Introduction to the Human Condition
To understand the motivations and responses of Homo sapiens sapiens, it is first imperative to understand the composition of the creature. If, as the saying goes, "a man is the sum of his parts", then each part must be examined separately in order to ascertain what unique effect it delivers in the overall performance of the individual. Once the primary elements are recognized and understood, then secondary and tertiary elemental interaction must also be examined. It is only by reviewing all the levels of interaction that a truly holistic understanding is achieved. For instance, in a simple biological examination of the human body one might begin with the study of cell structure, proceed to the makeup of internal organs and then follow through to systemic arrangements. Each level of this examination would not only reveal the function of the various biological layers, it would also expose internal or "hidden" interactions that have definite consequences upon the body as a whole.
I. The Composite Being
The family Hominidae is a collection of complicated, multifaceted animals. As the sole living species therein, Homo sapiens is without a doubt the most convoluted creature ever known. It is not merely a biological entity, it has numerous other components as well (i.e., mental, social, religious). A Human is actually a composite of five fundamental divisions. It is a creation compiled from physical, instinctive, emotional, rational, and spiritual principles, the Five Principles of Life. Each of these primary complements must coexist, in corpus, to actualize the incarnation of humanity. Take away any parcel of this package and the "being" becomes something other than Human. Without the physical principle, it is a bodiless entity, a ghost or a Spirit, if you please. Without the instinctive principle, it is an idiot savant or a Corpus, an entity incapable of caring for his own needs. Without the emotional principle, it is a cold, uncaring entity, a Rational, a living computer that has no desires. Without the rational principle, it is an idiot or an Innocent, an entity that is incapable of understanding the consequential effects of actions. Without the spiritual principle, it is a facsimile of a Human, a soulless entity that isn't truly alive, a Zombie if you prefer. While this explanation simplifies points by excluding, among other things, common conceptual definitions of "human" et al, it does serve to demonstrate that what might normally be held to be "human" is in actuality a blending of all the various portions contained therein. The Human is the sum of the parts, the different glimpses taken together and viewed as a whole.
The preincarnate being that hovers just at the point of creation is the Primordial Human, and its facets have both order and function which allows it to become Real. It originates as flesh. It survives on instinct. It make selections by means of emotions. It learns with intellect, and it ascends through spirit. It is multilayered and compartmentally specialized with each successive division modifying and building on the previous ones.
The Physical Human is the foundation. It requires the Four Elements: Fire, Air, Water, and Earth to exist. Fire is the heat that provides energy that lifeforms need to survive. Air is fuel that feeds Fire. Water is the medium of transformation and the source of Life itself, and Earth is the platform, as well as the source of nutrition.
The Instinctive Human exists to maintain the survival of Physical Human. It seeks those things that will provide the four elements it physically requires (i.e., food, water, shelter). It avoids pain (pain equates to damage, possible death), and It seeks sexual release (the innate need to propagate the species).
Emotional Human develops the concept of good and bad, thus flavoring the actions of the Instinctive Human. It ads preferences to the needs of the Physical Human. The Physical Human need nutrients. The Instinctive Human searches for food, and the Emotional Human dictates which foods taste better from the available selection. Because the Instinctive Human avoids pain, the Emotional Human seeks pleasure. Pain is bad. Pleasure is good. The Instinctive Human searches for sexual release, and the Emotional Human seeks a desirable mate. It wants the best option in everything, the tastiest food, the warmest bed, the sexiest partner.
Rational Human brings intelligence to the Composite Human. The Physical Human "is". The Instinctive Human "needs". The Emotional Human "wants", and the Rational Human "reasons". The Physical Human exists. The Instinctive Human seeks to survive. The Emotional Human wants to live the most pleasureful life available, and the Rational Human thinks of the consequences. It adds a temporal component to the Composite Human. While the Emotional Human wants the best always, the Rational Human realizes that "best" is transient. "Best" becomes multifaceted, too. Emotional Human wants the tastiest food, but the Rational Human determines that some of the physically required nutrients might be missing from the tastiest dishes, and would insist that better sources, although less tasty might be necessary at times. For instance, the Emotional Human might think that the "best" food is sugar cane, and the Rational Human might think that eggs are the "best".
Spiritual Human completes the Composite Human. It is the last part that is recognized. It surfaces when the Rational Human realizes that it is incomplete, that it is finite and ignorant. It is the response of the Rational Human trying to arrange the Universe into some order that makes sense. The Emotional Human wants more than it senses, and the Rational Human realizes that there is something missing and thus transcends the physical to find the spiritual. While the Spiritual Human is the last component of the Composite Human to surface, it is in actuality the first part to exist. The Spiritual Human is the ideal that exists outside of time and allows the Physical Human to become flesh.
II. The Social Being
Physical Human is an animal. This is the Natural Human. Being an animal, he has certain needs and desires that are inherit by nature. It is ruled by emotions and instincts. As we examined previously, he is that part of the Composite Human that has needs and wants.
The Natural Human begins the formation of groups. His instincts lead him to other men and his emotions bond him to them. Group dynamics can exist in an intellectual vacuum, such as hives and animal colonies, but in the presence of the rational, social interaction becomes Manifest. In Human interaction, the Rational Human Mandates actions that acknowledge consequences thus creating Social Human. Social Human is still the Composite Human, but he is now seen within the context of social interaction. Social Human differs from Natural Human in that he operates primarily under learned behavior. His group has raised him to think that "best" is what the group decides it is. This is tribal custom and it becomes the foundation of law and morality.
"Best' becomes "correct" in social context. Best is no longer what might in fact be best for any given individual, but what is best for the community. The smaller the community, the stricter the guidelines become. The basic unit of all social structure is the family. Being the smallest unit of a society, the family code of ethics is by far the most important morality model the individual learns; however, the basic flaw of communal Mandated behavior is that it assumes that what is best for the community is best for all individuals therein. This would not be an issue if all members of any given group had the same needs and desires.
Social Interaction when inflexible does not allow for aberration. Static social models, depending on their individual parameters, can be restrictive to the Composite Human on every level. A physical deformity, a biological deficiency, an individual preference, an intellectual excellence or a spiritual awakening could force the deviant individual into exile.
III. The Ethnocentric Being
It is possible that Natural Human is predisposed to become Social Human. It is certain that Composite Human as it now exists is both. Human is what it is partly because of nature and partly because of nurture. It is a social animal with learned behavior as a major component, and this learned behavior teaches it everything that it first learns of the Universe.
A Human cannot help but be ethnocentric. It is the center of its own Universe. It knows nothing but what it knows. If hit learns something new, that new thing becomes part of its Universe, but it's still its Universe, its knowledge, albeit newly acquired. Social Human cannot exist if hit loses its position as the Center of the Universe. Even a temporary shift is unnerving. It is the fear that you are lost, and until you can determine where you are, the anxiety grows and can lead to the destruction of the Composite Human (i.e., madness, death).
Because most of what the Social Human learns is communal custom, especially so called family values. It is not surprising that Ethnocentric Human finds that the center of its Universe is positioned very near the universal centers of those of its tribal allegiances. If it discovers that it has a need or a desire that is taboo to its clan, it grows anxious with said realization, and it must restructure its personal morality to ensure that its universal center is not thrown far from those to which it is bonded. If it desires to remain among the tribe, it must suppress the difference, or embolden itself to teach its tribe the value of its newly discovered need or desire.
If the moral code of the tribal unit is strict, the fear of exile is strong, and it suppresses the sharing of this new trait, by considering the risk too great. If the newly acquired need or desire is too significant to the well-being of the individual and his social structure is too restrictive, itmight feel that it had no alternative but to relocate. While this is liberating in that it allows the Ethnocentric Human to incorporate deviant behavior et al into its Universe, it still remains a source of anxiety in that it feels alienated form the shared universe of its youth.
IV. The Liberated Being
The Ethnocentric Human divorced from its tribal center is a wounded Human. Separation implies alienation, and alienation implies loss. You cannot lose something that you do not want, so "loss" is a bad thing, ethnocentrically speaking. If you dislike a thing, you do not want it. If you free yourself from it, it no longer exists, and if it no longer exists it can be lost. Regret, loathing, longing, et al are signals that the attachment to this lost thing is in fact yet present. If you truly are glad it's gone, it's gone. If it still troubles you, you have ties that you may or may not recognize.
Forgiveness is the key to the chains that bind, total, absolute forgiveness. The trouble with arriving at total forgiveness, is that the Ethnocentric Human suffering loss is unbalanced. Its center has been displaced, either by its tribe or its own fear. As such, it finds that part of its composite self is wounded, often on several levels. It may have suffered physical wounds (i.e., ulcers, trauma). It is likely emotionally and logically confused, and its spiritual connection is strained.
The cure is to acknowledge the loss, evaluate the impact and recognize the importance of the deviant trait as essential to its own ethnocentric universe. It must understand that the "good" that it has always known in the shared tribal confines was valid because conformity is comfortable. Comfort is pleasure, in fact it is love, and discomfort is pain, hate. Pain if severe enough can cloud love, but if the love was ever true, it is eternal and nothing that transpires can invalidate it, not pain, not exile, not deviance. It is reasonable to expect discomfort when deviating from the norm, but it is just as reasonable to expect those whom you love to realize the eternal validity of thier love for you, even if they are incapable of incorporating your deviant behavior into their universe.
To become free, you must understand that as Ethnocentric Human, you are, always have been, and will always be the center of your personal universe, and as such, what is right for you is what is "good". It is your responsibility to forgive yourself for your deviance, for deviance simply means a variation form the norm. It does not mean bad. It does not mean loathsome. It does not mean evil. Those are terms that apply to things that are harmful to you, in your universe. If this deviant trait is essential for your happiness, then how can it be bad?
All conflict comes from misunderstanding. That can be a complete and utter inability to comprehend why someone would possibly disagree with your point of view, or it can be simply expecting others to conform to your notion of right, even if you can see their side. Ethnocentric Human is always "right" in its stand. If it is "wrong" then it would not make sense for it to hold the belief. The Ethnocentric Human can of course change its mind by incorporating new believes into its universe, but until that time, its current philosophy is the "right" one.
Perhaps the most devastating misunderstanding is that between the parts of the Composite Human. The Emotional Human feels that one thing is correct, but the Rational Human knows that is not. The Ethnocentric Human knows that either the Emotional Human is being "sinful" by seeking a pleasure that is not "good" consequently, or the Rational Human lacks the necessary knowledge to properly evaluate the matter. The wise Human knows that knowledge is allusive, that the more one learns, the more one understands that there is more to learn. This is the curse of intelligent people. They know that their universe is ever-expanding, and they know that they, as physical beings are finite, both in ability to learn and as temporal entities. It is this realized imperfection that allows for the possibility that the personal universe is based on false ideas. This means that your Universe is not truly centered, it is toggling. Added to this uncertainty is the perceived conviction that the tribal community of your youth has complete faith in their beliefs.
As a person who considers himself somewhat wise, I understand that some arguments, within the self or otherwise, can never be fully settled. I can expect nothing less from a dynamic universe, and I would not wish to be trapped in a static universe. The only alternative is to examine the "truth" inherent in all things.
Since the universe is dynamic and ethnocentric in nature, truth cannot be stated in literal form. To be universal, a truth would have to be applicable to everyone, in all times, in all cultures. If that is a sound argument for the definition of truth, then it follows that there can be no universal truth, or if there is, then it must be figurative in nature rather than literal. That is why Many religious "truths" are presented in the form of parables. It is not the word by word translation that is of import, it is the meaning of the tale.
The idea then suggests itself that the resolution of conflict is not to listen to the "words" that counter arguments enlist, but rather to examine the motivation underlying the message. A case in point is the argument of homosexual intercourse as immoral. If this is "truth", then the opposite must be true, that heterosexual intercourse is moral. What is the fundamental difference between the preferences? For heterosexual intercourse to be moral and homosexual intercourse immoral, then it follows that it is not simply pleasure that determines this. In fact, it implies that to choose sex for pleasure is immoral, since there is only three reasons to have sex: it is physically pleasurable, it is a deepening expression of love, or to procreate.
If homosexual intercourse is immoral it must fail in all three of these categories, assuming that all three are moral. Obviously it does not promote procreation. It is certainly pleasurable to its adherents, or they would avoid pain and seek pleasure elsewhere, so it meets this criteria. It can deepen a homosexual relationship, so it passes that test as well.
That means to be true, homosexuality is immoral when the only valid moral reason for sex is procreation. The only other reasonable argument is that it is immoral for two people of the same sex to love one another, but for that to be true, all such relationships would be immoral (i.e., mother and daughter, father and son). It becomes apparent then under closer examination that the morality herein decried is a biblical Mandate to reproduce without pleasure, or at least to abstain when pregnancy is not the sole objective. It is likely that most adherents to the homosexuality as immoral philosophy are not so much knowledgeable as to their motivations as they are echoes to blind dogma.
An aside to further demonstrate the justification of truth as implied rather than literal, is that most heterosexuals would freely admit that sex for pleasure alone is a valid act. If they want a particular partner, the smaller the field of competition for said partner, the more likely the conquest, and if the potential competition can be thinned by preferring same sex encounters then they would benefit in their attempts. One of the few valid arguments would be that they feared that they themselves might be forced into homosexual submission or convert to homosexual preference and thus be alienated from their peers. That of course suggests that they are actually potential homosexuals, in which case they should relent their oppressive behavior, or that they are weaker than homosexual adherents, which means rape, which is an entirely different moral issue.
It is by such method, searching for the underlying meaning rather than taking something literally, that "truth" is discovered, and it is sharing the newly discovered meaning with those who oppose you, in fact or in theory, that one resolves conflict, at least to the best of ones ability. There is always the possibility that there are other facets to the conflict that eludes your research, but we can only operate within the knowledge at hand.