Let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I was born into a Catholic family and when I was a young, defenseless, trusting child needing lots of love, attention, and positive regard, I had to listen to Catholic priests (and by extension my mom) tell me what a rotten, stinking, low life loser I was. Begotten from a long line of low life losers going all the way back to that witch Eve who tricked the weak Adam into eating the forbidden apple, the priests told me that I was little better than cosmic dust. Sitting in the pew in a long line of the faithful I listened to “the man” standing behind the pulpit tell me that yes God loved me but even so, if I didn’t apologize for something I never did (i.e. original sin), straighten up, and do what I was told (i.e. follow orders/commandments) I’d be cast into a burning fire where I would suffer unimaginable torment forever and ever amen. I was bad, I was evil by nature, dirty, sinful, cosmic chaff, and only by dint of hard work, grace, submission and terror of authority (disguised as respect) could I ever redeem myself and be rewarded with a place in God’s exclusive little private club he arrogantly called “heaven.”
Glad I got that out.
Honestly, I believed the lies of Church for almost a decade of my young life. The priests were convincing after all. They had special robes, wore special rings, stood behind special podiums, and quoted from a fancy, big book they called “the bible.” I was young, I was small, I was weak, I was impressionable and boy did they impress me.
I believed them because I was a child and I trusted the adults.
I believed them because they said they knew the Truth.
I believed them because they said if I didn’t believe them, and I didn’t do exactly what I was told, God would burn me in hell for all eternity.
Anyway, when I was a teenager I gave up that lie. I realized, even if I couldn’t verbalize it, how twisted the priests stories were. It was psychological and emotional abuse by any other name, and so I walked away from it. Of course, still young and uninformed I didn’t give up belief altogether. As a young man I walked right out of religion and right into the hallowed halls of my local university where, caving into the same need to believe, I heard pretty much the same thing from my professors as I had heard from the priests. Sitting in a chair in a line of the faithful I listened to “the man” standing behind the lectern telling me that I was little more than a dirty rotten ape, violent and irredeemable, descended from a long line of similarly rotten and violent apes, driven by Freudian instinct and acting out my disgusting sexual and aggressive tendencies to the detriment of all around me. According to Freud if it wasn’t for repressive society I’d eat my own children if given half a chance. According to science I was worthless, I was violent, I was dirty. I was evolutionary chaff and only by proving myself worthy/strong in some ridiculous evolutionary struggle would I be deserving of reward, and would my “genes” pass on to the next generation.
Now honestly, I believed the stories of science a lot longer than I believed the lies of the Churches. The priests of science were more convincing after all. They had special robes, wore special rings, and stood behind special podiums where they impressed upon me the depth and breadth of their learned nature by quoting from not ONE big book, but from many. It was an impressive display of erudite, empirical, edification and what can I say, I was young, I was small, I was weak, I was impressionable and boy did they impress me.
I believed them because I was a young student and I trusted the erudite professors.
I believed them because they said they knew the Truth.
I believed them because they said if I didn’t believe them, and repeat exactly what they said on my final exams, I wouldn’t pass their tests and I’d just end up working poor, or worse, destitute on the streets.
And besides, I wanted to believe.
I wanted to know.
I wanted to have answers to all the big questions that had plagued my mind since I was a young lad and so I believed what the priests of Science said. And besides, the priests of Science did seem to have it in the bag more than the priests of the Church.
They said, don’t trust any other authorities but us!
They said, be empirical.
They said, be logical.
They said, observe and report.
And for the longest time everything was kosher. I didn’t trust authority (unless it was backed by an advanced graduate degree), I tried to be empirical, I strove for logic, and I observed and reported and in all that activity the story that I had been told about human nature by the priests of Science, despite its weird similarity to the church version, seemed to be accurate.
But then I had children, and I observed them, and the more I observed them more I became confused because what I was observing didn’t make any sense.
It didn’t fit into what I “knew” to be true.
For example, I had been told by priests of the Church and Science that my children were greedy and violent little scoundrels, little more cosmic rejects, descended apes, that I had to repress and control and train and enslave otherwise everything would go to hell.
But I didn’t see that in them.
Take greed as an example.
I’d been told by priests and scientists that I was greedy by nature. Original sin and evolution had made it so that I always wanted more. It was my fundamental spiritual flaw, the product of an evolutionary struggle. It was put their by God “the father” to test me or, if you are of a more scientific bent, put their by Mother Gaia to give me evolutionary advantage. However it got there, everybody agreed it was there. So, if I accumulated more and more while others around me had less and less, well all I was doing was responding to my “true” inner nature, proving my worth in the eyes of God, and winning the struggle to survive.
The man with the most toys wins, right?
That’s what I was told so, when I had kids, I expected to see this behavior from them, greedy little monsters that they were. But honestly, I didn’t see it. As it turns out, and much to my Catholic and scientific surprise, my kids don’t have a greedy bone in their body. I look and look and look but I cannot find it. In fact, it appears quite the opposite. Rather than worrying about having more, more, more, their primary concern is with absolute equality and they expend an incredible amount of psychological and emotional energy trying to manifest that equality.
If one thinks the other has a bit more ice cream, or a little more chocolate, or has received a little more love, or a little more attention, all hell breaks loose.
I see it every day.
If my children do not achieve absolute equality in all things, they fight until they do.
And to them it doesn’t matter how small the inequality. When I make Ichiban noodles (sometimes ignoring the fact that it contains MSG) and if one of my kids feels that the other has even one more noodle, or one ounce more broth, they scream, they grab, they protest, they cry ,they wail, the gnash their teeth, they kick, and they complain until they feel absolute equality is established, at which point they happily slurp down their noodles.
As a parent it is frustrating as hell, not to mention confusing.
If happiness and contentment only exists in our home when everybody is included and treated equally, where is the greed and the selfishness?
Is there something wrong with my children, I wonder.
Are they abnormal?
Are they broken?
Have they violated their divine or natural nature, as defined by the priests of this world?
Personally, I think not.
Personally, I think they are doing just what they were wired to do, strive for equality and justice.
Egg on the faces of the priests if you ask me.
Now as a parent there’s two things I can do in this situation. I can accept the facts that my kids want absolute equality and give them that, or not. If I accept the fact then I give them equal love, equal treats, and equal treatment. If I accept that then I won’t privilege the boy over the girl, the first born over the last, or the stronger one over the weaker one. If I do that, if I honor what appears to be to be the natural/spiritual/divine order of things, then everything is calm and everybody is happy. But if I don’t do that, if I violate the powerful instinctual need for equality, or the divine inner self that says “love me and honor me equally,” bad things begin happen. The kids fight and scream, they begin competing for attention, they begin hording whenever they can, and the whole household descends into fetid, funky, pathology which can only be managed with repressive controls and which descends, by degrees, into the earthly representation of hellish suffering.
And as any parent with eyes open will tell you, I’m not over exaggerating.
The drive for equality and fair treatment is powerful and when not honored, a disturbance in the force, results. When that happens, when instincts and nature are violated, repression, indoctrination, and violence are the inevitable outcomes. I yell at my kids, I tell them life isn’t fair, I banish them to their rooms for being so “unreasonable” and “demanding,” I send them to church where the priests justify, or to school where the teachers indoctrinate, and I ask them again and again, “why can’t you just ‘get it’.” In this process their natural drive for equality is suppressed and oppressed and eventually, despite abortive and comical attempts at adolescent rebellion, they learn to accept the lie, but at a serious cost, I believe. When your natural instincts towards equality are violated, pathology results. Just look at the United States, one of the most unequal countries in the world and one where psychopathology is out of control.
You can check it yourself in the statistics.
Crime, drug addiction, eating disorders, obesity, and a culture soaked in anti-depressants and anti-psychotics must lead us to question the moral, philosophical, and scientific foundation of our view of human nature.
I mean really…
You don’t need me to point it out.
Unless you want to write off the growing pathology with a magical sweep of your hand you have to consider the possibility that we’re doing something wrong.
Of course I’m speculating here.
It is a big causal leap from a violation of our natural instincts for equality (wow, doesn’t that sound like a sacrilege on so many levels) to the toxic emotional and psychological soup of modern day society, but it’s an interesting hypothesis don’t ya think?
Not to mention totally, yranoitulover.
But so what?
And who cares?
Personally, I think (and feel) the idea that we might have a natural “instinct” for equality deserves a lot more attention I mean, what if the spiritual and scientific structure of our modern moral and cosmological sensitivity is nothing more than a carefully contrived justification for inequality and privilege?
What if it’s just a case of the priests telling the peasants to accept their lot.
You know, divine Right of Kings and God wants it that way or the rich deserve what they get because they are stronger, faster, more capable than you.
Inequality is natural and inevitable, God likes it and its good for the evolutionary scramble, so deal with it.
I believe the idea is worthy consideration and if you ask me its at least as significant and revolutionary as the notion that the Sun doesn’t revolve around The Earth and if true will require a pretty significant recant and revision of a number of academic disciplines. I know it sounds outrageous, improbable, even impossible, but lo and behold it’s already happening. View the video in this article and watch the author of a 1970 book RECANT the dubious science that led him to coin the term “alpha male.” As a sociologist I must ask, was it pure ideology after all?
As for me, I’m not buying it anymore. I can see with my own eyes. Watching my little children I see that it’s at best a horrendous scholarly mistake and at worst a big fat lie. Of course, reading this short article you may not be willing to go so far but at the very least you should raise some questions. Better yet, think and observe for yourself and come to your own conclusions. And remember, just because some priest said it, or some scientist said it, doesn’t make it so. You have to understand, from the the recent recanting of the term Alpha Male to all the ignored researched on the negative impact of competition, it would seem that scientists are as ideological and error prone as everybody else.