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The Human Condition Documentary Proposal—Part 2 Soul

Recognition of the Prolonged Infancy / Nurturing Process
(Love-Indoctrination)

The central part played by the love-indoctrination process in the emergence of humans has received little or no recognition, at least in recent times. These three quotes do allude to the process: ‘the basis of all primate social groups is the bond between mother and infant. That bond constitutes the social unit out of which all higher orders of society are constructed’ (Origins, Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, 1977). ‘Man is born of love and exists by reason of a love more continuous than in any other form of life’ (anthropologist Loren Eiseley from his essay An Evolutionist Looks at Modern Man, c, 1959). ‘But, far more deeply, [the human brain] depends on the long preparation of human childhood…The real vision of the human being is the child wonder, the Virgin and Child, the Holy Family’ (The Ascent of Man, Jacob Bronowski, 1973).

While researching scientists to receive this documentary proposal we found a summary by linguist Robin Allott of some of the current biological explanations for the origins of human love. (Allott’s paper, Evolutionary Aspects of Love and Empathy, published in 1992 in the Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems [Vol.15, No.4 353-370], can be viewed at <http://cogprints.org/3393/1/lovempat.htm>.) Allott first Page 40 of
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acknowledges mechanistic science’s deep psychological denial of the subject of love, saying ‘Love has been described as a taboo subject, not serious, not appropriate for scientific study’. He then tries to define love but finds it virtually impossible to find a definition for it. He then asks ‘how did human love evolve?’ He answers that it must have evolved out of the ‘mother/infant bond’. He then, in essence, presents the ‘large-brain-caused-early-birth’ argument for the long infancy and the need for intense nurturing that human infants now expect and need that was addressed earlier in the extract from McCollister’s nurturance article. Apart from saying ‘Love then would become essential…insofar as the success of the group …depended on effective coherence of the group’, altruism, morality or training in cooperative, integrative selflessness aren’t mentionedthat is except for this one reference: ‘Amongst psychologists, Stanley Hall (see Ross, Dorothy, 1972, G. Stanley Hall: The Psychologist as Prophet) in the United States attracted a good deal of opprobrium [abuse] by making love a central topic …“altruistic love”, he suggested, developed in the course of evolution from the necessities of maternity.’

The American Granville Stanley Hall (18441924) has been described as ‘the founder of organized psychology as a science and profession, the father of child psychology, and as a national leader of educational reform in America’ (PSI Cafepsychology resource site and Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology). The reference to ‘altruistic love’ developing ‘from the necessities of maternity’ in Dorothy Ross’ book about Hall appears on page 262. Ross says that Hall was concerned with ‘constructing a synthetic view of psychology along evolutionary lines’an undertaking which Hall completed and enunciated in 1896. Relevantly, Ross says ‘an important catalyst’ in Hall’s endeavour ‘was a more popular biological treatise, Henry Drummond’s Ascent of Man, published in 1894 from his Lowell Lectures of the previous year’. Ross writes: ‘Drummond presented evolution as “the final revelation of the unity of the world” which could…“explain everything by one great end.” To Darwin’s principle of natural selection by means of the struggle for survival, he added another principle that he considered far more important“the Struggle for the Life of Others,” or “altruistic Love,” which developed in the course of evolution from the necessities of maternity. The human mother he regarded as virtually the highest product of evolution.’

Henry Drummond (18511897) was a Scottish scientist, evangelist and author. In Drummond’s 1894 book, Ascent of Man, his account of how ‘altruistic love’ developed ‘from the necessities of maternity’ is given in the chapter, The Evolution of a Mother. The following is a condensation of this chapter: ‘The…pinnacle of the temple of Nature…is…The Mammalia, THE MOTHERS…[it is] That care for others, from which the Mammalia take their name…All elementary animals are orphans…But as we draw nearer the apex of the animal kingdom, the spectacle of a protective Maternity looms into view…[the] love of offspring…Now, before Maternal Love can be evolved out of this first care…Nature must…cause fewer young to be produced at a birth…have these young…hidden…in the body…[so that they are] produced in such outward form that their Mothers will recognize them, …make them helpless so that for a time they must dwell with her…and…she…dwell with them…In the Mammal child…infancy reaches its last perfection. Housed, protected, sumptuously fed, the luxurious children keep to their Mother’s side for months and years, and only quit the parental roof when their filial education is complete…[these] drawings together of parent and child are the inevitable preliminaries of the domestication of the Human Race…On the physiological side, the name of this impelling power is lactation; on the ethical side, it is Love. And there is no escape henceforth from communion between Mother and child…Mother teaches a Child, but in a far deeper sense it is the Child who teaches the Mother…Maternity existed in humble forms [in other animals], but not yet Motherhood. To create Motherhood and all that enshrines…Tenderness, gentleness, unselfishness, love, care, self-sacrifice…required a human child …The only thing that remains now is…that they [human mother and child] shall both be kept in that school as long as it is possible…[to] give affection time to grow…No animal except Man was permitted to have his education thus prolonged…Why…The question has been answered for us by Page 41 of
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Mr. John Fiske, and the world here owes to him one of the most beautiful contributions ever made to the Evolution of Man. We know what this delay means ethicallyit was necessary for moral training that the human child should have the longest possible time by its Mother’s sidebut what determines it on the physical side?…a human brain…[where relatively speaking] no storage of habit has been handed down from the past…the higher brain is comparatively a new thing in the world…[and] are in perfect order only after a considerable interval of adjustment and elaboration. Now Infancy…means the fitting up of this extra machinery within the brain…Childhood in its early stage is a series of installations…In the savage state, where the after-life is simple, the adjustments [for life] are made with comparative ease and speed; but as we rise in the scale of civilization the necessary period of Infancy lengthens step by step until in the case of the most highly educated man, where adjustments must be made to a wide intellectual environment, the age of tutelage extends for almost a quarter of a century. The use of all this to morals, the reactions especially upon the Mother, are too obvious…A sheep knows its lamb only while it is a lamb. The affection in these cases, fierce enough while it lasts, is soon forgotten, and the traces it left in the brain are obliterated before they have furrowed into habit…To the human mother alone was given a curriculum prolonged enough to let her graduate in the school of the affections…Patience, Carefulness, Tenderness, Sympathy, and Self-Sacrifice…It may or may not be that the child will acquire its Mother’s virtue. But unselfishness has scored; its child has proved itself fitter to survive than the child of Selfishness…However short the earliest infancies, however feeble the sparks they fanned, however long heredity took to gather fuel enough for a steady flame, it is certain that once this fire began to warm the cold hearth of Nature and give humanity a heart, the most stupendous task of the past was accomplished. A softened pressure of an uncouth hand, a human gleam in an almost animal eye, an endearment in an inarticulate voicefeeble things enough. Yet in these faint awakenings lay the hope of the human race. “From of old we have heard the monition, ‘Except ye be as babes ye cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven’; the latest science now shows usthough in a very different sense of the wordsthat unless we had been as babes, the ethical phenomena which give all its significance to the phrase ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ would have been non-existent for us. Without the circumstances of Infancy we might have become formidable among animals through sheer force of sharp-wittedness. But except for these circumstances we should never have comprehended the meaning of such phrases as ‘self-sacrifice’ or ‘devotion.’ The phenomena of social life would have been omitted from the history of the world, and with them the phenomena of ethics and religion.” ’

Drummond acknowledges John Fiske as the originator of the idea of the long infancy creating a sense of morality in humans, sourcing the remarkable quote that concludes the above extract to John Fiske’s 1874 Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy: based on the Doctrine of Evolution (Vol.IV, Part II, Ch.XXII ‘Genesis of Man, Morally’, p.162).

John Fiske (18421901) was an American philosopher, historian and author. In the preface to one of his books he wrote: ‘The detection of the part played by the lengthening of infancy in the genesis of the human race is my own especial contribution to the Doctrine of Evolution’ (Through Nature to God, 1899). The following is a condensation of the ‘Genesis of Man, Morally’ chapter from Fiske’s 1874 Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy: ‘There are two things, said [Immanuel] Kant, which fill me with awe…the starry heavens above us, and the moral law within us…in the study of the moral sense we contemplate the last and noblest product of evolution…it is well to state, at the outset, that the existence of a moral sense and moral intuitions in civilized man is fully granted…emotions, leading him to seek the right and avoid the wrong… actions deemed right are those which conduce to the fulness of life of the Community…We approve of certain actions and disapprove of certain actions quite instinctively. We shrink from stealing or lying as we shrink from burning our fingers…In short, there is in our psychical structure a moral sense which is as quickly and directly hurt by wrong-doing or the idea of wrong-doing…It is now time to propose an answer to the question…How did social evolution originate?…In the permanent family we have the germ of society…while the nervous connections accompanying a simple Page 42 of
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intelligence are already organized at birth, the nervous connections accompanying a complex intelligence are chiefly organized after birth. Thus there arise the phenomena of infancy…the period during which the nerve connections…are becoming permanently established. Now this period, which only begins to exist when the intelligence is considerably complex, becomes longer and longer as the intelligence increases in complexity. In the human race it is much longer than in any other race of mammals, and it is much longer in the civilized man than in the savage. Indeed among the educated classes…it may be…more than a quarter of a century…Throughout the animal kingdom the period of infancy is correlated with feelings of parental affection…The prolongation [of infancy] must… have been gradual, and the same increase of intelligence to which it was due must also have prolonged the correlative parental feelings, by associating them more and more with anticipations and memories. The concluding phases of this long change may be witnessed in the course of civilization. Our parental affections now endure through life…I believe we have now reached a… satisfactory explanation of…Sociality…The prolongation of infancy accompanying the development of intelligence, and the correlative extension of parental feelings…The prolonged helplessness of the offspring must keep the parents together for longer and longer periods in successive epochs… primeval…family groups…differ widely…from modern families…The sociality is but nascent: infants are drowned, wives are beaten to death…in modern families evanescent barbarism shows itself in internal quarrels…Savages are not unfrequently capable of extreme devotion and self-sacrifice when the interests of the tribe are at stake…But…savage virtues are, in general, confined to the clan. The…savage…is also capable of the most fiendish cruelty…toward the members of another clan…Fijis, are exceptionally ferocious…though the savage has the germ of a moral sense, which prompts him…to postpone his personal welfare to that of his clan, he can by no means be accredited with a fully developed moral sense…In asserting that we possess an instinctive and inherited moral sense, it is not meant that we possess, anterior to education and experience, an organic preference for certain particular good actions, and an organic repugnance to certain particular bad actions. We do not inherit a horror of stealing, any more than the Hindu inherits the horror of killing cattle. We simply inherit a feeling which leads us, when we are told that stealing is wrong, to shun it, without needing to be taught that it is detrimental to society…the civilized man surpasses the lowest savage by a far greater interval than that by which the lowest savage surpasses the highest ape; just as the gulf between the cerebral capacity of the Englishman and that of the non-Aryan dweller in Hindustan is six times greater than the gulf which similarly divides the non-Aryan Hindu from the gorilla…In this new suggestion as to the causes and the effects of the prolonged infancy of man, I believe we have a suggestion as fruitful as the one which we owe to Mr. Wallace.’ The chapter then concludes with the quote Drummond used to end his dissertation.

Fiske was right in recognising the immense significance of the long infancy and resulting exceptionally maternal mothers as providing the basis for the development of a sense of morality in humans. He has recognised the basic elements of the love-indoctrination process. In 1874, only 15 years after Darwin’s The Origin of Species was published, he described it as ‘the latest science’. We see that Drummond re-emphasised Fiske’s idea in 1894, describing it as ‘another principle…far more important’ than ‘Darwin’s principle of natural selection’. Hall again re-emphasised it not long after in 1896. Then, apparently, this ‘more important’ idea than natural selection, and ‘latest science’, died, to now be rediscovered and resurrected 92 years later. Such is the magnitude of the problem of the human condition, our insecurity about our loveless stateas Allott said, love has become a subject that is ‘not appropriate for scientific study’. (The reason ‘92 years later’ is given is because the ‘love-indoctrination’ explanation was first published in Free: The End of The Human Condition in January 1988. In fact in December 1983 an 8,000 word summary of Free: The End of The Human Condition was personally submitted to John Maddox, the then editor of Nature magazine, considered the leading science journal in the world, and to Colin Tudge, the then Features Editor of New Scientist magazine in London. Both declined Page 43 of
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to publish the article, with Maddox saying the concept of integrative meaning arising from Negative Entropy ‘is wrong’ [transcript of 15 Dec. 1983 meeting with Maddox]. Maddox, now Sir John Maddox, wouldn’t allow the argument to progress to ‘base one’, to ‘get off the ground’. Mechanistic science has prided itself in being rigorousrigorous in denying/ blocking any information that brings the human condition into focus. The importance of this documentary in opening up debate about the human condition can be appreciated when it is seen how embedded in denial the established institutions are. There is an ‘elephant’ in mechanistic science’s ‘living room’ and no one is talking about it. Mechanistic scientists are just having fun now, playing around in what is essentially a dead institution, one that has passed its ‘used by’ date.)

There are deficiencies in Fiske’s explanation of the origin of our morality, which is not surprising given the newness and scarcity of scientific knowledge in his time. ‘Prolonged infancy’ didn’t ‘accompany the development of intelligence’; rather, as will be explained in Part 3, prolonged infancy, and the nurturing of selflessness, liberated consciousness, which only strongly developed after the love-indoctrination process was completed. As was pointed out with McCollister’s explanation of how we became human, the large brain didn’t develop until after the extended infancy and intense nurturing took place as evidenced by the bonobos, who don’t have a very large brain, but are intensely nurturing and are already neotenous.

How the trained love became instinctive is particularly unclear. While Drummond is specific about how the instinct for strong nurturing affections of tenderness, self-sacrifice, etc became instinctive in mothers, he doesn’t say the selfless qualities become instinctive in the offspring. In fact Drummond says, ‘It may or may not be that the child will acquire its Mother’s virtue.’ On this matter, Fiske begins by saying, ‘We [humans] approve of certain actions and disapprove of certain actions quite instinctively. We shrink from stealing or lying as we shrink from burning our fingers’ and ‘there is in our psychical structure a moral sense’. However he later says: ‘In asserting that we possess an instinctive and inherited moral sense, it is not meant that we possess, anterior to education and experience, an organic preference for certain particular good actions, and an organic repugnance to certain particular bad actions. We do not inherit a horror of stealing, any more than the Hindu inherits the horror of killing cattle. We simply inherit a feeling which leads us, when we are told that stealing is wrong, to shun it, without needing to be taught that it is detrimental to society.’ This last quote seems to imply that Fiske believes the extent of our instinctive conscience doesn’t go beyond a kind of predisposition to acquiring a conscience, this despite having said, ‘We approve of certain actions and disapprove of certain actions quite instinctively.’

It is clear that both Fiske and Drummond have difficulty reconciling humans’ recent morality-defying, upset, corrupted statethe fact that people can be extremely brutal and aggressivewith the view that we have moral instincts. They attempt to resolve the problem by saying these instincts for love have only emerged in relatively recent times within ‘civilized’ people who have a fading, ‘evanescent barbarism’, despite the fact this theory does not allow anything like sufficient time for altruistic training to become instinctive. Drummond says: ‘In the savage state, where the after-life is simple, the adjustments [for life] are made with comparative ease and speed; but as we rise in the scale of civilization the necessary period of Infancy lengthens step by step until in the case of the most highly educated man, where adjustments must be made to a wide intellectual environment, the age of tutelage extends for almost a quarter of a century.’ Fiske similarly notes that infancy ‘is much longer in the civilized man than in the savage. Indeed among the educated classes…it may be…more than a quarter of a century.’ He proceeds to say: ‘primeval…family groups…differ widely…from modern families …The sociality is but nascent: infants are drowned, wives are beaten to death…in modern families evanescent barbarism shows itself in internal quarrels…Savages are not unfrequently capable of Page 44 of
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extreme devotion and self-sacrifice when the interests of the tribe are at stake…But…savage virtues are, in general, confined to the clan. The…savage…is also capable of the most fiendish cruelty… toward the members of another clan…Fijis, are exceptionally ferocious…though the savage has the germ of a moral sense, which prompts him…to postpone his personal welfare to that of his clan, he can by no means be accredited with a fully developed moral sense.’

Overall, what Fiske and Drummond are unaware of is what happened since we acquired an instinctive orientation to cooperative integration, namely the intervention of the immensely upsetting battle of the human condition (to be explained in Part 4); innocent, completely integrated man was the australopithecines who lived from 5 to 2 million years ago.

Fiske’s claimed moral superiority of ‘civilized’ people and ‘cerebral capacity’ comparisons between the ‘Aryan’ ‘Englishman’ and the ‘Hindustan’ are false and morally abhorrent. As will be explained in Part 4, civility is the mask humans have used to conceal the full extent of our upset, human condition-afflicted state. Indeed, to some degree, the more upset we have become, the greater need we have had for civility. There are significant differences in alienation between individual humans and between races of humans arising from their different encounters with the necessary and heroic, but upsetting, battle of the human condition (see Part 4), but no human or race is ‘better’ than or ‘superior’ to another. Understanding of the necessary but upsetting battle of the human condition eliminates the concept of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ from all conceptualisation of ourselves.

Before finishing this section on the ‘Recognition of the Love-Indoctrination Process’, it should be mentioned that some initiatives have been established to counter mechanistic science’s state of denial of the issue of altruistic love. In particular the John Templeton Foundation, which annually awards the Templeton Prize for ‘increasing man’s understanding of God’ (The Templeton Prize, Vol.3, 19881992, p.108 of 153), recently provided an $8 million grant to the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. The Foundation was established in 2001 and is headed by bioethicist and author Stephen G. Post, co-editor of the 2002 book, Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue. Post has noted ‘that more than 100,000 scientific studies have been published on depression and schizophrenia [the negative aspects of human nature], but no more than a dozen good studies have been published on unselfish love’ (Science & Theology News, Feb. 2004). Clearly the extent of the insecurity of our human condition is phenomenal and until we could understand ourselves it was simply too dangerous to confront ourselves.