Destroying Happiness: The Perverse Inclination of the Institutionalized Mind
Humanity is disconnected from reality because our brains are not serving their purpose, which is to sustain the life of our species. Ownership has literally repurposed them, putting aside the millions of years of evolution that honed the process by which our brains produce the feelings that inspire humans to act in ways that serve the species. In their co-opted state, as creatures of institutional subjugation, our brains exist in utter denial of that core purpose. And they are stone blind to the fact that they are in denial. All those billions of neurons are working just the way they should, but they can’t see what’s happening to them. Our brains aren’t stupid. They are denying their own purpose, because, above all else, we need to survive. And right now that means being successful within the context of modern civilization, which requires us to trust our future to legal claims, not to one another.
If, however, a drastic change in our circumstances occurred, it could change how we feel. As a result, we could find ourselves trusting our lives to the human spirit, at which point we would be finding satisfaction in the moment. This would relieve us of having to keep optimism, hopes, and dreams alive. Dreams will never, nor have they ever, saved humanity. They are simply the means our brains use to patch up the emotional wounds we regularly suffer on our various treks to hell, the very wounds through which our instincts are trying to warn us that, regarding the issue of taking care of life, we are off course.
What would happen, for example, if hell arrived in the form of a total collapse of the international monetary system, on which people the world over now depend for the resources we need to survive. Ironically, in what we think of as our worst nightmare, we might discover heaven. Without institutions to depend on, people would have no choice other than to reach out to one another in relationships of mutual trust. Though their material circumstances would be dire, they would learn, through placing their trust in the human spirit, that intimacy is the only real path to happiness, not dreaming of wealth and privilege.
On the other hand, if we encountered a learning experience—as I have through my years of study, during which I became convinced of the essential role of feelings in realizing life’s objective of survival—that too could irrevocably change how we feel. Should any learning experience teach us the significance of the fact that we are feeling beings, not rational ones, we would then realize why we should trust our lives to the human spirit! When that day comes—when we feel the need to trust our lives to life itself—that will throw a switch in our minds, at which point our rational minds will apply themselves to the process for which evolution honed them—to seek happiness in the intimacy of interdependent relationships, instead of owning things.
Is it even possible to be happy without owning anything, you may ask? Well, humans have flourished on this planet for around 200,000 years. The age of the ruins of ancient temples and other places of worship are testament to the fact that the type of hierarchy that is required to authorize ownership, did not begin to appear until around 11 to 15 thousand years ago. So, for at least the first 180,000 years of human existence, no man or woman ever owned anything. Are we to presume that those people were unhappy? Quite the opposite, I think. You see, only they—and the members of the other species, that didn’t own anything either—were free to live in the moment. The freedom to live in the moment is the only freedom that can sustain life, the only freedom of value to the souls that animate all life.
Since the earliest civilizations, wherever civilized people have encountered indigenous peoples living on land that civilized people wanted, we have callously wiped them out. If we are so civilized, how could we have done this? It has to do with the perilous limitations of our ability to reason. What in hindsight seems callous, was rational, at the time.
Civilized people own property. Indigenous people don’t. Civilized people see themselves as expressions of, and subject to, the laws of godlike institutions that grant those property rights. Indigenous people, on the other hand, see themselves as expressions of Nature. Yes, they’re subject to Nature’s laws, but they experience themselves as free. This is because Nature’s laws do not refute human instincts. Indeed, instincts express Nature’s laws.
The civilized mind has no clue that Nature’s laws apply to humans. To the civilized mind, anyone living outside the control of our godlike institutions is lawless, amoral, and spiritually depraved. As our civilized ancestors saw them, indigenous people were of little significance, and—like Nature itself—to be used or discarded at will. To the institutionalized mind, annihilating indigenous people was a rational solution to a problem. The only feelings involved—feelings the rational mind was compelled to obey—were those of distaste, superiority, and arrogance.
Consider that the sole distinction between a citizen and a slave, throughout all of civilized history has been the answer to this question: Does the individual have the right to own property? Our inability to display soul-felt respect for those who do not have property rights demonstrates, above all else, the degree to which the “drug of ownership” affects how our brains process information. What chance did indigenous people have against civilized ones who were so out of touch with reality that they were incapable even of recognizing indigenous people as human?
Had we only known.
But we didn’t know.
The issue of life is happiness. We were destroying happiness and we didn’t know it. We thought we were destroying things that were of no significance, whatsoever.
An excerpt from the book, Take Us Home, Girls!
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