my note-quotes on Forbidden Dimensions: Primitivism, Prehistory and the Posthuman Era, C.G. Browne

Civilization – scientific thought, materialism & linearity (p2)

“True Reality” (i.e. Primitive World) – timelessness, ritualized behavior, reciprocal exchange (p5)

Integrity Principle – instinctive, unconscious behavior that keeps life integrated.

Homor ergaster (work man) – lived virtually unchanged for over 1 million years. Didn’t “veer away from original function.”

“Civilized humans created linear time to serve progress and development, the very things primitive people are instinctively driven to avoid.” (p8)

“The only way we can be unconscious and integral to everything around us is by relating to everything around us using our instincts.” (p11)

Animism – belief that all things animate and inanimate have an intention of their own. In reference to modern humans, “Animism is a mindset, and access is denied.” (p13) No boundary between us and the environment. (p36)

“As the generations have passed, we have even lost the ability to see the spirit in things that are obviously alive, such as trees and flowers. We would have acknowledged personality and intention in these things as recently as just a few hundred years ago… we now look upon nature’s apparatus with no ability to communicate with it, relate to it, and no idea how to behave within it.” (p14)

“By losing a primitive relationship with our surroundings, we lose the capacity to be integral to the world around us and to speak an original language. It is a language we may well find we need in the years to come.” (p16)

“…demands from our environment that require a response from our rational selves are deadening our primitive senses. This does not mean that the conversation is not going on, only that we are excluded from it… As time has passed, we have become more and more enchanted by the physical qualities of what the world has to offer, and now it is to the exclusion of all else.” (p18)

“We impose our modern mindset on how we envision primitive people live.” i.e. we mis-envision them as struggling to survive and ever evolving and adapting. “…not changing suggests that we are equipped with sufficient competence for a life on Earth and that we are busy living it with ease.” (p20)

“…Primitive experience is of the senses. It is driven by instinct and shared intentions with the physical side of things merely providing the imagery. Tribes today demonstrate that this is an immensely fulfilling way to experience life, so boredom is no a factor. Boredom is a civilized invention.” (p22)

“…The modern world develops through the medium of mathematics. We can redesign and reconstruct nature according to our needs and desires. But there is a price to pay… We chose not to relate to our environment but to manipulate it. We cannot have both. So mankind’s universe has become a construction site, a work in progress.” (p25)

Spontaneous synchronicity – like flocks of birds, shoals of fish or hives of bees… part of a primitive dance, light-hearted and free. “As a primitive species, we would not exist as aggressive consumers of the environment, but as an integral part of the natural world.” (p29)

Primitive people have little or no impact on land “due to the limits imposed by the natural productivity of the environment they inhabit and the fact that they do not work to overcome those limits, or assume to disregard them.” (p31)

“…gift of primitive simplicity.” (p32)

“In tribal life, there is no well-defined individuality. Tribal people express all their thoughts, feelings, wants and desires quite openly for the rest of the tribe to see.” (p36)

“For a primitive mind, these hidden, internal realms are dangerous places in which shadows can hide. These shadows are influences that bring unwanted sickness and conflict to the group and disrupt the domestic harmony that resides at the heart of tribal life.” (p36-7)

Primitive people’s “spontaneous emotionality prevents them from separating their drive from their behavior.” They have no ability for social conceit. (p38)

“…our dualistic world starts to consist of a physical version on the outside and a conscious mental version on the inside. These two distinct interpretations of the environment define the boundary between inside and outside. They become separated from each other, and the process is irreversible. It is at this point that the natural world shuts us out, and we lose the ability to communicate with it.” (p39)

The price we pay for ‘selfhood’: Each individual’s version of reality is unique, thus an obsession with hard sciences, like math, to find agreements organic to the primitive mind. Social ambiguity leads us to over-focusing on playing mind games. (p39)

Ceremontial ritual marked our move away from unconscious animal. Before this change ritual was unconscious repetitive acts, instinctive patterns to partake in practical activities of life. They were not planned or organized, but “bound by social values that the tribe agrees on… ensure everyone knows what to do and how to do it.” Behavioral framework of stability is part of the integrity principle. Different species have different species specific rituals. (p42-3)

“When we ritualize behavior, life remains simple and the same.” (p50)

“While we sleep our minds produce images that we could translate in a similar way to omens.” (p51)

“Consciousness and memory amount to a mind full of measured dreams splinted by time.” (p51)

Primitive qualities: humility, participation, light-hearted, simplicity, animism, intentionality, non-linearity, stability, instinctive ritualized behavior, generosity, impartiality, gentleness, robust perceived reality, harmonious, sustainable, “no one should want to be chief… reverse dominance hierarchy”, helpfulness, altruism, reciprocation, givers are the ‘winners’, not changing, stability, confident, ritual, population reflects carrying capacity.

Egalitarian structure of cooperation and sharing are kept in check trough social ostracism.

Fundamental Primitive Laws: Integrity Principle

  1. Birth-Life-Death cycle
  2. Reciprocal exchange
  3. Sacrifice

Civilized qualities: apathy, egoism, disdain, greed, vanity, expectation, self-pity, lethargy, population expansion, fear of death, self-interest, demand, control, denial, conceal intentions, shame, pride, humiliation, resentment, arrogant, self-indulgent, individualism, competition, endeavor, manipulative, territorial, selfish, artificial, pride, vane, ambivalent, contradictory.

Seams – joining between places, otherworld spirit travel (p105)

“…primitive mind only considers first hand experiences as real and something it can share with other primitive minds… Everyone shares the same experience and that makes it a sold fact. This rule makes the primitive world seem small and intimate.” (p120-1)

“All primitive tribal people use simple, pure sounds to express alarm, delight, excitement, and so on… primitive people can only express what is happening at the time. This is a crucial function in making sure they do not develop and change. It stops them from developing individuality… Each component must behave according to those relationships and not according to its own demands, desires, and beliefs. “ (p128-9)

Theory – “(O)ur familiar reality of three dimensions is a measured and collapsed version of a timeless and immaterial world. Today, we are living in a penal colony born out of the irreversible violation of Earths primitive principles.” (p141)

Birth-growth-death cycle – we are stuck in the groove of growth. We have developed an obsession with not dying. Fear. Strong desire to control life from procreation through dying.

“We do not associate (primitive people’s) delicate simplicity with wisdom because what he knows he does not speak of… (H)e cannot speak of that which he is a part otherwise he is apart, and his world would collapse.” (p169-70)

“When (a primitive man) looks at the stars, he is with the stars. When he looks at the moon, he is with her and she is with him; they are together. His innate ability to relate to everything, his intentions, senses, and emotions are what drive him to a place… He knows how to travel to the stars. Timelessness and dimensional travel are all quite normal for him. But stuck in the passage of time as we are… we have to discover the facts of life in a succession of steps. We exacerbate this scenario by devoting our lives to our physical actions, instead of feeling driven by qualities and principles that we merely demonstrate or ritualize within those activities… It turns out it is our devout trust in materialism that has led us to dismiss this primitive element of life as unimportant. Any relationship with nature has become irrelevant with regard to how we approach the structure of our lives… But… our relationship with primitive nature is…where we will find the answer to the frustrating problem of dimensional travel.” (p176)

“(P)rimitive humans are not designed to change… Human life in its original form is not about winning biological competitions. It does not involve developing and changing. It is about staying in tune with the primitive laws of their species and the world around them, regardless of what changes are taking place.” (p179-80)

“We do not sense the three dimensional reality in the same way. We have it imposed upon us. It is solid and jarring. It is inflexible and irrefutable. Ours is a perceived reality that has been measured and so it has collapsed. Realities that have not collapsed would relate to one another by sharing principles based on a primitive ethos or universal natural laws.” (p181-2)

“Before the birth of physical bodies and three dimension, we can imagine that biological decomposition was not an issue. A mortal life did not involve aging, deteriorating and rotting, but learning, maturing, and fading away.” (p187)

“These people… related to everything around them. Their minds and bodies reflected their environment as their environment reflected them back again. True to an animistic lifeworld, there was no distinction between the two.” (p189)

“Neolithic farmers corrupted the natural cycle so that life and death are now engineered and controlled in a conscious way.” (p189)

Routine transformation of death becomes an unbearable torture.

Adornment “demonstrates a move away from pure primitiveness, which is such that an unconscious integral mind has no desire… (I)t is not the case that humans developed an understanding of art and decoration for the sake of it, or because they were developing a particular kind of intelligence. The changes that were happening at the time drove our primitive ancestors to employ these magical items to help them cope. As the otherworld was collapsing, distorting, and even starting to disappear, people were clinging to it through these symbolic tokens. Perhaps they were attempting to please the spirits to keep them close, influence a change, or for protection because they simply did not understand what was going on.” (p193)

Agriculture and complex society wrought “disease, poverty, war, overpopulation, environmental devastation, extreme inequality, social dependency, and divided communities… complexity, hierarchy, ownership.” (p200)

“There is evidence that the Neolithic tribes of Europe resisted the introduction of farming and settlement. This new way of life did not ripple steadily across the globe. Instead, we see it taking hold in awkward fits and starts, and it also took a substantial period of time. In fact, resisting this transition would have been instinctive, just as it is for primitive people today.” (p201)

“Instinct and intuition… do not recycle potentially corrupt information from our past experience. They draw from an original and natural source – a template- which we would once have had access to. Our senses, coupled with this source, would have steered us through our lives, assisted by the knowledge of elders in the tribe and omens in the environment. Memory has replaced these instincts, just as history has replaced myth, and biology animism. We have created a string of physical events out of a centred and timeless origin. This new way of perceiving everything as a sequence rather than a whole framework was in part responsible for breaking down our immunity to change during the Neolithic Revolution. Consequently, we have become anxious about the future and subject to a deluge of influence that we cannot control. Our psychological complexity, while elevating us above the rest of the nature, exposes our personal worlds to all sorts of psychological threats and coercion that we struggle to resist. And we no longer have a reliable template with which to gauge all the information we receive. Our social laws have become vague, our moral codes littered with contradictions. This hidden chaos contributes to many of the psychiatric illnesses and personality disorders civilized people suffer from today. It appears that the ability to develop has come at a hefty price.” (p207)

“Agriculture and all that accompanies it is the single biggest factor contributing to our removal from the timeless past. Planting makes us mindful of where and when to sow seeds, how long they take to grow, and when to harvest the crop. We have to plan for the future and work at specific times of the day, month, and year. These activities are immensely difficult for primitive tribal people to keep up for any length of time. Farming engineers a new version of the birth, growth, and death cycle, one that exists outside of what is natural and instinctive. It stretches the cycle to resemble the linear set-up we are now familiar with. If a crop fails, we have a past that contains hard work and failure, and a future that contains hunger and anxiety. Forward planning replaces spontaneity, project management instinct. “ (p209)

Why did primitive people civilize? “… a new species of Homo ‘appeared’ that managed life in a conscious and ordered way… (T)hese new people brainwashed the indigenous tribes into breaking their contract with the primitive laws, enslaving them through the medium of a kind of sorcery.” (p210)

Proprietors who can civilize – owners, farmers administrators, hoarders, dictators, terrorizers, herders, unnatural authority, coercive persuasion, work with linear time, manage nature, conscious thought control, systematic modes of behavior, political hierarchy, town planning, temple building, control landscape, state societies, number system, writing, bureaucracy, business, social conditioning, organizational tools, social and economic structures, regulated lifestyle, supremacy, immortalists, property rights, patriarchal, domineering, orderly, efficient, rational, ruthless, world of cutting extremes, glory, slave makers, managed behaviors, force, intimidation, threatening, forging, inventing, pioneering, destroying, subdue the wild.

Primitives immune to civilizing – intuitive understanding of universal laws, androgenous, part of environment, integral to nature, blends with natural cycles, immune to civilizing, sensual, resistant to change, autonomy, animistic, wild, light living, timelessness, discrete.

Vimna – “A fundamental primeval force in nature that has an intention independent of the human mind.” (p217)


scientists scoff at mere mention of such a thing

the current that carries us through a transformation

power that drives a meteor shower

designs the clouds

makes rain fall

persuades a tiny seed to grow

science unable to locate the source of this energy,

this vitality

mathematicians cannot make an equation for it

yet we experience it

in the precision of seagulls wheeling in the sky

in the ceaseless flow of a waterfall

it is the catalyst for seasons’ change

it is what gets a bumblebee off the ground

when inspired humans create something awesome

there we see it too

Shakespeare knew vimna well

Einstein, Mozart and Van Gogh too

it is not their humanness making works of the great

but ability to tap into creative force, timeless and species-less

a seagull and Shakespeare share the ability

to harness that which is above and beyond

primeval nature in form of vimna

embraces values that it recognizes in them

whether primitive or not

“Sorcerers wield influence. They use otherworldly means to mesmerize people and by doing so break the primitive law that says if you are powerful you must demonstrate more humility than anyone else. Otherwise, you are dangerous.” (p221)

“Civilization did not evolve, it was imposed.” (p222)

Otherworldly – “according to natural laws of integrity that relate to primitive animism and spirit activity”

Religion – “a dualistic ideology belonging to a conscious mind.” (p230)

“Strong imagery and powerful suggestions mesmerized primitive people into doing things it had previously been impossible for them to do.” (p235)

“Imagine ancient man waking up from a dream and finding this petrified physical reality. He would think “this must be the dream because it is a nightmare.” (p238)

Those that initiated the shift to civilization “did not eradicate the delicate and ritualistic way of life Earth’s occupants once enjoyed, but simply rendered it invisible. We can no longer register its presence… I cannot manage ‘life at the centre’ because my psychology is not structured to see or experience life in this way.” (p260)

Agriculture was “a psychological take over of the primitive mind. Social revolutionaries employed the nature process birth, life, death to cultivate civilized ideas and grow them into substantial principles and concepts that now serve our modern lifestyle… mankind’s obsession with material survival is in the fact the effect of civilizing, and not the cause…” (p261)

Closed look of perpetual motion – the three dimensional fate (p262)

“…the irony is that we will enter a timeless and, therefore, ancient world but without possessing the primitive values and psychology required to exist within it… The danger of constantly moving away from the original template of life on Earth is that our primitive senses which once assessed intention have stopped working. But if we want to intervene with what happens next to our species, we must bring those primitive senses and principles back to life again.” (p266)

“If we do not accept wild nature as a willful entity in its own right, we disregard the very root of human existence, not as spiritual or conscious beings, but as animals on this planet who reside within nature’s jurisdiction.” (p261)

“Without speaking (nature’s) primitive, animalistic language, (nature) is likely to continue as a turbulent and unstable factor… The truth is as long as we leave out animism and the primitive otherworld… then our control over nature will always be full of hidden cracks and faults. Civilization cannot live without nature, but it cannot live without her either.” (p271)

“A primitive mind is indiscernible from its environment; it blends by relating and empathizing. This is the nature of primitive animism and seeing the spirit or intention in everything around you… communicate with instinct and imagery.” (p271)

AI philosopher Hubert Dreyfus suggests “human intelligence is less to do with the symbolic manipulation performed by our brains and more to do with a primeval instinct and intuition.” (p274)


As civilizers did to primitives, “an elite and unprincipled minority are preparing to destroy the way of life that we know. And again, they are trying to enchant us into thinking that it is quite a good idea…” (p276) ghost man


“If the technocrats accepted that they would render humanity extinct in the next 50 years if they continue advancing in this way, do we think they would stop?… Will the irony of meeting our evolutionary dead-end by our own hand have an impact on what they are doing?” (p278)


“… any of us in the modern world who feel a strong rapport with the natural world are likely to have roots in a primitive human ancestry and not a mechanical or engineered one… it is the absence of integral relationships with nature that makes us more like machines and less like animals.” (p281-2)


Civilization “allows us to believe that we are in control of nature, and so we no longer hear the voice of our species speaking to us. The consequences are such that we have developed the most unprincipled and devastating technology, only to discover that we are not in control at all and have deceived ourselves completely.” (p281)


“Scientists are creating ghosts, and those who think they are in control in fact have no control at all… (N)ature dictates that control… does not come from an elite minority imposing its will.” (p282)


“Would any of us be able to use our senses to learn about what nature is saying to us? Are we able to stop demanding from her and ask “What can we do for you?” (p285)


Is the techno-singularity the next irreversible true revolution, or is false hope easier than facing and fighting the leviathan?




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