EVOLUTION & BIOLOGICAL CONTROL SYSTEMS
The brain & BODY's various operating systems viewed in an
I am a lizard King - I can do
everything - J.Morrison
We still draw the boundaries of our
personality too narrowly. We always count as part of our
personality only what we separate as individual, recognize as
deviating. But we consist of the whole mass of the world, each
of us, and just as our body itself carries the development
pedigree down to fish and even further back, so we have in the
human soul everything that has ever lived. Hermann Hesse:
In my inner laboratory, through the
synthesis of meditation and entheogens over the years, I have
experienced transpersonal phenomena that are so far removed from
known reality that I will claim, based solely on the strangeness
of these experiences:
No person who gains access to these
experiences will remain the same.
This will especially apply to people who
have built their reality on a firmly rooted worldview, whether
religious or scientific. I would like to be disturbed as often
as possible in my own worldview, but preferably by people who
have experienced/survived a spiritual lightning strike at least
once in their lives, right in the middle of the coffee set on
the tiled table. It is simply not very interesting to talk to a
person who only knows our familiar 'reality'.
In the following, however, I will try to meet the logical
skeptic halfway by tentatively explaining spiritual lightning
strikes from the religious sky as playful figures in my own
wonderful fantasy world, created by archaic bio-archetypes,
layer upon layer accumulated in my organism since my past as a
sea anemone and even further back.
The poem below shows the development of life in a form of
Originally, you were clay.
From being mineral, you becamet vegetable.
From vegetable you became animal, and from animal, man.
During these periods man did not know where he was going,
but he was being taken on a long journey nonetheless.
And you have to go through a hundred different worlds yet.
I died from minerality and became vegetable;
And from vegetativeness I died and became animal.
I died from animality and became man.
Then why fear disapearance through death?
Next time I shall die Bringing forth wings and feathers like
After soaring higher than angels-
You cannot imagine.
I shall be that.
Around the end of the 18th century, the writings of Muslim Sufi
mystics were translated into German. Schelling was not late to
embroider further on Rumi in a journey from sleep to
The universal spirit,
which slumbers in the stone, dreams in the plant,
awakens in the animal, becomes conscious in man
and reaches its highest unfolding in the artist.
In this chapter, we will view the human cell colony as a Noah's
Ark for all previous life's bio-operating systems. Precambrian
primal cells still sing life's fundamental tone for those who
make themselves silent. In hunger for the nourishing waters of
this primordial soup, I will turn Schelling upside down and
travel back to the slumbering stones, dreaming plants, and
half-awake animals that still reside in my inner darkness.
OUR BIOLOGICAL WORLD MASS
Our unique attributes evolved over a period of roughly 6
million years. They represent modifications of great ape
attributes that are roughly 10 million years old, primate
attributes that are roughly 55 million years old, mammalian
attributes that are roughly 245 million years old, vertebrate
attributes that are roughly 600 million years old, and
attributes of nucleated cells that are perhaps 1,500 million
If you think it is unnecessary to go that
far back in the tree of life to understand our own attributes,
consider the humbling fact that we share with nematodes
[roundworms] the same gene that controls appetite. At most, our
unique attributes are like an addition onto a vast multiroom
mansion. It is sheer hubris to think that we can ignore all but
the newest room. David Sloan Wilson,
Evolution for Everyone, 2007
It would be a controversial thought for most that meditation is
also introverted archaeology. However, the following
scientifically verifiable examples will illustrate that the idea
is not as unlikely as it might seem at first glance.
Recipe for a human
Add an appropriate amount of pre-Cambrian primordial sea salt,
as the salt balance in our cells is still the same as it was in
the pre-Cambrian primordial sea. Take two kilograms of body mass
consisting of bacteria. They once lived, before they became
peaceful bio-citizens in the human body, their own free life or
a life in symbiosis with other life forms. Add countless forms
of viruses, including some types we inherited from the
The recipe is too long to complete here, but all ingredients
point in the same direction: Anatomically, humans are a baroque
composite, an impossible synthesis of living prehistoric beings.
Finally, sprinkle about one percent of actual human genes over
our simmering biological stew.
We rose from the primordial sea and still carry it in our cells.
In this sense, the human body is a surviving zoological museum
composed of life and behavioral forms that reach all the way
back to the earliest stardust.
This crossroads are life's provisional but certainly not final
We are surviving waves raised in storms from the primordial sea
and now washed ashore on the coast of life.
This odyssey would not have been possible without cooperation
We are made of recycling
Evolution essentially does not reshape the foundation of its
creation. Instead, it builds upon the already existing
biological architectures. From an evolutionary development
perspective, humans are composed of a whole range of different
survival systems. Our body consists, in this sense, of the total
zoological sum of our previous species lives.
We consist of recycled operating systems, whose main biological
task was and is to make us survive. As humans, we have been
guests here for a brief moment of 2.5 million years. As
zoological cell colonies, we are much, much older. Within us are
all of life's previous forms of consciousness. Cells,
microbiomes, worms, reptiles, and mammalian operating systems
have come together under a common roof in the body. Some of
these beings sleep, others are more awake and help us in our
Ion channels in the cell membranes of Necturus salamanders can
be found in rats and humans. Every single piece of DNA that has
proven to work in evolution is recycled by more advanced systems
at higher levels in evolution. The genes that control our
heartbeat were created in sea anemones. We share 25% of our
genes with trees. Our appetite is driven by genetic drivers that
were developed in roundworms. Our teeth were originally fish
Our face was fundamentally created when we were fish. A fish
face has eyes, a mouth, and sometimes, as is the case with the
blobfish, a nose!
The Blob fish - Psychrolutes marcidus
In the fetal stage, we go through
our entire species history and develop, for example, the
beginnings of gills. As we can see in this BBC video, the face
of a human fetus is formed between the second and third month.
During this period, the face is assembled like a puzzle,
starting at the fish stage and ultimately coming together in a
recognizable face. The final connecting piece in this puzzle is
the philtrum, the groove below the nose.
Notice how the face, just before it takes on a human form, goes
through various zoological stages in the shape of animal faces.
During the fetal stage, we climb up all the previous steps on
the evolutionary ladder that our species has utilized.
Let me repeat the wondrous, thought-provoking, yet simple fact:
As biological beings, we live and function at the intersection
of prehistoric animals' and life forms' operating systems. We
are a living zoological museum that has stepped out of time and
come together in a hub where even the ancient reptile has
survived the crushing teeth of time.
The Urban Mirror
Our urban civilization reflects the biological systems that
created it. In the cityscape, we see the same houses as there
were a hundred years ago, and there are cars like those from 50
years ago. The only radically new addition is digitalization,
which today permeates all these older structures in the same way
that the newest layers in the brain have drilled neurons into
the brain's oldest layers. Just as I can live in a modernized
apartment in a house that is several hundred years old, I reside
in an inner body home full of old walls, doors, toilet pipes,
and windows - but now with freshly painted walls, added
electrical wiring, refrigerators, flat screens, and internet
THE BRAIN'S TRIUNE DISAGREEMENT
We are obliged to look at
ourselves and the world through the eyes of
three different mentalities, two of which lack the power of
The illustration below shows the
brain as constructed in three layers. This is, of course, a
strong simplification of the actual conditions. It may even be
incorrect. Nonetheless, it is thought-provoking. The project
here is not strict empirical brain science, but to intuitively
view the brain's different operating systems as deposits from
various time periods in our evolutionary history.
The innermost and oldest brainstem, the R-complex, we have in
common with reptiles. Here lies our most instinctive and
autonomously controlled behavior. These control mechanisms live
their own life, and can neither understand the animal brain's
emotions nor the human brain's language. The middle part, the
limbic system, we share with mammals. Here we feel ourselves and
the world in attention.
Finally, we have the uppermost and outermost part, the
neocortex, which we share with whales and great apes. This is
the seat of language and consciousness. The frontal lobes are
especially interesting in this context, as it is likely here
that wakefulness itself is formed.
The fact that we share our innermost brainstem
with reptiles and that there is a mammalian brain riding rodeo on top of the
reptile brain makes more than enough sense to Uruguay's star soccer player
Suárez's irrational action: He bit his opponent in the shoulder. What is a
football match if not two clans fighting over a lump of meat?
What is our Western political blindness to our own mistakes and constant
struggle for power and plunder directed at other cultures if not ape clans'
genes on the way to the top of the food chain? Apes' spontaneous reflexes are
still just beneath the suit. When we look down into an abyss, there is a pull in
the sphincter and coccyx. In this area, there are many active nerves that we no
longer need. These nerves are blissfully unaware that the balance-creating tail
they once controlled has long since fallen off.
The body's different anatomical ages
There are people who, through concentration and
other yoga exercises, can bring the subconscious up to the conscious level where
they can discern and judge, and thereby benefit from the unlimited treasures of
the subconscious memory, among which not only the memory of our previous lives
is stored but also the past of the lineage, all pre-human forms of life, and the
memory of the consciousness that makes all life in the universe possible.
Lama Anagarika Govinda
As described, our ancient body is a biological
world mass composed of all the bio-operating systems life has developed since
its humble beginnings. We are living aftershocks risen from and by the
primordial ocean, and thus carriers of information from all ages. A logical
consequence of this is that the individual anatomical parts of the body do not
have the same age. Some parts of the body are controlled by old bio-software,
others by newer and brand new systems. Only the very newest of the brain's
control systems are awake conscious. Older systems are anchored in attention.
The older they are, the more asleep they are. The largest part of our life is
therefore lived in unconsciousness - not because of Freudian repression, but
because of our Quasimodo-like body's asynchronous composition of outdated
genetic software all the way back to our transpersonal existence as
single-celled beings in the primordial ocean.
Reincarnation is a scientific fact
The billions of cells that go under the designation, a human being, are a
living prehistoric cross-section of the entire journey of life. Anyone who
seriously turns inward can experience their earlier - not individual lives, but
Meditation is psychic archaeology.
Just as researchers can recreate a dinosaur snout on a chicken by playing its
genetic coding backward, we can, through meditation, visit our own inner
biological prehistory on an evolutionary journey. This inner journey leads back
to what I, borrowing from Meister Eckhart, call the ground of origin.
The deeper the introspective exploration of inner life goes, the older layers of
human evolutionary history are exposed. In this sense, meditative introspection
resembles astronomical extrospection. The further out into the universe we look,
the older phenomena we observe.
Again and again, there have been reports of reincarnation in connection with
deep meditative experiences, near-death experiences, and entheogenic journeys.
It seems that meditation under certain circumstances allows us to travel back in
our own zoological prehistory.
These experiences are often interpreted, because we experience ourselves as
individuals, as individual matters, where Mr. Petersen experiences himself as
Mr. Hansen in a previous life. That's how it appears when our little ego takes
linguistic ownership of the experience. The little ego tries through language to
translate an experience from a fundamentally incomprehensible and languageless
multi-dimensional universe to our known world consisting of three dimensions.
Here our little ego is like the frog at the bottom of the well, trying to tell
itself and its fellow species about the birds' life in the sky.
One thing is to read about it... By looking and feeling into myself, I
experienced myself as the biological world mass. I have, as a sea anemone, felt
the tides in the primordial ocean. I have felt the snake crawl up the spine on
its way to the brain. I have felt the inner Stone Age man throw the first stone
at a man from a foreign tribe.
Individual versus transpersonal life
Already here, the language's usual expressions are strained, which
syntactically are created to convey experiences in subject-object relations in a
three-dimensional universe consisting of time, space, and mass, as we know them
from our daily life: For there was no 'I' in the traditional sense to observe
Transpersonal experiences of pre-existence are not personal matters - for
individuality and language are a very new little evolutionary wonder, created
within the last few thousand years, which is less than a second compared to
life's cellular birth in the original primordial ocean.
Swimming in one's own Cambrian primordial ocean is just one thing you can do
without an 'I'. Here you are a traveler in attention and consciousness without
the ego-operating system we normally use to navigate. For this reason alone, the
encounter with one's own evolutionary past can be frightening. There is no room
for the feeling of control that we, in our everyday consciousness, believe
ourselves capable of having.
The vast majority of this journey back must, therefore, be undertaken without
what we normally associate with an 'I' identity. Our sense of 'I' must be left
behind for those who wish to set their inner zoological clock back just a
Every organism has its own self-referential consciousness
The illiterate mystic Nisargadatta Maharaj claimed that the sole
purpose of life is to protect, expand, and develop
For every life form, whether it is autonomous or functions as an
organ in a larger biological context, there is a feedback-based
operating system. In this sense, every living organism has a
companion in the form of a consciousness operating system. The
logical consequence of us being carriers of the biological world
mass is that we also have all previous forms of consciousness
within us. We not only share appetite-regulating mechanisms with
roundworms, but we also share consciousness with them.
Many of these archaic consciousness operating systems still
contribute to our maintenance as a human cell colony. Others are
rudimentary and/or dormant but can be awakened under special
Even individual organs of the human body have their own field of
consciousness, which in turn link up with each other in the same
way that countries form alliances.
It seems that these consciousness fields, in their collective
connection in hubs, become increasingly conscious. The more
systemically complex they become, the more 'awake' they become.
It is my clear intuitive feeling that any self-referential
system becomes conscious and thus alive when it reaches a
certain point of complexity. In this context, it is irrelevant
whether it concerns machines or biological life.
Life and death's either - or
All our bio-software, both ancient and brand new, have had and
still have one common agenda: to survive...
The most 'primitive' functions of attention are expressed in
reflexes. Instinct-based and automated actions are continually
created by the oldest parts of our brain. Primordial brains pose
only the following thoughtless binary 'question': Will I survive
or not? The next question in case of a threat is: Should I
attack, flee, or play dead?
The polarity between good and evil, between cosmos and chaos,
between god and the devil, is created from genes' flight from
the entropy of death. This fundamental duality is the axis mundi
of survival. However asynchronous and mutually different our
internal operating systems may be: The genes' 'will to survive'
forces them all to the negotiating table, where they each, in
their own way, evaluate the world around us based on the simple
question: are we in danger or not?
To survive is 'good' - to die is 'evil'
The consciousness's word-creating operating system invented
the words evil and good at some point close to our time. This
survival measure was not plucked out of thin air but rested on a
unanimous choir of survival systems from all evolutionary ages.
So if a worm could speak, its first statement would be:
To survive is 'good' - to die is 'evil'.
Everything that makes 'me' survive feels 'good'.
Everything that threatens my survival is sensed 'evil'.
We understand all life because we consist of recycling
Wittgenstein claimed that if a lion could speak, no one
would understand it. Wittgenstein is, to me, the ultimate
expression of the talking academic heads club, a club that
presupposes that one is so caught in the thought 'spin' that one
suppresses the fact that the head is on a pre-linguistic body.
The struggle between scribes and mystics dates back to Buddha's
time. Anyone who dares to turn inward and away from the world
can see for themselves that we consist of genetic recycling
That is why we understand the lion's roar.
We share most of our operating systems with it.
A consciousness liberation of our inner nerve tree's long
delicate branches requires that, in our meditation, we address
sensitivity rather than flee from it. Let us now meditate
directly into the body and sensitivity to manifest the clarity
of consciousness that the Eastern traditions' Indian-anchored
survival strategy meditation forms have invested in life beyond
the body for good reasons.
Meditation.dk is for those who dare to venture into the darkness
of the body. Here, the brave explorer lights the light of
wakefulness. With this light, consciousness sees inward, while
attention feels the warmth of the light. For light can both be
seen and felt.
The word religion comes from the Latin word religare, which
means to reconnect, to re-establish a connection to something
earlier and more original.
Only in this sense do I see Meditation as a religious project,
and this project involves traveling back and into one's own
biological world mass - not as we do every night when we fall
asleep, but traveling into this darkness with the wakeful light
of consciousness as a lantern.
This inner journey, in my opinion, is the most important journey
a person can undertake. It is a journey back to the roots, back
to one's biological past, which still exists in the living zoo
of the inner body.
For Freud, this journey stopped when one had reached an
understanding of childhood.
Jung took a much deeper dive beyond the boundary of our
For the brave meditator, the journey has hardly begun here. For
it continues back to the beginning of life in the primordial
sea, a primordial sea that still exists encapsulated in droplet
form in our cells. Perhaps the journey only ends when we
recognize ourselves as the stardust our carbon molecules are
Yes, Meditation is psychic archaeology.
Originally, you were clay.
From being mineral,
you becamet vegetable.
From vegetable you
and from animal, man.
During these periods
man did not know
where he was
but he was being taken on
a long journey nonetheless.
And you have to go through
a hundred different worlds yet.
I died from minerality and
And from vegetativeness
I died and became animal.
I died from animality
and became man.
Then why fear disapearance
Next time I shall die
Bringing forth wings
After soaring higher
You cannot imagine.
I shall be that.