Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny
by David Worrell

"Once upon a time there were only lizards and other such reptilian creatures. The lizard brain was simple, geared only to the maintenance of survival functions: respiration, digestion, circulation, and reproduction. Over evolutionary time, the leopard and other such mammalian creatures emerged. Extending out from the lizard brain stem, the leopard brain (now called the limbic system) added to animals' behavioral repertoire the capacity for emotion and complex coordination of movement. This second phase of brain evolution yielded the well-known general adaptation syndrome (GAS), or fight-or-flight response (Selye 1952) . . . . The third phase of evolution was the learning brain --- the cerebral cortex. It is this third and most recent phase of brain evolution that provided the ability to solve problems, use language and numbers, develop memory, and be creative. MacLean (1990) refers to the three stages of brain evolution as protoreptilian, paleomammalian (early mammal), and neomammalian (late mammal).

The millions of years of brain development from lizard to leopard to learner are repeated in each human embryo during the nine months in the womb. Thus the development of an individual embryo (ontogeny) retraces (recapitulates) the evolutionary path of its ancestors (phylogeny). Scientists summarize this complex concept with those three words: ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. . . . More complete yet highly readable treatments of brain development and function are available in Hunt (1982) and Restak (1984, 1988); a detailed encyclopedia of information is available in Gregory (1987).

Thou art neomammalian. You know that guy in the Matrix that they called "Neo"? Well, that was his last name --- Mammalian. :-)

Hunt, M. (1982) -- The Universe Within: A New Science Explores the Human Mind. New York: Simon & Schuster Restak, R. M. (1984). The Brain. New York: Bantam Gregory, R.L. (1987) The Oxford Companion to the Mind. New York: Oxford University Press.


Thou art mammal

Yes, the more I contemplate the fact, the more interesting it becomes: dreaming evolved with mammals --- with the mammalian brain. It is mammals which dream. The life forms which came before mammals did not and do not dream (it is even known that the earliest mammals did not dream). The interesting fact is that dreaming is a true evolutionary development of some kind.

Now, think about this fact in relation to Castaneda's model. Castaneda said that ALL organic animals have a cocoon and an assemblage point (Fire From Within). He even gave accounts of sorcerers turning into "worms" and things like that by moving the assemblage point. He implies that sorcerers can turn into "crustaceans" and other older forms of life, crossing phylums. But . . . those are creatures which DID NOT DREAM. Most of the animals which have lived on this earth came PRIOR to the evolutionary development of dreaming.

Replica Watches  Replica Watches

According to Castaneda, "dreaming" (like "seeing") is supposedly just a euphemism for "moving the assemblage point." And Castaneda said that "dreaming" happens when an animal sleeps, because then the assemblage point moves NATURALLY on its own. But . . . if the animals that evolved prior to us did not dream, how could they have had "assemblage points"? And how could sorcerers become a worm or a crustacean by "moving their assemblage points" (allegedly dreaming), when those were forms of life which came about LONG before the evolution of dreaming?

There is no assemblage point, but dreaming is a real phenomenon, and is something that evolved for a reason . . . or reasons.