Last Saturday I got caught in a snowstorm. I thought I would use this incident to describe for readers exactly what we mean when we say Levels One through Four.
I was supposed to drive my brother to Charles Roi airport in Brussels. When we left the house in the wee hours of the morning, a snowstorm was raging. Not that much snow was on the ground yet, but enough to make the roads dangerous. And the snowplows had not been out yet. But, being enterprising young lads with large genitalia, we decided to chance it anyway.
So we drove on our merry way, trying to make the flight. Conditions on the highway were bad, but we moved along at a steady pace on the unplowed roads with very heavy snow fall. Our principle worry was whether or not we would be in time for boarding, a legitimate concern since the airport is located roughly 54 kilometers from where we maintain an apartment in Brussels.
Suddenly the car in front of us lost it. He spun around twice and banged into two other cars moving slowly to his right.
My brother yelled “Watch it!” and stamped on an imaginary brake in the passenger’s seat.
Circuits clicked. The millisecond the spin began in front of us, the Machine stepped in and took control of my body. The Monkey went offline (the Machine (the Dinosaur) can do that as unbridled emotions are dangerous in such situations). My pulse dropped. My reactions sped up multiple times and everything slowed down around me. The car did not quiver or change speed but stayed its course.
“Don’t worry,” I told my brother calmly. “I’ve got it.”
The Machine watched the car spinning ahead and colliding with the other two vehicles dispassionately. It calculated the course of all vehicles in relation to the amount of available space and did not waiver from our scheduled route. It projected the possibility of domino effects in the vicinity and came out negative. We kept moving steadily ahead.
The three vehicles wound up on the side of the road. They were quite battered.
Much to my surprise, the Deity with the Sword stepped in. Unusual, in that he does not typically concern himself with such limited affairs. (The last time I let the Deity out of his box, he frightened a group of 60 fighter pilots into silence while I demonstrated a martial arts technique (the room went quiet and people are still talking about it)). He is not fully subject to human criteria so I generally stay out of his way. There is no telling what he will do after all; though benevolent, I’m not convinced he is altogether human as he is more concerned with the big picture, with right and wrong, justice and society, rather than us puny individuals. But this time he stepped in. I watched as he made sure all parties involved in the accident were alright. The Machine was given a task; it calculated potential arrival times vs. time spent by stopping and assisting those involved in the accident. The Deity watched as one of the two parties whose car had been struck got out of his vehicle and ran towards the others. He became convinced that full assistance would be rendered to the injured parties and withdrew, allowing us to continue our course. My personal opinion was only remotely solicited; I had chimed in that we had a plane to catch, and was scowled at in return.
We made it to the gate in time, but the airport was shut down due to heavy snowfall and my brother left four hours later.
And that, dear reader, is a description of Levels Three and Four as described by Level One. Level Two was also present at the time; Level Four cannot exist without it. But in this case the limbic system made itself manifest by expressing concern for fellow members of its Pack; the Deity in turn was moved to answer this plea, and so appeared. Level Two was also involved as an absence of fear or rage; these were replaced with Understanding.
I hope this helps those who are interested in such things. This is what it’s like being me.