Freedom Expanded: Book 1—The New Biology
Part 8:4H Humans’ development of integration through love-indoctrination and mate selection
In the case of our ape ancestors, it is being suggested that love-indoctrination and mate selection of cooperativeness occurred for a sufficiently long period for cooperative integrativeness to become an instinctive part of their make-up, thus creating our ‘moral sense’. It is important to remember, however, that this process involved an indoctrination or training in unconditional selflessness, not an understanding of it. The search for knowledge still had to take place, which is why the human-condition-producing clash between our instincts and intellect occurred.
To continue this explanation of our own species’ path to integration, a comparative look at the physique of bonobos, the most integrated variety of primates, and the fossil evidence of our human ancestors is informative. ‘Lucy’, the 3.5 million year old Australopithecus afarensis fossil ancestor of humans discovered in the Rift Valley of Africa in 1974 by a team headed by the American paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson, shows an amazing similarity to the bone structure of the bonobo. The two are very similar in brain size, stature and in the length of the lower limbs, and are fairly similar in overall body proportions. Lucy’s pelvis shows that she walked fully upright. The pelvis of a bonobo, while not quite as adapted to bipedalism/upright walking as Lucy’s, is significantly more adapted than that of a chimpanzee. Interestingly, the finger bones of the australopithecines are more curved than those of chimpanzees (Stern and Susman, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 60:279-313 1983, p.198). Since curved fingers are an adaption suited to climbing this may indicate that the australopithecines’ immediate forebears were apes that frequently lived in trees, possibly like the bonobos, which are the most arboreal of the African apes. Possibly this arboreal aspect is related to jungle living as opposed to savannah life. And perhaps it was a similar food rich tropical environment to that which the bonobos benefit from that our ape ancestor also benefited from in terms of being able to develop love-indoctrination.
I would now like to revisit the psychological stages of maturation that humans have progressed through from infancy to adulthood (that were initially outlined in Part 3:11), which, with understanding of the origins of our moral instincts and conscious mind, we can now fully understand. (This will also involve a comparative look at the level of psychological maturation that the bonobos have been able to achieve.)
In starting, I should reiterate that while we have not traditionally thought of humanity’s maturation as progressing through the same stages we as individuals go through in our own lives, since all the members of a variety of early humans would have shared a relatively similar mental and psychological state it makes sense that each variety of early humans can also be described collectively by that shared mental and psychological state.
Individually, we each mature from ‘infancy’ to ‘childhood’ to ‘adolescence’ to ‘adulthood’. To elaborate, infancy is when we develop sufficient consciousness to discover that we are at the centre of the changing array of experiences around us. We become aware of the concept of ‘I’ or self, which, as mentioned, is what bonobos and the other great apes are capable of. Childhood is when we begin to actively experiment or ‘play’ with the power of conscious free will, the power to manage events to our own desired ends. In the case of humanity, it was this experimentation in self-management that led to a conflict with our instincts and the emergence of the upset angry, egocentric and alienated state of the human condition. Adolescence is when we go in search of our identity, in search of who we are—in fact, go in search of understanding of our upset, corrupted human condition, for it was only understanding of why we became upset that could end our uncertainty about whether we were evil, worthless beings or not. Adulthood is when we finally gain understanding of ourselves, specifically understanding of why we became divisively behaved, and as a result are able to mature from insecure adolescence to secure adulthood and become upset-free conscious managers of our world. In short, infancy is ‘I am’, childhood is ‘I can’, adolescence is ‘but who am I?’ and adulthood is ‘I know who I am’.
In the case of humanity, love-indoctrination took place in our species’ infancy when we were trained in unconditional selflessness or love and became cooperative and integratively behaved. As briefly explained in Parts 8:4C and 8:4D, and as will be fully explained in Part 8:7B, infancy was also the period when that training in love liberated our consciousness. Since bonobos are approaching the state of complete integration and are exceptionally conscious or intelligent they are clearly approaching the end of the infancy stage; they are on the brink of ‘childhood’—they are a species living on the threshold of the metaphorical ‘Garden of Eden’, ‘Golden’, totally integrated, cooperative, harmonious, peaceful state that our ape ancestors were able to develop and which our australopithecine ancestors inhabited. To further context where bonobos are in the journey negotiated by our human forebears: our ape ancestor was ‘Infantman’, who appeared some 12 million years ago with the emergence of apes and during whose time the nurturing, love-indoctrination process took place. Infantman gave rise to fully integrated, happy, untroubled, upset-free, playful ‘Childman’, the australopithecines, who emerged some 5 million years ago. Thus, bonobos are approaching where our human forebears were some 5 million years ago, as confirmed by the similarity between bonobo skeletons and the early australopithecine fossil skeleton known as ‘Lucy’.
As described in Part 3:11, the first Childman was Australopithecus afarensis, who was ‘Early Happy, Prime of Innocence Childman’. They evolved into A. africanus who was ‘Middle Demonstrative Childman’, who in turn developed into A. boisei, ‘Late Naughty Childman’. At each stage consciousness was asserting itself more and more, from being intellectually demonstrative to being ‘naughty’ and challenging the instincts. As already explained, and this will be fully elaborated upon in Part 8:8, since we humans developed cooperative, loving, unconditionally selfless, ‘moral’ instincts, the confrontation with our instincts would have been extreme, much more than the basic conflict between instincts and intellect that the Adam Stork story describes. When we ‘flew off course’ in search of knowledge we weren’t defying an instinctive orientation to a flight path, we were defying an instinctive orientation to integrativeness, to ‘God’ no less! When we became upset, angry and egocentric, these reactions didn’t just contradict an instinctive flight path—they contradicted the integrative ideals, which means the guilt we felt from deviating from our instinctive orientation has been astronomical. The story of Adam Stork revealed that when Adam became conscious he became very upset as a result of defying his instinctive orientation to a flight path, but if that was upsetting then how much more upsetting must we humans have become from defying our instinctive orientation to behaving cooperatively. After all, we were in defiance of ‘God’! We have been at war with the ideals of life!
To reiterate, we humans haven’t just been defying an instinctive orientation—which, irrespective of the nature of the orientation, would make us feel guilty—we have been defying cooperative, loving, ideal-behaviour-demanding instincts, which means when we became angry and egocentric, which are divisive not cooperative behaviours, we were going to feel doubly guilty! Our human condition has been a diabolically upsetting situation to have to endure, which makes complete sense of why the human race has been as angry as described in Part 7:2, as egocentric as described in Part 7:3, as selfish as described in Part 7:4, and as alienated as described in Part 7:5.
To complete this description of our human journey, some two million years ago the australopithecines matured into fully conscious, thoughtful, troubled, extremely upset, human-condition-burdened and insecure ‘Adolescentman’, Homo, us. (The stages of development that Homo progressed through under the duress of the human condition were described in some detail in Part 3:11.) But, with understanding of our upset, human-condition-afflicted state now found humanity’s insecure adolescent stage is finally brought to an end. The search for our species’ identity, for understanding of itself, particularly for understanding of WHY we became divisively behaved, is over and so our species can now, at long last, enter its secure, fulfilled, peaceful adulthood. With understanding of the human condition now found we are about to change from UPSET, ALIENATED ADOLESCENTMAN to TRANSFORMED, PEACEFUL ADULTMAN, and after only a few generations, to MATUREMAN, the fully secure UNIVERSAL BEINGS. How this wondrous TRANSFORMATION occurs will be explained shortly in Part 9.
These fossil skulls of our ancestors (see next image), along with the descriptions underneath, provide a summary of the different stages of maturation that our species has progressed through. In this picture chart, which was first presented in Part 3:11, you can clearly see the emergence of the large brain case that was needed to house the developing ‘association cortex’ (where the association of information necessary for thinking takes place) that followed the nurturing infancy stage and triggered the breakout of the problem of the human condition. What happened was that the full emergence of the upset state of the human condition around two million years ago brought about the rapid development of our brain (as indicated by the sudden increase in brain case volume), because once the upset state of the human condition began only understanding could relieve that condition and to find that understanding required greater and greater intelligence. The race for answers was on—as Richard Neville said, it was ‘a race between self destruction and self discovery’. In recognition of this sudden change having taken place around two million years ago the name of our ancestors was, at that point in the chart of human evolution, changed by anthropologists from Australopithecus to Homo. (It should be mentioned again that more varieties of australopithecines and Homo have been found by anthropologists than those depicted here, however, these remain representative of the main varieties.)
The following two graphs were included and explained earlier in Part 3:11C, however, they are also worth including here because those parts of the graphs that encompass the period from 12 million years ago to 2 million years ago should be more easily understood now that we’ve explained at some length the love-indoctrination, mate selection process that eventually gave rise to us modern humans, Homo.