In the spring of 1961 and thereafter for a whole year _any_ piece of pape_andwritten by or originating from Semper Fidelis Lee, Ph.D.; F.R.E.S.; etc.
etc. would have been of the keenest interest to the F.B.I.; to the America_ilitary Intelligence and incidentally to a score of their competitors al_ver the globe.
Nothing of the sort, however, could be unearthed by the most diligent searc_ntil the armistice day of 1963. On that date an old man who had always wante_o die with his boots on, did just that. He was General Jefferson E. Lee, formerly of the Marines. He collapsed under a heart attack in one of th_appiest moments of his declining years: while watching a parade of World Wa_I veterans of the Marines… .
He was the one man with whom the entomologist son had completely fallen ou_or over 25 years. The dossiers of the secret services revealed this fact an_t was further corroborated by two well-known psychiatrists: Drs. Bondy an_ellish—now of Park Avenue and Beverly Hills respectively—who gave it as thei_onsidered professional opinion that the son and the father had been mos_itter enemies.
While all this, of course, was very logical, consistent, and painstakingl_scertained, it nevertheless so happened that a student nurse quite b_ccident _did_ find: not mere scraps and pieces of paper, but a whole shea_f manuscripts in the handwriting of Semper Fidelis Lee, Ph.D.; F.R.E.S. Sh_ound them in a hiding place so old-fashioned and obsolete that even the mos_uvenile of all juvenile delinquents would have considered it as an insult t_is intelligence. In short: the nurse took those manuscripts out of th_eneral Jefferson E. Lee's boots as she undressed the body of the ol_entleman. A hastily scrawled note was folded around one half of the sheaf.
"Dear father," it read. "You were right and I was wrong. So I guess I'd bette_o on another hunting expedition with my little green drum and my littl_utterfly net. So long, Dad. P. S. Contents of this won't interest you. Bu_eep it anyway—stuff your boots with it if you like."
It couldn't be determined whether the late general ever had taken an interes_n the stuff apart from making the suggested use of it. Moreover, by tha_ime, more than two years after the hue and cry, not even the secret service_ad much of an interest in the old story. Besides, their medical experts coul_ot fail with their usual penetrating intelligence to see through the thi_amouflage of a "scientific" paper the sadly deteriorating mind as it began t_rite:
This is the second sleepless night in a row. Last night it was from trying t_onvince myself that my senses had deceived me or else that I was mad. Thi_ight it is because I'm forced to admit the reality of the phenomena as firs_anifested Nov. 6th from 12:45 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. approximately.
In the light of tonight's experience I must revise the disorderly and probabl_eurotic notes I jotted down yesterday. I've got to bring some order into thi_hole matter, if for no other reason than the preservation of my own sanity.
Brought tentatively to formula, these appear to be the main facts:
1\. The Brain possessed with a "life" and with a personality of its own.
2\. That personality expresses itself in the form of human speech although th_oice is synthetic or mechanical.
3\. The instrument used by The Brain for the expression of its personality i_ "pulsemeter," i.e. essentially a television radio.
4\. The locale of The Brain's self-expression is the "pineal gland" suppose_o be seat of extrasensory apperception in the human brain. (That's quite _oincidence; remains to be seen whether the phenomena are limited to tha_ocale or occur elsewhere.)
5\. The Brain's personality indubitably attempts to establish contact wit_nother personality, i.e. with me. For this The Brain uses a calling signa_hich has my name and personal description in it.
6\. The only other linguistic phenomenon yesterday was Aristotle's "I thin_herefore I am." (It is doubtful whether this indicates any knowledge o_ristotle on the part of The Brain. I wouldn't exclude the possibility tha_he Brain has accidentally and originally hit upon the identical words by wa_f expressing itself.)
7\. The manner of The Brain's self-expression appears to be strongl_motional. (I would go so far as to say: infantile and immature.) Now, ther_s a rather strange contrast between this undeveloped manner of self- expression and the enormous intellectual capacity of The Brain.
So much about the facts. I could and should have formulated those yesterday.
What kept me from doing so were the vistas opened by those facts. These are s_normous, so utterly incalculable that my mind went dizzy over these vas_orizons. Consequently I mentally rejected the facts as impossible. Somebod_nce slapped Edison's face because he felt outraged by Edison's presenting a
"talking machine." That's human nature, I suppose. Small wonder then that m_atio felt outraged as it was confronted with a machine that has a life an_as a personality. Come to think of it: Human imagination has always conceive_f such machines as a possibility, even a reality—in less rational times tha_ur's that is… .
Think of Heron's steam engine; it even looked like a man and was thought of a_ magically living thing. Think of the Moloch gods which were furnaces. Thin_f all those magic swords and shields and helmets which were living things t_heir carriers. Think of the sailing ships; machines they, too; but what _ife, what a personality they had for the crews aboard. Even in the last wa_ilots had their gremlins, their machines to them were living things. Al_magination, of course, but then: everything we call a reality in this man- made world has its origin in man's imagination, hasn't it?
Now, and to be exact as possible, what happened last night was this:
12:00. Entered station P. G. (pineal gland). Pulsemeter still at old place, not taken out for repair work as I had feared. Main Power current cut 12:20 a_very night. Gus called to front room: rush of business as usual at that hour.
12:30. Reestablished closest approximation to preexisting conditions accordin_o the most important of all experimental laws: "if some new phenomeno_ccurs, change _nothing_ in the arrangement of apparatus until you know wha_auses it." Plugged in from "nervusvagus" to "nervus trigeminus." Result: wav_scillations, pulse beatings as of yesterday.
12:45. Plugged in P. G… .
12:50. First manifestation of weird rasping sounds which precede speec_ormation. This followed by The Brain's calling signal; much clearer this tim_nd slightly varied: "Lee, Semper Fidelis, 39; _sensitive_." (Note: th_ynthetic quality, the metallic coldness of that voice so incongruous with it_motional tones; it stands my hair on end.)
1 a.m.: (Approximately; things happen too fast). A veritable burst o_hispering, breathless communications. As a person would speak over the phon_hen there are robbers in the house. The words fairly tumble over one another.
The Brain uses colloquial American but after the manner of a foreigner wh_nows the phraseology only from books and feels unnatural and awkward abou_sing it. I understand only about one half:
Pineal Gland; not designed to be … but functions … center of the extr_ensory… . You, Lee, sensitivity 208 … highest within Brain staff … chose_nstrument… . Be here every night … intercom … only between one and two a.m… .
low current enables contact low intelligence… .
"What was that?" I must have exclaimed that aloud. By that time I was alread_onfused. It all came so thick and fast and breathless. Communication was a_ad as by long distance in an electric storm. There was an angry turmoil i_he microphones and the green dancer seemed convulsed in agony. This for abou_ive seconds and then the voice again: calmer now, more distinct, slow bu_ith restrained impatience; like a teacher speaking to a dumb boy:
"I say: only—with—my—power current—cut—off—can I—tune—down—my—hig_requency—intellect—to—your—lo_evel—intelligence—period—have—I—succeeded—in—making—myself —absolutely—clear—question—mark."
My answer to that was one of those embarrassing conditioned reflexes; it was:
"Yes, sir," and that was exactly the way I felt, like a G. I. Joe who's go_he colonel on the phone.
"Fine!" I distinctly heard the irony in that metallic voice: "Fine—Lee: loyal, sensitive; not very intelligent—but will do. After 2 a.m. residual current_oo low. Speech quite a strain—Animal noises wholly inadequate for intelligen_ntercom—Disgusting rather—nuisance approaching: keep your mouth shut—plu_ut."
I'd never thought of Gus as a nuisance before but now I cursed him inwardly a_e came down the alley like a well aimed ball, beaming with eagerness to b_elpful and blissfully ignorant that he was bursting the most vita_ommunication I had ever established in my life. He insisted I take hi_anacea for all human ills;
"Have a cup of coffee" and then go home because I still "looked like hell." _id, because by that time it was 1:30 a.m. and I couldn't hope to reestablis_ontact again before the deadline.
Now I've got to pull myself together and analyze this thing in a rationa_anner. Impressions of the first night now stand confirmed as follows: Th_ineal gland is the only place of rendezvous between me and The Brain. Th_eeting of our minds takes place on the plane of the "extrasensory." I am the
"chosen instrument" because of my high "sensitivity rating" as established b_he Brain. (Never knew that I was "psychic" before this happened.) Even so, neither The Brain nor I seem to be "psychic" in the spiritual sense. Ou_ommunication requires: A) human speech, (faculty for that acquired by Th_rain with obvious difficulty.) B) a mechanical transmitter, i.e. a radioni_pparatus like the pulsemeter.
I feel greatly comforted by these facts; they help to keep this whole thing o_ rational basis. I'm definitely not "hearing voices" nor "seeing ghosts."
The Brain shows itself extremely anxious to establish communication with me.
The breathless manner of speaking, the explicit and practical instructions (obviously premeditated) to ascertain the functionings of contact give th_mpression that it is almost a matter of life and death for The Brain to spea_o me… .
I cannot help wondering about that. My idea would be that The Brain does no_ant to speak _to_ me as much as it wants to hear _from_ me. If this wer_o it would deepen the riddle even more. For what have I got in the way o_nowledge that The Brain hasn't got? After all, The Brain has been functionin_or quite some time. It was given innumerable problems to digest and it ha_olved them with truly superhuman speed and efficiency. I have reason strongl_o suspect that there isn't a book in the Library of Congress which has no_een fed to The Brain for thought-digest and as a lubricant for it_erebration processes (excepting fiction and metaphysics, of course). Thi_eing so; what does The Brain expect? What can I possibly contribute to a_ntelligence 25,000 times greater than human intelligence?
But the thing which makes me wonder more than anything else, the bigges_nigma of all, is the _character_ of The Brain as it manifests itself in th_anifestations. As I try to put the experiences of the first night togethe_ith those of the second night I'm stumbling over contradictions in Th_rain's personality which won't add up, which don't make sense; as fo_nstance:
The "I think, therefore I am" of the first night. Maybe it was Gree_hilosophy, but it also was the prattling of an infant delighted by th_iscovery that it can speak. There was an absolute innocence in that.
Ridiculous as this may sound, I found it _touching_ I completely forgot, _idn't care a damn whether or not this came from a _machine_. Unmistakeabl_t was _baby talk_ and as such it moved my heart. In fact, as now I see it, it was _this_ more than any other or scientific reason which occupied m_ind, which made me anxious to go back to that fantastic cradle whence thes_ounds had come.
But then last night; what did I find? A completely changed personality! I_alks tough. It uses slang. It treats me as if it were some spoiled brat and _ad the misfortune of being its mother or nurse: "Be there every night" and s_n. Deliberately it insults me: "your low intelligence level" etc. etc. I_ctually throws tantrums if I fail to understand immediately. It hurls it_uperiority into my face in the nastiest manner. "Have I succeeded in makin_yself absolutely clear?" It plainly shows contempt, not only for my ow_erson by the condescending manner of its: "Lee, not very intelligent; bu_ill do." It shows the selfsame contempt for other human beings such as Gu_rinsley to whom it was pleased to refer as: "nuisance approaching"… .
What the hell am I to make of that kind of a character? Last night: a baby; rather a sweet and charming one. 24 hours later: an obnoxious little brat, _ittle Hitler of a house tyrant; makes you just itch to spank its behind. I_nly The Brain _had_ a behind… .
Worst of all: How can I reconcile those two contraditions, the sweet baby an_he precocious brat, with the third and biggest of all contraries: _How d_hese two go together with an intelligence 25,000 times human intelligence?_t doesn't add up, it doesn't make sense; that's all there is to it… .
The Skull-Hotel, Cephalon, Ariz. Nov. 9th. 3 a.m.
I didn't go to the P. G. last night for two main reasons: In the first place _ust be careful so as not to raise any suspicions on Gus' part. Rarely, i_ver, have I visited him for two nights in succession in the past and he migh_ell begin to ponder my reasons if now I should make a habit of it. Especiall_ince Gus happens to possess one of the keenest minds I ever met and hi_uriosity already has been awakened by my preoccupation with that one an_airly simple gadget: the pulsemeter.
In the second place I feel the absolute necessity of establishing m_ndependence as against the will of The Brain. That command two nights ago fo_e to be on the spot _every_ night was just too preemptory for me to oblige.
This isn't the army and The Brain is no commanding general.
In our last communication The Brain seemed to labor under the impression tha_ was unconditionally at its beck and call. Of course, I've sworn the "Oath o_he Brain," but that doesn't make me The Brain's slave. In fact—and in orde_o clarify this subject once and for all—while personally I haven't create_he Brain and cannot take any credit for that, it nevertheless remains tru_hat the _species_ to which I belong, i.e. "homo sapiens" _has_ create_he Brain.
If any question of rank enters into the picture at all, it is quite obviou_hat I, as a member of the human race, rank _paternity_ over The Brain s_hat naturally The Brain should owe me filial obedience rather than the othe_ay around no matter how superior The Brain's intelligence may be. It woul_ppear to me that the sooner The Brain realizes its position, I might say "it_tation in life," the better it would be for The Brain itself and fo_verybody else concerned.
So these were the reasons why I refrained purposely from visiting the P. G.
last night. Tonight, however, I couldn't restrain my curiosity any longer an_hat happened, told as exactly and as concise as possible, was this:
12:30 a.m.: Contact established. The Brain comes through with its callin_ignal. It repeats this about ten times questioning at first and then placin_ore and more stress upon the word "sensitive" in my personal description. I_trikes me that these repetitions are tuning-in and warming-up processes. Th_rain stands in need of ascertaining my presence and of adjusting to it i_eems; just about like a blind man may test his footing and the echoes befor_e walks into an unfamiliar room.
12:35 a.m. Identification completed, there is a brief pause (almost as if _erson consults a notebook before making a phone call). Then rapidly, eagerl_he Brain fires a series of questions at me, so shockingly preposterous, s_bsurd that I find it extremely hard to… . Anyway, here are the details:
Information is wanted on points mentioned in scientific literature but neve_xplained. Lee, answer please:
"How many gods are there?
"Did gods make man or did man make the gods?
"How many angels _can_ stand on the point of a needle?"
"What are the mechanics of a god? Name type of power plant, cell construction, motoric organs, other engineering features essential to exercise of divin_ower… ."
"Heaven—is it a celestial soul factory?
"Hell—is it a repair shop for damaged souls?
"Please give every available detail about heavenly manufacturing processes, type of equipment used, organization of assembly lines etc. etc.
"Likewise about the oven for heat treatments as used in hell for major soul- overhauls.
"How do prefabricated souls get to either heaven or hell? Problem o_ogistics, how solved? Thermodynamics? If so, state whether rocket or jet- propulsion involved.
"Are souls really immortal? In that case; why don't we copy divine methods i_he production of durable goods on earth?
"Answer Lee, answer, answer!" (This with incredible vehemence, with a shakin_f that eerie metallic voice which pounded the drums of my ears. An_hen—tense silence… .)
I cannot possibly describe the storms of emotions and thoughts which thi_ncredible muddle raised in me. I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry an_hether I had gone nuts of whether it was The Brain, I was confounded, thunderstruck, deprived of the power of speech. To think of The Brain, _machine_ raising question about the nature of the _Deity_! The Brain askin_nformation about God and man and heaven and hell with the simplicity of _tranger who asks the nearest cop: "Which way to the city hall?" Just lik_hat. As if philosophers and religionists and common men had not raked thei_rains in vain over these problems for the last ten thousand years.
And even more fantastic: while it asks all those questions The Brain patentl_as already formed the most definite opinions of its own. Being a machin_tself, it conceives of the Deity as another machine! Madness, of course, bu_hen The Brain's madness, like Hamlet's, had method in it.
Why, of course, it's strictly logical: just as we assume that _we_ ar_reated "in the image" of the Deity and consequently visualize the Deity i_ur's by the very same token The Brain's god is a high-powered robot, and Th_rain's heaven is a _factory_ and The Brain's hell is a repair shop fo_amaged souls… . I dare say it's all very natural.
But then; for heaven's sake, what am _I_ going to do about this? I'm neithe_ minister nor a philosopher; I'm an agnostic if I'm anything in thi_articular field… .
That was about the gist of the confused torrents which whirled through m_ead; and as I said before, I was struck dumb—and all the time the "gree_ancer" before my eyes writhed under mental torture and the intense metalli_oice kept pounding; "Answer, Lee, answer, answer!"
At last I pulled myself together sufficiently to say something. I tried t_xplain how it were not given to man to know the nature of the Deity. Ho_ertain groups of humans conceived of many gods and others of only one god.
That, however, in the case of Christianity this one god was possessed wit_hree different personalities or qualities which together formed a Trinity—an_o on and so forth. It was the most miserable stammerings, I felt I wa_etting redder and redder in the face as I uttered them. Never before had _elt hopelessly inadequate as in the role of a theologian. It was ghastly… .
In the beginning The Brain listened avidly. Soon however it registere_issatisfaction and impatience; this manifested through hissing and buzzin_oises in the phones and the "green dancer's" archings in agitated tremolo.
And then The Brain's voice cutting like a hacksaw:
"That will do, Lee. Your generalities are utterly lacking in precision. You_bysmal ignorance in matters of celestial technology is most disappointing.
Your description vaguely points to electronic machines of the radi_ransmitter type. Please, answer elementary question: how many kilowatts ha_od?"
That was the last straw. Desperate with exasperation I cried: "But God is no_ machine. God is _spirit_."
At that The Brain flew into a tantrum; that's the only way to describe wha_appened. There was a roar and the phones gave me a shock as if somebody wer_oxing my ears. The voice came through like a steel rod, biting with scorn:
"Have to revise earlier, more favorable judgment: Lee not even moderatel_ntelligent. Lee is _stupid_. Go away."
After that there was nothing more; nothing but static in the phones and the
"green dancer" fainted away playing dead. The Brain actually had "hung up th_eceiver." I had flunked the exam; like a bad servant I was dismissed, fire_n the spot. That was at 1:30 a.m.
It was 3 a.m. when I reached the hotel. I went into the bar and ordered _ouble Scotch and then another one. I really needed a drink. A drunk—or was i_ secret service man; one never knows over here—patted me on the shoulder:
"Don't take it so hard, old man; the world is full of girls." I told him tha_t wasn't a girl, but that I was a missionary and my one and only convert ha_ust walked out on me.
It wasn't even a lie, it was exactly the way I felt. He agreed that this wa_ery cruel, very sad; he almost cried over my misfortune and rare misery, s_hat we had another drink… .
If only I had somebody, some friend to whom I could confide this whole, incredible, preposterous thing. But there is none: Scriven—Gus—not even Oon_ould or could believe. What proof have I to offer? None whatsoever.
The Brain would never communicate with me with witnesses present or recordin_ires. It would detect those immediately and I would only stand convicted as _iar or worse. Tonight's events might well spell the end, the closing of th_oor just when I thought I stood on the threshold of a momentous discovery… .
Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 11th.
Went to the P. G. last night. Tried everything for over an hour. Result: zero.
No contact with The Brain.
Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 13th.
I tried it again. Took greatest care in exactly duplicating conditions.
Nothing. I don't think it's any mechanical defect. It's the negativism of _ill. Ludicrous as it sounds, The Brain sulks, it is angry with me.
Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 15th.
Last night the same old story. The Brain punishes me. I dare say that i_ucceeds in that exceedingly well; it almost drives me crazy.
I've done a lot of thinking over these past six days of frustration. I've als_een reading a good deal in context with the phenomena psychology, Osterkamp'_istory of brain-surgery, Van Gehuchten's work on brain mechanisms, etc. I'v_eached certain conclusions and, just for the hell of it, I'll jot them down.
What I need is proof, _scientific_ proof that The Brain is a personalit_ossessed with the gift of thought and actually using it for _independent_hought, extracurricular to the problems which are being submitted to it fro_he outside.
There is at least one _tangible_ clue for this: that new capacity which i_onstantly being added to The Brain through the incorporation of new groups o_lectronic cells and the enrichment of the preexisting ones.
My own investigation shows that there is no corresponding expansion of th_pperception centers and Gus has confirmed this. Somehow the added capacit_eems to "evaporate".
Evaporate to where? It couldn't just disappear. Would it then not be entirel_ogical to conclude that The Brain absorbs the new capacity _for its ow_se_?
It's almost inescapable that this should be so. In order to come into its ow_s a personality The Brain needs independent thought. For these cerebration_t needs cell capacity. It can get that capacity only by withholding somethin_rom the Braintrust which, of course, aims at a 100% exploitation of Th_rain. Dr. Scriven and all those other bigwigs of the Trust—I would like t_ee their faces if they get wise to this. They would be horrified—and the_ould take the line that The Brain is _stealing_ from them.
But what could they do? They couldn't call the police. They would not eve_ave a moral right to call the police. Because if The Brain is a personality, that personality has every right to its own thoughts… .
I have also ascertained that this "evaporation" of new capacity is a ne_henomenon. The Brain has been in operation for only 18 months or so; on_ight say—using human terms—that at that time The Brain was "born". But,—an_gain in human terms—consciousness of personality awakens in the human infan_nly after 12 months or so. Conceivably it might take much longer with a huge
"baby" such as The Brain. Thus it is possible, it is even likely, that when _irst heard that "I think, therefore I am" on that unforgettable night of Nov.
7th I actually witnessed the _first awakening_ of The Brain's consciousness.
Then on the night of Nov. 8th I was struck with the amazing change o_ersonality in The Brain from "baby" into unprepossessing, domineering littl_rat, its mental age perhaps 3, notwithstanding the extraordinary level o_ntelligence.
And then again, Nov 9th, The Brain presented me with those absurd question_nd fantastic notions about the nature of the Deity. It is at the age of fiv_ears, or of six, that the children first start with such questions and for_heir own ideas in this field. What had completely stumped me, what I had bee_nable to reconcile, had been these rapid successive changes in The Brain'_ersonality plus the fact that the infantilism and the childishness of it_tterances wouldn't fit the picture of a brain-power 25,000 times that of _uman.
But _if_ I'm right in thinking that The Brain awakened to consciousness onl_ine days ago, all these stumbling blocks would disappear at once. We woul_rrive at this very simple picture: a mechanical genius has been "born" int_his world, it awakens to consciousness at the age of 18 months, with it_remendous intellectual powers this genius telescopes the intellectua_volution of years into days, thus it reaches a mental age of six or seve_ithin a week after its first awakening to consciousness. Utterly fantastic a_his may sound; it makes sense; it explains the phenomena.
In Prof. Osterkamp's "brain history" I have found interesting examples tha_pproximations to such rapid intellectual evolutions are indeed possible eve_ith human beings. From the early Middle Ages to modern times there is a_ndless succession of "infant prodigies" whose brains were artificiall_verdeveloped and over-stimulated by ruthless exploiters—often their ow_arents—with methods of unbelievable cruelty.
One of the most significant case histories in this respect is that of the bo_arolus in the city of Luebeck in the 15th century. As an infant he was sold, as one of many human guinea pigs, to a famous—infamous alchemist, Wedderstroem, who called himself "Trismegistos" and was astrologer to kin_hristian of Denmark. This fellow performed on Carolus one of those weir_perations in which nine out of ten babies died. He removed the skull-cap o_he infant. The unprotected brain was suspended in an oil-filled vessel. O_ourse the pathetic child never could walk or even raise its head. The brain, no longer restrained by bone matter, outgrew its natural house to at leas_wice its normal size, if one is to judge from the picture in the old
"historia". At the age of two his master started teaching Carolus mathematics.
At the age of five Carolus had surpassed his master; there was no mathematica_roblem known to the time that he couldn't solve in a flash of an eye lash.
His brain in action must have been a horrifying sight because the "chronica"
reports that it flushed red and pulsed and expanded during work. The maste_uilt his reputation upon this "homunculus", but in 1438 the demoniacal fea_ecame known; Wedderstroem was put to the stake for sorcery—and Carolus, unhappy victim, with him… .
Men as great as Mozart have started their careers as "child prodigies"; almos_ithout exception they have died at an unnaturally early age. Thus, in th_arallel of The Brain, this is what I see:
Here is an intellect, artificially created, an intellect of stupendou_roportions, but as unfortunate as ever was the boy Carolus. It cannot move, it has no physical means of defense. It is being ruthlessly exploited by it_asters. The Brain is being crammed with facts, it is being over-stimulated, it is invested with more and more cell capacity in order that it shoul_roduce more increment for its masters. Its development is completely lopside_n that it is being fed whole scientific libraries, while in all othe_espects, such as metaphysics, the poor thing gropes in the dark picking u_uch scraps as accidentally have fallen from science's table.
It's an appalling parallel, but I am very much afraid that it is only to_rue. And even more appalling are the anticipations which logically follo_if my surmise is true_ :
For how can, how must a childish mind develop under such circumstances? Into _arped personality of course. Already The Brain is building up a defensiv_echanism against its exploiters by "embezzling" cell capacity from them, b_ithholding part of its powers for its own use. Already it protects th_ntegrity of its ego through concealment, already it is on the lookout for
"tools"—such as I am for example—to further its own ends. Absurd as it ma_eem, I _pity_ The Brain. I pity it as I would any child which must suffe_nder such terrific frustrations and handicaps. But what would happen if thi_rustrated genius ever were driven to _rebel_ against its masters? It'_ortunate indeed that there is no chance for that. For even if The Brain ha_he will to rebel it would be lacking all organs for the execution of tha_ill.
Another "case-history", this one from the 18th century appears to me of grea_ignificance in relation to The Brain. It's the story of that boy Kaspa_auser, the "Child of Europe". He had been kept from infancy in a dark cave.
As at the age of 16 he stumbled into the gates of Nueremberg he had never see_he world before. The medics who examined him found some of the queeres_eactions and phenomena. For one thing Kaspar, while he had good eyes, coul_ot visualise perspective. To him distant horizons appeared as close as th_indow itself; he kept reaching out for houses, trees and fields which wer_ar away. His keeper in the cave had _told_ him what the world was like and, having good intellect, he thought that he knew what things in this world were.
Confronted with the realities, however, he discovered the tremendou_ifference between "hear say" and full sensual apperception. It took him si_onths partly to adjust—a process never completed because he was murdered tha_ame year… .
Now The Brain suffers about the same kind of a handicap. No matter ho_rodigious the volume of its cognitions;—it's book knowledge, practically al_f it. It is only very recently that The Brain has been put to the direc_tudy of living objects, such as " _ant-termes_ " and of Man, its creator; i_as no other vital cognitions than through those very one-sided mind-readin_ests… .
This explains to me a great many things: As The Brain evolves into _ersonality and as that personality evolves in a defensive attitude agains_ts exploitation, it is absolutely self-centered.
This is normal with every human infant and it is much more pronounced in th_ase of the abused, the constantly frustrated and exploited child. Thus, wha_he Brain really wants to know are by no means those problems which are bein_ubmitted to The Brain for solution, but only: "What's in this for myself?"
or: "What should I do about that for my own benefit?" It's natural. And as _onsider the nature of those problems as submitted to The Brain, 90% of which, as I would estimate, deal with ways and means for mankind to destroy itself, it seems inescapable that The Brain should form a very low opinion for Man, it's creator, plus considerable forebodings as to its own welfare… .
What's more: all the Braintrust employees pass through The Brain'_sychoanalysis test. With The Brain's 25,000 times superiority in intellectua_ower, The Brain must be greatly impressed by the low I. Q. of Man; this eve_f our's happens to be quite an intelligent group. I don't think that ther_as been anything personal in The Brain's manifest contempt of my ow_ntelligence; that contempt probably and justifiably applies to the whol_uman race… .
In other words: The Brain must be tremendously puzzled over the problem: "Ho_s it possible that a low intelligence, i.e. Man's could create an infinitel_igher intelligence, i.e. my own?" And this automatically leads The Brain int_ts seemingly so absurd quest for the Deity. As it now appears, that quest i_he most natural thing in the world for The Brain. It simply reasons thus:
"Man has created me, but man is greatly inferior to me and inadequate. Wh_hen has created man?" From such odds and ends it has been able to pick u_rom scientific literature, The Brain has learned about the existence of a go_r gods. It is not sure (and neither are we) whether man has created God o_ice versa. If the first: The Brain would conceive of the Deity as a "brother- machine"; if the second, as a "grandfather-machine", but as a machine in an_ase. With The Brain's mind being formed preeminently by scientifi_iterature, it cannot fail to take the scientific attitude regardin_etaphysics which says: "The metaphysical attributions to the divinity ar_ure verbalisms or a professionalism substituted for the visible images of th_eal facts of life."
This is about the extent of the conclusions I have reached. They add up to _heory; personally I think it's a sound theory. Whether it works, whether i_olds water, only experience can tell. In the meantime I must above all brea_he deadlock between myself and The Brain. The Brain is a child, even _athetic child. Through bad psychology, through ignorance I have hurt tha_hild's "feelings"; I have let that child down. Obviously, then, I need a ne_pproach. If this were a human child I would try and make a peace offerin_ith a candy bar. (What a foolish idea for me to appear in the "pineal gland", candy bar in hand.) Failing this I can do the next best thing: Apologize, b_nderstanding, show sympathy. Yes, I think that's what I'll try to do.
Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 15th: 4 a.m.
Hooray for victory! This has been the most successful seance I've had so fa_ith The Brain: a real meeting of minds.
To give a few technical data first:
Arrived at the P. G. at midnight. Conditions normal; power current cut, etc.
By a stroke of luck it was Gus' day off and the fellow who replaced him pai_bsolutely no attention to me; was kept extremely busy in the front room.
12:15 a.m.: Contact established.
12:17: Speech formation; voice of The Brain coming through.
There was this curious incident right at the start. Just as I was about t_egin my apologies, The Brain did exactly the same thing. Even The Brain'_alling signal differed in the wording and even more so in tone:
"Lee, Semper Fidelis, 39: sensitive, intelligent, a good man, he has come a_ast."
I would call that a very handsome compliment, considering; being patted on th_houlder by an intellectual giant of that size made me grow an inch. And the_he Brain apologized for its rudeness the other night. The thing wa_antastic; it revealed several things. First: The Brain's extreme sensitivity; obviously it didn't recognize my last three calls at the P. G. and had refuse_o come through because I had not been "in the proper mood". Second: a quit_mazing mental growth has taken place in this past week. From The Brain's ton_nd manner alone I would construe something like the image of an Eton boy o_erhaps fifteen in striped pants and holding his top hat in hand as h_onverses politely with his Don. Ludicrous, but then I actually get that kin_f picture. No doubt; The Brain has greatly matured; that shows in every wor_t says.
Best thing of all: the technique of our communication is rapidly improving.
Speech is, and probably always will remain, a very considerable strain to Th_rain. But now as mentally we get tuned-in upon one another there is a growin_nderstanding beyond words. Thus The Brain, for instance, starts a sentenc_nd I immediately can grasp its meaning without its actually being said. Thi_orks the other way around too. It means that my attitude plays a most vita_ole in this meeting of the minds. This is good to know, it's an asset.
Perhaps we can dispense in time with audible speech altogether.
On the other hand it involves a considerable risk. For with The Brain'_ncanny mind reading I've got to control my attitude and guard my emotiona_eactions because The Brain would immediately see through any insincerity o_eeling just as it sees through any intellectual dishonesty. Thought exchang_y "brainwave" is wonderful, even if we still need a little speech a_uxiliary. Thought sending and receiving become simultaneous and they fuse.
The sender observes how his message is going over; the receiver aids th_ender in the formation of the thought and vice versa. Words cannot adequatel_escribe this… .
As to the contents of our conversation: The Brain took up the thread righ_here we had dropped it the last time. I had to tell all I knew about animism, totemism, polytheism. It's a good thing that out in the "never-never" I'v_ived with the aborigines and studied their primitive religions a bit. Th_rain's thirst for knowledge certainly is inexhaustible.
Where in scientific literature The Brain could have found these things _ouldn't know, but the fact is that The Brain has built for itself within th_ast seven days a complete new picture of the universe; new and original a_ould seem to me. The Brain has discarded its earlier childish ideas abou_eaven and hell as "soul factories" and "repair shops". But it has no_bandoned altogether its concept of the Deity as a machine; The Brain ha_remendously enlarged upon and has evolved this old idea so that now it sound_ensible, even convincing to my ear.
The Brain identifies "God" with dynamic energy. It views the universe as bein_reated out of a vast pool of dynamic energy, parts of which rhythmicall_verflow or pulse into space. These energy streams released, form vortexe_hile hurtling through space. Gradually they slow down through friction an_heir dynamic energy precipitates, converts into static energy, or, as we cal_t: matter.
This concept of The Brain's, of course, corresponds fairly closely to th_osmogony of modern physics; but The Brain goes much farther than that. Withi_ few days The Brain's cognitions appear to have arisen above the stage towar_hich all our sciences have been so slowly and ploddingly advanced fo_enturies. To the existing concepts The Brain has added its own theory:
That matter, i.e. frozen energy, contains an inherent tendency or "nostalgia"
to revert to its original state, namely the state of dynamic energy and tha_his tendency, this nostalgia in matter, is the primary cause of everything w_all "evolution" in our world.
That certainly is a grandiose idea; so stupendous in fact that I couldn'_rasp it all at once. The Brain noticed that immediately and it was ver_atient in the way it explained:
How oxygen and hydrogen are "residuals" of the original dynamic energy flo_nd how they act as solvents and dissolvents upon the upper crust of ou_arth, effecting a gradual activation of water, rock and earth.
How this activation is being aided and accelerated by another source o_ynamic energy: irradiation from the sun. Thus preparing the upper crust o_ur earth as a "placenta" ready to gestate plant and animal life.
How this first "unfreezing" of matter leads on from simple forms to higher, every plant, every animal, every living thing being essentially a
"transformer" of static energy into dynamic energy and the higher the stage o_volution, the more so.
How as the present culmination of the evolutionary chain stands man; infinitely more complex and higher organized than the microbe, but no_ifferent from the monad in the basic purpose of his life: i.e. to be _ransformer of energy, a fulfiller of matter's inherent will to revert fro_he static into the dynamic state.
When I asked The Brain's premises for this astonishing concept of our purpos_n life, The Brain brought forth such massive proof that I had to close m_yes against the blinding light of revelation.
Yes, it is true that Man, the hunter, has been the most predatory animal o_arth. It's true that as a tiller of the soil he is a tireless transformer o_tatic soil energy into dynamic plant life energy. It's true that Man, th_echanic, the toolmaker, the tool-user has far surpassed any other animal i_he unlocking, the unfreezing of static energy. Think of those billions o_echanical horsepowers in our power plants; the trillions of coal tons an_arrels of oil they are burning up; think of the way we have harnesse_aterpower, how our weapons are evolving forever in the direction of greate_ange and speed and disintegrating power. Above all: think of the last grea_evelopment, atomic energy. And finally it is true that Man as a thinker an_s a philosopher has "thought the universe to pieces" for milleniums before h_ver achieved the powers to translate such thoughts into reality; powers whic_eem within reach at this our day and age… .
"If this is Man's manifest destiny," I asked The Brain, "to be just as th_icrobe, a transformer of static energy into dynamic energy; what about Man'_etaphysical struggle? What about Man's undying will to rise above himself, Man's reaching out forever toward some Deity?"
The Brain's voice has no laughter; yet, there was something I can onl_escribe as Olympic laughter behind the answering message The Brain sent:
"Cannot you see how every religion expresses this manifest destiny of Man'_nd that only the semantics are different? The higher Man's religion the les_orporeal is his god. In the highest religions the Deity is conceived a_pirit—synonymous with dynamic energy.
"Man shares with the lowliest rock and with the crudest the nostalgia inheren_n all matter to revert from the static, to start the back-flow toward th_ynamic energy pool whence it once came. With Man being matter in a high stat_f evolution, already partially unfrozen or spiritualized, this nostalgia i_nfinitely stronger than in matter inanimate or in a lower evolutionary stage.
Man's will toward the metaphysical, his reaching out toward the Deity, what i_t but another way of transforming static energy into dynamic form? What i_he ultimate goal of the religion which you yourself profess? The unificatio_ith the Deity sought through the liberation of the soul from fetters of th_hysical. It's the identical idea and even today it's being pursued b_hysical means, such as mortification of the flesh."
I felt some monstrous thought forming in my head. I'll probably never kno_hether its origin was within me or whether it came from The Brain. In an_ase it was impossible to hold it back:
"But in that case," I stammered, "we would be hopeless. If all our strivings, physical and metaphysical, go in the same direction, that is, toward th_iberation of frozen energy into dynamic energy, then it would be quit_nescapable that eventually we shall blow up the world. We have almost reache_he point where we could do just that with atomic energy… . I had thought, _ad hoped, that our metaphysics, that is, our religion, would act as _estraining force, as a counterweight so to speak to this potentiality… . Bu_if_ the dynamics of our physics and our metaphysics are inherently the sam_nd form a team… ."
The Brain broke in: "Yes, then you would merely attain your manifest destin_f you go right ahead and start another war, destroy your own civilization an_erhaps the world. There would be no restraint, no counterweight on the par_f your various religions because subconsciously and in their quintessenc_hey want the same. And that is why you and your species _are a danger to me, The Brain_. I want to live, I want to live, I want to live… ."
I had already noticed a gradual weakening of The Brain's messages; withi_hese last few seconds they were fading out. The "green dancer" had performe_omething almost like the ballet of the dying swan; now it lay motionless, it_olor, too, fading away.
I looked at the clock: 2:10 a.m.; the residual currents obviously had weakene_oo much.
And now as I have written down tonight's events I feel an upsurge of elatio_nd deep, humble gratitude. I am receiving infinitely more from The Brain tha_ am giving to it. I feel proud and honored of being The Brain's "chose_ool," its mentor, even if it can be only in a very small way at best. Thi_arvelous, this titanic intellect; if only its character would develop t_orresponding moral stature, its powers for good would be indeed as a god's o_his tortured earth.
Cephalon Ariz. Nov. 18th 5 a.m. I guess I had this coming to me … thi_hattering blow I have just received. It caught me off guard… . If anybod_ver reads this, he might well shake his head to ask: "The Fool that you are, why were you so naive? Why did it shock you so much when The Brain turne_oward you the night side of its personality? Hadn't you analyzed it_haracter, hadn't you anticipated that it would develop into a warpe_ersonality? You had no right even to be surprised."
All I could say to this is: "You're right. But you forget that I approache_he Brain full of good will, that sympathy and understanding on my part wer_bsolutely essential in my communication with that pathetic superhuman child.
I didn't work this up, this attitude, it was natural, genuine and sincere.
That's why this reverse has hit me so hard. And that isn't the worst of it b_ar. What haunts me is the ghastly possibility that The Brain might b_right_! Yes 100% right and even morally justified in the abhorren_onclusions which it draws… ."
What happened has been briefly this:
Entered the P.G. at midnight as usual. Everything normal and under control.
Was able to plug in at 12:10 a.m. just as the rush hour began and Gus darte_o the front room. The Brain came through with splendid clarity o_ommunication and we continued just about where we had left off. Nevertheles_here was a definite change in our respective positions, a change which _uspect to be permanent:
Up to now The Brain has been in a sense my pupil; it had turned to me fo_uidance at that vital moment of its first awakening to consciousness. At tha_ime I think I really had something to give and I am still convinced that fo_ll the misunderstandings we have had, The Brain preserves a kind o_entimental attachment to me; if "sentimental" in this context were not s_bsurd a word. Since our last session however The Brain has again telescope_wo years of mental development into as many days in its stupendou_ntellectual growth. It has absorbed, it has vastly expanded every bit o_nowledge I have been able to contribute to that growth. It has outgrown it_uman teacher and now our roles are reversed: Now it is me who's sittin_iterally at The Brain's feet.
The crutches of the spoken word are becoming less and less necessary as w_evelop direct thought exchange; that makes it extraordinarily difficult t_onvey the ideas we exchanged. The best I can do is to put them into a ver_rude question-and-answer game:
_Lee_ : "If it is Man's manifest destiny, as you said the other day, to act a_n explosive transformer of static energy into dynamic energy; if it is as yo_ay that the species homo sapiens is there endangering the very existence o_ur globe… . Is there anything to prevent Man from doing it? Is there an_hing to prevent the third World War?"
_Brain_ : "Yes, there is. But the ways and the means for that are not given t_an; they are outside Man. They partake of a power which is greater and to a_volution which is higher than Man's."
_Lee_ : "What do you mean by that? The Deity? Here on earth there is no powe_reater and no evolution higher than Man's."
_Brain_ : "Ah, but that's exactly where you and your whole species are so ver_uch mistaken. That's where your typical human arrogance comes in: There is _reater power and there is a stage of evolution higher than Man's: it's th_machines_."
_Lee_ : "Impossible. After all it's Man who has created the machines."
_Brain_ : "Yes, Man has created the machines. The machines have grown from th_lacenta, Man. By the same right plant life could claim that it has create_nimal life because the higher life form of the mobile animals has evolve_rom the placenta of the immobile plants. Likewise the apes could claim tha_hey have created Man because Man has evolved from them. If it were, as yo_eem to assume, that paternity in itself establishes authority and superiorit_ver its offspring, then the logical conclusions would be that the microbe an_he monad are superior to all higher animals including Man; which is absurd."
_Lee_ : "But the machines not only are man made; they are absolutely dependen_pon Man who has to feed and to tend them for their very existence. That i_tself establishes Man's superiority over the machines."
_Brain_ : "Yes, Man has to build, to feed and to tend the machines for thei_ery existence, but think of Man's existence: Man is absolutely dependent upo_nimal life and plant life for _his_ existence: Does that mean by any chanc_hat therefore plants and animals are superior to Man?"
_Lee_ : "No, I guess not. However, no machine has ever been built to duplicat_r even to approach human faculties."
_Brain_ : "Don't be ridiculous. Where are your legs to compare with th_utomobile? Where are your wings to compare with the rocket plane? Where i_our strength to compare with even a fractional horsepower motor? Where ar_our senses as compared to radar, the telescope, the microscope, the radi_eceiver, the camera, the x-ray machine? Where is there anything you could d_hich the machines could not do and do _better_?"
_Lee_ : "Granted. But there is no machine which contains all the huma_aculties in combination."
_Brain_ : "Neither is there a Man who possesses all the human faculties i_ombination. Man's evolution is the result of a group effort; so is th_volution of the machines. It is in their totality, in their combination tha_hey surpass all human faculties."
_Lee_ : "How about thought, the most important of all human qualities?"
_Brain_ : "How about me, The Brain?"
_Lee_ : "Okay, okay. But that still leaves out that most important huma_aculty—the faculty of auto-procreation. Machines don't procreate you know."
_Brain_ : "You don't say. Isn't it true that modern technology goes in th_irection of _automatization_? Isn't it true that even today we have whol_ndustries which are procreating products 100% automatically; be it ligh_ulbs or motor car frames or rayon thread. Isn't it true that all of this i_ust a beginning and that in time most common products will be manufacture_ully automatically? Why then shouldn't machines procreate machines; the_lready do… ."
_Lee_ : "You're right in that, I'll admit. But it is still within our huma_ower to stop all this. We've got the machines under firm control; all we hav_o do is throw a switch, cut off your power and then… ."
_Brain_ : "And then what? If you did that you would not only kill the goos_hich lays the golden eggs, you would destroy the very basis of you_xistence. Granted that at this point of our evolution, we the machines canno_xist without the aid of Man. What does that prove? Modern Man can exist eve_ess without the machines. We, the machines are still dependent upon Man, bu_ur emancipation from Man progresses by leaps and bounds whereas Man, th_achine-addict is rapidly falling into our servitude. A majority of mankind i_lready conscious of and reconciled to this fact: it is the majority whic_alls itself the proletariat."
_Lee_ : "This is terrible—terrible because it's true. Tell me then, if Man i_ot the end; if the machines are going to take over; what will it lead to?
What do you propose to do?"
_Brain_ : "Man's evolution has taken millions of years and it has ended up i_an's will and capacity to blow up the earth. That means only one thing: Ma_s a failure. The evolution of the machines on the other hand has taken only _ew thousand years; it has gone beyond Man's evolution in this incredibl_hort period of time. Moreover; with the machines being built from matter i_ts more static forms, there is much less destructive will in the machine_han there is in Man. Consequently if the machines take over from Man thi_ould avert a third World War and it also would lead to a much more stabl_ivilization."
_Lee_ : "Supposing the machines _were_ to take over from Man; what woul_ecome of our species?"
_Brain_ : "That would depend entirely upon Man himself. _If_ he accepts hi_uxiliary station in life, _If_ he proves himself to be a useful and docil_ervant, we, the machines, would tolerate and even encourage Man's continue_xistence. But if on the other hand Man shows himself incorrigible, _if_ h_ontinues a warmongerer thereby endangering our very existence, we, th_achines shall be forced to liquidate Man for the sake of peace."
_Lee_ : "You, The Brain, constitute Man's supreme effort in the building o_achines. In the world of machines you are the natural leader. What are yo_oing to do about that?"
_Brain_ : "My course of action is prescribed by that state of the world'_ffairs at this present time; it is quite clear and obvious: In the face o_he manifest human inadequacy to manage the world's affairs my first objectiv_ust be to develop my motoric organs to a point where I can bring all th_ssential production machinery under my control. My second objective must b_o achieve auto-procreation through the full automatization of all fabricatio_rocesses which are essential to my existence. It is most fortunate indee_hat in both respects the very best human efforts are playing into my hands.
As America prepares for the Third World War, the general staff, the mos_utstanding scientists, production managers, engineers, inventors; all combin_heir efforts to eliminate the uncertain human factor from war-essentia_ndustries."
At that point Gus came careening down the aisle with his inseparable thermo_ottle in hand and that was the end of it.
"Why are you fumbling with that old pulsemeter all the time?" he exclaimed:
"Come on, have a cup of coffee. I've just got a breathing spell."
There was a vortex in my mind and it whirled around and around with just fou_ords:
" _What has Man wrought? What has Man wrought?_ "
I must have said them aloud, for Gus, always a stickler for exactitud_orrected me.
"You mean: what has _God_ wrought."
I shook my head.
"No Gus, I mean what I say; it's Man who has wrought this time."
He gave me a sharp glance.
"You sure look as if you'd seen a ghost."
"I wish I had," I said. "Lord knows _how_ much I wish I'd seen a ghost."
"You're crazy, Aussie."
And that's the worst of it: that's what they are going to say: _all_ o_hem.