In closing, and in the spirit of rending that “veil of illusion,” here’s an extended quote from Robert Anton Wilson’s “Illuminati Papers” on various forms of stupidity, and how to heal them.
26. Biosurvival stupidity is imprinted almost immediately after birth, is caused by traumatic fright (due to our primitive child-rearing practices), and takes the form of chronic anxiety. This is epidemic in our society; In 1968, a U.S. public health survey showed that 85% of the population have some symptom of chronic anxiety, eg., heart palpitations, frequent nightmares, dizzy spells, etc.. Chronic depression usually accompanies this, in the extreme forms, one finds autism or catatonia, which are biopsychic or cellular decisions that human beings are just too nasty to be worth relating to, or paranoia, the fine art of finding enemies everywhere, especially among ones’ friends.
27. Biosurvival stupidity causes so much stress on the organism, and so much alienation from other humans, that it creates stupidity on all the other neural circuits as well, and thereby prevents the development of a high level of intelligence on any circuit.
28. Biosurvival stupidity can be alleviated by the practice of various martial arts (aikido, karate, kung-fu, etc.); by asana, the yogic technique of holding ones’ posture for long periods of time every day; or by psychotherapy. Asana and psychotherapy take much longer to produce dramatic effects than martial arts do, but may be necessary in acute cases.
29. Emotional stupidity is imprinted when the toddler is first learning “family politics” (mammalian hierarchy games) typically, the victim confronts all problematic situations in interpersonal relations with one stereo-typed emotional game, (e.g., A good long sulk, a temper tantrum, “depression”, a drunken bender, suicidal thoughts, howling or blustering in traditional angry-primate matter, etc.) One or another of these robotic emotional reflexes can be found in about 99% of the population.
30. Emotional stupidity can be alleviated by the yogic breathing technique known as pranayama, or by Gurdjieff techniques of establishing an internal “observer” who monitors the emotional reflexes, .ie., makes them conscious instead of mechanical. Pranayama produces quicker results; the Gurdjieff techniques ultimately produce deeper, more long-lasting results.
31. Semantic stupidity is imprinted when the older child begins dealing with words and concepts (abstract artifacts produced by the higher brain centers after the human stock separated out from the other primates.) The most pervasive form of semantic stupidity consists of confusing the local (tribal) reality map with the all of reality. Dogmatism, rigid ideological systems and bizarre reality maps (ideological schizophrenias) are also rampant. Symbol blindness ranging from verbal illiteracy, is also common and often found in those who are very skillful in handling one narrow range of symbols, e.g., the painter who can’t solve a quadratic equation, the scientist who can’t or won’t read poetry , etc..
32. Semantic stupidity can be alleviated by a diet rich in lecithin and protein, by courses in remedial reading, logic and scientific method, and by practices in general semantics.
33. Socio-sexual stupidity is imprinted when the DNA blueprint triggers the mutation to puberty. It consists of robotic repetition of one stereo-typed sex role, usually accompanied by a deep-seated conviction that all other sex-roles are abnormal. (“mad” or “bad”)
34. The only alleviations of socio-sexual stupidity currently available are the various forms of psychotherapy, of which group encounter is probably most effective.
35. Alleviating or totally curing these four types of stupidity would produce human beings roughly matching the idealistic definition given by Robert Heinlein in “Time Enough for Love”: ” A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, sail a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight effectively, die gallantly. ”
36. Roughly speaking, if you can handle 14 out of Heinlein’s 21 programs, you have released 2/3 of your potential intelligence, and are 2/3 of a human being. If you can handle 7 of them, you are 1/3 of a human being. Scores above 14 mean you’re probably a genius and probably know it; scores below 7 mean you’re certainly a moron and certainly don’t know it. (.ie., you are convinced, are you not, that the world really is a terrible place and that your inability to cope is due to the world’s evil rather than to your own stupidity?)
37. A quicker intelligence test, which also indicates the trajectory of your development, is this: If the world seems to be getting bigger and funnier all the time, your intelligence is steadily increasing. If the world seems to be getting smaller and nastier all the time, your stupidity is steadily increasing.