More than a Decade Later, the remarkable mental events and thinking skills described in The Mother of All Minds  still seem as electrifying and vital as ever

If you’ve never scouted up a copy of my book, The Mother of All Minds: Leaping Free of an Outdated Human Nature, here is how it begins:

Without the ”I,” there would be few books. And certainly not this book. The ”I,” of course, is all about the ego. As you are about to discover, I couldn’t have written this work without an outrageously healthy ego, because an outrageously healthy ego is pretty much the whole point of The Mother of All Minds.

Getting right to the point, there is a new kind of audacious, self-affirming yet outward-looking, forward-thinking and all-encompassing attitude in town. Mine, yes. But the new flavor of ego I’m speaking of has significant implications and important uses that extend far beyond this one mortal’s enthusiasm at discovering himself to be a guinea pig rooting around the frontiers of human thinking skills.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that terms like ”outrageously healthy ego” may not settle well with the scholarly types who have been doing most of the thinking aloud about this newly emergent development in our human nature. But that’s because they’ve become so accustomed to commenting about this topic in a strictly bookish, externally focused, mostly hands-off fashion. Of course, this helps them avoid having to attempt a substantially hands-on, experiential, internally focused look at the matter.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not dumping on the scholarly crowd. Their contributions continue to be too valuable for that. But if I have no real qualms with the professor types sounding professorial, I have no intention of trying to sound like them, either. It doesn’t serve anyone’s best interest to wait any longer for a more interior view of something extraordinary that is happening at the cutting edge of our human thinking capabilities. All this to explain that one of the driving motivations behind my writing of The Mother of All Minds has been to provide, for the most part, a hands-on, ”experienced from the inside” view of this outrageously healthy new ego’s arrival and prospects.

I know this is happening because it has happened to me. I know that it has happened to others. And as I observe what is happening to humanity and other living things on the planet because this kind of knowing is still only an embryonic force in the human tool kit of thinking qualities, I know it is important and needs to be encouraged. However, there was something I didn’t realize until I began working on this book. And that’s the extent to which this outrageously healthy ego phenomenon is proving to be a ”third rail”-like episode for some of the very people who should know how important this development is. Important, first, for the individual’s psychological growth. And, second, for the hope of speeding up the maturation of our species and the injection of greater degrees of sanity and progress for the general picture-at-large on our increasingly beleaguered planet.

I call this a third-rail phenomenon because of the qualities it shares with the third rail on the subway line. The topic is charged, electrified, off-putting! Scary! I really had no idea how off-putting and scary until I began to interact more with people about the experiences I discuss in this book.

There were individuals who have undergone an impressive psychological shift of this nature. Anyone who has been around them for any duration and knows what to look for can see that they have. But after agreeing to talk with me about changes in their life and thinking and how they came about, when the time came to chat, they got cold feet and withdrew. Others claimed to have experienced such a transition—but really couldn’t point to the kind of sustained, next-level-up results in their thinking and behavior that I found persuasive. And some individuals adamantly insisted that they couldn’t think this way and yet, by my observation, they can and they do.

One possible explanation is that these individuals are simply shy or inordinately private. But I don’t think that is the whole explanation or even the most likely one. I encountered this uncertainty and reticience so many times that I have this robust hunch: much more than we have previously suspected, taking the wraps off an outrageously healthy ego is a serious gut-check-and-soul-searching assignment for anyone who might be a candidate for it. In fact, it wasn’t until personal hindsight became available—that is, when I could look back at my own third-rail encounter—that this realization fully struck home.

As the outrageously healthy ego I now freely and cheerfully acknowledge to being, let me say it flat out: there is a force field that a person must push through to get to where this new version of the ego takes on its character and its competence. And this force field is formidable. If a person becomes aware of this obstacle, what so often happens is that the psyche then tosses one weighty counter-resistance after another in any path that would put the individual beyond this antagonistic force, even if the opportunity is begging to be acted on. I can’t speak for you, of course, but it is surprising to me to discover counter-progressive forces of such strength and tenacity in our psyche at such a late stage in our human development.

And away we go from there for 285 more pages! Even used copies of the paperback edition are rare and expensive, and new ones even more so (although you can, if you wish, still acquire such copies here. The ebook version is a beaucoup bargain by comparison and available from several of the major ebook suppliers here.

Our dolphin strategy book (Strategy of the Dolphin: Scoring a Win in a Chaotic World; details here) attracted far greater readership and exposure, but I’ve always thought that The Mother of all Minds is a much more exciting and instructive introduction to the thinking, deciding and valuing life of the mind available beyond the late Clare W. Graves’ “monumental leap.”

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