“We learn from history, that we do not learn from history” wrote Georg Hegel. Each generation of individuals, does not learn – or embrace from a place of their own curiosity to explore – the reality that something does not come from nothing. We do not freely choose our lives, we are conditioned or determined by the inputs present in our early years, and by the biological attributes of the human in its environment. Determinism however is not fatalism, life is never set in stone. The two Automatic Brain videos, linked to in my last post, are examples of the intriguing work that is being done in the field of neuroscience. Accessible, fascinating and disturbing at times, these videos are filled with information for those with the curiosity to wonder and question life beyond the norms and narratives learned from one’s own social, educational and family determinisms.
There has been sufficient of human experience and history to learn that, just as the vast majority will leave such vital information alone, some will pick it up and use it to exploit that vast majority. Here is another vital documentary, which very clearly shows how manufactured our lives and selves actually are – because we have a brain that is emotionally reactive to messages that appeal to primitive ‘needs’ or emotive stimuli. The poetic narratives I quoted in Part 1, about renewable energies are just one more example.
Put these two documentary series together and we have vast quantities of information to look again at the human world we each make, and then use as a basis to think critically about the complexity of the human and physical world we inhabit, to produce different effect.
Who will watch them? Vital information, history suggests, is more often used to exploit the vast majority, than by the vast majority to rise above anothers attempts to exploit. But being in the ‘vast majority’ is a comfort.
In my view, the contempt held for the vast majority by those who seek to manipulate and exploit emotional fears and biases of the human brain, is at least equal to the contempt held by that same vast majority for their own unique lives, curiosity, capacity for intelligence, and future. Such is the power of the attachment to ease, certainty, and perceived security, all regulated by the automatic brain.
These intriguing words by Emil Cioran, say so much. “I do not wish to pervert your hopes, life will take care of that”.