Arthur Koestler lived between 1905 and 1983. The first book I read was “The Roots of Coincidence (1973)”. Its main subject is Synchronicity.
The Reptile Brain Fights Back
In the “Ghost in the Machine (1967)” Koestler argues that the human brain has been built upon earlier more primitive brain structures. When a human is attacked the lower layer is dissociated from the higher layer. The human transforms into a reptile fighting machine (The Ghost). Much later the Dutch psychologist Piet Vroon wrote a very impressive book about the same subject “The Tears of the Crocodile” (1998).
In 1964 Koestler wrote “The Act of Creation“. The book is about theory building. A new theory is a fusion of two previously separate frames of reference (“bisociation”). For example, dynamic systems theory + psychotherapy = family systems therapy.
Much later (2002) Gilles Fauconnier & Mark Turner (The Way We Think) proved that Koestler was right. They called the principle of “bisociation” Conceptual Blending. They made use of the research of George Lakoff and Mark Johnston (Metaphors We Live By (1980), Philosophy in the Flesh (1999)).
A good example of conceptual blending can be found with the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud who used the Metaphor of the Steam Machine to explain the Human Emotions and the Sexual System.
What Koestler is telling is that the creative process is not bounded by rules. It just happens when two separate frames fuse. The fusion is not controlled by reason at all. The mind uses many different blending strategies like perceived internal consistency (It fits), beauty (I love it), the ability to make novel predictions (how exciting), or group pressure (They want it to fit).
This is also the message Feyerabend wanted to tell in his highly attacked book Against Method (1975). A citation: “My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits. The best way to show this is to demonstrate the limits and even the irrationality of some rules which she, or he, is likely to regard as basic“.
You probably ask your self why I have combined so many issues in a few lines. It creates confusion. You are “mixed up”. The blends I wanted to mix are not mixing at all.
Let me help you.
Wheels within Wheels
If you believe the theory of Koestler you will probably see (or feel) that I am discussing two separate layers. I am using the layer of the Reptile and I am using the layer of Thinking to explain something. In both of the layers something happens called (Con)Fusion.
In the Reptile-layer an attack dissociates two layers. The dissociation is caused by confusion. The pattern of the higher layer of Thinking is suddenly disturbed. The sudden “explosion” needs a lot of energy. This energy is needed to dissociate just like the dissociation of water in oxygen and hydrogen needs a lot of energy. After the attack the Human is highly dissociated. He is unable to remember what he was doing. The association of the layers needs a new process of fusion.
When something produces an In-Sight (Aha!) the fusion of the frames takes place and suddenly a lot of energy is produced (the emotion of happiness).
The two layers are part of seven connected layers called Chakras (Wheels). The Chakra’s were discovered by Oriental Scientists.
If Oriental Science is not one of the frames you use you will not understand. The explanation will not fuse. Perhaps you believe Oriental Science is not using the right method. You don’t believe Feyerabend. Oriental Science uses the blending strategy of Beauty. Perhaps you don’t believe Beauty is an important strategy.
The only thing you can do is “give it a try“. Perhaps you are able to generate novel predictions or this article proves Oriental Science is not scientific and you are proven right again.
If this Blog is not blending perhaps a next one will. I am telling the same story again and again. Every Human is doing this until he is attacked and has to connect the seven layers again. If this happens perhaps the 6th or even the 7th layer will open.
The layer of the Reptile is called the Basic Chakra. It is connected to reproduction (sex) and survival. It is the lowest chakra. The layer of Thinking is called the Throat Chakra. This is the 5th Chakra. It is related to communication and expression. The System contains Seven chakra’s.
Paths of Change
If you want to understand the Human you have to accept the Seven layers and connect them at the right level. All the layers contain the same stages. In the 5th level fusion and con-fusion takes place. It also takes place at all the other layers.
Connecting a layer needs a specialist. The specialist needs to understand the level he has to act on. He has to understand the strategy to accomplish association. The best strategy to accomplish this is Beauty or Harmony. He has to understand that an association at one level is able to disturb the next levels. To harmonize all the layers he has to be intelligent (the 5th layer). The specialist needs the 4th layer, the Heart, to be able to take care. He also needs the 7th layer of Consciousness to become aware of this.
Arthur Koestler fought against Nazism
During the Second World War, Koestler continually spoke out against the Nazi regime in Germany – his Central European Jewish family background made him particularly involved in a way that many British and United States politicians were not. He had also witnessed personally, the growth of extremist tendencies in the region.
Koestler and a minority of writers and public figures believed that if they sufficiently described the horrors being committed in Europe in news media and public meetings, it would spur the West to action. Despite their efforts, these protests often fell on deaf ears. Capturing their frustration, Koestler described these people as the “screamers“.
“We, the screamers, have been at it now for about ten years. We started on the night when the epileptic van der Lubbe set fire to the German Parliament; we said that if you don’t quench those flames at once, they will spread all over the world; you thought we were maniacs. At present we have the mania of trying to tell you about the killing-by hot steam, mass electrocution, and live burial of the total Jewish population of Europe. So far three million have died. It is the greatest mass killing in recorded history; and it goes on daily, hourly, as regularly as the ticking of your watch. I have photographs before me on the desk while I am writing this, and that accounts for my emotion and bitterness“.
Just like Feyerabend Koestler was a “screamer” all his life. He protested against almost every act of unjustice. To earn money he wrote many books and articles. He researched almost every subject he could find (including the para-normal). He inspired many artists (Orwell, Sting, Pat Metheny). Many of his insights were proved right much later.
Koester was a Mythic and he lived the life of a Mythic. In 1983 suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and terminal Leukemia, Koestler committed suicide via drug overdose. Koestler practiced his own preaching. He was one of the promoters of Euthanasia.