Actual Freedom – Selected Correspondence by Topic

Richard’s Selected Correspondence

On Our Animal Instinctual Passions in the Primitive Brain


RESPONDENT: To act according to our conditioning, which is thinking/ feeling drawn from memory, is the way the majority of human beings carry on in this world.

RICHARD: Dig deeper than that, in yourself, and you will find that the instinctual passions underpin all ‘thinking/ feeling drawn from memory’ ... the ‘conditioning’ is but well-meant attempts by one’s parents, peers and the public at large to control the animal ‘self’.

RESPONDENT: There are instincts that guarantee physical life on Earth. I do not know why you blame those for all the ills of the Earth.

RICHARD: I am not blaming the ‘instincts’ per se ... it is the instinctual passions and their animal ‘self’ that I am pointing the finger at.

RESPONDENT: The ills of the earth, i.e., malice, sorrow, rape, mayhem, etc., are not the result of the basic instincts.

RICHARD: They are the result of the basic instinctual passions.

RESPONDENT: Basic instincts guarantee our survival, but upon those instincts, feeling/thinking have added the whole business of the ‘ego.’

RICHARD: Feelings are rooted in the instinctual passions ... do you really think such a powerful force as passion can be added into the child?

RESPONDENT: ‘Feelings’ are not the same as instincts, and instincts are not a problem.

RICHARD: If you wish to paddle around on the surface then that is your business.

*

RESPONDENT: Then, seeing that you at that moment are totally, 100% responsible for every action, every word, every thought that emanates from that blood and bones body, at that moment – in that state of 100% responsibility – you are freed of the ‘I’ as the ego, ‘I’ as the soul, the ‘I’ as feelings, or any other ‘I’ you can imagine.

RICHARD: ‘Tis not your fault you were born the way you were (genetically programmed with passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire).

RESPONDENT: Of the four things you mentioned, only desire and nurture are instinct.

RICHARD: Well ... half-way there is better than nothing (in the years gone by you used to tell me that the baby is born clean). Vis.:

• [Respondent to Richard]: ‘My granddaughter is simple ... as of right now, she is a ‘truly clean slate’.

And again:

• [Respondent to Richard]: ‘Being ‘natural’ is a clean slate’.

RESPONDENT: These are instincts that are necessary for the survival of the species.

RICHARD: And so are fear and aggression, for example ... these are easily observed in animals (especially what is called the ‘higher order’ animals).

RESPONDENT: Without them we would be dead.

RICHARD: And with them people are killing each other (and themselves).

RESPONDENT: But, to blame instincts for all the violence in the world is absolutely ridiculous.

RICHARD: I am talking of what is at root ... of course there are many other factors built on top of the basic instinctual passions.

RESPONDENT: I was not born aggressive, for that is not an instinct.

RICHARD: You must be the only animal on the planet who was not, then.

RESPONDENT: It is a learned trait. If I first learned to kill because I was hungry, that is the instinct of hunger.

RICHARD: I am not talking of killing for food.


RESPONDENT: And the questions related to LeDoux’s work are to know how much of what is stated on (www.actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/instincts.htm) follows from his and related work, and how much of it is your completion based on your understanding. From the presentation in the above link, it is not clear how much is your construction (schematic diagrams) based on the results – what results from LeDoux and others you are using.

RICHARD: Very little of it, other than the basic circuitry of the brain, is based upon scientific studies ... as I said in the previous e-mail the only reason that any reference is made to them on The Actual Freedom Web Page is so that other people do not have to take my word for it that the feelings arise before thought in the reactionary process (albeit a split-second first).

This discovery – and nothing else – is the only thing I have ever drawn from Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s studies (I have not read any of his books).

RESPONDENT: Most of it (schematic diagrams) are exactly as in LeDoux works (and as in the ‘Time’ magazine’s reference you pointed out), except that I don’t find references to ‘instinctual self’ or ‘psychological self’ or ‘instinctual passions’.

RICHARD: Indeed not. As I said in my previous e-mail it is pertinent to realise that no scientist has been able to locate the self, by whatever name, despite all their brain-scans ... and I also said ‘from what is implied therein’ when referring to the ‘Time’ magazine’s article.

It is early days yet in scientific circles ... they know nowt of what I talk about.


RESPONDENT: So that thought as thinker is not the primordial creator of bodily sensations but the thinker is what can trigger off them, what can create a response of fear or sorrow when it is indeed unnecessary.

RICHARD: It is emotional memory ... a non-verbal memory located in what is popularly called the ‘lizard brain’ or ‘reptilian brain’ at the top of the brain-stem/base of the skull.

RESPONDENT: It seems to me that in the human there’s: 1. thought as no-emotional memory and thought as emotional memory (dates associated to bodily sensations): 2. bodily physical sensations. Why do you consider that emotional memory is not thought? Memory is registration, is thought.

RICHARD: Because it is a feeling memory (affectively registered) evoking an emotional response and not a thought memory (cognitively registered) eliciting a thoughtful response.

RESPONDENT: It seems that in the lizard brain there is not a self conscious thinker, there’s a feeler-being and physical reactions to the environment leading their behaviour. But there’s also capacity of memory (registration and remembering), a rudimentary kind of thought I would say.

RICHARD: Indeed it is so that in the lizard brain there is no ‘self-conscious thinker’ (the saurian brain cannot think) ... there is an intuitive self-consciousness residing there. Sentience does not necessarily require thought, thoughts or thinking ... not even a ‘rudimentary kind of thought’.

RESPONDENT: It has been observed recently that hamsters and dogs can remember and relive past events from memory when dreaming, it seems thought again. A class of monkeys and also dolphins have sense of self existence and can recognize themselves in a mirror, it is thought again, memory. And humans have made a thinker-entity from thought.

RICHARD: Is it not possible to allow that the hamsters, dogs, primates, dolphins and so on have a feeling-entity? Why does the feeling of ‘self existence’ necessarily involve imputing thought, albeit rudimentary thought, into animals? There is no evidence that animals can think (as in observe, recall, reflect, appraise and propose considered plans for beneficial results) ... in a drought or famine, for instance, animals languish and/or die through lack of foresight.

RESPONDENT: All they, from lizards to humans, have instinctual survivals passions but only humans seems to have a thinker and to live in sorrow.

RICHARD: In the canine family, for just one example, it is easily observed that dogs can and do pine.

RESPONDENT: It seems that the thinker is the creator of sorrow and that there’s no problem with these instinctual survivals passions when there’s not an ego-thinker leading them.

RICHARD: Yet the saints, sages and seers display that they are still subject to sorrow from time-to-time.

*

RESPONDENT: This points me that the instinctive bodily responses and sensations can exists by themselves without a so called ‘feeler’ at their root, they are an essence of the body, they seem to be natural and it is not necessary to extinct them, it seems only necessary to extinct the thinker, who makes false interpretations of reality and creates unnecessary situations of insecurity and threat, triggering off then these prior existing bodily responses and sensations. Do you consider the above correct? If not, why?

RICHARD: No, because they not only ‘seem to be natural’ ... they are indeed natural. It is natural to feel fear and aggression and nurture and desire ... these feelings are blind nature’s instinctual survival passions. However, now that a thinking, reflective brain has developed sensible thought, thoughts and thinking these instinctual survival passions can be safely eliminated. In fact, what was once essential for survival is nowadays the biggest threat to survival.

RESPONDENT: Why? Don’t you wish a drink when you are thirsty?

RICHARD: No, there is no thirsting whatsoever. Nor any hungering for food, a craving for sexual congress, a yearning for love ... or a hankering for pleasure, for that matter, either. All desire ceases forthwith where there is no ‘being’.

RESPONDENT: Are survival passions a threat to survival or is the thinker leading these survival passions the unique threat?

RICHARD: There is no question that thought, thoughts and thinking have occasioned sophisticated ways of harming both oneself and one’s fellow human being – in ways that animals can not and do not – but to sheet home all the blame onto thought is to ignore all the evidence that animals can and do commit what humans call tribal war, murder, rape, cannibalism, patricide, matricide, fratricide, infanticide and many other deleterious behaviours ... deleterious to both individual and communal well-being.

The only way to ignore the evidential behaviour is to attribute the ability of thought, thoughts and thinking onto animals.

*

RICHARD: The second case is the demonstration of this being factual (as is the instant instinctive feeling of fear, for another example, in an imminently dangerous situation). It has been exhaustively tested and scientifically (repeatable on demand) demonstrated that feelings come before thought in the perception-reaction process.

RESPONDENT: The feelings come before ‘conscious’ thought, but the feeling of fear does not arise in an imminently dangerous situation if there’s not recognition of this situation and what it means (when child, you are not afraid of fire whereas you don’t know its effects).

RICHARD: Yet the child develops an emotional memory of danger (such as fire), even before thought, thoughts and thinking commences, in the ‘reptilian brain’ as an environmentally-learned supplement to the instinctual passions genetically endowed.

RESPONDENT: Right, thought seems an environmentally-learned supplement to ‘something’ (aka passions) instinctual genetically endowed ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? I do not see what you are saying ‘right’ to as you go on to say ‘thought seems an environmentally-learned supplement’ (when what I wrote was ‘the child develops an emotional memory ... as an environmentally-learned supplement’) even when I read on to what you say next (immediately below).

RESPONDENT: ... but it seems that human child uses principally thought and learning for survival instead this ‘something’ instinctual, contrarily to as the reptilian brain does. Even before thought? I have observed small children to touch fire for first time, getting a sensation of hight discomfort, and the parents saying ‘it’s fire, danger!, don’t touch it’, and fire becomes a concept, an image, a memory, which lets the child re-cognition and avoiding of fire even before language and elaborated thinking, but it seems yet thought, memory, a registration of an event of hight discomfort (danger).

RICHARD: If it be ‘before language’ then there is no way that the baby can comprehend the parental words ‘it’s fire, danger!, don’t touch it’ ... what is conveyed is the feeling of danger by a transfer of feelings (‘vibes’), by avoidance action, by tone of voice, facial expression and so on which serves to reinforce the ‘high discomfort’. Animal trainers know this procedure very well (along with reward and punishment).

RESPONDENT: Survival seems to depend more on thought than on genetic in humans.

RICHARD: Yet whenever push comes to shove the instinctual passionate response leaps to the fore.

RESPONDENT: On the contrary, primitive lizard brain seems to depend more on ‘something’ instinctual genetically endowed than in memory-thought. But this ‘something’ aka ‘instinctual passions’ seems to be neuronal and chemical automatic responses to the environment.

RICHARD: Indeed they are ‘automatic responses’ ... it is the emotional memory operating as an environmentally-learned supplement to the instinctual passions genetically endowed.

RESPONDENT: The body of the child has also neuronal and chemical automatic responses to the environment but has not infrared vision and receptors of hight heat or whatever for discovering a dramatic change in the environment (fire) and avoiding it, so that child depends completely of thought-learning-memory for detecting and avoiding fire and other dangers. I cannot see a ‘being-feeler’ behind these ‘instinctual passions’ so that eliminating the feeler results in eliminating his ‘instinctual passions’ . The so called ‘instinctual passions’ seems indeed inherent to the body in humans and in lizards, neuronal and chemical processes, why must it be eliminated and how?

RICHARD: There is no ‘it must be eliminated’ ... only if one wants to enable the already always existing peace-on-earth will it be obvious that altruistic ‘self’-immolation is the way to go.

It is a voluntary ‘self’-sacrifice for the benefit of this body and that body and every body.

RESPONDENT: For example, darkening of postorbital skin in the lizard Anolis carolinensis occurs more rapidly in dominant males during social interaction and functions as a social signal limiting aggressive interaction.

RICHARD: Yes, and the scaly membrane around the neck of the chlamydosausus kinggii (‘frilled lizard’) standing perpendicular to the body when irritated, thus enabling the lizard to surprise its enemies by suddenly displaying a head several times its normal size, having its correspondence with the bristling of the mammalian mane (to also make the head appear much larger) can be experienced in the human animal as the hairs on the back of the neck standing out in a fearful situation.

RESPONDENT: This visual social signal inhibiting aggression is coincident with limiting serotonergic and noradrenergic activity in subiculum, hippocampus, nucleus accumbens, and medial amygdala.

RICHARD: True ... yet if there be no aggression in the first place (induced by the ‘natural fear’ ) then all this is rendered null and void.

RESPONDENT: But physical stress (handling) mimics social stress by producing rapid serotonergic changes in the same locations, seeming that the so called ‘instinctual passions’ are neuronal and chemical responses to threats. The threat can be social or physical, and in humans can be triggered by the thinker. The threat can be real or illusory but the physical bodily response to threats is the same, inherent to the bodily.

RICHARD: Unless one no longer wishes to be run by the instinctual passions.

*

RESPONDENT: It seems that you consider ‘mind’ and ‘being (soul or second ‘I’)’ as different, which are these differences?

RICHARD: The mind is the human brain in action inside the human skull (cognition is a neuronal activity) whereas the ‘being’ is the instinctual passions in action in the ‘lizard brain’ at the top of the brain-stem (at the base of the skull).

RESPONDENT: But then the so called ‘being’ is also a neuronal activity.

RICHARD: Is ‘lizard brain’ activity ‘neuronal activity’ (do reptiles have a mind)?

RESPONDENT: Yes, ‘lizard brain’ activity is neuronal and chemical. As you know, they have a lot of neurons responding to environment and leading their behaviour.

RICHARD: I see that I put that sentence rather badly ... put simply: does the ‘lizard brain’ activity give rise to a mind?

RESPONDENT: Furthermore, measured responses induced by social stressors of aggression with those provoked by physical stress are the same in the lizard brain. It seems to me that, like in humans, survival passions are inherent to the body and can be triggered by physical or social events, or the own thinker (in humans). The problem seems to be the trigger instead the survival passions. In humans, the thinker is a trigger working in a crazy way. If there’s not an insane trigger, why are survival passions a problem at all?

RICHARD: Yet a ‘trigger’ cannot trigger anything unless there be something to trigger (the emotional ‘being’) ... which is why I asked if reptiles have a mind. I only put it the way I did because the atavistic wisdom stresses that the ‘no-mind’ state of being as being the solution to all the ills of humankind (ostensibly no ‘neuronal activity’).

RESPONDENT: If so, could these instinctual passions be a natural neuronal activity, sensitive, inherent to the body, so that all the problem is originated by another insane neuronal activity, cognitive, aka the thinker?

RICHARD: In these discussions, no matter how well-explained, the focus invariably comes back to thought copping all the blame whilst feelings get off scot-free.

RESPONDENT: Sorry :) Richard. I am trying to grasp what you are trying to convey but, by now, I find all the above difficulties.

RICHARD: I am, as always, endeavouring to provide focus to the place where focus has not been directed before.

RESPONDENT: Thought as thinker seems to be always behind, making the sorrowful human condition, I cannot see why instinctual passions could be a problem if there’s not an insane thinker leading them.

RICHARD: Okay ... this comment of yours (‘an insane thinker’) appears often: are you suggesting that if this ‘insane thinker’ is not (which is what the saints, sages and seers recommend) then the instinctual passions, such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire, will not ‘be a problem’?

How so? For just a few generalised examples (and this is neither an all-inclusive nor exhaustive list): to deal with fear they advocate faith and/or trust; to deal with aggression they advocate restraint and/or pacifism; to deal with nurture they advocate detachment and/or celibacy; to deal with desire they advocate asceticism and/or austerity ... and so on.

Is it not simpler to be totally void of fear and aggression and nurture and desire?


RICHARD: It is such a monumental thing to have happen: this event is the pivotal point wherein 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 and the such-like in one human being come to an end permanently. In a word: innocence.

RESPONDENT: Some say that chucking socially contrived roles, chucking the divisions made up by thought, such as national divisions, and even divisions such as man, woman, child, etc. leads to freedom. It occurs to me that something more sinister than thought-induced division is at work in the kinds of monstrosities that you have identified: rape, child abuse, tortures, domestic violence, etc, etc. In the past, you have talked on this list of the extinction of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression. You have pointed out that social conditioning is designed to keep these instincts under wraps but (and I think this is what you are saying; I may be wrong) that it is the primitive instincts that create all this havoc. I am interested in knowing from you the extent that you would endorse the view that the solution to these horrors is merely throwing out thought-created (made up) social concepts, in other words, a freedom from the known, or do you think that something more deeply embedded, intrinsic to human beings, is at work in producing the level of violence that we see?

RICHARD: It is indeed ‘something more deeply embedded, intrinsic to human beings’ and any ‘freedom from the known’ such as a freedom from ‘thought-created (made up) social concepts’ is to but re-discover the tried and failed ‘solution’ which is still within the human condition. And there certainly is ‘something more sinister than thought-induced division at work in the kinds of monstrosities’ rampant throughout the world such as wars, murders, rapes, tortures, domestic violence, child abuse, suicides and the such-like ... and it has a physical genetic basis (not metaphysical). Consequently all devils and demons (and gods and goddesses) exist only in the human psyche and there is nothing to fear other than what is contained within the human condition itself.

Speaking personally, in my investigations I first started by examining thought, thoughts and thinking ... then very soon moved on to examining feelings (first the emotions and then the deeper feelings). When I dug down into these passions (into the core of ‘my’ being then into ‘being’ itself) I stumbled across the instincts ... and found the origin of not only the affective faculty but the psyche itself. I found ‘me’ at the core of ‘being’ ... which is the instinctual rudimentary animal self common to all sentient beings (otherwise known as the ‘original face’ and is what gives rise to the feeling of ‘oneness’ with all other sentient beings). This is a very ancient genetic memory passed on from generation to generation via deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), a self-replicating material in the chromosomes of living organisms, which is the carrier of genetic information.

Being a ‘self’ is because the only way into this world of people, things and events is via the human spermatozoa fertilising the human ova ... thus every human being is endowed, by blind nature, with basic instinctual passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire. 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 be aware of its own death – transforms this ‘reptilian brain’ rudimentary animal ‘self’ into a feeling ‘me’ (as soul in the heart) and from this core of ‘being’ the ‘feeler’ then infiltrates into thought to become the ‘thinker’ ... a thinking ‘I’ (as ego in the head). No other animal can do this. That this process is aided and abetted by the human beings who were already on this planet when one was born – which is conditioning and programming and is part and parcel of the socialising process – is but the tip of the ice-burg and not the main issue at all. There is much, much more to an investigation into the human condition than ‘the thinker is the thought’, because (to put it in the same lingo) the ‘feeler’ is the feelings ... and the feelings are, as the root of the psyche, ‘being’ itself. Thus ‘I’ am the human psyche and the human psyche is ‘me’.

An actual freedom from the human condition (extinction of instinctual ‘being’ itself) will not eventuate unless the physically inherited cause (a genetically inherited instinctual animal self) that created the problem of the human condition is intimately experienced, comprehended and seen for who it is. To proceed from a sound basis, one starts with facts: to be alive (not dead) and awake (not asleep) and conscious (not unconscious) and aware and perceiving (and maybe thinking, remembering, reflecting and proposing considered action) is the human mind that every human being is born with and, as such, is similar around the globe and through all generations. Intimate access to the activity of each mind is personal (as opposed to public) but the basic activities of the human mind are not differentiated from others by qualities of its own. This neuronal activity – consciousness itself – is what the human mind is and thus, contrary to what some believe, consciousness is not its content (content as in conditioning) but the very neuronal activity itself.

Because, apart from awareness and perception and thought constituting what consciousness is, there is the affective feelings – emotions and passions and calentures – such as the instinctual fear and aggression and nurture and desire to consider:

1. Are these instinctual passions not basic traits that every human being is born with and consequently also similar?

• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

2. What about malice and sorrow and any of derivatives of malice and sorrow ... as a broad generalisation, ‘malice’ is what one does to others (resentment, anger, hatred, rage, sadism and so on) and ‘sorrow’ (sadness, loneliness, melancholy, grief, masochism and so on) is what one does to oneself? Are they not latent traits that every human comes into ‘being’ with and thus are also similar because, whatever the emotion or passion or calenture may be, they all have a global incidence.

• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

3. And what about the compensatory pacifiers of love and compassion and any of the derivatives of love and compassion that arise out of the basic instincts? Are they not also latent traits that every human comes into ‘being’ with and thus are also similar because, whatever the emotion or passion or calenture may be, they all have a global incidence.

• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

4. What about such affectively-based activity as imagination, intuition, visualisation, conceptualisation, believing, trusting, hoping, having faith and so forth – giving rise to epiphenomenon like prescience, clairvoyance, telepathy, divination and other psychic effects – are they not embryonic traits that every human being comes into ‘being’ with and thus are similar as well?

• Or are they the result of conditioning and therefore the ‘contents of consciousness’?

Is it not clear that it is only the obvious ‘contents of consciousness’ which are the result of conditioning, such as the gender, racial and era beliefs, truths, morals, ethics, principles, values, ideals, theories, customs, traditions, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams, that produces a ‘thought-induced division’ ? And yet this imprinted ‘divided mind’ (all the gender, racial and era beliefs, truths, morals, ethics, principles, values, ideals, theories, customs, traditions, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams) would not be able to have the tenacious hold that it has if the human brain was indeed the ‘Tabular Rasa’ brain that so many peoples believe they are born with.

All the gender, racial and era beliefs, truths, morals, ethics, principles, values, ideals, theories, customs, traditions, superstitions and all the other schemes and dreams have such a persistent grip only because of the powerful energy of the genetically inherited instinctual passions of fear and aggression and nurture and desire that stretch back to the dawn of the human species ... which passions have given rise to a rudimentary animal ‘self’ out of ‘being’ itself who is both savage (‘fear and aggression’) and tender (‘nurture and desire’).

Is it not obvious that all the animosity and anguish that has beset humankind throughout millennia comes from that which a lot deeper than ‘the thinker is the thought’ ... all the misery and mayhem stems from an animal energy which is much, much more powerful than thought, thoughts and thinking. Thus intelligence – the amazing ability to think, remember, reflect, evaluate, plan and implement considered action for beneficial reasons – is crippled by the instinctual passions.

Yet thought cops all the blame!


RESPONDENT: I love your understanding of feelings – genetically encoded structures of aggression/nurture whose purpose is the survival of the organism. However, I’m not sure how this can explain the ‘human condition,’ since these structures are a part of the limbic system, often referred to as the reptilian brain. As the term reptilian indicates, the aggression/nurture impulses do not originate in the human animal.

RICHARD: Indeed ... the aggression/nurture impulses do not originate in the human animal.

RESPONDENT: So, if the impulses of the limbic system are the problem, shouldn’t it follow that other creatures, at least from reptiles on ‘up’ should also share in this problem of the ‘human condition’?

RICHARD: It depends upon which neuro-biologist one reads – there are various theoretical models around – as to whether they are referring to a two-tiered model or a three-tiered model (still no consensus at this early stage of research) when they write ... or some other hazy configuration. The two-tiered model goes something like this: 1. ‘limbic-system’ (reptilian brain/ paleo-cortex); 2. ‘cortical-system’ (cortex/neo-cortex). In this model the brain-stem is included in (1) and both animal mammals and human mammals are in (2). The three-tiered model is more or less like this: 1. ‘reptilian brain’ (brain-stem); 2. ‘mammalian brain’ (limbic-system); 3. ‘neo-cortex brain’ (cortical-system). In this model the ‘limbic system’, however, has to span (1) and (2) in order to encompass both lower-order animals and higher-order animals. As I understand it, the primate animals, although 98.6% genetically identical to the human primate, have no pre-frontal cortex (although evidence of cortical activity corresponding to the ‘language area’ in human primates has been found). It is thus human beings alone who have the unique ability to think and reflect ... and are thus aware of their feeling-fed behaviour and the response/ reaction this occasions (although there are some people who are in denial about this). On top of this awareness is the awareness of being conscious ... and the awareness of the inevitability of impending death: one’s mortality. No other animal can do this. The awareness of being conscious, and being conscious of being mortal in concert with the feeling of ‘being’, manifests in the psyche a consciousness of ‘being’ being conscious of being conscious. In other words: ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being conscious. Thus the next step is inevitable: consciousness of ‘being’ being conscious of being consciousness. In other words: ‘I’ being aware of ‘me’ being consciousness.

And so on unto an after-life ‘home’ in some Timeless and Spaceless and Formless realm (for the spiritualist) ... or on into a nihilistic existentialism or some dialectical rationalism and so on (for the materialist).

Whichever model (two-tier or three-tier) it is the conscious awareness in concert with the feeling of ‘being’ which causes the human condition ... more than a few higher order animals can be observed to be both malicious and sorrowful in their behaviour and activity from time to time (the same-same as infant humans) without necessarily knowing that they are. It is thus reasonable to deduce the non-conscious feeling of ‘being’ in both the higher order animal and the human infant. Whether reptiles and birds have this non-conscious feeling of ‘being’ is a moot point ... close observation (with either the two-tier or the three-tier model in mind) and the absence of any obvious (pronounced) malicious behaviour and/or sorrowful activity suggests not.

Yet I have seen a blackbird, for example, playing ‘catch’ with a slowly-dying cricket just as a cat toys with a slowly-dying mouse. One thing I have discovered for sure is that there is no hard-and-fast ‘rule’ that applies conveniently across all species. Also, I make no pretensions whatsoever of being a biologist ... I am a lay-person dabbling in an ad hoc general reading of the subject. It is important to comprehend that I am putting a story together ‘after the event’ so as to throw some light on what happened for me. My experiential sensate-feeling experience (sensation) tells me that it was the brain-stem (reptilian brain) where all the activity took place to free me from the human condition (the human condition includes the animal condition of course). Yet neuro-biologists empirically pin-point the amygdala (in the limbic system) as being the seat of the emotions/ passions.

Given that studies on people with damaged or removed amygdala show that they cannot operate and function optimally in life, I personally favour the Reticular Activating System (RAS or RS) in the brain-stem and the Substantia Nigra in particular as being the seat of consciousness (I am very willing to revise and/or discard this hypothesis if it can be demonstrated otherwise) and that there was a flow-on effect through the entire brain ... including the elimination of the amygdala’s passionate/ emotional non-conscious memory (the amygdala functions perfectly now).

RESPONDENT: It seems that the feeling capacities of humans become problematic because of humans’ self-reflexive capabilities, the tendency to make ‘meaning’ and ‘self’ out of these biological imperatives, the aggression/nurture impulses, over and above the base purpose – survival. In other words, ‘lower order’ animals don’t have the same type of problem with their aggression/nurture impulses that humans do because they don’t have the capacity to think about them, not because they don’t have them.

RICHARD: Yes ... it has oft-times been bemoaned by scholars and thinkers that this is the price to be paid for the conscious awareness of ‘being’ (and which causes more than a few to long for some ‘Golden Age’ in a far distant Arcadian Utopia). It is also why the hoary myth about the ‘innocence’ of children persists (Tabula Rasa) ... which is not innocence (free of sin) but simply ignorance (not knowing). I had a discussion on this subject recently with an E-Mail correspondent, which you can access if you are interested (just the first half of the page) .

RESPONDENT: Another point is that higher animals such as dogs, cats, obviously primates, seem to express what could be fairly called more refined feelings – more developed than simple survival would dictate, though still stemming from what you call the biological mud. Also, some primates exhibit some of the qualities that you refer to as the ‘human condition’ (nursing malice and sorrow) including the tendency to make war or attack other species for reasons other than pure survival.

RICHARD: Yes ... I have found the studies done on primates very, very revealing, though I tend to consider that too much is being made of the bonobos ape (‘flavour of the month’, perhaps), despite their less overtly-aggressive differences vis a vis the chimpanzee ape ... plus their matriarchal social order. Time will tell, of course ... this is all early days in this fascinating study of consciousness in these last fifteen years or so.

RESPONDENT: Some primates have been observed picking on, harassing, taunting and, in short, making life miserable for others in their social groups. Bonobo chimps use sex for all kinds of social purposes, including building friendships, and warding off problems with another bonobo. They seemingly do sexual favours in the present to avoid future problems. I wonder if this doesn’t indicate some capacity for subjectivity on the part of other animals (besides human, that is).

RICHARD: Ahh ... subjectivity, eh? Thus is introduced that $64,000 dollar question: who am I? The ‘theory of mind’ suggests quite conclusively that no animal (neither higher order nor lower order) has a ‘who am I’ subjectivity. I would say that any apparently compassionate activity (conscious empathy) or behaviour observed in both the human infant and animal, would turn out to be a purely instinctual (nurture) subjective action, upon close examination.


RESPONDENT No. 34: The fundamental cause in time, seems to be the survival of the species.

RICHARD: Thus the ‘centred known observer’ has, fundamentally, a biological cause genetically inherited. Therefore, any move to trigger the elimination of this fundamental self is to go against nature and nature’s drive for survival. A betrayal, in other words.

RESPONDENT: Must eliminate the past (no-ledge).

RICHARD: Am I to take it from this that you hold to the theory that ego is solely a product of ‘becoming in time’ ? Otherwise why must one ‘eliminate the past’ (as if to do so is to remove the genesis of ‘I’) which you indicate by calling this elimination ‘no-ledge’ to stand on?

RESPONDENT: Ignore the program (software/ default/ start-up/ boot).

RICHARD: Surely you are not advocating putting one’s head in the sand? An ignored problem – contrary to popular belief – does not miraculously go away through being disregarded. This software program that you encourage overlooking (the default / boot / boot program) is the instinctual passions, is it not? Are you seriously advocating that people not examine their feelings? Why is this? Are feelings sacrosanct?

RESPONDENT: And learn (understand / attention) how to use the tool (instrument / brain).

RICHARD: But will learning be 100% effective if one cripples that learning with ignored (suppressed and/or sublimated) feelings? Because you did say (in another post):

• [Respondent]: ‘If Fear/Aggression are ingrained into our system, then it is what I call a default (computer term). The body has many processes that can function automatically with preset parameters (default = fear/ aggression). However, once we learn (attention/understand) the parameters, we are free to modify or enhance (upgrade). Time to UPGRADE!’

Microsoft have signalled their intention to abandon ‘Windows 95/98’ (prone to crashing) because of insoluble problems inherent in the boot section of the OS and are proposing to base their ‘Windows 2000’ on the ‘Windows NT’ OS (less prone to crashing). They realise the futility of continuing to upgrade if the upgrades are based upon an unstable root.

Modifying or enhancing a program (human behaviour) based on an unstable root (the instinctual passions) will give you the same problems as the earlier model ... but nevertheless dazzling to the eye because it is jazzed-up with pretty images (‘GOD’ and/or ‘TRUTH’) to make it look good to sell to the public.


RESPONDENT: Suffering arises from blindness to the fact that what I am doing or apparently choosing to do in psychological time is a playing out of cultural and biological programming.

RICHARD: Yes ... all mental and emotional suffering arises from the existence of a rudimentary animal self that is born of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression (savage passions) and nurture and desire (tender passions) onto which ontological ‘being’ the parental conditioning; the peer-group conditioning; the societal conditioning and the conditioning one does to oneself has overlaid an autological identity ... which I call ‘I’ as ego (a psychological entity in the head) and a ‘me’ as soul (a psychic entity in the heart) for consistency and clarity of communication.

The ‘daydreaming inattentiveness’ stops upon the union (the psychological ‘I’ as ego entity in the head unites with the psychic ‘me’ as soul in the heart) that results when it is realised that ‘no effort is required to move from a state of day dreaming to one of wakefulness’ because of the attention paid to ‘holistic seeing’ ... the ‘fragmented identity’ is now a ‘whole identity’ because ‘becoming’ has ceased and ‘being’ is.

The rudimentary and ancient animal self common to all sentient beings is the genesis of ‘being’ as an all-expansive and all-encompassing identity. That deep feeling of ‘me’ and/or ‘Me’ – that is ‘being’ and/or ‘Being’ itself – is at the core of identity. It arises out of the basic instincts that blind nature endowed all human beings with as a rough and ready ‘soft-ware’ package to make a start in life and is common to all sentient beings. This is why it is felt to be one’s ‘Original Face’ – to use the Zen terminology – when one accesses it in religious/spiritual/mystical meditation practices and disciplines (including the ‘no-method’ practices and disciplines). This is the source of the ‘we are all one’ (‘oneness’), because ‘we’ are all the same-same blind instinctual self that stretches back beyond the dawn of human memory.

It is a very, very ancient genetic memory ... but hoariness does not make it automatically wise, however, despite desperate belief to the contrary.


RICHARD: To explain: in my investigations into life, the universe and what it is to be a human being living in the world as-it-is with people as-they-are I first started by examining thought, thoughts and thinking ... then very soon moved on to examining feelings (first the emotions and then the deeper feelings). When I dug down into these passions and calentures (into the core of ‘my’ being then into ‘being’ itself) I stumbled across the instincts ... and found the origin of not only the affective faculty but the psyche itself. <SNIP>

RESPONDENT: I snipped the above this because it seems more like a rumination. I appreciate that you do this but it does not speak practically.

RICHARD: Okay ... I make no pretensions whatsoever of being a biologist ... I am a lay-person dabbling in an ad hoc general reading of the subject. It is important to comprehend that I am putting a story together ‘after the event’ so as to throw some light on what happened for me. My experiential sensate-feeling experience (sensation) tells me that it was the brain-stem (reptilian brain) where all the activity took place to free me from the human condition. Those people, who have dedicated themselves to the particular type of research that painstakingly looks into these matters, have located basic emotions in what is variously called the ‘primitive brain’ or the ‘lizard brain’ or the ‘reptilian brain’, which is located at and around the top of the brain-stem of all sentient creatures. This is irregardless of whether the creature has a developed ‘bigger brain’ – like the human cerebral cortex – over the top of it or not. These basic instinctual passions include fear and aggression and nurture and desire (there are more but scientists tend to disagree about matters scientific according to what school or discipline they are working in).

There has been much research into this growing science in these last few years. To take fear as just one example: 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.

I say that the instinctive response can be described ... and that I do describe it. What are people going to do with this person called Richard and his report of his experience? Dismiss him and his report ... along with all those empirical scientific investigators like Mr. Joseph LeDoux? He has demonstrated that the amygdala non-cognitively generates instinctual fear (an instinctual passion) 14 milliseconds before any sensory information gets to the cerebral cortex. This fear response simultaneously releases adrenaline, which floods the body and the cerebral cortex, before thinking begins. Thus the thoughts are fear-filled thoughts ... he has been hot on the trail of empirically finding this cause. Vis.:

• [Mr. Joseph LeDoux]: ‘the brain has multiple memory systems (...) explicit (conscious) memories mediated by the hippocampus and other aspects of the temporal lobe memory system [and] implicit (unconscious) memories mediated by the amygdala and its neural connections. Only by taking these systems apart in the brain have neuroscientists been able to figure out that these are different kinds of memory, rather than one memory with multiple forms of expression (...) it has been possible, through studies of experimental animals, to map out in great detail just how the fear system of the brain works. Although much of the research has involved laboratory rats, there have also been studies of a variety of other mammals. Remarkably, the results in all these species lead to the same conclusion. Learning and responding to stimuli that warn of danger involves neural pathways that send information about the outside world to the amygdala, which determines the significance of the stimulus and triggers emotional responses, like freezing or fleeing, as well changes in the inner workings of the body’s organs and glands. There is also evidence that the amygdala of reptiles and birds has similar functions. The implication of these findings is that early on (perhaps since dinosaurs ruled the earth, or even before) evolution hit upon a way of wiring the brain to produce responses that are likely to keep the organism alive in dangerous situations. The solution was so effective that it has not been messed with much, and works pretty much the same in rats and people, as well as many if not all other vertebrate animals. Evolution seems to have gone with an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ rule when it comes to the fear system of the brain (...) research into the brain mechanisms of fear help us understand why emotional conditions are so hard to control. Neuro-anatomists have shown that the pathways that connect the emotional processing system of fear, the amygdala, with the thinking brain, the neocortex, are not symmetrical – the connections from the cortex to the amygdala are considerably weaker than those from the amygdala to the cortex. This may explain why, once an emotion is aroused, it is so hard for us to turn it off at will’. [endquote]. (‘The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life’; Copyright © Joseph LeDoux 1996; Publisher: Touchstone Books (Reprint edition March 1998); ISBN: 0684836599).

Despite dealing with people’s feelings every day, few therapists can give more than a basic explanation of what exactly instinctual passion is (what neurobiologists call ‘emotion’), and how it influences human functioning. Evolutionary biology plays a strong role in what Mr. Joseph LeDoux calls ‘the emotional brain’, those emotional drives which are inherited from humans’ prehistoric ancestors, such that conscious (explicit) emotional experience can be easily seen as higher-order forms of the sub-conscious survival instinctual (implicit) passions ... if one examines oneself moment-to moment.

One critic of his book ‘The Emotional Brain’ wrote:

• [quote]: ‘More than any other researcher, LeDoux has put the amygdala two nubbins of neural tissue (one on either side of the brain) – at the center of what he calls the Wheel of Fear. Located near the center of the skull, the amygdala belongs to an archaic part of the brain, a part found in birds and reptiles, often referred to as the ‘limbic system’. [endquote].

Another critic wrote:

• [quote]: ‘Joseph LeDoux, a professor at the Center for Neural Science at New York University, has written the most comprehensive examination to date of how systems in the brain work in response to emotions, particularly fear. Among his fascinating findings is the work of amygdala structure within the brain. The amygdala mediates fear and other responses and actually processes information more quickly than other parts of the brain, allowing a rapid response that can save our lives before other parts of the brain have had a chance to react’. [endquote].

And another:

• [quote]: ‘LeDoux, a neuroscience researcher, shows that our emotions are generated by separate independent neuro systems which work unconsciously; believe it or not, we do NOT run because we are afraid, but rather we are afraid because we run. He also shows that the emotional systems have a much greater impact on our rational conscious than the rational conscious has on the emotional systems. Passion rules reason. This has tremendous implications for the current thinking in psychology/ psychiatry (although they will be slow to pick up on it). And it explains why man has so much angst, why we don’t learn from history, why man is so brutal’. [endquote].

Mr. Stephen S. Hall wrote in the New York Times, February 28, 1999:

• [quote]: ‘LeDoux is not the only biologist to have homed in on the amygdala. Bruce Kapp of the University of Vermont started by studying one of the signature aspects of fear, changes in heart rate, and worked back to the brain. Beginning in 1979, he focused on the part of the brain stem that controls heart rate in rabbits. Following the nerve filaments like a spent fuse back into the brain, he discovered that these fibers lead to the amygdala. Not only that, they also lead to a small hive of related nerve cells in the amygdala, a bit larger than the head of a pin, known as the central nucleus. What was found to be true in rabbits, and later in rats, now appears to be true in humans as well. The central nucleus is the part of your brain that instantaneously looses the hounds of fear when you hear a loud bang or feel an earthquake. Nerves running out from this little knot of excitation carry the messages that control heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, respiration, freezing, increased jumpiness – all the engines that get revved in a fearful situation. But the wiring doesn’t stop there. Other nerve fibers from the amygdala thread their way back (or ‘project’) into the upper parts of the brain, to regions that control the release of stress hormones (which may play a major role in the reign of irrational fears), to the cortex and to sensory areas’. [endquote].

Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s laboratory continues to investigate the workings of the brain ... and they maintain a web page that may be worth a visit (although it takes some wading through). Vis.: www.cns.nyu.edu/home/ledoux/

Mr. Daniel Goleman has written:

• [quote]: ‘A view of human nature that ignores the power of emotions is sadly shortsighted. The very name ‘Homo Sapiens’, the thinking species, is misleading in light of the new appreciation and vision of the place of emotion in our lives that science now offers. As we all know from experience, when it comes to shaping our decisions and our actions, feeling counts every bit as much – and often more – than thought. We have gone too far in emphasising the value and import of the purely rational – of what IQ measures – in human life. Intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’. [endquote]. (‘Emotional Intelligence’ Copyright © 1995 by Daniel Goleman; Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2 Soho Square, London W1V 6HB; ISBN 0 7475 2803 6).

This is a clear statement of fact: ‘Intelligence can come to nothing when the emotions hold sway’ . There is a wealth of information both in print and on the Internet ... which all reinforces what I have been experiencing myself for many years now: the passionate memory of all emotional hurts (indeed all the affections) was extinguished when the passionate memory faculty itself was extirpated ... the intellectual memory operates with the clarity enabled by the absence of the instinctual passions which normally cloud the remembrance with attractions and repulsions; likes and dislikes; shoulds and should nots and so on. In other words: free of malice and sorrow.

To recap: the brain has two ‘memory banks’ and the passionate memory is both non-conscious and primal. This primal memory faculty (so far located mainly in the amygdala) mediates all sensory data and triggers hormonal secretions before such data reaches the intellectual memory faculty (located mainly in the neo-cortex). Consequently, as the neo-cortex is suffused with hormonal secretions a split-second before thinking commences, all thought is tainted, polluted ... crippled by the affective faculty before it starts. This has been empirically detected and exhaustively verified by the recent technological experimentation and research into the passions (for just one example the passion of fear was partly explained above).

Thus modern empirical science has put the kibosh on ‘ancient wisdom’ once and for all.

Humankind is poised on the cusp of the dawning of a fresh era; an era wherein an evolution in the brain-stem is beginning to happen. The seat of the instincts, tentatively located in the popularly named ‘reptilian brain’, is capable of undergoing a mutation. No longer will blind nature have to operate; the perpetuation of the species will become a matter of lucid thought and personal choice. No longer will vicious wars of group survival be necessary. Already, with the advent of mutually assured destruction because of chemical, biological and nuclear capability, people are questioning the advisability of war as a means of settling disputes. The apprehension of a cataclysmic end to human life has shaken the habitual and apathetic ‘human’ complacency to such an extent that the mind is now ready to be receptive to something entirely new in human history.

I do consider that these are exhilarating times to be living in.


RESPONDENT: Thanks everyone, I’ve only just found time to read all the different points of view on the instincts thread, very helpful. Its a topic occupying my mind night and day at the moment and seems to be connected to another burning question; what is the cause of our capacity for violence? What is the nature of this destructive, insensitive, aggressive disturbance in the human condition. Has the human condition (not the human vehicle which is a marvellous thing in itself) really become as physically destructive and mentally useless as the dinosaurs, a massive failure that we may one day gather here to extinguish intentionally? Was Homo Sapiens’ consciousness an inevitable development, just another one of infinities alternatives, but an experiment revealing a painful ineffectiveness? Are we discovering that for all our precious so called awareness and intelligence have we remained blind nature, a faithful reflection of that instinctive aggressive thrust, reflected in all forms? What must the human body become to survive, as an asset, not a liability, to its natural surroundings? Richard, since I know the instincts, and the elimination of them, are of vital interest to you, would you be so kind as to answer a few questions, about them. What is your definition of blind nature?

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, human beings (like species recognises like species) care about each other and wish the best for one and all ... as is explained by the ‘theory of mind’. Which means: I care about you and me and him and her ... therefore I chose not to be run by blind nature.

RESPONDENT: How does blind nature reveal the peace on earth that is already here, to you, when raw nature ‘appears’ so violent.

RICHARD: The carbon-based life-form called human beings are the only aspect of nature (as is so far discovered) to evolve the amazing faculty of intelligence (the cognitive ability to recognise, remember, compare, appraise, reflect and propose considered action for beneficial reasons). This contemplative ability is what sets the human animal apart from all other animals: thought, thoughts and thinking are vital for both individual and communal well-being in that only the human animal can investigate its own instinctual passions with the view to enabling both personal and collective salubrity ... no other animal can do this.

The human animal is nature in action – nature is nothing more yet nothing less than carbon-based life-forms – and the process of evolution is such that the species most fitted to their environment prosper and those no longer fitted languish. This process of nature is such that if the human animal does not mutate – which mutation is a process of nature – there is a fair chance that the human species will kill itself off after many more abysmal trials and tribulations.

Which means that, even though the carbon-based life-form called human beings are the only aspect of nature to so far evolve intelligence, 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. Nature has all the time in the universe to personify perfection – as evidenced in the pure consciousness experience (PCE) – and that is eternal time.

Whereas each human being has perhaps seventy-eighty odd years.

RESPONDENT: If the Self is an instinctive creation, could you send in your understanding of that please?

RICHARD: Yes ... all sentient beings have, to some extent or another, deeply embedded instinctual survival passions that are intrinsic to their very nature. This is easily observable in the ‘higher-order’ animals ... and for the sake of simplicity and consistency I identify these common and basic passions as fear and aggression and nurture and desire. It is a fact of life that basic bodily survival is a kill or be killed situation ... a sentient creature has no choice but to live with a ‘what can I eat/what can eat me’ attitude. It is the fittest that survive: yet ‘survival of the fittest’ does not necessarily mean (as it is popularly misunderstood) that the strongest or most muscular always survive. It means ‘the most fitted to the ever-changing environment’ (those who adapt) get to pass on their genes. The most ‘on the ball’ – adroit or shrewd or sharp or smart or cunning or wily and so on – can defeat the strongest or most muscular from time-to-time ... as is evidenced by the long, slow evolution of intelligence in a rather puny animal devoid of claws, fangs, venom, hooves, horns, fur, feathers and so on.

All peoples alive today are the end result of the ‘success story’ of the instinctual passions of fear and aggression (the savage side) and nurture and desire (the tender side) coupled with an adroit or shrewd or sharp or smart or cunning or wily intelligence ... if it were not for these survival instincts we would not be here having this discussion. 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. This is because the biological imperative – the instinctual survival passions – still rule the roost and are the root cause of all the ills of humankind. These instinctual passions form a rudimentary self – an emotional entity – situated in the reptilian brain at the top of the brain-stem, in all animals. An awareness of being this self (self-consciousness) is evidenced in only a few animals ... in the chimpanzee, for an example, but not the monkey. The human animal, with the unique ability to know its impending demise has taken the awareness of being this rudimentary self and blown it up all out of proportion into a feeling identity, an affective ‘being’ ... no animal has a ‘me’ as a soul in the heart.

Let alone an ‘I’ as an ego in the head.

RESPONDENT: But if the self is rotten to the core, does that make nature rotten to the core too?

RICHARD: This expression is apt only because, still run by the survival instincts to survive at any cost, the bodily survival traits have come to include the survival of this affective, animal self as well ... now a consciously feeling entity aware of the body’s mortality. This affective ‘self’, whilst not being actual, is passionately real ... sometimes very, very real. The belief in a real ‘feeler’ (‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being – ‘me’ as soul – which is ‘being’ itself) and a real ‘thinker’ (‘I’ as ego) is not just another passing thought. It is emotion-backed feverish imagination at work ... calenture. ‘I’ passionately believe in ‘my’ existence ... and will defend ‘myself’ to the death (of ‘my’ body) if it is deemed necessary. All of ‘my’ instincts – the instinctive drive for biological survival – come to the fore when psychologically and psychically threatened, for ‘I’ am confused about ‘my’ presence, confounding ‘my’ survival and the body’s survival.

Thus the genetically inherited passions give rise to malice and sorrow which are intrinsically connected and constitute the contrary and perverse nature of all peoples of all races and all cultures. There is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in everyone ... all humans have a ‘dark side’ (the savage instincts) to their nature and a ‘light side’ (the tender instincts). The battle betwixt ‘good and evil’ has raged down through the centuries and it requires constant vigilance lest evil gets the upper hand. Morals and ethics seek to control the wayward self that lurks deep within the human breast ... and some semblance of what is called ‘peace’ prevails for the main. Where morality and ethicality fails to curb the ‘savage beast’, law and order is maintained ... at the point of a gun.

However, ‘my’ survival being paramount could not be further from the truth, for ‘I’ need play no part any more in perpetuating physical existence (which is the primal purpose of the instinctual animal ‘self’). ‘I’ am no longer necessary at all. In fact, ‘I’ am nowadays a hindrance. With all of ‘my’ beliefs, values, creeds, ethics and other doctrinaire disabilities, ‘I’ am a menace to the body. ‘I’ am ready to die (to allow the body to be killed) for a cause and ‘I’ will willingly sacrifice physical existence for a ‘Noble Ideal’ ... and reap ‘my’ post-mortem reward: immortality.

That is how real ‘I’ am ... which is why both ‘I’ as ego and ‘me’ as soul must die a real death (but not physically into the grave) to find out the actuality.


RESPONDENT: If you agree that there may be intelligence in one brain and not in another, the source of intelligence doesn’t seems to be an issue worth investigating ...

RICHARD: For as far as space exploration has thus far shown only the human animal is intelligent.

RESPONDENT: ... but the reason for the malfunctioning of the human brain becomes all important.

RICHARD: And it takes the intelligence which only humans have to suss out why ... I see no evidence that the dog, for just one example, is doing anything about ridding itself of its instinctual passions.

RESPONDENT: The dog doesn’t need to. The problem is ours alone.

RICHARD: The ‘problem’ is a human problem alone only because human being possess intelligence ... humans can see the results of their instinctual passions in action (if they care enough to actually look that is) whereas animals, including the dog, will carry on blindly being run by instinctual passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire.

I was born and raised on a farm and I have personally seen dogs, who are not kept in at night, form into a pack and go on a hunting spree, killing many more of some farmer’s sheep than they could possibly want to eat ... in fact they are all well-fed by their owners. This example of domesticated dogs is also well-documented ... and the frenzy of killing is called ‘blood-lust’.

I could go on with other examples – cats in the wild driving species to extinction – but maybe this will suffice for now?


RESPONDENT: Some questions that arose which I am posing to actualists (while I am still working on the previous threads/ self-observation/ actualism): 1. Is a feeling real or actual? 2. Is a thought real or actual? 3. Is apperception, PCE etc. real or actual? 4. Do the existence of instinctual self/ psychological self follow from LeDoux studies (amygdala, neo-cortex and their functions do, but ...)? Are they actual or real? 5. Related question: LeDoux seems to say that his research is particularly for fear; does it follow for other feelings too?

RICHARD: The answer to most of your queries are ascertained experientially: in a pure consciousness experience (PCE), apperceptive awareness reveals that there is neither self, of any nature whatsoever including an instinctual self, nor any feelings – else it is not a PCE – and thought operates unimpeded as required by the circumstances. If there is a self (Supreme Self, True Self, Higher Self and so on) or any feelings (Love, Compassion, Rapture, Bliss and so on) it is not a PCE but an altered state of consciousness (ASC) and in the ASC such a self and such feelings are said to be, in the mystical literature of both East and West, as being more real than anything else ... which was what my own experience back in the early ‘eighties had already informed me.

The queries regarding Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s findings relate to scientific investigations carried out under laboratory conditions and I would hazard a guess that someone, somewhere, has scientifically investigated feelings other than the feeling of fear which he focussed his research upon ... it is just that I have not personally come across such studies. And it may very well come to pass that the existence of the instinctual self/ psychological self will indeed follow from Mr. Joseph LeDoux’s studies – and other people’s studies – but it is pertinent to realise that no scientist has been able to locate the self by whatever name despite all their RI scans (Radio Isotope), CAT scans (Computerised Axial Tomography), CT scans (Computed Tomography), NMR scans (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance), PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography), MRA scans (Magnetic Resonance Angiography), MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and fMRI scans (functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging).

Incidentally, there is an informative article, starting on page 46, of last week’s issue of the ‘Time’ magazine (June 10 2002/No. 22) which includes a diagram of the relevant brain circuitry which may help you to work out for yourself from what is implied therein what you are wanting to know (I cannot reproduce it here because of copyright reasons).

However I would like to point out that I never came across these scientific studies until a few years ago – I sussed out the things I know regarding self and feelings experientially – and the only reason that any reference is made to them on The Actual Freedom Web Page is so that other people do not have to take my word for it that the feelings arise before thought in the reactionary process (albeit a split-second first). And although it is pleasing to have some of one’s own discoveries verified independently by scientists using the scientific method an actual freedom is basically a do-it-yourself freedom wherein these matters are ascertained experientially.

Put simply: it is the PCE wherein one finds out for oneself what one is looking for.


RESPONDENT: Richard, here is a continuation of our previous thread. I agreed with your argument to reduce things to instincts to an extent. Yes, we are all born with some common instincts.

RICHARD: Good ... so as to avoid confusion through vague allusions I always put my cards on the table. There are four main instinctual passions: fear and aggression and nurture and desire. There are others such as altruism, territoriality, gregariousness and so on, but I always stay with the main four that directly relate to the human condition. The human condition is epitomised by malice and sorrow which rise out of the ‘savage’ instinctual passions (fear and aggression) and the ‘tender’ instinctual passions (nurture and desire). Thus malice and sorrow generate antidotal pacifiers such as love and compassion from the ‘tender’ side (nurture/nourish) but are inadequate due to the other aspect of the ‘tender’ side (provide/protect) which hijack, sabotage and subvert peoples’ well-meant endeavours. These are all broad generalised classifications and categorisations for the convenience of comprehension and, of course, there are ‘bleed-throughs’ from the ‘dark side’ to the ‘light side’ and vice versa (because they are not compartmentalised in reality).

Therefore, could you be up-front and, to whatever extent you wish, delineate even approximately which of these ‘some common instincts’ are which you say you ‘agreed with’ in my ‘argument to reduce things to instincts’ so as I will know what you mean by ‘to an extent’?

RESPONDENT: However, I think the way in which each one of us grows and experiences the world around us, there are more dissimilarities than similarities. There are as many perceptions of reality, as many individual ways to look at things, as there are people.

RICHARD: Indeed ... you have, as always, my concurrence in regards the ‘dissimilarities’ due to hereditarily acquired characteristics (genetic pre-disposition) for just one example. I recently wrote to this Mailing List saying that I questioned whether all humans are born equal ... I said that there are talents one has which leads to an ease in the acquisition of skills that another has to struggle to master and vice versa. I pointed out the rapid shuffling of the DNA at conception (before the doubling takes place) in the chromosome exchange which leads to a difference betwixt one foetus and another. The same applies to physical stature (muscularity, stamina and so on) which all combine to produce a staggering array of differences ... and none of this I have detailed so far has anything to do with where one is born (climate) or in what era (progress) let alone social inequality such as what class of society one is born into (educational and career opportunities) and so on.

Yet the affective feelings are unambiguously global ... and have been demonstrated to be so in the many, many scientific studies around the world: they exist across the aeons and in all cultures and all age groups and both genders. No one is exempt ... the human condition is both global and historical in its spread. Those basic passions (such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire) are the hallmark of virtually any sentient being ... they are blind nature’s instinctual software package genetically encoded into the germ-cells of the spermatozoa and the ova. And these survival instincts are what has enabled us to be born at all; they are what has enabled us to be here today after multiple generations of the development of the evolutionary ‘weeding out’ process of the ‘survival of the most fitted to the environment’.

This is the topic; this is the issue; this is the subject under scrutiny with the objectivity of a scientist; this is where there are only similarities and not, as you say, ‘more dissimilarities than similarities’ ... which means: this is where no human being is unique.

RESPONDENT: A world view that advocates fierce individuality, obviously, is different from the one that advocates commonality of the mankind. That seems to be the main difference between your world view and mine. For me, my universe, my world, is confined to me experiences, my being. Any and everything else, in my opinion, is a conceptual construct.

RICHARD: Yes I comprehend this ... you have tried this philosophy on me before in past E-Mails, and as I did not buy it then I am unlikely to do so now. May I suggest? Do not even bother writing to me if you are going to insist upon a ‘world view that advocates fierce individuality’ because by doing so you acknowledge no commonality whatsoever (by discarding common human experience as merely being ‘a conceptual construct’ ) and thus reduce your fellow human beings to being a concept. I have no interest in writing to someone who tells me that, for them, this flesh and blood body called Richard is a concept. I am not a concept ... and I would far rather discuss with those who acknowledge that there is a fellow human being writing these words ... with a traceable E-Mail address.

Which is why I endeavoured to poke through your conceptual shield by asking:

• [Richard]: ‘If your wife and/or daughter and/or mother and/or grandmother and/or sister was being brutally raped, would you really stand by saying to her: ‘this brutal rape is, again, conceptual’?’

To which you replied:

• [Respondent]: ‘The very question that you ask proves my point. I can conceptualise what I would say if some female related to me is being raped. Only my rape will be real’.

As I did not buy this safe intellectual stance I persisted:

• [Richard]: ‘You are ducking the question ... which is: would you really stand by saying to her: ‘this brutal rape is, again, conceptual’? I only ask because that is what you told me it was in this discussion – which is a discussion and not the actual situation – but a discussion does not get anywhere unless you relate it to your life. Otherwise this dialogue amounts to nothing but undergraduate cleverness’.

I now notice that you have scrapped that thread entirely and are starting again without all the prior ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ discussion to get in the way. Okay, sometimes it is useful to make a fresh start ... posts do become long and unwieldily. But I will re-introduce whatever I consider to be pertinent simply because I am one-half of this dialogue. Therefore, I cannot proceed until you address yourself to this candid, honest question. Vis.:

• If your wife and/or daughter and/or mother and/or grandmother and/or sister was being brutally raped, would you really stand by saying to her: ‘this brutal rape is, again, conceptual’?

(Hint): you can feel another’s pain if you will allow it of yourself – and of course it will hurt – but that hurt feeling will induce an honest, non-conceptual response.

RESPONDENT: You seem to be arguing from your own experience – how you perceive the humanity to be the same everywhere. That argument, as coming from your own experience, is irrefutable. How can I argue against what is true to you? However, I disagree that science has empirically demonstrated universality of human experiences. Science might have demonstrated the universality of human emotions, but human experiences are intensely unique.

RICHARD: First off ... you say ‘science might have demonstrated the universality of human emotions’ ... has it or has it not? Can you give a straight answer without the conditional ‘might have’ conceptual escape clause?

Second, you have, as always, my concurrence in regards the ‘dissimilarities’ between each person’s individual experience (as detailed further above) ... yet as there is something so fundamental, so primal, so basic as instinctual passions and their derivative human emotions that underpins, permeates and drives each person’s individual experience, then the ‘dissimilarities’ all have an oh-so-common flavour. to wit: malice and sorrow and their antidotally generated love and compassion.


RESPONDENT: If you go for a walk, from where is coming this desire to go for a walk?

RICHARD: This is a loaded question and, as such, impossible to answer in its present form (there is life after desire).

RESPONDENT: And if you are making sex where come these erections, out of the blue?

RICHARD: No, engorgement of the genitals comes from tactile stimulation.

RESPONDENT: I again ask you to excuse me for the questions, but I try to understand.

RICHARD: Sure ... it would help your understanding considerably, however, if you were to take note of what I have to report (for example I notice that you have persisted in your ‘the perceiver and the perceived are one thing’ borrowed wisdom in another e-mail recently whilst regurgitating what you told me about the tree’s leaves being green).

There is no ‘observer’ to be the ‘observed’ here in this actual world.

RESPONDENT: It seems to me more logical, that if something like freedom of the instincts ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? An actual freedom from the human condition is a freedom from the instinctual passions – not the instincts per se – plus, of course, the feeling of ‘being’ (usually designated as a ‘state of being’) or ‘presence’ they automatically form themselves into.

RESPONDENT: ... must happen to humankind, then nature knows when and something will take place.

RICHARD: The identity who used to parasitically inhabit this flesh and blood body acted on the observation that an individual life was too short to hang about waiting for blind nature to get its act together (plus the human condition was already in place by being born replete with instinctual passions anyway).

RESPONDENT: Why must depend on you to change your nature?

RICHARD: Because at the current stage of evolution it is ‘you’ – and only ‘you’ – who can determine the fate of one flesh and blood body in particular and humankind in general.

RESPONDENT: Why you call nature blind nature etc and then you speak about beautiful universe unimaginable etc?

RICHARD: The term ‘blind nature’ is a well-known term which refers to the natural process of species propagation being survival of the species most fitted to the environment.

In short: it is not an intelligent process (the cognitive ability to think, recognise, remember, compare, appraise, reflect and propose considered action for beneficial reasons, which other animals cannot do, is intelligence in operation).

As I never speak about ‘beautiful universe’ your related query is a non-sequitur.

RESPONDENT: Do you think that the universe who created you or in your words the universe who is you experiencing its self, is less intelligent that you?

RICHARD: This infinite, eternal, and perpetual universe is not intelligent (except, as far as space exploration has been able to ascertain, as a human being) ... it is far, far more than merely intelligent.

Human beings value intelligence highly, of course, it being what has enabled the species to progress as far as it has thus far ... but to project this highly valued attribute onto the universe at large is anthropomorphism.

RESPONDENT: Do you think that you could explain to Iraqis when bombs are falling about to be free from their being?

RICHARD: Only if the person concerned spoke English (I have but the one language).

RESPONDENT: I find it logical that a jump will take place when is needed.

RICHARD: Nobody is twisting your arm to become free of the human condition ... all that blind nature is on about is survival of the species (and any species will do as far as blind nature is concerned).

Blind nature does not care two hoots about your condition ... the question is: do you?


RESPONDENT: You wrote [Richard[: ‘An actual freedom from the human condition is a freedom from the instinctual passions – not the instincts per se’. [endquote]. I am asking you without their passions, exist any more instincts?

RICHARD: One example of an instinctive reaction in oneself, that is not necessarily affective, is the automatic response known as the reflex action (inadvertently touch a hotplate, for instance, and there is an involuntary jerking away of the affected limb) or the startle response.

A classic example of this occurred whilst strolling along a country lane one fine morning with the sunlight dancing its magic on the glistening dew-drops suspended from the greenery everywhere; these eyes are delighting in the profusion of colour and texture and form as the panorama unfolds; these ears are revelling in the cadence of tones as their resonance and timbre fills the air; these nostrils are rejoicing in the abundance of aromas and scents drifting fragrantly all about; this skin is savouring the touch, the caress, of the early springtime ambience; this mind, other than the sheer enjoyment and appreciation of being alive as this flesh and blood body, is ambling along in neutral – there is no thought at all and conscious alertness is null and void – when all-of-a-sudden the easy gait has ceased happening.

These eyes instantly shift from admiring the dun-coloured cows in a field nearby and are looking downward to the front and see the green and black snake, coiling up on the road in readiness to act, which had not only occasioned the abrupt halt but, it is discovered, had initiated a rapid step backwards ... an instinctive response which, had the instinctual passions that are the identity been in situ, could very well have triggered off freeze-fight-flee chemicals.

There is no perturbation whatsoever (no wide-eyed staring, no increase in heart-beat, no rapid breathing, no adrenaline-tensed muscle tone, no sweaty palms, no blood draining from the face, no dry mouth, no cortisol-induced heightened awareness, and so on) as with the complete absence of the rudimentary animal ‘self’ in the brain-stem the limbic system in general, and the amygdala in particular, have been free to do their job – the oh-so-vital startle response – both efficaciously and cleanly.

Cattle, for example, are easily ‘spooked’ by a reptile and have been known to stampede in infectious group panic.

RESPONDENT: Instincts are very powerful for the reason that they help surviving reproducing etc.

RICHARD: Now that intelligence, which is the ability to think, reflect, compare, evaluate and implement considered action for beneficial reasons, has developed in the human animal the blind survival passions are no longer necessary – in fact they have become a hindrance in today’s world – and it is only by virtue of this intelligence that blind nature’s default software package can be safely deleted (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation in toto).

No other animal can do this.

RESPONDENT: If you have not to eat and you have no other way to find food, are you going to die or you will steal?

RICHARD: To steal food means there must be food available in the possession of one’s fellow human beings, and, as the country I reside in operates with both an established social security system and social welfare system – plus all manner of local community aid organisations – it is not necessary to steal food these days ... nobody is allowed to starve in a modern society.

RESPONDENT: You are doing sex without the reason to make any children, that means still because of the lust are having power on you.

RICHARD: Here is the exchange in question:

• [Respondent]: ‘You said that you are not able for flirting but able for sex.
• [Richard]: ‘You must be referring to this: [Co-Respondent]: ‘Do you joke, laugh, flirt (...)? [Richard]: ‘I like to joke, yes and I laugh a lot ... there is so much that is irrepressibly funny about life itself. I have no ability to flirt, however, as my libido is nil and void ... yet I have an active sexual life (...).
• [Respondent]: ‘I can’t understand that. I really can’t.
• [Richard]: ‘The word ‘libido’ (Latin meaning ‘desire’, ‘lust’) is the psychiatric/psychoanalytic term for the instinctual sex drive, urge, or impulse, and the word ‘flirt’ refers to behaving in a superficially amorous manner, to dally sexually with another ... what is so difficult about understanding that, sans the instinctual passion to procreate (and nurture) the species, the ability to be sexually amorous (either superficially or deeply) ceases to exist? With no passions driving behaviour one is able to treat the other as a fellow human being ... and not a sex-object. [endquotes].

How you converted my report of the total absence of ‘libido’ (Latin meaning ‘desire’, ‘lust’), which is the psychiatric/psychoanalytic term for the instinctual sex drive, urge, or impulse, into ‘you are doing sex without the reason to make any children, that means still because of the lust are having power on you’ defies any rational understanding.

What do the words ‘without the reason to make any children’ refer to if not the absence of libido (Latin meaning ‘desire’, ‘lust’)?

*

RESPONDENT: I find it logical that a jump will take place when is needed.

RICHARD: Nobody is twisting your arm to become free of the human condition ... all that blind nature is on about is survival of the species (and any species will do as far as blind nature is concerned). Blind nature does not care two hoots about your condition ... the question is: do you?

RESPONDENT: Actually blind nature cares about me, that’s why it gave me the condition.

RICHARD: If being born as such passions as fear and aggression and nurture and desire is what the word ‘cares’ means to you then so be it.

RESPONDENT: Blind nature cares about species, that’s why I told you that when it find out that is the right time will evolve the whole species.

RICHARD: And in the meanwhile, as you are going to do nothing about the passions that you are, such as the fear you say you need more than ever today, 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, and so on, will keep on keeping on.

As will all the crocodile tears being wept at all the (self-inflicted and thus unnecessary) misery and mayhem.

RESPONDENT: As far as your last question if I care, I really don’t know. I have a child to grow and a wife and I feel responsible toward them and I can not see how I can do it, by sitting with my legs on the coffee table watching comedies on TV.

RICHARD: Here is a suggestion: first cure yourself of your agoraphobia (there is nothing like a confidence boost to set things in motion).


RESPONDENT: Today’s children are becoming even more indoctrinated than we were, as the world is more and more institutionalised every passing day. It really is them that we need to address. But how?

RICHARD: By example rather than just by precept ... in other words: when you observe what the world is doing (people in general) and what you are doing – and you wonder at the observation – do you wonder if you will ever see the sanity so completely that you will cease being sane? Do you ever wonder if that is possible?

RESPONDENT: Right now, I’m wondering why I ever thought I could carry on a conversation with you. Just because the sorry state of affairs on this planet is insane is no reason for you to call it ‘sane’.

RICHARD: Yet I do not call insanity sanity ... the sorry state of affairs on this planet is sanity in action (otherwise you are saying that every man, woman and child on this planet is in a state of mind that precludes normal perception and behaviour, and ordinary social interaction, or is suffering from psychosis, a severe mental illness, a derangement, a disorder, that involves a loss of contact with reality and is often marked by delusions, hallucinations, and altered thought processes ... which is patently absurd).

RESPONDENT: I can understand your point of view: ‘if this is sanity, let me be insane ... let me go out of my mind’.

RICHARD: No, that is not what I have been saying at all: what I have been asking is whether it is possible for you to see sanity so completely that you will cease being sane ... end of story.

Here in this actual world all is salubrious and irreprehensible ... just consider, for a moment if you will, that it is only a sanity-based analysis which would determine that permanent happiness and harmlessness be insanity (it speaks volumes about the nature of sanity that it does so).

I know I have said it many times before but I will say it again for emphasis: I do find it cute that peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, be considered a chronic and incurable psychotic mental disorder.

RESPONDENT: I can even sympathise with going out of one’s mind, as this mind is really ‘screwed’, but perhaps this mind has been made insane, which you call ‘sane’.

RICHARD: First of all, it is not only me that calls the ordinary, normal, common, or everyday state of mind sane ... as most of the peoples on this planet do I am merely following the convention for the sake of both consistency and clarity in communication.

But more to the point: as the ordinary, normal, common, or everyday state of mind is not insane it is pointless to speculate how something which does not exist came about.

RESPONDENT: Again, it really doesn’t matter if we were born or made ‘sane’ or ‘insane’, as the facts speak for themselves ...

RICHARD: If I may interject? What facts are you talking about? You deny both biology and the evidence of your own experience as a simple country girl from Arkansas. Vis.:

• [Respondent]: ‘... there is no proof that nature endowed us with fear, aggression, and the desire to murder and maim’.

It is blatantly obvious for those with the eyes to see that animals are born with instinctual survival passions such as fear and aggression and nurture and desire – it is particularly apparent in what is called the higher-order animals – such that it takes a peculiar myopia to hold fast to the antiquated Tabula Rasa theory.

A stubborn refusal to face the fact, in other words, of our animal heritage.

Having been 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 been able to observe, 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 renders any notion of having been born a clean slate simply ridiculous.

And even in these days of my retirement, from my comfortable suburban living room, I can tune into documentaries on this very topic: only recently a television series was aired again about observations made of chimpanzees over many, many years in their native habitat and I was able to identify fear, aggression, territoriality, civil war, robbery, rage, infanticide, nurture, cannibalism, grief, group ostracism, bonding, desire, and so on, being displayed in full colour.

I have to hand a National Geographic article on chimpanzees in the wild in which Ms. Jane Goodall uses words such as ‘war and kidnapping, killing and cannibalism’ and ‘affectionate and supportive bonds’ and ‘pleasure, sadness, curiosity, alarm, rage’ and ‘chimpanzees are creatures of extremes: aggressive one moment, peaceful the next’ when describing what she observed over 20-plus years ... here is an excerpt describing cannibalism (she gave each chimpanzee a name):

• ‘Gilka had been sitting with her infant when suddenly Passion, another mother, had appeared and charged her. Gilka had fled, screaming, but Passion, chasing and attacking her, had seized and killed the baby. Passion had then begun to eat the flesh, sharing her gruesome meal with her own two offspring – adolescent daughter, Pom, and infant son, Prof. The following year Gilka gave birth for a third time. To our utter dismay, this baby met the same fate. The circumstances were more dreadful, for it seemed that Pom had learned from her mother: This time it was the daughter who seized and killed the infant. Again the family shared the flesh. A month later Melissa’s tiny new baby was killed, again by Pom, after a fierce fight between the two mothers. (...) In three years – 1974 to 1976 – only a single infant in the Kasakela community had lived more than one month’. (page 594ff: ‘Life and death at Gombe’ by Jane Goodall; National Geographic, May 1997).

The text for a photograph has this to say:

• ‘Meticulous records kept on the Gombe chimps have revealed a complex range of behaviour, including charging displays, sometimes triggered by a sudden downpour. Similarly excited by a waterfall, a male (right) assumes the upright stance and bristling hair characteristic of some displays. When angry, aroused, or frustrated, chimps also display by stamping, throwing things, and screaming. (page 600: ‘Life and death at Gombe’ by Jane Goodall; National Geographic, May 1997).

And another photograph depicting out-and-out war:

• ‘Warmongering apes mobilize on the southern border of their range in the Kasakela region of Gombe Park (left). The object of their hostility is a small number of chimpanzees who broke away from the Kasakela group to establish a separate territory in the park’s Kahama region. The warfare began in 1974 (...) By 1977 all adult males of the Kahama community had been killed or had disappeared, the first known extermination of one chimp community by another. (page 611: ‘Life and death at Gombe’ by Jane Goodall; National Geographic, May 1997).

I am only too happy to send you the full article if that would be of assistance.

RESPONDENT: ... for the definitions are not the thing, and the definitions will not free us.

RICHARD: It may just be possible that, upon sober reflection, you will find it does matter how you were born after all.


RESPONDENT: First I was in the position when hearing the question about whether God exists or not, to chuckle, thinking what weak and fearful these people are ... this was mainly the courtesy of communism – by-the-way another secular attempt to live in peace, yet fatally flawed as it forgot or denied the 4 basic survival rules ...

RICHARD: What ‘4 basic survival rules’ are you referring to?

RESPONDENT: ... and as such unnatural. I have a first hand experience that this could only lead to hypocrisy, theft, corruption, greed; even brain-washing won’t work, these instincts have an innate ability to turn almost anything to their own advantage and fulfil their priorities.

RICHARD: Any system brought about by political change, social reform, economic reconstruction, cultural revisionism, and so on, is bound to fail, no matter how well thought out, because blind nature’s genetically endowed survival passions, and the ‘being’ or ‘presence’ they automatically form themselves into, will stuff it up again and again.

I have seen this repeatedly on the familial level, on the local community level, on the national level, and on the an international level ... plus, more pertinently, on the partnership (marriage/ relationship) level.

Unless one can live with just one other person, in peace and harmony twenty four hours of the day, nothing is ever going to work on any other scale.

RESPONDENT: As we humans can live for a couple of days without food or water, a couple of minutes without air, it can be surely said that we are unable to live even for a second without impressions as sensory input. The output is probably our business.

That’s where various methods & programmers step in to program the brains, so as to understand the incoming and control the outcome & have a suitable re-action.

These methods have failed until this day in my case to bring a joyful existence.

To this I was referring when I wrote that you first have to acknowledge the automatic responses of the 4 brains to a particular situation and then try to do something about it, to follow the beast trails into the woods and then have a ‘face-to-face conversation’.

RICHARD: The ‘automatic’ reaction you refer to occurs in the brain-stem (popularly known as the lizard brain or the reptilian brain) as is evidenced by crocodylidae family, for example, who do not have a mammalian brain or a neo-cortex overlaid on top of this primeval stem.

With the extirpation of the primitive root of such automatic reactions the brain itself is freed to operate at its optimum.

RESPONDENT: To establish ‘buffers’ so as not to get in touch with what you are or how the real world looks like, is not a sensible solution in my view. The appropriate responses are what these brains are trained for (both by nature and one’s peers to deal with society entanglements) in order to cope with a particular situation, so various being-impulses arise, both inwardly and outwardly, The fact that there are not so many situations in which they are necessary these days is true, but who can afford to eliminate them?

RICHARD: The person who is vitally interested in peace-on-earth, in this lifetime as this flesh and blood body, of course.

*

RESPONDENT: Some of them, especially the instinctive impulses are ‘being harmful’, no doubt about it. We ‘fortunately’ live in a society where the savage instincts are considered ‘bad’ and as such reprehensible and the tender instincts as ‘good’. Thanks to various god-men.

RICHARD: As the many and varied saints, sages, and seers have perpetuated 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, and so on, due to stopping halfway on the road to freedom they are hardly due any ‘thanks’ ... each one of them had, just as I did, the vital opportunity to go beyond enlightenment and thus bring all this nonsense to an end once and for all.

If Mr. Gotama the Sakyan for example, if such a person ever existed, had had the intestinal fortitude to become actually free of the human condition then in all possibility the ensuing 2,500 years would have brought about a virtual peace-on-earth, if not an actual peace-on-earth, on a global scale.

RESPONDENT: But war is the inevitable outcome of such a state of affairs in the long run, as these instincts tend to explode when repressed for a longer period of time.

RICHARD: Exactly ... just as anger and anguish, due to their sublimation and transcendence, ‘tend to explode’ in the many and varied saints, sages, and seers from time-to-time (thus they are indubitably not due any ‘thanks’ whatsoever for their pusillanimity).

RESPONDENT: That was not always the case with pre-Christian European societies, all those 4 ruled openly the ‘human world’, so you can imagine how different this world would have looked like – killing was a normal daily business.

RICHARD: If you are referring to the civilising process which has enabled people, by and large, to sleep somewhat peacefully in their beds at night it has many factors contributing to it ... and not only religion.

RESPONDENT: I was not referring to the ideal situation when one is acting without instincts, neither as communism to repress them, but to acknowledge them, and yes why not to eliminate if that’s a physical safe business.

RICHARD: It is the instinctual passions, and not the instincts per se, that can be safely eliminated (via altruistic ‘self’-immolation in toto) now that intelligence has developed in the human animal. As the instinctual passions are the ‘self’ (‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’) such elimination has a built-in safety factor which ensures success.

An actual freedom is what it says it is: it is actual, not a delusion, and thus delivers the goods.

RESPONDENT: Capitalism in my view is a more fortunate mixture between Christianity and instinctive drives.

RICHARD: The primary distinction between capitalism and communism, as currently and previously practised, is the private ownership of property/means of production (privatisation) versus the public ownership of property/means of production (nationalisation); the secondary distinction is a representative democracy (regular competitive elections for governance) versus a non-representative autocracy (non-competitive elections or imposition of governance); the other distinctions lie in the areas of accountable jurisprudence versus unaccountable jurisprudence, freedom of speech (uncensored media) versus restricted speech (censored media), freedom of association/assembly versus restricted association/assembly, freedom of contract versus restriction of contract, and freedom of religion versus restriction of religion (all of which involve issues of public policing versus secret policing) ... apart from the freedom/ restriction of religion issue where is Christianity part of the mixture?

The Christian god not only owns everything, but is totally autocratic, arbitrarily imposes judgement, despotically punishes dissention, condemns proscribed association/assembly, has an authoritarian insistence on an exclusive contract ... and secretly spies on everyone (all of which makes the most notorious dictator but a rank amateur by comparison).

However if you can somehow manage to love this god you will be loved in return ... but even that is a matter of caprice (grace).


Re: Moral cap and Authority

RICHARD (to Claudiu): Yes, the better example [of where nothing was owned and where one could help oneself to whatever was available] is indeed ‘before civilisation’ as to ‘stake out a territory and start farming it’ marks the shift from a ‘free-range’ life-style to the ‘property-rights’ way of life (and, thereby, to the arising of a ‘peasant-mentality’). To explain: for a hunter-gatherer, the free-range life-style was epitomised by, basically, just helping oneself to whatever was available. With the advent of the property-rights way of life, however, any such ‘helping oneself’ transmogrified into being theft, larceny, stealing, despoliation, direption, and etcetera. Millennia later, all of this results in feeling-beings atavistically harbouring a deep, primordial *feeling* of being somehow disfranchised – the instinctual passions, being primeval, are still ‘wired’ for hunter-gathering – from some ancient ‘golden age’, wherein life was in some ill-defined way ‘free’ (e.g., ‘The Garden of Eden’), such as to affectively underpin all the class-wars (between the ‘haves and have-nots’) down through the ages. Unless this rudimentary *feeling* of disfranchisement – of *feeling* somehow deprived of a fundamental franchise (franchise = the territory or limits within which immunity, privileges, rights, powers, etcetera may be exercised) – is primarily understood (to the point of being viscerally felt, even) any explanation of ‘peasant-mentality’ will be of superficial use only. A footnote appended to a 2005 online response of mine is as good a place to start as any. Viz.: [...snip explanations and examples...].

Which neatly brings me to the point of detailing these above examples: understanding the ‘whys and wherefores’ of peasant-mentality is not about effecting social change but being free of it in oneself. In the seventh paragraph of ‘Article 20’, appended further below [...now snipped...], I have highlighted the relevant sentence. Viz.:

• [Richard]: Astonishingly, I find that *social change is unnecessary*; I can live freely in the community as-it-is. [endquote].

In other words, one is then free to conform with the legal laws and observe the social protocols – to ‘go along with’, to ‘pay lip-service to’ – whilst no longer believing in them. ‘Tis a remarkable freedom in itself – with no need to rebel at all – as all rebellion stems, primarily, from that deeply-held primordial feeling of disfranchisement [a primeval feeling of being somehow disfranchised from just helping oneself to whatever was available, per favour the ‘free-range’ life-style of a hunter-gatherer, and, thereby, being subject to the arising of a peasant-mentality, via enforced-employment under the ‘property-rights’ way of life] and its associated feelings of resentment, envy, cynicism, and so on and so forth.

[...snip remainder of post...].

RESPONDENT: G’day Richard, thank you for your detailed explanation regarding ‘peasant mentality’ and many other points along with it. I had been reading your reply again and again, because it is something so novel that it would have been unwise of me to jump and reply in a fit of rush.

RICHARD: G’day No. 32,

Yes, it can take a while to fully appreciate ‘something so novel’ – an apt descriptor, by the way, of this ‘peasant-mentality’ explication – which has, nevertheless, been hidden in plain view all this while (albeit assigning a much-deeper meaning to that cliché, for deliberate effect, than is usually ascribed).

And, although the term itself (‘peasant-mentality’) was not something new to the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body, all those years ago, the situation and circumstances whence that most peculiar mindset arose in the human psyche (and, thus atavistically, in ‘his’ psyche) was indeed ‘something so novel’ that ‘he’ found dianoetic comprehension to be insufficient insofar as an instinctual-intuitive rememoration – as signalled by my ‘viscerally felt’ recommendation further above – of its ancestral origination was essential in order for ‘him’ to penetrate its all-pervading perfidy.

Put differently: its elucidation is indeed ‘so novel’ that, back in the late 1970’s, it was ‘me’ as soul/ spirit – as in (according to the Oxford Dictionary), the non-physical part of a person which is the seat of the emotions, or sentiments, and character – who revivified viscerally, with a markedly luminous vibrancy, an atavistic memorative facility whereby that which ‘I’ as ego could but speculatively countenance was intuitively presentiated and thus rendered fathomable.

(I am resurrecting and introducing several obscure and/or obsolete words so as to facilitate communication as it is more explanatorily helpful to bring back to life antiquated terms (that Shakespearean-Era ‘rememoration’, for instance, was already ‘not in use’ in 1828, ‘obsolete’ by 1913 and ‘archaic’ come 2008 according to the various ‘Webster’s Dictionaries’ available) unto which restored word that special-usage meaning of an instinctually-intuitive type of memoration can be readily ascribed and hypostatised for actualism-lingo utilisation. As in referring to, then, an instinctually-intuitive type of memoration which is, essentially, an atavistic re-memoration of ancestral experiencing – as memorialised affectively/ psychically in the human psyche itself (in what is metaphysically referred to as an ‘etheric library’ or ‘akashic record’) – affectively-psychically accessible and revivified feelingly with luminous vibrancy in that Shakespearean-Era memorative facility).

As briefly possible to set the scene: what ‘he’ had already understood, primarily from learned knowledge but also from some near-negligible first-hand observations[1], was that the ‘free-range’ lifestyle persisted not only throughout the (geologic) Pleistocene epoch – wherein the brain-matter of our Hominidae forebears increased dramatically in volume so as to become about three times as large as in Pongidae of the same bodily size – but even down through the ages unto a decade or so before ‘he’ was born, on the land-mass known before 1606 as ‘Terra Australis Incognita’, whereby considerable insight had been gleaned from information gathered via first-hand accounts over the preceding one-and-a-half centuries, such as to be indicative of the likely lifestyle of ‘his’ own stone-age ancestry (those ‘Ancient Britons’ of archaic lore and legend).

In a nutshell: the difficulties those nomadic hunter-gatherers of ‘Terra Australis’ had in adjusting themselves to the irreversible reality of the ‘property-rights’ way of life taking precedence over the ‘free-range’ life-style – and which difficulties were not only well-recorded but still persist, albeit in attenuated forms (mainly as politico-constitutional strategies vis-à-vis perpetual recompense, fiduciary-style, as befitting ‘traditional’ custodial lessors), unto the present day – set the scene for that affective/ psychic illumination.

In other words (and given that none of us alive today were parachuted in, so to speak, from somewhere beyond the Van Allen Belt) the well-recorded difficulties they had in making the necessary accommodations to private ownership of the lands and waters they and their stone-age ancestors had held communal ownership over – via familial lore (i.e., the various tribal territories demarcated and defended at spear-point by virtue of their instinctual survival passion of territoriality) – having been decreed ex cathedra by those industrial-age subjugators to have pre-eminence in common law (i.e., imposed and upheld at gun-point by virtue of their instinctual survival passion of territoriality), are a latter-day reflection of the difficulties every modern-day person’s own stone-age ancestors encountered.

(More on this, much further below, in Footnote № 1).

RESPONDENT: At first I tried to feel this *feeling* of disenfranchisement but I couldn’t feel it, but one of these days I finally felt a bit of it and quickly it expanded into a bit more intense feeling - my immediate reaction to this was a feeling of being ‘cheated’ and a feeling of rebellion ensued.

RICHARD: Yea verily ... feeling ‘cheated’ is a quite predictable visceral effect of intuitively feeling-out that ancestral betrayal of what amounts to humankind’s archaic birthright – and seemingly sold out for a ‘mess of pottage’ at that – along with its reactionary counter-feeling of ‘rebellion’.

Howsoever, the identity then in residence in this flesh-and-blood body rapidly realised there was something even more monumental than all of that to comprehend ... to wit: the outstanding real-life situation, then, was how ‘he’ had bought the entire package sight-unseen – as in, ‘he’ had swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker, without even knowing ‘he’ had done so – and in that revelatory instant (at this very moment of seeing that fact) this all-at-once and in-its-entirety flash of understanding was the ending of it, all of it, in one fell swoop.

Then, and only then, could ‘he’ begin to fathom the full range and extent of this perfidious ancestral legacy.

RESPONDENT: However, I quickly recalled your later remark of how you no longer believed all that. As soon as I also decided to do that, then the next part that you said became immediately clear i.e. 1). ‘social change is unnecessary’ and 2). ‘there is no need to rebel’.

So the trick here, if I’m correct, *is to no longer believe in all of this* and yet continue to follow social and legal protocols.

RICHARD: Given that virtually all the arable land/ fecund water has been long-ago commandeered by long-dead entrepreneurs, or otherwise alienated from the common weal in ages-past, there is no viable choice, physically, but to pragmatically ‘go along with it’ all – to ‘pay lip-service to’ them – until there be a global spread of the already always existing peace-on-earth as possessiveness itself, be it either of the personal or communal type of territoriality, does not subsist anywhere at all here in this actual world (i.e., this sensate world; the world of the senses; the world where flesh-and-blood bodies already reside) due to the complete absence of that instinctual survival passion to possess and protect.

RESPONDENT: The cherry on the top came yesterday - whilst watching television and having these thoughts running at the back of my head, all of a sudden it struck me, that not only is this earth a ‘free-range’ place in actuality but the entire universe is like this - that there is in actuality no *ownership* of anyone/ anything over anyone/ anything else - everything in this universe is literally free - as in, has no ownership..all ownership exists in the head in the ‘real’ world.

RICHARD: Indeed it does – territoriality exists only in the human psyche, in particular, and the animal psyche, in general, and nowhere else – and, as I have previously commented on your above report (in Message № 19572), I will re-present the bulk of it here for easy reference.

Viz.:

• [Richard]: ‘(...) when the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body circa 1978-79 entered into a mortgage agreement for the purchase of a property – an ex-farmhouse on a couple of acres of land in the rural south-east of Australia – the question of ownership of the very earth beneath ‘his’ feet engaged ‘his’ attention to such a degree as to dynamically effect resolution somewhat along the above lines. What ‘he’ had really purchased, ‘he’ realised, via that state-sanctioned organ called a ‘mortgage’, was the state-ordained right to exclusive use (within certain state-defined parameters) of that state-controlled land – specifically the legal right to call upon state-remunerated armed guards (state-trained personnel with state-issued guns on their hips) to enforce the state-determined ‘no trespassing’ law which applies to such state-issued ‘fee simple’ (a.k.a. ‘freehold’) titles – and that no land anywhere on earth was, or could ever be, owned by anyone at all. Least of all by a ‘state’ (a legal fiction masquerading as a ‘body’)’. (../richard/listdcorrespondence/listd38htm#31May15)

What stands out quite starkly, upon re-reading that second paragraph, is how the word ‘state’ features so prominently. So much so, in fact, that the much-maligned statist word ‘fascism’ – as in: ‘Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato’ (‘Everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state’) – is what immediately springs to mind.

Whereas, of course, there is no such entity as a ‘state’ in actuality – flesh and blood ‘citizens of the world’, or actual cosmopolites/ cosmopolitans, live on this verdant and azure paradise known as planet earth – as nation-states, with their artificial borders (their territorial precincts) and their sovereign citizens (their nationalised tribespeople), with their ubiquitous nationalism (i.e., tribalism writ large) and their concomitant patriotism (their civilised territoriality), feature solely in the real-world; the world of the psyche; the world where flesh-and-blood bodies never reside.

A little over five years ago this truly amazing absence of statism of any kind, type, or variety was geographically verified, as an experiential actuality, whilst visiting another continent. A brief message of mine, written about a week after arrival, speaks admirably to this effect.

Viz.:

• [03/Apr/2010]: ‘G’day Vineeto, I am sitting out on the flat roof-top of [names deleted]’s house in India, in the moonlight at 3:50 AM, and I might as well still be in Australia for all the difference it makes to my experience of being here. It is truly amazing ... it has been exactly the same as this ever since I arrived and I need to remind myself I am in another country (when it is not obvious visually that I am). What this means is that a person living in the actual world is totally at home, so to speak, wherever they may be on the planet. When I was in India last time [a quarter-of-a-century earlier] it was most definitely a foreign land, an exotic country, an alien culture, and all the rest, whereas this time around it is none of the above ... what an amazing place this magical wonderland is! Regards, Richard’. [endquote].

I made a point of deliberately checking it out at Kuala Lumpur – and it was exactly the same of course – during a five-hour stopover on my way back to this continent. Apart from the obvious ethnic distinctions, such as particular aromas, street signs in the local language, peoples of a differing physique and physiognomy, and so on, the direct experience of being here, on this planet as a flesh-and-blood body, was no different regardless of location.

RESPONDENT: Meanwhile, I also wondered if you had discussed about peasant mentality with Peter and Vineeto, during their feeling being days, because there is no mention of this peasant mentality even in their journals. I just got curious because if they became actually free without hearing about this, then it will be a sort of surpirse. Once again, thank you for your reply.

RICHARD: Yes, it was discussed – mostly touched upon from time-to-time, as appropriate to a particular situation and/or set of circumstances, rather than emphasised as a core issue in regards to actualism/ actual freedom – and the main aspect which feeling-being ‘Vineeto’ (for example) came to grips with in the early days was loyalty.

A clue as to how soon that topic came up is contained in a snippet of a discussion about loyalty itself which happened to be tape-recorded, in 1997, and transcribed in ‘The Compassion Gained Through Forgiveness Binds’ at the following URL.

Viz.:

www.actualfreedom.com.au/richard/audiotapeddialogues/compassiongainedthroughforgivenessbinds.htm

A short way down the page the following exchange takes place.

Viz.:

• R: (...). This ‘Higher Love’ is never questioned? And compassion, gratitude, trust, loyalty ...

• Q(2): Loyalty is because there is the loyalty to family to cut ...

• R: What about loyalty itself?

• Q(2): Mmm ... I don’t know if it ever came up.

• R: I remember you and I having a conversation about loyalty the second or third time you came here. You were realising that you had loyalty to hold you back.

In that text I am reminding ‘her’ how there had been a conversation about loyalty on the second or third occasion ‘she’ had visited – and I can recall, even now, how on that initial occasion it had touched a responsive chord in ‘her’ as something vital to examine – as ‘she’ had shifted ‘her’ familially-inculcated/ societally-inculcated allegiance to ‘the system’ at large over onto the spiritual commune which ‘she’ had been a live-in member for the better part of nigh-on 17 years.

It was still the ‘peasant-mentality’, of course, just in a different guise (and which the spiritually enlightened beings/ the mystically awakened ones, being feeling-beings themselves, affectively/ psychically tap into with full effect).

Speaking of which: as no such effect operates here in ‘Terra Actualis’ – no loyalty to be bound with; no allegiance to be held by – there is no way any application whatsoever of ‘Das Führerprinzip’ (either of the secular or sacred variety) could ever succeed.

Here equity and parity prevails.

Regards,
Richard.

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Footnote:

[1]also from some near-negligible first-hand observations:

During my late youth/ early adulthood the identity then in residence became quite intrigued with the lifestyle of hunter-gatherers on this continent – to the point of having me at one stage take on a full-time salaried position as first-mate on a coastal ship (i.e., 2nd in command; answerable only to the ship’s captain) supplying the mission stations situated along the northern coastline of the then (1971) largely unmapped area of Australia known as the Arnhem Land Region – and ‘he’ closely examined whatever information ‘he’ had access to regarding how such a lifestyle really functioned in practice.

Without going into it in too much detail one particular incident stands out whilst in charge of unloading cargo onto the mud-flat-and-mangrove-fringed estuarine shoreline in an area known as Maningrida (back then it was a small Native Welfare Department outstation, established in 1957, situated on the site where a rations depot, and trading-post for crocodile skins and buffalo hides, had been located since 1947). As soon as the ship was secured in place on the shoreline, with its bow-ramp lowered to provide easy egress onto the narrow sandy strip which fronted the forested landscape, I went ashore to liase with the governmental superintendent regarding the reception and storage of the supplies (constituting frozen foodstuffs, in the main, on this particular voyage). Time was of the essence as the tidal-range in that area was prodigious and unless the unloading was expedited the ship would soon become high-and-dry and, thus, subject to a delayed departure until the next incoming-tide. (As a salaried professional, with a bonus paid as a percentage of the profit for cargo delivered on time, the adage ‘time is money’ was truly of the essence).

With the ruddy-faced superintendent assuring me he would send a ‘team of men’ to do all the leg-work lugging the cartons from the ship’s commercial-sized freezer to the outstation’s storeroom – comprised mainly of ice-cream and frozen meat-pies (the nomadic hunter-gatherer’s favourite tucker when not on ‘walkabout’) – the ship’s crew of four deck-hands began unloading the cargo onto the shore, under my supervision, in anticipation of the arrival of that ‘team of men’.

When the superintendent hove into view twenty or so minutes later, along with maybe thirty-odd of the local tribesmen, the prospects of a quick turnaround became a distinct possibility. He organised the ‘team of men’ to shoulder a carton each and led them back along the pathway through the trees, to the storeroom, from whence they would return while he stayed behind to keep everything secure and fill out the necessary book-work. Yet when they eventually straggled back in twos and threes – the ship’s crew were all the while trans-shipping the stores to the shore – they sat themselves down in the scant shade of the trees lining the sandy strip (it was around the middle of the day with characteristically steamy-hot tropical atmospherics).

Appealing to them, en masse, to recommence the simple task of carrying away the cartons was to no avail – apparently, and all-of-a-sudden, they could not understand the most simplest of words (what was then-known as ‘Pidgin-English’) – so I resorted to individually encouraging each man to his feet and, by conveying him to a carton, could manage to convince each one in turn, with suitable gesticulations, that the reason they were gathered here was to ferry the goods to the storeroom as before.

To cut a long story short: when they eventually straggled back – although by then their ranks had thinned considerably – they of course headed for the shade of the trees again. After another round of one-on-one persuasion, as before, and another straggling return only to lie around once more under the trees, I finally gave it up as it was wasting more time than it gained and directed the ship’s crew to commence unloading all the way to the storeroom.

The superintendent was most apologetic, of course, whilst explaining that ‘once they got it into their heads’ to not co-operate there was little he could do about it (a plaint I had heard of elsewhere numerous times before).

By dint of much deadline-motivated exertion and sweat – and that well-known line ‘only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun’ (as per a 1772 physician’s article popularised by Mr. Noël Coward’s 1931 song) resonated prominently in the psyche of the identity-in-residence all the while – the final carton was secured in the outstation’s storeroom, before the tide had ebbed too much, and the ship was cleared to be under way once more to its next port-of-call.

And the point of this tropical seashore tale (being but one among several of a similar nature which could be told)? As already mentioned, further above, the identity inhabiting this flesh-and-blood body all those years ago was by then vitally interested in the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, as ‘he’ was questioning the whole notion of ‘progress’ – as in just what the end-goal might be which all this ‘progress’ was presumably progressing towards – which drove peoples of a Caucasoid stock to dominate the globe with their ever-expanding developmental way of life, and it was incidents of this kind which intrigued ‘him’ no end. There seemed to be something quite telling about the way in which those by-then part-time hunter-gatherers (those of the ‘free-range’ lifestyle) thought nothing of lounging about in the shade of a tree while the productive wage-slaves (those of the ‘property-rights way of life’) dutifully laboured to unload the ship’s cargo under the blazing-hot tropical sun (a cargo comprising mainly of their frozen meat-pies and ice-cream, mind you, thereafter to be acquired by them via piecemeal return of fortnightly-dispensed tokens, known locally as ‘Gubmint Munny’, to the superintendent).

Something quite telling indeed ... somehow these peoples, of veritable stone-age vintage, managed to remain unafflicted by a ‘peasant-mentality’ – and, by and large, even so through to this present day for more than a few – in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) the many material benefits, as exemplified by those frozen meat-pies and ice-cream, flowing their way per favour the ‘property-rights’ way of life.

*

Five years later, while studying ‘Aboriginal History’ as an elective during a three-year ‘Fine Arts’ course at the country college of a city university, that identity-in-residence recounted the above story in the lecture-theatre one fine day, so as to illustrate some hopefully profound point about the ills which notoriously plague indigenous communities, and the presiding history professor introduced ‘him’ to the term ‘ethno-centric view-point’. As she did so in a rather depreciatory manner, this brand-new concept she conscientiously deposited into ‘his’ lexicographical bank-account opened up a quite different avenue for exploring cultural/ societal beneficence – including a six-month investigatory visit to the Indian sub-continent in 1984 (quite advantageously as an egoless identity by then) – in the abstract realm of post-modern relativity, and the ilk, which turned out to be a creative mind-space where ‘narrative’ reigns supreme (i.e., where ‘truths’ trump facts) and where no particular culture or society is better than/ superior to any other culture or society.

Now, I am no fan of any type of culture, period, including the one I was born and raised in – and any last lingering traces of identifying as either being ‘English’ or being ‘Australian’ (as overlaid upon the core ‘British’ cultural identifier at that time) had disappeared shortly after returning from that 1984 trip to India anyway – so there is no way of being biased, as in having an ‘ethnocentric viewpoint’ these days, in any of my assessments of societal beneficence stemming from one particular culture as compared/ contrasted to that of some other culture (or cultures, generally, as applicable).

So, given that everybody alive today has a stone-age ancestry – there is simply no other way of arriving here on this planet as human beings other than as descendents of ‘hunter-gatherer’ lifestyle ancestors (be they of the far-past or near-past) – the transition to the prevailing ‘property-rights’ way of life is an ancestral legacy to be atavistically addressed as the beneficence accruing via the ability to generate capital (so essential for the elimination of poverty, for the maximisation of health and safety, for release from debilitating manual labour, for the proliferation of the arts and sciences, and so on) is inestimably superior to the beneficence accrued in any pre-pecuniary lifestyle.

So endeth the tropical seashore tale.


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