Transforming the Mind ~ by Peter Shepherd
The fourth program causes us to be even more conscious of, and pressured by, time. It is the "moral" socio-sexual program. It's principle function is to form a "mature" personality - a parent, one who cares for and about the next generation of the species. This means planning, hoping and having aspirations, ie "attachment" to one's needs and desires for the future.
Sexual responses are located in the left neo-cortex - the newest part of the left-hemisphere, connected neurologically with the genitalia and the breasts. The socio-sexual program is activated and imprinted at adolescence, when the sexual apparatus is re-awakened after a period of latency while the semantic program was developed.
The teenager becomes the bewildered possessor of a body with a new neural circuit oriented to orgasm and procreation, and in this state vulnerability to new programming is acute. The first sexual signals to turn on this system tend to define the individual's sexual reality. Other impressions of the time (fashions, morals and fetishes) tend to define the individual as a member of that "generation".
The child has moved on from largely reactive survival and emotional behavior to develop a thinking mind - although relatively uninformed - but with the development of sexuality, he or she tends to become much more encultured, with a layer of "maturity" that serves to cover up his reactive impulses. This maturity is a developed "Superego", a cultural conditioning, and is not truly a freedom but rather a further suppression of the core self within, struggling to express its creative will.
Just as bio-survival anxiety or security are imprinted by accidents in the nursing period, emotional domination and submission by accidents in the toddling period, and symbolic dexterity or stupidity by the accidents of the learning period, so are the programs of heterosexuality or homosexuality, promiscuity or sexual timidity, etc. usually imprinted by accidents (the effect of chance, opportunity, prejudice and sometimes malice) at this time.
Most humans do not, due to accidents of this sort, imprint exactly the socio-sexual role demanded by their society. This can result in feelings of guilt: almost everybody is busy hiding their real sexual profile and miming the culturally accepted sexual role for their gender. The imprinting of this program is affected by unfulfilled needs on the previous three programs, so oral and anal tendencies have their obvious opportunity for expression, and acquired false data, misconceptions and distorted thinking are similarly integrated into the new program.
The imprint of the socio-sexual program is generally called the "mature personality", an "adult" viewpoint, and corresponds to a developed Superego taking over from the parental Superego of childhood, hence the rebellion of teenagers against their parents. Unfortunately, few of the human race are "responsible, intelligent adults" with rationally developed semantic and socio-sexual programs. To those few, the predominately primate characteristics of human society seem absurd, immoral and increasingly restrictive.
Once formulated, "morality" with its sanctions, prohibitions, taboos, etc. serves as not only a check on genetic impurity but a brake on semantic innovation. Anything progressive or revolutionary is usually very quickly defined as "immoral" or "wrong". The average person, similarly, is philosophically most open and curious before the adult sexual role of parenthood is selected. After reproduction there is less intellectual speculation because the survival of the status-quo becomes paramount. So the culture (and individual development) becomes a self-perpetuating machine. Only the time-binding nature of semantics (the progressive growth of knowledge) allows a forward, though conservative, momentum.
The infant is genetically prepared to learn any language, master any skill, play any sex role; in a short time, however, he or she becomes programmed to accept, follow and mimic the limited offerings of the social and cultural environment that he happens to have been born in, the tactics and strategies that ensure survival in one place and status in one cultural grouping.
The easiest way to get brainwashed is to be born. The bio-survival program automatically bonds to the most appropriate mother or mothering object; the emotional-territorial program looks for a "role" or ego-identification in the family or culture; the semantic program learns to imitate and then use the language and thought patterns of the culture; the socio-sexual program is imprinted by whatever mating experiences are initially available at puberty or soon after. Each of these programs may be deepened or revised at times of further vulnerability, induced by circumstances or self-induced.
The universe is obviously large and complex enough and the ego is self-centered enough, that all of these reality-tunnels are capable of "making sense" to those conditioned to accept them. Cultural conditioning also contains elements so absurd that anybody not so conditioned looks at them with astonishment and dismay, wondering "How could a rational person go along with such behavior?"
In this process each of us pays a heavy price. Survival and status mean forfeiting the unlimited possibilities of unconditioned consciousness. Inside this reality-tunnel, the person is utilizing only a tiny fragment of the potentials for experience and intelligence innate in the phenomenally powerful human biocomputer, not to mention the even greater potentials of the connectivity-network at the transpersonal level of consciousness. As Robert Henlein writes:
But as long as we remain on the antique programs we are not very different from the insects. That is, just as the insects repeat their four-stage program (egg, larvae, chrysalis, adult) from generation to generation, we repeat our four-stage cycle also. The first four programs are generally conservative. They ensure the survival and continuation of the species but no more. For further evolution we must look to develop new programs, and to move beyond programs - to become meta-programmers - the key to which is the opening up into consciousness of the right-hemisphere, for which purpose Transformational Psychology techniques have been organized.
Return to Transforming the Mind - Contents
Continue to the next article, Explorations