Evil is essentially a zoological phenomenon usually known as parasitism and ever since Sigmund Freud has the secular world beyond Rabbinic Judaism been aware that individual human consciousness is divided into two parts, the conscious and the subconscious. Yet what is exactly the subconscious?
The fundamental problem with the science of psychology as it has developed is its humanist ideological bias which is highly problematic considering that humanism is a form of racial supremacism underpinning vast contemporary crimes against non-human persons. Its focus on human cognition means that human cognition is typically investigated almost entirely separately from non-human cognition. The field of psychology is also superficial in the sense that it mostly does not investigate the nature of exchange of communication between individual agents of cognition but rather studies the Eurocentric (Para-Christian) culturally specific phantasmatic social construction of the subject in splendid isolation indeed.
There is no reason beyond religious mythology to assume that the experience of cognition differs much between different species. There are vast individual psychometric differences between individual persons but psychometric differences of e.g. personality types exist across physically defined species. Even among humans themselves is the experience of cognition very similar irrespective of individual psychometric differentiation.
Then what is communication and how is it even possible for agents of cognition to communicate among themselves? As there is much easily physically observable subconscious communication would it be difficult to claim that the subconscious is merely some descartian animal automata of mere instincts since intuitive/unintentional behavior is complex, rich and diverse in ranging from the ill-advised to the wise.
How then does communication between between the respective subconscious of different persons occur? Romantic infatuation is an instructive example where inter-subconscious communication appears and where the infatuated parties introject each other’s emotions and come to usually temporarily think of those emotions as their own. Something similar typically happens in a heated argument where a victim may introject the aggressive emotions of a psychological aggressor. The use of the particularly well-documented defense mechanism of introjection/projection is therefore how subconscious communication between agents of cognition is performed. Defense mechanisms essentially exist so as to protect agents of cognition from subconscious communication as leading to harmful introjection just as physical nerves protects an organism from physically dangerous situations.
Trauma is an adaptive strategy whereby the agent of cognition neurocognitively learns by trial and error as to what type of encounter/action constitutes a dangerous and even potentially life-threatening situation and the trauma subsequently protects the agent of cognition in similar situations in the future.
Savant syndrome is important in this context in that persons with savant skills to varying extent have conscious access to their respective subconscious. About 50% of all persons with Savant skills have some kind of Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), yet only about 10% of all persons diagnosed with ASD have savant skills. It is since long well documented that extensive brain damage in certain exceptional cases may cause the appearance of savant skills in a patient although it should be pointed that Savant syndrome itself is not a medical condition.
Research in birds have documented that birds have photographic memory as indicating that birds have far more access than humans to their respective individual subconscious. Although cognition is a universal phenomenon among animal persons to the full inclusion of human animals must we therefore not conclude that the relationship between the conscious and the subconscious is identical across species. It would in fact be a grave mistake to project human neuro-stereotypical notions of cognition onto yet other species. It would similarly be a mistake to perpetuate the notion of neurotypical human persons as the norm as based on the mistaken idea of ASD somehow being a “state of being ill” rather than simply being part of vast largely hereditary psychometric diversity. If we broaden the scope of the study of sentient cognition from human animals to animal persons generally will human cognitions rightly appear as truly miniscule as indeed part of the truly diverse phenomenon of animal cognition.
What needs to be understood however is the very broad, wide and deep extent of subconscious communication. Many persons with ASD have restricted capacity for subconscious interpersonal communication in therefore seeming socially impaired when in fact persons with ASD typically have far stronger defense mechanisms that thus serve to far more effectively inhibit subconscious communication.
About half of all persons with ASD also have Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and 80% of teenagers with ADHD develop antisocial interpersonality disorders (a.k.a. “psychopathy”) as adults. Persons afflicted with antisocial personality disorders have typically yet not necessarily so both enhanced logical empathy and simultaneously impaired emotional empathy. What is at play here are thus differently and reversely functioning filters of defense mechanisms.
In order to better understand sentient cognition generally need we end the misperception of neurotypical humans animals as the purportedly “normal” carno-phallogocentric “norm” in ideologically hegemonic Eurocentric notions of cognition.
Mental illness is traditionally in most cultures conceptualized as “demonic possession” when these are rather persons with impaired defense mechanisms for whom otherwise subconscious communication becomes partly conscious. The subconscious is both parallel cognitive agency and a vast repository of all sentient impressions ever received and experienced ever since the developed human embryo first developed sentience; an individual vast cognitive archive indeed. Many mentally ill patients hence experience interpersonal subconscious communication as conscious and it is important to point out that subconscious communication is certainly not limited to inter-human or even inter-animal communication.
Subconscious communication occurs between different species all the time and as plants such as trees lack brains is there literally no one there who experiences anything, yet is it well-documented how human health is enhanced by what is effectively subconscious emotional communication with the neurological systems of plants such as trees. Human subconscious communication is however neither limited to communication with other humans nor even with animals generally. A plant such as a tree in a forest is thus an individual yet not a person unlike an animal who is both individual and person. Yet subconscious communication is not limited to animals as subconscious or actually non-conscious communication is well documented to appear between plants although this communication lacks an experience of cognition and thus are plants not persons as animals are.
The mentally ill patient has thus inadvertently accessed the realm of the subconscious and in many cases has subconscious communication been made conscious by the weakening of individual defense mechanisms in making the patient vulnerable to unhealthy introjection. Antipsychotic medication tends to strengthen weakened defense mechanism in limiting the extent of subconscious communication as experienced by the patient.
The carefully socially policed boundary of socially constructed neurotypical ethnocratic ‘normality’ is thus the very bisection of the conscious and the subconscious in human beings. What is known as ‘normality’ is in fact ethnocentrism itself and so in commencing to deploy empathy (both emotional and logical) in understanding animal communication need we begin the process of ceasing to use neurotypical human animals as the norm for sentient cognition generally.
The emerging academic field of animal communication has already shown that animal communication is diverse and multifaceted and so we must no longer reductively misperceive human cognitions through the distortive Para-Christian masculinist lens of carno-phallogocentrism. Non-neurotypical persons must no more be seen as “aberrations” and “problems” in need of normalization as that misperception is simply the outcome of not understanding that purported “problems” are usually opportunities in disguise. Seen in the wider context of animal communication is it simply inaccurate to view non-neurotypical persons as aberrations from an illusory carno-phallogocentric “norm”.
The interaction between the conscious and the subconscious is simply different, both between different individuals and as unfair statistical generalization between different species. Subconscious communication between humans is often highly socially intelligent and shows that animal subconscious communication is anything but unconscious and so animals whether human animals or non-human persons simply have split cognition, in both conscious and subconscious being conscious indeed.
Interrogation techniques as a form of socially and legally accepted psychological torture serve the same purpose as physical torture in extracting involuntary utterances from the victim. While physical torture however serves to extract information from the conscious does psychological torture in contrast serve the purpose of extracting communication from the subconscious. In both cases is the purpose to extract involuntary speech, in the case of physical torture from the conscious and in the case of psychological torture as euphemistically known as “interrogation techniques” is the purpose to extract involuntary speech from the subconscious. This obviously leads us to the question as to whether the subconscious can speak?
What is it actually that occurs during interrogation? The interrogator attacks the defense mechanisms of the victim in seeking to disable the defense mechanisms of the conscious victim so that the victim loses control of her verbal agency to the interrogator and her own subconscious. The interrogator/torturer has typically decided in advance that the victim should/ought/need be considered guilty and so interrogation is all too often about extracting a false confession and most persons innocently convicted of crimes were indeed sentenced upon the basis of manipulatively extracted false confessions.
The purpose of interrogation is thus to provoke the victim into a confused psychological condition bordering on the insane in provoking often false and/or incoherent utterances (e.g. lying, blaming, denying) that could be construed as indication of guilt. Both forms of torture perform neurological provocation in physical torture performing anatomical neurological provocation while psychological torture as euphemistically known as “interrogation techniques” perform psychological neurological provocation. A victim of interrogation may thus become discursively conceived of as “guilty” and even mentally ill by being provoked into incoherent and/or false utterances; e.g. some kind of unfounded “acknowledgement of wrongdoing” out of psychological desire to please or reconcile with the tormentor, something which could be deployed as a false confession in order so as commonly convict an innocent in a court of law.
The incoherent and/or false statements of a psychologically manipulated victim of interrogation thus somewhat resembles the ramblings of a mentally ill person as in both cases has the separation between conscious and subconscious become temporarily, partially dismantled. What can be understood from this is that the subconscious is anything but normal but is indeed the repository of the non-normal as psychologically repressed by the social control of ethnocratic normality.
Psychology thus needs not only debunk neurotypical and indeed neuro-stereotypical physionomistic conceptions of normative “humanity” as based on demeaning exclusion of non-neurotypical human beings from phantasmatic notions of Para-Christian so called “humanity”. In deconstructing the dichotomy between the conscious and the subconscious needs psychology better understand the interaction between conscious and subconscious and how the two interfere with each other in for example religion, subconscious communication, non-neurotypical persons, commercials, interrogation, collective psychology and the like.
If we understand the conscious and the subconscious as appearing in different individual agents of cognition (sentient persons) as a spectrum of degree in integration and interference between the conscious and the subconscious may we commence deconstructing the falsely perceived dichotomy between the conscious and the subconscious. We know from interrogation, mental illness, hypnosis, recreative drug use and religious ecstasy that the subconscious can be made to speak indeed. This means that personhood is not singular but rather at least dual and in some person multiple. Perhaps is the duality of personhood even the historico-zoological origin of dichotomous thinking itself?
The understanding that it is possible to speak with a person’s subconscious means that the subconscious can be studied with empirical methods such as with a person in a state of hypnosis. Due to the extensive, common, unethical and typically traumatizing practice of interrogation do we even know that it is possible to ask questions from the subconscious and thus activate emotional, usually irrational responses from a victim of interrogation.
The question thus arises whether the subconscious is always chaotic and even constitutes a repository of what could be described as repressed insanity? A newborn infant is in a psychotic-like condition of mental chaos and so as the subconscious is a repository of everything psychologically repressed is the repressed not necessary illogical and irrational just as reversely socially constructed ethnocratic psychological repression is typically illogical and irrational indeed. The repressed may however more resemble a disorderly collection of the past rather than an organized archive and so the essential task is for the conscious to engage in dialogue with the subconscious, perhaps will it in the future even become possible with advances in applied psychology for a human person to not only deliberately access but also learn to engage in direct dialogue with her own subconscious?
This leads us to the question of unethical applications of this understanding, both existing (e.g. structural oppression, psychological manipulation and police interrogation) and potential future ones with rapidly advancing technological developments. These will no doubt appear and the answer should not be to inhibit research and knowledge but rather engage in ethical research so as to produce both knowledge and technology in ways ethical rather than letting ourselves be led by ethically “neutral” production of discourse of technology.
Finally need we address the initial question of evil in being a mere metaphor for zoological parasitism. While there is human physical evil such as varying forms of physical abuse as ranging from domestic corporal punishment to physical torture has evil traditionally been conceived of as non-physical, “metaphysical”, “magical” or “supernatural”. Just as there is physical evil (physical abuse) need we obviously recognize the existence of psychological evil (psychological abuse) as well. What has in traditional cultural systems of knowledge been known as “evil” is simply the practice of one person parasitically attaching himself to another person against the interest of the host person and in the interest of the parasitical person. Human herd animals wish to live in herds involving physical contact and are thus culturally manipulated to desire participation in parasitic relationships whether as parasite or as host.
Psychological evil may be part of physical evil such as in the enslavement of a fellow person of the same or another taxon, yet it is all too often as in patriarchal marriage enacted, performed and perpetrated by means subconscious communication. What needs therefore be studied is not only ethical applications of subconscious communication but furthermore the fact that structural oppression itself is precisely structurally performed by means of subconscious communication as structurally policed by social expectations such as patriarchy and ethnocracy.
In epistemologically understanding the subconscious should we help anticipatorily design the future in articulating ethico-political teleologies of futuristic technologies and importantly help dismantle the pervasive of horrors of structural oppression indeed.