For Jonas Salk (One of the world’s pre-eminent biologists), change has been the order of the day: „The natural selective pressure will now favor one who not only accepts change but welcomes it and contributes to it.“ On the other hand, Salk realizes that change has also become man’s „principal problem.“ – From: MAN UNFOLDING, Harper Row, 1972, p. 11
This business of change and choice is obviously about bringing „consonance“ between man’s outer environment and his inner self. Salk believes that at birth each of us essentially are a „package of potential.“
And this ‚potential‘ directly relates to change and choice. It’s about mastering our destiny, according to Salk.
Harkening to our individual and collective potentiality, Salk says that „each new human individual and each new generation possesses a capacity to respond to ‚callings‘ which are, in effect, purposes and goals.“ He infers within our potential, individually, that we acknowledge different interests and desires that have to be satisfied. Salk sincerely believes that there is a real need, biologically, to „know thyself“.
It’s a fact, that „contemplation, abstract thought, science and technology“ have finally appeared in man, and Salk asks: then what is the nature and meaning of these abilities?
David Bohm: „Now the cortex appeared rather suddenly. The reptilian and mammalian brains came into equilibrium with their surroundings and were more or less suited to them. Then suddenly the cortex appeared. The mammalian brain with its emotional response responded to the environment and it worked, statistically. But now it’s surrounded by the new brain. It’s a different environment and it doesn’t work because of simple reasons. The new brain can produce images which are very convincing to the old brain. The old brain does not actually see these objects but the whole body still responds in a way which corresponds to the object. The old brain knows how to get correspondingly stirred up in response to a lion and it says „run“. Or something nice appears and it says „go there“. The new brain, however, can produce images, which means not just pictures but stirring up the whole system as if there were that thing present. The old brain doesn’t look out to see whether it’s there or not. It can’t. It just gets stirred up. So therefore it can say those images are irresistible. Either it says I want them or they frighten me or they make me enraged or whatever. However, the new brain is functioning in the environment of the old brain. Namely, all the neurochemicals and so on come from there. All the desire and all the energy to do something comes from there…..The new brain gets hooked; it gets habituated into providing the old brain with the thoughts that will lull it into a good feeling. “