Mental Health Mutations

(No Date)

Q. In a transcript on fractals, Michael said we're always mutating. I started to wonder about this in terms of trends in mental health. What mutations might we have been undergoing as a population in, say, the last ten years that are affecting our behavior but that we haven't noticed yet?

A. Well, of course, mutation is more or less a constant, and very few of them "last". However, what has been occurring with some regularity is a sharply increased demand on the brain to acquire and categorize information, for information increases exponentially, and of course, as we have said before, a mere five hundred years ago it was possible for a relatively long-lived man in a lifetime to learn all there was to know in terms of codified knowledge. After about 1600 Common Reckoning this was no longer the case, and has become increasingly less so over the intervening centuries.

At the moment, one of the problems facing the instruction of the young is that teaching standards, methods, and applications are approximately fifty years behind the current state of knowledge, and because the tools to teach these thought processes now necessary are not generally present in education. Many youthful fragments experience extreme frustration, not for lack of discipline but for lack of educational relationality. While mutations would not be necessary to cope with all this, modifications of education undoubtedly are, and unfortunately, academic territoriality being what it is, the necessary changes are apt to be slow in coming.

One of the problems we have described, of horizontal rather than vertical family identification, is particularly relevant here, for the concept of peer-group pressure is now far more significant in the educational process of the young than it has ever been before, due to outmoded educational tools and Experiential Differentiation. This loss of continuity has created an alienation that may almost seem the product of mutation rather than what was once called future shock.

That does not mean that there are not useful mutations occurring, for of course there are, but they are occurring at roughly the same rate they have always done, and what we perceive as the main problem is the effort of society to "keep pace" with the burgeoning informational sources and widening demands. Choices in this regard are always difficult because, of course, the culture does not tend to support them. However, exigencies of the present and future will tend to incline those capable of adapting to adapt, should they choose to do so.