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Mind versus Mere Brain:

An End to Reductionism

January, 2013

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.

This article appears in the February 8, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is reprinted with permission.

[PDF version of this article]

January 25, 2013

What is the actually crucial distinction of the mere human brain, the distinction supplied from that of the actually noŽtic powers of the human mind? In practice, it is expressed as the potential ability of the living human mind, that to experience an actually forecastable, and also powerful, future option for mankind. There exists a precise distinction.

So, it happened that, during the years of an opening day for beginning a secondary school course in what was named “Plane Geometry,” I had briefly proffered what I already knew, from experimental experience, to be the true essential principle of a physical geometry. I stated the relevant principle as I had already come to know it from my previous fascination with the observation of that high-rise construction which I had observed in progress at the Boston Navy Yard.

However, following my remarks, from the same day’s teaching by the geometry class on that subject, I had known, promptly, that what I had presented briefly, was not what was coming to be taught in that course, even if the teacher were a very well-meaning, dear friend of my mother. In fact, I was right in what I had said, but that other view which the class was prepared to believe, was in error. The text and the class was right insofar as it were merely in accord with what was taught there as “Plane Geometry;” whereas I was right in rejecting Euclidean geometry, then, and, in fact, forever, now as then.

Thenceforth, for me, from that day onward, the opinion of that class, and of much of what I have experienced in similar settings, were much better rejected, a view which I had continued during the remainder of my life to date this far. I know, more and more, even forever, that I had been correct, and that the conventional so-called original teaching of geometry remained wrong. It remained so, in fact, up to the present date, and, one can be certain, in matter of fact, ever after. The greater benefit on that account, has, finally, been my own, through to the present date. I was right, and they and their like, are, for the most cases, apparently still wrong.

Indeed, the clue to the solution of what some might still consider the point of that case, is the fact that all of my opponents on that issue, were then, and as others have been, are still wrong: that fault of theirs would “happen” because they had trusted what they had been preconditioned to believe, which was what they had been taught, and they would probably have remained still wrong to the very end. They, I must say, were somewhat like “customary slaves,” who did not wish to actually know the meaning of the fact, that what they had been taught to firmly believe as whatever passed for their own trusting opinion, was merely what they had been taught to believe: as what their masters had taught them to believe in whatever opinions they had been successfully conditioned to submit to.

That sets forth exactly what remains the greatest danger to the continued existence of our own United States, for example, still to the present time. I have often wished that they could have freed themselves from what were merely conditioned beliefs. Perhaps, a later generation might do better.

That much said thus far, there are much deeper, and more urgent subject-matters which must be presented, and also understood at this present time. Such topics are my subject in this report.

I. The Subject of the Human Mind

The issue, thus identified in essentials, is, actually, the following.

There are two principled qualities of natural distinctions of mankind from inferior species.

The less reliable distinction, is that represented by belief in what one has already experienced as taught opinion; the other, urgently needed choice, is foreknowledge of what one is about to experience, as in contrast to what had been merely believed up to the present time.

True human knowledge, as distinct from that of those such as the customary beasts, is found out, uniquely, with what is truly a uniquely human ability for foreseeing of the future. That latter, future source of such a current knowledge of a truth, is to be found as lodged within the ability to forecast important aspects of mankind’s actual future. That choice means, for example, products of the domain of the efficient forms of Classical artistic composition, the domain of what is to be learned explicitly from the experience of the future.

That distinction is, in fact, a fruit of persisting experience of practice of a rare, but nonetheless true foreknowledge, a quality of preconscious insight into the future. By knowledge of the future as expressed in the greatest original artistic compositions in the form of works of poetry, or of only truly Classical expressions of music, drama, visual arts generally, and, above all else, what both science and history combine to present for the potential human advantage: it can not permit a mere repetition of experiences from the past as such: it must be the actual future.

For example, take the cases of such as Nicholas of Cusa, and of the greatest scientific minds among his followers, including Johannes Kepler most notably, or a Gottfried Leibniz, or among presently relatively rare, most-accomplished Nineteenth-century Classical scientific minds, including such as Bernhard Riemann, and such pre-World War I geniuses as Max Planck, and Albert Einstein. As for the substance of physical principles, so it is for all true principles of the human mind, as for all great Classical artistic composition: that it is the human genius, alone, which inhabits the shaping of the future progress in the development of the human mind. Such, and that alone, never deduction, is the true distinction of a truly human foresight from that of what is otherwise the mere sensing which occurs among the beasts. The distinction lies exactly beyond mere sensing as such.

However, it is also true, that among some human individuals, there are those who are sometimes consistently human in their quality, but many others, who often behave under the influences of “practical” motivations like those among beasts.

Hopefully, in some more widespread, hopefully early development of our actual future, our people will be given over more frequently, more generally, to a more consistent influence of the nobler, truly human qualities, which will appear as a thoroughly distinct devotion to mankind’s willful and true future benefit.

If most among us were to continue to evade that obligation, the powers for evil which have become insistently more threatening during recent decades, now threaten a self-inflicted destruction of our human species. It is the power for the practice of an otherwise traditional destructiveness built into much of our populations’ current disposition, which now does, presently threaten the immediate self-destruction of our human species.

For example, as in the case of the British empire, the award of access to much greater destructive powers, is the only essential difference, now, between those general effects of depraved beasts bringing extinction upon themselves, and the merely self-adopted authorities of such an agency as the British empire of today.

Only a superior rule of foresight into principles of truly Classical composition, principles which are committed primarily to the secured future of mankind, such as that attributable to the commitments of exemplars such as Riemann, Planck, and Einstein, could now assure the survival of our human species. There are many good people, but if goodness is without command of the powers to create the physical means of humanity’s continued existence, even the sweetest of temperaments could not defend humanity as such.

II. The Actual Power of Reason

The notion of what might be identified as actually human reason, confronts us with two distinct kinds of leading options. The one is that of what may be fairly classified as intrinsically non-human options, those of the so-called “beasts,” in particular. The contrasting state, in respect of matters of universal principles otherwise, is that of the human species. Only the human species has shown the willful ability of any species to increase its willful powers in and over the realm of existences within mankind’s reach.

That distinction of the unique right of the human species, alone, is expressed by the tendency of mankind to increase its own species’ power to increase its efficient quality of its promotion of increase of energy-flux density, and that done as a willful characteristic of its species. This quality of mankind, as distinct from that of all other known species, presents the unique essence of the very existence of our own species.

We, the human species, has the inherent right to defend itself by any required means necessary to defend mankind from any intrusion on mankind’s unique right to defend its position against threats presented against it. The right of unbounded expansion of the power of the human species must be recognized as a natural law inherent in the unique nature of our human species.