My first novel, Requiem of the Human Soul, was published in 2009. It’s set in the next century, when most people are genetically enhanced d-humans, and there’s a proposal at the UN to make unenhanced humans, or Primals, extinct. The only argument that Primal rights activists can fall back on: Primals have a soul that got lost in the genetic enhancement of the d-humans.
In the novel, double-Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Julius Schumacher, inventor of neurography (the imaging of human thoughts), came up with a theory that the soul comprises the never-ending harmony of the interactions of our billions of DNA strands.
But Dr. Schumacher also proposed another theory: the tyranny of the prefrontal cortex (pfc). He saw the history of humanity as a story of the ever-increasing power of the pfc over other aspects of our consciousness: from language to agriculture, monotheism to science, and finally to human genetic engineering.
As I finished the novel, I became entranced (some might say obsessed) by this notion of the tyranny of the prefrontal cortex. Was it really a valid thesis? What did it mean for where the human race was going, and who we were as human beings? I started researching this idea, going wherever the literature took me. And it took me to some unexpected places: the evolution of language; the split in conceptualizations of the cosmos between Chinese and Western cultures; the all-encompassing power of dualism in Western thought; current theories of self-organization and how they relate to traditional Chinese and Buddhist thought; the neural correlates of consciousness. The list seems to go on forever.
I’ve currently entering my fourth year of research on this topic. With over 1,000 pages of dense notes and 650 references, I’m still not close to finishing. My plan is to write a book (non-fiction this time) tracing the rise of the pfc’s dominance in human consciousness. And more importantly, what are its implications, and what we can do about it.
The implications are enormous. In my view, this dynamic is responsible for the massive global imbalances we deal with everyday in the news, culminating in global climate change and the destruction of our environment. External global imbalances, I believe, are ultimately reflections of internal imbalances within our consciousness. So, in the end, the only way we’ll truly get our relationship with our world back in balance is to get our individual consciousness back in harmony. And that means identifying and ending the “tyranny of the pfc”, and developing what I call a “democracy of consciousness.”
These ideas have begun bursting inside me. I began to realize I couldn’t wait years to publish my thoughts (although I still intend to do that). So, in the meantime, I decided to start writing two blogs. The companion blog to this one is called Tyranny of the Prefrontal Cortex, which describes what’s gone wrong with our consciousness. This blog, Finding the Li, offers some pathways towards solutions, towards what I all “a democracy of consciousness.”
I hope that these blogs can be interactive, and that people will engage in meaningful dialogue on the ideas. I look forward to all comments, both supportive and critical (as long as they’re constructive criticisms!) I hope some people find some ideas here worthy of further thought. Happy reading!