“The Self is Made Toast”

This article by Ken Wilber is amazingly funny. I don’t believe he intended it to be funny, which gives you insight into my sense of humor. It is spot on. I would suggest that one consider becoming toast. Here’s a brief extract:

“[A]uthentic transformation is not a matter of belief but of the death of the believer; not a matter of translating the world but of transforming the world; not a matter of finding solace but of finding infinity on the other side of death. The self is not made content; the self is made toast.”

Here’s the complete article:

No wonder people think I’m different.

What is your first memory? How old are you? For reasons explained below, most people have no memory prior to age three. My first memory is of around 18 months. I remember being pushed in a stroller through a park, the trees lining the path, the sun, feeling safe and happy to be outside, hearing peacocks call out and being startled. What was that noise?!

“Research has puzzled over the lack of recall most people have for their first three years of life and the fact that functional memory with some recall doesn’t begin until age three to four. This is because the amygdala, which is the module primarily involved in memory of these first three years, is fully engaged in registering our survival strategies. The hippocampus, involved in long-term memory subject to later recall, undergoes its major growth after the first three years. Thus very few of us can actually recall our survival training; we simply act it out, particularly when dealing with our own offspring.” (The Biology of Transcendence, Joseph Chilton Pearce)

Is it possible that this is why I am so keenly aware of enculturation strategies? Is it possible this is why I want to teach critical thinking? The call of the peacock set the tone for my life: wild curiosity and joy coupled with bewilderment.