Richard’s Selected Correspondence
On Our Animal Instinctual Passions in the Primitive Brain
RESPONDENT: [quote] ‘The arising of instinctually-sourced feelings produces a hormonal chemical response in the body, which can lead to the false assumption that they are actual’. (actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/feelings.htm).
From the above phrase I understand that feelings (out-sourced by the instinctual program) produce hormonal substances, not the other way around. From the TV documentaries I’ve watched, it is because of the physical hormonal substances in the body that certain good/bad feelings arise.
Scientists have managed to identify and link certain hormonal substances to particular feelings, giving the impression that a feeling cannot arise without an associated body-produced ‘chemical’.
Richard, if you experience no affective feelings, does it necessarily mean there are no hormonal substances (of the type scientists associate with feelings) in your body?
RICHARD: It is handy to bear in mind, on occasions such as this, that a scientist is an identity inhabiting a flesh and blood body ... for instance a couple of months ago another subscriber to this mailing list posted a link to a transcript of an interview with Mr. Joseph LeDoux – he has training/ expertise in both neuropsychology and neurobiology – who has the following to say (towards the end):
Yet towards the beginning of the interview he is classifying the autonomic reflexes, such as the startle response referred to above as the ‘reactive system, as ‘emotion systems’ (such as the ‘fear system’) – as distinct from ‘feelings’ (such as ‘fear feelings’) – and ties feelings with consciousness and language development ... then says that feelings are probably the wrong thing to focus on when emotions are studied! Vis.:
This pretty well sums it all up:
To be quite frank he is confused about what he is talking of: the autonomic reflexes – which he describes as the ‘reactive system’ in the first quote and as ‘emotion systems’ (such as to be found in ‘fear behaviour’) in the second – operate perfectly well in this flesh and blood body even though all the affections – be they feelings, emotions, passions, calentures, by whatever categorisation – are nowhere to be found ... the entire affective faculty is extinct.
And the reason for all this confusion in scientific circles? I refer you to the following:
I put it in that expressive way because it is not possible to separate out the feeler from the very feelings he/she is – just as it is impossible to separate the whirlpool or the eddy (the vortex) from the swirling stuff which is the cause of it as, for example, a whirlpool or an eddy (a vortex) of water or air is the very swirling water or air (the one is not distinct from the other) – hence ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’.
If you have followed all the above thus far you will find the following informative:
All the confusion, in the scientific circles, stems from a very simple thing: a phantom being, the ghost in the machine, is trying to (scientifically) study phantasms, the ghostly affections in the machine, neither of which have any existence in actuality.
RESPONDENT: Have the actualists solved the riddle of nature vs. nurture?
RICHARD: As I was born and raised on a farm there never was a nature versus nurture riddle to solve ... the human animal was demonstrably born with instinctual passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) just like the other animals were.
RESPONDENT: The theories about the role of instincts on the website ...
RICHARD: If I may interject? Just what [quote] ‘theories’ [endquote] are you referring to? And the reason I ask is because what I have to report/ describe/ explain is experiential ... as in coming out of direct experience.
RESPONDENT: They are theories to me because I haven’t had your particular ‘experiential’ revelation.
RICHARD: If I may point out? Just because experiential reports/ descriptions/ explanations are theories to you does not make them [quote] ‘the theories’ [endquote] ... and neither does your lack of similar experience make them a [quote] ‘revelation’ [endquote] either.
RESPONDENT: I take it that you’re not talking about a scientifically verifiable report then?
RICHARD: What I am talking about is experientially verifiable ... as explicitly spelled-out on the homepage of my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: ... are confidently expressed as if they are describing something factual but there is considerable debate amongst researchers about the role of genes and environment on conditioning. See www.beyondintractability.org/m/aggression.jsp for an overview of theories on aggression. Clearly, there’s not a consensus amongst researchers but actualists seem confident.
RESPONDENT: Are you suggesting that researchers only ever deal with theory and that they never employ observation to arrive at their own experiential revelations?
RICHARD: All I was doing was responding to your invitation to see a web page you cited for an overview of [quote] ‘theories’ [endquote] on aggression ... however, in view of your ‘they are theories to me’ explanation (further above) are you now suggesting that the overview on aggression at that web page you cited should be read as being [quote] ‘experiential revelations’ [endquote] and not theories after all? For example:
RESPONDENT: On the website it is confidently said ‘contrary to popular belief instincts are not ‘hardware’ but ‘software’ and as such they can be deleted’. See www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/instinctualpassions.htm. What proof do actualists use to assert these claims?
RICHARD: They are neither claims nor an assertion of such ... and the ‘proof’ is the experience of the very deletion of same.
RESPONDENT: How is it known that any of the programming removed by the actualist method is actually genetically endowed programming?
RICHARD: In a word: experientially.
RESPONDENT: So you seem to have a special class of experiential proof ...
RICHARD: No, as I was born and raised on a farm there was no need for a special class of experiential proof – the human animal was demonstrably born with instinctual passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) just like the other animals were – thus the common or garden variety of experiential proof was all that was required.
RESPONDENT: ... I’ll call it actualist proof.
RICHARD: Suit yourself ... it is your argument, when all is said and done.
RESPONDENT: Using actualist proof are you able to tell us which particular genes or gene complex are involved in genetically endowed programming?
RICHARD: As I do not have what seems to you a special class of experiential proof, which you have seen fit to inform me you will call actualist proof, I am unable to answer your query as-is ... perhaps you may be inclined to rephrase your question?
RESPONDENT: That would be very interesting if you could. If you could tell researchers which particular gene sequence to look into, imagine what could be achieved.
RICHARD: As it obviously escaped your notice, when reading all of my responses to you before replying, that there is no imaginative facility extant in this flesh and blood body it would be conducive to clarity in communication to draw it to your attention here:
RESPONDENT: Scientists could switch off the responsible genes in laboratory animals and scientifically validate your actualist proof. Can you do it?
RICHARD: As I do not have what seems to you a special class of experiential proof, which you have seen fit to inform me you will call actualist proof, then scientific validation of what you have fabulously seemed into pseudo-existence (quite possibly per favour an intact imaginative facility) might be a long time coming ... if ever.
RESPONDENT: Are all instincts ‘software’ as implied in the quote above?
RICHARD: As the altruistic ‘self’-immolation, of the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago, was simultaneously the extirpation of all instinctual impulses, drives and urges – the entire affective faculty (including its epiphenomenal imaginative and intuitive facility) in fact – then the analogy to computer software is reasonable enough for the purpose of communication.
RESPONDENT: Seems like a sweeping statement about an area that is little understood.
RICHARD: It is an experiential account about an area that was understood well-enough 13+ years ago to successfully extirpate in its entirety.
RESPONDENT: I take it that you’re not talking about a scientifically verifiable report then?
RICHARD: What I am talking about is experientially verifiable ... as explicitly spelled-out on the homepage of my portion of The Actual Freedom Trust web site. Vis.: [snip].
RESPONDENT: Experientially verifiable and scientifically verifiable: can you tell me what the difference is?
RICHARD: As I have already described what I mean by the term ‘experientially verifiable’, in that paragraph you snipped, then if you could describe what you mean by the term [quote] ‘scientifically verifiable’ [endquote] in both your queries the difference may very well become readily apparent.
RICHARD: As the author of the web page article you cited clearly says right up-front [quote] ‘... I find it helpful to look at *theories* of aggression by dividing them into three schools ...’ [emphasis added], as well as using the word ‘theorists’ more than once, further on, to refer to what you describe as [quote] ‘researchers’ [endquote], then the reason why I responded to your initial paragraph the way I did might become more readily apparent were it to look something like this:
RESPONDENT: You are artificially dividing theory and the experiential.
RICHARD: Here is the example you provided from The Actual Freedom Trust web site ... and my succinct response:
Given that more than a few ... um ... researchers posit/ postulate/ propose that the instincts being referred to (instinctual passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) are ‘hardware’, and not ‘software’, then if you could explain how I am [quote] ‘artificially dividing theory and the experiential’ [endquote] it would be most appreciated.
RESPONDENT: You simply say that your experience is ‘experiential’ and therefore superior.
RICHARD: Unless you are suggesting that ‘hardware’ can be removed non-surgically (in an experiential process that currently goes by the name altruistic ‘self’-immolation) then my experiential ‘proof’ as to their ‘software’ nature – the experience of the very deletion of same – is so vastly superior to those posits/ postulates/ proposals as to make them not even worth the mass-produced papers they are printed on.
RESPONDENT: Good theories are not completely divorced from experiential evidence.
RICHARD: If you could provide me with the name of one – just one – of those researchers you allude to who has experiential evidence that the extirpation of the instinctual passions, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, is a matter of the removal of ‘hardware’ (in a non-surgical process that currently goes by the name altruistic ‘self’-immolation), and not the deletion of ‘software’, it will be most appreciated.
RESPONDENT: As soon as you open your mouth to describe the experiential you are expounding theory.
RICHARD: So as to keep it topical here is what I wrote in my first response to you:
If you could point out where I am [quote] ‘expounding theory’ [endquote] in that instance of me opening my mouth it will be most appreciated ... as it is a fact, and not theory, that it was an act of altruism (and not an act of selfism) whereby ‘self’-immolation occurred; it is a fact, and not theory, that it was the identity inhabiting this flesh and blood body all those years ago who altruistically ‘self-immolated; it is a fact, and not theory, that the identity’s altruistic ‘self’-immolation was simultaneously the extirpation of all instinctual impulses, drives and urges; it is a fact, and not theory, that the simultaneous extirpation included the entire affective faculty (including its epiphenomenal imaginative and intuitive facility).
RICHARD: Being born of the biologically inherited instinctual passions genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically speaking – umpteen tens of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future. In other words: ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’; ‘I’ am aggression and aggression is ‘me’; ‘I’ am nurture and nurture is ‘me’; ‘I’ am desire and desire is ‘me’ and so on. This is one’s ‘Original Face’ (to use the Zen terminology); this is the source of the ‘we are all one’ feeling that is accessed in spiritual practices and mystical mediation. Because, genetically speaking we are indeed ‘all one’ inasmuch as all carbon based life-forms – not just sentient life-forms – have a common hereditary ‘survival instincts’ origin.
RESPONDENT: There is a spiritual or ego nature in man that lies outside the realm of simple survival instinct or genetic inheritance.
RICHARD: Yes ... I call the ‘spiritual nature’ the ‘me’ as soul and the ‘ego nature’ the ‘I’ as ego. Animals do not display symptomatic behaviour that indicates these characteristics outside of the most rudimentary indications (as in a simplistic recognition of ‘self’ in some chimpanzees but not monkeys, for example).
RESPONDENT: Not only does man want to survive and conquer but he wants to be number one.
RICHARD: Indeed ... (and woman too). May I ask? Do you want to not only fail and be conquered but be number ... um ... bottom-of-the-list into the bargain?
RESPONDENT: His ‘natural’ or animal state, that you refer to, puts him in a state of conflict, unlike the animals. The animal has anger or fear, kills, fights or runs and returns to rest or goes to sleep in peace.
RICHARD: Being born and raised on a farm, and having a life-long interest in animals, I have been able to observe over time that, by and large, animals generally do not rest or sleep ‘in peace’ ... they are constantly on the alert, vigilant, scanning for attack. Some, like ducks for example, ‘sleep’ half of the brain at a time. Apart from bears and the such-like in hibernation (oblivion) it is not very restful being an animal.
RESPONDENT: Afterwards, there is no conflict for the animal. He settles down quickly and returns shortly to a relaxed state. The animal does not retain haunting memories that put him in a state of conflict. He has only done what all animals do, and there is nothing else he can do, nor should there be.
RICHARD: Okay ... animals are not aware of what they do: I have seen cats toying with a mouse in a manner that can only be dubbed cruel; I have seen cows ‘spooked’ and then stampede, in what must be described as hysteria, trampling their young as they do so; I have seen stallions displaying what can only be labelled aggression; I have seen dogs acting in a way that can only be called pining; I have seen blackbirds playing ‘catch’ with slowly-dying crickets; I have watched many animals exhibiting what must be specified as fear ... and so on. Only recently a television programme was aired here on chimpanzees about studies made over many, many years of them in their native habitat and I was able to see civil war, robbery, rage, infanticide, cannibalism, grief, group ostracism ... and so on. It is easily discerned by those with the eyes to see that animals are not aware of their actions ... let alone the instinctual passions that drive them.
As I have already remarked: as animals cannot think they are not intelligent.
RESPONDENT: If a man does the same thing the animal does, he is full of conflict and needs outside support to escape from the reality of what he had done in order to achieve a state of equilibrium and rest.
RICHARD: What ‘outside support’ would that be?
RESPONDENT: This is nothing like the animal that inherits a genetic and instinctual way of life with no possibility of any kind of choice in the lifestyle he leads.
RICHARD: Indeed ... only intelligence (the amazing ability to think, reflect, compare, evaluate and implement considered action for benevolent reasons) will enable the first animal in the earth’s history to begin the process of being free of the instinctual passions.
RESPONDENT: To find peace in the animal state means to be at peace with fear or anger ... killing or rape.
RICHARD: Not so ... peace-on-earth only becomes apparent at the eradication of ‘fear or anger’ and all the rest ... not some chicken-hearted appeasement policy.
RESPONDENT: There is nothing there that would dictate compassion or consideration for our fellow humans.
RICHARD: To be compassionate is to keep the sorrow alive ... where there is no sorrow there is no compassion required.
RESPONDENT: The strong survive and the weak die. That is the law of the jungle.
RICHARD: Not so ... it is the fittest that survive: ‘survival of the fittest’ does not necessarily mean (as it is popularly misunderstood) that ‘the strong’ (most muscular) always survive. It means ‘the most fitted to the ever-changing environment’ (those who adapt) get to pass on their genes. If the most muscular are too dumb to twig to this very pertinent fact they will slowly disappear of the face of the planet over the countless millions of years that it is going to take via the trial and error process of blind nature. One can speed up this tedious natural process in one’s own lifetime and become free ... now. Of course one will, of necessity, have to relinquish the narcissistic desire to be the next manifestation of that ‘Supreme Intelligence’ (aka ‘God On Earth’) ... which means that humility must be discarded along with all those other selfish feelings.
RESPONDENT: Thus, instinctual drives are misinterpreted and misapplied by the intellect giving rise to the illusions that cloud our perception. And setting in motion the psychological dynamics that have evolved into the dominant human condition.
RICHARD: Yes, the study of the ‘instinctual drives’ is largely over-looked and any information on the subject is surprisingly scant. The ‘Tabula Rasa’ doctrine still holds sway in many circles and other schools of thought cannot agree among themselves as to what is instinctual and what is not ... as epitomised in the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate. However, in all of my ad hoc reading on the subject over many years, there is some basic agreement as in regards the ‘freeze or flight or fight’ instincts (what I call ‘fear and aggression), the ‘propagation of the species’ instincts as epitomised by the sexual impulse (what I call ‘desire’) and the ‘protecting and nurturing’ instincts as epitomised by bonding (what I call ‘nurture). There are others like ‘territoriality’, ‘gregariousness’, ‘homing’ and so on, but for purposes of focussing on the nub of the issue I consistently keep to the four basic passions: fear and aggression (savage) and nurture and desire (tender).
And yes, ‘the illusions that cloud our perception’ reign supreme ... yet I am constantly amazed at what has been achieved despite the ‘Human Condition’, sometimes more sardonically referred to as the ‘Human Folly’. It is always a joy to go shopping, for example, so prolific is the supply of food available to all and sundry, at a reasonable cost. The shelves are stacked, from end to end, with a staggering array of viands from everywhere throughout the country ... indeed, from all over the world. Food-stuffs virtually tumble into my basket, so loaded are the shelves, and I am always extremely happy to be here, partaking of the goods that are the result of human endeavour. Now I fully realise that I, personally, live in a western society – a consumer society it is belittlingly called – but even the developing countries, with assistance from the west, are usually able to feed themselves these days ... when they are not at war, that is. With this proviso in mind, it is heartening to reflect upon the great strides humankind has made this century in terms of material well-being, compared with what transpired over the tens of thousands of years that humans have been inhabiting this planet.
Long gone are the days of the hunter-gatherer; days wherein the human race was at the mercy of the elements for their physical survival. Long gone are the times when humans had to eke out an animal-like existence; full bellies in a time of plenty, and starvation in a famine. Nowadays, when famine strikes one part of the world, aid in the form of basic provisions comes in from other areas experiencing plenty. In terms of the supply of goodies, I find that I am literally living in a veritable ‘Garden of Eden’. My every physical need is met with a bewildering array of abundance; it is a time of cornucopia, of which I am pleased to take full benefit as is my due.
I am astonished at the lack of appreciation displayed so vehemently by peoples I meet and articles I read about in the press. Why do the peoples of this country not realise that they are well-off, luxuriating in the freedom from want? Why are there looks of dissatisfaction on the faces of my fellow shoppers? Why do they have the temerity to complain when they are living in the land of plenty? Is there no way of pleasing these people? Fancy complaining about ‘having to do the shopping’ when it is such a delight to share in the benefits of human inventiveness; ingenuity in the face of the vagaries of the natural world. I am immensely appreciative of being alive now and not at some other age in which I would have had to struggle for my ‘daily bread’... those dreadful times one reads about in the history books and literary works. It is amazing what has been achieved despite the ‘Human Folly’.
Herein lies the clue to the lack of appreciation. Nothing can satisfy the discontent of a hubristic soul ... and all souls suffer from insolent contemptuousness towards the universe. People resent having to be here; they could be given whatever they demanded and they would still be not satisfied. Nothing, but nothing, can assuage the troubled identity, the psychological or psychic entity that has taken up a parasitical residence within the body of all the peoples inhabiting this planet. This alien entity – sometimes known as the ego and the soul – will spoil any enterprise, sabotage every endeavour and breed discontent and misery throughout its domain. It is the single reason for the ‘Human Condition’. Everyone I meet, every printed word I read, states that ‘you can’t change human nature’ and set about fiddling with the levers and controls in an ultimately useless attempt to ameliorate the human situation within the ‘Human Condition’ ... with less than perfect results.
Any action within ‘humanity’ as it is, is doomed to failure. Unless this fact can be grasped with both hands and taken on board to such an extent that it hits home deeply, nothing will change, radically. There will be changes around the edges; variations upon a familiar theme, but nothing structurally new, nothing even approaching the mutation-like change that is essential for the human race to fully appreciate the fullness and prosperity of being alive on this earth, in this era. To remain ‘human’ is to be a failure ... and to become ‘divine’ is to be a massive failure.
RESPONDENT: What I see is a person who has read a great deal, is quite brilliant, and who has, perhaps, experienced some mind blowing phenomenon at some point in his life.
RICHARD: I can concur with this appraisal ... except that there is no ‘perhaps’ about it.
RESPONDENT: But your need to assail the contributions of others towards human growth, indicates to me a mind which is not at peace with itself and, like most who want to be ‘king of the mountain’, needs to first abolish what it feels to be a threat to its self-appointed dominance.
RICHARD: I have only ever wanted to know – utterly and completely – why human beings were driven to engage in all the wars and rapes and murders and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse ... and fall into sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicide. And all this despite thousands of years of enlightened people dispensing their wisdom to all and sundry. I wanted to know why Love, Compassion, Bliss, Euphoria, Ecstasy, Truth, Goodness, Beauty, Oneness, Unity, Wholeness and so on did not deliver peace-on-earth. I found out why by direct experience.
RESPONDENT: Perhaps I am coming on too strongly, but that is what I see.
RICHARD: Mr. Bhanthe Henepola Gunaratana finishes with:
As all sentient beings are born with the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire – bestowed by blind nature – how do you think he could say that ‘what you feel is your own creation and that you are totally responsible for it’?
RESPONDENT: What is brought about mechanically or blindly continues unless there is awareness and understanding of how it is these energies, compulsions, habits, etc are actually operating. They operate through identifications and attachments. It is our responsibility to bring about a natural order which means to understand what is disordered.
RICHARD: But the ‘natural order’ is these instinctive passions ... or do you say that what blind nature endows all sentient beings with at birth is un-natural? Is this understanding of yours not back-to-front? Why not do something un-natural? Why not dispense with what is the ‘natural order’ ? After all, it has bought nothing but mayhem and misery thus far in human history.
RESPONDENT: There never was any ego or soul entity. There is just conditioning, programming that includes those beliefs as well as the instinctive reactions.
RICHARD: Aye ... yet the instinctive reactions have their energy base in the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows on all sentient beings. These passions are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self ... the base consciousness of ‘self’ and ‘other’ that all sentient beings have. The human animal – with its unique ability to think and reflect upon its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary ‘self’ into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and from this core of ‘being’ this ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. This process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born ... which, as you say, is conditioning and programming. It is part and parcel of the socialising process. Thus seeing the ‘I’ as false is not sufficient ... there is a ‘me’ lurking in the heart to take over the wheel. Then – and this is for all those intellectuals who fondly imagine that ‘seeing’ something as being false is sufficient – if the ‘me’ in the heart is also seen to be false ... there is still a matter of those pesky instinctive reactions to give lie to their claims of ‘there never was any ego or soul entity’.
To put it bluntly: ‘you’ in ‘your’ totality, who are but an illusion, must die an illusory death commensurate to ‘your’ pernicious existence. The drama must be played out to the end ... there are no short-cuts here. The doorway to an actual freedom has the word ‘extinction’ written on it. This extinction is an irrevocable event that eliminates the psyche itself. There will be no ‘being’.
RESPONDENT: Now, you say the instincts must and can be removed. I say this is impossible. You say you have done it. I say what you have done is to unravel the intertwined drives/thoughts that resulted in a confused feeling and mental capacity. It is the emotional confusion that has been cleared away, not the instincts.
RICHARD: Hmm ... the emotional confusion comes, of course, primarily from the emotions; the emotions come from the instinctual passions all sentient beings are born with. Ergo: eliminate the instinctual passions and there are no emotions to cause confusion. As it is impossible to be a ‘stripped-down’ self – divested of emotions – for ‘I’ am ‘my’ emotions and ‘my’ emotions are ‘me’, then anyone who attempts this absurdity would wind up being somewhat like what is known in psychiatric terminology as a ‘sociopathic personality’ (popularly know as ‘psychopath’). Such a person still has emotions – ‘cold’, ‘callous’, ‘indifferent’ – and has repressed the others. My whole point is to cease ‘being’ – psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which means that the entire psyche itself is extirpated. That is, the biological instinctual package handed out by blind nature is deleted like a computer software programme (but with no ‘Recycle Bin’ to retrieve it from) so that the affective faculty is no more. Then – and only then – are there no emotions ... just as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) where, with the self in abeyance, the emotions play no part at all.
Unless you are proposing that emotions can be ‘clean’ and ‘pure’ and ‘clear’?
RESPONDENT: I expect you still eat when you are hungry.
RESPONDENT: You seek shelter or other safety in physically threatening conditions.
RESPONDENT: Do you still have sexual relations?
RESPONDENT: You certainly seem to have the capacity to care for others.
RESPONDENT: Do you take actions to protect your property from theft?
RESPONDENT: Have you a copy right on your published materials?
RESPONDENT: Would you knowingly walk into a life threatening situation for no good cause?
RICHARD: No ... and probably not for a ‘good cause’ either.
RESPONDENT: You may call these the actions of ‘native intelligence’ and I would agree ... but they are actions that stem from the instincts as they have been properly integrated through understanding.
RESPONDENT: In pure fear, there is only fear. Whatever you write above is after-the-fact.
RICHARD: It is not ‘after-the-fact’ at all, it is what is happening at that very moment. If there is not the feeling of fear happening, (and the Oxford Dictionary describes this feeling as ‘the instance of a painful emotion caused by the sense of impending danger’) then it is not fear but something else. And this feeling of fear has characteristics that peoples who are interested in communicating honestly with each other can relate to. Vis: adrenaline coursing through one’s veins; the heart pumping furiously; the palms sweaty; the face blanched white; knuckles gripped; body tensed and so on and so on (leading to ‘freeze’ or ‘fight’ or ‘flight’). And such genuinely communicating peoples can describe it in nuances ranging from disquietude, uneasiness, nervousness or apprehension through to anxiety, fear, terror, horror, panic and dread.
RESPONDENT: Not that those things do not take place at the time of fear ...
RICHARD: Good ... this is what I have been saying all along. May I ask? Have you just been arguing for the sake of arguing?
RESPONDENT: ... but the description, it comes later.
RICHARD: Not if one is at all aware ... in my experience all those years ago, at the moment of fear (or disquietude, uneasiness, nervousness or apprehension, anxiety, terror, horror, panic and dread), the ‘I’ that was inhabiting this body would ‘sit with it’ as it were and directly experience it as it was happening as the fear which it was (or disquietude, uneasiness, nervousness or apprehension, anxiety, terror, horror, panic and dread). This is because ‘I’ wanted to know, ‘I’ wanted to find out, once and for all, that which has paralysed human beings for millennia ... ‘I’ observed ‘my’ psyche (which is the ‘human’ psyche) with the objectivity of a scientist.
Now, whilst the word ‘fear’ is not the feeling itself, the feeling is very, very real whilst it is happening (as real as any ‘I’ is). By ‘being with it’ as it was happening – without moving in any direction whatsoever with escapist thoughts, feelings or urges – ‘I’ would come to experience ‘being it’ ... and ‘I’ am this fear and this fear is ‘me’. Thus ‘I’ came to experience ‘myself’ in all ‘my’ nakedness. All ‘I’ am, is this fear ... and fear is but one of the instinctual passions that blind nature genetically encodes in all sentient beings at conception in the genes ... ‘I’ am the end-point of myriads of survivors passing on their genes. ‘I’ am the product of the ‘success story’ of blind nature’s fear and aggression and nurture and desire.
Being born of the biologically inherited instincts genetically encoded in the germ cells of the spermatozoa and the ova, ‘I’ am – genetically – umpteen tens of thousands of years old ... ‘my’ origins are lost in the mists of pre-history. ‘I’ am so anciently old that ‘I’ may well have always existed ... carried along on the reproductive cell-line, over countless millennia, from generation to generation. And ‘I’ am thus passed on into an inconceivably open-ended and hereditably transmissible future. In other words: ‘I’ am fear and fear is ‘me’ (and ‘I’ am aggression and aggression is ‘me’; ‘I’ am nurture and nurture is ‘me’; ‘I’ am desire and desire is ‘me’).
The direct experiencing of this is the ending of ‘me’ ... and I am this flesh and blood body only being here now as only this moment is.
RICHARD: And all sentient beings are born with this fear.
RESPONDENT: All sentient bodies are born with natural intelligence to respond to situations.
RICHARD: Aye ... and they are called instincts. Basically, the survival instincts are known as fear and aggression and nurture and desire (allowing for dissension among various biologist according to their school) and peoples like yourself choose to call the instinctual response the ‘natural intelligence’ of the body. As intelligence is defined as: (Oxford Dictionary): ‘The faculty of understanding; intellect; quickness or superiority of understanding, sagacity; the action or fact of understanding something; knowledge, comprehension (of something)’ I cannot see how instincts have the faculty of understanding (as in intellect) which has the quickness or superiority of understanding (as in sagacity) and the capacity for the action or fact of understanding (as in knowledge and/or comprehension of something).
Or to put it another way: I cannot see how the instinctive adrenaline-driven ‘freeze or fight or flight’ reaction shows the ability to reflect, plan and implement considered activity ... which is intelligence in operation.
RESPONDENT: Nature is not different than what ‘we’ are doing. Nature and ‘we’ are the same thing. If nature be blind, then we be blind.
RICHARD: Indeed so ... and this is the crux of the problem: the very evolutionary forces (‘blind nature’) that enabled the current 6.0 billion human beings to be here are now actively working against both individual and global peace on earth. So long as the modern human being considers that blind nature’s instinctual passions are still essential for survival, then all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides will continue.
RESPONDENT: And if we are seeing, then nature is seeing.
RICHARD: Blind nature will never be seeing ... blind nature has become superannuated and, for the first time in human history, the universe is experiencing itself as a sensate, reflective human being with a freed intelligence.
RESPONDENT: It has never been ‘us’ against nature, and when it is imagined so, it is us struggling in a schizophrenic fantasy that we can not win for our enemy is our self.
RICHARD: I can certainly agree with your ‘our enemy is our self’ phrase ... and that very ‘self’ is a product of blind nature. It is the price paid/ trade-off for consciousness being able to arise out of matter in the first place. My solution? Step out of the ‘real world’ into this actual world ... and leave your ‘self’ behind in the ‘Land of Lament’ where it belongs. It is a grim and glum business, living in ‘normal reality’ ... hence the desire for escapism into some feeling-fed hallucination called the ‘Greater Reality’ by some.
RESPONDENT: Nature, in every instance, is what we (I) am doing (being).
RICHARD: For clarity, I would say that ‘blind nature’ is what you are ‘doing (being)’. But now that a freed intelligence has been able to break free from the strangle-hold that the instinctual passions, bestowed by blind nature that ensured that consciousness could arise out of matter, the blind instinctual patterns can be superseded.
RESPONDENT: If it is a hypnotic and unexamined struggle, then that is what nature is.
RICHARD: That is indeed what ‘blind nature’ is. Nature is blind inasmuch as it does not care two-hoots about you or me. It is only concerned with the survival of the species ... and any species will do as far as nature is concerned. Therefore it is blind. There is no such thing as ‘Mother Nature’, for example, outside of sentimental human imagination. Nature is indeed ‘red in tooth and claw’ and is not concerned about anyone in particular at all – including all of humankind – but I am. I like my fellow humans and wish them no harm at all – I wish well upon everyone including myself – which well-wishing is the root meaning of the word ‘benevolence’.
(Benevolent: Old French – ‘benivolent’ from: Latin – ‘benevolent’ : present participle stem of ‘bene velle’ : ‘wish well’).
Nature, be it blind or not, can never be described as benevolent.
RESPONDENT: If it is understanding that the whole thing is like trying to kick off your own foot, then a new peace arises, and that is what nature is.
RICHARD: There is an already always existing peace-on-earth that can only become apparent when ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul self-immolate ... that is: identity itself becomes extinct. One can decamp from one’s fate (bestowed by blind nature) and achieve one’s destiny (implicit as this universe).
RICHARD: It is very simple to identify it precisely ... it is called the survival instinct. All sentient beings have been charged by blind nature to survive at all costs.
RESPONDENT: If you would Richard, please demonstrate the difference between ‘the survival instinct’ and ‘all sentient beings’ that you would have ‘charged by blind nature to survive at all costs’.
RICHARD: Sure ... given that a ‘sentient being’ is any animal (‘animal as in the classification of ‘animal, vegetable or mineral’) that emerges with in-built sense-organs (which minerals and plants do not), then a sentient being is aware of ‘self’ and ‘other’ (which minerals and plants do not), however rudimentary this awareness may be. Thus comes with awareness (as consciousness emerging from matter) an initially necessary ‘survival instinct’. This ‘survival instinct’ (a set of affective passions that I describe as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) has only one purpose: the perpetuation of the species ... and any species will do as far as blind nature is concerned. Thus blind nature does not care about you and me – or humankind as such – but life itself continuing. Hence the appellation ‘blind’ ... nature is only blind from a human point of view.
Thus blind nature is not concerned at all about your or my well-being – or humankind as such – but I do. I like being this flesh and blood body and I like my fellow human being and wish well upon myself and anyone else (this is what ‘benevolence’ means). Now I know this attitude of actually caring and actually being concerned about us human beings is called selfish by would-be mystics ... but I happen to find all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides abhorrent.
Speaking personally, I do not consider that ‘each instance of rape is fine’.
RESPONDENT: Last, if you would, please demonstrate the physicality of each blind nature, all sentient beings, and the survival instinct. That is to say, please make each available as entity available to the sense of sight, smell, hearing, taste, touch. Thank you.
RICHARD: Sure ... ‘all sentient beings’ are epitomised as any animal (‘animal as in the classification of ‘animal, vegetable or mineral’) that emerges with in-built sense-organs (which minerals and plants do not) and ‘blind nature’ and ‘the survival instinct’ are easily evidenced by all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides that are endemic among all sentient beings.
It is natural to kill one’s fellow human being.
RICHARD: Nature is blind inasmuch as it does not care two-hoots about you or me.
RESPONDENT: Please demonstrate the difference between ‘nature (which) is blind’ and you and me. Also, if you would, please demonstrate the sense by which ‘nature (which) is blind’ could, or could not ‘care two-hoots’.
RICHARD: Sure ... ‘nature (which) is blind’ is epitomised by the instinctual passions that each and every sentient being experiences as the affective faculty. Whereas by not having <you and me > in little quotes I am referring to the flesh and blood body (sans identity).
As for the colloquialism ‘could not care two-hoots’ (as I am oft-times accused of being academic in my writing style I leaven my words with idiomatic expressions from time to time) ... it is descriptive prose designed to convey that we human beings hold our own destiny in our own hands.
Contrary to popular belief, no one or no thing is going to step in and save the human race.
RESPONDENT: Lastly from this passage Richard, please demonstrate the physical, as opposed to the imagined nature, of ‘about’ in the sentence ‘and nature is blind inasmuch as it does not care two-hoots about you or me it is only concerned with the survival of the species ...’. If you would, please demonstrate the sense by which ‘nature (which) is blind’ could be ‘only concerned with the survival of the species ...’
RICHARD: Sure ... nature is blind from a human point of view. Thus ‘blind nature’ is not concerned at all about your or my well-being – or humankind as such – but I do. I like being this flesh and blood body and I like my fellow human being and wish well upon myself and anyone else. Now I know this attitude of actually caring and being concerned about us human being is called selfish by would-be mystics ... but I happen to find all the wars and murders and rapes and tortures and domestic violence and child abuse and sadness and loneliness and grief and depression and suicides abhorrent.
RESPONDENT No. 31: I would suggest to keep things simple and converse innocently like a small child.
RICHARD: Small children are not innocent ... they are born with aggression and fear. Understanding human nature is as simple as understanding this fact. Life is not complicated.
RESPONDENT: Again here, Richard, you authoritatively make a statement that has no basis in fact. A child is NOT born with aggression and fear.
RICHARD: This borrowed ‘Tabula Rasa’ (‘clean slate’) philosophy of yours has had a long innings in human history ... and is currently making a come-back in NDA circles as: ‘We are all born Little Buddhas’. The continued belief in this theory – in the face of the empirical evidence of the past 30 odd years demonstrating genetic inheritance – requires avoiding the biological fact. Just by putting the word ‘NOT’ in capitals does not miraculously turn a creed into a fact.
RESPONDENT: Those are learned traits.
RICHARD: I had a woman telling me a few weeks ago that boys are born with aggression and little girl babies are not ... and that girls learnt aggression from men (she had to explain ‘bitchiness’ somehow) and that it was men who had to change so that there would be peace on earth. Now you are telling me that fear and aggression are ‘learned traits’ and the question that immediately springs to mind is: learned from who? Because if fear and aggression are passed on non-genetically from generation to generation (parent to child) then what caused fear and aggression in the first sentient beings to emerge on this planet way back whenever.
In other words: who started it all?
RESPONDENT: Obviously, you were not a very observant parent or grandparent.
RICHARD: I not only ‘observed’ my biological children from birth onward, I actively participated in finding out about myself, life, the universe and what it is to be a human being through intimate interaction at the grass-roots level of association ... bonding, nurturing and protecting. Indeed, I was a single parent for a formative period of my biological daughters’ upbringing ... and one cannot get closer than that. Infants and children are not as happy and harmless and benevolent and carefree as is so often made out to be the case ... and have never been so. They have malice and sorrow firmly embedded in them, for one is born with instinctual fear and aggression. Just watch a one month old baby bellowing its distress at being alone; just watch a one year old pinching its sibling in spite for taking its toy; just watch a two year old stamping its foot in a temper tantrum; just watch a three year old child fighting with its peers for supremacy. In the interests of having a sincere dialogue, I must ask: where in all this is the fabulous ‘Tabula Rasa’? The imposition of social mores – moral virtues, ethical values, honourable principles, decent scruples and the like – are essential to curb the instinct-born spiteful anger and vicious hatred that are part and parcel of the essential traits of being ‘human’.
To achieve a truly ‘clean slate’, something entirely new must come into existence. All peoples must cease being ‘human’. To change ‘Human Nature’, they must give-up, voluntarily, their cherished identity ... the rudimentary animal self they were born with.
RESPONDENT: Humans are born with a central nervous system for responding to the environment. Fear and aggression are learned traits as a result of the environment.
RICHARD: By ‘environment’ you can only mean the world about ... the world of what you call ‘Mother Nature’. Thus you are saying that fear and aggression are leaned from a ‘kind and benevolent’ Mother Nature? That is, fear and aggression is learned from ‘she’ who is giving, protective, quiet, wild and beautiful’, eh?
But okay ... I will have it your way, then. You are right and Richard is wrong. The question that immediately springs to mind is: how are you going to unlearn these traits that are learned as a result of ‘responding to the environment’ ? Which means: what is your plan? What success have you had? Have you unlearned all these learned traits yet? Or is all this that you write merely theory?
You see, in my ignorance I naively thought that these traits were genetically inherited and so I deleted them like the software they were. Consequently I never get sad or lonely or sorrowful or grief-stricken; I never get angry or hateful or furious or filled with rage. Therefore I never have to become affectionate or compassionate or loving to compensate; I never have to gaze longingly at the stars ... yearning for a bodiless peace.
RESPONDENT: To label that ever-changing phenomenon as an instinctual self seems to be the addition of thought.
RICHARD: I am beginning to consider that there is not only a touch of Mr. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s influence happening here ... there is an indication of something else operating. I did not just ‘label’ mindlessly ... my words accurately describe a reality that the ‘I’ that used to be in this body saw that I needed to be free from. Words in themselves are not a problem, for words are a description of something ... and it is that something that is being lived which is trapping you ... not the words. I know that some people (Post-Modernists, for example) re-arrange words and definitions to suit themselves, but the underlying reality remains the problem. Semantics is only a superficial problem, in spite of those who write profound tomes about it as if it were the problem in itself.
Maybe another person’s post from another Mailing List last year may be able to explicate this syndrome for you:
RICHARD: Until I come across evidence to the opposite, what is happening now is that each and every person is being run by the instinctual passions (the origin of ‘self’) genetically endowed by blind nature at conception. Thus each and every person is missing out on the peace-on-earth that is already always right here at this place in infinite space right now at this moment in eternal time ... as is evidenced in a PCE (and the PCE has a global occurrence also).
RESPONDENT: Why would you call nature blind?
RICHARD: Nature is blind in that it does not care two hoots about you or me or him or her ... it is the survival of the species that is nature’s goal (and any species will do as far as nature is concerned). Whereas I care about you and me and him and her ... therefore I chose not to be run by blind nature.
RESPONDENT: You are nature, yes?
RICHARD: The carbon-based life-form called human beings are the only aspect of nature (as is so far discovered) to evolve intelligence ... and if the intelligence thus bestowed is not used appropriately then all the long evolutionary process will have come to naught. Not that this is of any concern to nature ... another carbon-based life-form will eventually evolve intelligence in the fullness of time and maybe that carbon-based life-form will not be so stupefied as the carbon-based life-form as is currently epitomised by those who are so hung up about assumptions that they insist that this what is happening now is, for better or worse, what is happing now (as if they were uttering a profound wisdom). Nature has all the time in the universe to personify perfection (as evidenced in the PCE) ... and that is eternal time.
RESPONDENT: The mindset that looks down on instinct and posits a way of being beyond them is creating a wholly unnecessary division in which the innate intelligence of the instinct is unacknowledged and the karmic results of conditioning and choice are (falsely) pinned on ‘instinct’.
RICHARD: Except what you call the ‘innate intelligence of the instincts’ is busily killing people ... 160,000,000 million in wars this century alone. As for ‘karmic results’ ... I do not need to believe in that Eastern mystical twaddle.
RESPONDENT: Finally, there is no such thing as ‘blind’ Nature.
RICHARD: Nature is blind inasmuch as it does not care two-hoots about you or me. It is only concerned with the survival of the species ... and any species will do as far as nature is concerned. Therefore it is blind. There is no such thing as ‘Mother Nature’ outside of sentimental human imagination. Nature is indeed ‘red in tooth and claw’.
RESPONDENT: Nature exists as us, and if we do not see that nature is not blind through the multitude of ‘outer’ evidence, we cannot deny that nature sees through us (though perhaps far too myopically).
RICHARD: Hmm ... look, if you think it is important for me to understand this sentence then perhaps you could re-write it in a way that makes sense? Does this ‘Nature’ need to visit an optometrist? You did claim (above) that nature has an ‘innate intelligence’ yet now you are saying it is ‘myopic’ ... and I cannot comprehend how a ‘myopic intelligence’ is going to set one free of the Human Condition. Do you actually know ... or are you making this up as you write?
RESPONDENT: Is the universe you live in a dead mechanism, or are you a coextensive expression of the living/conscious universe?
RICHARD: I am not sure whether you have read many of my posts, but my oft-repeated refrain is: ‘I am this material universe experiencing itself as a sensate and reflective human being ... as me the universe is intelligent’. To be here at this place in infinite space and this moment in infinite time is to be living the perfection of this infinitude as purity personified.
RESPONDENT: Is ‘biologically-based, inherited savagery’ shared by trees and butterflies? Is there not also biologically inherited gentleness and intelligence?
RICHARD: Aye, you will find this explanation in the post that you snipped the opening quote above off ... you will see the word ‘tender’ in there. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: First, no I do not pretend to know a method for curing the human race. Though that may be a good place for us to end this, let me try to re-write the above in a way that you will understand what I am pointing out. Just as one can not deny the Earth is a living being due to the fact that it has grass and other things growing all over its surface, it would be foolish to claim nature is not conscious given that we, and a multitude of other life-forms, are in fact conscious. Nature is ‘myopic’ when she looks through the perspective of the human consciousness that is making ‘much ado’ all over this planet. We humans have existed all of a nano-second (if that long) in the ‘grand scheme of things’ and yet we think we are IT. Rather tragic and humorous, in my opinion. Now, if we can grow out of our infancy, and tune into our potential ‘transformation’, then nature may no longer need an optometrist for her myopic mutation (aka: ‘humans’). Otherwise, nature might be better off scrapping the project so that humans can give way to some other (potentially) less-aggressive being.
RICHARD: Yet all sentient beings are a product of nature. Nature endows all sentient beings with the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire, right? You are suggesting that this nature might be better of scrapping human beings for some other ‘less aggressive’ being. Yet it was nature that made human beings aggressive in the first place. Do you see the circular nature of what you are saying?
RESPONDENT: I am not so sure. Fright is the intelligent response to danger.
RESPONDENT: Man is the only primate (or animal for that matter) which kills his own species.
RICHARD: Not so ... only recently I was watching a National Geographic programme on television about gorillas in Africa. They not only killed their cousins but all tucked in and had a feast of the flesh. Other species also kill their own.
[Editorial note: The ‘National Geographic’ programme was about chimpanzees and not gorillas]
RESPONDENT: No other species kills their own like humans do.
RICHARD: Stating the obvious does not take away from the fact that you were holding beliefs about primates that do not accord with actuality. Does this give you pause to re-consider other truths you hold.
RESPONDENT: Truth cannot be held.
RICHARD: Aye ... passionate fantasies and imaginative hallucinations never can be.
RESPONDENT: Gorillas are generally gentle creatures. Finding and over-emphasising an exception is not conducive to credibility.
RICHARD: Be it far from me to be the one who is constantly correcting you, but the programme I watched said that the gorillas went on a killing spree regularly ... about once a month. The narrator speculated – as narrators are prone to do – that it must be a dietary craving for meat that motivates this behaviour. Nobody, but nobody, seems willing to examine feelings – emotions and passions – which are born out of the instinctual survival passions that all sentient beings are endowed with by blind nature.
[Editorial note: The ‘National Geographic’ programme was about chimpanzees and not gorillas]
RESPONDENT: It is interesting that you cite a fellow primate as an example though.
RICHARD: Oh? Why is that? Does it tell you something about my character? Does it give you an insight into the devious workings of my mind? Does it reveal my deepest, darkest secrets? Okay ... have a good think about it and work it all out as to just what manner of a person would do such a thing ... and then cast your eye up five sentences of yours and you will see that it was you who first ‘cited a fellow primate’ and not me. Do you see it? I was merely answering your question. But ... never mind though, you would make a good engineer.
RESPONDENT: Your views on animals appear to be based on second-hand theories rather than from your observation of them in the real world.
RICHARD: I was born and raised on a farm and have had vast experience with animals throughout my life. A short list would have to include the domesticated animals such as cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, geese, ducks, chickens and corellas ... all of which – with the exception of the corellas – I have personally slaughtered and skinned and dressed with my own hands. The wild animals would include kangaroos, emus, dingoes, foxes, rabbits, eagles, crows, magpies, pigeons and quail ... all of which – with the exception of the dingoes, foxes, eagles, crows and magpies – I have personally slaughtered and skinned and dressed with my own hands (the dingoes, foxes, eagles and crows were killed for their bounty as they were considered pests). Stalking animals made me keenly aware of animal behaviour, whilst raising livestock for a living necessitated an eye for the detail of animals’ daily practice. I made a study of the differences between animals and humans – by reading countless scholarly studies made by enterprising people; by watching many a television program on animal life and by often visiting zoos – because I am vitally interested in life on earth. I observe animal action and behaviour and ascertain from research how an animal is likely to perceive itself and the world. For example: I have seen a dog acting in a way that can only be called pining; I have seen a cat toying with a mouse in a manner that can only be dubbed cruel; I have seen cows ‘spooked’ and then stampede in what must be described as hysteria; I have seen stallions displaying what can only be labelled aggression; I have watched many animals exhibiting what must be specified as fear ... and so on. Only recently a television programme was aired here on chimpanzees about studies made over many, many years of them in their native habitat and I was able to see civil war, robbery, rage, infanticide, cannibalism, grief, group ostracism ... and so on. It is easily discerned by those with the eyes to see that animals do not have peace-on-earth. This insistence that the animal state being a natural state and therefore somehow desirable that is held by many people is just nonsense ... I am glad that I am human and that we are living in a civilised society with all that technology can offer. We have already improved on nature so much in the areas of technology, animal breeding and plant cultivation, for instance. There is no reason why we can not continue this fine work of overcoming the limitations imposed by blind nature and eliminate sorrow and malice from ourselves. Then – and only then – will we have global peace-on-earth.
RESPONDENT: Generally animals only kill to eat.
RICHARD: Dream on ... animals are instinctually-driven by territoriality, just as the human animal is; animals are instinctually-driven to defend their young, just as the human animal is; animals are instinctually-driven to compete to copulate, just as the human animal is.
RESPONDENT: Animals don’t kill others of the same species except in rare instances.
RICHARD: Oh, we have been down this same-same path before, you and I ... try watching the ‘National Geographic Channel’ for starters, and see what the chimpanzees get up to regularly. And try watching with both eyes and not take too much notice of what the narrators say. Watch rather than listen to pap.
RESPONDENT: Wild animals do not abuse each other.
RICHARD: Dream on ... I have seen a cat toying with a mouse in a manner that can only be dubbed cruel; I have seen magpies playing with a live cricket in a manner that can only be called mean; I have watched many animals exhibiting what must be specified as abuse. Once again, the ‘National Geographic Channel’ shows chimpanzees in their native habitat ... I see civil war, robbery, rage, infanticide, cannibalism, grief, group ostracism ... and so on. It is easily discerned by those with the eyes to see that animals do not have peace-on-earth by being natural. This insistence that the animal state being a natural state and therefore somehow desirable because human are ‘divided from nature’ that is held by many people is just nonsense ... I am glad that I am human and that we are living in a civilised society with all that technology can offer. We have already improved on nature so much in the areas of technology, animal breeding and plant cultivation, for instance.
RESPONDENT: You may be projecting your own suppressed conflict onto ‘out there’(?)
RICHARD: And you may be repeating yourself again soon ... can you not move on past your preconceived notions and actually look at the animal world as-it-is? Just because they do not have spears and bows and arrows and rifles and machine-guns and missiles does not mean that they would not if capable. They are as instinctually-driven with fear and aggression and nurture and desire as the human animal is.
RESPONDENT: Look at the way death nourishes life and look at the way such ‘survival’ masters as T-Rex and the cockroach are contrasted by the butterfly-flower relationship or the way the wolf keeps the deer population strong and healthy. Look at the way the predator and the prey are involved in a mutually beneficial harmonious relationship from the larger perspective.
RICHARD: Aye ... and look how ‘T-Rex’ and the ‘cockroach’ and the ‘butterfly’ and the ‘wolf’ and the ‘deer’ and so on are all unable to free themselves from their instinctual passions – and the sense of self bestowed – and thus be the universe’s experience of itself because the intelligence has not evolved in them yet that will enable then to be here, now, where peace-on-earth already always is. They have no intelligence yet to use ... whereas you have. What are you doing with it? Wishing to remain involved in the ‘mutually beneficial harmonious relationship’ of ‘the predator and the prey’ type relationship that has resulted in 160,000,000 peoples being killed by their fellow human beings in wars this century alone? What ‘larger perspective’ does your metaphysical ‘intelligence existing in/as the uni-verse’ come from that makes it oblivious to such animosity and anguish on such a large scale?
RESPONDENT: It is not oblivious to suffering.
RICHARD: Then why is there not action? Why do you wish to remain involved in the ‘mutually beneficial harmonious relationship’ of ‘the predator and the prey’ type relationship that has resulted in 160,000,000 peoples being killed by their fellow human beings in wars this century alone? Is it not that you are ‘oblivious to suffering’ through a mental de-sensitisation process that categorises all the misery and mayhem as being a ‘mutually beneficial harmonious relationship’ ?
RESPONDENT: Again, predators kill prey to eat.
RICHARD: Yes, the human animal outlawed cannibalism this century so as to deflect predation away from its own kind for obvious humanitarian reasons. There is progress.
RESPONDENT: They kill the sickest and weakest of the prey. This makes the prey population stronger.
RICHARD: Indeed ... but this instinctual trait shows up in the human bullying and exploitation of their weaker fellow human beings. Why do you not apply your ‘mutually beneficial harmonious relationship’ of ‘the predator and the prey’ type philosophy to all the wars and murders and so on and see that it is a ‘good thing’ that Mother Nature is doing in wiping out the undignified, the unworthy, the dishonourable and the mediocre to the point of being a pathetic excuse for a human being type of peoples?
Like someone infamous in modern history tried to do this century ... he was doing what comes natural, eh?
RESPONDENT: The millions of peoples who have died in wars have were not eaten by their killers.
RICHARD: Maybe not ‘millions’ ... but the eating one’s slain enemy was practised up until twenty to thirty years ago (or even later). The indigenous cultures flourishing in the Highlands of New Guinea immediately spring to mind (as this recent example was within my life-time and near-by) but there are many, many other examples.
RESPONDENT: Their deaths were therefore pointless. If a predator over-kills a prey population, it thereby suffers by the lack of food.
RICHARD: Aye ... and as animals have no intelligence they then starve to death. The human animal, with its ability to reflect, plan and implement considered action can circumvent this natural process and flourish.
RESPONDENT: There is a balance here that simply is not present in the human example of war with which you are equating it.
RICHARD: Methinks you will find that it is ... I am saying that the same-same instincts drive the human animal as drives the other animals. It is just that you admire these instinctual traits in animals but bemoan human behaviour (driven by these self-same instincts) and persistently blame thought, and the intellect in general, for human beings doing what otherwise comes natural.
RESPONDENT: In some respects, to extinguish the in-born, genetically programmed survival responses of the organism to danger seems insane and incredible.
RICHARD: Yes, I have not been sane for years. From the ‘real world’ perspective I am indeed insane ... officially I have a ‘severe psychotic disorder’. It is pertinent to note that 160,000,000 sane human beings have been killed in wars alone this century by their sane fellow human beings. Even so, statistically, the most dangerous place is in a person’s own home ... the ‘stranger-danger’ rule impressed into children is based upon an (approximately) 10% incidence. And law-enforcement agencies dislike a ‘serial-killer’ case because otherwise the vast bulk of their cases are relatively easy to solve: sane relatives and/or sane associates and/or sane colleagues are the immediate suspects.
What price sanity, eh?
RESPONDENT: Yet, I see what you are saying about harm arising from these same instinctual passions. I am having a hard time reconciling these things. Can you comment?
RICHARD: The instinctual passions are – more or less – all that animals have to operate and function with ... and one can presume (it cannot be known as a fact) that the instinctual passions were equally essential for proto-human beings (humanoids) before intelligence evolved with the advent of the ability to think, reflect, plan and implement considered action for beneficial results (no other animal can do this). All peoples alive today are the end result of the ‘success story’ of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... if it were not for these survival instincts we would not be here. Yet these very survival instincts are the biggest threat to human survival today ... the greatest danger these days is no longer the ‘wild animals’ or ‘savage beasts’ of yore ... it is fellow human beings. The dropping of the atomic bombs in 1945 and the world-wide accessibility to both chemical and biological warfare weapons brought home to all but the most recalcitrant the stunning fact that people are their own worst enemy.
RICHARD: There is much more to one’s background than conditioning ... one begins to comprehend that all the different types of socialisation (peer-group conditioning, parental conditioning and societal conditioning in general) are well-meant endeavours by countless peoples over innumerable aeons to seek to curb the instinctual animal passions. Now, while most people paddle around on the surface and re-arrange the conditioning to ease their lot somewhat, some people – seeking to be free of all human conditioning – fondly imagine that by putting on a face-mask and snorkel that they have gone deep-sea diving with a scuba outfit ... deep into the human condition. They have not ... they have gone deep only into the human conditioning. When they tip upon the instinctual passions – which are both savage (fear and aggression) and tender (nurture and desire) – they grab for the tender (the ‘good’ side) and blow them up all out of proportion as an antidote, as compensating pacifiers ... and the investigation ceases. It takes nerves of steel to don such an aqua-lung and plunge deep in the stygian depths of the human psyche ... it is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knee. This is because below or behind the conditioning is the human condition itself ... that which necessitated the controls (conditioning) in the first place. Thus the conditioning can prevent the investigation of the human condition itself.
RESPONDENT: I seem to remember the statement ‘instincts on rampage balk at investigation’. For the most part, then, we are content to, as you say, paddle around on the surface, avoiding deep investigation into ourselves. We want to have an image of ourselves as reasonable, respectable people rather than the bloodthirsty killers that we are. Pardon the hyperbole; perhaps that is putting it too starkly.
RICHARD: Is it really true that ‘we want to have an image of ourselves as reasonable, respectable people’ which makes one ‘avoid deep investigation into ourselves’ ... or is such societal conditioning a necessity in order to curb the savage beast that lurks deep within the human breast? In other words: what if one has been inadvertently blaming conditioning all along for something that is not its fault?
If one realises this is so ... then what happens?
RESPONDENT: We may never have actually snuffed out a life, directly, but the potential for actual violence is there in the instinctual drives, the ‘human condition’ that you refer to. Yet the instinctual animal passions are there for a reason, are they not?
RICHARD: Yes, to give one a (rough and ready) basic ‘software package’ operating system ... so as to give one a start to life.
RESPONDENT: What is their basic function or raison d’être?
RICHARD: To ensure the survival of the species ... and any species will do as far as blind nature is concerned. Survival of the fittest means the most fitted to survive live to pass on their genes ... the species which is most fitted to the environment succeeds in the perpetuation of their species. Those that cannot adapt to the ever-changing environment are automatically weeded-out. The (supposed) ‘resurgence’ of viruses immune to the vast array of antibiotics (for instance) empirically demonstrates this ‘survival of the most fitted to the environment theory’ to be an actual occurrence.
Thus ‘The Evolutionary Theory’ is now ‘The Evolutionary Fact’.
RESPONDENT: Once necessary for survival, why have they continued on?
RICHARD: Is this not because peoples have been conditioned by various sages and seers to blame the conditioning for causing what is actually caused by the human condition itself ... the very instinctual passions which necessitated the controls (conditioning) in the first place. Thus the fixation on the conditioning can and does prevent the investigation of the human condition itself.
RESPONDENT: That [dissolution of the conditioning] means there are actual chemical or neuro-physiological changes, not the ‘death’ of an imagined psyche although it may seem like ‘me’ dying.
RICHARD: One may call the ‘psyche’ imagined; one may call the ‘me’ imagined; one may call the ‘death’ imagined ... yet, whatever it is that dramatically ‘dies’ is but a playing-out of the tragedy of ‘being’ ... when the process that ‘I’ initiated with full intent wipes out all the instinctual passions one was born with. You see, there is this rudimentary animal ‘self’ of the survival instincts endowed by blind nature as evidenced in animals ... and there is the rub. The presence of this base ‘self’ – which is ‘being’ itself – has nothing to do with imagination – or with conditioning and programming or thought and memory – you were physically born this way. The psyche is not memory at all ... it is born of the instinctual passions. When ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul become extinct the psyche vanishes ... then memory is understood as being the asset that it is and not a liability.
RESPONDENT: Whether it is psychological programming or biological programming or both, it stems from accumulated past impressions.
RICHARD: Not so ... biological programming, like the instinctive reactions, has its energy base in the instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire that blind nature endows on all sentient beings. Unless you profess a belief in the incredulous Eastern mystical concept of re-incarnation, with its spurious karma, these cannot be ‘accumulated past impressions’. It is these instinctual passions that are the very energy source of the rudimentary animal self ... the base consciousness of ‘self’ and ‘other’ that all sentient beings have. The human animal – with its unique ability to think and reflect upon its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary ‘self’ into being a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and from this core of ‘being’ this ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. This process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born ... which, as you have said, is conditioning and programming and thought and memory and imagining. It is part and parcel of the socialising process. Biological programming, however, is different to psychological programming ... you were physically born already biologically programmed. How can that programming come from ‘accumulated past impressions’? If you are referring to ‘genetic memory’, then be aware that this is a misnomer ... as it is a description of a biological process that has nothing to do with thoughts’ memory.
RESPONDENT: If it is biological programming, that implies it arises from unconscious past impressions that have been stored in matter and operate now in a mechanical way.
RICHARD: If I may point out? You are straying from the point? Psychological programming is stored in thoughts’ memory whereas the biological instincts are genetically imprinted as the affective faculty. You are blurring the distinction by using ‘unconscious past impressions’ to refer to both thought’s memory and biological imprinting.
RESPONDENT: The so-called fight or flight mechanism is a good example. Doesn’t biological conditioning evolve from organic experience? Of course it does.
RICHARD: Indeed ... but the instinctual passions are inherited via the joining of the spermatozoa and the ova. This biological heredity stretches back over many millennia of trial and error on the part of blind nature. This is a distinctly different process from parental or societal conditioning. Please look back (five of your sentences above) for the statement about the psyche that started this particular aspect of this thread. Let me copy and paste so there is no confusion:
RICHARD: Mr. Joseph LeDoux (and others) has demonstrated that much of the (non-cognitive) emotional memory is laid down before the infant can think ... let alone comprehend cause and effect. This instinctive reactionary behaviour (which he calls the ‘quick and dirty’ reaction) is blind nature’s survival instinct in action. It can (and has been) observed and documented again and again ... yet he and other commentators predict massive denial from all kinds of people to this scientifically demonstrated data. There has been much research into this growing science in these last few years.
RESPONDENT: My point is simple: whatever the instinctive response is, it can never be completely described. An after-thought, which compares that response to some other response in the memory, can be described. But pure instinctive response: no.
RICHARD: My point is simple too: I say that the ‘pure instinctive response’ can be described ... and that I do describe it. What are you (you who ‘observe with the objectivity of a scientist’ ) going to do with this person called Richard and his report of his experience? Dismiss him and his report ... along with all those scientific investigators like Mr. Joseph LeDoux? He and other commentators predict massive denial from all kinds of people to this scientifically demonstrated data.
RICHARD: The feeling self (‘me’ as soul) is primal and the thinking self (‘I’ as ego) is derivative and both are, fundamentally, affective in substance: as the essential affective feelings are in situ before thought first arises in infancy – a baby is born already feeling – the feeler, as an embryonic feeling being, is innate in the species ... it is an hereditarily programmed, or genetically encoded, instinctually passionate inchoate presence, a rudimentary survival ‘self’ as it were.
RESPONDENT: The senses are ‘genetically programmed’, embryonic feelings are probably due to prenatal experiences, the ‘rudimentary survival self’ is the beginning of learning.
RICHARD: If the embryonic feelings are due to ‘prenatal experiences’ – and are not genetically programmed – are you suggesting that feelings arise ex nihilo?
RESPONDENT: A foetus can be traumatized in many ways, but it shares much of the mothers chemistry. If the mother is tense, the foetus experiences this. There are studies that link gender ambivalence is boys to this.
RICHARD: I do understand that, as babies born of heroin-addicted mothers are born suffering withdrawal symptoms, the many and varied chemicals which surge through the mother, when she is feeling fear or aggression or nurture or desire and so on, also pass through the placenta (thus flooding the foetus with these substances) ... but if the affective feelings are due only to ‘the mother’s chemistry’ – and are not encoded in the genetic blueprint at conception – then where did the mother get the chemicals from in the first place to thus pass them on in utero?
RICHARD: ... so far I have only been able to come across 15 passages where Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti uses the word ‘genetic’ and nowhere on those 15 occasions does he come even anywhere near comprehending the implications and ramifications involved in the affective feelings being rooted in the genetically-encoded instincts ... rather than in conditioning (be it societal, familial, peer-group or environmental conditioning). For an example: ‘The other day as one was walking along a secluded wooded lane far from the noise and the brutality and the vulgarity of civilisation, right away from everything that was put together by man, there was a sense of great quietness, enveloping all things – serene, distant, and full of the sound of the earth. As you walked along quietly, not disturbing the things of the earth around you, the bushes, the trees, the crickets, and the birds, suddenly around the bend there were two small creatures quarrelling with each other, fighting in their small way. One was trying to drive off the other. The other was intruding, trying to get into the other’s little hole, and the owner was fighting it off. Presently the owner won and the other ran off. Again there was quietness, a sense of deep solitude. And as you looked up, the path climbed high into the mountains, the waterfall was murmuring down the side of the path; there was great beauty and infinite dignity, not the dignity achieved by man that seems so vain and arrogant. The little creature had identified itself with its home, as we human beings do. We are always trying to identify ourselves with our race, with our culture, with those things which we believe in, with some mystical figure, some kind of super authority. Identifying with something seems to be the nature of man. Probably we have derived this feeling from that little animal. One wonders why this craving, longing, for identification exists’. (10 March 1983; ‘Krishnamurti To Himself’; ©1987 Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Ltd.). But he does not wonder why it is probable that ‘we have derived this feeling from that little animal’ for very long as soon he has left behind everything that thought had put together and has completely forgotten himself ...
RESPONDENT: Of course k isn’t so interested in tracing our behaviour to it’s animal sources. Leave that to the scientists.
RICHARD: Being born and raised on a farm being carved out of virgin forest I interacted with other animals – both domesticated and in the wild – from a very early age and have maintained a life-long interest in observing the correspondence the basic instinctual passions in the human animal have with the basic instinctual passions in the other animals ... to see the self-same feelings of fear and aggression and nurture and desire, for example, in other sentient beings did not and does not need scientific verification.
And even from my comfortable suburban living room I can watch documentaries on this very topic ... only recently a television programme was aired again about observations made of chimpanzees over many, many years in their native habitat and I was able to see fear, aggression, territoriality, civil war, robbery, rage, infanticide, cannibalism, nurture, grief, group ostracism, bonding, desire, and so on being displayed in living colour.
RESPONDENT: Of course our instincts evolved with the creatures we stem from.
RICHARD: Yet it is not the instincts per se I am referring to but the instinctual passions – the genetically-encoded affective feelings – such as what Mr. Jiddu Krishnamurti was wondering about. Vis.:
RESPONDENT: K’s interest is only in the self, the psychological malfunctioning our species succumbed to, and if it’s possible to walk away from that.
RICHARD: To blur the distinction between the thinker and the feeler is to lose the plot altogether as the feeler only comes into full being when the thinker is not ... the advice ‘get out of your head and into your heart’ is well-nigh ubiquitous among spiritualists and their ilk.
RESPONDENT: ‘Get out of your head and into your heart’ obviously can mean different things to different people. But most would agree its a reference to how consciousness is being structured. Many people perceive the world as if that which is looking is centred in or behind the head area. The energy that looks is being channelled that way. As thought quiets down, there is a sinking from the head area into the heart centre so that looking seems to be channelled from there. The division of thinker from thought is absent. There may be a sense of union or non-separation where the lover and the beloved are one.
RICHARD: Which is indicative of the feeler having come into full being ... as in no longer ‘me’ feeling the feeling, but the being of the very feeling itself (hence ‘being’ as in no longer ‘becoming’).
RESPONDENT: As identifications below the level of conscious thought are exposed and fall away, there is a sense of attention sinking into the centre of the body or the mid-section so that observation stems from there.
RICHARD: Yes, the advice ‘get out of your head and into your heart’ is but a generic term as, for just one example, the Japanese use of the word ‘hara’ or ‘hari’ (which translates as ‘belly’) serves to locate the centre of attention, the core of ‘being’ itself, more precisely as being four finger-widths below the navel ... the everyday English equivalent would be the common expression ‘gut-feeling’ (when referring to an intuitive hunch).
Another way of saying it is that there are the more superficial feelings (emotional) and that there are the deeper feelings (passionate) and that the emotions are what one has and that the passions are who one is.
The Third Alternative
(Peace On Earth In This Life Time As This Flesh And Blood Body)
Here is an actual freedom from the Human Condition, surpassing Spiritual Enlightenment and any other Altered State Of Consciousness, and challenging all philosophy, psychiatry, metaphysics (including quantum physics with its mystic cosmogony), anthropology, sociology ... and any religion along with its paranormal theology. Discarding all of the beliefs that have held humankind in thralldom for aeons, the way has now been discovered that cuts through the ‘Tried and True’ and enables anyone to be, for the first time, a fully free and autonomous individual living in utter peace and tranquillity, beholden to no-one.