Food, sex, wealth, these are the things of the devil? So why do all our righteous leaders have them?
Shall we risk taking a step away from normal human experience for a moment to do some deconstruction? This shows up in the case of autistics (which includes myself).
Below your normal level of awareness (and in this case I mean neurotypicals) is the system they are calling the default mode network. This coupled with what they call the implicate memory system.
You have a chain of patterns, structured action potentials, that correspond to all the physical stimuli you have ever experienced and continue to experience on a daily basis. You don’t experience any of this as in any way novel, normally. Figuratively speaking, you take it for granted. It’s what constructs your perception of a fruit on the kitchen table, of a familiar photo on the wall. We experience its alternate mode of function when you are surprised or startled, when a car seems to approach your own at high speed seemingly out of nowhere, but you rapidly assimilate this and react.
Well, for autistics and other species, this process is not completely on autopilot. It forms the dominant element of their perception and the substrate of information that their brains attune to. It kind of drowns out what neurotypical individuals take for granted, things like social meaning.
I myself have learned to understand social meaning by examining human behaviour under environmental stressors. Thus I understand it reflexively rather than empathically, but this of course is not my point, just a counterpoint to underscore what I am really getting at.
You don’t experience stress on your personal melody from social signals alone, or even from strictly personal bodily signals. Deeply encoded in your body and DNA are patterns that correspond to all the perceptions of everyone in your genetic lineage, every ancestor, and this includes a long history of environmental stimuli and emotional reactions to it.
Human behaviour in today’s world seems locked in some degree of perpetual dissonance, frantically singing their personal melodies as loudly as they can, perhaps from fear of a cultural unknown? Honestly, I don’t personally understand what motivates it, but I do know that people react to the pressure.
An announcing of “territory”? The effort to announce territory in the way that humans do these days actually renders ambiguous any sense of territory you can possibly have, degrades any sense of identity. Maybe why people cling to any artificial metaphysical model they can and usually the one culturally closest at hand, a.k.a religion. What do you think? Has anything in the world given you a stable sense of identity? A secure sense of territory?
Yes, people seek identity in things other than themselves, religion, materialism, atheism, feminism, etc.
Could it be a reaction to being depersonalized, working in a corporation? That’s one example, yes. In my own experience it all seems to revolve around one idea, and this idea is very popular and held in a great many belief systems. Your soul belongs to someone else or something else. Even in strictly atheistic and materialistic models, your soul belongs to science. Because your soul belongs in matter, it only exists as matter.
Has any belief system that relies on the idea that your soul belongs to someone or something else, or even that your soul belongs somewhere else, made anyone very happy? Very much stronger or wiser? Some schools of Buddhism teach that your soul belongs to the cycle of reincarnation, or to nirvana, which deletes the significance of the personal soul all together. It has helped people perhaps deal the most effectively with the human condition as it stands right now, but has it moved us any farther?
I always disliked the idea of loss of identity. Your identity is integral. It’s essential to the collective chorus of reality, and to learn to know it better, to sing it with greater strength, resonance and integrity, clarity, well… I am perhaps getting too mystical here.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.