Bare Bones Biology 286 – The Central Question

In the year 1600 AD, the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for claiming that the earth is not the center of the universe. Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted for the same crime, probably not so much because of facts they recognized; rather because the implications rattled the foundations of the worldviews of the human cultural systems in which they lived.


And as far as I can see, though our cultures evolve over time, we continue the effort to prove that humans, or our social structures, are the center of the universe. Now we are perpetuating a corposystem world view that imagines people are the center of a SYSTEM that is the center of the universe. In fact, we are not, for one thing, systems do not have centers, and we endanger our own welfare when we behave as though we have a power that we do not have.


For myself I am very glad I was born into a culture where people are not burned at the stake because they recognize and espouse the reality that humans are not the power center of the universe. That our survival therefore depends upon aligning our behaviors, therefore our world views, with the factual relationships among the systems that function to perpetuate Life.


In Chapter One of Book 25, (as yet unpublished, ask me if you want a copy) I describe the way in which I envision the birth and maturation of our world views, based on modern scientific research of others, and on my own observations of people, especially people who cannot hear my message or understand my words.


Biologically, it seems the development of our world views begins with genetically programmed instincts. We are each born with preprogrammed instincts, into various particular environments. As we interact with the environment of our first few years of life our brain grows connections between the inherited instincts and our cause-and-effect relations with our environments. In other words, we grow a belief system that could be referred to as our primary world view. I think of that primary world view as “me.”   It consists of a logical set of beliefs that are mostly subconscious and that intertwine inherited, hard-wired instinct with the circumstances of our early development.


As we mature, we enter the age when we can understand and use abstract ideas — reason and logic. Learning based in reason and logic adds a new dimension to our world view that is largely conscious. I think of it as a secondary world view that could be referred to as “mine.” So, in this metaphor, our emergent world view is made up of “me” and “mine.”


Humans are generous by nature, but it is much easier to sacrifice “mine” (my job, my money, my status, my secondary world view) than it is to sacrifice “me” (my primary world view). When we are asked share money, or food, or services – generally to be compassionate – we can make make conscious, generous decisions to share what is “mine.”


However, when the subconscious worldview that is our birthright — the “me” of our primary worldview — is challenged, we often feel a primal emotional response of fear and anger, and we often don’t know what it is or why we feel threatened by an idea or an event, and we may not even realize that we feel defensive or offensive or do not understand that we block communication in a variety of ways when the foundations of our world view are rattled.


If my primary world view is different from yours, we may hear each others’ words, without understanding, rather like living in parallel universes, without knowing that we use the same words to represent different concepts. You cannot hear me – no matter what I say or do. I must work hard to understand your corposystem world view.


So the question is, why should either one of us try to understand the world view of the other given that we no longer burn people at the stake for having different world views?


And the answer is that your world view is destroying our world – unintentionally, the behaviors that result from your primary world view are destroying our world.


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