You are hereA2 Psychology / Fear - the primary driver of behavior
Fear - the primary driver of behavior
Fear – driver of behavior
"Have you ever thought about how the world can use what you’ve discovered?"
“Sure. They can straighten out all the psychological problems.”
"Right. Just go straighten everyone out. This psychology stuff is so complex, I don’t think anyone but you can understand it."
“Come on Nanook. I’m not such a genius. I just stumbled on this stuff. But you’re missing something. Sure there’s a lot of complexity to the 3-brains and how they interact. BUT! In the end, the structure I’ve discovered resolves to a pretty simple equation.”
“Yes it does. Think! Humans in society; need for control.”
"Oh yeah. Now I remember: FEAR."
"Exactly. And if you remember, I also told you FEAR IS THE PRIMARY DRIVER OF BEHAVIOR.”
"Yeah. I remember that. But you sound like you think this is a much bigger issue than I’m making it out to be."
"It is! It’s a huge issue. I’m trying to tell you, IT’S THE PRIMARY DRIVER OF BEHAVIOR.
OK. OK. This is still not going into your head. Let me state this in other words. If you find humans doing anything with raised anger or blind drive or severe depression, you should first look to FEAR for the answer. If you don’t find the answer there, next, in a distant second place, try LOVE. If you don’t get an answer there, go back to FEAR and figure out what you missed.”
"OK. OK. I get it."
“This is really important. Now that we’ve gone through the 3-brain discussion and the A-square discussion, let’s go back into FEAR a little more so you can REALLY get a sense for how important it is.
Fear comes in two forms: one is a fear of loosing what we have; the other is a fear that we might not get something we want. But both of these still come from one key point: FEAR OF DEATH. This is a primary concern for all three brains.
Hulk’s primary function is to keep the body alive and to project it, through reproduction, into the next generation. While Hulk appears to be coasting when things are going well, he is constantly vigilant for the slightest change. Any of the elements on Maslow’s hierarchy that get out of range will bring out the monster I named Hulk after, to defend you - literally, to the death. The issues Hulk is responsive too, are mostly objective. You don’t have air, you are low on fluids, you are cold.
Grim’s primary function is the same. Grim just performs the function based on learned information, rather than inherited information. Grim remembers circumstances that hurt you - for example, if you get burned. If circumstances arise that can cause the pain to occur again, Grim will fill you with fear.
Grim also works on the cultural level, and responds to a lot of subjective issues. Grim can decide that your job is threatened because you said the wrong thing in a memo. It’s response: fill you with fear. How was this done? Grim remembered that, in the past, saying the wrong thing led to discipline against you, or even to someone you knew. He remembered that discipline caused loss of a job. He remembered that loss of a job resulted in loss of financial savings and many nights with just scraps of food. Grim remembered that nights without food led to PAIN, i.e. severe stomach cramps, which were obviously the work of Mr. Hulk. So, writing something in a memo that Grim has stored as a “wrong thing”, can result in stomach cramps, even if you just ate. Why? Because Grim also remembered that when you felt those cramps, you got going and did something to stop them. So, to get a head start, Grim will send you cramp feelings.”
"And you’re saying this all ultimately is being driven by a fear of death."
"Exactly. And I’m trying to get you to see this because once you do, you’ll be able to explain a large amount of human psychology.
Thinker brain is also afraid of death. Of course, he handles it at a much higher conceptual level. Thinker is able to understand war, fighting and conflict. So, Thinker can work out very complex strategies to protect you.”
"OK. I get it. But while I never thought about it this way before, it doesn’t seem so hard to understand. Why is it such a big deal to you?"
"Because, MOST people, including psycs, don’t realize this. They don’t relate human conflict and mental problems back to this simple cause. And when they don’t see fear of death as the driver, they go and make up other things. Before long, the world is seen as full of all kind of demons that aren’t really there.”
"Ahhh! Now I get your point. You’re saying, unless we really understand how strong the basic fear of death is inside of us, and how our brains deal with it, hearsay and superstition can easily lead us to blame other causes."
"Exactly. And when we go blaming incorrect causes, we get erratic therapy. BUT, much more important than that, this problem doesn’t only affect individuals who have mental problems. It affects EVERY ELEMENT OF OUR SOCIETY in the most complex and convoluted ways. The sad thing about this is that society has been repeated told this throughout history. Here. Let me read from Neitzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, page 65.”
- “Who has looked deep into the world can well understand the wisdom that lies in the fact that men are superficial. It is their instinct for self-preservation that teaches them to take things lightly, to skim over the surface, to be false."
"It is their NATURE!"
“Exactly! Let me give you just one example.
Starving people example of fear of death
Let’s say there is a homeless problem in your city. People are on the streets starving. Do you see how the fear of death might be affecting them?”
"Sure. They don’t have enough food. So, their Hulk brain is flooding them with hunger pains. And I know how bad that can be. I mean, not from experiencing it myself. Sure, I’m a growing kid and I get hungry a lot. But I’ve read about people on the street. They said once the hunger REALLY set in, they were delirious. They would do almost anything to get food – rob, attack people, anything."
"Exactly. That’s pretty straight forward. Now let’s look at the complications. Would you go down and bring them food?”
"Well, sure . . . I guess."
"Come on now. Be honest about this. Really think about it. There is no city in the country that doesn’t have starving people. Have you gone out and fed these people?”
"Well, no. I mean . . . . "
"Yeah? Why not?”
"Well, I guess, I never thought it was my job."
"Then who’s job was it?”
"Hmmm. . . I don’t know. Maybe a church. Or maybe the government."
"OK. But obviously, the job wasn’t getting done. So, don’t you have an obligation to make sure both of these organizations are doing their job?”
"Well???? But why would they listen to me?"
"Because you’d march into their meetings and disrupt things and demand that they do something, and you’d keep doing that until they started acting on the problem.”
"Well, I wouldn’t do that."
"Because, it would get me in trouble."
"So what. What kind of trouble?”
"Well, if I caused enough commotion, I’d get thrown in jail."
"Fine. So what?”
"Right. So what. What’s wrong with jail?”
"What? What’s wrong with jail?"
"Correct. What’s wrong with jail?”
"Ahh! I see where you’re going with this. You’re asking me why am I afraid to go to jail? What’s the fear?"
"OK. Let’s think about it. If I’m in jail, then I’ve lost my freedom. My education is being wasted. My life is being lost. I couldn’t be part of a family. I couldn’t nurture kids to the next generation. So, I might as well be dead. Hmmm . . . so, you’re saying my brains all know this. And dead is NOT something I want to happen."
"Exactly. And even though there is a long string of cause and effect, each of these effects points back to a cause that eventually leads back to a fear of death. Now, I will admit, I chose this example because it has a long and winding path. But I wanted you to see that even with that long path, the end was going to be the same.”
"OK. I see that. But how does it help us to understand the fear of death issue for this example?"
"It helps because it points us to REALITY to solve the problem. If you didn’t trace this to a fear of death, you would have substituted some other cause. In fact, you actually did, right from the start before I got you back on the trail. You told me it was someone else’s problem.”
"Right. But in a society, each of us doesn’t have to take responsibility for everything, do we?"
" . . . . . . . . . “
"Well? Do we?"
" . . . . . . . . . “
It was obvious he wasn’t about to answer the question.
"OK. I can see where this is going. Sure, theoretically, in a society, responsibilities are divided. But that ASSUMES that the society is functional – that all of its parts are working like they should. But what happens if they aren’t? Then who holds the responsibility?"
"Exactly. When a society becomes corrupt, when the roles break down, then everyone has to pick up the whole load again. Everyone has to accept responsibility for EVERYTHING. Does that make sense?”
"Yeah. I understand that. It doesn’t mean each of us actually has to do everything. We can’t. But it does mean we have to take responsibility for what we choose to do. So, if people are starving to death in the streets, and we choose not to feed them, then we carry part of the responsibility for their suffering and death.
**Bleeding heart – fear of death
And now I see that this explains what Ben called the bleeding heart problem. Ben said to talk to you about that and how it relates to fear."
“Right he is. The driver of bleeding heart logic is fear. When people have a severe trauma in their life, especially involving pain, Grim records it. When that experience is triggered, the person is thrown into a fight or flight conflict. If the person is weak on A3 skills, all they have to consult is their Single Sentence Logic view of the word. The higher the level of fear driving them, the more narrow view they will take to solve the problem because the high pain is seeking a quick solution.”
"I get it. And this is the model for people who choose to fight, right?
“Exactly! Blind focus on a quick solution to relieving the pain.”
"What if they choose to run? I guess that means, they’ve abdicated responsibility?"
“Exactly! But understand the details. They’ve abdicated responsibility for the care of OTHERS. They haven’t abdicated responsibility for self preservation.”
"And why make that distinction?
“Because it explains what appears as a very strange human behavior: why conservative voters keep demanding less government. Our current society is way too complex to let it be guided by individual decisions. But many people don’t have much A3 ability. Therefore, they can’t comprehend a larger picture. These are the conservatives. They can’t envision the workings of a complex society. So they can’t envision how to fix it. But their fears keep haunting them. So they chose the FLIGHT response. The run away from organization. They run toward what they perceive as FREEDOM.”
"Ah! Now I see. And for them, freedom is satisfying because their middle and thinker brains equate freedom with CONTROL. Wow! This does simplify things a lot doesn’t it?"
"Exactly! You’re catching on. So, let’s see if you can use the model to think through a problem. What would this say about a person who has struck it rich in the stock market and sits at home watching a big screen TV while people are starving?”
**Fear and Seven Deadly Sins
First six sins
"Wow! Clear as a bell: the Seven Deadly Sins!
"EXACTLY! And with all we’ve said, can you now finger the root cause behind the Seven Deadly Sins?”
" Yep! Clear as a bell. My guess . . . for the $64,000 prize: – THE FEAR OF DEATH!"
"Well done. And more profound than you realize. So for the fat cat with the big screen TV, let’s take them from the top.”
Pride. The benefit of pride is an association with others, either directly, or through things that they value. A major benefit of association is protection. So, check, fear of death.
Greed. The benefit of greed is accumulation of some asset. The benefit of accumulation of assets is having resources during times of shortage. Resources during a shortage can keep you alive. So, check, fear of death.
“What about the greed for power?”
"Hmmmmm . . . Sure. That’s simple. Someone who has power is able to stave off threats that could kill him. Which reminds me. Father V said to ask you about that. He used a quote from Nietzsche. "
“Sure! Let me get that. Here it is.”
“The physiologists should take heed before they assume self-preservation as the cardinal drive of an organic being. Above all, a living thing wants to discharge its energy: life as such is: will to power.”
“Scientists keep saying that evolution is driven by the desire for procreation. But the primitive Hulk brain is not able to comprehend time. Understanding procreation would require understanding the multiple events and long time periods involved. Hulk takes a much simpler approach. Over eons of time, he has evolved to drive for specific actions that cause a new life to be started. This is what leads to lust. This is what Nietzsche figured out. His extension to power can be understood in a similar way.”
"Interesting. Lust. All animals are driven to sex for reproduction. They are driven to it, by Hulk, when they don’t have enough of it. But I think you just explained that, for lust, the fear that the genetic line of that person will end is really an indirect fear."
"Anger. People usually get angry when they are afraid of something. Father V said anger was the emotional process that converted fear into violence. So, one step removed, but still, fear of death.
Gluttony. An over compensation for the fear of starvation. Check.
Envy. Someone else has something you don’t have. This triggers your greed on a relative basis. What catastrophe are they aware of that they are ready for, that you aren’t. Fear of death.
Sloth. Ugh??? Hmmm. . . I don’t know."
"Yeah. Sloth is a tough one. It’s not like the others. It actually has a number of causes.
For the first answer, let’s turn to a psychologist named Martin Seligman. He wrote a book called Learned Optimism. Despite the title, the book primarily describes a major way that people can become discouraged with life and depressed. This he calls LEARNED PESSIMISM. Experiments with dogs were done with electric shocks. They found that if the dogs were trapped in a way that they could not reduce or escape FROM the shocks, eventually they just lay down, took the pain and mostly ignored them.
The way I interpret this, in 3-brain language, is that, not being able to find a way to stop the pain, Grim creates a DENIAL tape. When the shock occurs, the denial tape is run which blocks the pain. The denial is a fantasy, just as we see in Narcissistic Trauma Syndrome or the blocking of traumatic memories. The pain signal is just ignored. So to me, many of the actions we would call sloth or laziness are a learned depression caused by a person avoiding some traumatic situation in their past. This laziness is usually not related to the current situation. So if your mother asks you to do something, BUT you keep slacking off because you are depressed, you will be seen as being lazy.”
"Very interesting. Externally, we don’t see a sign that the person is actually avoiding a death threat because what we see is a reaction to something that is happening currently. But if we were able to read what was going on in all three brains, we would see that the brains set up a protection scheme to a significant threat in the past: i.e. fear of death."
"Right. But be more specific. How does setting up this mental protection scheme help protect a person?”
"OK. When the traumatic situation was actually happening, other harmful events could also be happening. So Grim needs to stay alert for those as well. So, maybe this response is done to reduce the distraction of a trauma that a person can’t control."
"Exactly. This is a typical pain response for traumatic pain. There tends to be a sharp initial response that puts the body on alert. The pain is then masked so the body can respond to other things. The pain then comes back periodically to remind the person to do something about the injury. Over time, the pain comes and goes.”
"So, let me ask you a question about this. Ben made a very strong case for the failure of socialism. One of the factors was laziness in people. He convinced me that without strong incentives, people would not push themselves to do very much. So, don’t you think there is some fundamental biology behind laziness?
"If by fundamental biology, you mean laziness is wired into animals, and specifically humans - no, I don’t think so. Sure, we can make a case that under conditions of scarcity, it is important for animals to minimize their energy output, or to rest after putting out a lot of exertion. There is also a large range in animal behavior from otters, who never seem to calm down, to gators that don’t seem to do anything they don’t have to do. But that surely doesn’t explain the motivational failure in socialism. No. I think what you are seeing that describes social laziness, especially in socialism, is LEARNED PESSIMISM. Most healthy children are full of energy. That energy is squashed by social restrictions – don’t make so much noise; stop running around; don’t cause any problems. As children grow, they respond to this by seeking acceptable channels for their energy. They also seek channels that respond positively to their Seven Deadly Sins drives – pride, greed etc. But our society does not really support individual initiative and creativity. The power structure limits and controls initiative for its own gain. The result is that the huge potential of the human race is repeatedly shocked into submission. People try, but can’t find ways to excel. So they pull back in despair.”
"OK. That makes sense. At least for socialism."
“No, NO! This applies to capitalism and democracy as well. A sad part of this is how long humans have known about it, and still remain in denial about it. Let me read a short piece from a book called The Poor Laws written by Joseph Townsend in 1786:
“To a man of common sensibility nothing can be more distressing than to hear the complaints of wretchedness, which he hath no power to redress, and to be daily conversant with misery, which he can neither fly from nor relieve. …
The Poor Laws, so beautiful in theory, promote the evils they mean to remedy and aggravate the distress they were intended to relieve . . .
MOTIVATION – what encouragement have the poor to be industrious and frugal, when they know for certain, that should they increase their share it will be devoured by the drones? Or what cause have they to fear, when they are assured, that if by their indolence and extravagance, by their drunkenness and vices, they should be reduced to want, they shall be abundantly supplied, not only with food and raimament, but with their accustomed luxuries at the expense of others. The poor know little of the motives which stimulate the higher ranks to action – pride, honor and ambition. In general it is only hunger which can spur and goad them on to labor; yet our laws have said, they shall never hunger.”
"Interesting. Father Vincent read that to me."
“And, you did note the date, right? 1786! This is not new knowledge for our society.
And don’t lose the fear connection here. True, humans are not put in cages and given electrical shocks. But they are put in the equivalent of mental cages and shocked by a fear of some type, like the loss of a job.”
"So how do you explain laziness in capitalist society?"
"But ... but … I mean, our society isn’t anything like that. Individual initiative and creativity are the keys to the American dream. We hear about it all the time."
"Nanook. You’ve been brainwashed. It’s a big lie. Sure, there is more opportunity in America than in socialist countries. But the opportunity for initiation and creativity we have is only a fraction of what people are capable of. The culture in this country keeps the average person locked into a system of endless marginal improvement that gives just a few people power and super wealth.”
"Here’s this story again. What you’re saying, which is what Ben said, is that while we’ve thrown away the titles of Kings and Dukes, western society has just recreated the power structure that supported those titles based on new titles."
"Exactly. Sure, the ‘formally stated’ imbalance of power between Kings and subjects was greater in the past than it is today between the government, business barons and the working people. But it is not less in practice. When the world goes into a financial crisis, only a handful of people gather together to decide how it will be resolved. They use public money to resolve the crisis. They ALWAYS make sure that THEY and their FRIENDS are protected. The average people always pay for it – some dying of hunger or lack of a place to live.
We are brainwashed to always refer to our country as a DEMOCRACY. It isn’t a democracy. It’s a REPUBLIC. The people don’t elect the president. They elect representatives who then elect the president. But the process for electing all these people is very well scripted. These same people decide who we are going to get to vote for and what the issues will be that we get to vote on. They decide how taxes will be set, who get’s health insurance, how social security is run and on and on. Average people are only allowed to ‘take initiative’ as long as it feeds cash to the upper levels and maintains a structure where there is an upper level.”
Laziness in the U.S.
"I still don’t believe this kind of oppression can be so rampant in the U.S. . . . that it can cause . . . almost a plague of laziness."
“OK. Let me be more specific with some examples so you can see how extensive this is. Why don’t you name some cases that you think are generally believed to be examples of laziness.”
"Sure. Union workers; people who work for the government; people on welfare; rich people; and kids of rich people."
Union and government workers
"Good list. So let’s talk about union workers and people who work for the government. This is essentially the fear driven ‘socialism’ problem. In these cases, people are just cogs in a wheel. The defining element is the JOB. It’s not the person. The job is very narrowly defined. And the leadership is selected for loyalty and political reasons, without regard to creative ability. So, when a person tries to express high initiative, they are attacked and penalized by either their less ambitious co-workers or management. Given all the rules that apply to jobs like these, you very quickly have the ‘electrically shocked dog’ result. Then add in another factor. The unions are driven to get the MAXIMUM reward for each job position. Sounds reasonable, if you stop at Single Sentence Logic! But what happens when they run up against a finite limit to payroll based on company profitability?”
"Hmmm . . . Weird. To maximize this function, if you can’t push the top side up, you have to push the bottom side down."
"Exactly. So once the maximum salary for a given position is reached, the only way to improve this reward ratio is to dumb down the jobs. This means that the performance on all those jobs is determined by the weakest performers. Anyone who tries to do better will get penalized by the weaker workers.”
"Hmmm. So to be socially accepted in a position like this, you have to purposely hold back?"
"OK. But what about a situation where there is only one clerk, like at a motor vehicle office. They don’t have people holding them back. Why should they be so slow."
"You’re thinking with Single Sentence Logic again. No man is an island, right? Remember, that clerk’s job is defined by thousands of jobs just like it at other locations. So a person with high ambitions only has very little wiggle room. For example, they can handle more customers in the same amount of time, but they can’t decide to simplify the paperwork. Even then, if the bean counters spot the higher production rate, they will use it to criticize other locations. The other locations will then put the pressure on the higher performer to back off. So, eventually, the higher performer will quit. This will keep happening until the job gets filled with a low performer.”
"But I’m sure there are exceptions."
"That’s true. And they are worth studying. But laziness is the rule, which is why you were so quick to point that group out.
So now let’s talk about people on welfare. Who are these people?”
"Well, they’re poor people to begin with, I guess. So they don’t have any money saved up. Then they lose their jobs and have nothing to fall back on while they find other work."
"So, shouldn’t unemployment cover this?”
"Not if the people are living too close to poverty to begin with."
"So, how did they get into this mess in the first place?”
"That’s a good question. I came from a middle class family. Most of my relatives were the same. We didn’t have any fancy things. But all of the family seemed to have a very positive view of life. They trusted society. And when rough spots came along, they helped each other and found new ways to do things. My father always told stories about the depression and how bad things got. But they always found ways to make enough money to get by."
"Would you consider your father a smart guy?”
"Yeah! For sure. Between him and his brothers, I think they could do just about anything. Plumbing, carpentry, tile work, stone work - you name it, they could do it. They were all active in the town, and the town was a very progressive and growing place."
"And what was his philosophy about work for you?”
"Pretty simple: work hard and there will always be a spot for you. Do well in school."
"Did he ever talk about welfare?”
"Sure. He didn’t believe in it. He always said the people on welfare were just lazy. There was always work to be done and people could always find a job. He said these people thought the government owned them a living."
"I’d say, that’s a pretty good description of the situation. Now let’s see how that squares with learned pessimism.”
"Hmmm . . . I see what you mean. What if these people came from a very poor environment where there wasn’t any work. What if the kids grew up and tried to do things, but kept getting turned down. After a while, you’re saying they would learn to just give up."
"Exactly. And, if the theory observed in dogs crosses over into humans, this is a major mental shift. So, it doesn’t easily go away. In order to change it, it almost takes an equally traumatic process to shift it back.”
"OK. I understand your point. But why do these people also always seem to be so angry, and so demanding that they get taken care of?"
"Let me reread a paragraph from Maslow. Let’s see . . . Page 37:”
- “If all the needs are unsatisfied, and the organism is then dominated by the physiological needs, all other needs may become simply nonexistent or be pushed into the background. It is then fair to characterize the whole organism by saying simply that it is hungry, for consciousness is almost entirely preempted by hunger. All capacities are put into the service of hunger-satisfaction… Capacities not useful for this purpose lie dormant. …. "
"So, you’re saying if the environment becomes too oppressive, people actually loose the mental ability to organize higher levels of thinking."
"Exactly. And the ability to achieve those higher levels of thinking are needed for the development of social skills.”
"But I’ve seen this behavior in people that did have plenty of food, clothes and shelter."
"You’re being too rigid in setting what you think is a level of basic needs. In a society, you have to take into account social status. Let me read from Maslow again. Page 61:”
- “… we tend to take for granted the blessings we already have, especially if we don’t have to work or struggle for them …[ food, security, love, admiration, freedom…Maslow calls this “value pathology”.] … affluence can make possible either growth to loftier levels of human nature, or the various forms of “value pathology”… “
"So, you think because I have somehow not experienced the level of deprivation of some people, I can’t understand how they reacted?"
"Well, it’s not that you can’t understand it. I think you can, let’s say, academically. But you surely can’t feel the sensations related to it if you haven’t experienced it.”
"OK. I’ll buy that. But you still haven’t said why they think they deserve to be given welfare without having to work for it?"
"This is a behavior called ENTITLEMENT.”
"Ah ha! Father Vincent talked about that in relation to Greed."
"Well, there can be an element of greed involved that exaggerates the behavioral issues. But I’m going to cast the basis here back to fear. In our culture, the political establishment has learned that people respond much more strongly to promises of betterment and success, than honest descriptions of poor conditions. So, they LIE. In an election, you are always going to hear how the government is going to take care of everyone. This is the socialist pitch again. This is especially damaging to people who are less sophisticated thinkers. They don’t know how to analyze all the complexity, so they TRUST the leaders. They trust too much. When that trust is betrayed, the people are likely to find themselves in serious financial situations. That means starvation, being out in the cold, being sick without care.”
"In SHORT - deprived of basic needs. In SHORT - I’m going to die."
"Exactly! And thereby mentally thrown into survival thinking. Continuing with Maslow. Page 64:”
- “If it is easy to accept basic need frustration as one determinant of hostility, it is quite easy to accept … basic need gratification, as an a-priori determinant of … friendliness."
"So, what you get is hostility, plus a DEMAND for things promised.”
"OK. I’ll buy it."
“Now let’s talk about rich people and their kids. It’s ironic to be exploring laziness for both the very poor and the very rich, don’t you think?”
"Hmmm . . . I guess."
“But in the case of rich people, there are two very different dynamics at work which largely depend on whether the wealth they have was earned or not.
Rich who earned their money
For those who earned their money, I think what you are interpreting to be laziness is not that at all. Because of their wealth, they can do pretty much what they want and in their own way. That seldom conforms to social customs.”
"Hold on a second. Why would that be so?"
"For a couple of reasons. One is that the average person has to do a lot of things in life that they don’t want to do. This is both all the menial labor to keep their houses and daily lives going, as well as similar jobs to keep society going. The wealthy don’t have to do any of that. In fact, they are stigmatized because they pay the poor to do that kind of work instead. Second, given their ability to escape a regular work schedule, they have more time to explore their interests. They can then focus larger blocks of time to develop those interests. Following those interests makes them different than the average person.”
“So, the rich often keep their activities out of sight and keep a low profile in public. When the world observes that public low profile, they interpret it as laziness.”
"I can also see that our culture is probably jealous of rich peoples ability to follow their interests. So they are applying the word laziness to the things rich people do out of spite."
“Exactly. And there’s a simple explanation for that. Keeping up the daily grind is a big effort for most people. When they get a chance to relax, that’s when they play with their special interests. If they rebel from their chores and slack off, the thing that they turn to is these other interest – which might be swimming in the old water hole or fishing or hanging out with friends. But the authoritarian religious model doesn’t condone this. So it is made a BAD thing. That’s where the ‘LAZY’ word comes in – idleness being the work of the devil and all that.”
"But it is! It’s right in the 10 Commandments!"
"It is? Which one?”
"Hmmm . . . I am the …. Thou shalt not … Remember thou … … … I guess it isn’t one. I was so sure . . ."
"One of the Seven Deadly Sins, yes. But, ironically, the Seven Deadly Sins and the 10 Commandments don’t have much in common. So, in short, what we see in rich people who have earned their money the hard way is not laziness, but non-conformance and self protection. They are just busy doing things that don’t fit in with social norms.”
"OK. Hang on here. This is an important point. You’re saying, what society defines as laziness, can be just not going along with the flow?"
“Exactly. The people who control society want the other people following the RULES. They leaders want control. They’ve brainwashed the average person into accepting that. When people don’t follow the rules, they get branded with bad words. Lazy is one of them.”
"So, if some rich guy decides he’s taking his boat and going fishing, people are going to call him lazy."
“Exactly. Because he’s not doing things like building a business, that would put money into the hands of the rich bankers and wealthy church leaders.”
"But if I go fishing, no one could care less."
“Well, not exactly. You are a pawn in the same game, only at a different level. Sure, you can go fishing on Saturday, for example, but not in place of going to school. If you did that, you’d be labeled as lazy.”
"Ah! Now I see it. What we are told is that we are going to school for, quote, "our own good". But we don’t get to judge what our own good is. We are led by the system to do things that are productive to the system."
“Exactly. And if you don’t fall in line, the system will severely penalize you.
Now, think about those people who got their money through inheritance or luck. I also want to divide them into two groups. One group is those who get their money later in life. They’ve already matured before they get the money. The second is the kids who are born into it.
Late age Inherited wealth
In the first case, there is an observation that seems very ironic. Substantial studies have shown that when people inherit wealth later in life, they don’t change all that much. Above a certain level of income, which isn’t much greater than what they were usually earning, greater amounts of wealth don’t increase happiness or change people much.”
"I find that hard to believe. Everyone I know talks about all these dreams they would follow if they had the money."
“That’s the common belief. But it doesn’t happen in reality. Sure, there’s a phase of rash expenditures. This is what the public sees. The newly wealthy usually use their money to cast off responsibilities that they didn’t want to face up to before, but HAD TO, to stay alive. They excessively do the things that before were quote ‘luxuries’. This quickly comes to an end. First off, they soon find they are being thrown into a world they don’t understand. This brings a bunch of scary new stresses into their lives. Secondly, after two straight months on the gold course, it doesn’t seem like a BREAK in their other wise hum drum work life. It starts to seem like a new DEMAND. They have to get up by a certain time, drive the same road, sign in at the same desk, walk the same ground.
So, they fall back on old ways to recover. In the end, if they are LUCKY, they are essentially the same people they were before they got the money with a slight reduction in stress.”
"OK. I can see that. And the ‘unlucky’ ones end up in tragedy."
“Exactly. And where have we pin-pointed LAZINESS in this description?”
"Right! If anywhere, it’s society’s being jealous of the ability of money to throw off the daily routine. Which is, again, the brainwashing we got from the authoritarian model."
Young age inherited wealth
"Exactly. So, the final variation, wealth inherited at a young age. That is, kids who are born into wealthy families. This is actually not so simple either. It depends whether they are born into a family that is newly wealth, and therefore most likely chaotic, or a family with multi-generational wealth, which has had multiple generations to learn to use that wealth. Does that make sense?”
"Hmmm . . . I never thought of this, but I do understand. Like in your last example. A family that just got wealthy has a lot of adjustment to do. If they have kids at the same time, the kids are just dragged through the adjustments."
"Exactly. And in that case, the kids are very likely to be messed up. We are going to see a lot of this with the BABY BOOMERS. That’s your generation, Nanook.”
"Ugh . . . keep talking."
"The kids of the Baby Boomer generation are going to be the most screwed up kids in modern times. They will be born into a time of prosperity. There will be a lot of immigration to provide low cost labor to do menial things. So the kids won’t be expected to help around the house, which means they won’t have the opportunity to learn responsibility or the everyday homemaking skills. Birth control will be available, so the world will see a new sexual revolution. And at least when they are going through puberty, they will still be able to ride on their parent’s coat tails. This will give them a lot of free time to follow their personal interests. But they won’t have much guidance doing it because their parents will be working all the time and the structure of the world will be changing so radically.”
"This sounds like a prime opportunity for them to be misfits in the old world culture?"
"Exactly! And that means they will be branded as LAZY.”
"OK. NOW I GET IT! There is a quote, ‘scientific’ definition for lazy and a cultural definition for lazy, which of course isn’t in any dictionary and no one is willing to admit to anyway."
"Exactly! Our culture is in denial.
Let me give you another way to look at this that might make it simple to keep the two definitions separate. Animals can survive over a very wide range of levels of ambition. Some, like alligators, can just lie around and only hunt when they are hungry. Some like otters and weasels are on the go all the time. Some, like humans, can work all the time and build cities and empires. But humans can also just lie around and only scrounge when they are hungry. Who decides where the line is to call a behavior LAZY?”
"Right. This is clearly a social criterion. And in the current way of things, this is being decided by people who want to maintain their position of power in the world ."
“Exactly. But there’s now a new factor involved when we bring in the concept of A-square. People who don’t have level A3 brain functions can’t understand the purpose behind organization. Organizational activities don’t motivate them. Putting in a lot of effort toward a larger good doesn’t make sense to them.”
"So, you’re saying, those people have a biologically based reason to be lazy?"
“No. What I’m trying to tell you is that the term LAZY is a trigger word in the scourge of Single Sentence Logic! People at different levels of A-square have to be judged by different standards. A2 people have a biologically based set of reasoning to do things that ambitious A3 level people will judge as being lazy. They will also be judged as being lazy by other A2 types who are narrowly ambitious due to their Seven Deadly Sins drives. But to be an honest assessment, LAZY has to take into account inherent A-square levels and a much broader tolerance for personal interests outside cultural stereotypes.”
"Ah . . . ha! Now this is making sense."