posted on Dec, 7 2012 @ 10:30 AM
These words are being written after hours of trying to comprehend, fully, what instinct seems to imply should be an easy thing to reconcile - the dual
nature of humanity as animal and as higher being. I do not mean on a religious or dogmatic level at all. I mean simply the act of trying to see ( and
recognize ) the areas where animal urge and higher thoughts tend to clash.
The seed of this ponderance came to me while in the shower this morning. The shower is where I typically end up doing most of my deeper thinking. It
is the one place where a level of both security ( privacy, locked door, isolation, enclosed space - womb recreation in a way ) and sensory deprivation
( The sound of water drowning out external noises, steam clouding vision, and water dominating smell, taste, and feeling ). When I shower I tend to
fall into stream of consciousness thinking. No structure or deliberation. Almost like dreaming while awake. I simply let my thoughts wander and relax.
Knowing what I know about biofeedback and self-hypnosis, I think I can safely state that what I achieve while showering is most likely a higher alpha
state than normal. A trance or meditation level of thought, if you will. Because of this, I cannot trace these thoughts to an exact genesis point.
Like a dream, the beginning is lost to me. The middle and end, however, I am aware of.
When I became conscious, for lack of a more suitable word, of the thoughts that were spinning around my head, as I stood there, eyes closed, and
muscles loose, I came to realize that my mind was seeking to reconcile the role of religion in society with the effects that religion seems to have
It is very difficult to phrase abstract and broad thoughts. But I will try. It seemed to me, in this state of thought, that religion would be a
perfect tool for giving the higher self control ( power ) over the base or animal urges and instincts. In fact, as a person who has studied various
religions for decades, I can truly see no other purpose of religion but to serve that function. In my opinion, this desire to reign in the
inner animal is the only justification for the creation of religion that I can determine.
For clarity - when I say "creation of religion" I am not implying anything about my personal thoughts regarding the existence, or lack thereof, of a
God or a higher power. If there is no God, then man created religion and must have had motive. If there is a God then he created religion ( by
interacting with his creation ) - and also must have had a motive for doing so. Therefore my clinical approach to this is not meant to inflame or
insult anyone elses belief systems. I am operating under a general notion that, in this regard, theology is irrelevant because the base concept
remains the same either way.
Every religious and philosophical approach extant, that I am aware of, seeks to address the duality of man - and to address control of the base and
lesser aspects of our nature. Non theists can be expected to cherry pick the passages that tend to show a violent side to religion. It's only
rational that they would seek to find anything seemingly contrary or antithetical to the theist concept. One expects the con, in any argument, to
remain silent upon the aspects of a source that might support the pro position.
What gets my mind in a knot is trying to understand why the theists, themselves, also tend to gravitate to those very same contrary and base
arguments in the argument and their application of the process itself?
An example? The simple passage "A time for war and a time for peace" ( Ecclesiastes 3.8 ). There are two options there - yet we, as living entities,
have a very obvious predisposition toward one, and not the other. Many say differently. But, when viewed on the whole? Well, history does not lie and
the world we inhabit is the litmus test. Peace is a fragile and temporary thing, it seems. War is the nature of our animal side.
What, within us, took a tool that appears to have been given us as a means of escaping feral behaviors, and caused us to turn it all in on itself. To
literally beat the plowshare into a sword? A cursory look around the world, and the entire recorded history of mankind shows this to be at least a
valid observation. Words, written with the seeming intent of socializing us, end up doing the opposite in practice.
I am sure that some will simply reply by saying "sin". But that word and explanation leave me wanting. It is an easy out, in my opinion, to blame an
abstract for very specific and observable behavior. In the long run, it doesn't matter if the Devil made you do it, because he isn't the one picking
up the check. You are. I am. We are. Our children are. Even if one entertains the notion of original sin, that doesn't explain why we tend to
gravitate toward it so compulsively. Even the most devout theist falls short - and gives into animal urge, even though they possess a strong belief
that doing so could result in eternal death or damnation. Even facing the ultimate penalty from the ultimate authority figure.... people still
cannot stop misbehaving.
This leads me to my point. I think the reason our animalistic, feral side tends to overpower us, so successfully, is that we no longer acknowledge it
as being there. We see ourselves removed or isolated from it. We dismiss it as a non-issue and therefore take no measure to try and restrict,
recognize, or control it. In our infancy, as a species, we lit a fire to chase away the darkness. A fire so bright that it's singed our eyes and left
us, in darkness, once again. In that blindness, we now allow our primitive side the use of the very tools we are supposed to utilize to repress it.
Charity begins at home.
Cruel to be kind....
All examples of our tendency to take an ideal and rake it through the mud of our base and selfish natures - then to herald the contrary and polluted
pseudo-ideal as "right" and "moral". These bastardized ideals then lead us down the paths of war, condemnation, hate, and destruction. Still, we
embrace them as tightly as we can and cling to them like lost children. Even seeing, with our own eyes, the damage wrought by them.
In fact it seems the more polluted an ideal becomes, the more powerful and prevalent it becomes. It is as if the real natural state of man is
hypocrisy. Maybe our nature was more pure and socialization led us astray?
It stymies me really - because it's such a simple concept to keep in mind. Ironically, it is the basis of the Christian Church even... though one
wouldn't know it by reading only a history book... this acknowledgement of the base and inner self. "Do unto others". This implies so much. It
forces us to recognize that ego - that primal side, for what it is. A simple admonition to exclude self from the equation - thus removing the base,
animal motive from it.
How do we, a species, so continuously fail at this simple, simple - so blatantly obvious task?
At what point does our species reach a state where "we" will matter more than "me"?
Will we ever achieve that level of intelligence and enlightenment as a group? Together? Or are we damned to the dystopian devolution that will find
our descendants huddled in caves, clutching spears, afraid of the night, and feeling a need to create something like a religion, to lift them out of