This week we have another guest post from Jon Rappoport, creator of the Logic & Analysis course.
WINDOW ABOVE THE BRAIN AND THE MAGIC THEATER
–for Tim Leary, after reading his autobiography, Flashbacks–
OCTOBER 31, 2011. I have written essays that make it clear the brain can’t be the seat of thought if you want to retain the concept of free will. It’s a rather easy argument.
The activity of the brain is electrical and chemical and biological. Messages flow. Patterns are established. The brain does what it does. Claiming it entirely rules the choices and decisions we make and the ideas we entertain, we’re left with no “we” at all. No “I” at all. Just enslaved process.
I fully understand how hard it is for people to swallow this analysis. They want to stop with the brain. They want to say the brain must be the beginning of our existence, the fountainhead.
But I’m not here to argue, this time. I assume and know the mind is not the brain. I assume and know there is an “I” independent from the brain.
Agree, disagree, it doesn’t matter.
What goes on in the mind is a strategic operation based on a cultural fixation. That fixation prefers one point of view over many points of view-as if having one point of view-strong, stable, unwavering-is far better, in all respects, than having many.
Well, the dichotomy is false to begin with.
This is what the Magic Theater is all about.
Improvised dialogues between two people who play many roles and switch roles opens up landscapes which would otherwise remain closed. (See my blog archive for many articles about the Magic Theater.)
In fact, one effect of these dialogues is the strengthening and widening of the one point of view with which you handle reality on a daily basis.
Many authors, including Jung, Hesse, JL Moreno, Perls, Leary, to mention a few modern explorers, have indicated or implied that human beings can expand their perception by, to put it blandly, adjusting their line of sight to include more perspectives.
The Magic Theater achieves this in a remarkable way.
The brain does not have perspective. It runs. It can switch tracks, it can emphasize certain pathways, it can de-certify routes, but it can’t create points of view or roles. You do that.
History points out that wherever civilization and freedom experienced upward swings, there was theater. In ancient Greece, in Rome, in the emergence of a European society liberated from the hold of the Church, theater flourished.
The kernel of theater is the idea of proliferating roles. In dialogue.
This is a brilliant process that transcends stifling routine and repetition locked into “the one and only role.”
In order for the mind to play out one and only one role, it has to erect walls and ceilings and floors-it has to confine interior space. It has to ignore many suggestive messages. It has to pretend imagination is an unwelcome guest. It has to reject an inherent sense of theatricality. To achieve these objectives, it has to interpret symbols in the narrowest possible way.
It has to export thoughts to the brain, in hopes that the working of that organ will collaborate to produce an artifact of extremely limited power and range.
And this, of course, is where the problem arises.
A human being has glimpses of his own power-but when his one and only point of view, the one that seems to guarantee his best chance of survival and success, is operating to dampen power, the potential of life is squashed at the starting gate.
When I say power, I mean creative action, invention, improvisation, spontaneity, paranormal capacities, magic.
Huddled in the bunker of the one and only point of view, the role that excludes all other roles, the human being is caught in his own net. And the neural net of the brain does, in fact, cooperate. So the psychic component marries the biological and the chemical, and then the chance of escape seems to hover around zero.
Fortunately, this is an illusion. Despite its convincing qualities, the illusion can be overturned rather quickly.
In the Magic Theater, as I’ve written before, the range and nature of roles is unlimited. And utilizing JL Moreno’s brilliant practice of switching roles in dialogue, the effect of this kind of improvised theater is titanic.
Obstructive emotions which seemed to be permanent and “of the eternal human condition” are transformed into pure and available energy.
The action of living itself comes to resemble, more and more, theater. Wide open theater.
And the brain cooperates with THIS. Just as it cooperated with the tied and bound dictatorship of the one central and exclusive and inhibiting point of view.