Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Other Side of Mark Solms PhD, professor, Freud scholar, farmer, vintner, humanitarian.

Recently, I virtually met an amazing man, Dr. Mark Solms, who’s many YouTube lectures do a superb job of walking students of human consciousness and the “mind-body problem” back onto the solid ground of physical reality based science, with a roadmap for constructive learning, through the new disciple of neuropsychoanalysis.  

You can watch a dozen of Mark Solms' lectures and find that each was worth it, for each offers unrepeated gems.

What’s he walking people back from?  The cliff edge of meta-physical philosophizing pretending to be serious science.  

I mean, proclaiming “spacetime is doomed”?  Advocating that the search for our consciousness must look to out-of-body agents, because every puzzle hasn’t been solved yet?  Rather than continuing current fruitful “physicalists” research, such as that being explicated in Dr. Solms' talks.

Get serious, that’s evolved religion.  Hidden under all the pretentious words and inscrutable math, it’s all about protecting our ever so fragile human egos.  What about focusing on learning about this amazing fantastical planet, that created this amazing fantastical body, that created our amazing fantastical consciousness, to have and to hold for the duration of our short lives!  By the Grace of Earth!

Speaking of human ego.

All of us make first impressions of people we meet, in life or virtually.  Some we like, some we feel indifferent to, some we’re leery of, and so on.  Mark Solms impressed me from the start.  I saw solidity and a superb mastery of his topic.  As I watched succeeding videos red flags never showed up.  The fascinating talks captured me and though the topic overlaps, each talk is unique and refreshing. 

Then I started researching and learning about the man.  His list of accomplishments helped make sense of that inner solidity he radiates.  After a few days of absorbing nothing but Professor Mark Solms I had to take a break for a while, allowing it to percolate and settle some.

Recently to get warmed up and into the project again, I clicked on a short TEDTalk by Mark Solms that I hadn’t listened to yet.  I was waylaid.

Now I’ve spent the past couple days trying to imagine the sort of inner reality lived and the sense of place experienced, by a sixth generation white African farmer who possesses not only his piece of land, but also the 180 indigenous & slave descendants who live on the farm.

Well, at least that was until he did something about it.  It’s complicated.  I should add that Mark left his home in South Africa (1988) to avoid compulsory military service for the National Party apartheid government and turned his back on the family farm to focus on his studies.   In London he received his PhD in '92 and worked towards unlocking the origin of our dreams.  After apartheid fell, the lure of home and his neglected hereditary farm drew him back to South Africa in 2001.

Therein lies an amazing story of human dignity, respect, compassion, intelligence, vision, humanity, the best in men.  Something that’s becoming all too rare these days.  Which is why I also want to share this aspect of Dr. Solms' story.

I’ll let the professor, psychoanalysis, neuropsychologist, farmer, vintner, friend to many, Dr. Mark Solms tell the rest of the story:


TEDxObserver - Mark Solms

TEDx Talks  - April 1, 2011

“Land ownership in South Africa: turning neuropsychoanalysis into wine.”

(He does a heck of a lot more than that!)


Mark Solms: giving his land back to farmers

(That title is misleading.  Solms helped them purchase and develop a neighboring farm, 

and then a second, the three operate as a cooperative business.  It's a fascinating inspiring story.)

Julius Baer - January 12, 2018

Solms-Delta is a prize-winning producer of fine wines in South Africa. In our interview, Mark Solms, professor of neuropsychology and owner of the farm, explains what brought him to give half of the farm to his staff – putting an end to a 327-year history of slavery.

Wealth inequality is one of the three core areas of the Julius Baer Foundation (for further information, please refer to the box at the end of this article). Even though it is a problem that does not spare the rich, industrialised nations, it is an even more burning issue in less developed countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa. Many people across the globe have started their individual battle against the persisting divide between rich and poor. One of them is Mark Solms, who has found a very bold and innovative way to bridge the gap.

In 2001, after the end of Apartheid, the renowned professor of neuropsychology returned to his homeland near Cape Town, in South Africa, where his family owned a big farm. He was shocked to see in what precarious conditions the 180 employees of the farm lived, often lacking the most basic goods and sanitary installations. 

After a thorough analysis of the situation at the farm, which looks back at a 327-year history of slavery, Solms and his neighbour decided to run their farms in a rather different way, empowering their workers through co-ownership. Nowadays, Solms-Delta is a prize-winning producer of fine wines with the farm’s staff owning 50% of the enterprise.

Mark Solms’ next project is to create a ‘Cape Winemakers’ Equity Accelerator’ (CWEA), where he will develop a training curriculum and mentoring programme including all aspects of wine production (viticulture skills, access to vineyards, cellars and equipment) and its distribution (financial and business planning, administration and marketing). 

Additionally, he will establish an endowment fund that will help emerging black wine makers to purchase wine estates and wine making equipment. Ultimately the aim of the CWEA is to fast-track the equitable redistribution of resources and expertise and thereby increasing the number of black wine producers in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

Read the article:



Delta Road

Off the R45

Groot Drakenstein

Franschhoek Valley, South Africa


Following the democratic elections in 1994, Professor Mark Solms returned home to South Africa in 2001 to breathe new life into the neglected Delta farm, establishing Solms-Delta Wine Estate. As a sixth-generation member of a farming family, he looked forward to returning. But upon his arrival, he realised that it wasn’t only his to call home. Seven households of people lived on the farm and had been there for generations. Mark was determined to restore their sense of belonging and their right to own a fair share of the land.


While he was eager to kindle transformation on Solms-Delta, the tenants didn’t cooperate. Frustrated, Mark turned to what he knew from being a clinician: That to remedy an ailment, one must first take a history. When did the symptoms begin? In what context did they start? How did they develop? This is how a doctor understands what needs to be put right.

So Mark and the workers on Delta stopped farming and started digging. Deeper and deeper into the soil of Solms-Delta, and deeper into history – finding the roots of the tenants’ pain. As the archaeological digs uncovered artifacts from different periods in the history of the farm, the people of Solms-Delta could piece together their own personal stories. The historical and cultural treasures that were uncovered form a tapestry of the lives of the people of Solms-Delta and can be viewed at the Museum van de Caab social history museum and Music van de Caab centre located on the farm.


The archaeological digs also uncovered the realisation that everything on the farm – from the vineyards to the elegant Cape Dutch buildings – was built on the backs of slaves. This meant the tenants who live on the farm today deserve a fair share of the products of their forebears’ sacrifices and their own current efforts. So together with British social entrepreneur Richard Astor, Professor Solms set about tackling the social realities of South African agriculture by establishing a platform through which ownership of land and equity in the business could be shared. 

In 2007 the workers and residents of Solms-Delta acquired a 33.3% interest in the business of Solms-Delta, which interest was, with the support of the National Empowerment Fund and the national department of Rural Development and Land Reform, increased in 2016 to 45%. Solms-Delta continues to pioneer change in the agricultural sector, and now is one of the farms spearheading national government’s 50/50 Strengthening the Relative Rights of Workers program.

Museum - Archaeology


As I drove into the Solms Delta Winery, where I was to interview Dr. Mark Solms on his family farm in the Franschhoek region in South Africa, I was immediately in awe of the beauty surrounding me. The wine country in Franschhoek is a magical setting filled with beautiful mountains as the backdrop to the hills, valleys and lush green lawns and flowers as far as the eye can see. And this place was no exception. Being early for my appointment, I had time, with my husband Michael, to walk around a bit and get a sense of the place that the Solms family has owned and operated for the past 325 years. 

The farm is anchored by the main house and several outbuildings, all built in the elegant Cape Dutch style. These buildings, built on the backs of slaves from pre-colonial days, are characterised by their white stucco walls, tall stained glass windows and covered by thick, neatly groomed thatched roofs. In addition to the house, barns and wine making facilities, Mr. Solms has created a museum that explains the farm’s history from 1740 to the present, with an unflinching emphasis on the slave heritage which was vital to the farms’ inception and existence. The museum houses a treasury of artifacts as well as pictures of many of the original people that inhabited the farm. 

We found ourselves walking down trails ...  (continued)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Jill Choder-Goldman, LCSW, has been a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist in private practice since 2004, after graduating New York University and The National Institute for the Psychotherapies, where she trained in social work and psychoanalysis. 
She sees individuals, couples, and groups, and is also a supervisor to analytic candidates in training and the Interview Editor for the journal Psychoanalytic Perspectives. 
Her writing includes interviews with psychoanalysts from around the world, which explore how political, cultural, and socioeconomics affect their understanding and practice of psychoanalysis. She also interviewed the novelist A.M. Homes for a special issue, Arts on the Couch, and was the Guest Editor for a recent issue on “What Makes a Good Supervisor.” 


But wait, there's more . . . . . . .

Freud translator and scholar: }

The neuroscientific works of Sigmund Freud : An interview with Pr Mark Solms

Le PsyLab  -  Apr 25, 2018

Le Psylab interviews Professor Mark Solms, founder of the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000.  This video has been funded by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies.



Neuropsychoanalysis Association -


Mark Solms Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud.


A Moment of Transition 

Two Neuroscientific Articles by Sigmund Freud

Edited By Michael Saling, Mark Solms

Copyright Year 1990


The Other Freud (the Wild One); New Translation Aims to Free the Master From His Disciples' Obsessions

By Robert S. Boynton, June 10, 2000,  New York


Controversies in Freud Translation - By Mark Solms


The author considers some standard examples cited in support of the claim that ‘Strachey falsely scientized Freud’. In the light of his own attempts to translate Freud's neuroscientific writings, he concludes that the criticism of Strachey is less justified than at first it appears to be.



Cc’s Students’ Study Guide for The Case Against Reality

©2020 Peter Miesler
I intend to be a witness for a fact based DeepTime, 
Evolutionary perspective on our Human Mind ~ Physical Reality interface.


Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-Gravity

a critical review of, The Case Against Reality:  Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes, by Donald Hoffman, ©2019, W.W.Norton Company

(Titles are linked)

(1.01)  The Prelude, Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity

(1.02)  Chapter 10a, Community: Network of Conscious Agents (1/3)

(1.03)  Chapter 10b, Community: Network of Conscious Agents (2/3)

(1.04)  Chapter 10c, Community: Network of Hoffmanian Conscious Agents (3/3)

(1.05)  Chapter 1, Mystery: The Scalpel That Split Consciousness

(1.06)  Chapter 2, Beauty: Siren of the Gene

(1.07)  Chapter 3, Reality: Capers of the Unseen Sun

(1.08)  Chapter 4, Sensory: Fitness beats Truth

(1.09)  Chapter 5, Illusory: The Bluff of the Desktop

(1.10)  Chapter 6, Gravity: Spacetime is Doomed

(1.11)  Chapter 7, Virtuality: Inflating a Holoworld

(1.12)  Chapter 8, Polychromy: Mutations of an Interface

(1.13)  Chapter 9, Scrutiny: You Get What You Need, in Both Life and Business

(1.14)  Appendix,  Precisely: The Right to Be (Foolish)


Hoffman/Prakash’s Objects of ConsciousnessObjections and Replies

Frontiers in Psychology - June 17, 2014

(2.01)  4/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness,  (conclusion)

(2.02)  1/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (1-12)

(2.03)  2/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (13-17)

(2.04)  3/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (18-21)


(3.01)  Diary - But, wait!  There's more.  Ten Learned Responses:

Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries, by Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh & Chetan Prakash" 

Psychonomic Bulletin & Reviewvolume 22, pages1551–1576(2015)


We propose that selection favors nonveridical perceptions that are tuned to fitness. Current textbooks assert, to the contrary, that perception is useful because, in the normal case, it is veridical. Intuition, both lay and expert, clearly sides with the textbooks. We thus expected that some commentators would reject our proposal and provide counterarguments that could stimulate a productive debate. … (HSP)


(3.02)  Barton Anderson - Where does fitness fit in theories of perception? 


(3.03)  Jonathan Cohen - Perceptual representation, veridicality, and the interface theory of perception. 


(3.04)  Shimon Edelman - Varieties of perceptual truth and their possible evolutionary roots. 


(3.05)  Jacob Feldman - Bayesian inference and “truth”: a comment on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash. 


(3.06)  Chris Fields -Reverse engineering the world: a commentary on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash, “The interface theory of perception”. 


(3.07)  Jan Koenderink - Esse est Percipi & Verum est Factum. 


(3.08)  Rainer Mausfeld - Notions such as “truth” or “correspondence to the objective world” play no role in explanatory accounts of perception. 


(3.09)  Brian P. McLaughlin and E. J. Green Are icons sense data


(3.10)  Zygmunt Pizlo - Philosophizing cannot substitute for experimentation: comment on Hoffman, Singh & Prakash. 


(3.11)  Matthew Schlesinger Interface theory of perception leaves me hungry for more. 



Student Resources - Background info:

(4.01)  Rainer Mausfeld: ‘Truth’ has no role in explanatory accounts of perception.

(4.02)  Paul Mealing: considers Hoffman's "Objects of Consciousness.”

(4.03)  The Case For Reality: Because Apparently Someone Needs to Make One

(4.04)  Sabine Hossenfelder: in Defense of Scientific Realism and Physical Reality

(4.05)  "Emergence" - A Handy Summary and Resources

(4.06)  Physical Origins of Mind: Dr. SiegelAllen Institute Brain Science, Tononi, Koch.

(4.07)  Can you trust Frontiers in Psychology research papers?  Student Resource

(4.08)  Critical Thinking Skills - In Defense of Reality - A Student Resource

(4.09)  Philo+Sophia - Love of Wisdom - A Student Resource


(5.01)  Summary, 

explaining why I've pursued this project.


Dr. Mark Solms deftly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness, while incidentally highlighting why Hoffman’s “Conscious Agents” are luftgeschäft. 

(6.01)  Dr. Mark Solms demystifies Chalmers' "Hard Problem" of Consciousness.

(6.02)  The Other Side of Mark Solms PhD, farmer, vintner, humanitarian.

(6.03)  Students’ Resource: A representative cross-section of Dr. Mark Solms' scientific publications.


My homemade philosophical underpinnings.

(7.01)  An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “Earth Centrism

(7.02)   Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

(7.03)   Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

(7.04)   It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God problem.”

Feel free to copy and share

Email: citizenschallenge  gmail  com


No comments:

Post a Comment