VALENTINE, Desperately Seeking ... Something - Let's Prehend
Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design

VALENTINE, Desperately Seeking ... Something

In the broader objectivist human ecology context, how does love and sex manifest itself in the context of the evolution of consciousness and the breakdown for organic cultural life?

Common concerns about the role of sex, love, family, children, etc. cry out for a deeper view to alleviate common distresses and agonies. Let's consider first the background of the evolution of consciousness and the more recent breakdown of social life. [In, PREFACE outlines the basic problem and approach.]


We have been sexual creatures a thousand times longer than human creatures. Verbal consciousness, the `ego structure', is a recent development - in evolutionary time scales.

Our cousin primates never learned to talk much. Our closest cousins seem content with scrapping. The bonobos are so pleased with each other they never need color TV. The orange people were loners, never communicated enough to develop a verbal culture, presumably spent their time remembering things past.

All us primates had a rich and busy mental life. But this new verbal consciousness was something quite different. Verbal consciousness is different thing, a `creature' in itself with a life of its own, more or less dissociated from its great subconscious life (GSL). When we left Eden, we lost it, almost.

The conscious self thinks it's the whole banana, but objectively, it's just waves on the surface of the GSL - white caps in my case. The degree of this dissociation is roughly measured by the distortion the self demands when the GSL tries to communicate in dreams. How does this consciousness `minor system (MS)' deal with its supporting GSL? Not without difficult complications, not even with expensive psychoanalysis, or risky LSD. [Chapter 2 REALITY AND PROCESS offers an analytical scheme to help out.]

The evolution of verbal consciousness created a `minor system' (MS), call it self or ego structure, that takes on a life of its own. How does the newly evolved human ego deal with its underlying sexuality? Not very well. There is a profound conflict between the new self and the old sex. Each culture, each religion, each psychology, each person must deal with this inherent conflict, somehow. But that's not the worst of the problem. [Chapter 3 PSYCHOLOGY applies the scheme to mind.]


Heads got so big that humans needed elaborate support from organic social life (OSL). [Chapter 4 SOCIOLOGY applies the scheme to society.] Without such support human intelligence could not have evolved. More seriously, without the support of organic society, intelligent life and culture will continue to degrade. Also, it's widely acknowledge that the current world economy is destroying its ecological support system. Worse yet, the current `modern' culture is destroying mental and social health.

Each person copes, the pervasive `individualism' sees each person's stress with little reference to outrageous fortune. A broader deeper look is required to alleviate the drive toward increasingly noisy, and quiet, desperation.

But in very recent history human life and culture has become increasingly abstracted from its organic social support system. This Compulsion to the Abstract Life (CAL) began millennia ago, but now engulfs much of humanity in its plunge toward Modern Abstract Culture (MAC). This pathological compulsion can be seen as inherent in the nature of human language consciousness, the basic distorting mode of mind as an information processing device. [Chapter 1, REALITY AND PROCESS details this epistemology, the rudiments of objectivist human ecology.]

Never in human history have babies had so little human attention, never have mothers been so isolated in the care of their babies, Never have teens been abandoned to a truncated peer culture, never has the education of the young been so segregated by age, never have the maturity mechanisms of identification with older children, adults and elders been so degraded, never have couples been so isolated from extended family, clan and tribal support, never has the wisdom of maturity been so wasted. [Chapter 8 CULTURE applies the scheme to these issues.]

Therefore, the crucial role of sex as the mucilage of organic social life is diluted, fragmented, and abstracted from its crucial roles. In addition to the tragic isolation, abandonment and stress inherent in MAC, the crucial roles of love an sex are agonizingly neglected and abandoned. In a recent study, young women were asked why they had sex. Status, image, money, conformity, jelousy, revenge, malice, style were mentioned as well as passion and love. Their rationalizations were fascinatingly diverse, illustrative of the degradation of this wholely process, painfully trivial and distant from sex's broader and deeper meaning.

Worse yet, sex is used to sell automobiles. The culture's increasing undercurrents of loneliness, agony and despair provides a fertile field for market culture and its ideological manipulation. Some folks, such as the religious right, acknowledge this crisis, but others use these fertile fields for the Rove-ing manipulators. The undercurrent of insecurity also supplies grist for the mills of pharmaceutical therapy, political conformity, and military imperialism. [Chapter 7 ECONOMICS explains this disaster.]

So, talk on with trivia, flee from the enrichment of organic life and culture, indulge the agony and anxiety of self actualization, displace the need for family, clan and tribe with superficial styles and cliches. That's the American way. [Chapter 6 IDEOLOGY details these rationalizations.]


The brain grows and changes over time, as do modes of love and sex. Just as a child's abilities to hear and use the phonemes of other languages depends on the range of languages are heard and spoken in childhood, so it is with the elaborately complex modes of love. Recent speculations (Scientific American Magazine, March 2008) suggest that the myelin coatings on the axons grow over time to increase the efficiency of neural signals but also tend to fixate these nerve pathways. Let's imagine similar developmental stages, or readiness and fixation, occur in human love as well as language. [Chapters 3 & 4]

The fetus bonds to the mother, and the father in countless ways, mostly chemical and acoustical. After birth, the smile, the voice, and all the other senses elaborately connect the new person to the others. Perhaps the rudiments of human sympathy get their source, or their boost from early mothering and fathering. Soon siblings on the scene get the next stage of bonding, along with other members of the extended family. Perhaps the loyalty of comrads and friends get their source or boost from sibling process, Keep in mind that for the millions of years, these mechanisms evolved to enable and support the increasing complexity of the human mind, and spirit. Most folks ate together and slept in a pile, especially in cold weather and dangerous places.

But modern abstract culture does not provide much of this rudimentary interpersonal support. Some deprived children are even forced to have a room of their own. Love patterns follow maturity into childhood, with friendship bonding among the playing children. But the essential imitating and learning from older children is destroyed by modern abstract education. [Chapter 9] Maturation is broken.

Then puberty hits. The imprint readiness of surging hormones so elegantly described by Dr. Diamond and many others, opens the heart to infatuation, the obsession with an object of love. Notice that without the earlier developments, the mental machinery might show considerable confusion and truncated development of gender identification.

In the evolutionary period, breeding starts fast and the next stage, parenthood, follows in the teen years. That sounds disastrous to modern abstract folks, but until recently, the extended family supported and rejoiced young love and its babies. No longer. The agony of the isolated teens, kept in limbo by `economics', kept immature by age segregation, is grist for literature, TV, and even the helping professions. The kids are stuck.

Fewer finally marry because of these pathologies, and fewer stay married without extended family and cultural support. Life becomes an increasing struggle to adjust to isolation and adapt to an increasingly pathological culture. Workplace and other contexts do offer some substitute for organic cultural life. Parenting is pathetically provided by professionals occasionally. But few cultures have ever expected the isolated man - woman couple to be `companions'. Notice how churches and bowling clubs alleviate this pattern as best they can. ["BOWLING ALONE"]

Pathologies proliferate as the damaged brain flails frantically for what it can rarely find. Count the ways, survey the most common problems. Love of sex becomes promiscuity, love of children becomes pedophilia, etc.. The advance brain can ingeniously compensate, but the task of adjusting to such a mess distracts from responsible adult life to an orgy of immature self centered subjectivism. The ego tries to cope and can succeed in alleviating the distress, but the deaper human life is usually lost with this abandonment of organic cultural support.

One side effect of this developmental disaster is the consequent destruction of the supporting ecosystem. The natural fulfillments of human life are destroyed and displaced by color TV, cars and golf. Worse yet, the permission to take responsibility for unhappiness and global warming is not given. Instead, intellectual life is devoted to adjusting to outrageous fortune, unable to think maturely and objectively about the tasks at hand. Those fortunate to grasp these issues have little opportunity or power to combat the system. The culture has become a `system', immune from mature attention, dominated by pathological politicians, supported by frantic and trivialized democratic entertainment.

But just because it looks so subjectively hopeless is no reason to deny objective responsibly for the human ecology and its culture design. The reward for trying and sharing is to be a bit more human.


SEX & SELF The inherent conflict of the self as a minor system with its social support system provides a dynamism for this struggle. All lucky people know that love involves the loss of self. But, in spite of the comfort and promise of a love affair, the self asserts itself and undermines the developing relationship. The ego rationalizes this struggle in a variety of amusing and agonizing ways. Count the ways. Hate rises to meet the challenge of self separation, roughly measuring the amount of love.

The abstracted isolating ego manipulates behavior to sabotage the growing relationship by escalating demands, elaborating irritations, having affairs, and other modes, as explored by aeons of human literature and art.

MAC, Modern Abstract Culture, enables and enforces the break up of couple, extended family, clan and tribal process. Though our tradition of False Personalism (FP) can see only individual failings, a more objective view explains this disaster as compulsive participation in cultural pathology.

ECONOMIC culture, part of MAC, details this truncation of development and destruction of social fabric. People are as isolated as they can afford to be. Smaller units are more economically stimulating, and wasteful. Advertizing images dominate subjective values and distract from human social values. Technology enables, but does not compel, this alienation. Luddites are sissies. Color TV and related inputs substitute and displace interpersonal process.

SEX is left `free' of its organic interpersonal functions. It wanders hopelessly seeking shards of organic social life, finding a plethora of mischief. Pathologies proliferate as sex, inherently a covert form of love, scrambles to find its niche.

PERVERSIONS proliferate. Pedophiles, like every one else, love children, they just don't know how, and find no healthy opportunity. Rapists love women, but fear and anger prevents identification with their victims. Worse yet, the common abstract mind makes human nature good or bad, fixated and trivialized, rather than adaptable and deep. Lock 'em up.

DRUGS alleviate distress and ego contraction and have been commonly used since long before we were humans. But MAC makes expansive drugs a threat to the system, not an alleviation. The contractive drugs such as caffeine and nicotine are encouraged, while the expansive drugs such as marijuana and psilocybin are condemned. Allowed are the dumber drugs such as alcohol and most psychoactive pharmaceuticals.

THERAPISTS work to help, but are most often ego-therapists, promoting the strengthening of frayed egos to accept and adjust to the CULTURE OF THE GHOSTS. Some generous people offer sex for money, a profound contribution to social mucilage, but necessarily condemned by the system.

Religion tries desperately to address and alleviate these both the deeper dilemmas of consciousness and the current decay of social fabric. [Chapter 10 RELIGION details this function.]

So, see sex and love in their context of a festering ego and a decaying culture. Pathologies of mind and culture proliferate, overwhelming the plethora of therapies offered by modern intellectual and cultural life. Solutions proliferate on every level. But most folks, especially the intellectual class, seem to lack permission to take responsibility for the human condition.

From a Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design. Earl Williamson 2/14/2008

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