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A Review
Boris Sidis' Book
Nervous Ills
Chapter XXX: The Herd and The Subconscious
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
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Chapters I-XXI






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Chapter XXX...............The Herd and The Subconscious



(Most quotes verbatim Boris Sidis, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James, William James Sidis, and
Quantonics Thinking Modes.)
303  1 Superstitious terrors are by no means confined to race; they are common to all races. For example, among the aborigines of Australia a native will die after the infliction of even the most superficial wound, if he is scared by the suggestion that the weapon which inflicted the wound has been sung over [making said weapon sacred], and thus endowed with magical virtue. He simply lies down, refuses food, and pines away. Boris' thelogos for this chapter is 7.2%! That is an relatively large number: 140 occurrences of the out of 1934 total words!
2 Similarly among some of the Indian tribes of Brazil, if the medicine-man predicted the death of anyone who had offended him, "the wretch took to his hammock instantly in such full expectation of dying, that he would neither eat nor drink, and the prediction was effectually executed."

An example of strict individual adherence to social SPoVs. Placing social patterns over individual patterns.

William James Sidis was taught by his parents, especially Boris, to never allow this to happen to him; never allow society to run rampant over his individual SPoVs.

Pondered even in a shallow way, one may see how WJS found it difficult to live in a nation whose base Values are societal vis-à-vis individual, i.e., where social Values are placed above and adhered over individual intellectual Values. USA mouths "individual" and behaves "social." Most nations do n¤t, have n¤t historically, walked their talk. Indeed, they cann¤t until individual intellects and their voices chime loudly their individual Values and lift them c¤herently like many quantum Atlases above viscous, anchorous, and hegemonous social Values. Doug's opinions.

Speaking of certain African races Major Leonard observes: "I have seen more than one hardened old Haussa [modern is Hausa; northwestern Nigeria and southern Niger; Hausa are ruling class blacks; Afro-Asiatics and Hamito-Semitics] soldier dying steadily and by inches, because he believed himself to be bewitched; so that no nourishment or medicines that were given to him had the slightest effect either to check the mischief or to improve his condition in any way, and nothing was able to divert him from a fate which he considered inevitable.
304 "In the same way, and under very similar conditions, I have seen Kru-men [southern Liberians] and others die, in spite of every effort that was made to save them, simply because they had made up their minds, not (as we thought at the time) to die, but that being in the clutch of malignant demons they were bound to die." (Our brackets. Boris' parentheticals.)
The gregarious individual must obey the master leader on pain of death. In gregarious life the whole pack attacks the disobedient individual for challenging the chief, king, priest, the god-man, the lord of the horde. Obedience is a virtue, disobedience is a mortal sin, affecting the whole horde, hence a horrible death of the sinner is the sole punishment. The independent personality is inhibited, the individual falls into a state of social somnambulism, and the will-less, self-less subconscious, a semblance of personality, charged with self-preservation and fear instinct, obeys the commands of the master leader who is often a brutal type, a Nero [Roman emperor, AD 54-68], a Domitian [Roman emperor, AD 81-96], a Caracalla [AKA Marcus Aurelius; Roman emperor, AD 196-198], a Caligula [Roman emperor, AD 37-41], a John the Terrible [Ruler, Romanian Moldova, 1572-1574].

Gregarious: social. Those who adhere social SPoVs above individual SPoVs.

In 'modern' science and immodern religion today, "...the whole pack attacks the disobedient individual for challenging..." Science and academia have their 'disciplinary matrices.' Religions have their dogma. Nations have their 'laws.'

Leaders (truepers) of social SPoVs practice hegemony over individuals in those social SPoVs! Most important, just as 'science' drives out awareness, choice, and judgment (via its determinate predictability) social SPoVs drive out individual free will. Society has n¤ and desires n¤ individual free will! 'Laws' drive out free will.

Compare this to what Clifford Geertz shows us in his Available Light, paraphrased, "social objectivism ['absolutism'] removes judgment from history, and cultural relativism disables judgment." Some of you may think it unfair, even unkind, of Doug to congene Geertz' absolutism and Doug's social objectivism. But is n¤t social objectivism, as practiced, classically absolute? At least it pretends to be, doesn't it?

In a society where the socio-static press is always at work, where political pressure is far stronger than even in the ancient despotic monarchies, where a class government is in possession of all modern improvements, where gray uniformity and drowsy monotony reign supreme, obedience must be the rule. Blind, stupid obedience, that slavish obedience which is peculiar to somnambulic [ponder Boris' prescience, e.g., cooperatively train-riding to Auschwitz] subjects, characterizes such societies. [Hitler depended upon social obedience, from both protagonists and antagonists, to try to eliminate a race! There are times when we must disobey social SPoVs, and be fearless in doing so. When? Germany is a clear and present example. To us, Homeland Security and 'The Patriot Act' appear precursive, too. Also note how US officials knew of Hitler's activities and did nothing to prevent them. We cannot, must not, ever, trust politicians and government officials! And remember, the whole of them is worthless, and should be powerless, when enjoined by a single responsible constituent. They have conveniently forgotten that. This is about which Bagehot speaks. Politicians serve. We direct. Not vice versa. Be fearless in protecting that fundamental right. Ask a politician, this classical question, "Do I serve you or do you serve me?" It should be obvious that voters can recall Davis or any other politician whenever they wish. And they are! Good for you California! You make us proud to be Americans. Doug - 23Aug2003.]

Compare this classical socially objective state-icity (SOM and CR) to impending quantum abs¤lute changæ (Quantonics and MoQ). See our MoQ CR & SOM compared.

Readers be alert to a very subtle distinction which Quantonics offers here:

  • classical society worshiping state-ic social SPoVs
  • quantum society without state-ic social SPoVs.

In our view, society in itself need not be exclusive SQ (ESQ), but social SPoVs, like those which Boris Sidis describes are ESQ. Doug - 21Aug2003.

Boris' point here is crucial to grasp in its quintessence. Despots like Hitler can gain no power when all members of any society routinely practice individual free will. It is interesting to fathom Homeland Security and 'The Patriot Act' with George W. Bush, and John Ashcroft in that light. Their extreme social fundamentalism and SOMitic sensibilities are extraordinarily dangerous. However, that said, it must be noted that terrorism can flourish in a nation of free wills when individuals have no means, capability, nor predilection of self defense. Of course, that is Boris' point! Doug - 23Aug2003.

305 Servility is well illustrated by the following historical incident: Prince Sougorsky, ambassador to Germany in 1576, fell sick en route in Courland. The duke of the province often inquired as to his health. The reply was always the same: "My health matters nothing, provided the sovereign's prospers." The duke, surprised, said, "How can you serve a tyrant with so much zeal?" He replied, "We Russians are always devoted to our Czars, good or cruel. My master (Ivan the Terrible) impaled a man of mark for a slight fault, who for twenty-four hours, in his dying agonies, talked with his family, and without ceasing kept repeating, 'Great God, protect the Czar!'"

Boris is-was a Russian.
The same is true of modern class societies where the Demos [ancient Greek 'village;' as Hilarious said, "It takes a Demos." Demos is source and agency of classic-societal ESQ.] is the despot. God preserve the Demos! When the business demon of the Demos requires sacrifice, self immolation, anticipate his order. Pray for the Demos; Great God, protect the greedy Demos! The Demos is my Lord, to him is due my servile loyalty.

Here Boris describes classic society as greedy. We concur. USA's current society is insatiable, without regard individual free will. 'Democratic will,' 'Demos will,' 'village will,' is innately antithetic and innately denies individual free will.

Earth's current revolution is about a massive change in culture: neo classic to quantum. One of its major revolutionary phases includes annihilation of group will over individual will and replaces it with individual will over group will. Extent, breadth and duration of impending conflicts and resulting adaptations exceed human imagination.

However, without said quantum tsunami and its concomitant revolutions and subrevolutions, humankind are unfit for extrasolar interrelationships, and our social greed and social wars shall continue.

Putting words in Clifford Geertz' mouth, "We must disassemble now massive and monolithic social patterns of Value to allow individual patterns of Value to reemerge and regain more plural, moral, individual free will exegesis." To that, we say "Amen, and as Mae-wan Ho suggested, individual autonomies in quantum cohesive interrelationships among those many, is quantum society—without socially engineered exclusively state-ic and dogmatic and provincially absolute social patterns of Value."

It is interesting to observe that the superstitious, the savage, [constituents of some native cultures], and the soldier are excellent subjects for hypnotic purposes. Soldiers as experiments show, have a strong predisposition to hypnotic states. I was told by Professor Münsterberg that the hypnotic predisposition was strongly developed in the German soldier. M. Liebault experimented on ten hundred and twelve persons, and found only twenty-seven refractory [inflexibly resistant to hegemony]. Berenheim remarks on this that "It is necessary to take into account the fact that M. Liebault operates chiefly upon the common people."

Doug observes much less of this in modern society. People are not nearly as naïve regarding inappropriate controls as they were 100 years ago. Certainly women, via suffrage and other experiences with male 'dominance,' are more individually free than they were 100 years ago. (Although Slick Willard makes us wonder...)

Too, people change jobs more frequently. We start our own companies more frequently. We, appropriately, tell those who would control us to "Go to hell."

People fearlessly and happily, and with great relish and satisfaction (we call it "exhilaration") recall allegedly inept politicians, allegedly like Gray Davis in California. Of course, elected politicians (e.g., Bush's John Ashcroft) are our modern village-Demos' hegemons. Our quantum tsunami says that all classical political hegemons and their exclusive social patterns have to go...and they shall, with and without duress.

306 10  The great pressure exerted on the lower social strata, and especially on soldiers, the dull monotony of their life, the habit of strict obedience to command, predisposes them to social subconscious automatisms,—to the formation of mobs, clubs, unions, lodges, associations, parties, clans, sects, mobocracies. In all such organizations there is present the same servile spirit—the impersonal self and the gregarious fear instinct—the basis of subconscious, social somnambulism.

As we said above, constituents need be viewed as upper strata, social or otherwise. Politicians and elected officials must be viewed as lower strata. Politicians are servants, not more. Gain this perspective, at all costs. USA needs us to do this.

Amen! Bravo!

11  Man is a social somnambulist, he lives, dreams, and obeys with his eyes open. Whenever the impulse of self-preservation gets a special grip on the gregarious individual, when he becomes wild with terror in the bosom of the herd, then he may be regarded as a psychopathic victim.

Quantum beings are not like this. Watch Nature's critters. They mostly cooperate and stand their ground too.

Societies turn their constituent slaves into candidate psychopaths. Read about Russia's Pale, its pogroms.

12  The historian of the future will represent our age as dark, barbaric, savage, an age of the cruel Napoleonic wars, of commercial crises, financial panics, religious revivals, vicious, brutal, savage world wars,—mobs, crazes, plagues, social pests of all sorts and description… Utter social-psychopathology.
307 13  A herd of sheep stand packed close together, looking stupidly into space… Frighten them,—and if one begins to run, frantic with terror, the rest are sure to follow,—a stampede ensues, each sheep scrupulously reproduces the identical movements of the one in front of it. This susceptibility to imitation is but what we, in relation to man, term suggestibility, which consists in the impressing on the person of an idea, image, movement, however absurd and senseless, which the person in his hypnotized state reproduces like an automaton,—although he or she thinks it is done quite voluntarily. Suggestibility is natural to man as a social animal. Under specially favorable conditions this suggestibility which is always present in human beings may increase to an extraordinary degree, and the result is a stampede, a mob, an epidemic.

Please be careful here. A herd of sheep is a human-engineered social pattern of Value. Sheep and wild critters do not always naturally 'herd.' Wild horses naturally herd, but they are not as suggestible as human herded horses. Socialization, as Boris shows us, especially without individual free will, is a terrible classical form to behold. Terrible in its metastasized hegemony.

This is some of what Boris taught William.

Countless of William's behaviors find their bases in this thought. (If this is your first exposure to William, allow a tad of recall: William is Boris' son. Philosopher William James is William's godfather and namesake, thus William James Sidis. WJS appears to be Earth's highest intellect to date with an IQ exceeding measurability. Fluency in 200+ languages and dialects, and on and on and on...) William intuited and despised all hegemonic social patterns of Value. (It appears to us, quantum society excepted, there are no other kinds. Read Danah Zohar's Quantum Self and Quantum Society.)

William perceived himself as an individual, with individual intellect and individual free will. His pragma demonstrate it well.

Society hates people like William! Despises them! Ridicules them. Society hates and, for good reason, fears free will. Society worships democratic will. Democratic will is a notably bogus classical ideal, as Boris shows. It is stuff of ancient Greek mental twiddling. Passé Babel. Detrite. Becoming extinct.

14  It is sometimes claimed that somnambulic persons are asleep. Sleep and somnambulism have been identified. This is a misuse of words since there are a whole series of subconscious states in which not one symptom of sleep appears. Extreme susceptibility to suggestions and mental automatisms are the chief traits of the subconscious. Boris' version of subconscious resides in what we call "quantum actuality." Unfortunately, so does his version of reserve energy. Quantonics' reserve energy's source is quantum n¤nactuality and its affectiveness emerges from its interrelationships with quantum actuality.
15  Gregarious men and women carry within themselves the germs of the possible mob, or of mental epidemics. As social creatures men and women are naturally suggestible. When this susceptibility or sensitivity to suggestions becomes abnormally intense, we may say that they are thrown into a social subconscious, somnambulic state.

(Our bold.)

Students of Quantonics should be able to imagine n¤nsuggestible free will individuals' interrelationships with any social groups. E.g., WJS.

Then compare those to suggestible social will individuals' relationships with their and other social groups. E.g., Bush, Ashcroft, Slick, Hilarious, etc.

308 16  We know by psychological and psychopathological experiments that limitation of voluntary movements and inhibition of free activities induce a subconscious state. This subconscious state is characterized by inhibition of the will power,—memory remains unaffected; consciousness appears intact; the subject is aware of all that goes on. Leaders of society want us dumb and suggestible.
17  Keeping this in mind, we can understand social life, and especially morbid, social movements, mob life of all ages.

There was much more resistance (individual free will) happening in US just prior to Bush's "Attack on Iraq." For us, this is a quantum tell. Outside US, 1989's Tiananmen Square, another. More recently Sequoia's dumping of UC and Michigan investment funds in defiance of government reporting requirements. Bravo!

Distinguish civil disobedience vis-à-vis individual disobedience. Societies tend to be more brutal and constituent-deaf in latter case and treat offenders as criminals. Many 'laws' exist to maintain somnambulatory 'order.' 'Laws' are hegemons' suggestions to Sidisean hypnoidal society. Happened to William during Boston's 1918 May Day riots.

18  A subconscious state [AKA "consensus" and "common sense," "communis sense" and "communis vitæ;" indeed these are ancient Latin definitions for society] is induced in the organized individual by the great limitation of his voluntary activities and by the inhibition of his free critical thought. Bound fast by the strings of tradition and authority, social men and women are reduced to subconscious automata. The subconscious rises with the growth of organized civilization, while the critical, independent powers of the individual correspondingly fall. Hence the apparent social paradox that the growth of society tends to destroy the mental forces which helped to build up civilization.

(Our bold and color.)

Common sense is that which societies worship. Science does. Religion does. Unions do. States do. And so on...

Hilarious got one notion right: consensus is close kin of conspiracy... Do some think-king about that... Is any religion a kind of conspiracy? Are unions conspiracies? Are academic sciences conspiracies? Why do sciences have "disciplinary matrices?" Why do religions have "dogma, doctrines, and indoctrinations?" Never thought about it like that before, right?

Quantonics worships extraordinary sense: respectful (predominately of other individuals as individuals and quantum groups of individuals), responsible (we do not have a good way to describe what we mean by "quantum responsibility;" it mostly involves our quanton(cooperate,defend) which is close kin John Forbes Nash's equilibrium theory, quantum style: Quantum Self in and above Quantum Society), quantum individual free will sense.

(Those capped italics are titles of Dana Zohar with Ian Marshal (hubby)'s books.)

Explaining that bold text is very likely more than several textbooks. However, we have a start. We aræ k-nowings these pr¤cessings ev¤lve amd aræ takings tihmings, perhaps 'a millennium' or more.

Green bold text is very quantum... Boris had intuemes.

19  In such societies the individual staggers under the burden of laws and taboos. Individuality is stifled under the endless massive excretions of legislators. Recently even the lawgivers or law manufacturers began to object to the labor involved in the work on the ever growing mass of bills introduced into the legislature of one state alone. Thus a senator of a Western state complained that in one year over 1700 bills passed through the mill of his Legislature. Multiply that figure by the number of states, add the municipal edicts, and the endless laws turned out by the Federal Government, and one can form some faint idea of the vast burden laid on the shoulders of the individual citizen.

Bravo! A la Bagehot above.

But not, apparently, for California voters! Another quantum tell.

'Law' is naught but political societal hegemony: Babel.

See law.

309 20  The Los Angeles Times, which no one will accuse of radicalism [i.e., 80+ years ago], pointedly remarks: "The State has just issued a reference index to the laws of California since 1850—it is of itself a bulky volume of more than 1300 pages. When it takes a book of that size merely as an index it would seem that the lawmakers had about done their worst."

But Boris, tis mere "common sense," my friend, "mere communis vitæ." Mere societal effluence. "Look what our state has accomplished!"

Society is much like that teacher of a child violin prodigy in The Red Violin video. Said child succumbed under teacher's laws and anti creative, anti quantum and unbending classical constrictions. Like that 'college' in Dead Poet's Society. Like William James Sidis and US 'society' and 'science' and 'academia.'

21  Over-production of laws is one of the great evils [agrees with Bagehot] of modern civilization. Civilized society is apt to be obsessed by a state of law-mania which is a danger and a menace to the free development of the individual citizen.
22  The Roman legal thinkers left us two significant sayings: Ex Senatus consultis et plebiscitis, crimina execrentur,—(Senatorial decisions and popular decrees give rise to crimes) and: Ut olim vitiis, sic nunc legibus laboramus,—(As we formerly suffered from vices and crimes so we suffer at present from laws and legislation)…

(Boris' marks.)

We have so much to learn... US is such an ignorant and inept society... I.e., communis vitæ is societal ignorance and ineptness!

Evidence: Bushes, Clintons, Ashcrofts, Kennedys, Cuomos, Rostenkowskis, Dingels, Quayles, Davises, and so on... Cronkrights, Blathers, Bendings, and Brokencaws, ... Dimbaughlbs, EitherOReillys, ProfHannities,... Societal celebrity worship. Ughly!

310 23  In describing the gregariousness of the Damara oxen Francis Galton writes: "Although the ox has so little affection for, or interest in, his fellows, he cannot endure even a momentary severance from his herd. If he be separated from it by stratagem or force, he exhibits every sign of mental agony; he strives with all his might to get back again, and when he succeeds, he plunges into the middle to bathe his whole body with the comfort of closest companionship. This passionate terror is a convenience to the herdsman."… When an animal accustomed to a gregarious life is isolated from the herd, it is agitated with extreme terror. The same holds time of man who is a social animal. Man must go with the herd or with the pack, and he is terrified to stand alone, away from the crowd,—and still more terrorized when the crowd disapproves of him. Man is gregarious, and as such he must go with the mass, with the crowd. He is in mortal fear of social taboo. As a gregarious animal man lives in fear of external danger, and is in terror of social authority.
24  As Galton writes: "The vast majority of persons of our race have a natural tendency to shrink from the responsibility of standing and acting alone; they exalt the vox populi, even when they know it to be the utterance of a mob of nobodies, into the vox Dei; they are willing slaves to tradition, authority and custom. The intellectual deficiencies corresponding to these moral flaws are shown by the rareness of free and original thought as compared with the frequency and readiness with which men accept the opinions of those in authority as binding on their judgment." This slavish obedience is intimately bound up with one of the most fundamental of all instincts,—the fear instinct.
311 25  The individual is so effectively trained by the pressure of taboo based on self and fear, that he comes to love the yoke that weighs him down to earth. Chained to his bench like a criminal galley slave, he comes to love his gyves and manacles. The iron collar put around his neck becomes a mark of respectability, an ornament of civilization. Tarde finds that society is based on respect, a sort of an alloy of fear and love, fear that is loved. A respectable citizen is he who is fond of his bonds, stocks, and shekels, and comes to love his bonds, stocks, and shackles of fears and taboos.
26  Human institutions depend for their existence and stability on the impulse of self-preservation and its close associate,—the fear instinct.
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2003-2014 Rev. 20Apr2010  PDR Created: 23Aug2003  PDR
(29Aug2003 rev - Remove some height constraints on HTML table.)
(8Sep2003 rev - Repair top of page indices.)
(8Dec2003 rev - Adjust Shawn's (Sean's) handle.)
(14Feb2004 rev - Repair p. 304, para. 5 comment typo.)
(29Feb2004 rev - Add p. 305, para. 8 anchor 'Demos Will.')
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