The Evolution of the Brain

Accelerating Expansion accelerating at
Mon Aug 19 02:48:28 EST 2002

> Yup.  Shit happens.

Reiterations & Recapitulations...

"...Once you pose the problem of what it means
to be a person, even dumbly, weakly, or with a
veneer of pride about your imagined difference
from others, you may be in trouble. Introversion
is impotence, but an impotence already
self-conscious to a degree, and it can become
troublesome. It may lead to a chafing at one's
dependency on his family and his job, an ulcerous
gnawing as a reaction to one's embeddedness, a
feeling of slavery in one's safety. For a strong
person it may become intolerable, and he may try
to break out of it, sometimes by suicide,
sometimes by drowning himself desperately in
the world and in the rush of experience."
"At its extreme, defiant self-creation can
become demonic, a passion which Kierkegaard
calls 'demonic rage,' an attack on all of life
for what it has dared to do to one, a revolt
against existence itself."
"Socially, too, we have seen a defiant
Promethianism that is basically innocuous:
the confident power that can catapult man
to the moon and free him somewhat of his
complete dependence and confinement on
earth--at least in his imagination. The ugly
side of this Promethianism is that it, too,
is thoughtless, an empty-headed immersion
in the delights of technics with no thought
to goals or meaning; so man performs on the
moon by hitting golf balls that do not swerve
in the lack of atmosphere. The technical
triumph of a versatile ape, as the makers of
the film 2001 so chilingly conveyed to us."
"On more ominous levels, [...] modern man's
defiance of accident, evil, and death takes
the form of skyrocketing production of
consumer and military goods. Carried to
its demonic extreme this defiance gave us
Hitler and Vietnam: a rage against our
impotence, a defiance of our animal condition,
our pathetic creature limitations. If we don't
have the omnipotence of gods, we at least
can destroy like gods."
The Denial of Death(ISBN 0-684-83240-2)
by Ernest Becker©1973

Anathema of Zos: The Sermon to the Hypocrites

Austin Osman Spare

Art and Artist, 1932
"This very essence of a man, his soul, which the artist
puts into his work and which is represented by it, is
found again in the work by the enjoyer, just as the
believer finds his soul in religion or in God, with whom
he feels himself to be one. It is on this identity of
the spiritual, which underlies the concept of collective
religion, and not on a psychological identification with
the artist, that the pleasurable effect of the work of
art ultimately depends, and the effect is, in this sense,
one of deliverance....But both [artist and enjoyer], in
the simultaneous dissolution of their individuality in a
greater whole, enjoy, as a high pleasure, the personal
enrichment of that individuality through this feeling of
oneness. They have yielded up their mortal ego for a
moment, fearlessly and even joyfully, to receive it back
in the next, the richer for this universal feeling."

--Otto Rank Psychologist and Philosopher
1884 Vienna -- 1939 New York

Human Evolutionary Advancement
As part of the evolutionary genesis of species,
human beings share the physical and even emotional
traits of their animal cousins. However, human
behavior is in most areas quite different from other
primate behavior. It is the uniqueness of human
behavior that intrigued and fascinated Ernest Becker.
Drawing on a broad range of investigations and
writings, Becker pointed toward human language as
that which qualitatively sets human thought and
behavior apart from other primate behavior.

We do not have concrete knowledge of when language
developed among that peculiar ape species from
which human beings have descended. Nor are we able
to adjudicate decisively between the various theories
for how this development took place. But we are sure
of the fact that with the development of language,
human self consciousness was made possible,
replacing instinctual stimulus-response behavior.
This is what is, in essence, distinctive about human
behavior and human existence.

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