My intent (whim) has been to awaken parents from the spell and implicit trap created by our cultural identity. I would not have described it as such twenty years ago, but that is an up-to-date and accurate description.

By encouraging adults to become more aware of our self-generated trap we might free the children who come under our spell and with that, culture, or at least lessen the entrapment produced by the enchantment. After all; kids are not the problem. Child development is dependent on adult development.

This spell or enchantment is the normal and natural function of the relatively new neocortex, the 3rd brain using Paul D. MacLean’s triune brain model.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice symbolizes our immature mastery of the image making power generated by this 3rd brain complex. The imagery produced by this center is so vast and so new biologically that we simply get caught, again and again, in the images we create, forgetting that we have created them. Not a good thing given the creative power these images represent, which is what the Sorcerer symbolizes.

Breaking the spell requires attention. With complete attention to what is not produced by the reflexive churning of this 3rd brain complex, the enchantment is broken, resulting in a state of great sensitivity, expansive empathic awareness and appropriate intelligence uncontaminated by defensive, self-serving images; patriotism, nationalism, racism, dogma induced comparisons, beliefs; religious and otherwise, one’s score, rank, social status, political or gang affiliations, or in general what others may think of us, their rewards, shames and punishments.

Uncontaminated attention is indeed critical and provides a deep and profound context to measure the rise of attention deficits and harmful effect of counterfeit images produced by technology. Technologically produced images flood the brain displacing our own Sorcerers’ potential, rendering us impotent and addicted to the counterfeit.

We might use the word sane in place of uncontaminated attention, and insane to describe attention that is polluted with semantic, culturally generated images especially when these include images of self.

David Bohm, Krishnamurti and a few others recognized the ‘relative’ nature of what we call consciousness. Each of the major brain complexes generate a unique form of imagery, which we perceive as reality. The more complex the brain complexes, the more dimensional and abstract one’s reality becomes. We can and do use multi-dimensional images to navigate the world we inhabit and have done so for millions of years. So far so good. 50,000 years ago – give or take – we developed the neocortex and then the prefrontals (if we are lucky) and our inner semantic-world exploded.

So rich and enchanting are the images produced by this latest complex that the previous systems quickly became overloaded by the novel reality being conjured, imagined and invented. Day by day the spell grew more and more convincing. Lost in the distant mist was the vague realization that we are self-generating the spell. That too needed attention to ‘see.’ Alas this attention too was caught up in the enchantment. Turning this image-making-generator on itself, the system conjured, fabricated another reality. It created an unseen thinker, a presumed supreme independent entity that was producing all this – and the poor image making system was left to believe it was simply, mechanically, doing what it was told. Ah, the plot thickens.

As this assumed entity-reality grew in power IT became all important, demanding the sensory motor complex and the limbic complex fight to the death to protect the inner deity’s sovereign identity. Bigger and fatter, more self-obsessed, greedy, jealous, judgmental and powerful the phantom grew gobbling up resources, diminishing the input from the more primitive brain complexes, and like a cancer using up all the attention and resources needed to unfold and develop the even more advanced prefrontal complex, the seat of altruism, the mystical and self-less compassion with its own unique imagery-intelligences. The upward expansive evolutionary thrust into ever more abstract and whole realities collapsed in the selfish sinkhole the phantom entity is. OK, a bit dramatic but somewhat accurate.

On the one hand we have the normal sane functioning of the various brain complexes and their related image-realities. Then somewhere along the developmental path the system lost track of what it is doing and begins self-generating all sorts of images predicated on an illusory independent phantom. Ops: ‘Huston, we have a problem.’

As long as this phantom is active the systems, above and below are operating on, with complete confidence, the misinformation and propaganda generated by a trusted complex gone haywire.
We then have two core realities, one that is produced by the illusory phantom, which must be defended to death, and the other, navigating with a compass that is more or less true, assuming the prescribe lube and oil changes have been maintained. These two realities are fundamentally incompatible, each pointing to the other as being insane.

Now – the interesting thing is – and get this – once the phantom is created and granted independent reality status – IT can’t correct the problems IT produces, no matter how hard IT tries.

And what exactly is IT? Who you ‘think’ you are, your cultural identity, the part of you that gets embarrassed, feels shame, not good enough or is proud, jealous, arrogant, greedy and violent. That composite inner image is IT.

Being The Sorcerer’s Apprentice we mistakenly project this collective inner image outward and call it culture where it grows and is compounded generation after generation becoming a mirror, infecting the next generation with the same enchanting trap.

The question is, of course: how do we break the spell?