The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

From threats to being right

Probably the easiest way to grasp the situation we are in is to make a quick decision. That’s how our amygdala serves us. It’s filtering the signals it is getting and discerning if we are threatened or not. Using this information it will stimulate a response, helping us to react or respond as fast as possible. The amygdala remembers the times during which our survival was the most important thing to attend to.

Life has changed. Already thousands of years ago humans switched from seeking to survive alone to seeking to survive together. The task to survive has been given to the group while individuals now concentrate on helping the group to survive. Consequently, it became important to assess the other individuals in the group, to find a mode allowing us to distinguish between threats and opportunities. Our bodies solve this dilemma with chemistry. We either flood our brain with adrenaline when we feel threatened or with oxytocin when we see the possibility to befriend and care.

Along the years groups become more and more organized, some decided to settle, others decided to be on the move. The choices made lead to different types of organizations. A group that settles may have the time to make decisions together whereas a group that is on the move may need to concentrate the decisional power in one person. With different types of organizations, we also created different types of relationships and ways to relate to one another.

Which in turn transforms how we need to assess a situation. We have transformed the types of threats as well as ways to contribute to the group.

To be able to get a hold of the given situation we search for an understanding of the other person’s behaviors. To keep the scheme of quick decisions we are now using our value systems to decide if what is happening is right or not. We either decide if we behave as we should or if the other behaves as he should.

It’s a way to transform the concept of threats into the idea of being right. The less attention span we have the more we put the amygdala back into power.


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