The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, March 14, 2014

Why don't more of us evolve..?

On the Milton Erickson post yesterday, basically suggesting that Maslow’s Hierarchy (or the Yogic Chakras) detail what 99% of people want in the world, the following comment:
This begs the question: why don't we see more of it? I do not disagree with the premise -- it matches my personal experience -- but I do not understand why so few people achieve this state.”
The answer?    It’s like asking why so few people achieve mastery in any field.  It takes either stupendous luck, or fantastic drive and intent.

Let’s look at it from a Chakra perspective.
1) Survival.  We are born into a family that provides our survival needs (otherwise we simply wouldn’t survive).  The primary drive for most human beings throughout most history is BECOME GRANDPARENTS.  Every one of us is descended from thousands of generations of people who did this, so we can take it as a foundational building block.   This means hunt, gather, fight, breathe...all the basic “stuff” on an animal level.  Fear-based.  In order to survive in the basic family we must assume the behaviors and values of those into whose care we have fallen.  That means we are wide-open to imprintation for the first twelve years or so. We learn what kept our parents and grandparents alive.  Not how to be happy, or fulfilled, or whatever--unless first, most basically, we have the instructions on how to BECOME GRANDPARENTS down pat.   

2) Sex.   Have lots and lots of sex.  But not with your brothers and sisters.   Why keep kids from watching sex in movies?  Why are there greater prohibitions than there are for violence?  Well...this will be debated, and I can only offer a thought.  And here it is: a relatively small number of people will kill other human beings.  But we’re ALL gonna get laid.  We feel that in our marrow.  It is not “whether” but “when.”  And prior to the creation of effective birth control, pregnancy followed sex like night followed day.  There is also this oddness that it seems (to me) that sex as one of the primary drivers of human motivation (esp. for young men) the more “hoops” you make dudes jump through, the more you are harnessing this insanely powerful force for social “good.”   What do we want those young men to do?  Work, educate themselves, amass power, turn the social wheels, go out and protect the tribe.  Gee, what do we want young men to do in conservative sex-negative societies before they get access to sex?  Get jobs, demonstrate stability, meet the parents, learn to present themselves politely, etc.  It looks to me that we evolved from countless generations of human beings who were socially programmed to be damned conflicted about their sex drives--to want it, but not to have direct access to it, to limit production of children, prevent incest (hey, your brothers and sisters are RIGHT THERE after all.  I mean…) and use that driving force to power society rather than lay in the sun sipping coconut milk and screwing our brains out.   I’d bet that a sociologist could do a great study of “advanced” technological societies and find an inverse ratio between easy availability of sex and level of complexity and industrial development.  Not an absolute relationship, and once you get birth control this would start breaking down, but the reasons for all the scrambled messages and tortured emotions makes pretty good sense, and gives us a basis for starting to unscramble in the years ahead.  But please, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water--even if unwanted pregnancy isn’t an issue, even if incest doesn’t produce as many mongoloid offspring as the legends would have us believe...I see ZERO advantage to removing the “no sex” zone from homes in childhood, and can see a lot of very, very bad shit arising from a situation where older brothers and sisters have social permission to pressure younger ones for sex.  Remember Chakra #1?  We NEED our family’s approval.  The potential for abuse is simply staggering.   

3) Power.  Third Chakra is individual autonomy.  Physical force and mastery.  Control of our environment.  And ability to create relationships and partnerships with others to increase our stability and safety.  Separation from our parents.   The creation of our own new homes.   Think about it: we have to develop massive ties and open neurology to learn what we need to survive: and then we have to control and direct our sex drives to balance between individual and social needs...and then we have to sunder those ties and achieve escape velocity to leave home.   Again, how many social and psychological rules have we absorbed by the age of 18 or 19, or whenever we leave home?  And how much chaos does the programmed “teen rebellion” phase cause?   

Man, oh man.  Just these first three levels, which EVERYONE has to pass in order to BECOME A GRANDPARENT by any healthy social standard, sets up so many rules we must obey TOTALLY at one point, and then break  to move from the child to the parent level, boggles the mind.  It is so much, so confusing.

Then...look at the difference between the “emergent” characteristics of rules from the personal to the family to the social to the institutional to the political levels...all of this stuff exists in embryonic form on the playyard and in chimp behavior, but becomes more complicated as we add sexual maturity, additional social memes, and future-pacing (if we don’t deal with this today, we’ll have to deal with it in twenty years…”nits make lice” so to speak…) and you can see how core, basic instructions: BECOME A GRANDPARENT turn into the ball of confusion we see as the adult world.  Racial prejudice.  Homophobia.   Raping the environment.  Sexism (controlled females, expended males) and on and on.

We’re moving beyond these levels s the Trifecta of industrialization, birth control and non-linear instant communication really kicks in, and it’s gonna be fascinating to watch.  You can already see the panic as the old hierarchical way of doing things is getting kicked to the curb.   There will be additional fear by those who grew up before 1950, or cleave strongly to those ways of thinking.  They are GOOD ways of thinking.  NECESSARY ways of thinking, because if you follow them you will BECOME A GRANDPARENT.  But...we are shifting, more rapidly than ever before in human history.  We have the chance to think about more than survival.  We get to think about self-expression, love, accurate reality maps, personal satisfaction on the deepest level...being awake, aware human beings, with more of us hewing to true life paths rather than simply obeying animal drives.   We have the chance to explore our humanity.

But we must never throw out the baby with the bathwater. And those on the left, pushing for the future, must remember that those on the right are NOT crazy, as those on the Right must realize us Lefties aren’t suicidal culture lemmings.   There is a leading edge, the flowering and there is the root.   We have to move forward without losing the knowledge of a hundred million life-ways that did not lead to BECOMING A GRANDPARENT.

The fact is, that we simply don’t need everyone to become a grandparent any more.  If we ever actually, absolutely did.   But it behooves us to understand that the conflicting rules and laws that scramble and limit us aren’t the result of evil...they are the result of fear (although they can certainly LEAD to evil.)  We’re just little bits of protoplasm with our eyes on heaven.  Babies dreaming of being adults.  Animals yearning to be angels.

And oh yeah, in the circus of life, every one of us is a clown.    I can hear the calliope music, can’t you?


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