QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED AND HOW THEY INTERRELATE
To answer the question of why people are so prone to be led by the nose and to engage in constant inner maneuvers to deceive themselves and others; and why so few look at the big picture or learn from experience – as well as to understand how to change this – it is important to:
- Understand evolutionary psychology, and then understand the double role of culture creation in perpetuating the problem on the one hand — and in creating the way out of the vicious circle, on the other. Can Mind (conscious living, cultural creativity) rule over Matter (our evolved psychology) and if so, how? Realistically — not in utopian, unscientific, ideologies. And what about Nurture and Nature? Are these terms really polarities? How can we understand their interactions and interdependence? What opportunities and possibilities are being overlooked?
- Understand the part of evolutionary psychology which can be called existential, spiritual or the pursuit of deep happiness – a part that is usually treated separately from evolutionary psychology, as if both were disconnected, and that is studied by different professionals and practitioners who seldom fraternize with each other.
- We will need to analyze in some depth methods of emotional manipulation, understand fallacies of logic, methods of spin and demagoguery, and understand psychopathy at the individual and group level.
- We will delve into evolved political psychology, and look at why it is so hard to look at ourselves in this mirror, and how crucial it is that we do so realistically if we are to find a way out.
- We will have to analyze how the vast majority of people use their cognitive function; its interdependence with emotions; understand psychological defense mechanisms; understand cognitive dissonance and how generally people deal with the myriad cognitive dissonances they face. We will have to deepen our understanding of anxiety as an essential part of us. The extent to which we understand the complexities of anxiety as well as the way we manage it, is key to the questions of Mind and Matter, as well as Nature and Nurture. Understanding conformism is part of all this.
- We will explore some sociological terms which are not separate from our evolutionary psychology, but are much elaborated upon by cultures: reference group; group-think; norms; conformism; cultural development, transmission and change.
- We will look at what is necessary for authentic thinking, an authentic thinking that leads to happiness and inner peace. How to sustain intellectual integrity and its related traits of intellectual courage, humility, perseverance and independence? And what is the foundation needed for clarity and courage, how do we reach it as part of a process of personal integration and of feeling greater meaning in our life.
- And then, moving to the political arena, we need a critique of the so called democracy in the US, how the media at present is part of the problem, how the same sludge of lies and manipulation that we see in our political systems dominates not only corporations and most business places of employment, but even professions that are supposedly “above” that, such as medical and mental health organizations and academia.
- I will end with a chapter on strategy for creating a movement for change from without – because the present world and US national political system cannot be changed merely from within.
This would be a movement which at the same time educates towards long term cultural change.
Though these are the questions to be answered, I will not follow this order because of how aspects interrelate with each other.