Instinctive Versus Counter-Intuitive Thought, or, Love Everyone (If You Can)

Instinctive thought? What is that? Well, to a degree, it’s the automatic reaction we have in any given situation. Think the “fight or flight” reaction we have in a dangerous situation. That’s instinctive. To a larger degree, most human societies are now ruled on an unconscious level by counter-intuitive thought. How so?

I recently had a talk with someone that sparked the idea that, if we were ruled by instinct, we would never have gone much past the tribal size of human society. Of course within the family there is love, and understanding, and all the emotions that we can emote. What is not technically natural is our extending these emotions to strangers.

The fact that we’ve created civilizations that worked together toward common goals and have managed to go long periods of time without massacring themselves is a tribute to the codification of counter-intuitive thought.

“But if it’s natural, why don’t we try to strive for it?” you might ask. We don’t need to strive toward it, we tend toward it naturally. It’s only by hard work that we can get away from our natural tendencies, which lead to self-destruction. Instinctive thought is the animal we feed to corrupt society. Counter-intuitive thought helps us to stay cohesive as a disparate whole, working together for a common good.

It’s an education, like anything else. It’s the reason we teach kids to work together, forgive, love, have empathy, and all the other “positive” (read “open”) emotions we usually share with only our closest friends.

Of course, there are limits to counter-intuitive thought: who is excluded from the group, for example? Those who are excluded form their own groups and lead in another direction. Either to become included into the whole, or, out of frustration, will go toward another direction.

When society as a whole is concerned, it is better to include all that wish to be involved in the social sphere than excluding them, as a fracturing of groups within a society can lead to the dissolution of the society itself.

Instinctive thought and reaction being such strong imperatives, it is important to constantly renew the bonds of kinship within a society, not for the sole purpose of creating a new “Other” which to fight, (as is so often the case) but to create peace, fairness and happiness within said group.

In my mind, the best order is one created out of a love for humankind, regardless of race, color, creed and sexuality, but based on a mutual respect of differences and a desire to work toward a common goal.

That goal has, in my opinion, has got to be the elimination of poverty and ignorance for the human race, and a better chance of survival for ours and all other species through proper management of our resources.

This, however, cannot happen if we are not made aware of those who would use instinctive thought and its inherent fear of “Others” as a tool for personal gain.


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