Why Insist On The DARK Side?

The First Thing That Studying The Dark Side Reveals, Is That:

Individuals, Operate According To Different Neurological “LAWS”, So, Instead Of being One, As One Naively Expects, The INDIVIDUAL IS MANY. Ex Uno Plures.

We have met the Multiverse, and it’s us…

So why to study the Dark Side, besides generating confusion? Well, precisely because it is dark. And when we throw a light on it, we see all what our simplified lives have hidden. Instead, if one wants to understand what we are capable of, we have to bring the Dark Side to the light. How does one do that? One tries to understand one’s own reasons and motivations.

Some will sneer that this insight is not knew. Some will point out at Socrates’ “Know Thyself”. However, Socrates picked up what was the Delphi Oracle’s motto. Delphi was an interesting consortium managed by women. Nor was Delphi first. The Greeks apparently traded silk with China as early as the Sixth Century BCE. And they certainly traded philosophical and mathematical ideas with India. They may have heard of Lao Tzu. As traditionally related, custom officials prevented Lao Tzu to leave China, heading West, before he wrote down some of his ideas. Many of those were strikingly modern:

Lao Tze 600 BCE, Deep. But We Don't Want To Eliminate Ourselves. Sympathy For The Devil

Lao Tze 600 BCE, Deep. But We Don’t Want To Eliminate Ourselves. Sympathy For The Devil

Dark and negative? Sometimes circumstances call for dark negativism. When Sparta marched an army into Athens to eject tyrants who had succeeded to the enlightened democracy shepherded by Solon, it was dark, and negative, but necessary. From that promptly rose Athens’ Direct Democracy, a beacon to this day. World War Two was another famous example of diabolical negativism unleashed for the best reasons.

Is man rational? Some say yes, some say no. Pascal uttered that there were two sorts of reasons: one of them from “the heart, which has its reasons which reason does not have”.

So what’s reason? Generally that question is interpreted as: is man logical? The Logos, one of three deities or avatar of the deity, of Christianism (!) is about simple “logical” rules. Say:

(A-> B & B->C) -> (A->C). More generally, the old fashion logos can be generalized as diagram chasing as in Category Theory.

Logic, as traditionally envisioned, and Category Theory are all describable point to point and digitally. As both Quantum Mechanics and Non-DNA genetics point out, this is not how the world works, in full.

(Digitally is how the Abacus, and our Twentieth Century computers work; but that’s not saying much: that’s precisely their shortcoming; the Quantum Computers use Quantum mechanics, hence the continuously differentiable nature of the world.)

So it’s not surprising our brains act continuous differential. Just the opposite of neurons’ most spectacular antics. That consist in firing long range electric potential impulses down axons.

Continuously differential brainy means the EMOTIONAL, NEUROHORMONAL system.

How do we control that?

Well, that’s straining a bit out of the traditional approach to wisdom. Kama Sutra (truly a good life and family manual) and Tantric Texts come to mind (digging in the Tantra reveals a lot of analogy with what I preach, or what De Sade observed, namely that embracing nature is often the best teaching).

But one is better off observing how famous leaders of humanity, those who imparted momentum to civilization, lived. Well, they lived, mostly dangerously, and more strikingly, in various behavioral modes. Most monarchs were hard lovers and warriors, while appreciating the arts, and even science (contemplate the Duke of Normandy and Conqueror of England, asking pointed question about the state of motion of the Earth, of Ptolemy, the Marshall of Alexander (“the Great”) establishing Alexandria as a capital of knowledge, or Francois I, Louis XIV, and Napoleon pushing the sciences; contemplate Muhammad, warrior and philosopher).

And don’t forget Socrates’ military exploits, including, among other things killing four hoplites in hand to hand combat, and helping a wounded comrade survive in an harrowing retreat after a heavy defeat of the Athenian army.

What is going on here? What has hunting all day long, and skirt chasing to do with governance? Just as Catherine The Great, after she got her husband killed, and took as lovers many of the alpha males she detected. As Vlad The Putin would point out, that manly, adventurous attitude got her army a few miles from Berlin, and all over Ukraine.

What is going on is that varied behaviors lead to varied neurohormonal regimes, various moods, thus varied sets of mental laws. In the same “individual”.

This, in turn, leads to operating the brain under different “LAWS”. I borrowed the expression from Airbus, an airline company based in Toulouse, France. Airbus and its ancestors invented Fly By Wire (FBW), inaugurated with Concorde, (adopted for the Space Shutle,) and exclusively used in the Airbus 320 (now all serious aircraft makers have followed). When a plane flies normally it is in “normal law”. When things get abnormal, the computerized brain of the plane change “laws”, with the idea to put the pilots in charge. (The system has worked very well, for decades, up to two weeks ago when a brand new A400 M transport plane crashed because of a computer bug.)

The situation with human brains is that neurohormonal regimes put brains in different laws, that is, in different logics. This cannot be denied. It was intuitively understood, for a long time: hence the avice to not get angry, and that anger, or fear, are bad advisers, etc.

Well, maybe that’s the wrong approach. Maybe anger, fear, love, instead of being eschewed, have to be embraced, to explore the world under a different law.

Let’s go back to the aeronautical analogy. That A400M which crash was flown in a TEST, as a TEST aircraft (it was its first flight), by TEST pilots and engineers. As it turned out that was also the TEST of a new software to enable some specific military operations (acting on fuel and what is called “trimming”, a displacement of center of mass related to fuel, inaugurated on Concorde, nearly fifty years ago).

Well, the tests ended catastrophically: three engines cut-off, and the plane, badly trimmed, banked abnormally, and crashed.

It would have been better to run the whole thing as a thought, rather than test experiment. But for aircraft, there is no choice. Just as, for the Earth, there is no choice: we cannot run the Earth as a TEST SPACESHIP, doing whatever, and see what happens.

Because, whereas one crashed plane can be replaced, the Earth cannot.

So we have to make the most thorough thought experiments, much more thorough than we ever did before.


Because we want to understand our minds, or, more exactly, the minds of the oligarchy of a few thousands, dominated by Xi, Putin, Obama, Merkel, Hollande, and a few hundreds associated top plutocrats of, fully equipped with herds of minions, all the way down to academic critters producing the requested logic (plutocratic law).

Look back down at history. Consider FDR, a president of the USA at a time when, to avoid a holocaust, he had to make a united front with the French Republic. Instead, FDR did the opposite, pronouncing, ten years later, when they holocaust had been already unleashed, and millions were already dead, that the USA was the “Arsenal of Democracy”.

What motivated FDR in weakening and opposing France, while arguing with Hitler, when at the same time replacing his ambassador (Dodd) precisely because he was antagonistic to the Nazis, and tolerating a massive policy of investment with the Nazis that violated neutrality, and so on? One has to go to psychoanalysis.

My explanation? FDR was actually a plutocrat. His family had a (self-created) coat of arms (mine too, but it’s the fault of the king of Aragon, 12 centuries ago).

However, a half paralyzed Roosevelt had to impose an anti-plutocratic policy as candidate and president. And then FDR got the French government in his face, telling him he was all wrong. Indeed, then wrong FDR did, by being all too friendly to Hitler, and refusing Jewish refugees. In the end, FDR lived in denial.

The ultimate was when, although from an institutionally racist USA, FDR had to fight to death the racist-in-chief, Adolf Hitler, and make in a sense its bed for the Liberty-Equality-Fraternity Republic (never mind that France was not really that; FDR was furious he was pulled in the wrong direction; indeed, soon, under the pressure of the war, the U.S. army pushed for desegregation.

Notice that then one has to interpret emotions, such as FDR’s rage against the French, or his de facto friendliness to enemies of France such as Stalin. Texts, the digital thing, are insufficient.

To get to know ourselves, we have to know, not just our logic (roll over Socrates), or what we know (as a library of facts and demonstrations). We also have to know our emotions, and where they came from. More than that, we have to know what they are, or could be, capable of.

Thus we have not just to cultivate our garden (Voltaire), but also cultivate our emotional system, and especially its potential character. Don’t just imagine the Light. Imagine also the Dark.

Patrice Ayme’


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4 Responses to “Why Insist On The DARK Side?”

  1. Paul Handover Says:

    Wow, you touch on some deep, core issues. Issues that are at the heart of our behaviours that are at the heart of who we are. For many that is a journey that takes one back to childhood and even then may not offer clarity of understanding.

    But self-understanding is the most incredible journey of all. For to understand oneself is to like oneself and without that the liking of others and the planet we depend on is genuinely impossible.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Paul! Glad to see you again! I should also go to your site more, as it is much more interesting than some haughty philosophical/popular sites. I have been pressed for time recently.

      We need self-understanding not just oriented to “us”, but to the so-called “leaders”. The case of FDR (who saddled Great Britain with debts, even as the UK was fighting for survival!… And then gave half of Europe to Stalin!) is particularly interesting. (Why Stalin got so many Russians and Ukrainians killed (he admitted to Churchill having killed more of them than Hitler) may have been as simple as the fact he was fundamentally… Georgian!)

      The class of “leaders” is self-selecting. Average people do not have enough of the obsessive hubris which leads there. It’s the most incredible journey, but one we need to make. Where we are now, epistemologically speaking, is an untenable place, considering the planet’s condition.

  2. indravaruna Says:

    Hitler crime wasn’t not killing all jews.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      In many countries what you just wrote is a crime. And it should be a crime. To be convicted of murder, one has to satisfy two things: the act, and Mens Rea (the mental decision to commit the crime). I fully agree that Thought Crimes ought to be repressed:

      I do not know where you hatred of people come from. Even Hitler explained in “Mein Kampf” where is hatred of Jews came from. You just make threats which even Hitler did not dare to make in public. Most Nazis concluded towards the end of the war that exterminating the Jews had been a terrible crime (!) You may just be mentally sick. As it is, I have good reason not to tolerate people who want to kill people as a class, including children (there were deaths, threats and various other sufferings in my family).

      I have had a policy to tolerate all comments on this site, and just condemn the crazy ones, giving the reasons. However you are entering here criminal territory that is punishable by major powers (France, Germany, etc.). Under the law of the Republic. And the Republic proved stronger than Hitler in particular and fascism in general.

      Not only Hitler was the major agent in the death of 70 million people, but he contributed to the death of more than ten million Germans, and around two million French (counting all citizens of the French empire who died violently in 1939-1945). Hitler’s murderous criminality had nothing to with the Jews, for years. For years Hitler was content to STEAL Jews. He had already killed millions of other people before he got to the “Jews”. Mot of the latter were not even Jews.

      In any case I will not tolerate any longer death threats against babies, children, and other innocent people. I am a very fierce critique myself of, say, Islam, or plutocracy in general. However these are bodies of thought, not innocent individuals. I can extent fierce criticism against specific individuals. However what you engage in is hate crime, just because, apparently, you have the will to be even more despicable and criminal than Hitler.

      My family fought the Nazis and saved more than 100 Jews (we got no reward for it, my family was hunted by the Gestapo in the end, and saved by American GIs). Hitler was not just a mass murderer and criminal, he was an insane, self-destructive maniac, who set-up a world war, just so that he could lose it (the victory against France in May 1940 was a lucky strike; in truth, Hitler had lost the war by September 3, 1939, as he had very very low probability of winning).

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