I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

455. Epicurus And The Hierarchical-Gregarious Brain

Epicurus And The Hierarchical-Gregarious Brain

This continues entries 452, 453 and 454.  

One of Epicurus' principles is not to harm and not to be harmed.  This principle makes his philosophy coincide so much with my own needs in how to live.  Yet equality or inequality and the pain caused by humiliation and indignity due to be forced into a lower position was never mentioned in what is known of Epicurus' philosophy.   For a long time I was very puzzled, how he could even own slaves and appear oblivious of their pain.  
I was projecting my own strong egalitarian emotions indiscriminately upon others.   Epicurus' brain was obviously strongly hierarchical-gregarious and so was the brain of all those, who were his disciples by their own free choice.    I am completely void of the hierarchical-gregarious instinct.  

Epicurus lived in a society, where there were three categories of people, free men, free women and slaves.  About 30% of the population were slaves.  Free women were very restricted in their lives.   Their main function was to reproduce.   They were excluded from schools, from public offices and from entering many public buildings and from participating in public events.   They were free only as far as not being owned or sold, but they were not free to do, what they wanted, their life was restricted by their dependence on husbands or other men to act on their behalf.

Epicurus seems to be completely void of any empathy, consideration or responsibility for the harm done by pushing people down to and holding them in inferior conditions and situations.   Not all people experience this as equally harmful, because their subjective experience depends upon the predisposition of their either more egalitarian or more hierarchical-gregarious brain.   But at least some people do get harmed by enforced hierarchy.   
A philosopher teaching a general way of life supposed to be valid for everybody should take such harm into consideration.   Therefore there is a contradiction between his benevolent philosophy of homeostasis and enjoying life on this earth and his unconcern about the pain, that he was inflicting himself upon those hierarchically lower.    He himself did own slaves.   He did allow women and slaves to enter the garden community, but it was doing them a merciful favor as exceptions.   He seems to have been void of any comprehension for the unjustified humiliation of this attitude.  

Epicurus was the infallible guru, the never erring teacher, whose wisdom was above the criticism of his disciples, whose veneration and reverence was ascertained by an oath to adhere to his teachings.    He was someone, who enjoyed the power, praise, prestige and influence of being the guru on the pedestal.    He had a narcissistic need for veneration, but he earned it with real achievements, so he was successful in fulfilling his needs.   The benefits from his place on his pedestal were his motivation and compensation for the certainly hard work, stress and exhaustion of doing, what was expected from him.  
The followers accepted their devote role as the price to be allowed into the community.   Those free men having a choice, whose egalitarian brain was determined by the need for the dignity of being equals, were not attracted to become Epicurus' disciples but deterred to stay away.   The slaves of course were not asked.  Women with an emotional need for equality got treated better than elsewhere and had to be content with the emotional alms given to them.   There were no places offering the appreciation of full equality to women, they had to take the best there was.              

Epicurus had a psychological need for submissive disciples, succeeded in attracting them, got reinforced by their willingness to allowing him the place on his pedestal.   People with egalitarian brains were deterred from getting near him, therefore he was deprived of even noticing their existence.  The entire garden community including Epicurus' himself were driven together by the shared very strong hierarchical-gregarious instinct.   The hierarchy established was logical only to those choosing it, while it was a deterrent to those with an egalitarian brain.    Epicurus' blind spot was the conclusion, that the deliberate submission of his disciples was not the choice of some self-selected persons, but a ubiquitous human trait.

Epicureanism as it has come to us from 2300 years ago needs to be adapted and modified by two major additions:  
Apistia and egalitarianism.