re-2: The Grand Story of Humanity


Richard Moore

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Sorry about that last posting, re/ Israeli terrorism, it was intended for newslog. I’ve been trying to catch up on newslog with recent developments, so you may want to give it a peek:

From: Howard Switzer
Date: 20 March 2010 14:29:21 GMT
To: Richard Moore <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: re-1: The Grand Story of Humanity

Hi Richard,

Yes, I thought the Story of B was great too and Quinn also turned me on to this one, The Continuum Concept, a small but powerful book that chronicles her two year stay with aboriginals and points out the difference in attitudes…

According to Jean Liedloff, the continuum concept is the idea that in order to achieve optimal physical, mental and emotional development, human beings — especially babies — require the kind of experience to which our species adapted during the long process of our evolution. For an infant, these include such experiences as…

  • constant physical contact with his mother (or another familiar caregiver as needed) from birth;
  • sleeping in his parents’ bed, in constant physical contact, until he leaves of his own volition (often about two years);
  • breastfeeding “on cue” — nursing in response to his own body’s signals;
  • being constantly carried in arms or otherwise in contact with someone, usually his mother, and allowed to observe (or nurse, or sleep) while the person carrying him goes about his or her business — until the infant begins creeping, then crawling on his own impulse, usually at six to eight months;
  • having caregivers immediately respond to his signals (squirming, crying, etc.), without judgment, displeasure, or invalidation of his needs, yet showing no undue concern nor making him the constant center of attention;
  • sensing (and fulfilling) his elders’ expectations that he is innately social and cooperative and has strong self-preservation instincts, and that he is welcome and worthy.

In contrast, a baby subjected to modern Western childbirth and child-care practices often experiences…

  • traumatic separation from his mother at birth due to medical intervention and placement in maternity wards, in physical isolation except for the sound of other crying newborns, with the majority of male babies further traumatized by medically unnecessary circumcision surgery;
  • at home, sleeping alone and isolated, often after “crying himself to sleep”;
  • scheduled feeding, with his natural nursing impulses often ignored or “pacified”;
  • being excluded and separated from normal adult activities, relegated for hours on end to a nursery, crib or playpen where he is inadequately stimulated by toys and other inanimate objects;
  • caregivers often ignoring, discouraging, belittling or even punishing him when he cries or otherwise signals his needs; or else responding with excessive concern and anxiety, making him the center of attention;
  • sensing (and conforming to) his caregivers’ expectations that he is incapable of self-preservation, is innately antisocial, and cannot learn correct behavior without strict controls, threats and a variety of manipulative “parenting techniques” that undermine his exquisitely evolved learning process.

Evolution has not prepared the human infant for this kind of experience. He cannot comprehend why his desperate cries for the fulfillment of his innate expectations go unanswered, and he develops a sense of wrongness and shame about himself and his desires. If, however, his continuum expectations are fulfilled — precisely at first, with more variation possible as he matures — he will exhibit a natural state of self-assuredness, well-being and joy. Infants whose continuum needs are fulfilled during the early, in-arms phase grow up to have greater self-esteem and become more independent than those whose cries go unanswered for fear of “spoiling” them or making them too dependent.

Here are some excerpts from the book which define the continuum concept:

…It is no secret that the “experts” have not discovered how to live satisfactorily, but the more they fail, the more they attempt to bring the problems under the sole influence of reason and disallow what reason cannot understand or control.

We are now fairly brought to heel by the intellect; our inherent sense of what is good for us has been undermined to the point where we are barely aware of its working and cannot tell an original impulse from a distorted one.

…[Determining what is good for us] has for many millions of years been managed by the infinitely more refined and knowledgeable areas of the mind called instinct. … [The] unconscious can make any number of observations, calculations, syntheses, and executions simultaneously and correctly.

What is meant here by “correct” is that which is appropriate to the ancient continuum of our species inasmuch as it is suited to the tendencies and expectations with which we have evolved. Expectation, in this sense, is founded as deeply in man as his very design. His lungs not only have, but can be said to be, an expectation of air, his eyes are an expectation of light… [etc.]

…The human continuum can also be defined as the sequence of experience which corresponds to the expectations and tendencies of the human species in an environment consistent with that in which those expectations and tendencies were formed. It includes appropriate behavior in, and treatment by, other people as part of that environment.

The continuum of an individual is whole, yet forms part of the continuum of his family, which in turn is part of his clan’s, community’s, and species’ continua, just as the continuum of the human species forms part of that of all life.

…Resistance to change, no way in conflict with the tendency to evolve, is an indispensable force in keeping any system stable.

What interrupted our own innate resistance to change a few thousand years ago we can only guess. The important thing is to understand the significance of evolution versus (unevolved) change. … [The latter] replaces what is complex and adapted with what is simpler and less adapted.

There is no essential difference between purely instinctive behavior, with its expectations and tendencies, and our equally instinctive expectation of a suitable culture, one in which we can develop our tendencies and fulfill our expectations, first, of precise treatment in infancy, and gradually of a (more flexible) kind of treatment and circumstance, and a range of requirements to which adaptation is ready, eager, and able to be made.

pp. 22-27, The Continuum Concept, Revised edition ©1977, 1985 by Jean Liedloff, published by Addison-Wesley, paperback, 20th printing.

Hi Howard,

Thanks for this very enlightening material. I’ve added the book to my shopping cart. I’ve read many accounts of experiences with aboriginal peoples, and they all express similar sentiments. Liedloff expands considerably on what I’ve seen elsewhere.


From: “S.McDowall” 
Date: 18 March 2010 17:35:15 GMT
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Shaeffer Cox: The Solution (video)

This is interesting in that people are now beginning to try and come up with some alternatives and are ignoring their government.
This has a religious component to it which I, personally, find distasteful.

Hi Stephanie,
I do understand your distaste for religion. Religion has distorted the messages of our prophets and used them for enslaving and controlling humanity. Nonetheless lots of people have been captured by religion, due to childhood indoctrination. These people couldn’t help it; it’s not their fault. They are still our brothers and sisters.
If we want to achieve liberation and escape from elite rule we must overcome our divisiveness and learn to work together. Shaeffer Cox is the kind of person we can work with, and his programs are complementary to other sensible community-empowerment initiatives.
From: “Dave Patterson”
Date: 19 March 2010 05:17:07 GMT
Subject: Re: re-1: The Grand Story of Humanity

Richard – another story about “civilisation” your readers or you might find interesting – Serpent’s Tale 

Hi Dave,
Thanks. I recommend people follow your link and check it out. You’ve got lots of other good material there as well.
From: Viviane Lerner
Date: 19 March 2010 08:04:15 GMT
Subject: In the margins of The Grand Story of Humanity

Hi, Richard!
What an essay! It deserves to give birth to a book!
Just a few notes in the margin:

First, I’m not sure of what your definition of “intelligence” is. To me personally, one of the built-in components of “intelligence” is acknowledging oneself as a child of the planet, subjected to “natural laws” and instincts. [In this context, many animals are more “intelligent” than humans are]. It has been supplanted by smartness, shrewdness, cleverness, etc., which taken alone [without a real understanding of the context we evolve in, without honoring ourselves as children of this planet] produce rabid technology as we see it now. In that context, seeing “intelligence” as mainly the power, seated in the frontal lobes, to relate to abstractions sounds lopsided to me. I look at it more as a [potential] capacity to integrate our personal [and transpersonal] experience in such a way as to allow us to “walk in balance,” as the Native Americans used to say. But, as the corruption of language –thus of intelligence–, keeps mushrooming, 

Just saw this!
Feelings are Intelligent

In “Leaving Eden” [wonderful description!] I particularly love the “Great Forgettings” [by the way, I didn’t particularly like Quinn’s books over all]
By the way, to see how “primitive” societies dealt with their transgressors, you might want to look into the Native Hawaiian “Ho’oponopono.” [It’s still used among them to this day]. In a nutshell, it’s an elaborate process based on truth, love and reconciliation. The transgressor is faced with the consequences of his acts, but there’s no spirit of retaliation, and even less punishment. The main goal of the outcome [as I understand it] is reparation.
  Till later,

Hi Viviane,
As a writer, I’ve found that it is best to use language as it is rather than trying to change it. The dictionary definition of intelligence is about problem-solving ability, and that’s what most people understand by it. Wisdom is the word that is more in line with your meaning. 

Thanks for the reminder about Ho’oponopono, I’ll need to mention that in the book. Yes, a book is in the offing, but it was the Prognosis that set me off in that direction. The Grand Story will be Chapter 2.
From: “laurence”
Date: 3 March 2010 10:23:40 GMT
To: “Richard Moore” <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Prognosis 2012 – re: solutions

rkm> In this regard, it is important to understand that hierarchy has not always characterized human societies. Hierarchy came in subsequent to the development of agriculture, less than 10,000 years ago. Our ‘natural’ social form is a small, egalitarian, self-sufficient, cooperative community, and that’s how we lived for about 200,000 years, in hunter-gatherer bands. We are ‘wired’ to find security in a supportive community, and hierarchical society, particularly our competitive variety, is a source of considerable psychological stress. In a real sense, we are like animals confined in a cage, unable to express our true nature.
Amazing synchronicity, I was just about to answer your previous email stating those very facts!  I came to these conclusions many years ago, and as years go by, I’m more and more convinced that the design of our social structures is an essential factor, as well as a given society’s core values, and become fully aware of what Charles Tart calls “collective transe”. We badly need a systemic approach to social problems.
  I once read that our species was “engineered” using the gene pools of great apes, a fact which led to a huge vulnerability, that the intellect gets captured by primitive survival instincts, exactly the definition of our psychopath leaders!

Hi Laurence,
Yes, we have a vulnerability to power-seeking, whether it evolved here or somewhere else in the universe. Without wisdom our intelligence is very dangerous. That is the nature of the human condition, and our challenge as a species. Sometimes I think the universe is an experiment, to see if wisdom can win out over intelligence, without divine intervention.
From: “S.McDowall” 
Date: 22 March 2010 03:37:03 GMT
Subject: The Age of Technofascism

Indoctrination into accepting the technofascist reality begins shortly after birth, when parents substitute screens for human company for their infants. The objective is to cultivate dependence on and unquestioning loyalty to the technological system–a key doctrine in classical fascism. Today, most people in the U.S. voluntarily spend about 4 hours per day immersed in propaganda displayed on their tv screens. Children now spend about 8 hours per day using various electronic technotoys, including tv, videogames, computers, and cell phones. These devices are like cherished friends to them.

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