Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Brotherhood and Motherhood

Hmm, distracted from my intended topic today (the difference between action and thinking of action as exemplied by the Wesley Autrey heroism) by thoughts growing out of yesterday's topic.
I need to rewrite yesterdays actually, easy to do in blogland, but right now let's notice, regarding the difference between men and women, the significance of the idea of sacrifice in human history.

Jan Cox never mentioned women in this regard and I often wondered, while he was alive, why he did not mention motherhood more, especially since to me motherhood seemed the perfect model for the idea of self sacrifice. After all mothers literally can lay down their lives for their children and this seemed to perhaps be the origin of human heroism. Now it is clearer why my thoughts here were off the mark.

The genetic basis for motherhood in people and other primates is so necessary for the survival of the species that flexibility is not useful at the level of primate mothering.

Whereas, with men, and that brotherhood feeling I mentioned yesterday, a group of men can have such intense interaction that they actually do form a unit, or perhaps remember the herd hunting instincts, and activate that layer of reality. Only this activation, critical also for the survival of the species, happened to a species with innate and undeveloped talents for mentation. Beside being a possible vision of the origin of thought, the closeness of this bond, (see yesterdays entry about men hunting, and the surrounding unknown milieu in which a sense of where your fellow hunter may actually be at that moment, in space, based on calculations that used what later was called spatial logic.) may also illuminate the idea of sacrifice and the development in history of this idea. (Jesus etc.)
After all, if a group is so tight as to become a singular unit, then loosing one member does not kill, the group. The idea of an afterlife too, might come from this group experience. This would probably have preceded the concept (and experience) of individuality. Perhaps.

And perhaps not---this whole analysis is suspiciously binary. Two hands--on one women are locked in a well known arena where success depended on repetitive tasks. On the other men are out in an environment of the unknown, hunting, and depending on help from other men.

But perhaps not. Something will fall out of this analysis.

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