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Users of the Mind: The Mind Users, #1

Users of the Mind: The Mind Users, #1

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Users of the Mind: The Mind Users, #1

Lunghezza:
298 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 12, 2019
ISBN:
9781386927426
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Julian is a student in a secret school that specialises in teaching gifted children the Arts of the Mind, a discipline originally developed to control the mysterious concept referred to as 'consciousness'. The school is run by a charismatic, yet mysterious man, known only as Teacher to his students. In the school the children learn to utilise subtle behavioural tools based on evolutionary laws that enable them to control untrained people. Julian's life is built around discipline and order, but the choices made by others long ago are about to change his life forever. He is forced to face his innermost fears as his path unexpectedly crosses with one of the most respected scientists in the world.

'Users of the Mind' is a tale of the hidden aspects of human nature, the evolutionary 'chains' that bind us all and the will of Man to defeat Nature in order to avoid his own destruction. It is a study of the destructiveness of scientific ambition, the thin line between passion and obsession, and the bitter sacrifices that must be made to attain the highest goals.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Feb 12, 2019
ISBN:
9781386927426
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

S. M. Kois is a neurobiologist who has a passion for good books, science and creativity. She currently lives in Scandinavia, Europe with her two dogs. For more information and to contact S. M. Kois, visit smkois.org.

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Anteprima del libro

Users of the Mind - S. M. Kois

Author

Everyone wears a mask

Part 1

——

A small fire in the middle of the cave illuminated the faces of a man perhaps in his forties, and a boy no older than ten. The man stared into the flames; the boy stared at the man.

The training of a lifetime culminates in one second. One second, a tiny little inch in the never-ending fibre of time, a fraction of a disappearing moment to decide between success or failure, triumph or redemption ... life and death.

Teacher’s voice echoed from the corners of the cave. Outside, the sea was growing restless. Distant thunder mixed with the sound of the waves hitting the rocks near the entrance.

In olden times, the Samurai trained all their lives under extreme discipline. They dedicated their whole life to one thing, and one thing only: to refine their skills to the point of ultimate purity. Do you know why they did this?

Boy shook his head, his young eyes sparkling with excitement.

They did all this to prepare for one moment in their life. The moment of their death.

Boy inhaled sharply.

The Samurai lived to serve their Master. Should their Master die, the Samurai often took their own life, for without their Master they were left without purpose. But the Samurai did not desire this kind of death.

Teacher was silent for a moment, as if he had forgotten he was in the process of telling a story. Boy waited.

The greatest wish of a Samurai was to die in battle. Do you know what the battle of life and death for the Samurai was like?

Boy shook his head.

It was not the skilled acrobatic performance you have seen in movies. The true battle of life and death is over much sooner. When two Samurai knew they were to fight such a battle, they would meet in a quiet location where there would be no interruptions. They would face each other in silence. Sometimes they would stand like that for a long time, as if time itself had frozen. Finally, they would raise their swords. Measured movements, full concentration. They would stare into each other’s eyes until finally bringing down their swords in unison. One single strike, after which one of them would fall. Sometimes both would fall, but if neither fell, they would repeat the ritual until only one man was left standing.

Teacher looked at Boy, making sure the child was paying full attention before he continued.

For Samurai, the training of a lifetime culminates in one single moment. One strike, one perfectly controlled movement. That is what the Samurai lived for and trained for all their lives. Countless hours of exercise, discipline, repetition and denial of the pleasures of life. A lifetime spent in solitude and silence, broken only by the clashes of swords during endless training sessions. A lifetime spent in preparation for a perfect death.

Boy looked at Teacher attentively. The man smiled to himself. The child was curious about these matters; that was a good sign.

There is an important lesson to be learned here. In order to learn it you need to understand the story in depth on your own. This is the road that you must travel alone.

He looked at Boy intensely. The child’s eyes remained fixated on him. Brave kid, not afraid of the authorities, he thought. Another good sign.

Remember this: what you do in life defines you. Every passing second takes you closer to the moment of your death. None of us can escape death; one day we all must cross over. However, we can decide how we leave this world, as we can decide how we live our lives. The choices we make in life should not be random, each decision should have a goal, and that goal should be to refine us as human beings. We do not know when our moment will come, but when it does, we need to be prepared. When our time comes it is too late to turn back the clock and change the way we have lived. We must prepare for our final moment on this planet from the moment we are born. Do you understand what I am saying?

Boy nodded. Yes, Sir.

Teacher smiled. Good boy.

*

Next morning, Boy was sitting in an empty classroom. Outside the window, enormous mountains framed the view. The first rays of the rising sun touched his silky hair, making it shine like a black diamond. The loud sound of a powerful engine interrupted the child’s thoughts. He looked outside and saw a helicopter rising from the yard, its hull glittering in the sun. There was nothing unusual about that – helicopters were rising and landing there all the time.

Boy had woken up early for his morning exercise, after which he had enjoyed a tasty and healthy breakfast. He felt energetic and very much alive. And now he was waiting, as he did every morning.

The door opened and Teacher stepped in. He walked over to the table at the front of the classroom, sat down, opened his laptop and started to type. Boy waited patiently. He was used to his Mentor not addressing him unless he wanted to ask him something.

An image appeared on the big screen behind Teacher’s desk. The thick blind at the window was lowered automatically to prevent the sunlight from blurring the image. Soft darkness surrounded Boy.

Finally, Teacher turned to him.

How are you feeling this morning? he asked.

Very well, Sir, Boy replied. His response was as accurate today as it was every morning. He rarely felt unpleasant.

Good. Let us begin, then. In order to succeed, you need to learn the basic rules of Nature. Today, we will talk about Control.

He turned to the screen behind him. 

Look at those animals.

An image of two wolves appeared on the screen. They were slowly circling each other.

These wolves are meeting each other for the very first time. Look at the first few seconds of their encounter. See how they are carefully observing one another?

The child nodded.

Tell me the moment when the balance of power is determined between them.

Boy looked at the wolves intensely. 

Now, he said after a while.

Not exactly, but good for the first try. What made you feel that was the moment?

I was looking at their body language, the way they moved. The other one turned away slightly.

Teacher nodded. Good. Now I will tell you how you can determine the result of the power struggle sooner.

He pressed enter and the clip started again from the beginning.

Look at their eyes. Look carefully.

Boy looked at the eyes of the wolves. They stared at each other for several seconds. Then one of them averted its gaze, and immediately looked back again. Several seconds later, the same wolf again averted its gaze. After a few more seconds, it turned its body slightly away and stepped aside.

Did you see that? Teacher asked.

Boy nodded.

The white wolf lost the power game the moment it averted its gaze. After that it was only a matter of time. Teacher stopped the clip. However, my intention is not to teach you how to observe wolves. I showed you this clip so that you would know what you need to look for when you are observing more developed creatures.

He typed something and the screen behind him went blank.

What applies to wolves applies to humans as well. We are developed creatures, yet we are still very much slaves to the laws of evolution. The one who knows these laws has a crucial advantage during higher-level power struggles. I will teach you how to utilise these laws to your advantage. You will learn to read people and ignite certain behaviours in them with simple, subtle mental triggers.

He uploaded another clip.

Let us continue with the power game theme.

He pressed enter. This time an image of two formally dressed men appeared on the screen.

These men have never met each other before. They are both going for a job interview in fifteen minutes. They are applying for the same job and are required to have a cup of coffee together before the interview. They are unaware that they are being videotaped. The main point for you to know is that these two men are in a very real sense rivals; both are extremely anxious to get the job.

Why do they need to have coffee together before the interview? Boy asked.

Because of this lesson.

So normally they would not have coffee together in such a situation?

No. This has been arranged for the purposes of your training only.

Boy nodded and then looked at the men. They shook hands before sitting down on opposite sides of the table. He looked at them intensely. And there it was; one of the men averted his gaze. A fraction of a second later, the other man also looked away.

Now, he said immediately, anxious to show he had learned his lesson with the wolves.

Yes, Teacher said, pleased. Now keep looking at them for a short while longer to confirm your observation.

The two men chatted and drank their coffee. Boy soon noticed that as they were talking, the man who had averted his gaze first did not maintain eye contact for as long as the other man. He mentioned this to Teacher, who nodded approvingly.

"We humans tend to form our opinion of a new person within the first few tens of seconds of meeting them. The opinion we form is based on several factors. One of these factors is referred to as ‘dominance’. Which one is more dominating, you or the other person? In the animal kingdom, dominance is often linked to physical strength. In human society, dominance is linked to several factors that are often combinations of power, status, appearance, and so on.

"However, even if you are not stronger or more capable than your opponent, you can still win the power game if you make your opponent believe you are the dominant one. I do not mean acting and fooling the other person. I am talking about giving subtle, subconscious signals and hints that trigger a certain kind of feeling in the other person, moulding the way he or she perceives you. Do you understand what I mean?"

Boy nodded.

Good. Now run along, I need to prepare for class. I will see you in a short while.

Boy got up and left the room.

*

One hour later, Boy was again sitting in the classroom. This time he was not alone; there were about a dozen other children sitting in the room with him. Most of the children appeared to be a bit older than Boy. Some of them were chatting quietly, some were reading a book, while others looked attentively towards the door, anticipation shining from their faces.

After a while the door opened and Teacher stepped into the classroom with a young girl, perhaps ten years old. The children fell quiet and looked at her curiously.

Class, today a new student will be joining us, Teacher said. Children, say hello to Lisa.

Hello, Lisa, the children said.

Lisa, you may sit here, close to me. Teacher pointed at a seat in the front row.

The girl walked over to the seat and sat down. Her eyes never left Teacher.

Boy was also sitting in the front row, close to the girl. He did not look at her as she passed him on her way to her seat. He did not like the way his Mentor spoke to the girl; it was too friendly. His soft young boy’s forehead frowned, barely visibly, and he kept his eyes fixated on the blackboard. Teacher was well aware of Boy’s reaction, yet he did nothing to ease the obvious discomfort the child was experiencing.

In honour of our newest classmate, let us remind ourselves why we are here, Teacher said. "Most people go with the flow, allowing their instincts to control them and to make the decisions for them. You are here to learn how to break free from that cycle and take over the control of your body and mind. In this School you will learn to control the biological matter that comprises ‘you’ more effectively than the majority of the people on this planet.

Let us discuss briefly the origin of the discipline you are being taught here. The Arts of the Mind were developed to understand, influence and control the mysterious concept referred to as ‘consciousness’. Consciousness is something we each possess, yet its true nature is not fully understood even by the top neuroscientists of our time.

The excitement was evident on the young faces; the essence of consciousness was one of the students’ favourite topics of discussion.

"As you are aware, the Art of the Mind has several sub-disciplines, such as Control, Deceit, Casuality, to mention but a few. In order to become a skilled User of the Mind, you need to master these various sub-disciplines, each of which will be introduced to you in due course. By the time you graduate from this School, you will be thoroughly educated in every area of the Mind.

A fully trained Mind User possesses great power, but along with that power comes huge responsibility. The power must not be misused; misuse of power would be, for example, to use one’s skills for personal gain. I know it is tempting for you to test your new skills on ordinary people, those who are unfamiliar with the ways of the Mind, but pay close attention here, children: using your skills outside the School prior to your graduation is strictly forbidden. If you use your skills without my permission and supervision, you shall be expelled from the moment I learn of your violation.

His face was serious.

These rules are in place for a reason; they are meant for your own protection as well as for the protection of the School. If you use your skills in the outside world and you are exposed, you will endanger not only yourself but your fellow students as well. I will repeat once more: no playing around with commoners. Is that understood?

The children nodded.

This is a School for Leaders. Once your training has been completed, each of you will be placed high among the authorities of this planet. This is why most of you come from a similar background, from the world of wealth and power. Some of you were born into that world while others were placed there later in life. The reason you are spending your childhood in that world is because it is making it easier for you to climb the ladder of power.

He paused for a moment to emphasise his next words.

There are also those of you here who have a more ordinary background. Make sure to keep the following in mind: what counts in this School are the person’s abilities, not their social background. Is this clear to everyone?

The children nodded in unison.

Good. Now, even for those of you who come from a favourable background, the road to the top is not easy. This is why you are learning certain skills here. The main reason you are learning these skills is to enable you to achieve your goals once you have managed to get to a position of power. There will be other leaders in this world with whom you need to collaborate, leaders who are not familiar with the ways of the Mind; despite their high status, these are ordinary people who are influenced by their instincts and desires, biological traps that evolution has implanted in all human beings. In order to succeed, you need to learn to bend the will of these individuals to fit your purposes. Once you learn to control the will of the weak minded, nothing can stop you from reaching your goals.

He looked at the attentive young faces around him.

"Not all of you will become leaders; the road is very difficult, and some of you will find other desires in life. If you feel this path is not the right one for you, you are free to leave the School any time you wish. Nevertheless, be aware that once you leave, the door will be closed behind you permanently. 

Another very important issue is the following. You are not allowed to discuss the matters related to the School with outsiders. He was looking at the girl he had called Lisa as he spoke. All that people outside your immediate family know is that you are in a high-ranking private boarding school. Most of your parents are aware of the true mission of the School, with them you are allowed to discuss the matters related to your education. I have spoken about this issue with each of you privately, yet this point is important enough to be emphasised again; if you discuss the affairs related to the School with outsiders, you shall immediately be expelled. There are no exceptions.

Teacher allowed a short smile to soften his face to compensate for the harshness of his words.  

I do not wish to intimidate you, children, but due to the extreme importance of this matter it is paramount to use any means necessary to keep the affairs related to the School strictly confidential, known only to those who are fit to be enrolled and are worthy of our trust. If you talk about these issues with any outsiders, I will know about it, and the consequences will be very unfortunate. Please be sure to understand this correctly: I hope the day will never come when such disciplinary action needs to be taken, but should the day come, there will be no negotiations. If your actions compromise the School, you shall be disciplined accordingly. Have I made myself clear?

The students nodded. They had all heard these words before. The man smiled; he knew that the children’s respect and will to please their teacher were the most effective tools to make them do as he requested.  

Very well then, now that we have properly introduced ourselves to our new classmate, let us carry on with our work. Today’s first lesson is about Programming.

The children were immediately electrified.

I know this is your favourite topic, Teacher said, smiling. However, please be patient; in order to become Master Mind Users you need to learn to calm down and pay attention. Nothing comes free in this life, least of all the greatest of all abilities, the ability of Programming. Programming, or Mental Programming to be exact, is the most powerful tool a human being can master; if you learn to control your Mind at will, you will achieve anything you wish in this world.

"Let me now give you a simple example of what is meant by the concept of ‘behavioural tools’. People tend to give in to others more easily if the situation is presented to them in a certain way. Researchers have studied this phenomenon with various experimental set-ups, one good example being the following. A group of people is lining up to use the photocopying machine, unaware they are taking part in an experiment. To gain statistically significant results, the experiment is repeated several times, each time a new set of people standing in the line.

"An experimenter enters the room with a pile of papers in his hand. Usually people are reluctant to allow others to pass them in a line. In experimental condition one, the experimenter poses a simple question to the person standing in front of him: ‘Can I pass you in the line?’ As expected, most people answer no. In experimental condition two, the experimenter poses his question in a different way: ‘Can I pass you, because I am in a hurry?’ In this situation, most people allow the experimenter to pass them; this result is also quite expected.

However, experimental condition three provided the most interesting result. In this experimental condition, the experimenter again poses the question a little differently: ‘Can I pass you, because I need to copy these papers?’ Surprisingly, most people behave in a similar way to how they behave in experimental condition two and allow the experimenter to pass, even though the excuse the experimenter is providing is rather ridiculous. Why do they behave in such a way?

Teacher looked around him. A boy in the back row raised his hand.

Yes, Steven?

Because they have been conditioned?

"In a way, yes. We humans have certain built-in mechanisms that can trigger certain kinds of behaviour; for example, it appears that we are more prone to allowing someone to do something if the person is stating there is a valid reason for that action. It seems that in both experimental condition two and three, the word ‘because’ served as a trigger that initiated favourable behaviour. Even though in experimental condition three the reason was irrelevant and self-evident, people were ‘conditioned’ to behave in a certain way when they heard the keyword that usually implies there is a valid reason for a given action.

When interviewed afterwards, many of the people who allowed the experimenter to pass them in experimental condition three reported that they felt they reacted instinctively, realising only a few seconds later that the reason provided by the experimenter was ridiculous. This experiment is a good example of the subtle psychological mechanisms that govern our behaviour; if one is aware of these mechanisms, it is possible to modify one’s behaviour in order to achieve the desired result. You will learn to control the way your mind works as effectively as you control the rest of your body during your physical exercise sessions.

The most important physical skill taught in the School was the art of sword fighting. Not because you would need to use such a skill in today’s world, Teacher often emphasised during the training sessions, but because learning to control the sword helps you to learn to control yourself. Concentration is the key to successful utilisation of the Arts of the Mind. Concentration is also needed in sword fighting; training with the sword will refine your ability to control your body and hence your mind in an extremely effective fashion.

The children were taught the ways of the sword every afternoon for two hours. Teacher instructed them personally. The students admired their Mentor’s perfect physical control and strength; watching Teacher train was like watching an extremely gifted dancer perform. His skills as a swordsman added to his aura of respect, making the children look up to him even more. The man was well aware of this and used their admiration to strengthen their loyalty towards him; to the children, he was both a father figure and a wise leader, which had turned out to be a potent mix when it came to controlling their young, eager minds. 

Let us next consider what can be achieved once the skill of Programming is fully mastered. With subtle behavioural alterations, you can influence the way the other person perceives you; you can choose whether the other person likes you, respects you, looks down on you or even hates you. Actors are very good at these particular skills, but make no mistake: actors are not Mind Users. The level of control they achieve over the people who they try to influence is insignificant compared to the level of control a skilled User of the Mind can and will achieve.

Teacher stood up and walked over to the window. The sky was a clear blue, as it was most days. The window was half open, allowing a warm breeze to enter the classroom. The peaceful silence of nature was broken only by the occasional sound of a helicopter somewhere in the distance.

"Let us discuss the different aspects of control that Programming grants. There are various subcategories in the Art of Control. One such subcategory is Domination. There are various means apart from direct Mind Control that can be used as aids in Domination; appearance is one such aid. If you are shorter than your opponent, shoes with invisible high heels will help you appear taller than you actually are and hence make it easier to seize the dominant position. Speech is another tool that can be utilised while intending to dominate another person; certain tones of voice, certain ways of talking, the exact words that are being

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