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Microscope Biblical Christianity—derived from a diagram
Part 2

Table of Contents


Idolatry versus Holy Books

Worship versus God

Buddhism versus Thought

Soft Science versus Hard Science

Science versus Conscience

Walls versus Bridges 

Copyright © 2010, Lorin Friesen




I am sure that you all know the old Indian story of the elephant and the blind men. For those of you who don’t, apparently a group of blind men had heard about elephants, but did not know what they were, and so they decided to get some firsthand experience. Being blind, they obviously could not see the beast, and being much smaller than an elephant, they were only able to reach out and touch some small aspect of the large animal. So, the first blind man felt the trunk of the elephant and concluded that “Elephants are like tree branches.” The second blind man approached the problem from the other end, touched the tail, and declared, “No, elephants are like ropes.” The third decided to compromise between the two, encountered one of the legs, and stated, “Actually, you are both wrong. An elephant is a type of pillar.” The fourth reached up as high as he could, touched the side of the big beast, and proclaimed joyfully, “I have discovered the Truth. Elephants are like walls.”

The wise Hindu/Buddhist narrator telling the tale then turned to his audience and concluded sagely, “You see, that is the nature of God and Truth. Everyone has his own experiences and his own ideas. But, the Divine is ineffable, transcendent, unknowable.”

Assembling a Picture: Obviously, that wise sage had never studied neuropsychology, because the human mind actually encounters—and solves—this problem thousands of times every day. When you see something large, such as an elephant, your eyes cannot take in the whole image at once. Instead, they visually scan the scene, focusing on specific areas, and filling your mind with the various pieces, such as skin, tail, trunk, and legs. Your mind then stitches these pieces together to form the whole picture. However, because this entire process occurs automatically, within the visual cortex of the brain, we humans assume that it actually is possible to grasp an entire image at once.

Scale up the process, though, and one can tell more clearly what is happening. Suppose that I ask you, “Do you know New York?” If you have only visited one section of the city, then you are like the proverbial blind man, confusing the part with the whole. Flying over the city may allow you to see the entire metropolis at once, but this also is not the same as knowing the city, for it only views it from a distance. Instead, the only way to ‘know’ New York is by experiencing each aspect of the city, and then mentally stitching these various suburbs together to form the big picture.

Compared to a human, New York is fairly large. God, however, is still larger, much, m-u-c-h larger—bigger than the solar system, bigger than the Milky Way, bigger than millions of galaxies. Thus, when describing God, theologians choose terms such as Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient, using Capital Letters to emphasize the Hugeness of Deity.

“But I don’t believe in the existence of God! I refuse to discuss something or someone that doesn’t exist!” Who said anything about talking about God? We have just established that the human mind can only grasp something huge by learning about it one puzzle piece at a time, and then mentally assembling these pieces to form a more complete internal image. Thus, what really matters is a person’s mental image of God, because that is the only way that a person can get to know about a being as humungous as God. 

And, a mental image of God is something that we can discuss rationally and logically. So, let us begin.

An Image of God: First of all, what is the part of the mind that remembers people and thinks in personal terms? Mercy mode. And, what mental strategy is driven to take the individual puzzle pieces of knowledge and put them together to form a universal, complete structure? Teacher thought. Thus, if the topic of discussion is ‘building a mental image of God’ and ‘what is the relationship between God and man,’  then we are really examining the connection between Teacher and Mercy thought, exactly the same subject that we introduced in the previous chapter. For, Mercy strategy deals with people, whereas Teacher strategy handles universals.

So, let us suppose that Teacher strategy comes up with some grand theory. How would this be viewed by Mercy thought? Before we begin, I need to point out that Mercy strategy would not see anything. Our study of Mercy and Teacher people has convinced us that these two modes cannot see the rest of the mind. Instead, they appear to be mentally locked within their own two separate worlds. That is why the arrows on the diagram of mental symmetry head away from the Mercy and the Teacher. Other modes of thought can see in, but these two cannot see out. Compare this with the other extreme of the Facilitator person, who thinks at first glance that he is all of the cognitive styles, because he is able to look within all six of the other mental rooms.

Thus, just as the blind men encountering the elephant, Mercy strategy would attempt to interpret a universal Teacher theory in its own concrete Mercy terms of people, experiences, places and human emotions.

Mercy thought may not be able to see Teacher strategy, but it definitely can feel it. That is because the emotion that we sense is the sum of Mercy and Teacher feelings. Thus, I suggest that Mercy thought would sense a universal Teacher theory as a sort of intelligence.What is intelligence? That is hard to answer. Instead, intelligence is one of those things that you recognize when you see it. However, we can say that something is intelligent when it observes the environment, internally processes what it notices, and then responds in some sort of ‘intelligent’ way, a way that includes a combination of understanding and emotion. Teacher mode, especially when empowered by a general theory, definitely qualifies as ‘intelligent’. It pulls in various mental fragments, sorts through them, arranges them in such a way to generate an overall sense of order, and then communicates this final result in emotional terms.

Ultimately, Mercy strategy will conclude that somewhere within subconscious strategy resides something intelligent. But, what sort of intelligence? As usual, Mercy thought will attempt to interpret everything in Mercy terms. ‘Normal’ people occupy a specific location. If John is in Hawaii and I am in Hawaii, for instance, then I and John can be together. If I fly to New York, and John stays in Hawaii, then physical interaction is no longer possible. A universal Teacher theory, though, does not obey this rule. Instead, it follows me around wherever I go. If I travel to Hawaii, a universal Teacher theory will observe the events and attempt to interpret them. If I fly to New York, the same universal Teacher understanding will be present to respond intelligently. In fact, a truly universal Teacher theory will be present wherever I go, whatever I do, no matter what I think. Thus, Mercy strategy will conclude that this strange, subconscious intelligence is omnipresent, a bizarre universal being that exists outside of normal space and time.

By now, you can probably see where I am heading. In a nutshell, whenever Teacher thought builds a universal theory of understanding, Mercy strategy will view this being as God. In technical terms, a mental image of God emerges when universal Teacher understanding touches personal Mercy identity.

If that is the case, then why doesn’t everyone believe in God? Because, not everyone has a universal Teacher understanding. But, don’t scientists possess universal Teacher theories? Why then do only some scientists believe in God! While many scientists do have a fairly universal grasp of the natural universe, most of them, in fact, specialize in some tiny subsection of knowledge. A biologist, for instance, may know almost everything about fruit flies, but have only a cursory comprehension of other areas of learning. And, for researchers who do search for universal understanding, their comprehension is invariably deficient in one crucial area: It is objective; it does not touch me. And, an almost universal theory that does not touch personal identity will notlead to a mental image of God.

If scientific thought limits itself to the objective, then what occupies the subjective? Some form of truthiness. The reason for this is rather obvious. When the water level is high, then dams tend to break. Similarly, when emotions are intense, Perceiver confidence tends to fail. The subjective is, by definition, full of personal feeling. That is what makes it subjective. Therefore, this is precisely where Perceiver confidence will be found most rarely and where truthiness will be most pervasive.

God and Truthiness: So, what type of image of God does truthiness produce? After all, talk to the average person on the street and he will tell you that God and truthiness are inexorably linked. That is because those who preach their version of truthiness most vehemently, also tend to be the ones who claim most loudly that they believe in God.

We will look in the next chapter at the specific form of truthiness that causes blind faith to talk about God, but here we are examining how the mind creates an internal image of God. And, when it comes to constructing a mental image of God, then both logic and experience tell us that truthiness is an abject failure.

Yes, I know. That is a rather strong statement. Am I actually suggesting that the gut feeling of truthiness is incapable of truly believing in God? Yes, I am. In fact, I already have, and we already know why. God is, by definition, big—VERY, VERY BIG. Every theologian will nod his head wisely and concur. But, we have just seen that truthiness is incapable of grasping the concept of BIG. Like the blind man touching the elephant, it may declare fervently that The Elephant is a Rope, but the neighboring blind man will insist with equal fervor and dedication that The Elephant is Truly a Wall. Then, these two blind men will both declare that the other is a heretic and start a religious war in order to prove that their personal version of gut truth really does define The Universal.

Meanwhile, neither the blind men, nor the sage telling the story about the blind men, actually comprehend what it means to build a universal Teacher understanding: Mercy strategy has to pull in raw experiences from the external world; Perceiver thought has to grow the confidence that is needed to shape these experiences into the solid bricks of truth; Teacher strategy has to take these bricks and build out of them a universal theoretical structure.[1]

Let us suppose that a person does manage to use Teacher strategy to construct a universal understanding, and that this mega-theory is built out of Perceiver bricks that are solid enough to handle the emotional pressure of personal identity within Mercy thought. How would such a mental image of God regard personal identity?

It would declare that the childish mind is incapable of learning about God, and that the childish mind is, in fact, an enemy of God. Why? Because, God is Universal, and truthiness neither knows about universality nor is able to grasp its true meaning. But, this same truthiness that is incapable of comprehending universality insists with great fervor that it has a corner on Universal Truth.

And what is the source of truthiness? Human birth and infancy. As I have already pointed out, every human emerges from childhood with a mind in which Perceiver thought is semi-mesmerized, a mind that is a servant of truthiness. And what is the cure for truthiness? Childish identity must die to truthiness and come alive to truth; Perceiver strategy must wake from its mental slumber, traverse the mental chasm of moral uncertainty, and begin to think. Thus, any image of God which is a valid image of God will insist that childish identity is opposed to God from birth, that it is the enemy of God, that it is subject to the penalty of personal death, and that it can only become reconciled to God by becoming reborn in submission to truth.

Sounds desperately religious, doesn’t it? That is because it is religion which tends to say these things. But, does such religion practice what it preaches? As I mentioned before, it is very important to separate the message from the messenger. Remember that we are dealing here specifically with a mental image of God and the corresponding struggle of getting Teacher and Mercy thought to coexist with one another. For some reason, it turns out that the steps which are involved are precisely the same as those which are taught by Christianity.

Is this chance? Well, that is for you the reader to decide. However, I assure you that I did not pre-design the theory of mental symmetry so that it would come up with ‘Christian’ conclusions. Yes, it is true that I grew up in a Christian home, and I will even admit that the seven cognitive styles originally came from a list contained within the twelfth chapter of the Biblical book of Romans. However, my goal has always been to decipher the mind. All of this ‘Christian stuff’ fell out as I was trying to do my research. However, if the theory of mental symmetry is valid, and almost thirty years of research tell me that it is, then these are the logical conclusions. Follow the steps. They are actually quite simple.

Let us catch our intellectual breath and pause for a brief review. We began by sitting alongside the sages and contemplating with them the ultimate. We then realized that the neuropsychologist has a much better viewpoint, since the only way to grasp The Universal is to construct, brick by brick, a mental concept of it.

We then realized that we were in familiar territory, since we had already encountered precisely the same sort of question when looking at the relationship between Mercy and Teacher thought. This led us to the conclusion that while truthiness is emotionally driven to make strong statements about God and Universal Truth, it is mentally incapable of gaining an accurate mental grasp of either.

Instead, constructing a universal Teacher understanding requires Perceiver truth, while building an adequate mental image of God takes both Perceiver truth and Perceiver confidence. The objective scientist has the former, but not the latter. He uses Perceiver logic, but usually lacks the Perceiver confidence that is needed to successfully apply this logic to the emotional realm of the subjective.

We then asked ourselves what a genuine mental image of God would think of truthiness and childish identity. The answer was obvious. In theological terms, it would conclude that humans are born in sin, that they are naturally incapable of learning about God, and that they can only become reconciled with God by mentally dying to childish truthiness and by submitting the emotional experiences of their Mercy identity to Perceiver truth.

We then found ourselves mentally confused and decided to take a stop and rest for a while. For, the words that we were saying sounded theological, but the path by which we had reached this verbal destination was based in a simple model of human thought.

So far, our conclusion has been that truthiness is abhorrent to a mental image of God. However, in the next chapter, I would like to examine a specific subset of truthiness which can lead to a partial grasp of the Ultimate and the Universal. That discussion will cause us to revisit the topic of blind faith and education.

Concepts introduced in this chapter:

·         Big Picture: The mind stitches together sensory fragments to form a unified whole.

·         God: We define God as a Being that is universal and personal.

·         Mental Image of God: Emerges as a universal Teacher theory touches personal identity.

·         Objective Science: Builds universal Teacher understanding that avoids personal identity.

·         Subjective Faith: Uses ‘universal’ truthiness to build an image of God.

·         False God: Truthiness can’t grasp universality, can thus only build images of false gods.

·         Born in Sin: Childish identity is built upon truthiness; it must die to discover the true God.

·         Deriving Christianity: Mental symmetry leads to concepts that match Christian doctrine.

Questions to think about:

(You can answer these questions even if you do not believe that an actual God exists.)

1)    What is your mental image of God?

2)    What was the source of this mental image?

3)    Is your mental image of God the same as the God you talk about to others?

4)    What is the relationship between your personal identity and your mental image of God?


Write down ten universal principles of human nature that you have discovered or learned to be true. Now compare this with your mental image of God. 

Idolatry versus Holy Books

Koreans are crazy about education. This statement may sound somewhat extreme, but there really is no other way to put it. Imagine coming home from school and then going to a private after-school academy for several hours in order to study math and English as well as taking music lessons in addition to practicing taekwondo. And, when the time comes to write the SAT exams, the poor Korean student attends even more special classes in order to prepare for this test. Plus, he takes the actual test up to four times so that his best mark is recorded. And, if the local test location has no more vacant seats, he may even fly with his mom or dad to some far off city—just in order to write the SAT. And, speaking of mom and dad, often only one resides in Korea, while the other parent is living with the children in some distant English-speaking country in order to help them to get a ‘quality foreign education’. It is not that uncommon for a Korean student to stay up until midnight every school day attending educational institutions. Often, the Korean subway cars turn into pumpkins before the Korean students turn into bed. And this is no exaggeration, for I experienced this lifestyle firsthand for several years.

The Korean infatuation with education has produced amazing results. In fifty years, South Korea has progressed from the utter desolation of postwar destruction to joining the ranks of the first world countries. Koreans study hard and work hard, and these efforts have paid off.

And yet, those who observe this lifestyle from up close generally come to the conclusion that something is missing. What matters to the typical Korean is not education but rather the appearance of education. What the student learns is not as important as where he learned it. What is most significant is the piece of paper hanging on the wall, and whether it says ‘Seoul National University’, ‘Korea University’, or refers merely to one of the other universities after which many of the Seoul subway stops are named. For the internationally trained Korean, it is Harvard and Stanford that really count. In fact, there is actually an elite preparatory high school in Seoul whose main purpose is to get its graduates into Harvard. A graduate of some other university may know just as much, or even know more, but it is generally the Harvard graduate who will be chosen for the job.

Idolatry: Let us now analyze this behavior. What is happening mentally? Whenever a group or individual places such a great emotional emphasis upon some external object, one can only describe this as the worship of idolatry and refer to the external object as an idol.

Normally, when one thinks of idolatry, one pictures dark-skinned natives wearing animal skins and dancing wildly in the dim torchlight before a crudely carved image of some local deity. That, I suggest, is an extreme form of what I refer to as Mercy idolatry—because it involves Mercy experiences, events, places and people. We have seen how emotionally charged experiences have the power to force themselves into Mercy strategy and to mesmerize Perceiver strategy into knowing what is true.

When one examines the history of Africa, one comes fairly quickly to the conclusion that Mercy idolatry is neither mentally nor societally healthy. Idolatry breeds tribalism, and tribalism leads to tribal warfare. That is because Mercy strategy labels experiences emotionally in terms of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. When idolatry rules, then this emotional label ends up coloring everything else in the mind. Any object, event, location, or person that is related in some way to my idols is by definition good and is incapable of being labeled as bad. In contrast, every thing or person that is connected to an opposing idol is automatically labeled as bad, and needs to be treated as such. With such a mindset, cruelty is the norm, because Mercy strategy, the part of the mind that empathizes with other human beings and their personal frailties, is controlled by the worship of and the service to idols.

Mercy idolatry also has a very stultifying effect. When we looked at truthiness, we saw that a single emotional experience is capable of generating a total shift in mindset. Imagine your entire way of thinking and feeling being determined by emotional attachment to an old piece of carved wood rotting at the top of some hill. Destroy that idol, and your whole internal world falls apart. Mock the idol, or make it look in any way decrepit, shabby, out-of-date, or even silly, and your mental world starts to shake.

Obviously, any sort of fundamental change, especially any type of modernization, would be strongly resisted. When we look at a twenty year old computer, for instance, we laugh at how primitive it is. Imagine what would happen if mental sanity could only be maintained by remaining in emotional awe of this ancient box of steel and plastic. Obviously, even learning about some new and improved computing machine could be mentally damaging, while turning on a brand new computer alongside the outdated shrine would be mentally devastating. That is why a tribal society invariably concludes that ‘the old ways are the best ways’.

Teacher Idolatry: The Korean brand of idolatry is quite different. It definitely can handle new computing devices, for the average Korean upgrades his cell phone every eleven months. I suggest that this is because the Korean mindset idolizes not Mercy objects and experiences but rather Teacher words and systems. The college diploma hanging on the wall of the Korean home is a set of words; the Korean student excels at memorizing words and at solving mathematical problems written in the language of math.

Similarly, Koreans are suckers for systems. They love a complete package, and are continually importing systems of education and methods of production from other countries. Remember that Teacher emotion is produced by order within complexity, and this is what a system generates, and Koreans adore a complete system, even if it only means taping an extra two free yogurts to the liter of milk, or including a plastic container of sweet pickles with the pizza. 

What is lacking is the Perceiver sense of meaning or comprehension. We have seen the role that Perceiver thought plays in classifying Mercy experiences, by organizing them into facts, objects, maps and other forms of information. When dealing with Teacher words, Perceiver strategy plays a similar role, deciding which fact, object, map, or piece of information is being referred to by a particular Teacher word or sentence.

One notices this difference between Teacher words and Perceiver meaning whenever trying to speak a foreign language. Memorizing words involves Teacher thought (and for those who want to be technically complete, learning grammar programs Server strategy). But, it is possible to memorize many words without knowing what they mean; Teacher strategy can be filled with verbal material while leaving Perceiver strategy devoid of any corresponding meaning. The opposite is also true. Teacher words are not needed to communicate. Instead, Perceiver meaning can often be conveyed by simply pointing to the appropriate object.

Thus, the Korean student memorizes the Teacher words but not their Perceiver meanings. He idolizes the written diploma, but not the Perceiver content that was required to earn that degree. He worships the name of the famous university while ignoring the Perceiver facts that are taught there. He learns how to solve the math problem without gaining insight into the Perceiver principles that would allow him to handle similar problems. He mimics the Teacher symbols written by the math Teacher, but is unable mentally to retrieve these same formulae when doing so means reading and comprehending a word problem. In general, the Teacher words and theories are present, but the Perceiver facts and comprehension about these words and theories tends to be absent.

Does this describe every Korean person and institution? No, there are many exceptions. However, it is amazing how much of Korean society does fall into this model. One can definitely say that this type of thinking is predominant.

The reason why Teacher words and theories lack Perceiver substance is quite straightforward. Every person, school, subject, system, or exam is being chosen on the basis of its Mercy status. Harvard, Seoul National University, and SAT exams are all very important. They carry great emotional weight. But, these strong Mercy feelings are not being assigned to Mercy experiences but rather to Teacher words.

We have seen how the university environment protects Teacher thought from being unduly influenced by Mercy feelings. This leads to objective thought, in which Teacher theories are devoid of Mercy emotion. Teacher idolatry does precisely the opposite. Instead of avoiding Mercy feelings, it embraces them, choosing Teacher words and theories precisely because of the corresponding Mercy feelings. This emotional contrast is clearly shown by Korean and Japanese society. (Like Korea, Japan is also infatuated with education.) In the West, technology is viewed as objective; in the East, technology is strongly tied to Mercy emotions: robots are seen as cute, electronic devices are companions and not just tools.   

Mercy feelings may warp Teacher thinking, but they do not destroy it. That is because Teacher thought also operates emotionally. Thus, Teacher idolatry does not stop Teacher mode from operating, but rather changes its underlying motivation. When the typical Korean student learns, he is not being driven by Teacher feelings of understanding, but rather by the Mercy feelings of personal status that are associated with that learning.

While excessive Mercy feeling does not prevent Teacher thought from functioning, it definitely stops Perceiver strategy cold in its tracks. As we know, when Perceiver strategy lacks confidence, it becomes overwhelmed by Mercy feelings. Therefore, the same strong Mercy feelings that motivate Teacher strategy—in a twisted way—to operate, also mesmerize Perceiver mode and prevent it from functioning. That explains why the typical Korean student memorizes but does not comprehend. It is a natural outcome of Teacher idolatry.

The presence or absence of Perceiver thought leads also to different styles of teaching. This is especially true of abstract subjects such as math or physics. I am sure that you have all encountered the instructor who is deficient in Perceiver comprehension. He walks to the front of the class and starts writing equations and formulae on the board, treating them as if they are merely recipes to be followed, copied and memorized. If you put up your hand, interrupt his monologue and complain, “but professor, I do not understand,” then he will reply, “it is obvious”, and then simply repeat his previous explanation. Educators and students have discovered alike that this type of lecturer makes both a rotten teacher and a poor researcher.

Compare this with the professor who pauses after describing a concept and then asks, “do you understand?” If you do not, then he responds, “well, you could think of it like this,” or “it works like that”, and then uses an analogy, an illustration, or a metaphor to get the idea across. Perceiver strategy is the part of the mind that looks for meaning and that compares one meaning with another. When it is functioning, then the analogies, the illustrations, the metaphors—and the puns—will flow. Educators and students both agree that these instructors make far better thinkers and teachers, if you can survive the onslaught of painful humor.

A similar contrast shows up in the religious believer. The one who follows Teacher idolatry will approach the words of his Holy Book as a set of magical incantations, supported by Mercy emotions, and devoid of either meaning or context. Thus, he will get movie actors or sports heroes to promote the message of the Holy Book, or combine these words with whatever music is most popular with his audience—be it country, rock, or even rap. As long as he can get members of the audience to verbally repeat the magical ‘words of salvation’, then he will feel that he has succeeded.

A totally different mindset emerges when Perceiver thought is operating. Perceiver strategy adds meanings to words, illustrates words with personal examples, and views the non-verbal as a metaphor for the verbal. Thus, spokesmen will be picked whose lifestyles illustrate the Christian message and not just because they are famous, and music will be chosen because it expresses the Christian message and not just because it is popular.

Education and Blind Faith: Earlier on, I suggested that learning begins with blind faith and ends up with education; it starts with truthiness and finishes with truth. I also suggested that between these two extremes lies a huge mental chasm in which Perceiver thought must somehow go from being asleep to being awake, from being fully mesmerized to operating with confidence.

Teacher idolatry provides a way across this mental chasm; it can be used to bridge the gap between truthiness and truth. Every human individual knows instinctively about Mercy feelings. That is because the human body fills Mercy thought with the prefabricated feelings of personal pain and pleasure. Teacher emotion, in contrast, is an acquired taste, which only emerges as Teacher mode gets filled with enough mental bricks to put together a substantial theoretical structure.

Teacher idolatry jumpstarts this intellectual process. Filling Teacher thought with emotional words and forcing the student to learn these words in an organized manner gets Teacher thought acquainted with the relationship between words, feelings and theories. If this continues for long enough, Teacher strategy will eventually learn that it can generate its own emotions by combining words to form theories. 

Similarly, while Mercy idolatry leads to tribalism, tribal warfare, and societal backwardness, it also provides the essential function of jumpstarting the human mind. A newborn baby knows nothing. Its mind is empty. If Mercy thought were not filled with emotional content, and if this content did not spill over to the rest of the mind, then the baby would have no reason for living. Mercy idolatry takes the human from nothingness to personal existence. It bridges the gap between not-being and being.

Let us return to Teacher idolatry. As every school teacher knows, the typical student is not motivated by Teacher feelings of structure and order. Teach him an elegant mathematical theorem and he will reward you by promptly going to sleep. However, he can be motivated to learn this Teacher material if he is bribed by marks and exams, and if he is convinced that the educational powers-that-be have decreed that this material is Important and Must-be-Learned. Whenever my students asked me, “Why are we studying mathematics,” my answer always was, “To wake up a part of your brain that is not yet functioning.” Sometimes, this statement communicated, but more often the only answer that worked was, “Because you will be tested on this material and if you want to go to a good university and have a good life, then you have to get a good grade on this test.”

Let us look at the relationship between Teacher thinking and Teacher idolatry. What is it exactly about idolatry in general that disturbs Teacher strategy? It is the juxtaposition of Mercy specifics with Teacher universality. We saw this in our examination of truthiness. Truthiness takes my personal gut feelings and builds upon this specific foundation a superstructure of universal truth. Thus, truthiness is actually a form of idolatry, because it idolizes my gut.

Teacher idolatry ameliorates this problem in several ways. First, by using words, Teacher idolatry speaks the language of Teacher thought. This makes the intrusion of foreign Mercy feelings appear less threatening to Teacher strategy. This may sound rather trivial, but imagine yourself encountering an intelligent being that was not human. The experience would be rather frightening.

Second, words, by their very nature, are inherently more universal than specific objects and individual people. When I refer to Ted, ‘that tree’, or ‘my gut’, for instance, I am referring to one specific example. But, by using words such as ‘tree’, ‘person’, ‘digestive system’ or ‘living organism’, I can describe concepts that are far more universal. 

That brings us to our first general statement: Teacher idolatry can jumpstart Teacher strategy if the material that is being taught is compatible with universal Teacher understanding. General words fulfill this requirement. Thus, mathematical education may have to begin with the specific idea that two oranges + two oranges = four oranges, but it can extend from there to the more general concept that two of anything plus two of anything adds up to make four. In pedagological terms, numbers are followed by arithmetic, which leads to algebra, which brings the math student ultimately to calculus. While each of these stages speaks the same Teacher language of words and symbols, each step is more general than the previous one, and helps lead the growing student move from specific to universal.

The first requirement for making Teacher idolatry beneficial is compatibility with Teacher thought. The second is for Mercy thought to get out of the way. That is because childish Mercy feelings are fickle.They change with the weather; they depend upon the latest fad. The Mercy feelings of childhood may be useful for priming the pump of Teacher thought, but it is impossible to build a long term, stable, universal Teacher structure upon such a foundation of shifting mental sand.

Books: The solution is to use a book. A book is written by an author, some individual with great Mercy importance. But, a book is also stable. Unlike the Mercy feelings of the child, its contents do not change. In addition, a book contains many Teacher words that are organized into a package of intellectual structure. Finally, a book allows a person’s words to be separated from his Mercy importance. This permits the reader to examine what the author says in the comfort of his own home, while the author, with his Mercy status and magnificence, is safely distant in some far off location. This makes it easier for Perceiver thought to develop, for Perceiver strategy finds it difficult to function when Mercy feelings are intense.

It is no accident that most religions have Holy Books, and that most schools use textbooks. Humans have learned that books are excellent for teaching children and that they can be very effective at helping the student make the mental transition from truthiness to truth.

So, what is the difference between a Holy Book and a textbook? Fundamentally, nothing. Both are collections of words written down on pieces of paper. They differ from each other only in their emotional significance. For a Holy Book, the emphasis is upon emotions—a focus which has both a Mercy and a Teacher component: On the one hand, the author of a Holy Book is regarded by Mercy strategy as Very Important. On the other hand, a Holy Book teaches the reader about God. But, how does a mental image of God emerge? It is created when universal Teacher understanding touches Mercy personal identity. In other words, a Holy Book describes universal content that applies to me.

A good textbook, in contrast, also describes universal content that applies to me. As I said, there is no fundamental difference between the two. In practical terms, though, these two labels indicate a shift in mental focus. Every student begins by viewing the written material that he is given as a sort of holy book. In his eyes, the author is a godlike figure who has an inside track to absolute truth and universal understanding. This is the first learning stage of blind faith, and it occurs both within the church and the classroom. Some educators and clergy may disagree with my conclusions, but remember that what I exalt as education, others often deride as blind faith.

When the student begins thinking of his Holy Book as a textbook, this indicates that a significant mental change has occurred. Mercy importance is no longer the dominant factor. Instead, what now matters is Perceiver facts and Teacher understanding. What concerns the student of the textbook is not so much who wrote the book but rather what he says and what it means. Perceiver thought is starting to gain some confidence, while Teacher strategy is beginning to work out some theories.

Can every Holy Book be regarded as a textbook? Only if the content of that book describes Perceiver facts and builds Teacher structure. One could take a random set of words, put them down on paper, attach great emotional significance to them, and teach them to some children as the Word of God. But, if the content is mere gibberish, then these words would require Mercy status to remain intact; without Mercy fervor, the written message would fall apart. However, if the words of the Holy Book do describe actual truth and canbe formed into a general Teacher theory, then both the teacher and the student can let go of Mercy status and allow Teacher structure and Teacher emotions to hold the ‘holy’ content together. The Holy Book would then to turn into a textbook.

Is the Christian Bible a Holy Book or a textbook? It may be regarded by many as a Holy Book, but does it contain the Perceiver truth and Teacher order that is necessary for it to function also as a textbook? My premise is that this is the case and that the diagram of mental symmetry summarizes the Teacher order that is contained within the Christian Bible. Two years ago, I put together a rather extensive tome presenting my case, a volume which I am attempting—again—to summarize in simpler terms here.

However, one general statement can be made, and with that we will finish this rather lengthy chapter. While a Holy Book can teach a person about God, only a textbook can actually lead a person to a true knowledge of God. As long the Mercy feelings that are inherent in holiness are dominant, Teacher strategy will be unable to grasp the concept of universality. In order for a valid Universal image of God to emerge within the mind, Mercy feelings must step out of the way and allow the holy words to speak for themselves. Only then will Teacher strategy begin to feel for itself and be able to come to the conclusion that these words describe universal concepts.

Thus, truthiness may be emotionally driven to talk about God, but as long as it relies on gut feeling, it cannot truly know God, for God is Infinite, whereas gut feelings are very, very finite.

Let us summarize. We started with a glance at Korean education, and concluded that, as far as learning is concerned, Korean education does the right thing for the wrong reason. That is because it is based in Teacher idolatry. ‘Teacher’ is the right thing, whereas ‘idolatry’ is the wrong reason.

We then saw that there are two primary forms of idolatry, one based directly in Mercy objects and experiences, and the other operating indirectly through Teacher words and theories. Both forms of idolatry play a role in human development. Mercy idolatry takes the empty infant mind and starts it functioning, whereas Teacher idolatry can help the mind bridge the gap from childhood to adulthood.

We then found that Teacher idolatry will only help a child to grow up if two critical factors are present. First, the content must be Teacher friendly: Teacher words must be used to describe general Teacher theories. Second, Mercy feelings must step out of the way: The Teacher words should be written down in a book and this book should be given to the student.

Next, we realized that written instruction can be regarded either as a Holy Book or as a textbook. The Holy Book uses Mercy status to teach the reader about God, the Being who lives in Universal Truth, whereas a textbook uses Mercy status to teach the reader about universal truth, which is capable of building an internal image of God.

For the beginning student, a textbook is initially viewed as a sort of holy book. The mental transition from holy book to textbook can only occur if the book describes Perceiver truth which can be formed into a general Teacher structure. When the student begins viewing his holy book as a textbook, this indicates that Perceiver thought in the child is awakening from its mesmerism and that Teacher strategy in the student is starting to function.

Finally, we asked whether the Christian Bible is a Holy Book or a textbook, and I presented the hypothesis that it is possible to treat it as a textbook and that the fundamental content of the Christian Bible can be summarized by the theory of mental symmetry.

Does this mean that the theory of mental symmetry is the only way of describing the Christian Bible? Of course not. Every mathematician and physicist knows that what really matters is the underlying structure and content. Any particular mathematical model is simply one way of describing this structure, and it is usually possible to translate one mathematical structure into another. However, when one discovers a mathematical formulation that is elegant and precise, then the corresponding Teacher feelings are rather intense, and I believe that I have accomplished this with the theory of mental symmetry.

Concepts introduced in this chapter:

·         Mercy idolatry: Using Mercy emotions to worship Mercy objects, events or people.

·         Teacher idolatry: Using Mercy emotions to worship Teacher words, theories and systems.

·         Idolatry: Using specific Mercy experiences to define universal ‘truth’.

·         Meaning: Teacher handles words and theories; Perceiver works out their meanings.

·         Education: using Teacher idolatry to jumpstart Teacher and Perceiver thought.

·         Infancy: using Mercy idolatry to jumpstart mental existence.

·         Holy Book: A set of written Teacher words backed up by Mercy feelings of importance.

·         Textbook: A set of written Teacher words backed up by Teacher feelings of generality.

·         Holy Book to Textbook: Possible only if book contains Perceiver facts and Teacher order.

Questions to think about:

1)    Why did you learn in school? What motivates you to learn now?

2)    Do you ever reject change because you are holding on to something? Why?

3)    When you learn, do you embrace Mercy feelings or try to avoid them?

4)    Can you remember a textbook that you really respected? Why?


Write down five important concepts that you believe because you read them in some textbook or Holy Book. What would happen if those concepts turned out to be false? Could you prove those concepts without quoting from the textbook or Holy Book?

Worship versus God

Imagine the person who is totally new to Christianity. He has never darkened the door of a church building and has only a few vague preconceptions about what goes on inside. However, he decides one weekend to check it out for himself, wakes up early on Sunday morning instead of sleeping in as usual, puts on some nice clothes and heads for the local building with the cross on top. As he walks up the steps he sees that the sign outside says “Contemporary Service – 9:45AM; Traditional Service – 11:00AM.” He has no idea what any of this means, but he looks at his watch and realizes that he is about to experience a ‘Contemporary Service’.

He steps through the doors, follows his ears to the source of the music, and finds himself in a large room full of mainly younger people. They are all standing, singing, and waving their arms. The music is being led by a rock band wearing jeans and casual shirts playing on a stage at the front. Everyone seems to be excited and having a good time. The music is fairly repetitive and easy to learn, the words of the songs are relatively simple, and they talk mainly about how amazing and awesome God is and how much He loves you and me.

After the singing is over, everyone sits down and a person gets up to speak. He starts off with a joke to lighten up his audience, and makes a few references to the latest sports and entertainment. He reads a short passage from the Bible and then spends a few minutes telling the audience that God cares for them, accepts them, and wants to help them in their daily lives. After he is finished talking, everyone sings one more song, and then the ‘worship service’ is over.

The newcomer leaves puzzled. He had a good time, and he heard some words about God, but the event did not seem to match up with his preconceptions about Christianity. So, let us see if we can use our theory to help him make sense of his morning.

Praise and Worship: The meeting began with a lot of music. The newcomer probably didn’t realize it, but this time of singing usually starts with ‘praise’ and ends with ‘worship’. ‘Praise’ songs are upbeat and the words usually speak about the awesomeness and majesty of God. ‘Worship’ songs, in contrast, are more contemplative and emphasize the love that God has for me. Let us begin by analyzing the ‘praise’ songs.

What is a song? Neurology tells us that the right hemisphere—the location for Mercy thought—is responsible for handling non-verbal speech. Thus, a song is a set of Teacher words to which Mercy feelings have been added. If you want to increase the Mercy emotions, the easiest way is to make the song louder and more exciting. If you want still more Mercy feelings, another simple way is for everyone to wave their hands and jump around, for Mercy thought is the mental mode that interprets physical sensation.

But, what happens mentally when Mercy feelings are added to Teacher words? Teacher strategy will interpret the Mercy feelings as Teacher generality—because as far as Teacher thought is concerned, strong emotion means generality. Therefore, the words will feel universal. And, if the words come from people and talk about God, then the result will be a mental image of God, for this internal image forms when a universal Teacher theory touches Mercy personal identity.

But, where was the universal Teacher theory? There wasn’t any. Instead, Mercy emotion inflated words about God and gave them the illusion of universality. Using the terms introduced in the previous chapter, ‘praise’ music uses Teacher idolatry to create the mental illusion of an internal image of God. Is this bad? Not necessarily. We have seen that most education begins with Teacher idolatry. But, one can definitely conclude that it is childish, and when one looks around at the audience, one does see a lot of young people acting in a rather juvenile fashion.

Let us turn our attention now to the ‘worship’ songs. Here the focus is not upon God, but rather upon what God thinks about me. So what does God think about me? According to the typical worship song, He accepts me unconditionally and thinks that I deserve a grade of A+. But, which ‘God’ is making this statement? The mental image of God that was emotionally constructed just minutes before when singing the songs of ‘praise’. In other words, an artificial mental image of God is making wonderful comments about me. If this occurred within a school setting, one would conclude that the students have broken into the records room, forged their teacher’s signature and given themselves all an A+.

These words may sound rather harsh, but think about it for a moment. How did the ‘praise’ songs construct a mental image of God? Through Teacher idolatry—using Mercy feelings to inflate Teacher words. Is this a valid mental image of a Universal Being? No, because it uses Mercy feelings to exaggerate Teacher words and give them the illusion of universality.

Thus, Teacher strategy is being fooled into accepting a fake general Teacher theory. Can this lead eventually to a genuine Teacher understanding? Yes, if the worshipper stops using Mercy emotions to deceive Teacher thought, thinks about what these religious words mean, and builds a Teacher understanding about God.

But, here we have ‘God’ telling people that he approves of their immature methods and that he is happy for them to continue intheir childish ways. Could you imagine a teacher ever celebrating the ignorance of his students or praising them for refusing to learn? Such a teacher would be quickly fired. Thus, we are forced to conclude that both the signature of the school teacher and the mark assigned to the student had to be forged by the students, because a real image of God would not be able to sign such a document or give such a grade.

Unfortunately, these conclusions are backed up by statistics. In America, study after study has shown that there is now very little difference in moral behavior between the typical Christian and the general population. In addition, Christians in the past used to be scared of God; they feared the wrath of the divine. Today, moral messages are toned down so that they do not offend the listener and God is viewed primarily as a friend and buddy. In other words, the average North American Christian really is continuing in his childish ways and he really does feel good about remaining immature. 

For instance, when I grew up, no one in the church got divorced. Today, I would estimate that about one quarter of my acquaintances and relatives have split up with their wife or husband—and almost none of them seem to feel either ashamed or guilty. Is divorce wrong? We will examine that subject later on from the viewpoint of mental symmetry. However, one can definitely say that it takes personal maturity to make a marriage work, and one can observe that this maturity seems to be getting rather rare, and that no one seems to be mourning its absence.

Let us return to our contemporary church service. What makes the ‘praise team’ think that they can speak for God? What makes them feel that they have the right to forge God’s signature? The answer has to do with Mercy processing. When a baby is hungry, it cries. Mother hears the cry and feeds the baby. Mercy thought in the mind of the baby then associates mother with food, and when the baby sees mother, the baby feels good. Exactly the same process is happening here. The ‘praise team’ is using good Mercy feelings to build up an image of God in the minds of the audience. Because the ‘praise team’ is ‘leading people to God’, Mercy strategy in the minds of the audience members will mentally associate the ‘praise team’ with God, and will ascribe to these leaders some of the emotional status given to God.

In general terms, this ‘divine aura’ effect explains the concept of clergy—people who have become emotionally associated with God because they teach people about God. Is such special status deserved? Well, how does a school teacher earn respect? He must know the subject matter that he is teaching, he must be skilled at conveying this information, and he must be able to motivate his students to learn it. I would suggest that the same principle applies to both clergy and ‘praise team’. Whoever is skilled at leading others to a greater personal knowledge of Absolute Truth and Universal Understanding deserves respect as a ‘minister of God’. In contrast, someone who teaches others to forge God’s signature probably does not belong on the stage.

God and Country: Before we go on, I should mention that there is a method of gaining divine approval that is far more effective than just breaking into the local school principal’s office, and that is altering the divine marking scheme at the national level. We call this ‘God and country’.

Let me explain the parallel: Praise music associates the Mercy feelings of exciting songs with words about God. This creates an artificial image of God. ‘God and country’ associates the Mercy feelings of a big and powerful country with words about God. This creates an even more potent artificial image of God. Worship music then uses this fake God to say good things about me, whereas ‘God and country’ uses the God of country to say that God approves of me.[2]

For instance, my Grade Twelve English teacher wore a belt buckle that came from a WWI German soldier’s uniform. On the buckle were the words, ‘Gott mit uns’, or God with us. Thus, the German soldier was certain that God approved of him and his behavior, because his country told him that God approved of it. And how did he acquire his image of God? From the power of his country and the words that it spoke about God.

And if you don’t think that the German Reich talked about God, I have a copy of a personal letter that my grandfather received from Kaiser Wilhelm II himself. My mother’s father wrote several books of Christian German poetry and sent a copy of these books to the Kaiser when he was in exile in Doorn, Netherlands. In response, he received a one page letter full of Christian language, in which the Kaiser prayed that my grandfather’s books would help to ‘spread the message of the Christian gospel’.

If you want another example of ‘God and country’, I suggest looking at present day America. In order to avoid stepping on too many toes, I leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Traditional Church: Let us return to our hypothetical first-time church visitor. He didn’t really understand what was going on in the contemporary service, for it reminded him more of a rock concert than a church meeting, and so he decided that he would stay around in order to attend the ‘traditional service’.

Stepping through the door, he immediately noticed that the crowd was much older. In addition, the songs were slower and more solemn and came from a book instead of being projected upon the wall. The words that were sung also had a larger vocabulary and tended to talk either about enduring personal pain and suffering, or else enjoying the bliss of heaven after death. When the pastor spoke, he did not tell any jokes, and he only made one rather outdated reference to popular culture. The section that he read from the Bible was quite a bit longer, and he spent most of his time going through the words of this passage in technical detail.

What was missing from the ‘traditional service’, though, was the sense of fun and personal enjoyment that characterized the ‘contemporary service’. Instead, everyone seemed so serious and so devout. And so, the visitor also left this meeting confused. The content seemed to be more appropriate, but why did the people appear so miserable, and why did so many of the songs talk about enduring a life of misery, or looking forward to dying and going to heaven? Didn’t Christianity preach a message of personal salvation? Didn’t the name Jesus, which the Bible says is ‘above every other name’, even mean salvation? So, where was the personal salvation?

Let us examine this further. If we compare Christianity to a school, we can definitely say that the traditional service is more school-like. There is a Holy Book, and someone is preaching from that Holy Book and even treating it somewhat as a textbook. Similarly, the songs also come from a solid book and contain solid words. As for enduring a life of misery, every successful school student knows that good marks do not come automatically. Instead, studying is hard work.

But what about all of the long faces? Why the personal misery? We mentioned the reason for this in an earlier chapter, and it has to do with blind faith. Whenever Mercy feelings are used to mesmerize Perceiver thought into knowing what is true, Perceiver strategy will only stay asleep as long as I remain emotionally insignificant compared to my source of truth. In other words, blind faith must be accompanied by self-denial. If I ever stop denying myself, then I will lose my blind faith, just as the teenager begins to question adults once he himself starts turning into an adult.

That is why the church meeting is called a ‘service’, and why church leaders are called ‘ministers’, why a minister is in ‘full-time service’, and why the church sends out missionaries who ‘give their lives in full-time service’. All of these words are expressions of self-denial, in which a person denies himself in order to serve God.

But why must one choose between ‘traditional’ Christianity, in which book learning occurs but is accompanied by self-denial, and ‘contemporary’ Christianity, in which people enjoy themselves but then throw out the book. Is it not possible to combine learning with enjoyment? Does the student have to respect his teacher in order to learn from him?

‘Textbook’ Church: The answer lies in the discovery of Teacher emotion. For a Holy Book, the only two possible approaches are the traditional and the contemporary. Either Mercy importance is used to give status to the book, making me feel like nothing, or else personal identity is permitted to have emotional status, which will end up attacking the significance of the Holy Book.

However, if the Holy Book is also a textbook, then it is possible to use Teacher feelings of intellectual order and structure to hold the Holy Words together and give them emotional significance. When this happens, then the traditional church service no longer has to be long faced and colored with overtones of self-denial. Personal pleasure no longer has to be postponed to the ‘sweet bye and bye’ of heaven. Instead, Mercy strategy can enjoy personal fulfilment at the same time that Teacher strategy appreciates universal structure. Church can be pleasant—without ruining church; the believer can attach deep meaning to truth—without having to be somber.

If the Bible is treated only as a Holy Book, then the church worshipper who wants to be someone has no choice but to ‘forge God’s signature’ and give himself a mark of A+. That is because there is no way to graduate from a school that is based in a Holy Book. As we saw in an earlier chapter, graduating means keeping the content while leaving the method, but with a Holy Book, when you leave the school and begin to live a life of your own, your rising personal significance automatically causes you to doubt the truth that you have learned.

Since the students of a Holy Book cannot leave their school without ‘abandoning the faith’, and the school of self-denial gives automatic failing grades to anyone who tries to enjoy himself, the students can either choose to continue ‘suffering for Jesus’ or else break into the records room and give passing marks to those who are having fun. Given such a choice, what would you do?

Religious Cycles: This chapter has given us a snapshot of two different types of church service. However, if one observes this situation over time, one finds that both churches and individuals tend to swing like a pendulum between these two extremes of ‘contemporary’ and ‘traditional’.

In essence, one could view these cycles as the charging and discharging of a ‘spiritual battery’. Attending a traditional service ‘charges’ the battery by increasing the intensity and depth of religious fervor. The price, of course, is religious self-denial, because if the Holy Book increases in emotional status, then ‘me’ automatically becomes less importance and less significant.

For such an individual, attending a ‘contemporary’ type service is a major eye opener. “You mean that I can be a Christian and be happy at the same time? Can church really be fun and exciting?” Making the transition from traditional to contemporary service is like taking a battery out of the charger and starting to use it, for enjoying myself using truth that comes from a Holy Book will inevitably erode my emotional respect for both truth and the Holy Book.

Ultimately, all of the religious awe and devotion will be dissipated and contemporary church will degrade into crowd hysterics, emotional manipulation, and having a party. At this point, the only way to save blind faith is by joining a traditional service. For a while, the structure and order will be very comforting—until the underlying attitude of religious self-denial once again begins to become repressive.

Notice that the ‘praise and worship’ that occurs within a contemporary service is basically a tiny version of the cycle that occurs between traditional and contemporary church. One takes a few minutes, whereas the other occurs over several years.

What is the cause of these cycles? The Teacher idolatry of Holy Book mentality. How does one escape this endless religious charging and discharging? Well, how do you get rid of normal batteries? By plugging a device directly into the wall. Similarly, if a Holy Book can ‘plug into’ Teacher feelings of generality and universality, then there is no need to ‘recharge’ this book by using the Mercy feelings of religious fervor.

Let us review. We began with the illustration of the hypothetical first-time church visitor and pointed out that he would have to choose between attending a ‘contemporary service’ and a ‘traditional service’.

We entered the contemporary service and observed that it began with a ‘praise team’ leading the audience first in songs of ‘praise’ and then songs of ‘worship’. ‘Praise’ music uses Teacher idolatry to build a mental image of God, whereas ‘worship’ music uses the resulting image of God to generate emotions of personal approval. We then noted that an image of a Universal God would never give unconditional approval to such childish methods.

Next came the traditional service. What we saw here reminded us much more of a school learning setting, in which teachers teach students out of textbooks. What struck us, however, was the seriousness of the meeting. Compared to the contemporary service, no one appeared to be having any fun.

We then reminded ourselves of the relationship between blind faith and self-denial. Using Mercy status to give importance to the words of a Holy Book implies assigning low emotional status to me. This concept also helped us to understand some of the church vocabulary, such as ‘service’ and ‘minister’.

We then realized why there had to be two services. The contemporary service was for those who believed that God wanted them to enjoy themselves, and as a result no longer were in awe of the holy words of the Bible. The traditional service, in contrast, was for those who believed strongly in the Holy Book, and as a result felt that God did not want them to enjoy themselves.

We then suggested that a third alternative exists. If the message of the Holy Book can be held together by Teacher feelings of order and structure, then the emotional Mercy overtones are not required. Instead, it becomes possible to approach the Biblical message plainly and simply, and to enjoy the personal benefits of possessing such a universal Teacher understanding.

Finally, we realized that the traditional and contemporary service are actually two extremes in a pendulum that swings between religious ‘charging’ and religious ‘discharging’. The traditional service charges the ‘battery’ of emotional importance that is given to the Holy Book, at the cost of suppressing ‘me’. The contemporary service then uses up this charge in order to produce personal enjoyment and fulfillment.

Concepts introduced in this chapter:

·         Praise: Using Mercy feelings to emotionally inflate Teacher words about God.

·         Worship: Using the image of God produced by praise to make ‘me’ feel good.

·         God and Country: ‘Praise and Worship’ applied at the national level.

·         Praise Team: People who gain emotional religious status because they sing about God.

·         Clergy: People who acquire emotional religious status because they talk about God.

·         True Religious Leader: Someone given status because he knows and understands God.

·         Traditional Service: Teaches the Bible as a Holy Book—along with religious self-denial.

·         Contemporary Service: Reacts against self-denial—but loses respect for Holy Books.

·         ‘Graduate’ Service: Treats the Bible as a textbook; does not require self-denial.

·         Religious Cycle: Alternating between ‘traditional’ and ‘contemporary’ church.

Questions to think about:

1)    Do you prefer a traditional church service or a contemporary church service? Why?

2)    How does religious ‘praise and worship’ affect you? Do you get ‘pumped up’?

3)    How does attending a sports event affect you? Do you get ‘pumped up’?

4)    How would you compare these two responses?

5)    Have you ever encountered religious self-denial? How did you respond?


Write down ten characteristics about your image of God. Which of these came from the words of a Holy Book? Which of these describe universal principles that you have learned? Which of these come from becoming emotionally involved with words about God?

Buddhism versus Thought

Candleburning.jpg“Please enter silently, sit down quietly and place your hands on your lap. Gaze at the dim, flickering light of the candle in the center of the room. Allow the tiny flame to enter into your soul. Become the flame as it joyously dances from moment to moment. Permit all the stress of life to drain from your mind. Empty your thoughts. Think of nothing. Don’t try to analyze nothing or force your mind to focus upon it. Instead, whenever it wanders, simply guide your focus of attention gently back to nothingness. Be quiet. Be still. Fill your mind with emptiness. Feel how this emptiness expands to become everything. Embrace this infinity. Bathe your mind in the emotions of this nothingness which is everythingness. Become one with the universe. You are the universe. You are everything. You are God.”

I may not have gotten the words exactly right, but I am sure that they are close enough for the sequence to be recognized. What I have described is the process of meditation, as practiced by Buddhism and other similar mental disciplines. To the typical mechanically-minded Western mind, these phrases sound exotic and sophisticated. And, according to Buddhist masters, this process transcends logic and is reached by going beyond understanding.

‘You are God’: In actual fact, I suggest that this religious terminology is easy to explain if one uses the diagram of mental symmetry. Let us begin with the final statement: “You are God”. Personal identity, we know, resides within Mercy strategy. A mental image of God, in contrast, is based in Teacher understanding. Therefore, saying that ‘you are God’ is simply a way of bringing Mercy and Teacher thought together.

And what is the purpose of uniting these two mental strategies? To generate a good feeling. Mercy pleasure feels good. Teacher order also feels good. Experiencing both of these sensations at the same time feels even better. 

But, how can one unite two such disparate strategies? Mercy thought finds pleasure in personal situations, whereas Teacher strategy is looking for universal structure. The personal is not the same as the universal. One thing is not every thing. I am not God, am I?

Of course not. But, what part of your mind was it that said that? Which mental strategy knows that apples are not oranges, that I am not you, and that neither of us is The Infinite Being? It is Perceiver thought. But, if Perceiver thought can be silenced, then the mind canpretend that ‘I am God’, and this pretending can bring Mercy and Teacher thought together and make me feel that I am God. And, if this feeling of divine unity is strong enough, then it can mesmerize Perceiver thought into knowing that I amGod. For what matters is not the reality but rather the feeling—the feeling of ecstasy that is produced when Teacher and Mercy emotions coincide.

That is why Buddhism states that its doctrine is beyond logic. Perceiver strategy handles logic, and in order for the meditative state to be achieved, logic must be disabled. It also explains why the meditator is instructed to ‘become one with the candle flame’. Anything that disables Perceiver thought opens up the path for uniting Mercy and Teacher feelings. Perceiver thought knows that I am not a candle flame. However, if Perceiver strategy can be convinced to ‘suspend disbelief’ in the small area of people and candles, then it will find it that much easier to pretend with the larger topic of me and God.

Zen Buddhism takes this process further by choosing to think about impossible problems for which there is no answer, like “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” The goal of these koans is to disable Perceiver strategy, for Perceiver thought is the part of the mind that knows what is and is not possible. 

One more mental strategy stands in the way of uniting Mercy and Teacher feelings. That is Server thought, the other knowing part of the mind. Perceiver strategy works with facts and objects; Server thought handles sequences and time. Perceiver thought knows what belongs together and what does not; Server strategy knows the order and sequence in which things occur.

For humans, the most natural sequence is physical movement. When I perform a task, I do the first step, and then I do the second step, and so on. Server strategy is responsible for remembering what to do, and the order in which it is done. And, if you look at the typical Server person, he is always doing.

Therefore, the easiest way to shut up Server questioning is by sitting still. If my body doesn’t do anything, then Server knowing will not be triggered and Mercy and Teacher strategies will be free to become emotionally united. A more sophisticated way of shutting down Server thought is by acting without thinking. If physical movement is spontaneous, then Server confidence will also be disengaged. That describes the path taken by Zen Buddhism.

By now one may have the impression that a lot of pretending is going on. Surely the process of meditation is more complicated than that, isn’t it? Spiritually speaking, it is quite possible that meditation can contact ‘other realms’, and we will see later how that might be the case. Similarly, those who talk about UFOs often do claim that meditation is the most effective way of contacting ‘them’.

However, we are looking here at a mental process, and mentally speaking, one can conclude that a lot of pretending is going on. In fact, this pretending is actually official Buddhist doctrine, for Buddhism states that the physical universe is not real but only an illusion. In other words, everything is merely pretending, like the imaginary computer generated world in the movie Matrix.

‘All is One’: So far, we have removed all of the mental distractions that would prevent Mercy and Teacher strategies from coming together emotionally. The next step is to fill Teacher thought with the appropriate universal theory. Remember that Teacher thought feels good when many separate items come together to form a general structure. So, why not go for broke? Why not bring everything together into one grand universal theory? With Perceiver and Server thought out of the way, why not simply say that ‘All is One’. And that is exactly what Buddhism does. It asserts that ALL IS ONE. Everything fits together. How? Well, it just DOES.

Anyone asking for reasons why obviously does not know the first thing about Buddhism, for Buddhism goes beyond logic.

That leaves us with one remaining difficulty. ‘All is One’ contains two parts: ‘all’ and ‘one’. The ‘one’ comes from the magnificent theory that Teacher strategy is contemplating. But, where is the ‘all’? Doesn’t Buddhism say that everything is illusion? How can you get an ‘all’ if all doesn’t really exist?

The solution is for Buddhism to get its complicated ‘all’ from something else. If the meditator lives in a world of personal complexity, such as the intricate social conventions of Asian Confucianism or the confusing infoglut of Western society, then this provides the pile of bricks for Teacher thought to put together—it supplies the puzzle pieces for Buddhist oneness to assemble. The Buddhist can then declare that none of these bricks have a solid shape, and then mash these putty-like pieces together to form a single mass.

After all, there are many ways to assemble a puzzle. You could go through the effort of figuring where exactly each piece goes, but that takes a lot of time and hard work. Or, you could grind the rough edges off all of the pieces and then jam them together. Even better, you could place all of the pieces into a blender, push the button, and transform everything into a single unified blob of goo. That describes the approach of Buddhism.

Saying this another way, the Buddhist can look at the complicated world he is in, declare that it is all an illusion, hold on to the universal Teacher theory that ‘All is One’, and then adopt the socially inappropriate grin of the Teacher person as he smiles with Teacher pleasure at the Mercy suffering of his benighted, unenlightened fellow human beings.

And, because an image of God emerges whenever universal Teacher strategy touches personal Mercy identity, Buddhism also concludes that ‘I am God’. And what type of God am I? A God of emptiness, illusion, Nirvana, in which all personal individuality is lost in the contemplation of the divine.

So, is this morally good or morally evil? According to our moral definition of mental wholeness, it is evil, for it disables Perceiver and Server strategies in order to give pleasure to Mercy and Teacher thought. That is why I titled this chapter ‘Buddhism versus Thought’. And, because Buddhism creates a religion out of this mentally destructive process, one concludes that it is actually quite evil.

Does this mean that Buddhism is wrong? No. Follow the steps outlined by Buddhism, and you will reach the goal that it promises. It does describe a valid, mental path. And, if one examines the strangeness of Quantum Physics, one comes to the conclusion that there is some deep truth hidden within the nihilistic doctrines of Buddhism. The Zen Buddhist may be speaking Perceiver nonsense when he asks “How does the goose get into the bottle?” and answers, “There, see, it is in!” However, that describes exactly what an electron does when it quantum tunnels through a potential barrier.  However, does one really want to worship and serve a God of nothingness that demands personal annihilation? That is a rather steep price to pay for some temporary religious ecstasy, isn’t it?

The situation is actually worse. That is because—as we shall see later—my image of God speaks to ‘me’ through the voice of conscience. Therefore, if I follow a mental shortcut to build my internal image of God, then my mental voice of God will actually condemn me for attempting to pursue mental wholeness, and will only give me mental approval if I continue to follow the mental shortcut.

In other words, building an image of God is not just an intellectual game. Instead, it constructs the worldview that will determine my personal behavior; it builds the mental house within which my personal identity will be forced to live.

Functional Buddhism: So far, we have used Buddhist words to describe Buddhist theology. However, remember that Buddhist meditation can only function if Perceiver thought gets out of the way. But, we also saw in a previous chapter that Perceiver thought is the mental strategy that gives meanings to Teacher words.

Put these two facts together and you conclude that Buddhist meditation requires words with vague meanings. However, when words do not have precise definitions, then one word can substitute for another. In particular, Christian words can substitute for Buddhist words. As long as the same fundamental elements of getting Perceiver and Server thought out of the way, and bringing Mercy and Teacher thought emotionally together are present, the end result is the same. It does not matter whether one uses Buddhist lingo or Christian buzz-words.

A significant portion of modern day Christendom has embraced what I call ‘functional Buddhism’, in which the words of Christianity are used to convey the concepts of Buddhism. Instead of meditation, one refers to ‘contemplative prayer’. The concept of ‘I am God’ is softened to merely ‘experiencing mystical union with God’. The two essential components of ‘sitting still’ and ‘emptying the mind of content’ are also present, though they are referred to as ‘being still in the presence of God’.

But, how did Christian Perceiver strategy get disabled? What happened to all of the solid Christian doctrine? Isn’t a Holy Book supposed to encourage the development of Perceiver thought? As far as I can tell, it was lost mainly through decades of contemporary worship. What happens mentally when, week after week, a person uses the Mercy feelings of excited singing to revitalize his mental image of God? Eventually, his image of God depends no longer upon emotional respect given to a Holy Book, but rather upon the emotional high he received every week when singing and praising God.

Talk to the typical ‘praise team leader’ and he will insist that Perceiver truth does not apply to either musical style or worship. According to him, music is entirely a matter of personal taste, devoid of any Perceiver concepts of true or false, right or wrong. Instead all that matters is worshipping God and getting emotionally connected with him.

As for getting Server thought out of the way, I have been told innumerable times that what really matters in a worship team member is not your skill but rather your heart. In other words, Server thought—the aspect of intelligence that makes action skilled—is not required. And, even when the performers on stage are expected to be skilled musicians, one still sees very little skilled movement being exhibited by anyone in the audience.

Thus, functionally speaking, one concludes that much of contemporary Christian worship contains the same fundamental elements as Buddhist meditation: pushing Perceiver logic and Server skill out of the way so that Mercy identity can become free to bask in the emotional glow of mystical union with God.

Does this describe all Christian worship? Of course not. In fact, I suggest that most Christians would bristle at the very concept of comparing contemporary Christian worship with Buddhism. However, I suggest performing an experiment. Trying using Perceiver thought to work out the facts about your local church worship. If that worship is based in truth, then this analysis will be welcomed. However, if it is a form of Buddhism, which requires Perceiver thought to get out of the way, then any logical analysis will be summarily rejected.

Let us review. We began by describing a session in meditation that used many phrases which sounded rather mystical and incomprehensible. We then discovered that these words actually made perfect sense, if approached from the viewpoint of mental symmetry.

The goal of Buddhist meditation is to bring Teacher and Mercy feelings together. This is done by combining personal identity—the center for Mercy feelings, with a universal theory of God—the core of Teacher emotions. This leads to the famous Buddhist assertion that ‘I am God’.

Logically speaking, this is nonsense. However, if Perceiver thought, the nonsense detector of the mind, can be disabled, then it is possible to bring ‘I’ and ‘God’ together emotionally. Zen Buddhism bypasses Perceiver thinking through the use of the irrational koan; Buddhism in general shuts it down by asserting that all Perceiver facts about the real world are actually illusion.

Next, we introduced Server strategy, the left hemisphere partner to Perceiver thought. Perceiver knowing deals with facts and objects, whereas Server knowing handles actions and sequences. Server thought can be disabled either by sitting still and doing nothing, or else by acting spontaneously.

Ultimately, Buddhism is built upon two fundamental principles: bring Teacher and Mercy feelings together, and get Perceiver and Server thought out of the way. According to our definition of morality, this is an evil goal, because it satisfies two mental strategies at the expense of two other mental modes.

Teacher emotion comes from finding order within complexity. In the same way that solid puzzle pieces are harder to jam together, so Perceiver and Server confidence make it more difficult for Teacher strategy to construct a general theory. However, If Perceiver and Server thought can be removed from the scene, it is then possible to use the simplest possible universal Teacher theory, which is the assertion that All is One.

But, the same Perceiver facts and Server sequences that point out deficiencies in Teacher theories also provide the mental bricks that are needed to build a general Teacher structure. The solution is to get the puzzle pieces from somewhere else, and then use the Buddhist theory of oneness to put these pieces together. In other words, Buddhism requires a complicated world that it can turn its back on and reject as illusion.

We then realized that Buddhism is not limited to any specific set of words. Instead, all that matters is that the two fundamental principles of disabling Perceiver and Server thought and combining Teacher and Mercy feelings are present.

Using this guide, we noticed that there are two facets of modern Christianity that act like Buddhism. One is the contemplative prayer movement and the other is contemporary Christian worship. In both cases, there is a strong emphasis upon becoming emotionally united with God combined with a suppression of Perceiver facts and doctrine. Contemplative prayer removes Server content by sitting still, while contemporary worship uses the method of spontaneous movement.

Concepts introduced in this chapter:

•        Buddhist Meditation: Equating Teacher universality with Mercy personal identity.

•        Meditative State: Reached by attacking Perceiver facts and ceasing Server actions.

•        Zen Buddhism: Practices meditation by thinking irrationally and acting spontaneously.

•        ‘All is One’: The simplest possible universal Teacher theory.

•        World of Illusion: The complexity which Buddhism turns its back on to worship Unity.

•        Functional Buddhism: Using vague non-Buddhist words to convey Buddhist concepts.

Questions to think about:

1)    Have you ever felt ‘one with God’ or ‘one with the universe’?

2)    Think of some attributes of God. Can you assign precise meanings to these words?

3)    Are you involved in activities that use non-Buddhist words to convey Buddhist concepts?

4)    Do you believe musical taste can be analyzed? How does this affect your worship?


The next time that you are involved in religious worship, or listening to a motivational speaker, observe yourself and your surroundings. Are words being defined precisely or are they being chosen for their emotional connotations? Is there structured activity or is there an emphasis on sitting still or acting spontaneously? How are people responding to the meeting? Finally, is your mental analysis helping or hindering your participation?

Soft Science versus Hard Science

Medieval scholars believed that the universe was divided into three distinct regions: At the center was imperfect earth, the realm of change and corruption where humans dwelt. Surrounding earth was a series of concentric celestial spheres in which the planets and stars were embedded, with each sphere being moved by some cosmic intelligence. Finally, outside of these rotating crystal spheres lay heaven, the immovable home of God and all his saints.

Angelic_movers.jpgI suggest that this model of the universe actually makes perfect sense—from the viewpoint of Teacher idolatry and Holy Books. Just as Teacher idolatry is based ultimately in the human emotions contained within Mercy thought, so the medieval universe was centered upon the human realm of physical earth. And, just as Mercy strategy interprets everything in terms of objects and people, so the medieval heavens were filled with spheres moved by living creatures. Finally, just as a Holy Book is viewed as perfect and unchangeable, totally distinct from normal communication, so God and the saints—the people described by the Holy Book, were thought to inhabit a realm that was perfect, unmoving and completely separate from earthly human existence.  

A Paradigm Shift: As is the case with most flawed theories, these celestial spheres came crashing to the ground thanks to two counterexamples combined with careful observation. The first counterexample occurred in November 1572 and the second in October 1604. In both cases, an exploding supernova ended up mentally exploding the concept that the celestial spheres were perfect and unchanging, for here was something that existed among the stars, but was changing. 

The careful observations were carried out by Tycho Brahe at his observatory in Uraniborg. For years he took extremely precise measurements of the planets, recording volumes of data whose accuracy far surpassed anything recorded before. After he died, this data was used by his assistant Johannes Kepler to develop a new model of the solar system, in which the planets moved in ellipses around the sun. No longer was earth the center of the universe, and no longer did celestial objects move only in perfect spheres.

These astronomers, and others who followed, laid the foundation for the theoretical work of Isaac Newton. This is when the true revolution occurred, for his work created the paradigm shift that marked the birth of modern science.

So what did Isaac Newton do that was so special? He was a Teacher person who came up with a universal Teacher theory. And what is so great about a universal Teacher theory? As I have mentioned previously, it allows the mind to let go of Mercy feelings and to hold on to Teacher emotions; it permits the transition to be made from Holy Book to textbook.

This, I suggest, characterizes the difference between soft science and hard science. A soft science is based in people and schools of thought. Its Perceiver facts are true because they have been spoken by some important person. In psychology, for instance, one thinks of Sigmund Freud and his disciples Jung and Adler, who eventually left Freud and founded their own schools of psychology.

A hard science, in contrast, is held together by a general Teacher theory. For physics, the three laws of Newton provided the first general theory, whereas in chemistry, it was the periodic table of elements that marked the turning point. In biology, Crick and Watson’s discovery of DNA was a major breakthrough. Some disciplines, such as psychology, are still relatively soft, and have only made a partial transition into hard science.

Thus, the same transformation from truthiness to truth that is supposed to occur within the mind of the school student and the heart of the religious believer also happened historically with physics, chemistry, and biology.

So, is Christianity a soft science or a hard science? We asked exactly that question in a previous chapter when considering whether the Bible was a Holy Book or a textbook. A Holy Book is held together by the Mercy importance given to its author, thus it can only lead to a soft science. A textbook, in contrast, describes a general Teacher theory, which is a requirement for hard science.

Newton’s Two Breakthroughs:  So, how could one discover the general Teacher theory that would turn Christianity into a hard science? I suggest that we can gain two very important clues by examining the theory of physics which Newton used to turn physics into a hard science. And don’t worry, I won’t start quoting mathematical equations. 

The general theory that Isaac Newton developed was significant in two ways: First, the medieval view of the universe was static. Heavenly bodies were embedded within unchanging spheres, while earthly movement was explained as the elements returning to their respective Mercy homes. Thus, smoke went up because the element of fire ‘lived’ in the sky. Dirt, on the other hand, fell down, because the ‘home’ for the element earth was down.

Newton’s three laws, in contrast, are dynamic, referring to velocity, acceleration, and force, all aspects of movement and change. As I mentioned several chapters back, associative thought deal with things that stay the same, whereas analytical processing works with things that change. Therefore, any mental shift from the associative processing of Mercy mode to the analytical thinking of Teacher strategy will naturally be accompanied by a shift in focus from static to dynamic.

The second major advance of Newton was to use a single set of laws to explain both earthly and heavenly movement. The same law of gravity, for instance, that explains how an apple falls from the tree to the ground also provides an explanation for the movement of the planets. We speak of astronauts in orbit being in freefall. That is technically accurate, for an astronaut is literally falling around the earth. But, because the earth is round, his falling succeeds only in keeping him the same distance from the surface. Thus, the so-called ‘weightlessness’ of space could best be compared to falling down a bottomless well.

My apologies. I am starting to sound like a physics teacher. However, imagine how radical these concepts must have sounded to medieval ears. In their thinking, one set of rules governed earthly movement, whereas a completely different set of principles guided the movement of the spheres. The physical earth was human, the physical heavens were divine, and between these two lay an impenetrable barrier. Newton smashed through this mental and physical barrier by using one Teacher theory to explain both earth and heaven.

A Unified Theory of the Subjective: I am attempting to do the same. Western society divides the world of experiences into two distinct realms, separated by an impenetrable mental wall. On one side of this wall lies the ordered and well-kept realm of the objective, the land of logic and science, where facts rule and strong feelings are not permitted. This is where most people work and study, for it contains the office buildings, the factories, and the universities, all connected in an orderly fashion by a rectangular grid of straight, broad avenues. The lingua franca of this realm is mathematics, and the currency is cold cash. Here, everyone dresses neatly, acts politely, and no one ever shouts.

On the other side of the fence lies the land of subjective feeling, a wild realm of jungle and swamp where civilization does not dare to intrude. The artists live here, dwelling in crazy shacks with bright colors splashed onto uneven walls. The musician also has his home here, beating on his drum in the flickering light of a campfire accompanied by the calls of wild animals. There are no roads, but only twisted paths leading who knows where, for this region has never been fully mapped. Here also one finds the temples of religion. Some are nothing more than a few carved idols arranged in a clearing in the jungle, while others are massive monuments inhabiting vast estates, surrounded by gardens of imposed celestial order.

If you want to see how impenetrable this wall is, try preaching about Christianity within a secular setting, or try using logic to analyze someone’s art or music. It is forbidden. However, as far as science and Christianity are concerned, I know personally what it is like for such a wall not to exist, for in South Korea, the mental wall is placed differently, with both subjective Christianity and objective science lying on the same side of the great divide. That is because the main Korean separation is between domestic and foreign, and both Christianity and science are viewed as foreign imports from the West. Thus, speaking about church within a university setting is not a problem, neither is going to a church and teaching about science. I can assure you that it takes years of living within such an environment before one stops assuming the existence of the Western ‘Berlin Wall’ that separates subjective from objective.

In this book we have been using a single theory—the theory of mental symmetry—to describe both religious and secular thought. We have been comparing Christianity with school education and have found striking parallels between the two. We have found that it is possible to use rational thinking to analyze a person’s mental image of God, and we have discovered that the peculiarities of religious worship are also subject to rational analysis.

Functional Morality: That brings us to the other matter of movement. The views of traditional Christianity are definitely static. Experiences, beliefs, and people are all categorized into opposing camps of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. MBTI®, currently the most widely used theory of human personality, is also static, with no place for personal growth and development. Instead, the mental wall between objective and subjective is enshrined as one of the fundamental truths of MBTI®—the division between Thinking and Feeling.

I have tried to take a more dynamic approach. Instead of condemning Mercy idolatry as evil, for instance, I have described it as a stage in mental development, a method of filling the blank slate of the infant mind with operative content. Teacher idolatry also has its function, for it starts the child out on the path of learning. Both of these methods become mentally detrimental when they are allowed to continue existing as a permanent state, just as a school teacher worries about the student that gets stuck in one grade and does not progress.

I suggest that human perfection should also be viewed in functional terms. Historically speaking, Christians have seen moral perfection as a state to be reached, in which one is no longer tainted by any personal connection to the ‘evil’ Mercy experiences of ‘sin’. Even God himself is often viewed as immovable, for if He were to move, then the conclusion is that He would leave his state of perfection and become less perfect.

Compare this with the definition of morality that was given at the beginning of this book:  Whatever causes more of the mind to operate is morally good. According to this concept, moral perfection means mental wholeness, with all seven modes of the mind operating together in harmony, in the same way that a perfect car is one in which all of the parts operate in perfect synchronization. That is a functional definition and not merely a state to be reached.

Christianity as a Hard Science: But what is so significant about making the transition from soft to hard science, and why is it so important for Christianity to make this shift? First, in the same way that the once magnificent cathedrals of medieval Christendom have become overshadowed by the towering skyscrapers of modern commerce, so the once respected doctrines of theology have been overshadowed by the far grander universal theories of science. Something should rule over the wild realm of the subjective, and as far as I can tell, the content of Christianity is the best candidate. As we have seen, the methods used by Christianity may often be childish and inadequate, but it appears that the content can be organized into a simple structure of universal Teacher understanding.

Second, the importance of turning Christianity into a hard science can be seen by examining the results of Isaac Newton’s theoretical breakthrough. Science did not just end with the Teacher theories of Newton. Instead, scientific thought eventually gave birth to technological action, and technology has transformed our world.

If bridging the physical heavens and earth ended up transforming our physical world, then theory predicts that bridging heaven and earth metaphysically would have similar benefits. Today, we live in a world of transformed things, because we have built our society upon a hard science approach to things. If we also took a hard science approach to people, then it makes sense that we could eventually live in a world of transformed people.

But wouldn’t that be horrible? Imagine a world of genetically modified humans, a realm of cyborgs, in which human melded with machine, and only a few lonely humans were holding out, fighting desperately not to be assimilated, while The Machine droned on that ‘resistance is futile’. That would be exceedingly dreadful, and would the result of extending objective thought to the realm of the physical human body.

I am NOT talking about that. Instead, I am referring to something totally different, in which people are transformed internally, through the renewing of their minds. Instead of using the body to disfigure the soul, this would use a rationally based image of God to savethe soul and thus redeem our mechanistic and soulless modern society.

Here too, the popular theory of MBTI® takes a static approach, for it declares that the division between Internal and External is one of the four fundamental categories that cannot be bridged. That, I suggest, confuses hardware with software.

If we continue on our present objective course, then the external machine will swallow up our internal souls. However, if we can turn Christianity into a hard science and then discover the ‘technology’ that this enables, we may succeed in bridging internal and external as well as integrating subjective and objective.

Isn’t it amazing what profound statements can be derived from a simple little diagram together with a little history?

Let us review. We began by describing the medieval view of the universe, and saw that this was consistent with a mind rooted in Holy Books and Teacher idolatry. The sight of a supernova in the sky destroyed the Teacher theory that the heavens were unchanging, while the countless Perceiver facts gathered by Brahe laid the foundation for a new Teacher understanding.

The breakthrough came with Isaac Newton, who used a single Teacher theory to explain both earthly and heavenly movement. This theory integrated fragments within Mercy thought and changed the focus from static to dynamic.

In the same way that medieval minds constructed a physical barrier between the physical heavens and the physical earth, so modern society has formed a mental barrier between objective facts and subjective experiences. The theory of mental symmetry appears tobridge this gap by providing a single, rational explanation for both objective and subjective behavior.

And, just as Newton’s theory focused upon physical movement, so the theory of mental symmetry describes mental function and the internal forces that are required to change the direction of personal behavior.

We then stepped back and asked ourselves why it is necessary to come up with a unified theory of human behavior. We realized that the general Teacher theories of science laid the foundation for the incredible advances of modern technology, while Christianity, which used to provide the moral compass for the West, remains locked in emotional adoration to an ancient Holy Book.

If the wild jungles of the subjective are not tamed, then we will become a world of brilliant savages that use high technology to wreak destruction upon our tribal and religious foes. However, if the subjective could experience a ‘scientific revolution’, then theory predicts that it would also be possible to experience an ‘industrial revolution’ of the soul which would change us as much as the industrial revolution transformed the 19th century physical world.

Concepts introduced in this chapter:

•        Soft Science: A set of facts and theories held together by important Mercy people.

•        Hard Science: Facts and theories held together by universal Teacher understanding.

•        Newton’s Revolution: A single Teacher theory for both heavenly and earthly movement.

•        Mental Symmetry: A single Teacher theory for both heavenly and earthly thought. 

•        Objective: Areas with Perceiver facts, Teacher theories, and minimal Mercy feelings.

•        Subjective: Areas with Mercy feelings, Perceiver truthiness, and little Teacher structure.

•        Moral Perfection: All mental modes functioning well and in harmony with each other.

•        Christian Revolution: The paradigm shift of viewing Christianity as a hard science.

•        Spiritual Revolution: The personal transformation that follows a Christian revolution.

Questions to think about:

1)    Do you prefer soft science or hard science? Why?

2)    How do you feel when you inhabit the objective world of facts, order and structure?

3)    How do you feel in the subjective world of art, religion, and personal emotion?

4)    What is your definition of moral perfection? Is it static or dynamic?


Go on the Internet and find five major intellectual changes that occurred as a result of Newton’s publication of the Principia. What do you think would happen if people started to think of Christianity as a unified Teacher theory?   

Science versus Conscience

Maybe the priest talked too long, or possibly the air was hot and stuffy. Whatever the case, one of the choir boys found his mind wandering. His attention was drawn to the movement of a large lamp hanging by a long chain from the ceiling of the great cathedral. For most others, focusing upon the repetitive swinging movement of a pendulum would send them to sleep, but not this choir boy. Instead, his mind started to ask questions. How long did it take the lamp to swing back and forth? Would this time change if the amplitude of the swinging increased? How could he time this movement? He did not have a watch. But, he could use his pulse to compare one oscillation with another.

According to popular legend, that is how Galileo Galilei began his journey into the study of science. He lived during the time of Johannes Kepler, and was one of the intellectual giants who laid the foundation for theoretical genius of Isaac Newton.

In the previous chapter, I suggested that science moves past the static and works with the dynamic. This chapter will explore this concept further and see how it applies to the mental relationship between God and man. Our discussion will require some additional theory, but I will try to keep this to a minimum.

What is so special about a pendulum? It moves. It does not just sit there. Instead, it does something. And what did Galileo measure? Did he take out a ruler and compare the size of the lamp with the size of his ruler? No, instead he compared the timing of the pendulum with the timing of his pulse. Why didn’t he use his watch? Because watches had not yet been invented.

In other words, instead of using Perceiver thought to compare one Mercy experience with another, he used Server strategy. Remember that there are two mental modes that work with knowing and confidence: Perceiver strategy uses right hemisphere associative thought to look for solid objects; Server mode uses left hemisphere analytical thinking to look for solid sequences.

Contributor Thought: Here is where it gets a little complicated, and I will try to keep this explanation as short as possible. So far, our discussion has focused largely upon the dashed square box linking Perceiver and Mercy. We will now add to this the solid box tying together Perceiver, Contributor and Server.

Contributor mode is the part of the mind that chooses, and Contributor strategy, lying as it does at the center of the mind, is capable of developing and carrying out amazing plans. In fact, it is possible that the majority of ‘rich and famous’ people in the world have the cognitive style of Contributor. However, we are looking in this book at the foundation for thought, a subject which many supposedly successful people often tend to ignore.

And when dealing with the content of thought, although Contributor strategy plays a very essential role, it is also one that is rather straightforward. Basically, Contributor thinking ties together individual Server memories withindividual Perceiver memories. Each Perceiver fact becomes connected with a specific Server action, while each Server word or sentence becomes connected with a specific Perceiver meaning.

And that is all that I am going to say for now about Contributor thought. Even though Contributor thought can get quite complicated, as far as we are concerned, it can be treated as a sort of mental ‘pipe’ that ties Perceiver and Server content together.

Cause and Effect: So what happens when Server actions get added to Perceiver objects? You get a mental sense of cause and effect. A normal object, like a chair, a spoon or a table doesn’t do anything. Instead, it just sits there. That is because normal objects involve items which are separated by space. Thus, a spoon is a spoon because it contains a long handle that is spatially connected to a small round dish.

With cause and effect, the Mercy items are separated by time. If I press the button, then the door will open; if I jump off the cliff, then I will land at the bottom. Pressing the button comes first, and then opening the door; I land at the bottom of the cliff after jumping off the top.

So, what is so earthshaking about adding time to a mental object? It makes science possible, and if that isn’t earthshaking, then I don’t know what is. The ancient Greeks, along with most other early civilizations, thought in terms of elements, such as fire, water, earth, and air, and felt that these elements could be combined to derive all other qualities. For instance, the combination of air and fire made something hot, while wet was air plus water.

Geber, the 8th Century Persian alchemist, taught that every metal was a combination of the four fundamental qualities of hotness, coldness, dryness, and moistness, and he was convinced that one could rearrange these qualities, with the help of a philosopher’s stone, and turn lead into gold.

Do you see the total emphasis on objects and the complete lack of sequence? According to alchemy, all you need to accomplish your goal is to have the right combination of things

Galileo, in contrast, compared the time it took the pendulum to swing with the time it took his heart to beat. Later on in life, legend also tells us that he went to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa and dropped two balls over the edge, comparing the time it took a heavy ball to hit the ground with the time it took the lighter ball.

Alchemy, with its focus upon Perceiver objects, was a total failure. In contrast, the study of Server time and sequence led to the general Teacher theories of science. That makes sense, because in the diagram of mental symmetry, Server and Teacher thought are directly connected.

In fact, just as Perceiver confidence gives stability to Mercy experiences, so I suggest that Server actions give mental stability to Teacher theories. We all know this to be true. Listen merely to a speaker’s words, and you will forget most of what he said. Apply these words with some sort of action, and the words still stick.[3]

Notice that we have now come up with a second requirement for developing a universal Teacher theory: We saw before that Perceiver strategy needs to use Perceiver confidence to come up with solid bricks for Teacher thought. Now, we see that the best Teacher theories arise when this mental construction material deals with Server actions and sequences.

In other words, if we start with the material of raw Mercy experience, use Perceiver thought to form this into solid bricks and then add to these Perceiver bricks the Server sense of time, we will come up with the universal Teacher theories of science.

Adding Personal Identity: Now let us change one factor. Suppose that instead of beginning with the raw material of random Mercy experience, we choose to use the emotional experiences that are related to personal identityOr,suppose that we take the cause and effect principles of science and add to them the emotional spice of personal feeling. This personal feeling can be added either at the beginning of the recipe or at the end, it does not matter. What will then happen?

I suggest that cause and effect will turn into conscience and the universal Teacher theory will metamorph into a mental image of God.

In other words, conscience is just a modified version of cause and effect—another type of time oriented Perceiver object. For instance, scientific cause and effect says that any object that is dropped off a cliff will fall to the bottom. Conscience personalizes this and says that if you fall off the cliff, then you will hit the bottom—and that you will hurt.

Similarly, scientific cause and effect says that ‘falling off the cliff’ is an example of the ‘universal law of gravity’. Conscience says that if you jump off the cliff, then ‘God will punish you’. Those two statements are mentally equivalent—if an image of God is based in a universal Teacher understanding. For, how does a God of universal order ‘punish’ you for jumping off the cliff? By ensuring that the universal law of gravity has no personalexceptions, by insisting that Teacher feelings of universality are preserved, even at the expense of personal Mercy pain. The bureaucrat is doing exactly the same thing when he insists that his bureaucratic procedure takes precedence over your personal discomfort.

Conscience: But isn’t conscience ‘the little voice that stops you from having fun’? That describes the sort of conscience that emerges from a Holy Book, when personal pleasure collides with the doctrine of self-denial. Mercy strategy may think that acquiring nice things feels good, and the physical body likes to inform Mercy thought that physical pleasure also feels good. However, if a Holy Book is to survive, then I must remain emotionally insignificant, which means avoiding earthly riches and staying away from excessive personal pleasure. Hence, the ‘little voice that stops me from having fun’.

But why a voice? Because, a Holy Book uses words to build the general understanding in Teacher thought that creates the mental image of God. A mental image of God that is constructed out of words will obviously communicate with words. Similarly, if I want to talk tomy mental image of God, then I should also use the language of Teacher words. Christianity calls this ‘praying to God’.

Why does conscience insist on telling me what not to do? I suggest that there is a general and a specific reason for this. The general one we have already mentioned: Excessive personal status or pleasure of any kind threatens belief in a Holy Book. Therefore, the overarching rule of conscience will always be self-denial: If you do not deny yourself, then God will condemn you.

The specific reason has to do with the collision between childish Mercy desire and the Teacher need for universal order. Teacher strategy hates it when the rules of conscience are broken, because this violates the Teacher feeling of universal order and structure. Now imagine childish Mercy identity living in such an environment. Whenever an experience with strong emotions comes along, these feelings mesmerize Perceiver thought, causing it to forget about all of its rules and head straight for the goal. A Teacher theory of God will naturally responds to such anarchy by saying ‘Stop!’, to which Mercy thought will respond, “Oh, I recognize you. You are conscience. You are the little voice that stops me from having fun.”

If you want an analogy, think of a little boy running loose in a china shop piled high with delicate, carefully arranged merchandise. Mother says, “Don’t run! Just walk!” and so the little body sits down obediently and tries to stay still. Unfortunately, his tiny eyes see a colorful porcelain clown sitting on a far shelf that he has to have right now. Forgetting immediately about everything his mother has commanded, he runs to grab the clown, trips on the corner of a shelf, and pulls down several thousand dollars of costly merchandise.That is why an image of God says ‘No!’ and ‘Stop!’

But, isn’t it possible to build a mental image of God without using conscience? I suggest not. As usual, the reason is fairly simple. Science has shown us that if one wants to construct a universal Teacher theory, one must use Perceiver bricks of cause and effect as the mental building material. But, what happens when you add personal Mercy feelings to a universal Teacher theory? You end up with a mental image of God. Similarly, what is the result of adding personal Mercy feelings to Perceiver bricks of cause and effect? Conscience. Thus, conscience forms the mental bricks out of which an internal image of God is constructed.

Does this mean that conscience will always tell me what not to do, and continually be the voice that stops me from personal pleasure? When a mental image of God comes from a Holy Book, then that is generally the case.

Moral Cause and Effect: But what exactly is ‘moral cause and effect’? It simply predicts the emotional results of pursuing a certain course of action: smoke cigarettes and you might get cancer; study hard and you will do well on the test. In general terms, it acts as a mental map to guide me through life. When moral truth comes from a Holy Book, then this map will only function adequately in areas of personal pain and discomfort. Whenever the terrain includes too much personal status or pleasure, then the ‘mapmaker’ will warn me that I am about to enter a restricted area and tell me to leave.

On the other hand, when rational Perceiver thought is used to construct an image of God, then the map of conscience can function everywhere that Perceiver confidence is strong enough to handle Mercy feelings. This sort of moral map tells me not just where I shouldnot go in order to avoid personal pain, but can also inform me where I should go in order to find lasting pleasure.

But, getting that type of conscience means graduating from truthiness to truth and treating the Holy Book as a textbook. We already know what it means to approach a Holy Book as a textbook. Emotions of Mercy importance must be replaced by feelings of Teacher order. And that can only happen if it is possible to take the content of the Holy Book and build it into a general Teacher structure—which is what I am trying to do using the theory of mental symmetry.

That brings us to the other requirement. How does one graduate from truthiness to truth, or in this case, how does one use Perceiver confidence to build Perceiver bricks of conscience? I am afraid that you are not going to like the answer, because I am afraid that you already know what it is.

Perceiver confidence can only be gained in the area of conscience by resisting temptation. See, I told you that you wouldn’t like the answer. Every time a temptation to violate conscience is successfully resisted, Perceiver confidence in that area of thought gets a little stronger.

The answer is actually worse. Not only must one submit to the rule of conscience and resist temptation, but one must do so without getting emotional support from other people. Suppose that mother is watching me and I decide not to take the cookie. Did Perceiver strategy in my mind get any stronger? No. Instead, the emotional importance of mother re-mesmerized Perceiver thought into ‘knowing’ what was true. If I want to build Perceiver confidence, then I must decide not to take a cookie when mother is not watching; I must choose to be honest even when there is no chance that I will get caught.

If Perceiver thought is mesmerized, then conscience can only tell you what not to do; it can only help you to avoid misery. However, if you want conscience to be your friend and not just your enemy, then you must build it out of Perceiver confidence and not just blind faith.

Let us review.  We begin with the young Galileo getting bored in church and staring at the chandelier. That led us to the concept that science involves a study of time and sequence.

We then took a short detour into Contributor thought and realized that, for the purposes of our present discussion, we could treat it as a sort of mental glue stick that bonds Server and Perceiver pieces together. This gluing process can involve two types of material: Perceiver facts can be glued together with Server actions, and Perceiver meanings can be attached to Server words and sentences.

This brought us to the concept of cause and effect. Normally, Perceiver thought connects Mercy experiences that are spatially related. But, by ‘gluing’ Server actions on to Perceiver facts, it becomes possible to connect Mercy experiences that are related over time.

We then realized that medieval alchemy failed because it dealt only with Perceiver objects, whereas modern science has succeeded because it modified its Perceiver bricks to include the Server component of time and sequence.

Based upon the success of scientific thought, we made the following conclusion: If you want to construct a good general Teacher theory then you must use Perceiver confidence to tie together Mercy experiences and you must examine Mercy experiences that are related over time.

In other words, the universal Teacher theories of science are built out of the Perceiver bricks of cause and effect. Add the emotional pressure of personal feelings to this combination and a universal Teacher theory transforms into a mental image of God, while a Perceiver brick of cause and effect turns into a rule of conscience.

We then asked ourselves why conscience tends to be viewed as ‘the little voice that stops me from having fun’, and came up with two answers:

First, a mental image of God is usually constructed using the truths contained within a Holy Book. But, Holy Books require an attitude of self-denial. Thus, the primary message of conscience will be to warn against excessive personal pleasure or status—regardless of what the content of the Holy Book actually says.

Second, a childish personal identity naturally tends to take short cuts and to break rules, which disturbs the universal Teacher order upon which a mental image of God is based. The image of God will instinctively respond by mentally saying ‘No’ and ‘Stop’.

Finally, we realized that conscience is capable of guiding us to good results and not just warning us of bad consequences, if we use Perceiver confidence to construct the Perceiver facts of conscience.

But, that means resisting temptation even when no one else is watching—a price that the average person is not willing to pay. And thus, for most individuals, conscience remains ‘the little voice that stops me from having fun’.

Concepts introduced in this chapter:

•        Static Object: Perceiver thought analyzing spatially connected Mercy experiences.

•        Dynamic object: Perceiver thought analyzing Mercy experiences separated by time.

•        Cause and Effect: A dynamic object; a Perceiver object with a Server sequence.

•        Contributor ‘Gluing’: Connects a fact with an action; connects a word with a meaning.

•        Alchemy: Teacher understanding of the natural universe based upon static objects.

•        Science: Teacher understanding of the natural universe based upon dynamic objects.

•        Conscience: Adding personal identity to Cause and Effect.

•        Image of God: Adding personal identity to Universal Teacher Understanding.

•        Holy Book Conscience: A little voice that warns of danger and stops you from having fun.

•        Textbook Conscience: A little voice that warns of danger and says how to reach pleasure.

Questions to think about:

1)    Think of some personal situation that you thought would never change. Did it?

2)    Describe some chain of personal events that were clearly steps in a process.

3)    How do you view your conscience? Does it stop you from having fun?

4)    Have you ever ‘run across a china shop’ in order to ‘grab a brightly colored clown’?


Review exactly what role Mercy, Perceiver, Contributor, Server, and Teacher thought each play in developing principles of personal cause and effect. Describe this in your own words and write it down on paper. If this process is not crystal clear, then you will have problems understanding the material in the coming chapters.

Walls versus Bridges

His workers called him ‘the man in the window’, because he supervised the project from his home by observing the work through a spyglass. His father had begun the massive scheme, but had died in a freak accident while surveying the job site, and so the leadership had passed on to him. For the first two years, he spent most of his time onsite, making sure that everything went well. But, he then became incapacitated by a mysterious job-related illness, and for the next eleven years directed the entire operation from the confinement of his home, relaying his instructions to the workers via his wife.

The man was Washington Roebling and the project was the Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883. The mysterious illness was called ‘caisson disease’, now known as decompression sickness, or more commonly, the bends.

Like all suspension bridges, the Brooklyn Bridge was suspended from two tall towers, which were constructed out in the middle of the water. Tall towers require deep foundations, which means digging far down into the earth until one reaches bedrock.

But how can a worker descend to the bottom of a river and dig? The solution is to dig from within a caisson, which looks like a huge ‘tin can’ placed in the middle of the water, with the bottom of this ‘can’ open to the muck of the river bed and a set of airlocks in the top for workers to enter and exit. Filling the interior of a caisson with compressed air forces out the water, permitting workers to dig at the river bottom from inside the air-filled caisson. As dirt is removed, the caisson slowly settles down into the bottom, until finally bedrock is reached. The caisson is then filled with concrete and becomes the foundation for the bridge tower.

The solution is brilliant, except for one problem: the compressed air. The deeper the caisson goes, the higher the air pressure has to be in order to keep the water from seeping in through the bottom. Thus, entering and leaving a caisson subjects the human body to massive pressure changes, leading to a case of the bends.

The solution is to add time; if the pressure change occurs slowly enough, then the body has a chance to adjust and there is no physical discomfort. However, who was entering and exiting the Brooklyn caissons more than anyone else? Washington Roebling, the project supervisor. Ironically, a fellow American bridge engineer already knew that the solution lay in leaving a caisson more slowly, but failed to tell Washington because the two were not on speaking terms.

No Walls: Let us turn now to the general topic of walls and bridges. Imagine first a world without walls, in which no barriers existed to separate one location from another. The mental equivalent would be a world of pure Mercy experiences, in which no Perceiver facts intruded to separate one experience from another. Physically speaking, this would be a world of mud, in which everything flowed together.

The builders of the Panama Canal faced such a world, for they were plagued with constant mudslides. The combination of soft clay and torrential rainfall often undid the work of the day, filling the trenches they had so laboriously dug.

When the earth is not solid, then you can neither dig holes nor build hills, for the dirt will immediately flow away from the hill and into the hole. Similarly, when Perceiver walls and facts are absent, then all Mercy experiences end up feeling the same. Emotional height and depth slowly dissipate.

One of the fundamental tenets of Buddhism is that suffering is caused by strong feelings, and that the solution lies in extinguishing desire, which can be accomplished by realizing that the world is illusion. In other words, weaken the Perceiver walls and you will remove the strong Mercy feelings. Everything will turn into mental mud and flow together, allowing ‘all’ to be combined into ‘one’ by using the universal Teacher theory that ‘All is One’.  However, do you want to live in a world of mud? I do not, so let us move further.

Only Walls: Solid material makes it possible to build up and dig down. Similarly, solid Perceiver facts make it possible for some Mercy experiences to feel better than other Mercy experiences. That is what happens, for instance, when rules of private property divide stuff up into the Perceiver categories of ‘mine’ and ‘yours’. Some people get richer and others get poorer; there is a discrepancy in wealth.

There is a mental mode that thrives on emotional discrepancy. It is Exhorter strategy, and if you look at the diagram of mental symmetry, you can see that it lies between—and is connected with—Teacher and Mercy thought, the two emotional modules of the mind.

The Exhorter person is driven by excitement, and the excitement that is generated by Exhorter strategy provides the motivation for the rest of the mind. The neuromodulator dopamine appears to be related to the operation of Exhorter strategy, and neurology tells us that all addictive behavior appears to facilitate the operation of brain dopamine.

But, what is the source of Exhorter drive and excitement? Strong Teacher and Mercy feelings—that is why the diagram contains a thick line connecting Exhorter to Teacher and Mercy. Either will do, and the Exhorter personoften has a sort of split personality, in which he combines the Mercy-driven ‘party animal’ with the Teacher-motivated ‘deep thinker’. In addition, pain and pleasure are equally stimulating to Exhorter thought. Eating a wonderful meal is exciting, but so is throwing up from food poisoning. Developing a new theory is exciting, but so is attempting to survive the Teacher pain of organizational disaster.

This is a rather significant point, so let me state it clearly: Mercy and Teacher thought love to feel good and hate to feel bad. Exhorter strategy, in contrast, only cares about emotional extremes. Obviously, such a combination is ripe for abuse, and it is common for a person or society to seek excitement at the expense of feeling. For an example, one need only turn on the television and watch the typical action movie. It depicts repeated Mercy agony and continual Teacher destruction—in gory detail—for the sole purpose of generating Exhorter excitement. If it is morally evil to satisfy one mental strategy at the expense of another, then we would conclude that this genre is fundamentally evil.[4]

Now that we understand a little about Exhorter strategy, let us return to our look at mental walls. We have seen that Mercy experiences without stable Perceiver facts are like mental mud, because in both cases nothing is solid. Perceiver facts bring stability to Mercy experiences by organizing them into distinct categories. These Perceiver walls make it possible for Mercy strategy to feel emotional highs and emotional lows. This emotional contrast provides excitement for Exhorter strategy, which drives and motivates the rest of the mind.

Walls and Desire: So, what happens when you put a cow behind a wall? The cow will often think that ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the fence’ and try to reach through the fence in order to graze on the other side. Similarly, Perceiver walls lead inevitably to Exhorter frustration. That is because the same wall that allows the grass to be greener on one side than the other also prevents the cow from getting at the other side.

In other words, Perceiver facts affect Exhorter thought in two opposing ways. On the one hand, facts make Exhorter excitement possible by permitting emotional contrasts to exist, while on the other hand, facts also create Exhorter frustration by providing solid barriers between Mercy experiences. A mountainous terrain full of hills and valleys is far more exciting than a flat prairie landscape, but it is also far more difficult to traverse. Similarly, the same laws of private property that allow you to acquire more wealth than me also make me jealous of your wealth.

What is the answer? One possible solution is to follow the path of communism: Get rid of private property; tear down all Perceiver walls; redistribute all the wealth. In other words, level all of the emotional hills and use the dirt to fill in all of the emotional holes.

The end result, as anyone who has visited or lived in a communist country knows, is uniform grayness combined with an absence of motivation. The weekend that I spent in communist Czechoslovakia literally felt as if I had gone from color television to black and white. Everything—physically, emotionally, culturally, economically, and socially—was gray. As the East Germans used to say: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. Thus, if you want to experience the ‘All is One’-ness of Buddhist nirvana, then I suggest moving to a communist country where, externally speaking, ‘All is One’.

Of course, as soon as the communist party begins to dole out special favors to privileged citizens, then all of the related factors of emotion, desire, walls, and frustration will re-emerge. It may have been forbidden for the communist comrade to open up a business, but if he excelled in sports or education, then he too could become a member of the ruling elite. Thus, communist countries may have been economic failures, but they did produce brilliant mathematicians, scientists and athletes.

Jumping over the Wall: As we already know, Perceiver facts are not indestructible. Just as high hills require strong walls, so the larger the emotional contrast, the greater the Perceiver confidence that is required to handle the resulting emotional pressure.

For instance, what happens when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? The rich have to build high walls to keep out the poor. In some countries, these walls are physical. The villas of the wealthy are surrounded by thick walls topped with barbed wire and patrolled by armed guards. In other countries, such as the United States, these walls are more legislative. Here, financial ‘contributions’ encourage congress members into passing laws that protect rich individuals and large corporations while making it more difficult for poor individuals and small companies.

So, what happens when someone jumps over a wall? It depends upon the difference in elevation. The greater the difference in height, the more the potential for personal harm. For a physical wall, this principle is obvious. Jump over a cliff and you will probably end up dead. But, a ‘difference in height’ can occur in various forms. Think, for instance, of Mr. Roebling. Why did he end up physically disabled? Because he continually ‘jumped over’—or in this case through—a wall separating normal air pressure from high air pressure.

Moving on to other barriers, what happens when a thief climbs over a wall and steals some wealth? Well, he gets sent to jail, doesn’t he? That may be the artificial consequence imposed upon him by those who are in power, but I suggest that there is a far deeper, more natural consequence.

For instance, what generally happens when someone wins the lottery and acquires sudden wealth? He too has managed to ‘jump over the wall’ separating rich from poor, but, unlike the thief, he does not have to go to jail. In many, if not most, cases, his newfound wealth is temporary. Because he lacks the required Perceiver knowledge, or has insufficient confidence in what he does know, he ends up losing the money that he won. In physical terms, dirt from the new hill flows back down into the valley, leaving him once more ‘down in the dumps’.

One sees this effect more clearly when there is a communist revolution and the ‘poor worker’ grabs control of the factories and other ‘means of production’ from the ‘rich bourgeoisie’. Does the wealth actually transfer? No. Rather, most of it is lost because the ex-worker does not know how to handle his newfound riches.

Building Bridges: What then is the answer? In the previous chapter we saw that science succeeded where alchemy had failed by adding a Server sense of time and sequence to its Perceiver blocks of knowledge. In other words, if you want to build a general Teacher understanding of the natural world, you have to look for Perceiver principles of natural cause and effect.

I suggest that the same principle applies here. Perceiver walls may be necessary, but by themselves they are insufficient. Whenever there are only walls, the end result is frustration. Instead, walled off regions have to be connected by bridges.

When dealing with physical terrain, this answer is obvious. What do we do when some physical barrier prevents us from getting from point A to point B? We build a road that bridges the barrier—which is exactly what Mr. Roebling was in the process of doing.

Bridges perform two functions: First, they remove Exhorter frustration by making it possible for a person to get from point A to point B. For instance, Karl Marx, the intellectual father of Communism, thought that Communism would emerge first in his adopted land of Great Britain. The first communist revolution, however, occurred in Tsarist Russia. That is because England built ‘bridges’ which allowed the poor to ‘climb out’ of their poverty and become ‘upward mobile’. This social movement was sufficient to remove some of the frustration felt by the lower classes. Compare this with Russia, where the gap between noble and peasant remained large enough to provoke a communist revolution.

Second, bridges break a Perceiver wall down into small, achievable steps. Very few people can climb up a sheer wall. But, put in a set of stairs, and everyone can traverse the barrier. Likewise, winning millions of dollars in the lottery is usually too large a financial step for someone to handle. But, most people have learned how to handle the mini-lottery of receiving a monthly paycheck.

The sad tale of Mr. Roebling provides another illustration. His physical body was unable to traverse the invisible wall of the air pressure differential. By continually ‘jumping across’, he ended up physically debilitated. However, we now know that such a journey must be broken down into smaller steps. Therefore, divers will go through a small change in air pressure and then wait for a while before moving further.

Doability: So, what is a bridge? Like a wall, a bridge is also made out of stuff. In more general terms, a bridge still uses Perceiver facts to bring stability to Mercy experiences. But, the purpose of the bridge is to enable Server movement. As we have just seen, it does this by replacing a single huge barrier with a series of smaller gaps, each of which is possible for an individual to cross.

Doability has to do with Server thought and Server confidence. A step is doable when Server strategy is confident that it can carry it out. Like Perceiver confidence, Server confidence can also vary. For an old person with a walker, going to the store is barely doable, while the professional climber may have sufficient Server confidence to climb Mount Everest.

Doability and physical capability are closely related. The disabled person lacks Server confidence because his physical body is incapable of carrying out the actions. Likewise, a professional climber must be physically fit. In a similar vein, a set of stairs turns a physically impossible leap into a number of small steps that the body is capable of carrying out easily.

However, it is also possible to find many examples of doability that go beyond mere physical movement. Think, for instance, of the individual starting a small business. Going down to the street corner and selling some wares to those who pass by is a fairly small step which almost anyone could take. It is quite doable. On the other hand, if starting a business means getting a business license, buying a franchise, satisfying numerous regulations, filling out countless forms, and paying heavy taxes, then for most, the barrier has become insurmountable. The wall is too great; the steps are no longer doable.

The Bridge: So, what exactly isa bridge? It is a Perceiver object which has been modified to include Server action. The scientist trying to understand his natural environment observes the Server actions and sequences that are carried out by other people and naturalprocesses. The bridge builder, in contrast, modifies his Perceiver object so that he, together with others, can perform the Server action or sequence of crossing the bridge.

I suggest that we have just discovered the relationship between science and technology. The content is these two is the same, but the motivation is different. Science is driven by the Teacher goal of building a universal understanding, whereas ‘bridge-building’ is motivated by the Mercy goal of reaching a more desirable location. The scientist wants understanding, the businessman wants wealth; the researcher wants to have the Teacher pleasure of having a universal theory; the traveler wants to experience the Mercy pleasure of reaching a specific Mercy goal. 

In all cases, though, the same type of fundamental building block is required, one which combines Perceiver and Server confidence.

This statement has profound religious implications. How does a mental image of God emerge? It forms when universal Teacher theory touches personal Mercy identity. Until now, our discussion about God and man has focused upon the conflict that naturally occurs between these two. That is because they have seemingly opposite goals: Teacher thought deals with universality, whereas Mercy strategy deals withspecifics. Despite the pronouncements of Buddhist writers and the attitudes of rebellious students, the exception does not define the rule; the universe does not revolve around me.

Here, however, we see that the same building material is required to build universal Teacher theories and reach specific Mercy goals. In other words, if we use the right sort of mental content, then both God and me can be happy at the same time. Is that not the goal of religion, to bring reconciliation between God and me?


 Mercy Path

Such a statement requires an entire chapter to explore. However, let us conclude with one further observation. I have just stated that if one wants to give pleasure simultaneously to both a universal theory of God within Teacher thought and personal identity within Mercy strategy, then one must use mental content that combines Perceiver and Server confidence.

What mental strategy ties Server and Perceiver thought together? Contributor mode. Thus, one concludes that if one wants to integrate universal Teacher understanding with personal Mercy feeling, then one must go through Contributor thought. In religious terms, Contributor strategy is the intermediary that reconciles God and man; any individual who wants to reach God must go through the Contributor.

For those of you who are not familiar with Christianity, we just managed to derive a core Christian doctrine—and all that was required was a general Teacher theory along with some Perceiver logic. There was no need to quote from a Holy Book. 

Is such a solution morally good? Definitely yes. Teacher and Mercy strategies feel good, which is what they want; Perceiver and Server strategies are operating with confidence, which is what they require; Exhorter strategy has excitement; Contributor strategy ties things together; and, Facilitator strategy has a fully functioning mind, which is what it needs. 

If you lost count, that is all seven modes, harmoniously working together. So, why don’t we all act and think that way? Because of the numerous mental barriers that separate childish thought from mental wholeness and personal maturity. And, with that comment, we will end this rather long chapter.

Let us summarize. We started with the Brooklyn Bridge, not trying to sell it, but rather as an introduction to the topic of walls and bridges.

We then asked ourselves what the world would be like without Perceiver walls and came up with the answer of mud. When all is mud, then hills and valleys are not possible and everything flows together. For Buddhist thought, this type of mental mud is very attractive, for it removes strong Mercy feelings and enables the Teacher theory that ‘All is One’.

We looked next at a world composed solely of Perceiver walls. Such a world would have hills and valleys but there would be no way of getting from one to the other. For Exhorter thought, the mental strategy that drives the mind, this would lead to motivation combined with frustration.

Our introduction to Exhorter strategy also taught us the difference between Exhorter excitement and Teacher and Mercy emotion. Emotion wants to feel good and dislikes feeling bad. Excitement, in contrast, simply wants strong emotions, and doesn’t care whether they feel good or bad.

When motivation combines with frustration, then Perceiver walls tend to suffer. On an individual scale, the thief climbs over the wall in order to steal things, while with a communist revolution, the entire legal framework of Perceiver walls is torn down by force.  However the Perceiver walls are destroyed, the final result appears to be a return to emotional sameness combined with a lack of motivation.

When people jump over walls, either literally or figuratively, there is another consequence. Something bad happens. Either the wealth that is stolen seems to dissipate, or else someone gets hurt.

We then suggested that the answer to the frustration caused by walls is not to tear them down, but rather to build bridges across the walls. By breaking up a wall into small steps, a bridge makes it possible to cross the wall and remove Exhorter frustration by reaching the desired Mercy goal.

That led us to the concept of doability. How small should the steps of a bridge be? Small enough for Server strategy to have the confidence to walk across. A bridge with sufficiently small steps is doable, while one with great hurdles is no better than a wall.

Finally, we stepped back and looked at the big picture. We saw that a bridge adds Server confidence to a Perceiver fact, the same fundamental building block that we first introduced when looking at the development of science.

In other words, the same mental building block—a ‘brick’ of cause and effect which combines Perceiver and Server confidence—is needed both to build a universal Teacher theory and to reach a desired personal Mercy goal.

This means that the same material can make both God and me happy. On the one hand, an image of God needs a universal Teacher theory. On the other hand, ‘me’ wants to reach good Mercy goals.

Finally, we realized that the key to this positive-sum interaction between me and my image of God lies in Contributor mode, for it is the mental strategy which ties Perceiver and Server thought together and constructs the mental bricks that both God and ‘me’ require.

And, such a solution ends up giving all seven modes of thought exactly what they want. Using our definition of morality, we concluded that this form of mental operation describes moral wholeness and perfection. 

Concepts introduced in this chapter:

•        Mental Mud: A world without Perceiver walls, in which all strong feelings dissipate.

•        Walls: A world with Perceiver truth, strong Mercy feelings, and Exhorter frustration.

•        Exhorter Thought: Loves excitement; hates boredom; needs novelty; hates frustration.

•        Communist Revolution: Removes Exhorter frustration by tearing down Perceiver walls.

•        Jump over Walls: Taking dangerous shortcuts to reach desirable experiences. 

•        Build Bridges: Follow Server sequences to get across Perceiver walls.

•        Bridge: A series of mini walls, in which each mini-barrier can be crossed by a Server step.

•        Wall + Bridge: Ideal building material for both Teacher theory and Mercy pleasure.

•        Contributor Intermediary: Constructs the building blocks needed by both God and ‘me’.

Questions to think about:

1)    Have you ever lived in an environment that lacked boundaries? What did it feel like?

2)    Are there any areas where you pursue excitement at the expense of emotions?

3)    What is the motivation for crime in your area?

4)    What ‘impossible’ task have you achieved by breaking it up into doable chunks?


The concept of personal cause and effect is fundamental to our analysis of Christianity. Write down at least five universal principles of personal cause and effect. Now examine each of these principles and ask yourself two questions: How does that principle relate to your concept of God? How does that principle guide you in your quest for personal success? 

[1] Yes, I know that I am ignoring Server thought. It also plays a major role in either building or corrupting an internal image of God. However, Server strategy gets programmed by doing, and everyone who lives in a physical body must learn how to do. Therefore, Server thought invariably ends up getting at least partially developed. Perceiver strategy, in contrast, has to learn how to ‘stay awake’ amidst the ‘sleeping gas’ of intense Mercy feeling.

[2] We will see in a later chapter that Nationalism can become a substitute for Church.

[3] We talked previously about the relationship between Teacher words and Perceiver meanings. We see here that this interaction actually occurs via Server and Contributor thought. Server strategy gives mental stability to Teacher words and uses Server processing to combine them into sentences. Contributor thought then glues this Server content to a specific Perceiver meaning. Thus, before one can assign a Perceiver meaning to a word, Server thought must first know what it sounds like. When studying a foreign language, one first learns how to distinguish one sound from another. Then, one learns what these various sounds mean.

[4] If you say this to someone who watches action movies, he will usually respond that it is just illusion and that he is just pretending. But, isn’t that turning off Perceiver thought? How does shutting down one more mode make things better?