Under New Management
Thousands of years before the television was around, our ancestors spent a lot of time staring into space just as if one was there. This was fallout from the Great Leap Forward. Now that we had developed our new conscious mentality with its extensive ability to sequence, we were burdened with having to sit through the mental experience of its output. The conscious mind had its own sense of time that it controls to create sequential presentations of our thoughts. Like watching television, there was often a host or narrator to guide us through the presentation. Unlike television, the experience could not always be accounted for as something that came in from our earthly senses.
Our minds were processing ideas into a form that could only be learned by occurring or playing back as internal auditory or visual stimuli. Without such playback, our brains would be figuring things out that we would have no way to know that we figured out. This was a new and different experience. We were unaccustomed to thoughts that could only be seen or heard. They weren’t with us all the time. When we were busy, our minds were like normal and the only time that mattered was now and next. Conscious thought would build up and wait around until you were ready for them, for these were thoughts that decided when you got to think them. It was an event. Something was happening that was different than even the most extraordinary things that ever happened to our minds before.
We were used to having flashes of intuition or inspiration that were like something happening to us in our minds, and that usually came with a physical feeling or started with a feeling that later becomes a mental experience. That would root our minds in the real world. Ideas and inspiration would come from a feeling in your gut. The new mentality that launched the Great Leap Forward came with a distinctly un-physical feeling of being somewhat detached from the body. It had to be and could only be seen and heard, so it had to be presented as if it were seen and heard mental experience. It was the only way our ancestor’s organic mentality would ever know the thought was there. It was like going to see a play or a movie that, once it started, expected you to stick around. Third stage mentalities required the extra burden of having to actually elapse in time. You have to sit through their beginning, middle and end, in order to have had them.
That’s the easiest way to distinguish which kind of organization is presenting the thoughts we are experiencing. Second stage thoughts are experienced as a flash, or an aggregate of flashes if they are noticed at all. Emotions will trigger thoughts and memories of imagery at this level, but not as much the other way around. Emotions happen before mental experience though second stage thoughts can trigger an emotion by recalling the same imagery. They occur in their entirety all at once and are like the passing frames of our mental experience. It might take a moment of eureka or intuition to notice that we are even having thoughts because we’re too busy having them. Only such abruptness and novelty would make them stick out from what is already a stream of thoughts. By the time we’re having the thought, we’re finished having it. They don’t have a beginning, middle or end. Though they occur in a continuous chain, we don’t perceive the chain because our second stage thoughts are the chain. The new mentality offered a way to see the chain, sort of, but it came at a price. All third stage thoughts require playback and are experienced as a story or narrative or dialogue. They must playback completely, in their own time frame, in order to have been thought. Likewise, this book is created to be experienced as a third stage organization. If you want to know what it’s all about, you’ll have to read the whole thing. Real life doesn’t always allow uninterrupted playback and can force us to put the third stage thoughts, or the book, down. Third stage thinking is often fragmented, sidetracked and intended to be picked up later or blown completely off course.
Where was I… in order to benefit from whatever point our mental presentations were getting at, it was increasingly necessary to minimize distractions which probably wasn’t easy back then. Even if others were around, we needed to drop our social persona and look inward or, more likely, inward and outward at the same time. This was a chance to use our new mentality to report what we have learned to ourselves. Unlike our usual process of learning through repetition of our memories of an experience, the knowledge gained from this kind of learning was already built from previous mental experiences that are processed, analyzed and prepared for re-experience. The result of that work, the output of our reasoning, would build up in our minds ready to pour out at the first opportunity like a nap if we were lucky or deliberately by staring. This was not about hearing internal voices giving wordy inner dialogues. Many of us knew only a handful of words anyway. Before there were any verbal explanations, we had our own individual explanations. We would know them by having experienced their presentation on the same mental equipment we use to perceive the world. The presentation itself provides an opportunity for further analysis. We would see how something led to something else that led to more things that were too much to see all at once. Our minds were holding all these things in an orderly row while we experience them one frame or second stage flash at a time. Without all the flashes, it may not add up to much. The total combination of imagery, voices and sounds are organized into an internal presentation with a beginning, middle and end, which made it vital that we make the time to have them all the way through.
The structure of the presentation is composed of memories of experiences that left strong impressions on us. That could be a moment of awe or terror, or a feeling of intimacy with our surroundings, or just a good time. Imagery could emerge from dreams, inspiration or randomizing. Our earthly environment is full of interesting bits and pieces to perceive. Obviously, that also included our perceptions of each other, especially those that led to a strong emotional reaction like fear or anger, or to feelings of serenity and security. Memories of our perceptions of each other which were mostly images of expressive faces. Like many other animals, humans communicate with their entire physical being, but their organic minds expresses themselves through the face and the gaze.
The more social one’s situation was, the more likely their visions included impressions of other’s physical expressions particularly facial expressions. If we remembered what someone said to us, that meant we remembered them saying it and not just what was said. Remembering them saying would be just that, along with the face, the eyes, any gestures, props, scenery, lighting and the weather. Our brains would see these memories as an opportunity to playback any accumulated third stage presentations by using the experienced imagery as a template either right away or later. It would be our own minds that would decide when that imagery was the best choice for hosting its next presentation. We did not yet experience the mental processes that led to that choice, so we had no way to know what was coming.
Our inner presentations were experienced in imagery with an emphasis on facial expression, eye contact and tone of voice, and could trigger the same emotional reactions on playback as the original experience. What we were remembering was a moment of connection with another persona. The experience is a co-creation between ourselves and a personality from across the self/other border, and so is the memory. But we ignored our own role in the process because we have no means of perceiving our involvement in it. We considered the external personality to be the author of our experience even when we remember it. Where it came from or how it gets in our heads cannot be observed. It’s one of those things our brain does that we’re not aware of, like regulating our heartbeat. We’re aware of our heartbeat only after it has beaten. We can be aware of our pulse as a spectator, and experience thought the same way.
Anyone likely to be reading this has already long since finished the long process that led to the modern conscious mind, so it might be hard to imagine the experience of the mind being any different. In being conscious, we are having the thought, not sitting through it. Our identity can perch endlessly in a familiar and continuous third stage organization and likely could since we were children. Our own experience of this process was compressed into the first few years of our lives with an efficiency and effectiveness that is probably unparalleled in history. We would not have the minds or the lives we have today if not for this social technique. Our parents could not do it alone, and it’s not in our genes. Without our rigorous training in self-conscious stability, we would experience our third stage mentalities in much more unstructured ways. Aside from our ability to be stably conscious, we still have plenty of mental experiences that work the same way as ever. Like our ancestors, some of the best work our conscious minds can do is while we’re not around. Third stage organizations were originally created for enhancing second stage experience. We still use them that way in what can be our most lucid and expressive moments. They are shepherds, power point presenters, a silent speech-prompter or a coach screaming in your ear. For us they can be the most transparent of mental experiences. For our ancestors who lived in second stage mentalities, they were a visitation from something outside of themselves. We know the same mental experience, but from a different perspective.
Ever been hopping mad and stayed hoping even after the emotion had crested just because you weren’t finished saying why you were mad? Sustaining a state of anger for the sake of verbal expression puts us into a singular state of mind. It may be all bile and vitriol, but often demonstrates a surprising amount of organizational structure. For some, it might be they’re finest hour of diction and lucidity. Why do some people talk better when they’re angry or upset? Because it primes us for a visitation. Anger is a loud mental experience that dominates the mind and accelerates its pace. It’s a second stage organization that came along long before the new mentality and loud enough to very quickly become our highest level of organization. While solidly possessed of our organic identity, the part that feels emotion, we call upon our arsenal of thoughts about why we’re angry. Words fly out of us because we’re not experiencing the organizing of our thoughts any more than the regulating of our heartbeat. We created a third stage organization to do the job for us. While it is our own thoughts in our own mind, it is an opportunity to receive outside help.
With our identity vested in entirely in second stage mentality, our third stage mind will assume its default form for being angry. Likely based on the manner and personality that originally inspired our ability to verbally express sternness and authority. That inspiration comes from our memory of observing or receiving someone’s angry demonstration, maybe even on TV. Some personas are just so charming and memorable that we make them into role model for our own expression. Our brain is doing all the work, but supervised by what we made of someone else, while we are supervising our hand gestures. No one actually comes visiting. We are revisiting memories of them, or maybe half-remembered and merged memories have created someone unique. Perhaps many visitors contribute to a single fit. These memories were our creation, but only as a collaborator with another identity or many who is or are now contributing to shaping what we say and how we say it while we keep the froth going. Should we become conscious of shaping the what and how, which is unlikely if you’re still hopping, we will find ourselves on our own having to do everything deliberately. Any contribution a role model could make would be us deliberately choosing to emulate their reasoning. We might even consciously search for their inspiration without realizing that we’re in the way.
That’s about the sort of visitation a modern urbanite would have. Without a modern education, we might be more open and less dismissive about what is and isn’t a possible explanation for our experiences. We worry more about identity theft but retain the physical mechanisms that once protected us from things with big sharp teeth. We are still keyed to see faces in the scenery and lock onto any gazing eyes. Such experiences invite a visitation the same way as our ancestors. For us, it isn’t too disturbing. The mind is not being influenced by outside forces. Our minds are riffing on the memories of other people’s creative output using a process that works without us being aware of it. I do not suggest that our minds are never influenced by outside forces; it’s just not the case here. For us, third stage mentalities are familiar and mostly ours. We flit between second and third stage experience without even noticing it. Our rigorous training in the maintenance of an ego-self makes real visitations a thing of the distant past. Relaxing or staring probably doesn’t bring on voices. Being civilized means having things we have to be conscious to worry about, so we are typically conscious even when we relax. The moment of any such voice arising, we would listen for it consciously, thus silencing it. Only when stressed out or intoxicated would people like us ever be in our ancestor’s state of mind. Only with time-off and expensive lessons in meditation can we begin to imagine the mind that our ancestors woke up with everyday. I’m going to try anyway.
Try to imagine doing without our abundance of words, but not without the capacity for language. Language was around for a long time before so many words meant so much. As primates went, we were very competitive with other animals who also had highly developed languages, and we could communicate sophisticated messages with words long before words meant all that much. Of course, nobody knew back then that much of how we communicate was established way back when we were fish, or that we, and the whole of the animal kingdom, had come a long way since then. We were attuned to vocal sounds from either animals or each other, but not to words. There were basic sounds we made that were much the same as had been around for at least a hundred million years. Like many other creatures in nature who communicate with sound, we have a basic vocabulary of vocal sounds that we’re born with and mean the same thing to everyone, even if from different species. We know an angry or fearful voice and a child’s cry. From an evolutionary standpoint, we had well developed linguistic skills built into us, but we were not prepared for what words would eventually do to our lives.
When we were living much closer to nature we had plenty of ways to describe our sophisticated relationships and suspenseful lifestyles. Happy sounds or angry sounds were our first words, and still are. Our next words were mostly names for each other and the most significant things in our lives. Names and commands were combined with our built-in first stage expressive powers to form a message that was as much delivery as content. We can speak for our immediate physical survival with them, but they don’t express the subtleties of mental experience or the vast amount of things our minds can know that our bodies can’t.
As one’s vocabulary increases so will their capacity to explain things, if only to them selves. A private vocabulary doesn’t have to be vocal, and is never entirely so. A mind can be full of words that are never spoken. We built up a vast collection of concepts that become a private vocabulary that also became an additional component for assembling third stage organizations. These were the things we explained to ourselves. Our actions, emotions and motivations are usually sorted out by our first stage animal mind or second stage organic mind either of which may then determine our response. Giving them a mental word, even if we’re the only one who knows it, allows a third opportunity to analyze what’s going on and perhaps make a different determination. As long as there is time for the brain to do all the work of generating that kind of thinking before the organic self makes a hastier decision.
On our own, we would never have to know a single vocalized word and still be able to think about anything we already knew. But only if it was something we had learned on our own or had observed while others learned first hand. What’s missing is any explanation of anything that comes from beyond our own direct experience. There’s no way to give one or get one to or from anyone else unless they know the same words. Individuals developed internal words, but the more interaction there was between members of tribe, the more likely that many words were shared. Encoding the information as common words allowed learning to be exported to anyone else that knew the code or could learn it. To all that heard them and used them, they were a social vocabulary. It could connect our minds in ways that no physical action ever could. Its limits were our limits.
When a group of humans gets well established enough to grow a significant social vocabulary, there is point somewhere in that growth where the memory of the actual sound and the image of someone’s expression is exceeded in importance by the content of what they say. It’s not just the growl and the grimace anymore. The organic component might be incomplete or even meaningless without the attachment of a word. No longer just vocally expressing ourselves, we were heralding the artifacts of our minds. The words could speak without any physical expression at all. We spoke when we used our artifacts. So did everybody else, so we all had to learn each other’s words.
Human communities start out completely multi-lingual with an at least partially unique vocabulary for each member. There was probably no hurry to organize a completely common set of words. A small group could handle learning them all, but beyond a certain number, a shared vocabulary becomes vital. Even before a common tongue is established, speaking to each other has become the primary manner of identifying other members of the group and the first way to know if someone doesn’t belong. Conversations between members of the group were shared experiences of a special kind of bridge between minds- an artificial bridge built from shared words. On our own, we experienced mere reality in all its brutal reality. When we are with others, we experience a heightened reality enhanced by the connections between our minds. Language becomes a conduit of expression that is exclusive to the mind. Our words included the names we give each other which might say more about a person than their appearance. A person might agree and consider their name as much a part of what they are as their body, at least when others are around to use it. It is a vital resource that, as it grows in complexity, those that speak it quickly begin to lead lives they couldn’t lead without it. Its survival becomes our own.
The shared mind was the most precious asset a community could develop. The first thing our minds shared was fear. When things got dark, eternity would start. You couldn’t always light a fire. Not every night. The heart beats louder when it’s dark. Together, our fear would add up to quite a noise. We were sure that if we made enough racket, we’d scare the beasts away. To make certain they heard us, we pound out our heartbeat for all to hear on anything that made a good thump. After everyone gives a spirited performance, just one steady heart stays awake to keep the fearsome noise fresh in their memory. If morning came without incident, the next thing we shared was pride. The bound built by sharing terror was ancient and a part of life for many animals. For humans, it revealed the potential of shared mental experience by demonstrating how our isolated and internal mental life needn’t be either isolated or altogether internal. We were probably not the only critters to share their feelings and their identity in this fashion. We, and maybe a few of them, were peering into a vast new frontier.
It started with names; names for us and names for things. If we weren’t taught a name for a thing quick, we would give it one of our own and maybe one with a voice, but it was better to know the names that were already there. We became somebody out there when we used them. We weren’t in here alone. We were out there with the others and we were the others to them because we knew the words that they knew. That bond was prized because it kept us alive. We knew that we would not still be alive without it and that we would have perished by now on our own. If any of us were lucky enough to get something like this going, we went to great lengths to keep it, in hope that it would keep us. We would recite the names and teach them. We kept them alive.
We would worry what our names were doing when we weren’t speaking them? How did we know they were still there? We could not keep our own names alive; only others can do that. We could still hear them. We heard our own name when others used it and when we used it. To keep our name, we kept all the names, which is a much greater effort than learning how to move or sing. We said the names even when we didn’t say the names. We used the names even when we were the only ones that heard them.
We knew the songs, dances and all the secret handshakes, but it was what all that kept alive that we valued more than the life we would lead without it. It hovered above us when we used the names. Best of all, when we had a name, we could hover above our selves, too. It was somewhere we could be instead of alone in our mind. We might like what we find there or we might hate it, but compared to a constant, solitary and internal mental experience, either is eventually irresistible.
Together we had a name and together we kept it. If there were other tribes around, we might have a name for all of them that means not-us. Even if we were alone there still had to be a name for us and the precious world we were building. Choosing that word could mean electing its author to leadership, if someone wasn’t in charge already, in which case they got to choose. Whoever it was, held the potential for power beyond reason.
Most people learn a language but someone has to create it. Not from scratch, but by building on an established social group’s vocabulary of vocal sounds. I’m sure most common words are chosen by association or accident and are established by mutual consent and survive by being taught to children. It’s the mutual consent part that means that someone of authority at least organized what everyone was consenting to and kept it from straying into different words. Maybe someone realized the potential or just had an impulse to collect them. Even if not the big cheese, someone in the group had to be the reservoir of memes if they were to remain around to build on. In being the keeper of the words, they’d be the one that knew them all even if no else one needed to. Their minds would have all the words to ponder, refine and finesse their meaning. Whoever kept the words, was the core of everyone’s social ambitions.
The payoff of having a good reservoir of memes is a new way of exporting explanations that didn’t have to be personally experienced. They could be second hand, or third or fourth hand. It didn’t make any difference. The life experiences of the community and everything they’ve learned could be shared through words. One generation could educate every generation after it if the words are kept alive. That ability gives the community a life. Our self-created mental world filled with information and became even more valuable. Perhaps this was the point where it became more valuable than any individual human life that participated in its creation. The keeper of the words became equally important including the part where their life is of greater value than others. This was a power over others that had nothing to do with strength or fear. The job did require some talent. Not everyone was up to the task of remembering every word, organizing them and regulating the appearance of new words. Until a mental world gets established, such a talent was probably not considered when selecting leadership. All kinds of scenarios could have taken place as the word-keeper gained authority and social power. In the end the wise man became chief, the strong man became the champion and begat both the word and the role of warrior.
While this process unfolded, the keepers would find that storing those words would change the nature of their experience. The keepers were as susceptible to third stage organizations as anyone else, but for them, more of the output of their reasoning would be about words and their meanings. More of that output would appear as words. No longer just voices, visions and dreamlike experiences, their third stage mind delivered words organized into sequences and spoken with a voice. These words came in a delivery that was unlike normal speech. Anyone’s visitations would include voices, words and speaking, but only the serious word-keeper would experience talking.
We all spoke in short, declarative sentences that relied on how they were expressed, which was usually emotional and melodic and delivered amidst laughter or other non-verbal vocalizations. The more we tried to say, the more we had to break up the delivery with rhythmic and space-filling sounds like “um” or “you know” or “know what I’m sayin’” while our minds searched for the next connection. Think of how people on truth serum are depicted speaking in a robotic and simple manner. In trying to deliver long sentences of words in the right sequence, the organic or savage or doped mind finds it difficult to handle the long chains of words in much more than a robotic monotone, at least, unaided. It’s not how many words you know, it’s how many you can put together, and how fast, which is not very if your third stage ability is incapacitated. On the whole, we could only speak so well even with some third stage help. The visitors were the first to summon stable, uninterrupted third stage organizations long enough to get the words flowing. That might amount to a lot of jabber to our ears, but the more language the mind learned, the more the visitors used it, and better than we could.
Things changed once a certain critical mass of language was achieved. Talking was unlike any other form of human communication. From our perspective, the inner voice of our new mentality was only observed while it happened. It took the form of a visitor with a gift for gab. It was a Great Leap beyond speaking- instead of Tarzan, here is David Niven. Words cascade in endless columns that stretch to forever with little stories wrapped in big stories wrapped in bigger stories. The delivery is smooth and rhythmic with syncopation and punch. Armed with your brains and your reasoning, this interloper would explain things, make strategies and talk you into anything.
The amazing part about having a visitor talking in your head is the experience of keeping up with it. The visitor, already hovering above time, lifts the experiencer out of the organic mind and into a third stage mentality. The experiencer ascends to the upper chamber and finds someone already there who acts like they own the place and treats the experiencer like a visitor or intruder. Everything about this experience is man-made. Two artificial mental selves occupy an artificial mental world. The visitor talks and the owner understands it even though they’ve never heard anything like it. The talk would be about big ideas like they’ve never thought before- strategies, elaborate explanations and solutions to big problems previously unseen. This experience can have a big impact on a word-keeper or amateur language enthusiast.
The guest was typically a familiar face and voice who was someone from the past from whom they have heard some of these words before, or even from someone still in their lives, from whom they may expect to hear them again tomorrow. With the help of their reassuring role models, they became aware of whatever their reasoning had come up with aided by a third stage mentality that sorted and organized thoughts. After the show, the mentality collapses and the experience can only be spoken about and vaguely described. The face of the visitor might be remembered so one could tell others who it was that dropped by.
Some visitors were harder to describe. If reason took them where no role model had gone before, they might find a stranger there. This visitor was probably some strange impression of themselves but since they don’t see their own role in the process, it’s still perceived as an outsider who could sound and appear as almost anything. This is how the mind would present things it hadn’t thought of before or, “new stuff”. For those with a mind steeped in words, new stuff meant new words for things we’ve noticed that now meant something to us. This would include new internal abstracts or connections between things and concerns in our lives. That might even involve some duplication. A quality or relationship newly discovered by the mind might be something already known in a different region of the brain. Our bodies know how brace themselves in a cold wind but wind as a mental concept built from accumulated perception and experience is learned separately. If given a “file name”, the concept can then have a bearing on other subjects we’re thinking about, like considering wind in a hunting strategy. We had no way to store new stuff as imbedded knowledge. The source was likely someone you’ve never seen before or even something not quite human. It would likely be a face and voice that presented the idea for considering. We are pre-wired to expect abstract messages in that primitive form.
Talk from visitations could in time teach the visited how to speak better on their own. With repetition, one can become skilled at keeping up with the pace of the visitor and speak to others while the talk is heard. This might be quite an event in a primitive community with everyone tuning in. The only time anyone else ever heard talking was when someone was in such a trance. Some could nearly talk during a visitation, perhaps in short bursts of words while they otherwise speak as themselves speaking for their visitor. Most of the time, no one knew what the words meant anyway, and took it in as a vocal performance or demonstration in madness.
Such a response compelled the word-keeper to compel others to expand the vocabulary of the community in order to share the big and important ideas that were bestowed upon them from their visitors. The growth of a social vocabulary depended on teaching any newcomers the words and introducing the new stuff to everyone. New stuff means teaching new words- words that didn’t come from association and common usage. These words would have to be added by acclamation because they would never appear otherwise. No one has ever heard them spoken from anyone around them. Names for actions and forces were followed by words that connected other words. These inventions might come from many members of the tribe and made official by the word-keeper, which would motivate the keeper to keep up with the inventing because words piled up into knowledge and knowledge was power.
Learning them was not a dry and burdensome process, it was more like a party. Words were learned by association and repetition with an emphasis on repetition. That same method had worked for millennia. Repeating a single sound or word can be stretched into a cycle of sounds that are repeated, which become part of a larger cycle of cycles until a considerable amount of sequenced information can be remembered and retrieved simply by recalling the sounds that were stored with a link to the next part of cycle. Our organic mind can do that without help. It’s how animals with minds learn complex instructions without any mental capacity to see that much information all at once.
As human communities developed, they compiled songs and chants made from many components including word sounds with maybe a few words that had a meaning like a name. The chant itself might have a meaning or be about something. That meaning might be complex and require visualizations and abstract symbolism that was completely invented by the community with no model in nature. The songs and chants were really there and are genuine examples of our physical behavior, but they were manifestations and demonstrations of non-corporeal mental artifacts. They transcended animal sounds and expanded the frontier of what our minds are prepared to hear.
After a tribe continued through many generations to build on its vocabulary, it became apparent that there were two categories of words; regular and special. Regular words were just sounds we made up to identify objects around us. Sounds exist in the physical world, as do the things regular words describe. But it doesn’t matter what word you choose. You could call a tree a dog and it would still be what it was. You can’t change what something physically is by giving a name. Regular words have no intrinsic power. We call them nouns.
Special words have power. Personal names were for the person within. Knowing someone’s name was to share its organizing power over its owner. People can have different names for different relationships, each with the power to entrance the self into different organizations or characters. We would discover that naming things beyond ourselves had the same power to entrance. We started to name things that weren’t objects and couldn’t be plainly seen. Names of places or the forces of nature were broader concepts that aren’t actually perceived by the senses. They could only be seen and shared by those who knew the words.
We knew even then that there was nothing in nature that would preserve them if we didn’t. They were sacred. If we knew them and preserved them, we were sacred. All sacred needed to mean at first was “not obvious and plain to the senses”. Only the hearing of the song would confirm its existence and hence our own. Having a name- a social name- was your gateway to the social world- if they know your name, they know you are there. To others outside the community, what the community preserved was neither plain nor obvious. It was invisible, except for an observable connectedness between them as if they thought with one mind.
The holy words came from beyond anywhere we could see in nature or in ourselves. Names for the sky, the wind, the mountain and things in the sky were declared by those who heard them spoken first from their visitations. That made them come from beyond but via somebody who was lucky or favored enough to get such a visit. It didn’t make them any physically different or any less mortal. Holy didn’t mean divine, just from beyond. A holy man was one who stood next to that which is beyond.
His words were special because they described things we did not perceive. Those who knew what they described and gave it its name, the word held for them a kind of power. Just knowing the word was not enough. Its meaning could not be easily given. What the word meant did not appear until many other things were known, and connections between them understood. To know them was to experience more of the physical world, to notice or take in more. In understanding what is perceived, we perceive more.
Those who were entrusted with keeping the holy words may not have been the source of them. Others in the community were probably having their first moments of third stage experience also, and some may also speak for their visitors. That might work out fine, or create some tension. Before, conflicts of authority were easily solved with violence. Since one person’s visitor cannot smash another person’s visitor’s head with a rock, the struggle for dominance had to take a different form. If there was to be a battle, it would be in the arena of public opinion. All that could be avoided if the word-keeper simply stayed ahead of the pack by having the most or best or funniest visitations and excelled at presenting them to others.
An ambitious word-keeper would be motivated to have more visitations, deliberately if possible. One way to try was to repeat the circumstances of the last or the original visit. By whatever way, they were trying to externally induce a trance experience or rather, repeat a previous experience by re-enacting the as much of the situation as one thought was relevant. The re-enactment can be symbolic or literal. Another reason we took this approach was that we tended to enjoy some visitors more than others. We entreated those we like to visit more often so we can keep the less desirable visitors away. Certain actions and places may be avoided if they relate to disturbing visitations. For some, the reason was a desire to know and learn from one visitor by maintaining an ongoing relationship. Being one of the latter is likely how one becomes word-keeper because of the expanding vocabulary that would result from an established relationship. An endless supply of new words would always be enabling new explanations.
Success was hit and miss with any approach, but almost anything could potentially work. It wasn’t like getting into a mood or achieving any ordinary organic state. It was a step beyond emotion and outside of time. We were seeking a trance state that didn’t come naturally and one that was all too easily displaced by inducements to trance states that did. Nature gave us plenty of cues for trance states like lust and hunger, but getting beyond required cues from beyond. We knew it had something to do with how we perceive the world and what we do with our perceptions once we perceive them. We needed to, at the same time, shut out as much of the outside world as our survival instincts would permit and still use some of our external senses to help induce our own special state of mind. We would find something that didn’t quite blend in with the background and stare at it. Or we would find something and deliberately alter it to look like it didn’t relate to the surrounding reality but to somewhere beyond… and stare at it. It could be small enough to carry around or something stationary like a mountainside or fleeting like a cloud. Drawing geometric shapes like squares and triangles that are only suggested in nature make for great staring and were surprisingly interesting to contemplate.
If we stared at something long enough, whatever it was would begin to look like it was slightly separated from the rest of reality. That’s because our brain’s perceptual centers see this repetitive input as a chance to scale back and economize on how much external information it needs to bother with, or stasis it can stand to look at. That frees up a lot of processing power for other applications of our perception like revealing any thoughts that require playback. Naturally, having such thoughts become associated with staring at some thing that is both outside of us, and the source of those thoughts, or so it may seem. Staring probably wasn’t for everyone. Waterfalls, wind, birdsong, insects, surf or other sounds can have the same effect on our perception. Focusing our attention on pretty much anything frees up space. Some would just need to spend time alone and away in order to zone out and listen to the voices and see the visions. This was thinking in a detached sort of way, like we’re only an observer of the thoughts that are paying us a visit. If we were quiet and relaxed, this would just happen to us.
If you’re keeping track of words, you’re probably keeping track of where they came from, and controlling your visitations is a serious business. A good word-keeper can provide counsel and explanations that others come to trust and depend on. As a source of clever strategy or reasoned judgment, a keeper can become an authority figure that is looked to by others for explanations or a comforting illusion that they didn’t need one. In the process, words are shared that also become trusted and depended on, and a language begins. Like our genes, our languages survive through continuity. Any break in that continuity and generations of development are lost. For ancient communities living in isolation, their language may be the only one they ever hear or know about. A good word keeper should realize that even if they don’t quite know how to explain it to the others. The least they need to do is point out how their survival and maintenance is essential. That established privilege starting with being excused from chores whenever they feel a broadcast coming on, and they have to go stare at their strangely colored rock. Hearing about the word-keeper’s visitations were fascinating but of low impact on the group because they were second hand and came from someone who remained organically familiar. Only the keeper heard them from beyond. They could only imagine what the experience was like based on observing the visited. Their own third stage experience, if any, must seem less coherent by comparison. Ultimately, the word-keeper’s visitor must also gain their trust. As others emerge in the group showing a talent visitations, some sense of competition may develop.
This near emergence of politics tended to winnow down the keeper’s attention to a few or even a single primary source for visitations, at least publicly, that were intended and endured for the benefit of everyone. The source can be whatever the keeper imagines it to be, from a revered grandfather to a beaver named Otis or a fluffy cloud shaped like a bunny. It didn’t matter what it was, as long as it was described in detail. I’m sure there were many who made a sincere and inspired effort to provide as intelligent and useful an explanation of the world that they could muster. The result likely had more survival value, but what the inspired and brilliant explanation has in common with a house of cards is that either can become “locked in” as the description of the world that holds all the words that people use every day. Once an explanation is engrained in the language, it cannot change. It can only grow. Every kind of advancement or learning must now either build upon and within foundational explanations or be disregarded as meaningless. New and more complex explanations have to use the words from the old explanation in order to be told to anyone, or the explainer had to start all over, which would be a revolt against culture and hence authority. Whatever description gets established has to support any further explanations or stratagems. Not just to satisfy logic but in order to be understood an carried out. Regardless of the quality of the explanations we used to organize a language, there was great leap in our ability to get things done together and not just things we all did at once, but things that had to be seen through and weren’t done in a day. Most of the explaining now is filling in the details. For a smart word-keeper, it must be a bottomless description of endless detail. The better everyone could know what they were trusting, the clearer an image they could have of their benefactor, the more there was to be loyal to.
In being guardian of the words, the keeper is also guardian of all the flock who know and live with the words. The flock needed a shepherd to keep the group involved and growing personally with community. If members wandered off for too long they may lose track of the mental self that lived in the community and keep wandering. If members spent too much time alone or used few words they were less reliable as contributors to organized group actions. The shepherding could take the form of anything from bullying and intimidation to constant amusement and attention grabbing. In any form, we could get things done that none of us would ever imagine doing on our own.
There is a milestone in the development of human culture here. Somewhere in this process a point is reached where, on the whole, loyalty to words outweighs loyalty to family. At that point their survival depends on living with those words. Physically, they might get by on their own, but that’s a secondary concern. The mental self that grew inside of the mental world those words created would cease to exist or “die” if they weren’t heard everyday. It would in time be replaced by a traditional mental self of the type that was common before words proliferated in their group. The sort of life they could imagine on their own and without social contact (as in, anyone to speak to) was imagined as primitive and a descent. The image of a mental self experiencing isolation and emptiness was frightening to the mental self that imagined it. If a schism developed in the group over words, that fear may overcome any emotional bonds with our natural bloodline. Genetics was something that just happens, not something our mental selves have to look out for. Unless family and culture happen to correspond, in which case no further distinction needs to be made and probably wasn’t.
Managing words and their sources made the lives of human communities more complex and interesting. What happens next changes everything and everyone. The visitors arrive for everyone to see and hear. Instead of broadcasting from beyond to their chosen, they take possession of the visited and become the chosen, who becomes the visitor. Because of their vigilance about ascending to the top of the stairs to hang out with their mental mentor, this was more likely to happen to the word-keeper but could really happen to anyone in the group who has their own frequent visitations. If seen by others, it might look like someone has gone crazy in a strangely purposeful sort of way. It would be a performance in gibberish if the possessor didn’t use the common words. Even then they might be organized in a way that was like hearing them in an incompatible format. A possession could be physical and aggressive with violence triggered by things no one else can perceive, so others learned to be wary of anyone showing signs of excessive deliberation. But sometimes it would happen with such composure, stability and grace that the possessed would start talking. That would get everyone’s attention.
Of course, the visitor with the greatest chance of success at being coherent to others was the very source of the holy words; the word-keeper’s own primary upstairs guest. The holy one could arise in a loyal member, but again it was more likely to take possession of its most devoted steward. These spells were brief, typically minutes, and easily lost to distraction, but would confirm for everyone who observed that what they built between themselves had real power in the world. The mind became manifest. To the others, this was no longer the word-keeper before them. They were possessed by something from beyond. It gave their face and eyes a countenance and determinedness. Even if they were calm, they were determined to be calm, as if they could decide for themselves what happens next. They were not at the whim of emotions or physical needs, as if they could choose, moment by moment, what they were going to feel. They stood above themselves. They spoke gently and simply at first, drawing us in and then effortlessly climbing into talking without leaving us behind. We heard what we could not say, and learned what we could not otherwise have known. Be it wisdom or nonsense, it came to us in a form that we could not have created.
The experience that the keeper had previously only described and relayed was now experienced directly by the others. It was a presentation with the face and eyes and gestures to look at and the sound of the voice to hear, and the words rode above it all in formations that were dazzling to behold and dazzling that they could be beheld. Then it would end either by some disruption or distraction, or the trance would collapse as if the visitor suddenly abandoned the show or, and even weirder, sometimes it would just end because it was finished. There was an intended totality, and once it was reached, it stopped. There had never been anything like that before, except for in the sky.
Should any continuity emerge in this kind of possession, if the keeper or whoever can find a reliable method of inducing the same trance, it will take on the status of an event. Events are large actions that take place in nature that can effect everybody. The sun passing overhead or the many other things that happen in the sky were our earliest experiences of something with a beginning, middle and end. The day had a sequence, the month and the year had a sequence if the right tools were used to observe it. Storms and pregnancies were events. When the beginning is observed, the outcome may be anticipated, even if it’s a ways off. Manifestations of power, fate, blessings and curses reflect choices made by chooser or choosers that are beyond our perception and made from somewhere beyond where we are. A regular practiced state of possession would look exactly the same. That made them an event.
Not that everyone wants to be an event. Shyness or introverted-ness were just two of the many obstacles that could derail what happens next. Only a few successful human organizations might see the process this far, but there were so many opportunity for this scenario to unfold over such an inconceivable amount of time, a few success could mean an incredible diversity of cultures completely lost to the ages. At any point in this process, thing could’ve fizzled out and probably did lots of times. Not every leader liked and fostered possessions and some thought they were a bad idea and were to be avoided. But the process was widespread and occurred to hundreds of generations over thousands of years.
Favorable climate, defendable geography and good leadership and luck produced stable growing communities whose organizational abilities, as in warfare, hunting, or agriculture, were precise indicators of the extent to which they had organized their minds. There were no biological changes or extra growth in our cortex for a million years. The emergence of third stage organizations had probably been happening for generations. All that changes here, is the networking between them. That takes time, and that requires success.