Dreams, evolution, value fulfillment: Session 914
People have a biologically built-in knowledge that life has meaning. They share that biologically ingrained trust with all other living creatures. A belief in life’s meaning is a necessity on the part of your species.
It is vital for the proper workings of genetic systems. It is a prerequisite for individual health and for the overall vitality of any given “stock”. Your greatest achievements have been produced by civilizations during those times when man had the greatest faith in the meaningfulness of life in general, and in the meaningfulness of the individual within life’s framework.
You are, I hope, coming toward a time of greater psychological synthesis, so that the intuitions and reasoning abilities work together in a much more smooth fashion, so that emotional and intuitive knowledge regarding the meaningfulness of life can find clearer precision and expression, as the intellect is taught to use its faculties in a far less restricted manner.
No matter what science says about certain values being outside of its frame of reference, science implies that those values are therefore without basis. The reasoning qualities of the mind are directed away from any exploration that might bring about any acceptable scientific evidence for such values, therefore. The fact is that man lives by those values that science ignores.
For that reason, science – after its first great adventurous era – had its own flaws built in, and so it must expand its definitions of reality or become a tin-can caricature of itself, a prostituted handmaiden to an outworn technology, and quite give up its early claims of investigating the nature of truth or reality. It could become as secondary to life as, say, the Roman Catholic Church is now, losing its hold upon world dominance, losing its claim of being the one official arbiter of reality.
There are, overall, some processes important in man’s development, and in the development of the species. Efforts, methods that work against value fulfillment phase themselves out, for in the long run they do not work.
There is nothing wrong with technology. Man has an innate inclination toward the use of tools, and technology is no more than an extension of that capacity. When men use tools in accord with the “dictates” of value fulfillment, those tools are effective. Your technology, however, as it stands, has to some important degree – but not entirely – been based upon a scientific philosophy that denies the very idea of value fulfillment. Therefore, you end up with a technology that threatens to work no longer. You end up with affairs of great national and world concern, such as the Three Mile Island episode, and other lesser-known near-nuclear accidents.
The control panels of the nuclear plants, many of them, were designed as if consciousness did not enter into the picture at all, as if the plants were [to be] run by other machines, not men – with controls that are not handily within reach, or physically inaccessible, as if the men who drew up the plans had completely forgotten what the species [is] like mentally or physically.
Now, the overall purpose supposedly is the utilization of energy – a humanitarian project meant to bring light and warmth to millions of homes. But that intent was sabotaged because the philosophy behind it denied the validity of the very subjective values that give man his reason for living. Because those values were forgotten, life was threatened.
There are grass-roots organizations – cults, groups of every persuasion – growing up in your country as small groups of people together, once again, search for intellectual reasons to back up their innate emotional knowledge that life has meaning. These groups represent the beginnings of new journeys quite as important to the species as any sea voyage ever was as man searched for new lands.
Seeds are blown by the wind, and so reproduce their kind. Many people speculate about the physical journeys of early man from one continent to another. It is said that in “the struggle to survive” man was literally driven to expand his physical boundaries.
The true motion of the species, however, has always been psychological, or psychic if you prefer, involving the exploration of ideas. And again, the survival of the species in those terms is basically dependent upon its belief in the meaningfulness of its existence. These new cults and groups, however – these new cults and groups therefore – are following the paths of genetic wisdom, opening up new areas of speculation and belief. And if some of their present beliefs are ludicrous in the light of the intellect’s reason, in the end – because [such groups] are following the dictates of value fulfillment, however feebly – they are significant. It is easy for the intellect, as you are used to using it, to see only the antics of such groups, and they can appear ridiculous in that light.
A scientist who would threaten the very survival of life on the planet in order to increase life’s conveniences is, however, truly displaying ludicrous behavior.
The trouble with most ideas concerning evolution is that they are all one-sided – all loaded, of course, at man’s end at the expense of the other species, and [with] all thinking in terms of progress along very narrow consecutive lines. Such ideas have much to do with the way you think of yourselves, and what you consider human characteristics, and the light in which you view those who vary in one way or another from those norms.
Man needs the feeling that he is progressing, but technological progress alone represents a comparatively shallow level unless it is backed up by a growth of emotional understanding – a progression of man’s sense of being at one with himself and with the rest of the natural world.
There are people who are highly intellectually proficient, whose reasoning abilities are undisputed, and yet their considerable lack of, say, emotional or spiritual development remains largely invisible as far as your assessments are concerned. Such people are not considered retarded, of course. I will always be speaking about a balance between intuitional and reasoning abilities and, I hope, [be] leading you toward a wedding of those abilities, for together they can bring about what would certainly appear in your world to be one completely new faculty, combining the very best elements of each, but in such a fashion that both are immeasurably enhanced.
I also want to emphasize that your present beliefs limit the full and free operation of your intellects, as far as your established fields of knowledge are concerned, for science has placed so many taboos, limiting the areas of free intellectual inquiry. I am not, however, promoting dependence upon feelings above the intellect, or vice versa.
The fact remains that when you assess your fellows, you put a far greater stress upon intellectual achievement than emotional achievement. Some of you may even question what emotional achievement is, but it is highly important spiritually and biologically. Some people, who would rate quite high on any hypothetical emotional-achievement test, might very possibly under certain conditions be labeled as retarded, according to the dictates of your society. The species is at least embarked upon its journey toward emotional achievement, as it is upon the development of its intellectual capacities, and ultimately the two must go hand in hand.
A brilliant mathematician or scientist, or even an artist, or an accepted genius in any field, can be an emotional incompetent, but no one considers him as retarded. I am not speaking now of eccentric behavior on the part of, say, creative people or anyone else, but of a lack of understanding of emotional values.
Now as far as the species is concerned, all variations are necessary – and it is as if in one instance a member of the species – for its own reasons, but also on behalf of the whole – decides to specialize in one particular area, to isolate certain abilities, so to speak, and display them with the greatest tenacity and brilliance, while nearly completely ignoring certain other areas. In your society, however, the capacities of the reasoning mind have been considered in opposition to the intuitive abilities, so that your ideas of what a person is or should be largely ignore the idea of emotional achievement, emotional understanding.
Other people may be sophisticated, brilliantly aware of their own feelings and those of other people, intuitively knowledgeable in the handling of relationships, even, as adults, exquisite parents – yet they may be labeled as retarded if they do not live up to certain artificial intellectual standards. They are actually in the same position at the other end as the people mentioned earlier.
It is as if certain members of the species, for their own reasons, and again on the part of the whole, specialized this time in the use of emotional capacities. But those people are usually considered retarded.
I will have more to say about that particular issue, for I am speaking about certain cases only.
Mankind is a species that specializes in the use of the imagination, and without the imagination language would be unnecessary. Man from his particular vantage point imagines images and events that are not before his eyes. The applied use of the imagination is one of the most distinguishing marks of your species, and the imagination is your connection between the inner worlds of reality and the exterior world of your experience. It connects your emotions and your reason. All species are interconnected, so, as I said earlier, when you think you think for yourselves, you also specialize in thinking for the rest of nature, which physically sustains you.
I want to discuss reason and imagination, then, and those subtle variations that unite the two. Through doing so, I hope to give you a truer picture of your own dimension, and to continue our discussion about the gifts and seeming defects that are genetically inspired.