It is a simple error of logic to think that with the passage of time and the scientific assertion of evolution as a positive consequence of “natural selection,” that modern day human beings are so complexly different from our prehistoric ancestors.
Comparison of our respective limbic systems would likely reveal not all that much substantive difference between us.
Does anyone honestly believe that if modern man, or cave man, was confronted with a hungry saber tooth tiger, a “40 day and 40 night” long flood or an unremitting toothache that either would react emotionally all that differently?
Our emotional fight-flight system is inherently “hard-wired” into the physiological structure of what constitutes us as a species.
No matter what remarkable technological advances may challenge our intelligence to use the new tools, it seems simple to me that what has not advanced are the basic human emotions which characterize our lived experiences.
Consider the emotional paired-associates of love-hate; respect-fear; hope-despair; happiness-sadness; joy-suffering.
Then, look at the, seemingly, never-ending life and death conflicts which exist throughout and across the entire modern and historical world which supports the Eastern philosophical point of view that “all life is suffering”.
It doesn’t take much to “declare war” and “take no prisoners,” whether on the football field or on the battle field, with appeal to a “higher power” to bless the moral rightness of our cause and to damn “the other side” to hell!
In the end, neither victory nor defeat will result in the obtained, desired or idealized “final solution.”
The simple reason is that everyone is always right from their perspective, which doesn’t necessarily make them right and doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right except from their unique and idiosyncratic vantage point, they’re right!
Furthermore, it is axiomatic that losers seek revenge and retaliation.
Winners engage in a kind of “king of the mountain” game-structure which means they continue to win unless and until someone bigger and stronger eventually comes around to “knock ’em down a peg,” at which point they lose and the “vicious cycle” is fully engaged because losers seek revenge and retaliation.
When we are reacting emotionally, all of the technology in the world will not prevent our authentic and natural emotional reactions.
Consequently, I believe it is important to remain ever-vigilant against arrogating unto ourselves the presumptuousness of the delusion about how far we’ve come because where we’ve gotten to is where we’ve started from.
Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Mentor
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Dr. Larry B. Gelman, Dr. Glenn B. Gelman, All Rights Reserved.