(Conditioned) Human Nature within the Insane Asylum
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I wish I had a silver dollar for every time I’ve heard the phrase “It is human nature……” or some such derivative or derivation. Alan Greenspan recently popped to the surface of his personal cesspool to proclaim it is human nature to create financial bubbles, thus absolving himself of any blame for a runaway fiat candy machine. His exact words were “Bubbles are functions of unchangeable human nature.”
I will stifle the urge to flush Greenspan back down the commode where he belongs and instead focus upon the mistaken belief we can actually determine exactly what is ‘human nature’ after hundreds if not thousands of years of social conditioning and manipulation.
Our fragile egos, both personally and as a collective, have a difficult enough time accepting “We the People” are effectively influenced by ‘popular culture’, let alone that we would seriously entertain the idea we are thoroughly conditioned humans from birth. But considering we are born the purest of individual humans and spend the rest of our lives attempting to be just like everyone else speaks volumes to the idea we are the sum total not only of our lifelong conditioning, but of multi generational conditioning as well.
Where exactly is the demarcation line between ‘human nature’ and the passively conditioned consumer we have all become to some degree or another? If generation after generation of “We the Consumer” suffer under the influence of cultural, social, institutional, religious and governmental manipulative programming and outright propaganda, how exactly could we ever be fully aware of the sum total of these influences nor what humans would be like if the manipulation were removed or never there in the first place?
Humans are highly adaptive creatures and incredibly ingenious when it comes to modifying our behavior in the face of externally or internally applied pressure and circumstance. ‘Normal’ is a relative term, not some static measurement, and both the body and mind quickly becomes accustomed to the ‘new’ normal when choices appear to be limited and the herd moves to a new grazing field. But this doesn’t mean the results of social pressures and generational conditioning are dictated by human nature or that human nature guides human behavior under these extraordinarily distorted circumstances.
I remember visiting an indoor zoo several decades ago with my young son. At one exhibit there was a young man seated in a chair intently watching the caged animals, in this case squirrels if I remember correctly. A sign posted behind him informed the curious he was conducting a behavioral study and to please do not disturb. At regular intervals he would look down at his clipboard and make a notation, then return his gaze to the animals in front of him. I was fascinated not in the animals he was watching, but in what he was doing and why.
Stealing a look at the clipboard there were several vertical columns for various behaviors such as grooming, feeding, mating etc and horizontal markings indicating 30 second intervals. It appeared he was following one particular squirrel and noting what it was doing at specific points in time. It was then I realized there was a very large clock with a sweeping second hand hanging on the cage in the person’s line of sight. I supposed this data would all be crunched down later into thesis graphs and tables.
Outside the exhibit I found an employee and asked him a few questions about the young man inside. He explained that the local university regularly sent over students to conduct behavioral studies of various animals in the zoo. This data would then be compared to results of studies done in the wild in order to measure the effects of captivity and domestication. I remember saying to him, “Too bad we can’t do this with humans.” He was startled by my comment and clearly at a loss for words. I left him to stew on my thought as my son dragged me on to the next exhibit.
If the only substantial population of squirrels left in the world are all safely caged and on exhibit, with only a smattering of squirrels remaining in the wild, would this ‘condition’ eventually become the basis for a new ‘normal’? Would the caged animals be considered the norm and the few remaining left in the wild considered outliers and abnormal?
Now move this thought experiment forward a thousand years or more and imagine there are only caged squirrels left in the world, and even the institutional memory of their wild origins is lost or severely obscured. How exactly would these animals be perceived when there remained no basis for comparison? I propose that at this point any observed repetitive or predictable ‘behavior’ would be considered ‘squirrel nature’ and just the way it is.
In recent years the publicly promoted illusion of happy, well adjusted zoo animals has slowly dissolved into dust as report after report indicates many animals in captivity exhibit clear and disturbing signs of depression, neurosis and self destructive behavior. Assuming after a thousand years the captive squirrels have not committed ritual collective suicide I suspect their observed behavior would border on the bizarre and nonsensical. Yet with no basis for comparison their aberrant manner would continue to be explained away as simply squirrel nature.
While I suspect I shall assault the sensibilities and egos of many of my readers by immediately switching the squirrel analogy to that of the present day human, the similarities are too striking to ignore. How exactly are we to successfully and correctly examine ourselves when the only ‘normal’ we know is found in the boiling pot of water we presently occupy?
With no basis for comparison and any cultural or institutional memory long since lost to time or never established in the first place, combined with the deliberate and malicious distortion or outright falsification of the history of the human race in order to muddy the waters and control “We the Conditioned”, how is a person or any “author-ity” able to say with any degree of confidence that a particular observed human behavior is solely and exclusively ‘human nature’? The single minded arrogance displayed by such certainty of knowledge of the ‘self’ approaches pathological self deception.
That caged gorilla obsessively pacing inside his cage is seen as abnormal simply because we can view other gorillas in the wild and not witness comparable behavior. Similarly the obese obsessive compulsive eater shopping at Sam’s Club for a bigger bang for their food buck is seen as abnormal solely because there are other non obese humans available for comparison. As well, this specific abnormal self destructive human behavior is so relatively new that institutional memory of what is ‘normal’ has not been lost or deliberately obscured. Yet we hurry to blame the individual person for their apparent suicidal behavior and rarely look beyond the trees to see the cultural forest.
For thousands of years psychopaths have ruled the human race utilizing various psychologically damaging methods and techniques, all with the ultimate purpose of control and exploitation. The very institutions and governments we allow to exist are there solely to herd and control the masses for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many. In so many ways caged from birth, is it any wonder we exhibit clear and disturbing signs of depression, neurosis and self destructive behavior?
I suspect if it weren’t for our flexible intellect and protective ego, combined with a monumental arrogance, long ago we would have participated in ritual collective suicide. It could be argued our near constant state of war is designed to ‘play’ at or ‘practice’ mass suicide in order to act as a safety valve and relieve some of the socially self destructive pressures.
While there are certainly many ‘benefits’ of war enjoyed by the minority psychopath controllers, such as economic enrichment, power enhancement and more social control, a seriously dysfunctional and neurotic population must be managed in the same way unstable chemical compounds are. Occasionally dangerous pressures must be carefully vented away or burned off lest the volatile concoction self destruct and take the psychopaths with it.
For those among us who claim that humans who are removed from these pressures still exhibit the same behavior, thus confirming the presence of human nature, I simply respond that deep conditioning can last a lifetime even after it is recognized as conditioning. It takes generational change to effectively begin the removal and rebalancing process and many generations for it to be removed completely. Ironically the psychopaths claim this very fact justifies their continued intervention and control since a domesticated animal let loose in the wild cannot fend for itself, a self serving point of view if ever I heard one.
Induced insanity is the perfect mental/spiritual illness from a social control point of view because it is self perpetuating, self affirming and can exist in isolation since it is its own energy source. The social/cultural control systems used by the psychopaths encourages mass mental illness in order to divide and conquer. It is the most effective method by which the few may dominate the many.
If this is the case, and I suspect this to be so, how exactly are “We the Insane” able to perceive anything about ourselves with any semblance of balance and objectivity. How are we able to determine what is ‘human nature’ and not just run-of-the-mill insanity? The insane nearly always believe themselves to be sane and healthy, and all others to be off their rockers. How apropos then that nearly every one of us believes we can clearly see the insanity and it is they, those, and them over there who are the problem, not me, myself or I.
Welcome to the Insane Asylum…..or as we like to say these days the ‘new’ normal.