Human uniqueness

Saturday, October 5, 2019

4 a.m. Yesterday’s sounded like it was all about sex but it was actually about human uniqueness, wasn’t it?

Yes it was. In your day and time, many people are apt to underrate the fact that humans are not only animal and not only spiritual – to use the word people commonly use, though it is a bit misleading. An example like sex comes at this from an unexpected angle, allowing some, at least, to reexamine their assumptions.

Well, I guess we’ll see.

Actually not likely. You may hear from one or two people, but as usual the larger audience will remain invisible to you, inaudible.

Not though to you, presumably.

No, but our telling you will always be a matter of uncertainty to you. How can you fact-check us?

Yeah, and I know better than to trust your information and your intentions.

Very funny. But of course beyond the gentle ribbing, this question of trust and authentication truly is an eternal problem in 3D/non-3D communication. That’s why we have worked to make clear the limits of such communication, the impossibility of proof (as opposed to evidence, or probability). We would like to see many more people consciously practicing ILC, but not dogmatically, not in a way that is unconscious of individual limitations.

So to revert to the question of human uniqueness. First we would ask people to ask themselves why they have resistance to the concept that human intelligence of the 3D world is qualitatively different from that of the animals around them. We think you will find that the difference stems from a culturally imposed perspective. That is, the political or ideological stance that denies such an obvious difference stems from cultural causes; it is not a natural inevitable conclusion.

I think it is a reaction against the dominionist view that in practice says that only humans matter.

It says worse than that, in fact. It says, in effect if not explicitly, that only certain human activities matter, and these are mostly economic. But beyond this, the dominionist view arises from a tendentious reading of scripture that reads “dominion over the beasts” as a statement of relative worth rather than an assurance of safety and a mandate of stewardship. The bible never says destroy the earth, it says subdue it – as in, put it to use. It doesn’t say the things of the 3D world are there to be destroyed at human caprice or carelessness or stupidity; it says they are all there for humans to use. It doesn’t guarantee that you will use them well or wisely, but only a fool or one who is not very conscious would assume that a viable ecology had been created for the purpose of giving humans something to destroy.

However, in revolting against this view, it is easy to fall into complementary errors, and we suggest that this is what many people do.

Well, to make their argument for them, or as far as I understand it, you can see today that what was called the dumb (that is, mute) animal kingdom is actually filled with active intelligent creatures who can learn, can reason, can communicate, can use tools, can play – in short, who exhibit every single characteristic that at one time or another were thought to characterize humans.


Yes, I get it, but I’ll leave it to you to spell out.

Why? To preserve your reputation for neutrality? Rather too late for that.

Very funny. I still think it would be better coming from you.

Where are your animal economic or scientific or philosophical or religious or sociological enterprises? Where are their equivalent of libraries? (They needn’t be in the form of physical books, of course.) Nor do we refer in any of this to a technological development. The fact is, there is an obvious difference that is escaping people who are unconvinced of the distinction because they have an emotional stake in remaining unconvinced.

Not surprising, because it is an invisible and unmeasurable difference.

That is correct, and that is our point: The difference inheres in the human connection to the non-3D as it is not shared by the animal kingdom otherwise. However, this argument for difference is easily carried too far. It isn’t that the other animals do not extend into non-3D, as of course that would be impossible. It is not that they are not inherently as alive and conscious as all the elements of the 3D world. Again, it would be impossible. One does not derive “dead” matter from living materials except in the sense of a disconnection of the non-3D from the 3D when the living being “gives up its spirit.”

That could get us into deep waters, I suppose.

Deep and productive, only not now.

Animals talk, count, build, play, etc., just as you said. But do they pray together? Do they discuss abstract things? Do they exhibit purposive behavior in the directions humans do? They do not, for a very simple reason that is not so simple to convincingly explain: They are inherently different, or rather, humans are.

I grasp the overall direction of the argument to be made. In fact, I seem to recall us going over it some years ago. But I doubt if I would be able to express it clearly, as the examples shade off into ambiguity. Whales and dolphins, for instance. Well, go ahead.

The confusion in your mind arises because of gradations of individuality among various species. Cats are inherently more individual than sheep, for instance; but this is social behavior, not a difference in individuality as it may appear. The differences between human and animal are not merely social; they are inherent. And the situation is complicated because (a) things are changing, (b) the “human only” exception was never “human only” except insofar as humans did not know how actively aware their fellow animals are.

To clarify. (a) Things are changing. Animal species are evolving over time, as they always have. Sometimes they “advance,” sometimes revert, but change is never at an end. So as other primates learn sign language, for instance, their ability to conceptualize and deduce and in general employ their inherent intelligence will change. As birds observe human activity, their own abilities may morph. And so on and so forth. No scheme of characterization remains accurate forever; things change.

(b) What did “scientific” man know of the way whales communicate across vast distances? What did he know of social interaction even among plants and insects, let along mammals? So, the “human only” argument was always based on inadequate information and a too parochial view of reality. However, the fact that humans are not the only species in active and potentially continuous communication with the non-3D does not mean it is not an undetected phenomenon.

The last part of that came out terrifically distorted, I think. As stated, (b) just contradicted what you were saying previously.

Yes it did. But there is often if not always some clumsiness in initial attempts to express new approaches.

Let’s put it this way. What we mean to convey is that humans experience themselves in a way that is different from the vast majority of the animal kingdom, and this difference exists, and is important, regardless whether one or more other species may have it as well.

But by that caveat, is it not possible that in fact all animals have it, and our exception is no exception at all?

You don’t mean exception, you mean uniqueness, and no, it isn’t.  Yes everything is connected, but no, not every specialized tool is designed to do everything. Where are the literary societies set up by polar bears? You might as well expect to find them among trees or mountain rock.

We have burned an hour, and we haven’t gotten this point convincingly nailed down. Pause, or continue?

Remember first that all animals are more individual in soul than plants if only because the conditions of animal life require greater individual stewardship of its own life. So, every animal is going to be part individual, part group-mind. That is not the distinction to be made between human and animal.

The essential difference – and we will have to resume on this point – is that humans are in 3D to shape themselves by their choices in a deliberately restricted environment, and nothing else in that environment is there for that same purpose, but [is there] to help provide the ecology of the process. Whitman was right that animals do not weep for their sins, but not perhaps for the reason he assumed. Start thinking that the 3D is provided for humans, and that it is not provided for its own sake but for the sake of non-3D purposes, and you will begin to come out of the woods without reverting either to scientific or religious dogma.

More another time.

Thanks, as always.


One thought on “Human uniqueness

  1. This gives me food for thought since I’m a serial anthropomorphizer. Some say this is an innate part of our psychology, but we generally don’t look at the beliefs that underlie and characterize those kinds of relationships. Very interesting.

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