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Why the Look?

Mental symmetry is an unusual theory in that it crosses several boundaries:

  • It is quite technical. I am analyzing the mind as if it is a kind of computer, and computers are rather technical.
  • The topic is personal and emotional. We are not just examining any computer. Instead we are looking at the human computer, the computer that is ‘you’ and ‘me’. That means dealing with emotional issues, and studying people as individuals.
  • It is an integrated theory. We are not just listing a disconnected set of facts. Instead, I suggest that all the various ‘puzzle pieces’ about human behavior can be assembled to form a single big picture—a unified theory.
  • This theory is ‘hands on’. In order to grasp the theory of mental symmetry, it is not enough just to understand the concepts. Instead, you have to apply these principles in real life in practical situations.
  • The goal is mental wholeness and lasting pleasure. What is the purpose of understanding the mind and applying these concepts? Pleasure that remains. We need a solid mental map that will tell us where we can find personal happiness, a mental ‘engine’ that is capable of reaching this happiness, and the stability and wisdom that is required to make this happiness and fun continue.

Put this all together and you end up with a sort of cheerful Victorian mechanical look. The world of gears and steam was quite technical, but it was also personal. It was impressive, but not overwhelming. It could still be comprehended and operated by the individual. Gears and levers may look cool, but in order to do something with them, you have to fit them together to form a system. And this system does not just sit there. Instead, it has buttons and levers and knobs that have to be adjusted and turned. Finally, this is a cheerful world. Until the First World War came along and shattered this optimism, the Victorian world thought that it could conquer anything.

Am I looking at history through rose-colored glasses? Of course. But, I am actually trying to picture the sort of society that I envision—my utopia. Instead of being populated by passive potato chip crunching couch potatoes, its citizens are able to handle technical issues and excel at thinking logically. Rather than being increasingly dysfunctional and driven by childish infatuations, they value the individual, protect personal integrity, and have emotional depth. Instead of being specialists who flood the world with random, meaningless information, they ask big questions, cross disciplines and integrate knowledge. And, they do not just talk, they also do, and their doing matches up with their saying. Finally, instead of being hooked on excitement, destruction, darkness, anger, and war, they search for love, order, light, love, and peace.

Is that a utopia, a place that does not exist? At the moment, yes. But, if one truly searches for mental wholeness, then I am convinced that it is possible to find a place for utopia.