Why Evolutionary Mentology is not a blueprint but a direction

     In the past, whenever the need for addressing the issue of individual and social reform arose through religion or revolution, blueprints or a complete scheme for the future was offered. In politics, it is known as a manifesto, and in other areas, a set of principles or road map. In some reform movements, people would buy the ideas they offered, and become converts. And when these converts succeeded against people who opposed those ideas there was social change. In history one reads this as a major event. Then comes another time when the same process is repeated, and there is a new manifesto. We find a similar process even in local politics. During elections political parties come up with very tangible, clear-cut programs and when majority of people buy the program of a certain party it succeeds and forms the government. But in all cases there is a blueprint. Not so in Evolutionary Mentology (henceforth EM). 

 

We clearly want to state that EM is neither a platform nor a blueprint. First of all, it aims to clear the ground by proposing that we do not have to ‘fly’ into our future but work towards it through our own labor. In religions, the idea of heaven was about flying into the future. Even in Buddhism, (probably the only non-dogma based religion), the concept of ‘nirvana’ is put forth on similar lines. What that translates into is that the responsibility of working towards the future does not lie with individuals; they only need to conform to a certain framework to attain their future state as human beings. This was also the case with the Socialist and Communist Revolutions. Their blueprint for the future lay in overthrowing the capitalist class and achieving a social ownership of the means of production. EM is not about overthrowing any class, nor is it for a particular social strata of people or some country or community. It is addressed in general to all human beings of this time, despite the fact that it may not apply to all of them, and some individuals may decide not to opt for it. It proposes that if we work towards the future through investing in our own selves, then there is certainly a future lying ahead of us. This certainty is not based on any dogma but on logic discernible from factors and processes that constitute objective reality in our time, and provide the terra firma to logically proceed in that direction. The most significant aspect of reality is its underlying logic, which is not only real but a deeper layer of reality, relative to its surface observation. An understanding of this deeper layer tells us there is a future, and surely a better one. However, only for those who will work towards it. 

 

EM does not relate to a sense of humanity that is indiscriminately and equally concerned with all human beings. It approaches man from the standpoint of the natural objective process which encompasses time, reality and logic— the parameters of humanity for EM. So its human concern is for those who connect with this objective process and recognize future as a reality, and not something existing on an unreal plane.Thereafter EM takes the first step in that direction. The vehicle for taking that step is generating and developing additional perception, observation, and intelligence processes that do not yet exist. This can be done through focusing not only on our verbal mental processes, but more importantly our nonverbal mental intelligence processes, which are much older (than the verbal) and have far deeper roots as mental mechanics. In our view they not only determine our responses but also constitute the mental mechanisms, which have the potential to generate the above mentioned additional mental capabilities.  

 

The first application of our supplementary observation and intelligence processes will not be on society but on our own selves i.e. our mental processes, in order to grasp their working. So that we are able to critically differentiate between our existing valid and invalid observations on the basis of logic. And also unhitch ourselves from the past paradigms (manifestos and principles) of social formations, which come alongside all revolutions and movements for change (religions or other social ideologies). In order to free ourselves from dogmas and connect to the basic process of objective reality and its underlying logic we will have to untie ourselves from the existing templates within which our minds work. After having emancipated our minds, we will have to bring them in tune with the logic of the objective world. One cannot be working at cross-purposes with it. Although one may be doing this without realizing it, by hiding behind dogmatic paradigms which only give people a false and temporary sense of security and validation. Thus the first task of additional observation and intelligence will be to give us the facility of knowing about an area from which our observation (through sensory processes and scientific tools) is largely disconnected, i.e. our mind. The maximum reach of our observation is till our brain processes but what we are ultimately living off, whether good or bad, are our mental processes. Our inner experiences, relationships, and motivations—whether of people like Osama bin Laden or Buddhist Monks—are not made in the brain but in our mental processes. These have been and will continue to drive us primarily while we remain largely ignorant and unaware about their formation and working. Since we cannot observe the mental processes through our normal perceptual senses—visual, audible, oral, olfactory or tactile—or even their extensions in the form of scientific laboratory tools, so we will have to observe them through some other mental process. The purpose of generating additional mental capabilities is precisely to perform this new task of observation. This is not something unprecedented because we know our capability of ‘observing’ or in other words ‘seeing’, is not confined to any one medium of ‘seeing’ like the eyes for instance. There are some frequencies which we cannot see but can hear, so we are still observing or ‘seeing’ but through a different process. This tells us that living things (including us), over the course of their evolution have been generating different forms of perceptual capabilities for ‘seeing’ things, or acquiring information about them. Hence we are only asking for developing yet another capability of seeing, but on a qualitatively higher plane, for observing our mental processes and to acquire knowledge about them. Today, unlike the past, we need this intelligence more than ever and we are also well positioned to undertake the journey towards it. We know there have always been individuals (like Sufis and rishis in the past and even today) who tried to observe their mental processes but could not come up with a tangible and sustained process of doing so. We are saying they could not have succeeded at that time. They deeply felt the need to observe their mental processes, because they understood its implications for developing new mental capabilities of intervening in their mental processes. Thus the purpose of developing additional intelligence is not merely to observe mental processes as we see things in shopping display windows but to make them tangible for intelligent, rational and useful motivations and doing.

 

Fortunately, today we are well positioned to pursue the work of developing this ‘internal’ mental intelligence as an enterprise because of three assets. The first is the growth of knowledge in various branches of Science, about the working and evolution of the macro process of universe, and the micro processes of living things including their brain and mental processes. The second asset is our richer and fuller understanding of the ‘logic of Nature’, which provides us with a methodology and an approach for developing this new intelligence, not only for observing but also critiquing our mental processes. It enables us to differentiate between logical and illogical mental constructs and thereby avoid false lines of inquiry and directions on our journey. Lastly, we have the capability of projecting the future at the abstract level; drawing inferences from what is tangible today (in terms of what we do) and projecting its intangible logical consequences. 

 

The above are the assets we have acquired by virtue of the accumulation of knowledge coming from innumerable different fields in our time, beginning from the second half of the 20th century, when this platform for intelligently working towards a future became possible. And today we can tangibly observe it. So EM only goes as far as identifying the logical direction of the future, and the methodology by which we can take the first step in that direction. To reiterate, it is neither a political manifesto nor an ideology, religion, or formula for flying into some future ‘spiritually’. But its nature is such that all politics, economics, formulas, steps, etc. can flow out of it. As it is primarily about getting our glacier (i.e., our mind) right and then rivers will flow. 

 

It can become a movement but not of a conventional form, in which we make committees and members, etc. This movement will need to begin from making small groups to try out its applications. This will demonstrate its results in the qualitative growth in mental capabilities (emotional, intellectual and doing), productivity, efficiency, and happiness of the individuals involved and in terms of collaborative rather than adversarial social relationships. In essence, we will be able to see the results of EM from the kind of life and products that come out of its application. The small groups can try it out socially—in agriculture, education, hospitals, and so on—while working upon their own mental processes individually. Larger numbers of people will connect with EM through seeing the performance of individuals and groups who apply it to themselves. Then it will spread like an inner culture, on merit. This is the political work of EM, which can later on, as it progresses, take the form of a serious discourse and debate with existing approaches and eventually become a new movement. 

Notes

i. At the individual level in terms of behavior, character, habits, etc and socially in terms of culture, politics, economic system, etc. 

ii. A strategy for change flowing from an ideology.

iii. They did not channelize man to work for proceeding towards making an objectively possible future but only required him to follow certain principles, i.e., the blueprint.

iv. Apart from being for the future this framework was also given as a solution for existing problems of individuals and society.

v. Through laboring on our emotional, intellectual and doing or application processes so as to restructure and upgrade them.

vi. There cannot be any logic, if it is not based on objective reality. In order to understand logic one has to observe and verify objective reality, and then proceed further by looking at the process of causation or reasoning underlying the manifest aspects of that observed reality. So logic basically examines and understands why appearances are what they are. 

vii. The fact of our increasing scientific knowledge about mind and Nature as objective processes and technological progress and their clear potential for changing our mental and external reality. 

viii.  Here we would like the reader to appreciate the distinction between concern and sentiment. Sentiment is not a responsibility but a fleeting feeling, which can be for all. While concern is serious responsibility on the emotional and intellectual plane within the parameters of reality and its logic. 

ix. In the process of Nature past, present and future are on the same plane of logical reality. 

x. Distinct from the existing observation and intelligence capability which is focused on the outside world. It will be new capabilities of perception, observation and intelligence of the internal mental processes and the underlying logic of the objective natural process.

xi. Going back to early life forms.

xii.  We know that mental processes arise out of the brain process but so far our motivations and inner experiences cannot be explained in terms of the neuro- electro- chemical processes of the brain. They are mental formations, which cannot be reduced to the brain. The following quote aptly illustrates what we are saying. According to Damasio “…There is a major gap in our understanding of how neural patterns become mental images. The presence in the brain of dynamic neural patterns (or maps) related to an object or event is a necessary but not sufficient basis to explain the mental images of the said object or event…” (2003, p. 198)   

xiii. Which becomes possible because of our post-animal highly sophisticated and developed mental processes. 

xiv. They were able to focus on their mental processes through abstract internal means based on strict and disciplined practices of ‘introspection’ and doing which would sometimes work for them but were not tangible generally for people at large. 

xv. Please see the term ‘Fundamental Evolutionary Logic’ in the Glossary of New and Redefined Terms.