Thanks Flor,

I greatly enjoyed reading The Biology of Transcendence, and came away understanding a lot that I knew but was unclear about.

I've found that particular book to be a touchstone more than once. It was perhaps the most important single reference for my FFP11 talk on "Learning to cooperate for progress in Physics," apart from the comments made by 't Hooft and Osheroff at FFP10. Gerard was very emphatic in his closing remarks at that conference, that unless we do learn to work together more broadly, some advances will likely never come. And Pearce offers many useful insights on how we can overcome barriers to progress.

Pearce also talks about how the people from less-developed cultures often show superior acuity, once given the opportunity to learn. But anyone can be reached. I think a key point is that we need to talk to the cerebral cortex of the person, rather than address their reptilian or lizard brain. We see too much us-against-them mentality in the News today, and this originates in the hindbrain, but that portion of the brain is less capable of making subtle distinctions, as its function is simplistic, instinctual, and automatic. But if the neocortex is actively engaged, it will spring to life more and more readily.

Anyway; it will probably shake out that if we use the neocortex to 'create the good' sustainable cultures can be evolved, but if we operate overmuch from the reptilian brain's mindset to 'oppose evil' or 'evils,' we may fail to develop a successful "Psychology of sustainability." That is; we must use and marshal the part of the brain that can think, to get ourselves out of the mess we are in - environmentally speaking.