The 8-Circuit Model of Consciousness

Galactic Archives by Robert Anton Wilson

Although the HEAD Revolution transformed the Terran primates at the time of his ancient Romance, nobody knows when it actually began. Some trace it to certain Alchemical cults of the early Dark Ages (i.e., just before the time of this epic novel [Schroedinger's Cat]); some try to find its origins in primitive shamanism and yoga.

What is clear is that *some* primates on Terra began to transcend genetic four-circuit limitations many centuries, or even millennia, before true neuroscience appeared among then. Whether this was due mutation, empirical hit-or-miss experimentation with alkaloid herbs, or other factors is unknown. In Egypt and China and other places, a few primates reported fifth-circuit raptures - the dawning of neurosomatic consciouness - two thousand or even three thousand years before the Space Age began.

The picture is the same on all planets. A few biots [= biological units] suddenly rise above the eat-it-or-flee-it imprints of the amphibian biosurvival circuit, above the dominate-or-submit imprints of the mammalian territorial-emotional circuit, above the either/or logic of the hominid semantic circuit, above the "good" and "bad" values of the tribal sociosexual circuit. They have transcended infantile feeding programs, adolescent philosophizing, and adult "responsibility" (pack role) all at once.

What has happened, of course, is that these biots have formed a fifth circuit in their brains. This is called the neurosomatic circuit because it allows conscious feedback between the nervous system ("mind," in prescientific primate language) and the soma ("body"). In the larval stages of this Hedonic Revolution, every planet exhibits the same monotonous pattern:

*Mysticism and monomania appear.* Many of the mutated biots become convinced that they control everything (the "I-am-God" syndrome), not realizing that they merely control their own perceptual field.

*"Miracle healings" are reported.* The neurosomatic ("mind body") feedback loop allows the mutant biots to become healthier, younger-looking, and sleeker ("handsomer") than average. They soon believe, and are encouraged by their admirers to never doubt, that they can "cure" everything.

*Neurosomatic intolerance appears.* The mutated biots grow annoyed, and became extremely critical about, the robot mechanisms of first-circuit approach-avoidance, second-circuit domination-submission, third-circuit either/or logic, and static fourth-circuit sex roles. They call on everybody to flot free like themselves, or like the wind.

The other biots usually declare these five-circuit mutants to be divine, or else they kill them. Sometimes they do both.

The condition was just becoming understood on Terra at the time of this Quantum Comedy, as neuropharmacologists slowly traced links between neurochemistry and the creation of perceived reality-tunnels.

(R. A. Wilson: Schroedinger's Cat, pp. 298-299.)

See also:

[Index] [A Lurker's Guide] [The Eight Basic Winner/Loser Scripts] [More On The 8-Circuit Model] [John Lilly and Metaprogramming]

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