Now that we’ve established in what ways man applies his creative potential, let’s continue with our reflections. Have you ever thought about the question: is man an animal? Or something more? If you put this question to people you know, one could predict beforehand that most of them would actually become indignant. “How can you compare a person with an animal? Cows, horses, dogs – they’re animals. But man – he is rational! A dog lives merely by its instincts; it eats, drinks and wants to reproduce. But man – he is the King of Nature.
A passing thought: a King is someone who has acquired complete ownership of an estate (kingdom) purely as a result of being born into a royal family. No other efforts are required from a king, unlike a president, who is only chosen on actual merit. If Man is the King of Nature, has he acquired complete ownership of Nature as a birthright? Or is this just one of our illusions?
So, from the answer cited above, it appears that Man does not live (or doesn’t only live) by instinct, but by reason; that is, he possesses logic and abstract thought, a capacity for analysis and synthesis. A being which lives solely by instinct is an animal. This constitutes the fundamental difference between man and animal.
What about instincts?
Now let’s look at the reality of Man – what does he live by, reason or instinct? It’s usually assumed by reason, but is that actually the case? Have people really totally eliminated unconscious and instinct-led behaviour or, at the least, are they trying to rid themselves of it? And what is our society’s general attitude to instinctive behaviour? Does it approve of the animal side of man’s nature, or condemn it?
The answer to the last question is most likely that there is practically no human being whose behaviour is entirely governed by reason.
It’s unlikely you’ll find many people whose behaviour is indistinguishable from that of animals.
These are extreme cases and most people have both an animal and rational side to their natures to some degree. One person will possess a lot of rationality (reason), but not much in the way of instincts; another will be short on reason, but have healthy instincts. Relative to these two cases, no doubt everyone could be positioned on a scale of instinctiveness.
In fact, this peculiarity of the human psyche has long been studied by scientists, and they’ve even coined a special term for it – “primatiality”. In meaning this word is very similar to “instinctiveness”. It’s not “primitiveness” but precisely “primatiality”, deriving from the word “primate”, connoting predominance, or indeed from the word “primates” in the sense of apes, which fits in completely here.
So it’s possible to say that “primatiality” is the extent to which instinctive models of behaviour predominate over rational ones. To put it somewhat crudely, the more primatial a person is, the closer his behaviour is to that of animals.
At first glance it might appear that a typical primatial person would be an uncultured and uneducated man, with too much hair, evil-smelling, expressing his simple-minded thoughts in a loud and illiterate manner, forever eating and drinking and lusting after every woman who happens to be passing. A familiar image, is it not?
In the same way a person who is lacking in primatiality might be a well-groomed and elegant man in formal dress and wearing glasses, with three higher qualifications, with a thoughtful and intellectual face and a leather brief-case containing business or scientific papers, or with a notebook under his arm.
It’s almost like that, but not quite. In fact, the degree of primatiality is almost independent of the level of education of a person. In other words, you can have a highly primatial academic and an unprimatial (that is highly rational) caretaker (although, of course, for the sake of accuracy, one should say that the opposite is much more common). Primatiality manifests itself to the extent that innate instincts influence the behaviour of a person independently of his consciousness. And sometimes this doesn’t depend much on level of education, the social milieu of the person, his job or other factors.
People are encouraged instincts
Let’s return to the question of society’s attitude to the animal side of man’s behaviour. It would seem that it doesn’t approve of it insofar as our animal nature is associated with cruelty, coarseness, lack of restraint over desires, gluttony (think of the phrase “you’re an animal!”), tactlessness (“Like a bull in a china shop!), excessive preoccupation with sex (“a bitch on heat”, “a lecher”), vindictiveness and other not very pleasant characteristics.
In other words, people are apparently not supposed to behave like animals; they’re supposed to be guided in their behaviour by the norms of morality and ethics, and by other rational rules, which are accepted in this society and which clearly do not encourage the manifestation of animal instincts.
At this point let’s picture to ourselves a group of women discussing a young mother, who is attached to her child and devotes all her thoughts and actions to him: “She’s a good mother, she has a strong maternal instinct. Such a mother is a role model for others!
But then there’s another mother, a bad one. Two months after the birth, she hired a nanny for the child and she herself went out to work. She doesn’t think at all about the child, she has no maternal instincts, it’s unbelievable!
That woman is absolutely dreadful, she just doesn’t want to have children”.
Familiar stereotypes, aren’t they ? In other words, on the whole, it’s bad to be an animal,
But it’s wonderful to have an instinct such as being maternal!
And what of our sport, which is based on the idea of achieving victory at any cost? Does it not exemplify the survival instinct in the form of a struggle for the highest position in the sporting hierarchy? And what instincts in the spectators are gratified by the eternal warriors? Isn’t it a significant part of our lives? And is there much which is rational or human about it?
So, in reality, people who declare themselves to be creatures who organize their lives by means of reason (homo sapiens – rational man), cling to their instincts with all of their strength, and encourage and develop them. They encourage their animal nature, whilst asserting the necessity of living rationally and consciously.
Such is our world, and we have to live our whole lives in it, preferably contentedly.
What is instinct?
But now we could look into the question as to what this instinct, which our animal origin clearly gives rise to in man, actually is. Or, conversely, we could look into the transition from rational being to animal? Judging from what happens in the world, these two processes take place at the same time.
One has to say that contemporary science is not particularly keen on discussing the topic of instincts, since it has not yet succeeded in providing a unified classification or giving a definition of instinct which fits everyone.
To start with, the number of instincts was reckoned to be between five and ten, then it rose to several hundreds. Of course people ascribe to instincts phenomena of quite different types. For example, we instinctively withdraw our hand when we touch a hot surface. And we instinctively tighten up and concentrate in a moment of danger.
On the other hand, the process of breathing, and the directing of the body by means of the muscles when moving, are also carried out unconsciously and instinctively, but this involves quite different instincts.
From a third point of view, we can reason about the instinct to procreate, the maternal instinct, the instinct to lead – these are quite other than those inner mechanisms which direct us through breathing.
Here we will only examine those phenomena referred to in this third variant. That is, those complex processes which influence man’s behaviour unconsciously, forcing him to attach huge importance to certain values and priorities, and carry out actions which flow from this choice.
These processes are unconscious, that is, do not proceed from man’s reason (by which is meant the rational component of human thought), but from certain other centres to which man has always ascribed great importance.
In all we’ll examine the following instincts:
. the instinct to procreate, consisting in the unconscious urge of people to bring their progeny into the world. Moreover, this is not a matter of sex, but actually about the desire to have children;
. the gregarious (herd) instinct, consisting of the desire to belong to some group (herd), where the person feels safe. This same instinct defines the position of a person in society, his place in the hierarchy of people;
. the instinct of self-defence (survival), consisting of the urge to survive at any price in case of danger (perhaps suppressed by the will and inner attitudes).
Another form of manifestation of this instinct is the urge to help one’s fellow human being – another person experiencing danger or suffering, in other words, mercy
It’s also sometimes called the leader instinct, insofar as it manifests itself as the urge to occupy the highest possible position in society (in one’s sphere or at one’s level), from which one has greater security of access to the tastier morsels of all kinds of goods. In other words, it makes survival easier.
This instinct can be manifested in another form here – the urge to protect the weakest, to take on responsibility for their lives and well-being.
Of course, this list might arouse the anger of specialists in the study of instincts (ethologists), but we won’t lay claim to this honourable title. What we have indicated will suffice for our subsequent discussions ( and if the listed instincts are not enough, we’ll add others).
When a reasonable man?
If man is a dual being with both a rational and an animal side to his nature, is it possible to distinguish when he’s being directed by his rational side and when by his animal side?
Usually these states are easily distinguishable.
If you find yourself in a situation which you judge to be dangerous, and you have sufficient knowledge, information and time to evaluate the information at your disposal and you make a well-founded decision, then more often than not your behaviour will be rational – it might be the rational behaviour of a housewife in the kitchen, a worker in a factory, the director of an enterprise in his office and so on. They carry out more or less standard actions according to previously established rules, nothing is threatening them or arousing intense anxiety, so the instincts are not required.
But if you have just been appointed director, and you perceive this post is new and alarming (that is you evaluate it as dangerous), then instinctive safety mechanisms might be switched on unconsciously inside you, which are manifested, for example, in the urge to surround yourself with “safe” people (relatives, friends, former colleagues), although objectively their professional qualities might not correspond to the requirements of the job.
In other words, the instincts come to our aid when we haven’t got enough information and time to make a well-founded (i.e. reasoned or rational) decision.
For example, you have to make a decision quickly, but you are not able to understand with your rational mind (however complex that might be) what is happening. A sudden very loud noise, an unusual vibration, incomprehensible speech or a threatening intonation in a stranger’s voice, incomprehensible events around you, the absence of necessary information – all of these and a multitude of other factors might set in motion instinctive processes within us.
In a complex situation Reason cannot provide an unambiguous evaluation of that situation, and so quickly pushes it into a remote corner, whereupon an Instinctual block begins to act on the person’s behaviour. To begin with, the instinct for survival initiates its scrutiny of the object of danger – is there a threat to life? Then it suggests carrying out certain actions (closing your eyes tightly, listening out, hiding, etc.) or, if there’s no direct threat, activates the other instincts. For example, the herd instinct – the person starts to look for another person –it’s safer to be with others. If it’s necessary to help the other person, the survival instinct forces us to rush to his aid, and so on.
Instinct helps us to survive
In other words, one can state that the instincts help a person to survive in a dangerous world. An absolutely rational person with completely suppressed instincts won’t survive long in this world – without having received necessary information, he will, without fear, go and investigate what that incomprehensible sound was he’s just heard.
A man with instincts would have long since taken flight from the mysterious sound, but the purely rational person would go and establish who shot whom and why. Or what that noise was which sounded like a collapsing wall. And so on.
In other words, it seems that if there were absolutely no danger in our world, if we had permanent running hot and cold water, electricity, no earthquakes or other catastrophes, no crime and perfect healthcare – in such a world instincts would actually be almost superfluous. It’s true the instinct to procreate would still be useful, but that could easily be replaced by cloning.
As you can see, roughly speaking, such conditions of life only exist in certain countries in Northern Europe and in North America. There it’s so safe that there is simply no situation where the majority of the local inhabitants can use their instincts. They’re dying out through lack of demand.
But this is only a small part of our planet. The rest of the world is not like that. There someone’s always making war or struggling for power or breaking the law, there are catastrophes, earthquakes, crashes and other life-threatening events – so our instincts are needed. Given this state-of-affairs, they’re needed to prolong the existence of people’s bodies.
The number of catastrophes and other life-threatening events in our world is continually increasing. There are catastrophes resulting from change in the planet’s climate under the influence of the transforming (seemingly rational?) activity of people. Rational scientists devise new commodities, no less rational entrepreneurs produce them, and very rational consumers acquire them. And as a result of this total rationality the planet is perishing, not quickly, but gradually, forcing man to train and develop his instincts, that is, to become closer to Mother Nature (animals are part of nature, are they not?).
In other words, it would appear that the whole planet (as a single living being) would have an interest in a decrease people’s rationality ( in the areas of science, technical devices and technology), so that they would reduce activity which heats up and pollutes the planet, and destroys natural resources and forests.
In fact, as these processes take place, the size of the population with predominantly primitive behaviour is constantly increasing – the countries of Africa and Asia is growing and migrating to Europe and America, but the indigeneous population of the countries of Europe is declining, since the nations with a low level of primatiality do not strive to breed (the instinct to procreate is dormant, and Reason does not want to burden life with the chores involved in bringing up children). What an odd, remorseless process! The faster we advance scientifically and technologically, the faster we slip back down towards an ecological or other catastrophe, which will again bring into play the instinctive (read – animal) side of our nature.
Let’s test our primatiality
How can one test how strong the manifestation of your instinctive side is, i.e. to what extent you are a primatial person. Let’s carry out a short test for this. Try and answer the questions in the second column.
Answer each question with a mark on a scale from 0 to 10; that is, for the complete absence of the indicator, put 0 or 1; for its marked presence, put 9 or 10. In the “comments” column the extremes of the characteristic are indicated. You need to evaluate how close you are to one or other of the extremes, and give yourself a mark in the range from 0 to 10. We recommend doing the self-assessment quickly, without thinking about it too much. We don’t recommend putting extreme values everywhere, so there won’t be a total absence or presence of all of the indicators. So try and select intermediate values.
The questions are different for men and women.
The Test for Men
Your mark in range
Do you have a lot of body hair? (the question only relates to
If your whole body is covered in hair, put 10.
If you’ve only got hair on your head and pubis, and nowhere else, put 1. If there is growth on your body, but not much, select an intermediate value. For long hair, beard, moustache – add a couple of points.
Do you love extremes, risk to life, intense sensations?
If you can’t live without these, put 10. If you avoid them, put 1 or 2. Anything else, in between.
Are blood relations, frequent communication with relatives and friends, helping them important to you?
If it’s very important, put 10.
If completely unimportant, put 0.
For other cases rate the importance to you of this indicator in the interval 0 to 10
Can you control your emotions or can they overwhelm you? What about jealousy?
If you are superemotional and often unable to control your behaviour, put 10. If unemotional, put 1.
Can spend a long time alone? Or is the company of other people absolutely essential?
If solitude gives you pleasure, put 1 or 2. If people are absolutely necessary for you, you feel bad without them, put 9.
Can you control your eating (drinking, smoking, drugs, gambling)? Or do you do it to excess and berate yourself for it afterwards?
If you easily control the amount of food (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling) you consume, put 1 or 2. If you can’t control these processes at all, put 9 or 10.
Can you control your sexual needs, or does sexual attraction completely take you over?
If your sexuality is not excessive, put 1 or 2. If you are hypersexual and only think about sex, put 10.
Do you love hunting, fishing?
If you always try to catch as many fish or wild-fowl as possible, this is very important to you, then put 9.
If you go fishing or hunting just for the sake of being with friends or in nature, then put 4. If such pastimes are alien to you, put 1
Do you love to eat dishes with flesh taken from living creatures – live fish, lobsters, fowl which has just been killed, meat with blood, etc.?
If you choose live fish, lobsters, and fowl, etc. with pleasure and enjoy eating meals containing them, then put 9.
If you’re a strict vegetarian or don’t eat anything with eyes, then put 1.
Is belonging to some , nation, nationality, clan, religion, or party important to you?
If you are agitated by questions about nation, religion or party, and consider yourself an expert on them, put 9. If you are totally uninterested in nationality, religion, or party, if these matters are alien to you, put 1.
Test for Women
Your mark in the range.
Are family relationships, frequent
contact with relatives, children, helping them, etc. important to you?
If very important, put 9. If totally unimportant, put 1. For other cases rate the importance to you of this indicator in the interval 0 to 10.
Can you control your emotions or can they overwhelm you and control your behaviour?
If you are hyperemotional and often cannot control your behaviour, put 10. If not emotional, put 1. For other cases, in between.
Is it important to you to have children?
If very, if you can’t imagine life without children, put 9. If you don’t need them at all, put 1.
Can you spend a lot of time alone or is the company of other people absolutely essential to you?
If solitude gives you pleasure, put 1 or 2. If people are absolutely necessary for you, you feel bad without them, put 9.
Can you control your eating (drinking, smoking, sex) or do you eat to bursting point and then berate yourself for it afterwards?
If you can easily control the amount of food (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling) you consume, put 1 or 2. If you can’t control these processes at all, put 9 or 10.
Are you unconsciously drawn to miracles, fortune-telling, clairvoyance, astrologers and other forms of mysticism?
If you are very interested in it, you’re absorbrd in it and continually use magical rituals, you struggle against evil eyes and evil spirits, then put 10. If it is something alien to you and your attitude to mysticism is one of amusement, put 1.
Are you a religious person?
If you are very religious, carry out all of the rituals of your church and sincerely fail to understand non-believers, then put 8. If you’re an atheist, put 1.
Do unfounded fears, premonitions, alarming dreams and other incomprehensible phenomena figure in your life?
If you are continually assailed by incomprehensible fears, premonitions, you try to interpret your dreams, then put 8. If you have fears, but you clearly understand where they came from (a powerful shock, etc.), put 4. If they are alien to you, put 1.
Is having a husband a very important part of your life?
If you can’t imagine life without a husband, if it would lose all meaning for you, then put 9. If you have lots of interesting things to occupy you, and you are completely relaxed about whether you are married or not, put 2.
Is important to you to belong to a family, clan, nation, nationality, party, religion ?
If you sharply define your nationality or religion, and are completely guided by its norms, then put 9. If you are completely uninterested in the nationality or religious denomination of yourself or people close to you, put 2
Since primatiality is not evaluated in any special units, we’ll evaluate its magnitude in percentages.
In other words, we’ll consider a person with close to 100% primatiality as having weak reason and rationality, but very strong instincts.
Conversely, a person with completely suppressed instincts who is guided solely by his reason (practically a walking calculator, a pain in the neck), will have low primatiality, close to 0%. Obviously, real people are not assigned the extreme values, the majority have primatiality in the range 20 and 80 %.
Now add up your responses in the third column. Add 10 marks to the resulting sum (this is systematic error). The resulting sum of the marks will be a rough indicator of your primatiality as a percentage.
Of course, the indicators cited are not the only ones which characterize primatiality, one can find quite a few other typical signs of it, but here we have limited ourselves to the most characteristic (in our opinion) indicators. They give an approximate value, which, moreover, continually varies under the influence of many factors.
One can cite approximate values for the level of primatiality of the inhabitants of various countries. These are averaged values relative to the whole population of a country. Naturally, within this population there will be a certain number of people with much higher or much lower indicators of primatiality. So you don’t need to take the cited figures as the basis of an insult or the display of other unpleasant feelings, be kinder and more rational, even if these values are not to your liking.
So then, the highest indicators of primatiality are possessed by the inhabitants of Africa, Asia and the Near East. On average their primatiality can be estimated as in the range 75-80%.
The inhabitants of Central Asia and the Caucasus (former republics of the USSR ) on average have indicators of primatiality in the range 65-70%.
The primatiality of the inhabitants of Russia can be assigned to the range 55-60% and has been decreasing in recent years as the economic and political situation stabilizes.
The primatiality of the native population of the US (afro-americans excluded) can be assigned to the range 40-45%.
The primatiality of the inhabitants of Europe (excluding the southern countries) can be assigned to the range 20-25%.
Rough estimates, insofar as serious investigations of this subject have yet to be carried out.
You already have the results of the test, so you can compare your primatiality with the average for your country. Most likely it’ll be a lot lower than the average value – highly primatial people are not keen on reading such books. They’ve got more interesting occupations – explaining relationships with people around them, producing children, making provision for their survival.
To start with, let’s examine the characteristic features of high and low primatiality. From these you yourself can judge the plausibility of the estimates cited above.
Characteristic features of people with high primatiality
A clear positioning of oneself in the human hierarchy (that is, knowledge of one’s place in the community), usually quite a low self-assessment. The need for a powerful external protector who will indicate what has to be done and protect you in case of danger. The unconscious delegation of important decisions to people occupying the highest position in society (…here’s the master, the master will settle our dispute…).
Cruel religion, usually with cruel regulation of behaviour and cruel punishments for the breaking of rituals.
High emotionality, prone to arousal and aggression (sometimes this characteristic is absent because of the carrying out of religious instructions or because of an emerging style of life).
Predominance of relationships and connections over the law, use of the law for personal ends, high level of corruption (only deterred under threat of death).
Strong need to create a family and have lots of children. Pronounced sexuality in men.
Strong need to care for relatives. Strong family ties. Penchant for celebratory meals and hospitality. Strong desire for relationships.
Strong urge to find one’s community and aggressive attitude to anyone who does not share the ideas of this community, whether that unity has a national or religious or other basis. Total hostility to homosexual men (e.g. assigning them to a very low rank in the social system).
Strong desire to catch the prey when hunting or fishing.
Strong dependence on pleasure, weak resistance to dependencies. Expectation of miracles, devotion to gambling and narcotics leading to dependence.
Characteristic features of people with low primatiality.
Dependence on oneself and scientific knowledge, weak dependence on external forces. Lack of need for religion.
High value put on life, respect for any human being, tolerance in relationships. Recognition of the right of any person to his freedom, hence the recognition of single-sex marriage.
Predominance of rational thought over emotion, low emotionality.
Predominance of law over relationships and connections, low level of corruption.
Weak family ties, reserved in human relations.
Weak urge to reproduce. Control over emotions, the building of family relationships with a high degree of personal freedom, respect for the rights of the partner.
Absence of unconscious urge to be a member of some community.
How does this manifest itself?
Now let’s have a look at how the differences between people with a high and those with a low level of primatiality manifest themselves in specific areas of life.
Let’s consider that important part of life which is self-image: the sense of one’s own significance, the perception of oneself as an important element of the universe.
People with a high level of primatiality usually live in a dangerous environment, in harsh conditions, where their lives are threatened by a multitude of dangers. The threat of death is ever-present, so neither their own nor other people’s lives are ascribed serious value. And they are easily sacrificed in the name of various ideas – religious, clan-related, territorial, in defence of what is normally considered honour in the community, and for a multitude of other reasons.
Of course, in such a situation one’s self-image is quite low, a person strives to live in the midst of people who are close to him (close by birth, nationality, religion, etc.). If he finds himself in an unfamiliar environment, he unconsciously (herd instinct) strives to find people who are close to him by birth (nationality, place of birth, etc.) and socialize with them. Such communities (associations of compatriots) are created by migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia to Russia. But it’s also precisely such communities of compatriots which are formed by migrants from Russia to the countries of Europe and America. In the midst of their compatriots, people find human relations, support, the feeling of being protected.
It’s easy to control highly primatial people, since they don’t have their own opinion, they leave decision-making to people of higher rank (one of God’s deputies – head of a religious community, a king, a shah, a president (if he wants to call himself such), a boss, a commander, etc.). They are ready to accept as necessary any means of controlling them, and so dictatorships and monarchies, where power is inherited, hold sway. Therefore, democratic models of societal structure are unacceptable to them – although they’ll still vote for their leader.
Insofar as people have low self-image, they seek protection and help from any external powers, instead of relying on themselves. Hence, in such countries there is a high demand for religion, moreover a cruel religion which clearly prescribes every stage of a person’s life. If religion is less cruel, many people turn to various kinds of sorcerers, shamans, clairvoyants and magicians for help.
Highly primatial people usually have little confidence in their ability to change a situation through their own efforts and so have a strong belief in Miracles. As a result, all sorts of draws, lotteries and games of chance are very popular. Moreover, as the rational side of their nature is undeveloped, and there is a strong belief in Miracles, they are not able to resist their intense cravings (including the pull of alcohol and drugs). Understanding this national characteristic, religious and secular authorities usually introduce harsh bans on gambling, alcohol and drugs.
In societies with low primatiality, where people make conscious decisions, the situation is entirely different. Here each person is aware of himself as an Individual with defined rights and personal opinions. Such people find it difficult making choices, as they are accustomed to thinking and making decisions themselves. For them there’s nothing unusual about democratic elections, where they themselves decide who to vote for.
Of course, by means of the mass influence of television with the use of contemporary psychotechnologies it’s possible to engineer a particular decision, but this is only short-term. After a certain time they see through the deception and call to account whoever manipulated them, whatever position that person might have held. Every so often we see examples of this in advanced democracies, where high-ranking politicians, even top-ranking, end up in court.
In highly primatial countries this is impossible. And not because there’s no democracy there, but because the people there are different. The attempt to set up a democratic model of government in a country with a highly primatial population leads to results which are worse than sad. The real bosses of the country, exploiting the instruments of democracy, guarantee victory for themselves in elections, having by now achieved the status of a “civilized society”. As long as the self-image and self-awareness of the population does not reach a certain level (the primatiality of the population does not go down to 40-45%), democratic forms will be a cover for clan (herd) relationships.
Primatiality has a huge influence on family relationships, dictating a model of the family and strategies for the behaviour of men and women.
For example, the instinct to procreate forces men to strive to sleep with (produce their progeny) as many women as possible. At the conscious level they’re only interested in sex, but at the unconscious the highly primatial man is striving to assert himself as male of the species – owner of all the females of the herd.
This same instinct forces women to create a family and have children at any price (continue the family line). When selecting a husband, the woman unconsciously strives to choose the highest-ranking (from the point of view of instinct, not reason!) man, and become his wife (or lover), where high-ranking means having high status in the society(herd).
But if a man fails to justify the hopes of the woman (he shows himself to be weak, unsuccessful, impecunious), his rank in the eyes of the woman is reduced (love is forfeited). She loses interest in him and turns her attention to another, again high-ranking (in relation to her status), man. These processes are described in great detail in a work by V. Protopopov “Treatise on love from the point of view of an extremely annoying person” and in the book “Advice for married couples, newly-weds and those who passionately want to get married”. Of course, all of these behaviours are incomprehensible to Reason and are the source of a multitude of emotions..
Under the sway of instinct to procreate, highly primatial families strive to have as many children as possible. Since the conditions of life are usually harsh, some of the children do not survive, only the strongest and healthiest remain. In other words, in highly primatial societies, a mechanism of natural selection operates, reproducing a high quality gene-pool, that is, new generations which are expanding and active.
In societies with low primatiality the situation is different.. Since the instinct to continue the family line is weakened, women do not strive to create a family and have children at any cost. Families are based on mutual attraction between the couple and only last whilst there is love.
On the whole, a reduction in attraction (libido) in men and women is to be observed – evidently, as a consequence of a general reduction in emotionality. Instead of love and sex they seek other means of achieving excitement – intensive work, sport, fads.
Having babies is planned. Since children interfere with their careers, women often refuse to have children or just have one. As a result, the size of the nation’s population decreases.
Highly primatial people usually have good health from birth (children with poor health simply don’t survive). Since it’s a free resource, from the outset it’s consumed without regret. Worrying about health and spending money on preserving it is considered pointless and foolish, since there are always more important matters to be dealt with.
In the event of falling ill, to start with they try to shrug off the illness, not paying much attention to it. If the pain doesn’t go away, they start to treat themselves with makeshift and popular (free) cures. If this doesn’t help, they have to turn to a doctor. They don’t normally look inside themselves for the cause of an illness.
In countries with low primatiality health is considered to be a real value, in which one must invest time and money. People maintain control over their diet, participate in sport and try to keep up a healthy way of life.
In case of illness it is normal to consult a specialist immediately.
Highly advanced medicine and strong social services make it possible to preserve the lives of any children, however debilitated and sick. As a result, the gene-pool deteriorates and ever larger numbers of weak and sickly individuals are produced (even in a healthy environment and with normal medicine).
As a result, within several generations this race will be overrun by a younger and stronger race. Unless of course it starts intensively renewing itself by means of mixed marriages with representatives of highly primatial peoples.
Therefore, seeking to solve the problem of increasing the birth rate by strengthening social services is probably doomed to failure (the experience of European countries with excellent social services is evidence of this). In all likelihood the opposite of this will happen. The stronger social services are, the more protected a person feels and the less he (she) feels the need to produce a lot of children. He (she) will try at all costs to sustain and bring up children he (she) already has. As a result the degeneration of the nation will be set in train (the native population is being referred to here, not the highly primatial migrants, who are enabled by the financial assistance they receive to bring up even more children).
Naturally, primatiality manifests itself in a sphere of life as important as work or business.
In highly primatial countries the herd instinct compels the manager to take on as employees relatives (friends, co-religionists, fellow country men), irrespective of their professional qualities. In this way he unconsciously feels more protected. Having created a firm from members of his family (or his clan), no excessive demands will subsequently be put on them. Even if a member of the family doesn’t measure up to the job, he won’t be sacked, they’ll find him a job within his competence. He’s a bit dim, but he’s one of mine, I can’t offend him.
In countries with average primatiality (like Russia) as well, people often select or invite their relatives, friends, ex-schoolmates, colleagues, etc. for a job or a business. In general, members of the same herd.
Then, when these familiar people can’t cope with the job, people make complaints against them. And then the manager has to worry about whether to get rid of that familiar person because of his incompetence, or keep him on in the hope that he’ll improve. This is called “idealization of relationships between people” and at times leads to the most distressing results [ book A.Sviyash “Smile before it’s too late”].
In countries with low primatiality people are selected for a job principally on the basis of qualification or professional qualities. In order to have the possibility of getting rid of an unsatisfactory worker, contracts are drawn up for a year or a review of personnel is carried every year. Family relationships at work or in business are not welcomed, quite the opposite. For example, in the US a ban on personal connections in companies has been introduced. Even if only informal relations between men and women are established, they are liable to dismissal, independently of the post they occupy, qualifications and other professional criteria.
Amongst highly primatial people culture is not particularly in demand. Apart from mass culture, where millions of people admire (or try to imitate) idols who display their animal passions with the most energy and directness.
Art is essentially based on the description of various kinds of sufferings. For example, the suffering of a female because she can’t find a mate in order to reproduce. Or the male has found a mate, but, under the influence of the instinct to reproduce, he’s chasing after other females, and she’s upset about it. Or something similar. This is, of course, an excessively cynical view of art, but that essentially is what it’s about. The spectators have to have their equilibrium disturbed and be given the power to be upset, and then they’ll consider the performance to be successful.
Another variant of contemporary mass culture consists of songs and dances, the leading performers of which are black primates. Or white-skinned people imitating them, but also quite primitive. People’s fads change with age, but we’ll talk about this later.
With people of low primatiality everything’s more complicated. It’s also possible to represent sufferings, but only very subtle, existential ones. Pictures may be abstract or philosophical, and so on. Events with mass audiences are not welcome (although producers might think otherwise). There is more demand for culture for small groups of people; in general, people of low primatiality are not inclined to gather in large groups.
Politics, social structure
By virtue of a low level of self-awareness (and usually of a low level of development and education), highly primatial peoples perceive dictatorial regimes as something natural. Revolt against the dictator takes place when the people’s tolerance is exhausted because of the excessive cruelty of the ruler and the excessively low standard of living.
But not long after the revolt, one dictator will just be replaced by another, and so on to eternity – as long as the self-awareness of the people does not change. And dictators (religious or secular) do everything they can to prevent a raising of the level of consciousness of the population. It’s not difficult to do this – they merely have to create in the country a state of alarm, fear for one’s life and a belief in future security. To this end it’s not a bad idea periodically to find internal enemies and publicly deal with them.
External enemies are also useful in achieving this, it’s necessary periodically to exacerbate relations with them in one way and another – this will provide a good basis for future self-isolation. As many acts of violence and catastrophes have to be shown on television. A small, local war, acts of terror and other events are convenient, as they don’t allow the population to relax and think.
The disadvantage of such regimes consists in the fact that the population is very dependent on the powers that be, assumes that it’s precisely the authorities who should solve all of their problems and has no wish to take on responsibility for their own lives. This makes it easy to hold on to power, but makes it impossible to create a highly effective productive process. A person with a low level of awareness (read – personal responsibility) will first and foremost be concerned about his own personal interests, adopting a totally passive attitude to the interests of an enterprise or company as a whole (remember the attitude of peasants to the results of agriculture in our country, for example). With such a population a country cannot become a leader in world production. Russia is encountering this problem at the present time. It seems that the money is there and it would be possible to buy equipment, but there’s no one to do the work. One has to bring in foreign workers together with foreign equipment.
Apart from that, leaders of highly primatial countries are very reluctant to accept any ideas of collaboration with other countries or peoples. Maybe the country (herd) is small, but at least it’s ours! And in an amalgamated company one has to share power and submit oneself to rules devised by other people.Who needs that? It’s best to isolate oneself and suppress internal opposition. It might adversely affect the economy and the standard of living, but at least one can be sure of holding on to power.
On coming to power, a highly primatial leader instinctively surrounds himself with relatives – we see that, for example, in the republics of Asia – , although the experience of ruling dynasties shows that it’s precisely relatives who are most likely to foment a coup against whoever is in power. And although all rulers know about this, the instincts win out in the choice of his inner circle.
If when a leader comes to power, his family links are broken (a lower level of primatiality), then, for the creation of “his” community, it’s convenient to have friends, colleagues, ex-classmates, and other people familiar from a “former” life.
If the level of primatiality of the population coincides with that of the leader, then he will be supported by the majority of the population – people understand him and empathise with him. In other words, they feel that they would behave exactly like him if they were in his position.
In a highly primatial society, reasonable (with low primatiality) leaders do not find support in the majority of the population, whatever bright (e.g.liberal) ideas they might have put forward. The population simply does not understand (and does not accept) their ideas. As has long since been noted, every country gets the leader it deserves.
Hence, when a democratic system with low primatiality (western) is imposed on a highly primatial community or country it inevitably fails. Democracy assumes a high level of consciousness and independence on the part of the population. In a highly primatial society , each separate individual feels like a grain of sand and is only protected in a crowd, in a herd. Which is usually directed by someone who is not interested in raising the consciousness of the crowd. So in highly primatial societies democratic ideas are transformed and serve the interests of the ruling clan.
Elections are conducted at a superficial level, but the whole people vote as one for whoever is the strongest at the time. We see this situation now in Afghanistan, Iraq and many other countries, where the attempt is being made to impose a democratic system of government. One can try, but one shouldn’t expect results.
In a society with low primatiality political leaders select their inner circle according to professional criteria, although friendship and the support of like-minded people is essential. Family connections are virtually never used – such a society would find this incomprehensible.
In countries with low primatiality there is strong respect for the rights of any person. This is exploited by migrants from highly primatial countries, who interpret the recognition of their rights as weakness. So they start to impose their life-style – aggressive, linked to violence and the destruction of a social order which is alien to them. We see this in the countries of Europe, which have so far been unable to protect themselves from the invasion of migrants from Asia and Africa.
What will this lead to? To a situation where life in the countries of Europe will become more dangerous and its citizens will once again have to enlist the help of their instinct for survival, that is, raise their level of primatiality. An extreme form of manifestation of primatiality is the rise of nationalism, which is taking place in these countries. Without it they’ll simply disappear as a nation or people.
In Russia these processes are not so marked, insofar as the majority of the population is not sharply differentiated from the migrants, they understand and recognize each other, they talk “the same language”.
Countries with low primatiality gravitate towards unification – reason tells their leaders and population that it’s easier to live and develop together rather than separately. Precisely for this reason the processes of unification of the countries with low primatiality into a United Europe have gone smoothly. Standing in the way of further enlargement of this community are the leaders of countries with highly primatial populations, who don’t want to lose their power.
What of the future?
What are the prospects for such a development, will people be able to continue the processes of unification? And what will it lead to?
One of the variants of such a development is expounded in the book by Neale Walsch “Conversations with God” . There it is said that it’s high time that humanity stops living under a feudal system, in which groups of people under the command of their leader (feudal lord) separate off from each other by means of borders, set up their currencies and armies, and try to maintain their power by whatever other means are available.
The means of communication (transport, Internet, postal and telecommunications) have now developed to the point where it’s possible to get from one country to any other in less than 24 hours and to communicate in a matter of seconds with a person in another country. In response to such possibilities of communication, we have created a multitude of artificial barriers between peoples.
Of course, it’s not possible simply to open borders – that would lead to the immediate demise of all civilized (with low primatiality) society – it would not be able to cope with the subsequent invasion. But it might be possible to create a single planetary federal state. Every country would be able to become a member of this state as a separate republic (province, sub-state).
In a single state it will not be possible for one people to flourish by exploiting others – a single planetary government will make sure that all of its territories develop at the same rate. And it won’t be necessary to destroy food stocks in one country whilst people are dying of hunger in others.
This idea is gradually being realized and that’s splendid. Its development is held back by leaders of countries who are loathe to part company with their small share of power. And individual primates from civilized countries, who go around the world fighting against the unification of peoples, which is known as “globalization”. As a result, they provide support for dictatorial regimes, though in all likelihood they don’t even suspect that they are.
Which is best?
Probably, at this point in the discussions about primatiality, you’ve started to have doubts – such as, is it good or bad to be a highly primatial person?
On the one hand, it would seem to be good, to the extent that you are always prepared for survival in our unstable world. You live a varied life, you experience lots of passions, you fight, you win or lose, you endure endless sufferings. Even if you haven’t got any external enemies, you’ll find enemies inside yourself (weight, appearance, and other defects) and struggle heroically with yourself. In general, you’ll live a “full” life. as we [tr. note: English-speaking people. The equivalent in Russian is lit. a “fully-fledged” life] are wont to say.
Such a life is extolled (that is, advertised) by poets and certain writers. We’ve surely all [tr. note: i.e.Russians. Line of poetry freely translated] learned in school “Storm! May a storm blow as soon as possible!”? How can one live without a storm? It’s boring. Collective storms happen to us in twos or threes every year. And personal ones even more frequently.
On the other hand, it would seem that being a highly primatial creature is not so good, insofar as your behaviour makes you rather animal-like, and this detracts from your human dignity. And makes your life unpredictable, albeit lively.
In general, it’s neither good nor bad. It’s simply a reflection of your current reality, which has to accepted as a given, since you have created this reality yourself, even if unconsciously.
And you yourself have a complete right to change it at any moment. When might the need to lower one’s primatiality arise? When you are tired of the perpetual external and inner struggle, and the never ending-emotions. When you start to want to live calmly, instead of being an instinct-driven robot.
In what ways can our instincts lead to negative emotions? As you will understand, there’s no shortage of such ways.
The survival instinct forces man to strive with all his might to achieve the highest possible position in society, and get upset if that goal is not reached. It manifests itself as a kind of vindictiveness, aggressiveness, impulsiveness and recklessness in behaviour, the urge to have extreme sensations, arrogance (that is, the idealization of one’s abilities), a low opinion of other people and other manifestations, which are clearly not conducive to a positive state of mind.
The herd instinct forces people to continually interfere in the affairs of relatives, to continually worry about them, sometimes even against their personal interests, in the striving to live together and so on. Feeling himself a part of one community, a person can sincerely hate members of other communities differentiated from him by blood, nationality, religion, skin colour or other features. Obviously, people who follow this path can also accumulate a lot of emotions.
The instinct to procreate forces women to concentrate all their efforts on getting married and having children; and the man to conquer the woman who is least accessible to him and marry her. And then set about conquering all of the remaining women. Of course, along these ways many different emotions are encountered, including jealousy.
In general, a great many of our behaviours derive from normal instincts. One needs to understand and take this into account and not worry because one’s behaviour is difficult to understand.
This touches on those complications which arise with highly primatial people. But people with low primatiality have lots of problems which lead to inner discontent. It is surely well known that the highest suicide rates occur in the most developed and secure countries of Europe. The unprimatial people of these countries have lost the survival instinct and, when faced with severe inner problems, can easily give up on life.
Apart from that, a person of low primatiality experience few emotions or feelings in life. With primates “real life” is in full flow, with all its passions, torments, struggles, joys and sorrows. But with people of low primatiality, everything is calculated, planned and provided for. It’s boring to live like that, isn’t it? Also, to abandon such a life would not be a great loss.
Primatiality – a variable indicator
Let’s turn our attention to marked variability of primatiality as an indicator.
Of course, there some parameters which man receives at birth and which it’s very difficult for him to influence – for example, innate impulsiveness, high emotionality, sexuality, aggressiveness or depression, the urge to belong to one family and so on.
But we are not branded with such a characteristic for life, it’s merely a description of the strength with which inborn instincts are manifested in you at the present time. And this indicator depends on many factors.
For example, it depends on what environment you live in. If you live in a big, modern town with a developed infrastructure, where all of your needs for food, water, warmth, accommodation, security, communication, movement inter alia are satisfied to a high degree, you have a stable income and a secure pension, then you don’t really need instincts. They are not in demand and only influence your life minimally. Such is the life of people in the developed countries of Europe.
It’s a different matter if you live in quite wild conditions, in mountains or in a forest, where you are continually threatened by danger, where you have to worry about survival – here the instincts are very important and you are accustomed to rely on them and not give you reason too much freedom. High primatiality is an essential condition for successful survival in a not very civilized environment.
One should point out that if an inhabitant of the most civilized city were placed in a wild environment, then, assuming he didn’t perish immediately, those suppressed instincts which help him survive will be awakened. A clear example of this is the description of the adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
And conversely, if an infant from a highly primatial society is placed with a well-to-do family who bring it up as their own child, then, most likely, its natural instincts, not required from birth onwards, will not be manifested. That is, it will become a fully civilized citizen (although certain psychological peculiarities are possible).
It’s a more complicated matter if an adult from a highly primatial society is transposed to a civilized country (for example, from a poor country in Africa to America). Naturally, several years of life in the new world will have its effect, and his instinctive side will be weakened as a result of its total superfluousness. Unless, of course, he lives in a community of fellow country-men, where the behavioural stereotypes of his country are preserved.
Many migrants from the East or Africa to Europe adapt quite well to the new environment and lead a completely civilized way of life. Although certain of them hold on to their former preferences for food and ways of relaxing or entertaining themselves.
But here not everything is so simple. If in his youth a person has acquired very strong attitudes from his milieu, including national and religious, then in the new secure world they might as it were fade away and he will become a fully adequate member of the civilized society.
But when a professional appeal to these hidden inner attitudes is made, their influence on the behaviour of the person might be stronger than the newly acquired skills which enable him to live in a civilized world. This could be said of the participants in the 9/11 terrorist attack in the US. As is well known, two of the attackers had lived for many years in the US, received a higher education there and had respectable jobs. It seems that they had, in general, adapted to civilized society. Nonetheless, on orders from their religious (or national – it’s not known which) leaders, they sacrificed their lives, which were completely successful from a modern viewpoint, and consciously went to their deaths in the name of certain ideas.
So one can state that whether the degree of primatiality decreases or increases depends to a large extent on external conditions.
Another important indicator which influences primatiality is age. In their youth the majority of people have a high level of primatiality, which is manifested in vehemence of judgement and opinion, a high level of aggressiveness and sexuality, arrogance, the urge to seek pleasure at all costs.
For example, in the countries of Europe it’s common for students who’ve just finished their higher education to spend a year or two in countries in the East or South America in order to experience “real” life. That’s usually sufficient time to completely satisfy their need for extreme sensations, and, under the influence of reason, they return to their safe world.
With most people (though not all!) these manifestations become less marked as they get older, that is, primatiality declines.
How does primatiality correlate with idealizations?
Does primatiality have some relation with those processes of struggle for one’s ideals, which we spoke about in the previous chapter? Of course it does.
Primatiality is the basis for the appearance of idealizations.
For example, the instinct to procreate impels women to create a family and continue the family line. In itself this is not an undesirable process, especially as regards the production of children. But for a wide variety of reasons this does not happen for all women. Obviously, the lack of a partner for the creation of a family leads to powerful emotions, and these already constitute an idealization.
The herd instinct forces people to live together and help each other. On the face of it this is a good thing, but it does form the basis for a multitude of long-lasting emotions.
For example, a daughter is continually bickering with her mother, then gets married and leaves home. But instinct doesn’t leave her in peace, and se brings her mother over to live. The conflicts start up again, the daughter’s family collapses and she continues the fun and games with her mother. Here the herd instinct leads to the appearance of a plethora of idealizations – of relationships, of the reasonableness of other people, of one’s control over events and so on.
Or the unconscious tendency to take on relatives or ex-classmates as employees, and the emotions which flow from that. Here the herd instinct has been a source of idealization of relationships.
In general, instinct in itself is not idealization. But actions carried under the influence of instinct can lead to long-lasting emotions, and this can already be classified as idealization.
What’s the point of knowing one’s own or other people’s primatiality?
And, in particular, what’s the purpose of these long conversations about the manifestation of the animal side of our nature? Do they have any applicable meaning? Of course they do.
Knowledge of a person’s level of primatiality allows one to predict that person’s mode of behaviour.
For example, a man-primate will always unconsciously compete with other males, causing conflicts, striving to assert himself and to prove at all cost that he’s in the right, not being above direct deception if the need arises (idealization of one’s abilities).
A highly primatial woman will always put the interests of the family above those of job or career. And so on.
And now imagine a family where love has joined together a highly primatial woman with a reasonable man (a common choice, by the way). For the first couple of years the man will admire the spontaneity of his wife, but then he’ll get tired of the endless troubles connected with relatives, relations with girl-friends or the interminable hysterics. He’ll try to come to an understanding with her, but here, to his surprise, he discovers that such understanding is impossible… Here there is evidence of an idealization of the rationality of people’s behaviour (by him of course).
Or, conversely, a clever and reasonable woman falls in love with a typical male of the species (also a common event). He sets up a despotic regime in the home and if the slightest thing is not in accordance with his will, insults, even blows, will ensue. What do you expect from a baboon? But she’s tormented and tries to explain that it’s impossible to live like that, that she also has a Personality and has a right to be heard. He sincerely does not understand what she’s muttering on about when she should be looking after the kids or working in the kitchen.
At work primates will always unconsciously compete with each other, try to “con” anyone who trusts them too much and hasn’t got his guard up, and so on. Unconsciously they will be honest with anyone associated with members of their “herd”. They’ll have absolutely no qualms, they may even be happy, about using any means to deceive those who belong to a different “herd”. For example, if you’ve been in markets in the East, you’ll know that any seller will immediately try to swindle you and sell you an article at 5 –10 times the price he’d charge to “one of his own”. You belong to another “herd” and swindling you is a source of pride.
There are many different situations in which people at different levels of primatiality are joined together. And they all give rise to emotions, since people sincerely don’t understand the reasons for the behaviour of people close to them. But the reasons are simple – differences in the level of primatiality.
So it’s not a bad idea to know the level of primatiality of your future business partner, co-worker or husband. At the very least it will enable you to avoid unpleasant consequences in the future.
Perhaps it would make sense to introduce a test for primatiality? And take into account its results when appointing people to posts? Of course, one knows in advance that a highly primatial personality will try to rely only on relatives or friends (his herd), as that seems the safer option; or that he will carry out other unconscious, but totally predictable, actions.
Perhaps it would make sense to introduce a sort of “civilization quotient”, which would indicate the level of primatiality? To develop the test itself would not be difficult, but who will evaluate the results? Obviously, in a highly primatial society it will always be possible to negotiate and obtain the test result which suits you.
Is it possible to control instinct?
Is it possible somehow to learn how to control one’s animal side? That is, enable it to protect you in situations of danger, but rest when it’s not needed, so you can deal fully with the situation at the level of reason?
Yes, that might actually be the case, certainly. But for that you need strong willpower, to consciously suppress those surges of feeling of the organism (emotionality, aggression, attraction to another person and so on) which your consciousness tells you are unwelcome. Unfortunately, most people lack this personal quality, and our whole civilization is directed at suppressing it.
It’s possible to develop will. There is a very wide ranges of means of achieving it, including the method “Let’s develop the necessary quality”, proposed in the book [Rational World].
It’s a simple idea – you need to commit yourself to a “Month of will”; and in the course of that month carry out absolutely all of your actions in the same way that a superstrong-willed person would. Initially you’ll get confused or irritated, you’ll keep forgetting about the intention to become a more strong-willed person – that’s normal. You need to return again and again to the decision you’ve taken, and at the end of the month you will appreciate the result. The main thing is that you’ve started to apply the skills you’ve developed to achieving positive and constructive goals.
But, of course, together with will you need sufficiently developed reason, which, with the help of the will, will suppress undesirable manifestations of the instincts. Will without reason – that’s quite a sad sight.
Another psychological approach to the development of a required quality is proposed in the book “Begin life anew. 4 steps towards a new reality”.
Thus, we’re all animals to some extent (some people to a large extent). This is neither good nor bad, it’s a reflection of our reality. It’s something you have to take into account and understand , when you behave as a conscious person, albeit under the influence of mistaken ideas (idealizations, negative attitudes). But when your actions are completely dictated by instinct, then you have ceased being Homo Sapiens and become something else – a monkey, a dog on heat, a vicious cat, a hen with its chicks and so on.
If you like being a primate, that’s fine – but don’t worry about your behaviour or condemn other people for making a different choice. If you don’t like it, switch your reason and will on, and stop being dominated by the animal side of your nature. And remember: the most important thing is the golden mean.
And now it’s time to summarize the results of this chapter.
- S ide by side with Reason and Emotions, the Instincts control man’s behaviour.
- The degree of manifestation of inborn instincts can be evaluated by the indicator “primatiality”.
- The level of primatiality can be evaluated by means of simple tests.
- People of high and low primatiality behave quite differently in life. If they live or work together, the result will be mutual recriminations and the failure to understand the reasons for each others’ behaviour.