THE HABITUAL RUTS OF PLEASURE AND SECURITY

This essay is a summary of
Anthropological Timeline
The Amazing Development of Focusing
The Exponential Repetitions
Beliefs and Their Confirmation
Displacement Activity

The Anthropological Timeline gives a scientific, objectively researched timeline of the ever-increasing pace of life – the velocity of change and development throughout our earth's history ... and then there was man.

The Amazing Development of Focusing

Human babies don't have sufficient instinctive talents to survive. First we have to learn – and to learn, first we have to focus. Focusing is essential to modern human survival.

We can coordinate focusing between our bodies, senses, and minds; and, we can focus on specific ideas, focus on memories, associate them and learn. And as we learnt, we became clever and creative. Humans processed, collected, and communicated ideas quickly, and we soon learnt to repeat an extraordinary amount of tricks: from fashioning stone-axes and aiming arrows – to fire and wheels – to reading and writing.

So, very sensibly and naturally, humans focused on all the things which gave us security or pleasure, and we developed comfortable cultural habitual ruts.

The Exponential Repetitions

Wanting always results in repetitions. Either an idea will repeat in our memory, or there will be an actual repetition in practical life. And when we want something we always focus on it. This is a self-perpetuating interconnection.

And as we repeated all the things we wanted, life slowly became more pleasurable and secure. But this inevitably led us to an ever-increasing multiplicity of things to want, with more things to focus on and think about. And gradually the velocity of life increased.

Until our entire lives became dominated by this focused approach to life. So that in modern times, to keep up with the exponential development, it's essential to get an early training with focusing on drawing, reading, and writing, (coordinate cycling, focus on the ball, etc.).

Beliefs and Their Confirmation

When early humans developed beliefs with Gods and ideologies, they gave our lives meaning, and became the central priority for our sense of reality, identity, purpose, and even hope. They became our central focus point in life.

Like most other animals, our survival depended on the unquestioned feeling of belonging in a group. For humans this meant the mutual confirmation of the ideas and beliefs of our tribe. And generations of children were reassured as we repeated our stories, and established our culture's identity.

And it really didn't matter much if we all believed we were living on the back of the Great Turtle, or, that the stars were the children of the sun and the moon – because for our sense of identity and security, the confirmation of the tribe was more important than the truth.

But, over the last few centuries, as modern man explored his abilities with abstract thought, we started questioning our beliefs. With the result that the automatic mutual confirmation of our local social group has disintegrated.

These days our fight for survival takes place in the world of beliefs, abstract focal points.

After an astounding million-year-long history of encouraging a one-sided use of focusing with our thoughts and senses to secure our survival, our strategy has led us to a critical point. With an ever-increasing variety of methods, we are destroying animal species, our environment and ourselves. This is not just an irrelevant coincidence.

In modern times, the beliefs which were central to our understanding of life, the ones which gave our tribe identity and security ... nowadays, it is exactly this level of abstract thought: beliefs, ideas, and opinions, which leads socially to division – and individually to insecurity.

Regardless our modern material security, we are psychologically insecure. Perhaps we cope admirably, but all the time we are coping against a form of insecurity, which no other animal or pre-modern human has ever experienced or even imagined.

And we are overcompensating with the only thing we know – our species' tried and tested survival strategy, our human habitual rut – focusing with our senses and our minds.

We have collectively developed, what in animal psychology would be seen as a form of displacement behaviour.

Displacement Activity

This is the word used to describe the illness animals suffer when they feel insecure, and compensate with habitual but inappropriate, sometimes self-destructive activities.

As a natural result of our 'blinkered' focused approach to life, each of us has become our own individual focal point, needing interrelationship, needing another focal point as an anchor or aim and a reason to live. A subject with something to do, a verb, in relation to an object.

Our psychological sciences emphasise the individual, our sociological thought stresses the importance of interrelationships. Even modern religious thought is about self realisation and 'finding yourself'.

The aim of modern life is to be a self-reliant individual – an independent, self-sufficient ego – who has an identity, and, at best, a purpose in life. In effect, without being overtly egoistical, we want to feel like a cohesive focal point. And we try and do this, by finding a secure and stable relationship with the world outside, an interdependence between individual focal points.

And all these ideas on the value of individuality and interrelationship go hand in hand with, and are a product of our approach to life, our one-sided human perspective of focusing with our thoughts and senses for our survival. Our egoism is involuntary, it's a natural result of our focused survival strategy.

But surely the basic need is just to feel secure and happy and satisfied? Being any sort of focal point is a sidetrack. It isn't necessary to 'find ourselves' to feel whole and wholesome. This ego-confirmation is a vicious circle and a red herring. ... In previous times, religious seekers found completion by ego-sacrifice, giving themselves to God – a central almighty focal point ... But all the time there was a way of using the senses to sense the world directly, immediately, now, as a whole: panoramic sensing. 

This one-sided perspective of focusing is the driving force behind all our various forms of wanting and getting. It is often said that greed is the root cause of todays' global problems. Greed is a prime example of overfocusing. Greed is not because of our selfish ego, it's a weakness, an involuntary response to psychological insecurity. Our habitual survival strategy is destroying us, our cultures, and our environment.

All other animals need to use both ways of sensing, focusing and panoramic, in order to survive. Modern man is neglecting part of how animals sense their world and managed to survive for billions of years, the panorama mode.

We're focusing so intensively that we don't even see that there is this other way of experiencing life. We suffer from tunnel vision and a blind spot.

Our cultures have no generic name for animals panoramic sensory abilities, and there appears to be no scientific name. Though i use the latin based word 'panorama', the French language never use 'les sens panoramique' to describe animal senses; when 'les sens panoramique' is used it refers to philosophy or a camera perspective.

Our cultures are blind to the idea, and blind to that experience of life.

Greed, egoism, conceit, and closed mindedness are causing the problems in today's world, and they are all prime examples of overfocusing. Panoramic sensing is the obvious and natural balance for focusing, and the cure for overfocusing.

Generally speaking, whether a belief is abstract Gods, nature, love, leprechauns or UFOs, i suggest that if it can be coordinated with panoramic sensing, then it is safe and will profit the culture's survival.

In previous times we needed focused abstract thought to make sense of the real tactile world, now we need to feel the real tactile world as a whole again, in order to make sense of our abstract ideas.

This easily available resource is one of the few things humans have not yet exploited. Panoraming is the easiest, most direct and natural way to get a sense of wholeness and unity in our everyday lives – for anyone and everyone, no matter which culture or special beliefs.

Please continue with : Restoring The Balance

Back to Chapter Three : Civilisation's Habitual Ruts