I have a condition known as Low Latent Inhibition (LLI for short). For those with a low to average IQ, LLI almost always results in mental disabilities, up to and including insanity. For those with a high IQ, insanity is still possible, but there is another possibility…true creative genius. Luckily I have a genius-level IQ, and as far as I know I’m not insane 🙂
Who knows, it’s possible that some of the greatest minds in history, from Albert Einstein and Mozart to Leonardo da Vinci, may well have had LLI. No way to prove that, but it’s certainly possible.
Unfortunately, Low Latent Inhibition is difficult to spot, since it seems normal to the person who has it. It could easily be diagnosed as things such as ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, OCD, Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum, APD (anti-social personality disorder) and in some cases even Tourette syndrome. If you or your children have been diagnosed with any of the above, you may just have LLI, and medication prescribed for the above could cause severe long-term harm if you don’t actually have the condition it was prescribed for.
For many of you, you probably found this page after watching an episode of Prison Break. In that show, Michael had LLI, and much of what he was able to do was because of that condition. S0…
On to the point of the article. Just what is Low Latent Inhibition?
As you grow, the mind learns to label objects and filter out extraneous information. This filtering process is called ‘latent inhibition’ – and it means that the conscious mind is only aware of a fraction of the data being processed by the brain. In some rare cases, the ability to filter incoming data is decreased. People with LLI (low latent inhibition) are incapable of seeing things in terms of labels.
They notice an awful lot more. Reality becomes more vivid and alive. Everyone has different levels of latent inhibition. It can become a problem if the inhibition process is radically decreased. LLI is not a disease. You do not suffer from it. It is a dysfunction that has both positive and negative sides.
For most people, reality is experienced piecemeal, since they concentrate on one task at the exclusion of other things. While typing on the computer, hearing diminishes, smell diminishes – the awareness is narrowed.
With LLI this is not the case at all. The input is constant. Your awareness does not fluctuate. It only oscillates between hyper-awareness and extreme-awareness – with the latter being something to be concerned about. LLI puts you in touch with the raw immediacy of reality.
The overwhelming sensory input means that you experience everything simultaneously: the humming of the computer, the flickering of the monitor, the feel of the clothing you wear, your emotions, the bird in your garden, the smell of coffee… Every minuscule detail happening around you is felt in its entirety.
This does not mean that you read every word and remember every facet…but you do see it, smell it, hear it, taste it and feel it. The information is absorbed, and your mind is sponge-like in its capacity to pick things up. You learn from them, and demonstrate new insights and understanding.
There are pros and cons to having LLI, as you will soon see:
- You notice more, hear more, smell more and feel more through tactile contact. Without any conscious effort, your mind is in possession of a broader intake of information.
- Upon encountering any form of stimulus (that interests you), your mind automatically dismantles and explores its components.
- You usually see through the lies and the deceptions that people use in everyday life. If you’ve watched the show Lie to Me, they would call you a “natural”.
- When learning, you can often make instantaneous changes. Adaptation is easy.
- Self-correction is easy because the underlying principle is more evident. Clearer.
- You make connections and associations between seemingly unrelated material.
- Comprehension is typically easy. You notice the non-verbal background information and this often provides a more comprehensive picture than what is being spoken.
- There are exponential leaps of insight taking place all the time, with the background reasoning intact. Wave-upon-wave of permutations, options, variables and choices.
- Creativity is a given. You see alternatives.
- You notice things that other people miss
- Leaps of logic are common. Instead of progressing A,B,C,D and onward, you skip from A to N to Z, accurately.
- There is no talking voice in your head. No ‘chattering monkey’. The volume and complexity of the information at times drowns out conscious thought entirely.
- You see the world more thoroughly.
- Learning is not limited to defined periods of academic study. The assimilation of information is constant, ongoing and never static. There are no lulls or pauses. Everything offers a lesson.
- Within the maelstrom of information there exists a place of calm and quietude. The eye of the storm. No verbalization exists. No internal narrative. Just presence. No sense of self to intrude of interrupt.
- Education is awkward. Schools are not set-up to cater with this condition. The way in which things are approached by schools seems piecemeal and incomplete.
- Listening to other people talking/thinking aloud can be infuriating. They are at point A when you have reached point N or Z already.
- It is difficult to write/type/speak quickly enough to articulate ideas and the breadth of the permutations involved. Verbalizing what takes place in your mind is impossible. Words render only a fraction of the entirety.
- Tact is necessary since people lie constantly.
- LLI makes driving a car difficult. Your brain notices countless dangers and variables, and you become overwhelmed and nervous. You are either a terrible driver, or an incredibly good one.
- Hyper-vigilance can lead to anxiety, and sometimes OCD-like tendencies.
- Illusions are not very effective. You see through things without wanting to. Conventions and traditions have no significance.
- You do not value what other people value, and often feel truly unique/alone.
- Filtering out the variables and honing your options to something workable can be very difficult. Every solution potentially harbors new problems, new variables and new concerns.
- People may find you to be a little odd, unorthodox or a little intense.
- You have a habit of saying things that do not fit the accepted norm of behavior. You often choose to disregard conventions because they serve no constructive purpose.
- Background noise is a major problem. Noisy neighbors can cause serious stress.
So that is that, a nice summary of what it means to have LLI. It made my childhood, especially school, absolute hell (for example, I got along with adults much better than kids, and I could read at a college graduate level in 5th grade). I saw doctors constantly, and was diagnosed with everything under the sun, since little was known of LLI at the time (heck, little is still known).
However, having LLI makes business and entrepreneurship SO much easier, so for me I think the pros outweigh the cons.
If you read through the extensive comments below, you’ll find a ton more information that may be helpful.
Update for 2018: I’m working on a short but thorough ebook on LLI that will go through what it is, what I’ve learned about it, ways to possibly moderate the negatives, and a lot more. If you’re interested in that, click here and join my email list and I’ll let you know when it’s finished.