Types of cancer tend to be named after the organs where they grow, so the term cognitive cancer seemed apt for this article.
The roots of the words organized and organic are the same – organ. In a healthy system, organs receive messages, serve a function in a greater system of organs, and send messages to other organs in that system. Organs organize organically into organ systems :) So organs have sub-organs, including organs of perception that receive messages and organs of communication that send them.
The questions how , where, when, and what have to be constantly asked and answered by our organs of perception and communication. It all has to be organized according to sequence, degree, type, quantity, periodicity, and other variables. Just contemplating how your own body does without any conscious effort on your part is mind-boggling.
Cancer is a system of mass replication that does not serve the greater system. It is organic, but it does not serve the whole system, even though it depends on it to survive and grow. Cancer only serves itself, however shortsighted that is as it kills the system that sustains it.
Generally speaking, our current cognitive systems are very susceptible to cancerous growths. Just one thought can begin to take you in a cognitive direction resulting in the sorts of actions that end in a destination that some would even call hellish. Some people are psychologically loaded with cancer and their existence is like a hell to them. We can catch their cancer just by spending time with them and responding unskillfully to the messages their cancer ridden system sends us. Most of us have psychological cancer to some degree. We know that our physical bodies are fighting cancer cells all the time usually successfully. Our minds require us to have an immune system for cognitive processes as well.
How do we maintain healthy psychological immune system? Taking care of our physical and mental organs and organ systems and those of others offers a way to rid ourselves of psychological cancers. Just focusing on curing our own cancer allows us to work on one end of our psychological cancerous ‘tumors’. Since cognitive cancer is fully pathologically selfish, it will thrive in us if we only focus on our own betterment. Not just about adhering to moral standards, there is a simple technical reason for unselfishness. Organs of perception that are only self-referential begin to atrophy for lack of diverse stimulation. The whole system weakens and becomes more susceptible to cancerous growth.
So this is where higher consciousness begins to take on some very practical importance to human beings and their endeavors. If you have a higher vantage point you can achieve a broader or more in-depth ability to receive messages from the environment and make better informed decisions to not only fight cancer but develop healthily. Higher consciousness is even more important in a world where we have developed such powerful technologies that serve us but can also destroy us. The human element, the organic element, is the only way to achieve and sustain higher levels of consciousness that our survival requires in an increasingly complex world. Without it, enamored of our new found technological efficiency, we risk the temptation of falling into replication thinking to solve our problems – throwing (fill in the blank ) at problems: logic, technology, data, analysis, skepticism, money, passion, detachment, formulas, etc. Despite the best of intentions, the result will be that cognitive cancers will grow in our minds at the expense of our families, organizations and our individual mental health.
So what do we do?
Almost all of us need folks who have achieved higher consciousness than we have to develop healthily. We did as children, and we do now. If these people exist, you can be assured that they are organized and looking for qualified candidates for their efforts. Their methods are certainly organic and not at all something we can predict or manage at our current level. We have to be open to the signals they might already be sending.
These are our teachers. They are not always who we expect them to be. Only their humility, and ours, can keep the right messages flowing for the right purposes at the right times to the right people. It all has to be aligned, and everyone can’t just have anything they want whenever they want. This is not a mass replication. We are human beings.
Our businesses need these qualified teachers and students. Our families need them too.
Teacher or student, and we are all both really, GK Chesterton’s quote applies to each of us:
“We are all in the same boat, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.”