The scene isn’t over, but I would like to pause here, to address the idea of insecurity. By definition, insecurity means “not safe,” but it is not the same experience as feeling physical or even emotional threat. It is much worse.
As primates grew, so did their brains. I’ve mentioned before that primates are the weakest of all predators and that humans are the weakest of all primates. Because of this, we have learned to put ‘safety in numbers,’ above all other survival mechanisms. Social interaction is the reason we have developed large brains. Human connection is so important, it trumps everything else. As far as our subconscious survival mechanisms are concerned, it is significantly more important than personal desire.
As we grow, the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain that has a sense of self is just developing. As children, we do not have self-awareness. We can’t. We are still learning who we need to be to survive. The underlying structures of how we define ourselves are just developing. This is where we must return to the concept of caste, but we must begin to look at it in a different way.
Caste structures have been defined by financial prowess or levels of education. This is accurate to caste structures. Those in higher social classes do tend to have more education and success, but these are peripheral conditions. Whether they are the cause or the result—they seem to be both—they are not the root of division. The root of the division is developmental, a simple matter of maturity.
Our subject was raised in a social group that lacked the maturity of social groups around her. She was a lesser caste structure raised in the neighborhood of a superior caste system, and she knew it. The social group around her became her externalized parent, her source, her potential freedom. Unlike her siblings, she did not accept the psychological systems of her DNA. She rebelled against them. Where her family has a sense of superiority that she adopted initially, therapy taught her the level of her dysfunction and now she is inherently less than the world she wants to inhabit.
Children must interact with children their own age. It is critical to development. Historically, this generally occurred in a social setting that confirmed the established DNA. It wasn’t until we began to travel as a species that we began to grow. New mental stimulation is key to development. For our subject, she grew up in a neighborhood that existed in sharp contrast to her family’s story. What she saw in the world around her changed the potential of who she could become. Because she was still at an age where she had not yet defined herself. They became as much a part of her definition as her DNA. The problem was, the two couldn’t co-exist in one person, not functionally.
Her life has moved far beyond living in that neighborhood, but the rules of engagement are the same. She has lived her entire life believing she is less than the people outside her family environment. To her, there was this world of immature, abusive, criminal behavior, and in the neighborhood around her, the image of a pious, sober, socially-committed community. From her primal perspective, they offered a larger, more reliable herd. Her tribe was dying. They were few and far between and they were a menace who caused physical and emotional suffering. They weren’t as perfect as she first imagined them to be, but they were a higher caste than her own.
As she grew, there were two social choices, the often volatile world of her upbringing, the partying, trouble-causing life she saw represented in her older brother, or the religiously structured community around her. For some time, she chose the former, not feeling worthy of any other station. In her current situation, she returns to the church, in a sense and she is emotionally self-aware as she does. Her therapeutic processes increased her consciousness. She matured enough in the process to no longer be a child. She wants to be an adult and to her subconscious mind, that is represented by the community of the LDS church. Though she never joined the organization she did seek the comfort and growth its community represented.
Therapy taught her to be vulnerable, to honestly realize her position in society. That realization did its damage, but it also brought her down to earth, where she could gain some traction. It taught her to open herself and learn again. As in early development for children, Our first task before exploring the world around us is to get support from that world. We must be fed and clothed and guided toward this new life and this guidance must come from outside of us before it can come from within. What we hope to do here is to have the opportunity to live a life we’ve never known before this day. Therefore, we need information we do not currently have. Of course, if we already knew how to live a perfect life, wouldn’t we be living it? The first step toward real learning is in admitting we do not yet know the lesson.
On one side of the coin, our subject is learning from the social environment she is now brave enough to enter, on the other, she has her guides. Remember, to ever be supported, truly supported, we must first be willing to be vulnerable and trust the process. This is her advantage. She is vulnerable. She has learned that her perspective of reality is not to be trusted, so she has surrendered herself and is now willing to learn again. She is also highly conscious. She knows her reality is based on her belief, so she is observing herself.
As she enters the funeral to support a friend she barely knows, she is very aware of her fear. She is consumed by it, but not to the point of running from it, as she would have done in the past. She has learned the power of observation. She recognizes the subconscious rules of her upbringing. She sees her habitual behavior, so much of her focus is on recognizing her internal experience.
This is already a representation of growth. Still, she has just begun. She is about to experience growth, at a level that is beyond even her expectations. The greatest risk she faces today is the potential damage of surrounding yourself with a higher caste and the feelings of failure it my create. Though our subject has faced facts, so to speak, she is also vulnerable to identifying herself as inherent to the lesser class. The original attempt to classify her as “incurable” wasn’t about her physical capability. It was a message that said, “You will always be less than everyone else.” To transcend this message, she must count on the observational nature of the brain to introduce ideas she doesn’t understand. She must also be willing to follow those ideas blindly.
This is the beginning of that journey, the one where she discovers her capability.