Daniel Kish: Blind Vision
The development of the guessing attitude due to sensorial deprivation is a scientifically established fact. Its mechanism is similar to the way blind people develop compensatory abilities. It is known that people lacking some sense may develop extraordinary abilities. It was believed that this is a result of the sharpening of the other senses. However, in the last decades this thesis has been experimentally disproved. Now it is known that compensatory abilities are the result of brain reorganization, and not of a sharpened sensitivity of the intact organs of sense. The brain of blind people creates images of reality using the information of the intact senses. Seeing is brain-generated, it is rather in the ability of the brain to form perception than in the eyes while the organs of sense are merely instruments of the visual brain that it uses to form mental images. When there is no proper instrument the brain uses the available substitute senses to create what it is designed to do.
Any perception is partly invented by the brain. But the invented part of perception is greater and the perception is more subjective in sensory deprived people due to imperfection of the substitute senses. Blind people have more general, less detailed or more abstract idea of their surroundings than seeing people. In other words, sensorial deficit fosters abstract reasoning. It takes much more time for the blind people to orient. Compared to the seeing people they are preoccupied with seeing. Therefore the abstract reasoning that sensorial deficit fosters is obsessive.
Generally the same applies to the sensorial deficit caused by circumcision. Of course, the effect is smaller and much subtler because erogenous sensitivity is neither of vital importance to immediate adjustments nor is totally removed by circumcision. It is the subtlety of the mental effects of circumcision that empowers them and spreads them. They concern mainly spirituality. They affect the type of thinking, the attitudes to sexuality and security and only secondarily manifest themselves in practice. For that reason the long term-effects of pleasure deficit are most evident in historical trends, ethnic stereotypes and intellectual tradition.
Foreskin cortex that is considerably larger than one will find in most textbooks actually functions as a pleasure cortex. It is designed to feel pleasure and does so whatever the genital state is. When there is no foreskin (for a long time) the foreskin cortex constructs pleasure from the remaining erogenous sensitivity and from other senses. Non-pleasure information begins to feed the pleasure cortex and to bring satisfaction to those who are circumcised.
Undoubtedly, those who are circumcised have more general, less detailed or more abstract idea of sexual pleasure. They use more brain and emotional resources to satisfy their cravings. Compared to naturals they are preoccupied with achieving gratification. Circumcision renders both the foreskin and its sensitivity abstract and hence stimulates the introvertive and conceptual thinking. It fosters a type of pleasure-seeking abstract reasoning. It facilitates the formation of abstractions that gravitate towards sensual paradises, material plenty and emotional security.
The loss of receptors reduces physical sensitiveness and increases the participation of mind in forming the perception. It imposes an extra informational filter and fosters guesswork and imagination. The informational deficit worsens the ability for direct discrimination and the acuteness of judgment. The loss of sensitivity increases the brain potential for abstract reasoning at the expense of concrete thinking. It deepens the mind but removes it from reality.
The abstraction enforced by loss of receptors is artificial. It tends to be more biased, more detached from reality or more intellectual than ordinary abstract reasoning because of the reduced sensory information it feeds on and because of the lack of self-regulation due to the lack of direct informational feedback. Yet the quality of the lost sensitivity preordains the character of the bias in the abstract reasoning.
The loss of receptors triggers a cortical reorganization that compensates for the reduced sensory input by developing and expanding the interpretation of the available ones. It prompts the forming of concepts of what is not experienced and fosters simplification, idealizations, deductions and generalizations. The loss of sensitivity enforces the development of abstract reasoning and stimulates imagination.