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Consciousness, constraint and values

The man, his urges, his unconscious

The humanity is destined to reach its perfection.

Guido Cagnacci, vanityWe were natural primates without neither formulated nor written laws. We are builder people now, organized around the culture and around the law.

From the moment the people "invented" prohibitions, rules and laws, they did not stop wanting to turn around them to satisfy their natural desire to assert themselves at the cost of the congeners.

The mechanism of prohibitions is a part of the machine to auto-civilize us.

On one side, the need to turn around the existing laws to satisfy our tendencies obliges the humanity to imagine incessantly new laws (and it develops the law).
On the other side, because he is exposed to punishments and imprisonment, the man has to learn to control better and better his drives and his tendencies.

From the moment the people controlled better and better their drives, the human and moral consciousness developed more and more.

The ideals

By developing, the consciousness imagined a whole system of ideal and universal values (the equality, the brotherhood, the universality, the sharing, the altruism, the protection of the weak, the philanthropy, etc.).

These ideal values (inculcated from the childhood by the family, friendly, school, artistic, media, etc.), serve as a "positive horizon" for the humanity. Since the birth of the main philosophies and the main religions (Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Platonism, Stoicism, Epicureanism), these sublime values appear as an ideal to achieve for the whole humanity (that is why the abbot Pierre or Sister Emmanuelle remained at the top of popularity opinion polls during all their period of activity).

The ideals to be reached accumulated to the system of constraint always devalue more the human capacity to assert itself to the detriment of others.

Prohibitions control the drives using force
The values control them using consciousness.

These ideal values oppose exactly to the laws of nature:

The equality opposes to the principle dominion-submission.
The universality and the brotherhood oppose to the clan structures.
The sharing opposes to the hoarding of the privileges.
The capacity to protect the weakest opposes to the natural selection of the stronger.
The progress opposes to the submission to the natural elements.

Transform an animal conditioned to assert itself at the cost of its congeners into a being totally respectful of others, that is the role of the builder humanity.


Constraints and unconscious

The difficult self-control

Ad Reinhart artis USAWe were natural primates without neither formulated nor written laws. We are builder

The repression of the animal drives (those who enter in contradiction with the human laws) is a necessity for the humanity.

But it is about a terribly violent necessity for the builder man.
It obliges him to contain tendencies and desires that are profoundly registered in his character.

Instinctively, the dominant monkey does not hesitate to subtilize the possessions of the subordinates. They give free rein to their aggressiveness; show themselves hostile with the individuals of the nearby clans etc....
In the nature, these drivings are not punished.

For the humanity on the contrary, these attitudes are prohibited.
The man of the society has to contain his natural reactions. Today, the theft is punished, the violence to others also, quite as the racism or the xenophobia.

Nevertheless, if we question the intimacy of our spirit, we certainly meet the presence of these primary reactions there. The greed, the desire of vengeance or dominion, the fear of the foreigner, can appear at any time in our enigmatic brains. And the man often has a great deal of difficulty in containing these archaic drives.

To resist to our misconduct drives is a violent and frustrating work.

1/ The role of the unconscious

To mitigate this frustration, a new faculty, a kind of zone of decompression, developed in the human brain. It is about the unconscious.
This mechanism absorbs, in a sense, the violence of the frustrations engendered by our “frustrated impulsive desires".

This faculty permits to act out, to imagine or to dream about acts opposite to the human values. It permits, in a sense, to avoid the carrying out prohibited acts, punished by our specie.

Therefore, the unconscious also participates in the big mechanism of compression of the contravener instincts.


Constraints and psychology

From Manichaeism to psychology

Pblo Picasso, Peintre FrançaisIn first period of the civilization, the people used especially the cruelty, the violence and the terror (torture) to force the human beings to contain their drives.

The law was arbitrary, inequitable, partisan and favorable to the most powerful.

The appearance of the main religions was a blessing for the humanity.
By setting themselves above the warlike dominant, they succeeded in containing a part of their violence and their cruelty.
They also permitted to raise our consciousness in the psychological dimension.

The main spiritualities attenuated the principle of the corporal punishment which was systematic until this period. They gradually redirected this principle towards the moral, making guilty (embryo of the confession), then, later, towards the compassion (beginning of the consciousness of the cause) and finally towards the confession (beginning of the psychological care).

2 / Birth of the philosophy

At the same period, the philosophy was born.

By its critical audacity, by its extreme sensibility to the suffering of others and its extreme taste for the truth and the justice, this other big spiritual discipline also worked on the slow devaluation of the violence. It has permitted to understand the mechanisms of the malpractice and to improve the justice and the treatment of the delinquents.

Throughout its history, the philosophy opened ways to the subliminal values (Plato), the intimacy of the individual (Saint Augustine), the importance of the education (Rousseau), the psychology (Freud) or the condition of contraveners (Foucault).

3 / Of the psychology

The laic and sometimes nihilistic period in which we belong continues (via the development of new sciences: sociology, psychology, ethology) to humanize the system of punishment.

The civil sentence replaces little by little the moral sentence. It permits to clean the morality of its archaisms and its hypocrisies. For the law, the delinquent is not "bad" now, but responsible in criminal affairs and liable to be punished.

Gradually, the justice gives a sense of responsibility to the contraveners instead of make them feeling guilty.
The denomination of the fault was transformed into confession and is not made in the confessional any more but in the court. Confession is presented with an alleviated punishment and with psychological care
The compassion is gradually replaced by the concept of extenuating circumstances and by the work of reflection on the real causes of the malpractice (social injustice, educational deficiencies, values imposed by the society).

By developing, the human psyche has gradually a much more opened vision of the human responsibilities.

Our consciousness acquired the capacity to work in depth, on the origin of the malpractice. It gradually tends to position before the moment where the act has been made, to prevent instead of curing.

No doubt that by prolonging the compression " of our transgression instincts " and by developing legislations protecting the most vulnerable, the humanity will succeed in leave from its psyche our old tendency to assert ourselves to the detriment of our congeners.



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