Very often, people tell Jacque they really like this direction, but it won’t happen because he forgot one thing. After over 70 years of working on this direction, to have people think he forgot this one thing is amazing to me. They say “you forgot about Human Nature.” So I would like to discuss this.
I would like to address the concept of environment and how it affects human behavior. The study of human behavior, in many ways, is still in it’s early stages. In all other fields of science, they look for physical relationships of cause and effect.
One of the greatest limiting factors is that we fail to apply the same methods of evaluation used in the physical sciences toward understanding human behavior.
Human behavior is just as lawful as anything else; we are not separate from nature. To our knowledge, nothing in nature is self-activating. By this, I mean that our environment influences our actions, values and shapes behavior.
When I refer to the environment, I am referring to all the interacting variables that a person is subjected to. This does not mean their home life alone but the food they eat, the books they read, the movies and TV they watch, their role models, friends, teachers, religion, and the subculture they grow up in.
Most people don’t understand just how much their values are influenced by culture.
Even notions of good and evil and concepts of morality are arrived at though our society. This method of control does not use physical force and has been so successful that we no longer recognize or feel the manipulation.
All social systems tend to perpetuate themselves. The values superimposed on us are to support the culture we are in. If nations didn’t do that they couldn’t get people to fight their wars or defend their values. Patriotism is used in this same way.
This is very important to understand. The dominant values of any social system do not come from the people. Rather, they represent the power elite such as the church, the military, the banks, and the corporations. For the most part, they determine the public agenda to serve their own interests, while they perpetuate the illusion that society’s values are determined from the ground up. They do this with such notions as Freedom, Patriotism and Democracy.
Practically all media is used to influence the national interest of the power elite. What we have all over the world is managed news, which in turn creates much of our behavior, and values.
Unfortunately, Gods and demons are still used to control behavior. Religion teaches there are good or evil people, that people are reincarnated to work through past inadequate behaviors and that children must suffer for the sins of their parents.
These notions, along with statements such as “there will always be wars and rumors of wars” and “ we shall always have the poor amongst us”, are outdated myths, making it very difficult for people to understand how their values are influenced by environment.
This situation is also true with many geneticists. They attribute behavior to genes. Dr. Gabor Mate, who is a physician in Vancouver, Canada and is also a well-known author states, “if it’s all caused by genetics, we don’t have to look at social policies; we don’t have to look at our politics that disadvantage certain minority groups, that cause them more stress, more pain, in other words, more predisposition for addictions and we don’t have to look at economic inequalities. If it’s all genes, society doesn’t have to take a hard look at its own attitudes and policies.”
He also explains that the hardcore drug addicts that he treats, without exception, are people who have had extraordinarily difficult lives. And the commonality is childhood abuse. In other words, these people all enter life under extremely adverse circumstances. This same scenario is found throughout studies in the States, as well.”
Dr. Mate claims, “unfortunately, my profession, the medical profession, puts all the emphasis on genetics rather than on the environment, which, of course, is a simple explanation. It also takes everybody off the hook. When we put people in prison, he states, we are really incarcerating them for their abusive childhood.”
The Venus Project goes further into the causes of aberrant behavior as being the entire social economic system we live under and the values it perpetuates.
The reason the science of human behavior has not been successful is that the focus has been on the individual and less on identifying the environmental conditions responsible the individual’s behavior. The idea that our efforts should concentrate on the individual alone is inadequate. If we do not identify the appropriate conditions within the environment responsible for aberrant behavior, we will continue to have our same problems.
The differences between a priest, a thief, and a banker (although I find very little difference between them) are not found in their genes, but instead reflect their environment.
For example, in ancient Roman times an entire family would go to see Christians being fed to lions. The little boy may say, “Daddy, can we come next week to see Christians being fed to lions next week?” and the father may say, “If you behavior yourself.” You may think he is insane or bad No he is not he is reflecting the society of his time.
This is just like a military man of today who is indoctrinated to kill or drop bombs and wipe out entire villages. You’d think they lose sleep over burning and killing a total village or city. This is not the case. Most of the time they are given medals and reinforced for such actions. The pilot reflects the values of his culture, just as the Roman family did.
What we call our ‘conscience’ and ‘morality’ are not inborn traits, but determined by culture, geography, and the times.
We cannot exceed our environment.
For example, if a young Jewish boy was raised as a baby in Nazi Germany, he would be a Nazi.
If you approached a headhunter saying, “Don’t you feel awful? You have 10 shrunken heads in your hut.’ and he may say “yes I do my brother has 20.’
An Eskimo can not dream of walking on a palm fringe beach if he or she has never been exposed to one in movies, books, the internet or some other way.
People also felt that if you took a baby from China and one from England and you taught them how to speak Chinese, that the baby from China would learn the language faster since his relatives for generations spoke Chinese. They actually tried this and found it was not the case, they learned at the same rate. One does not inherit acquired knowledge. It has to be learned.
One is not born with bigotry, prejudice, patriotism, greed, anger, or self-centered behavior. These are nurtured through the environment.
If someone is born with a larger brain with more neural transmitters, they can learn how to be stupid faster! It depends on whom they associate with. There is nothing in the brain that can distinguish significance or what is relevant. That is acquired by experience only.
Parents have an understanding of this when they forbid their young children to play with others they consider a bad influence. When parents want their children to become a doctor, they put them in a medical environment. When they want them to be able to build bridges, they place them in an engineering environment.
People often say, “Well, I know two children from the same family. One turned out to be a priest and the other a thief. ” If environment is everything, how do you get those differences?
You know, people have to go to school for years to be able to work on a jet engine but they let anyone raise kids. And children are far more complex than a jet engine.
Very often, parents pit one child against the other and may say to the little boy, “Why don’t you behave like your sister? Sshe picks up all her clothes and does all her homework?” When his sister falls down the stairs, there is a slight grin on the boys face. He feels he is being treated unjust. The parents create envy, jealousy and anger without even knowing it. It is never the same environment, even though children may be raised in the same household.
Our environmental influences become so ingrained in our habits, feelings and outlook that we think it is our Human Nature. Well, I want to say that there is no such thing as Human Nature. But there is Human Behavior and that has always been changing. If it couldn’t be changed, we would still be living in caves.
People often think that jealousy is part of human nature and someone once tried to back that up by saying that every time he puts his cat on his lap, the dog growls. This is easily overcome when you feed the dog a treat prior to picking up the cat. Then you’ll find every time you pick up the cat, the dog’s tail will wag. If this were innate behavior, the dog would never wag its tail under these conditions.
This is actually the same scenario as the warrior being rewarded for his kills.
When we see a dog finding people trapped in rubble from an earthquake, one may think it is a good dog. But when we see a dog bark at a cyclist riding down the street, we call it a bad dog. The dog is neither good nor bad. A dog can be trained to be ferocious, rescue people or to lead the blind. The dogs could be of the same breed, even from the same litter, but their behavior is due to the differences in training.
Our culture does not evaluate human behavior in this way. If they did, they would come to very different conclusions about how society could be run and why people behave the way they do. They would begin to ask what is it in the culture that generates greed, racism, bigotry, serial killers and other aberrant behaviors.
As I mentioned, all the blame is put on the individual instead of the culture they are raised in. If the environmental conditions that generate these values remain unaltered, in spite of the urgings of priests, the laws of politicians or the romantic words of the poets, the aberrant behaviors will persist.
Whatever better values, ideals and behavior people aspire to cannot be fully realized when there is hunger, unemployment, deprivation, war, and poverty. People deprived of income will often do whatever is necessary to provide necessities of life, if not for themselves, then for their families. Their values may be exemplary but their behavior will reflect the reality of the situation.
After World War ll, for example, even the most respectable German families could be seen fighting over scraps of food.
We will eventually understand that most criminals that fill our jails are a result of the need to acquire money and property in an age of often-contrived scarcity of the monetary system.
Children will look back and wonder why we could not see the limitation of the monetary system.
Roxanne Meadows – The Venus Project