‘FREEDOM’—Chapter 5 The Origin of Humans’ Moral Instinctive Self or Soul
Chapter 5:14 ‘A golden race…formed on earth’
In all, love-indoctrination was an incredibly fortuitous development. It gave humans our unconditionally selfless, integrative-behaviour-orientated, Specie-Individual, humanity-creating, ‘awe’-inspiring, ‘distinct’ from other ‘animals’, moral instinctive self or soul. And it gave us our fabulous conscious mind, a development that meant we were free from the stupor of the animal condition, but did then, of course, lead to our horrifically upset state of the human condition—but, with understanding of the human condition now found, we can, as will be explained in chapter 9, finally be transformed to an existence that is free of both conditions. Love-indoctrination also freed our hands to hold tools and carry out innumerable tasks, create all the things our conscious mind was capable of envisaging and ultimately undertake the experiments in knowledge that led to these insights; a fully conscious mind in a whale or a dog would be frustrated by its inability to implement its understandings. Further, love-indoctrination is what likely gave humans the relatively long lifespan that has been so instrumental in the accumulation of knowledge. If we only lived to 30, which is considered a long life in the animal kingdom, instead of the 70 plus years we do (in the case of dogs, for example, no matter how well you look after one, it will still only live for 10-15 years), we would likely not have had sufficient time to properly assimilate and manage in our minds all the difficult nuances of the human condition, or to learn about and add to all the understandings humanity was accumulating.
In conclusion, nurturing was the main influence or prime mover in the development of humans—not upright walking, or tool use, or language, or mastery of fire, or migration from the forest to the savannah, or any one of the other explanations that evasive, denial-complying, mechanistic biologists have been putting forward in the mountain of dishonest books that have been published on human origins. The human race had an immensely happy, all-sensitive-and-all-loving, thrilled-and-enthralled-with-all-of-life, zest-for-living-drenched, ecstatic infancy and childhood, which, as will be described in chapter 8:2, lasted from some 12 million years ago right up to some 2 million years ago when our conscious mind became fully developed and with it the upset state of the human condition emerged—NOT the brutish, barbaric, backward, primitive, savage, bestial, demonic, competitive, aggressive, warring, sombre, morose, unhappy drudge of an existence that our species’ early existence has for so long been portrayed in documentaries. When Buddhist scripture anticipated what a human-condition-resolved-and-thus-human-condition-free state would be like—that ‘Human beings are then without any blemishes, moral offences are unknown among them, and they are full of zest and joy’ (Maitreyavyakarana; Buddhist Scriptures, tr. Edward Conze, 1959, pp.238-242)—it was also describing what life was like in the human-condition-free state that existed in our past when we had become free of the animal condition but had not yet encountered the upset state of the human condition.
Yes, the recognition in all our mythologies and in the work of our most profound thinkers of a wonderful, all-loving, innocent past for the human race isn’t some without-any-factual-base, romantic, fanciful dream of some impossible, unrealistic, idyllic, utopian existence, nor is it, as was mentioned in pars 184-185, merely a nostalgic yearning for the security and maternal warmth of infancy, as mechanistic science has tried to dismiss it as—no, it is a completely real time in our species’ distant past that recent fossil evidence is now confirming, and that bonobos provide ample living evidence of. Indeed, we can now finally reconcile our scientific knowledge with all the truths contained in our mythologies and religions—for example, we can finally appreciate that Moses’ description of how our ‘Adam and Eve’ ancestors lived ‘naked and they felt no shame’ in an innocent, cooperative, loving ‘image of God’-like state in a ‘Garden of Eden’ (see par. 155) equates perfectly with the life of the bonobos that has just been described; as does what the eighth century Greek poet Hesiod wrote in his poem Works and Days about this ‘Golden Age’ time in our species’ past: ‘When gods alike and mortals rose to birth / A golden race the immortals formed on earth…Like gods they lived, with calm untroubled mind / Free from the toils and anguish of our kind / Nor e’er decrepit age misshaped their frame…Strangers to ill, their lives in feasts flowed by…Dying they sank in sleep, nor seemed to die / Theirs was each good; the life-sustaining soil / Yielded its copious fruits, unbribed by toil / They with abundant goods ’midst quiet lands / All willing shared the gathering of their hands’ (see par. 180). And we can now also fully understand Plato’s descriptions of ‘a time when…we beheld the beatific vision and were initiated into a mystery which may be truly called most blessed [the fully integrated state], celebrated by us in our state of innocence, before we had any experience of evils to come, when we were admitted to the sight of apparitions innocent and simple and calm and happy, which we beheld shining in pure light, pure ourselves and not yet enshrined in that living tomb which we carry about, now that we are imprisoned’ (see par. 158), and when we lived a ‘blessed and spontaneous life…[where] neither was there any violence, or devouring of one another, or war or quarrel among them…In those days…there were no forms of government or separate possession of women and children; for all men rose again from the earth, having no memory of the past [we lived in a pre-conscious state]. And…the earth gave them fruits in abundance, which grew on trees and shrubs unbidden, and were not planted by the hand of man. And they dwelt naked, and mostly in the open air, for the temperature of their seasons was mild; and they had no beds, but lay on soft couches of grass, which grew plentifully out of the earth’ (see par. 170). Clearly our instinctive memory of our species’ time in the ‘Garden of Eden’ is so strong that when it is allowed to fully express itself, as it obviously was in the minds of the denial-free thinking prophets Moses, Hesiod and Plato, it is able to almost perfectly describe what life was like then. Obviously Moses, Hesiod and Plato didn’t know of the existence of bonobos, and yet they knew almost exactly what their/our lives were like! If we look at the picture of bonobos above par. 416, they are even, as Plato described, lying ‘naked’ ‘in the open air’ ‘on soft couches of grass’!!
Yes, now that we can explain our present immensely upset, human-condition-afflicted ‘living tomb’ existence and thus afford to be honest, we can admit that what we have been referring to as our soul IS the instinctive memory within us all of the nurtured-with-love infancy and idyllic, ‘calm and happy’ childhood period 12 to 2 million years ago that our species spent in Africa before our conscious mind and with it the psychologically upset state of the human condition fully emerged; the time when, as Moses said in Genesis, we were ‘banished…from the Garden of Eden’-like (3:23) state of original innocence and left ‘a restless wanderer on the earth’ (4:14) (with, as will be described in chapters 8:2 and 8:11A, the fossil evidence showing these ‘restless wander[ings]’ away from Africa beginning some 1.9 million years ago).
Like the many depictions of the ‘Garden of Eden’, such as the one included before par. 387, the above painting represents a bubbling up from our subconscious psyche/soul of this memory of our innocent time in Africa. When you are in natural Africa the sense of having been there before—indeed, of having returned home—is so mind-bendingly overwhelming you think you are in a dream! As Sir Thomas Browne wrote, ‘We carry with us the wonders we seek without us: there is all Africa and her prodigies in us’ (Religio Medici, 1643, Sect.15), and as Shakespeare similarly wrote, ‘A foutra for the world and worldlings base! I speak of Africa and golden joys’ (Henry IV, c.1597). In her 1967 book, the aptly titled A Glimpse of Eden, the poet Evelyn Ames recorded her experiences of an African safari: ‘We thought we knew what to expect. Several friends had been there and told us about it…but we discovered that nothing, really, prepares you for life on the East African Highlands. It is life (I want to say), making our usual existences seem oddly unreal and other landscapes dead; that country in the sky is another world…It is a world, and a life, from which one comes back changed. Long afterwards, gazelles still galloped through my dreams or stood gazing at me out of their soft and watchful eyes, and as I returned each daybreak, unbelieving, to my familiar room, I realized increasingly that this world would never again be the same for having visited that one. Nor does it leave you when you go away. Knowing its landscapes and sounds (even more in silence), how it feels and smells—just knowing it is there—sets it forever, in its own special light, somewhere in the mind’s sky [pp.1-2 of 224] …Each day in Africa my heart had almost burst with Walt Whitman’s outcry: “As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles” [p.204].’ A sign at the entrance to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania reads, ‘This is the world as it was in the beginning’. Sir Laurens van der Post also expressed how much our soul yearns to return home when he wrote that ‘We need primitive nature, the First Man in ourselves, it seems, as the lungs need air and the body food and water…I thought finally that of all the nostalgias that haunt the human heart the greatest of them all, for me, is an everlasting longing to bring what is youngest home to what is oldest, in us all’ (The Lost World of the Kalahari, 1958, p.151 of 253).
Of course, acknowledgment of an innocent, unconditionally selfless, all-loving past for humans has been near impossible while we couldn’t explain our selfish, seemingly unloving human condition. In physics, for example, the only way we could cope with the fact that the upset human race no longer lives in this fully integrated, unconditionally selfless, loving way was to deny the truth of Integrative Meaning. This account of the sociologist Pitirim Sorokin’s amazingly honest description of altruistic, unconditionally selfless love makes the need for this denial very clear: ‘Altruistic love is a giving, sacrificial love; it often involves the sacrifice of very important interests, possibly one’s life [p.457 of 744] …altruistic love is ideally boundless. It originates within itself and extends out to the cosmos. It makes no distinctions; it embraces all. It is unconditional and undaunted by disappointment and failure. It is compassionate and caring; it hurts when others hurt and suffers when they suffer. It is endlessly giving; it reaches out in the spirit of care, justice, and compassion. It is ennobling and exalted; it represents the highest in humans potential [p.456] …It regards all people as deserving of love. They feel responsible for all people, not just friends and family members [p.465] …[It is] a selfless love attained by the primal human capacity to submerge self and others into a greater whole [p.457]’ (Samuel Oliner & Jeffrey Gunn, ‘Sorokin’s Vision of Love and Altruism’, Living A Life Of Value, ed. Jason Merchey, 2006). Yes, altruism is a ‘primal human capacity’, but such an ability ‘to submerge self and others into a greater whole’ has unbearably condemned the present upset human race for no longer behaving in a way that is anything like that. In biology, meanwhile, the unbearable truth of an innocent, unconditionally selfless, all-loving past for humans has meant that there is, as will be described at some length next in chapter 6, an immense amount of dishonest biological thinking that now has to be dismantled and redressed. In particular, it will be described there how mechanistic science’s reluctance to recognise the compelling evidence that bonobos provide for the nurturing origins of our moral nature has meant that little research has been done on bonobos—so little, in fact, that they have been, as mentioned, referred to as ‘the forgotten ape’. And as for the role nurturing is presently playing in bonobo society and did play in the emergence of humanity, chapter 6 will also describe how mechanistic science has denied such a confronting truth by maintaining that maternalism represents nothing more than mothers protecting their dependent infants and providing training in life skills. And as for our upset behaviour, mechanistic science has simply blamed it on genes (or ‘nature’, as the contrived genetic excuse has been called in the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate) because, as the child psychologist Oliver James points out, ‘Believing in genes removes any possibility of “blame” falling on parents’ (They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life, 2002, p.13 of 370). Other scapegoat excuses include ‘chemical causes’, as this dialogue from the 1989 film Parenthood illustrates: Counsellor: ‘He’s a very bright, very aware, extremely tense little boy who is only likely to get tenser in adolescence. He needs some special attention.’ Karen: ‘It’s because he was our first. I think we were very tense when Kevin was little. I mean, if he got a scratch, we were hysterical. By the third kid, you know, you let him juggle knives.’ Counsellor: ‘On the other hand, Kevin may have been like this in the womb. Recent studies indicate that these things are all chemical.’ Gil: ‘[points at Karen] She smoked grass.’ Karen: ‘Gil! I never smoked when I was pregnant…Will you give me a break?’ Gil: ‘But maybe it affected your chromosomes.’ Counsellor intervening: ‘You should not look on the fact that Kevin will be going to a special school as any kind of failure on your part.’ Gil: ‘Right, I’ll blame the dog.’
Thankfully, the human race is now in the position to end all this lying and acknowledge the crucial role that nurturing has played in human origins, and in our own lives—which means all those dishonest, denial-complying, reverse-of-the-truth, mechanistic explanations, papers, books and documentaries that have been put forward to supposedly explain human nature and our origins will need to be re-written and re-filmed to present the honest story about our human journey. Yes, we are now able to admit that Rousseau was right when he said that ‘nothing is more gentle than man in his primitive state’. It was not our distant ancestors who were without the ability to be gentle and loving, as we have so long been taught, rather it is us fully conscious, immensely psychologically upset, angry, egocentric and alienated, soul-destroyed, human-condition-afflicted modern humans who have lost that ability.
At last the artificially relieving but, in truth, absolutely awful dishonest, alienated, cold, psychotic and neurotic darkness that Plato so accurately portrayed us as living in with his cave analogy can disappear from human existence, leaving in its place a world of warm sunlight once more, a world of alienation-free truthfulness, happiness and togetherness, a world ‘full of zest and joy’. All that remains now is for the human race to make the right choice between continuing on its habituated path of denial that will lead to terminal alienation and the extinction of the human race, or choosing the path of truth that has now opened up that leads to our species’ transformation. The dangerous impediments to this critical juncture and the awe-inspiring potentials that lie beyond will be revealed in the final four chapters of this book.
(A more complete description of the origin of humans’ unconditionally selfless, altruistic, moral instinctive self or soul can be found in Freedom Expanded at <www.humancondition.com/freedom-expanded-origin-of-morality>.)