

38 https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/72464

39 “Walking through doorways causes forgetting.

40 Weight loss can be boosted fivefold thanks to novel mental imagery technique

41 Noah Farrin and Colin MacLeod, This time it’s personal: the memory benefit of hearing oneself ; study published in Memory.




































Обновлено 29.08.2022 09:39