“Even Benny Benedict’s “One Month to Go” column was based on that illusion. Benny had actually read Darwin once, in college a long time ago, and had heard of sciences like ethology and ecology, but the facts of evolution had never really registered on him. He never thought of himself as a primate. He never realized his friends and associates were primates. Above all, he never understood that the alpha males of Unistat were typical leaders of primate bands. As a result of this inability to see the obvious, Benny was constantly alarmed and terrified by the behavior of himself, his friends and associates and especially the alpha males of the pack. Since he didn’t know it was ordinary primate behavior, it seemed just awful to him.
Since a great deal of primate behavior was considered just awful, most of the domesticated primates spent most of their time trying to conceal what they were doing.
Some of the primates got caught by other primates. All of the primates lived in dread of getting caught.
Those who got caught were called no-good shits.
The term no-good shit was a deep expression of primate psychology. For instance, one wild primate (a chimpanzee) taught sign language by two domesticated primates (scientists) spontaneously put together the signs for “shit” and “scientist” to describe a scientist she didn’t like. She was calling him shit-scientist. She also put together the signs for “shit” and “chimpanzee” for another chimpanzee she didn’t like. She was calling him shit-chimpanzee.
“You no-good shit,” domesticate primates often said to each other.
— Robert Anton Wilson
Robert Anton Wilson goes on to say that the way that many of us avoid our fear of being identified as ‘no-good shits’ is by pointing out other ‘no good shits’. Looking around at social media (among other things) I’d have to agree with him. I have been guilty of this myself in the past, looking at others who are doing wrong in the world or in their lives, those who I considered to be much worse than me.
“Look at those people who abuse or abandon their kids.”
“Look at what our nation’s leaders are doing now.”
“I can’t stand people who lie to themselves”
Hell it beats working on myself to become more self-actualized and aware. I am not saying we should not stay aware of what’s happening in the news or even of behaviour we see in others as much as staying self-critical and compassionate. It also helps when I realize that I have baggage too.
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Lizard Eye by G A Rosenberg
Portal Voyage by G A Rosenberg
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
This reminds me of the Richard Bachman quote, “Argue for your limitations and sure enough they’re yours” It seems for so long I’ve told myself that I could not do certain things and worse yet believed others that I could not do them that I never really tried.
Three years ago I would never have believed that I would be consistently creating visual art that people liked. I had some talent with Photoshop but saw it as an extension of my computer skills not as anything visual.
Then I started feeling some awakenings of consciousness. Then I started hanging out and talking to some very cool people who encouraged my writing efforts and told me that self-expression was of great importance. I started meditating more and creating more. I didn’t think much of it. I have always done some writing and now I had more to express than I had in years. I even started making youtube videos. Out of this came more amazing friendships, more roads to exploration of myself, the universe and our interconnectedness and more need for self expression.
One day in order to avoid writing an essay, I decided to start a new project. I had always practiced meditation and reading with the tarot. What would it be like to do a poem or haiku for each of the cards. I would do one a night, choosing the card at random for 78 nights, just to see if I could do it. This was my project in 2009. You can find some examples here (http://grosenberg.wordpress.com/page/100/ ) and the pages surrounding it.
The project was completed successfully and then I started considering if, properly illustrated this collection of haikus might make an interesting book. I decided to start using my Photoshop skills to start doing collage work. I surprised myself by actually being quite good at it. It satisfies a need of self-expression in me like few things I have done before and that some of my work has touch others amazes me in ways I never thought possible.
If I had continued telling myself that I couldn’t draw or I couldn’t do visual art than none of that would have been possible. What other ways have I limited myself by never tryings? What ways do you do it? More and more I believe it is our destiny to self-actualize in as many ways as possible and very little is impossible.
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Heart Shine by G A Rosenberg