By using their new three-part brain to create ideas, and developing their new potential for speech, our first human ancestors began an experiment in cooperative living. It was to share their new ideas by learning to "talk" to each other, form and carry out cooperative group plans of defensive action, and thereby increase their chance for survival and happiness in a dangerous world.
This "Human Experiment" worked very well. Their shared, cooperative ideas became the first culture, a unique human invention that guided their group thinking and behavior in a cooperative direction, and put them on a highly successful course for a long time.
Then their descendants unknowingly altered their Cultural Process and put themselves on the self-destructive course on which we find ourselves today. How did that happen, and how can we now regain our successful course? The answers to these questions will be presented in this blog, and they offer us humans "A Reason for Hope."

PLEASE NOTE: Out of my experience in WWII has come the rest of this blog, so to understand it all it is necessary to begin with Part One by clicking below.

Dec 20, 2011

Part Two: The New Human Story

  INTRODUCTION  (to Part Two) - The Four Paradises

Accounts have been passed down through time saying that long ago there was a place on Earth that was a human paradise. Whether it had really existed or was merely a tale long talked about no one had evidence to prove. Finally the evidence in our actual Human story offers the proof, and what it reveals is amazing. Not only had the paradise existed, but it was the second one in a series of three, and we are in the process of creating a fourth!
Of course it can see unrealistic to say that we are creating a human paradise on Earth, when we have been over-populating our planet and destroying its life-sustaining natural environment as fast as we could, killing each in terrible wars that have not even been declared, letting preventable deadly diseases become pandemic, following "leaders" who divide us instead of bringing us together and have been taking us down the road to self-destruction, and so on. It is understandable that this horrible, irrational, morbid situation is causing many persons to despair, thinking that we have proved ourselves to be merely another "unsuccessful species" and that it is too late to late to save ourselves from terrible personal suffering ending in human extinction.

Fortunately, however, we can now see that there is another side to our human reality, which is that we are a successful species, but that we could not recognize this until we had discovered our actual Human Story. It shows us something that we desperately need to know today, which is that our first human ancestors knowingly took certain mental, vocal, and physical steps and thereby unknowingly began an experiment in living which was new on Earth and possibly new in the entire Universe.

This radically new "Human Experiment" was based on their being instinctively cooperative, and on
their having inherited new survival tools including a new three-part brain, and the equipment to develop language. As individual persons they had they had already begun to use their new brain to create cooperative ideas, and their Experiment was to see if by developing  their potential for sign and vocal language they could communicate these ideas to the other persons in their small group. If so, they could make cooperative plans of action which might improve their ability to survive, and to improve their ability to enjoy life.

What each of us persons on our planet Earth needs to recognize now is that this experiment begun by our early human ancestors was completely successful. However,  we need to see also that their descendants were unable to continue the cooperative function of the experiment successfully, because they had not evolved sufficiently to recognize the reasons for their success. Our actual Human Story reveals these reasons, and enables us to see what we can do now in order to make our Human Experiment again completely successful.
Very fortunately we have developed a global communication system which makes possible the instantaneous global dissemination of our new information, so that everyone will have access to it. Then we will each be able to see why we could not have recognized and entered the fourth paradise until now.  Our Story presents all of this information in a clear, understandable way, and enables us to fulfill what shall be seen as our wonderful, natural human destiny. To begin our Story, let us proceed to the building of the First Human Paradise.

CHAPTER ONE      The First Paradise

Let us imagine that we have traveled far back in time to a beautiful spring morning in southeast Africa. We are members of a group of eleven persons who have left the safety of a clump of trees and are out on the grassy plain gathering food. The bright sunshine reflects off the tall grass as it moves in the breeze, giving the savanna the appearance of an ocean's rolling waves. Large birds circle silently overhead and small birds flit from one place to another, chirping their songs.

While breathing in the fresh, clean air of the natural world we watch the people around us sweep the plain with their eyes, then look down into the grass, then look out on the plain again, in a continuing cycle. Following their gaze, we see a small herd of some kind of animal moving in the distance. Near us we notice a boy, too short to see over the grass, who is learning how to imitate his mother. He watches her squat down and lift a nest with two brown eggs. She holds the nest in her lap, opens an egg, and pours the liquid into her mouth. Next she opens the other egg and pours the liquid into the boy’s mouth. Then the two move with the rest of us farther out onto the plain, where we find and eat whatever edible things lie in our path, the boy taking two steps for every one by his mother.

Suddenly someone gives the scream which means: Danger! Run to the trees! The mother grabs her child, and holding him under one arm runs as fast as she can toward the clump of trees. We run alongside her, and when there is another scream no one looks back to see the throat of a loved one being crushed in the bloody jaws of a leopard; this has been witnessed too many times before. We keep running until we reach a tree with a branch near the ground. We help the mother and child up onto it, and she carries the child quickly up as far into the branches as she can. We follow her, and other group members climb high into other trees. Trembling and sad, we watch the victim’s body being dragged away, but we know that we were unable to do anything to prevent the death. We wait awhile, then descend to the ground and resume our interrupted search for food.

On returning through time to ourselves in the present, it is easy to see why these early ancestors of ours were unhappy about their inability to defend themselves: they lacked the jaws, claws, weight, strength, speed, fangs, coils, wings, beaks, and talons of their adversaries; they could not climb, dig, or even bite very well. Fortunately both for them and for us, their descendants, they developed their own way to defend themselves. To see how these ear;y persons achieved this, let us follow their inspiring story.

Our knowledge of them comes from discoveries of bones, skulls, foot and hand prints, rock and cave paintings, and primitive tools and weapons, as well as the findings of molecular biology. Using this information, plus studies of "primitive" groups in recent times, studies of animals in natural surroundings, and knowledge of ourselves, we can reconstruct much about these early persons and their lives.

They lived in the natural environment surrounded by deadly dangers and were held together by their common fear of them. Instinctively and consciously they knew that they desperately needed each other’s help in order to survive, and therefore treated each other with respect. Because they depended on the natural environment to produce their food they had to move around to find it, so were forced to live together in small, mobile groups. When a group became too large, some of the persons would form another group and move to another area.

They had developed the ability to use bones, sharp stones, and pieces of tree branches as tools (such as for digging edible roots) and weapons (such as for killing animals). Also they had begun to communicate with each other through sign language and basic vocal language, i.e. to “talk” to each other. All of these were vital steps because they led to their becoming able to make and carry out group plans for defensive and offensive actions which greatly improved their ability to obtain food, survive, and enjoy being alive.

As time passed they kept improving their proficiency to communicate through vocal and sign  language and to create new ideas for cooperative group plans. Through these advances, plus improving their skill in making and using tools and weapons, including clubs, and sharp spears and stones,  they became able to hunt and kill small and some medium-sized animals for food and hides.

 To see what this led to, let us imagine that we are members of a group of fifteen such persons on a summer evening. As the sunlight fades we climb into trees with branches suitable to be sleeping places, relatively safe from night-time predators. In the morning we descend to the ground, leave the safety of the trees, and venture onto the vast open grassland to search for food. After walking for awhile in the bright sunlight we have collected some eggs, berries, and nuts when we see a small antelope lying in the grass.  Although wounded it manages to struggle up and limp away from us until its path takes it into a rock formation where it becomes trapped. We follow and kill it with our clubs and spears, and are cutting it into pieces with our sharp knives of stone when suddenly we realize that our situation has been reversed. A leopard has followed us into the rock formation and blocks our escape.; instead of being the trappers, we are the trapped!

As the beast slowly approaches us, snarling through bared fangs, shifting yellow eyes from one to the other of us, we are terrified. All that each of us can think of is to run from this killer, because that is what our people have done instinctively for thousaands of years, but we cannot climb the sheer rock walls on three sides of us. Had we not been so frightened, we might have thought to hurl the meat to the leopard, but what each of us does think is, “I’m going to be killed!” and stark terror holds us frozen in place.

Suddenly someone screams and throws a sharp stone at the leopard, hitting it on its side. As this has never happened to it before, surprise causes it to stop and turn its head to see what had hit it.  Instantly we all join the attack, screaming and hurling our bone and wooden clubs and sharp spears and stones at our enemy and then picking up and throwing rocks at it, one hitting it in an eye. This unprecedented act of group aggression causes the leopard to reconsider and quickly limp away.

We are astounded! We can not believe what we have done. For a moment we fall silent and can only stare at the place where the leopard had been. Then we begin to yell and jump up and down and hug each other. During the days that follow, using vocal, sign, and body language, we re-enact our great victory again and again, pretending that a large stone is the leopard. We recognize that being hungry and suffering from a wounded foreleg it must have followed the scent of the antelope and our scent into the rock formation to find whatever it could to eat, because its running speed had been severely hampered.

The question we ask we ask each other is, “Could we do it again, not because of being trapped, but deliberately?” The question ask ourselves is, “Could I do it again? It was one thing for me to fight when there was no escape. But if there is an opportunity to run and escape, along with most of the others, can I imagine myself choosing to stand against the terrible fangs and slashing claws of an enemy I mortally fear and have always run from? But what if the others all run next time and I am the one who gets caught and killed?”

"A daring promise..."
Each of us is very proud of what he or she has done, and has a strong desire to be able to do it again the next time we are attacked. In response to our compelling need to defeat the leopard, and our strong belief that we can succeed, we plan our defense and each of us makes a daring promise to the others: “The next time we are attacked, I will stand and fight.”

We begin immediately to prepare ourselves for a future attack so that when the moment comes we will be ready. We know that none of us could stand alone against the leopard, but we believe that if instead of running we stay together and all shout and use our weapons we can drive off or perhaps kill our attacker. Because each of us helped to drive off the leopard before, we believe that we can trust ourselves and each other to keep the promise to do it again.

A few days later a leopard picks up our scent and follows it toward the place where we are resting in the grass. When our lookout sees it he runs to us saying that the moment has come. Our greatest desire as individuals is to be able to hold in our minds the shared idea that our best way to survive is to stand together with our companions and fight, rather than succumb to instinctive fear and flee in terror. As the leopard approaches it slows its pace, confused by our not running and consequently not allowing it to select a victim to chase; but it keeps coming right up to us, baring its fangs and snarling.

Suddenly, following the plan we had made earlier, we all begin to yell and scream, and while some of us use both hands to hold out our long, sharp spears and keep the beast away, others throw their clubs and sharp stones at it. It is not fully grown but puts up a strong attack, snarling and trying to bat the spears away, and takes one in its jaws, but two other spears immediately jab it, and then two more. Adrenalin rush, strong desire to overcome the enemy, sense of pride and loyalty, and maximum use of outer skill and inner strength enables each of  us to succeed. We hold the idea in our minds, act on it, and together drive off the very surprised, bleeding leopard. We have won!

Flushed with victory, and ecstatically happy, we sing and dance for joy. We each know that we have changed our lives forever. No longer will the leopard decide who will live and who will die;  we have taken that power away from it. By creating an idea which enabled us to change our thinking and behavior, we forced it to change its thinking and behavior. Now none of will die, or at least each will have a fighting chance.

Alone, no one of us could have accomplished this, but by each of us participating in making and carrying out the group plan we could succeed.

Returning to the present, we can see that this new ability of our ancestors to defend themselves from their age-old enemy made a revolutionary difference in their lives. In that moment, they delivered themselves from being helpless prey and took the first step toward becoming the mightiest hunters on Earth. No longer the helpless, frightened victims of powerful enemies, they could deal with them on an equal basis. Each of them had made a quantum jump in his or her personal ability to survive and enjoy being alive, and thereby in self-confidence and self-esteem. For each of them it was...  paradise. 

Today we would not desire to live as they did, without the safety and material comforts available to us, and our Story goes on  to show that in the second paradise this began to be remedied. However, the persons who created the first paradise were accustomed to living as they did materially, and to them what they added to their way of life was what they most desired: the ability to protect themselves in their daily lives, especially while gathering and hunting food.

It can seem that as individual persons they might have felt that they had given up their freedom to do whatever they desired to do whenever they chose to, but for the following reasons that probably was not the case. Long before attaining the first paradise they cared instinctively about each other’s safety and well-being, were instinctively cooperative, and within their group had developed a natural level of friendship, loyalty, and trust. In this social structure, surrounded by the dangers of the natural environment, a baby, child, and adolescent developed to become an adult person who valued being a member of such a supportive group. In a word, what they had been experiencing and enjoying from the human beginning was what today we call community.

"to the level of consciousness."
Then by developing sign and vocal language they became able to make plans through use of which they raised instinctive cooperation, friendship, loyalty, trust and community to the level of consciousness. This thrilled them because it made each person in the group feel even more needed and essential, more in control of his or her life life, and more free. For example, they did not desire to let someone in their group be killed by a leopard, and they had chosen to free themselves from having to let that happen.

To understand “instinctive cooperation,” we need to see that our genes have their own agenda, which is to get themselves into the next generation, and the next, and so on, i.e. to be immortal. Therefore it has been said that we are merely “taxicabs for our genes.” However, because we pass our genes on through sexual intercourse, and this is a cooperative act, natural selection has caused in us a genetic infrastructure which not only motivates us to have the urge to have sexual intercourse, and has made it a highly enjoyable experience, but also enables us to develop the friendship, loyalty, and trust which makes such cooperation possible. Thus, though our genes are entirely "selfish," it has been in their interest to motivate us in ways which have enabled us to become cooperative.

The persons in the human line had unknowingly been moving toward the creation of the first paradise ever since they descended from the trees to the ground, stood up, ran and walked on two legs,   thereby freeing their arms, hands, fingers and thumbs from being used for locomotion to being used for many other actions. These, without their knowing it, helped to develop their brains and minds to think in new and creative ways. Then through developing sign and vocal language, they raised instinctive cooperation to the level of conscious cooperation and created the first human paradise. 

It was a personal paradise, because it was the result of an idea conceived in the mind of the individual person to help him or her self, then communicated to others and made a group plan of action. Obviously one could not have conceived nor carried out the plan in isolation; one had to accomplish this in conjunction with the other persons in the group. Nevertheless it was an individual act. Each person had to form the group plan (idea) in his or her own mind and make the decision to act on it, and then do so on his or her own: no one could do it for someone else. What they were learning to practice was what today we call “enlightened self-interest.” Of course they were thinking too of the welfare of their loved ones, and that increased their incentive to participate in the plan because it included each person in the group and made each person an essential, valued member, treated with respect by the others.

All this was in fact necessary, because it was learned from from experience that the group plans could be successful only if each person participated in creating them and in carrying them out. For that to happen each person had to be highly motivated not only to cooperate but to do so voluntarily, in spite of the great personal risks, both physical and mental, the latter because one had to be able to trust the loyalty and courage of the others. The creation of this conscious type of cooperative government, this “paradise,” was a monumental step never before taken on planet Earth, as far as we know, nor possibly in the entire Universe.

"The Human Experiment..."
In driving off the leopard our ancestors took the first decisive step toward advancing what we have called, in this blog, "the Human Experiment.” As noted, it was begun by our early human ancestors to   see if they could use two of their inherited survival tools (a newly structured, three-part brain, and vocal language) to create and share cooperative ideas which would help them to survive and to enjoy life. For a long time their Experiment was successful and their new ideas served them well so they   collected them into the body of thought which we call our culture, and passed it on to each new generation, who updated it by creating new ideas to keep up with their changing and evolving survival situation. They had begun this "Cultural Process" by using their new brain to attach meaning to hand signals, such as go, stop, run, etc. thus inventing sign language. The next step in this process of "symboling" was to attach meaning to spoken sounds, creating sounds we call "words," which is what a baby and child does today in building a vocabulary, or an adult in learning a foreign language. Eventually they had used their brains to invent enough hand and vocal language to build the idea of driving off the leopard.
This furthered a trend toward using their new brain and language continually to create and share ideas  to  improve their ability to survive and enjoy life, and in this way they attained a goal which had been the instinctive and unconscious goal of each person, and was now becoming conscious. Language enabled each of them to form and share the idea of the goal, and of how to attain it, and out of this process came the idea which we call purpose.  
The conscious goal and method were uniquely human, and were immediately established as the personal goal and method, and therefore the group goal and method, forever after. The goal and method were new on planet Earth (as far as we know), and as we follow our Human Story we can see that by having the goal and using the method humans have three times attained the goal by building a human paradise, the second and third times on the foundation of its predecessor, and, without being conscious of it, we have been striving to build a Fourth Paradise. We have made real progress but, even with all of our great accomplishments, we will see that we could not have succeeded until now, the main reason being that we had not yet acquired (or not dispersed) the necessary information. Consequently we could not know what we needed to about our past, nor about our brain structure snd transmissible culture, and could not recognize the possibility of a Fourth Paradise, and could not be aware that we are now in a position to live in it. To see why we are, we need to begin by looking at the background to this Chapter 1, which is in Chapter 2.  To find it, go below and click on HOME. Then see Blog Navigator and click on Chapter 2 - Background to Chapter 1.

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