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There is an increasing reliance on everything tech for analysis, prediction and decision making in most realms, by most people. However, the cultivation and refinement of instincts has been neglected and even denigrated in contemporary society. It is rare you find a child or adult who has their instincts intact or developed. Why is this? What do we lose when we dismiss or dull our "gut" instincts? What do we miss when we succumb to the narratives of pop psychology or the narrow corridors of western science in regards to identifying and "harnessing" our basic human instincts? This week I call your attention to this aspect of our human nature that many are encouraged to "tame" and/or ignore...at our peril. We have within our power, instincts for protection, for nurturing, for warning, for love and as weapons. Our intuition and instincts are our most precious treasures, but they must not be kept under lock, key and cover.
As we end the month of November-a month to reflect and learn more about "Native American" culture in the USA-it is the Indigenous cultures of north America which have much to offer in terms of cultivating and recognizing basic instincts. The ceremonies of tribes such as the Lakota, Hopi, Menominee, Dineh, Ute, Cheyenne and Apache have ceremonies to elicit and expand our abilities in the areas of intuition, instinct and communication between realms or "worlds" and creatures. For more background and details see my post from November 2018: www.jopatti.com/blog/forewarnings
Certainly other Indigenous cultures such as Australian Aboriginal, the Maori, Iban, Bidayuh (Borneo) and Mongolian shamanic communities have ceremonies for those deemed ready and earnest as well as the Shaolin and specialized ancient martial arts cultures. I prefer to write my posts based on at least some first hand knowledge. I will include personal experience with those ceremonies and training I know work from my own life journey, and encounters. They are presented in more depth in my books-both poetically and in prose. IF you are interested, see the home page of my website for ways to purchase them online. Alright-back to this discussion.
What is an instinct and is it different from an intuition? The common usage of the word instinct is: an inborn pattern of activity or tendency to action common to a given biological species. A natural or innate impulse, inclination, or tendency or a natural aptitude or gift. A reaction to a stimulus based on the will to survive, to socialize and to reproduce. These three categories are often designated as the three basic human instincts common to all human beings. They encompass maternal instincts, sexual instincts, safety/warning instincts, feeling when someone or some situation "feels right" as well as "feels wrong". They are within us although they are filtered by our previous experiences and even our ancestral experiences (epigenetics) with our environment. Our instincts require our attention!
If we are distracted by noise, screens (visuals) by pain or illness, by overwhelming emotional burdens, by fatigue or distress...if we are disconnected from nature, from natural light, from deep sleep and healthy touch...we can bury our instincts.
If we are convinced/brainwashed by advertisements, schooling, peer pressure and social engineering to consider our "gut feelings" as "dangerous instincts/animalistic" or told we are "crazy" or "paranoid" when we express our concern that a person, place or situation doesn't "feel right"; if our survival or sexual instincts are suppressed often enough or we are conditioned to deny them...we can "kill" the alerts our instincts are trying to send us and thereby "lose" our instincts. We can rewire our brains and bodies to ignore and/or re-direct our "gut feelings" but done often enough, our instincts and intuition will be silenced.
If as a man we have an instinct to guard, protect and provide but are told that is "sexist" - or as a woman we have a need to protect, bond and be with our child or children, but are convinced that "instinct" is bondage and "primitive" and we need to disregard it for career or more 'competitive' goals-these narratives can be persuasive enough to cause both men and women to cut off their instincts and conform to social constructs which frustrate their "natural" and "gut" directions. They often end up being confused and sometimes will hide their intuition from others so as not to appear "divergent" or "not cool".
Intuition is an element of instinct. It is a person's capacity to obtain or have direct knowledge and/or immediate insight, without necessarily using observation or reason. It's a "gut feeling" which can aid or change your decision making process. It may seem to go against reasoned plans or outward signs or conventional constructs yet it can lead to originality, pioneering, exploration and victories. It, too is denigrated in formal science, in the politically correct bubbles and in literature. Jokes are made about "women's intuition"-for example-as if it should never be given credence.
Taken to extremes, most elements of human life can be twisted and re-formed to be aberrant. The survival instinct can be hammered in certain training and threatening situations to bring out what is termed the "killer instinct" or the predatory behavior we see in serial killers, in bloodlust behavior or in business when no regard is paid to the humanity of those around you. Stepping up the ladder of success by stomping on the backs of others or "killing" your competition is referred to as having the "killer instinct" and lauded as part of achieving success in many societies.
The "instinct to reproduce" can be roused to an extreme level where rape and violence in sexual activity, devoid of compassion or love, is part of accepted gang, war and predatory conduct. Media can be one of the factors pressing on the neurological/hormonal buttons of some individuals and driving them to commit criminal actions because their social instincts have been perverted from connection to coercion.
Self preservation instincts can be subverted, thwarted and twisted to turn on the self in mutilation, self medication with toxic substances and even self murder...suicide. The reporter and social commentator Paul Joseph Watson, presents this starkly in his latest video - I suggest you watch this clip, bearing in the mind the terribly tragic statistics and demographics especially in North America and Europe. It is entitled "The Truth About Suicide":
Remember, it is easier to control people who no longer can feel their own instincts and have no inkling of intuition. it is easier to manipulate and denigrate those human beings who no longer feel worthy or feel they have no purpose. Even an instinct to "rebel" against societal perversions, humiliations ("toxic masculinity") social media pressures - can be healthy but the signals one's body, mind and spirit are sending...must be acknowledged and acted upon before instincts and intuition are strengthened.
There is also an instinct in terms of timing and satiety. Time to finish, since there is enough information for ya'll this week. Right?!
Closing with a music video from the group "American Football". The song is entitled: "My Instincts Are The Enemy". In plain sight-social engineering using a multicultural landscape. Be alert! www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCI1QXMumBo
For those of you who celebrate in the USA and elsewhere..."Happy Thanksgiving!" We do have so much to be grateful for in this world.
Till next week, thank you!