The Minds We Use Have Consequences in the Lives We Live. Here Are Three Telling Examples.

Here are three lives that have been in the American news recently. They are lives that, or so it seems to me, are accurate examples of the kind of lives we can expect to be produced by certain kinds of minds. The kinds of minds that at Brain Technologies Corporation we’ve styled (based substantially on the work of the late Dr. Clare Graves) as:

Mind Level No. 1.4 (the Loyalist or Absolutistic thinker).
Philip Rieff died on July 1 at age 83. He was a sociologist and expert on the writings and theories of Freud. (For eight years, he was also the husband of Susan Sontag, whom he married after a ten-day courtship when she was a 17-year-old sophomore at the University of Chicago and he was a 28-year-old teaching instructor.) As I interpret matters, Dr. Rieff didn’t care a whit for what mindsets beyond Level 1.4 have done to morality and Western culture, and he especially didn’t warm to what he believed Freud’s ideas had done. In his book, Freud: The Mind of he Moralist (1959), Rieff suggested that the Viennese’s idea of the “psychological man” had corroded Western morality and culture because it encouraged the individual to depend not on traditional communal moralities but on “himself and his own emotions.”

Seven years later, he was back at his theme with The Triumph of the Therapeutic, suggesting all the postmodern therapies aimed at “better living” were not helpful in living healthier lives. And again in 1973 in Fellow Teachers, arguing that the “psychosocialism” being taught in higher education “may destroy what remains of our received culture in order to replace it with permanent therapies.”

Mind Level No. 1.6 (the Involver or the Participative thinker).
Dr. Denice Dee Denton was a hero to many, particularly women. And she deserved to be. At one time, the only female dean at a top-tier research university, Dr. Denton kept climbing, and at her death, at age 46, was chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz. She had arrived at the campus at a controversial time in town-gown relations, since UCSC was on the grow. There was more. For example, someone had thrown a parking barrier through a plate glass window of her home last summer. “She was a gay woman who was a chancellor and an engineer,” a sister chancellor told The New York Times. “You know that she came through some pretty difficult times, as many people who are breaking down barriers did.”

Dr. Denton apparently jumped to her death from a San Francisco skyscraper. In The Mother of All Minds. I wrote this about the dangers of living from Level 1.6:

“Feelings have this positive feedback, roll-over-on-themselves quality. They can start small and keep reinforcing themselves, until suddenly they are overwhelming. High suicide rates are an all-too-real concern for Level 1.6 users. It’s easy to despair about how unfair life can be, and how little impact your ameliorations can have for those who suffer the most, yourself included.”

Mind Level 2.0 (the Choice Seeker or Beta thinker).
Arata Kochi is a public health doctor. A very visible one, since he’s head of malaria at the World Health Association. He got his current job because of his success in the 1990s as head of WHO’s tuberculosis programs and then its HIV department. At each stop, he roiled the waters of established policy and diplomacy since at both stops, he decided that established policies and diplomatic niceties were costing large numbers lives needlessly.

No surprise, then, that he immediately came to similar conclusions at the world’s malaria-fighting programs. A key conclusion was that the public health community was kowtowing to the pharmaceutical industry. So he launched a full-frontal attack on world drug makers. He wanted them to quit producing and marketing single-drug pills when pills containing multiple malaria-fighting drugs were needed. He was soon publicly castigating big companies first and then smaller companies for making monotherapy pills. And at each step along the way, he’s emerged the winner. “Things have got to be done right,” says the Japanese scientist. About the value of being diplomatic, he says, “I don’t have the patience.”

In the above-named book, I listed these qualities of the Beta thinker:
• You work with the world you find.
• You aren’t easily spooked.
• You don’t have a lot of patience for shirkers or persons who refuse to learn.
• You mostly evaluate yourself.
• You can’t be bought.
• You don’t take power trips.
• Hype, buzz and other forms of manufactured drama generally turn you off.
• You can be jarringly quick to say “no.”
• When it matters to you, you want to be in play.

From what I can see of Dr. Kochi, he’s made the leap to Beta thinking.

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