It is our pleasure to welcome Arne Klingenberg, author of Beyond Machine Man: Who we really are and why Transhumanism is just an empty promise, as our featured author for December. In his book, Arne takes the reader on a deep dive into what it means to be human, the root of our inherent flaws, the nature of consciousness and the possibility of living a life beyond fear. In his article here, Arne explores some crucial questions on the puzzle of who we are and how our brains function.
Interact with Arne on our AoM Forum here.
Who are we? Are we our DNA or is it all in the brain? Are we our conscious minds, an unconscious one or both? What is the real nature of consciousness or the root cause of racism? Do we have free will? Are we our emotions and do egos actually exist? What does neuroscience really say about us?
Are we mere actors in a giant computer simulation? Will we ever upload our minds or memories? And will transhumanism eventually cure all disease and solve the problem of our mortality?
The answers to these and many more related questions may very well surprise quite a few readers, even those well versed in cutting-edge science and philosophy. For Machine Man, to even ask such questions is actually rather silly, or perhaps outright stupid. Because they claim to know the answers already anyway, at least in the big picture. But do they really?
Throughout history and regardless of color, culture and creed, the ruling classes have applied more or less the same techniques to control the people. Besides the application of brute force or the mere threat of it, we are manipulated by a plethora of psychological methods that have been refined throughout the ages. Sophisticated technological tools and toys work wonders in manipulating our thoughts, beliefs, and behavior. All to the point where perhaps only relatively few people notice what is actually happening to us.
Shame, guilt and the playing of the blame game are classic tools of manipulation. Instilling fear in a population has proven to be an effective control mechanism. And so is applying peer pressure of many kinds. Repeating enormous lies that often contradict themselves is a favorite pastime of our rulers. And then there is narrative control.
We all just love to read, hear and watch great stories. Sad or morbid ones, funny and uplifting kinds, romantic dramas, scary and shocking tales, highly-paced thrillers. Whatever it may be. We are all storytellers in our more or less prominent ways.
And those people and institutions who get to tell the official stories of what is supposed to be real in life and what is not, have an obvious advantage over anybody else. History itself is often just another story too, mostly written and told by the winners. After all, dead men tell no tales. And of course, the telling of tales includes archaeology, science in general, and the various fields of academia. Experts that dominate the narrative.
What is not allowed to be true, cannot be true, even though it is. Or, “He who has the gold and pays the scientists makes the rules.
Sadly, science has become ever more political and commercial, to the point of outright corruption. Yet the mechanisms of framing a story for propaganda purposes are just the same as they ever were:
- We are free to ask any questions, as long as they are within this narrowly defined framework.
- We are free to research anything, as long as we only study this approved material.
- We are free to come to any conclusions, as long as they firmly fit into the accepted paradigm.
It reminds me of Henry Ford who said: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”
Here, I can only offer you glimpses of the many inherent fatal flaws in Machine Man science and philosophy. But first, allow me a couple of housekeeping notes. To spice up this article, I will add quite a few quotes from the actual book, and as above, present them in both bold and italic print. Also, please note that there are 77 pages full of reference notes, sources and links, so I won’t list any here.
Now you may wonder, “Who exactly is Machine Man?”
Machine Man or Homo Machina: People who think that they are their body – ruled by a more or less intelligent brain, aided and abetted by a better or worse set of DNA. This is the purely materialistic perspective, incessantly propagated and promoted by academia, governments, and the mainstream media. According to reductionist Machine Man, “We are just smart animals.”
This is the story the elite likes to tell and sell. Nowadays, it is the generally accepted truth. But is this narrative correct or is it just another way of controlling their subjects, to forever stay immensely wealthy and totally in charge of it all? That may sound like a silly question or outlandish proposition. At first. But the evidence shows differently.
Partially right but incomplete knowledge usually leads to very wrong conclusions, and sometimes, incredibly insane ideas.
Some members of the ruling classes know full well that their physicalist stories (“everything is physical”) are not really the full and true stories. Just like their mainstream news, they lie by the omission of facts or the distortion of truths. Other elitists however actually fully believe their own stories; they really do think that they are the enlightened ones. And that anyone questioning their dogmas presented as science is neither very intelligent nor highly educated. As they are or claim to be.
Real science is never really settled even though nowadays it is claimed to be by basically corrupt politicians controlled by selfish billionaires for nefarious political and economic purposes; they just love to parade their personal selection of questionable scientists in public while completely ignoring or outright censoring the many real experts who say otherwise.
Most likely, since you are reading this here on GrahamHancock.com, you are a fellow seeker of truths. Graham Hancock sure is. Like every real scientist is.
For open-minded scientists, it’s still a wild world out there where not much of anything is really settled.
A true scientist always follows the evidence, no matter where it may lead. Even if it leads to very different conclusions than the ones acceptable to the gatekeepers of truth in academia. And even if they would contradict previously cherished and widely published positions. Or ultimately, even if they would lead to one getting fired from a cushy job.
All proponents of the Machine Man explanation of life have philosophical, political or profit motives to keep promoting their fantasies.
What could possibly be the motive to hide the very latest full-spectrum view of science about who we really are? Quite simply, it is far easier to manipulate and control people when they feel weak and meek, a bit insecure, almost afraid to be alive, wanting to be protected, and clamoring to be led to safety, than to boss around the truly strong and self-confident who are not particularly afraid of anything, having mastered the origin and ultimate of all fears by actually knowing who they really are.
The fewer of us who know who we really are, the more fears we will collectively have as a culture.
Now let’s start to gently rattle the narrow cage of Machine Man thought and inquiry and look a bit closer into the assorted absurdities of the absolutist views of Homo Machina.
Anomalies essentially prove that the impossible is indeed possible.
According to purely materialistic doctrine, all of the most amazing anomalies portrayed in Beyond Machine Man are just not possible. But obviously, these things all really do happen and indeed, are well proven and documented to happen. So what is the solution or explanation of close-minded (or bought and paid for) academia?
When confronted by such amazing anomalies, such incredible deviations from what is believed to be normal or possible, Machine Man scientists choose to simply ignore it all; they basically bury their collective heads in the sand and hope that the problem, or challenge to their way of thinking, will just go away. By simply not talking about it.
Let me quote just a few examples:
In the chapter Brain Matters, we have discussed individuals who have only half a brain or no real (detectable) brain, and yet they have no memory deficits or problems in any way. They live normal lives. How could that be possible if our memories were just a function of our brains?
Could we live without a brain and still function normally? That really sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it? And yet, it does happen. It is a well-established medical fact: there are people who function perfectly well, essentially without having a brain!
One such example was documented in a neurological study consisting of over 600 brain scans: a university student with a measured IQ of 126 who graduated with a first-class honors degree in mathematics, without having hardly any discernible brain matter at all.
Sounds crazy, right?
The fact is that there are people living absolutely regular lives without having many or any brain cells. And yet they are able to function perfectly normally in society, indistinguishable from anyone else; they have families, jobs, and so on.
Here’s another inexplicable deviation from what is said to be normal or indeed, possible:
Terminal lucidity is yet another anomaly that points to another location of both our mind and memories, beyond our mere physical brains. And beyond the current reductionist theories of Machine Man scientists.
What is terminal lucidity, you may ask?
Throughout history, nurses taking care of patients in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes have reported this (for Machine Man) inexplicable phenomenon. It refers to the sudden return of full mental clarity and memory to patients with heavily deteriorated brains shortly before they actually pass away.
That too may sound like science fiction but actually is a scientific reality.
Terminal lucidity or final clarity would be impossible if the brain were indeed necessary for the mind to function, or if the brain created the mind because these brains were severely damaged and did not function anymore as shown in both brain scans and actual experience.
Let’s quickly mention just one more medical anomaly that confounds the narrative:
The placebo and nocebo effect proves both optimists and pessimists right.
What is the “official” explanation of this well-studied phenomenon? And the immediate follow-up question that begs to be answered?
So if Machine Man is right and the placebo or nocebo effects were just functions of the brain, why would the brain ever want to believe something that is detrimental to its overall health?
Nowadays, most people know that the placebo effect can really heal. Increasingly, people also become aware of the reality of ‘medical hexing’: healthy patients who were mistakenly informed that they will die within three, six or twelve months, did indeed pass away in the ‘allocated’ time frame they were given. Autopsies later confirmed that there was nothing physically wrong with them.
Oops. Here are some cases that are physically impossible according to medical doctrine:
Patients who were suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee – a real physical ailment resulting from the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone – were cured when a simple superficial skin incision was made rather than any actual surgery performed. And yet the positive results obtained were the very same as with any of the patients who did go through the real procedure.
That sounds rather insane. What about this:
And likewise for patients with angina pectoris. Dr. Leonard Cobb Jr, a cardiology specialist and Professor Emeritus, performed pretend surgery by merely making a small incision on the surface of the chest. He found that it equally increased the blood flow to the heart muscles of patients as when he actually did carry out the full surgery (by tying knots in the arteries).
But the science is settled, right? Or so they say in officialdom.
Surely, it all looks a bit like magic, but that of course does not exist in the playbook of Machine Man. Alright, let’s not invoke or talk about magic. Or religion and the like. So is it a matter of mind over body? Well, according to materialistic doctrine, there is no such thing as the mind. Such beliefs are merely wishful thinking or superstitions by the unenlightened.
Nevertheless, mind doctors still treat our minds… Do they well and truly know what they are talking about? Well, partially yes, but mostly, not really. Can we actually measure mental diseases or ailments of any kind? No, we can’t.
In summary, neuroscience cannot determine if or where there is something physically wrong in the brain or a particular area of the brain when a patient suffers from a mental problem like depression or anxiety, and so on.
Just briefly, let me correct another fallacy, without going into the details of it all:
The continually proclaimed and therefore widely believed story about a chemical imbalance in the brain that needs to be corrected is pure fiction; there is no scientific basis or factual evidence at all. Actually, the very opposite is true: these drugs are causing an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain.
Yeah, but top-notch neuroscientists know all or a great deal about our brains, right? No, they don’t. What about all the beautiful colorful pictures of an fMRI brain scan we see depicted all the time in the media, don’t they prove that specific brain activities can be assigned to the specific cognitive experiences of an individual person?
It is not at all clear what we actually see or the reasons why.
Really? Yes, really. Of course, in the context of this short article, such claims sound a bit far-out and even fantastic. Yet once you’ve read it all and examined the actual science, including the imaging technologies used, the many assumptions made, the assorted problems involved, or the various errors introduced, that is the truth:
Neuroscience to this very day knows next to nothing about how our brain really works and nothing at all about our mental processes; what happens when we think and analyze, feel and dream, are aware of our environment or conscious about our inner life, when we consider complex matters or make difficult decisions, and so on.
So who do they say we are?
By the verdict of today’s science, we are said to be uninvolved virtuous victims who are pushed and shoved around by the mysterious spasms of our brains, respectively the unknowable intentions and machinations of the unconscious.
So there really is an unconscious mind? Well, not really…
Believing in a non-existent unconscious simply reveals the not knowing about how the mind and our memory fundamentally works or who we really are.
Many professional mind doctors are likely to find this statement outrageous or worse. The New Age community too is unlikely to like it, to put it mildly. But it is very important to get this right because much is at stake. Like our happiness and peace of mind. So it would be smart to seriously examine the evidence and make a little effort to follow the full reasoning I’ve presented.
Real science however does not and cannot show proof of any kind that a materially real or mentally imagined subconscious or unconscious mind actually exists. Neither a neuroscientific ‘Zombian’ version nor the mythical one proposed by psychoanalysts.
Do Machine Man scientists understand what consciousness is, how it is created, or where it is located and so on? No, not at all. But they still do claim to know the big picture:
Despite their complete lack of knowledge and understanding about the very basics of consciousness, Machine Man still insists with a religious fervor that is cloaked in the mantle of science that consciousness can only arise out of particles that have no consciousness.
So, do we have free will? What are the conclusions of modern-day neuroscientists? They say, no, there is no free will. Full stop. Their ironclad (but wrong) verdict is based on a very whimsical and supposedly scientific experiment that I took great pleasure to take apart from a variety of angles. Here, let me reveal a cheeky summary of their thoughts and theses:
It really should read like this: The brain’s illusory creation of a subconscious mind later informs yet another illusion, the conscious mind, of the decisions it took. Got it? It’s simple really, once you get used to confused thinking.
That may sound a bit harsh, mostly because it is out of context, yet it would nevertheless be quite well deserved once we look at what they say they do know and compare it with what they really know. It’s a bit like reading the fine print.
Limiting our minds makes the possible impossible.
As a little by the way, my book really needs to be read with a good sense of humor, sometimes even a bit of a dark one. And smiling and winking faces would also need to be introduced here and there, but both editors and publishers would surely frown upon that. 🙂
You may already be somewhat curious to know where transhumanism fits into the diverse topics discussed, some seemingly a bit disconnected at first. What is it all about and how close are transhumanists to realizing their dreams? To the first question:
Transhumanism after all is a project of the elite continuing the ancient occult pursuit of becoming immortal gods and ruling happily ever after.
And the glib short answer to the second question is:
Ultimately, transhumanism is just an empty promise by people who are mortally afraid of dying.
In Beyond Machine Man, I’ve introduced Homo Digitalis as being the transhumanist subspecies of Machine Man, simply because transhumanism is the modern continuation of the physicalist paradigm; it is the latest incarnation of their fervent hopes and dreams to prolong their lives and eventually, live forever.
Never mind the details, Homo Digitalis hopes to perpetually enjoy highly augmented forms of cybersex and other superlative sensual and intellectual delights. Besides totally awesome physical prowess. To forever lord over the ordinary folks that can’t possibly afford any such things. Sorry, but regular folks just have to keep dying. After they’ve finished a lifetime full of hard work, that is. Doing the things robots can’t do yet. Or will refuse to do because it would simply be beneath them.
So do they really pose such a grave threat to humanity as nowadays countless articles and websites imply? The short answer is actually, no. But it is a long story…
Homo Digitalis believes that they are the most rational people ever. They claim to only believe in what science says. Yet amazingly, most actually don’t seem to know what neuroscience really says about who they are.
And that is just for starters. Before we’ve started to look into more of the details of other aspects like biotechnology, including genetic engineering and pharmaceutical therapies. Or artificial intelligence, robotics and bionics, memory transfer, brain-computer integration, and so on. Just quickly, as we have to come to an end:
Ultimately, knowing who we really are is not about who is right and wrong but a deciding factor about how free and happy we are while we are here.
Furthermore, in the big picture:
Knowing who we really are has the potential to unite the deeply divided, to break the curse of racism, and solve the many social, economical and ecological problems still plaguing us today.
I hope that you have enjoyed this little episode of life Beyond Machine Man. And I’d be happy to hear your thoughts once you’ve read it all.
Last but not least, a big Thank you! to the legendary author Graham Hancock and his daughter, Leila Hancock. It is a great honor and pleasure to be featured here as an author of the month. So the last quote is dedicated to Graham, the endless explorer of both the worlds within and without:
There is not much difference between a real scientist and a true mystic after all; they equally share the genuine longing, deep passion and continuous search for finding ever deeper truths.
Arne Klingenberg is a rather reclusive philosopher, economist and author. For (a little) more information, see ArneKlingenberg.com