Hatred and ignorance are narcotics. Literally. Our amygdala is stimulated when we engage these concepts because they're general concepts, which inherently stimulates the instinctive, primitive brain. I've been told in war you need to be primitive. If you see your enemy as an individual with a family and life goals, it'll be much harder--if not impossible--to pull the trigger at the most effective time, or even at all. I've read that if you see your enemy as a nameless assailant, it'll be easier, and easier still if you deem them a different species. Thus, hatred and ignorance are excellent tools to make killing easier because they provide negative energy toward eliminating what your primitive amygdala has deemed a threat to your survival.
Back home in peace time, you'd think the primitive mind wouldn't be relied upon. Why would we need it anyway? Negative energy and emotions just fester a target-orientation, instead of an alternative (optimistic) orientation. To paraphrase Rush Dozier in Why We Hate, "Optimism entails specificity, and pessimism entails generality." To operate with generalities doesn't mean we utilize universal, abstract principles, yet lump categories together for blanket-treatment. These all look/smell/feel the same, so each is simply representative of the other. Generality connotes an interchangeability of things: White people have abused power in the past, so watch out for them in the future. This is general-thinking and primitive, and due to the fact that it's devoid of specific evidence, it takes the form of a conclusion. This is one of the biggest detriments to the primitive mind, because it prevents further investigation. Negative energy is solo-conductive, in that it festers the energy within itself without incorporating outside stimulate to judge, change, or clarify it.
Unfortunately negative, primitive concepts are still prevalent in this civilization's peace time. Things like child rape, spouse abuse, racism, sexism, gender-expression prejudice, bullying, religious prosyletism, and hatred/destruction of nature exist as a matter of course, and looking at them in relation to war--where the amygdala has a function--I see no use or relevance for them in peace time. The explanation I'm left with is that so many of us promote the false-power surge felt when engaging the amygdala that the phenomena works its way into our language and vernacular and becomes communicated to others. How else do you convert someone to such a self-enclosed network of primitivity? We communicate it via nuance, and our kids pick it up. Our friends learn it. The un-judged repetition reinforces our own negativity within us, fortifying the darkness.
We need to figure out how not to have the general fight-or-flight response of soldiers, in peace time. Where their response is valid because it preserves their psyche and allows them to complete their goals so they can get out of there, our incorporation of negative primitivity in "normal" society isn't even valid. If society is a collective of people with somewhat similar interests and conditions, then negative emotions like hatred and ignorance have no functional place. That is, unless we admit exerting power over others is a primary operative mechanism.
Then the conversation changes completely.
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