From Humankind to Neurokind to Neurokindness
Adi Da wrote in “Not-Two is Peace”: “Humankind is functioning on the principle of ego – or separate identity and separative activity. Separateness and separateness – or ego-“I” – is the idea of “difference.” That idea inevitably manifests as the process of “objectification,” control, and destruction. […] The right action of humankind is action based on the presumption of prior unity – not ego, not “tribes,” not any kind of form, idea, or cultural expression that came about or emerged in times of dis-unity.”
Adi Da would probably disagree with my concept of Neural Tribe. He’d probably say that this too is a form of dis-unity, that categorizing life into neural and non-neural is just another separative difference. And I’d agree with that, I’d agree with Adi Da. I realize that redefining humanity as neurality is just a smaller of the separative evils. And yet, I think, it is a step in the right direction: it is a use of separativeness towards unification. The idea here is to expand the radius of identification – from Human Tribe (HT) to Neural Tribe (NT). In so doing, I am, in essence, inviting the humanity to bypass the intra-group distinctions (the kinds of tribal distinctions within the Human Tribe that Adi Da was writing about). I am inviting Humankind to redefine itself as Neurokind so as to shift to non-tribal kindness.
The “big idea” here is to try to bypass our intra-tribal distinctions by broadening the definition of our tribe – from Human Tribe to Neural Tribe. The idea is to reverse-engineer what Adi Da called “prior unity” by first learning to relate to our neural brothers and sisters in the animal kingdom. This “big idea” is an old idea, it’s an intuitive idea, it’s a cliche idea: we know that having a relationship with a pet animal tames our own separative mind-beast. This is one of the therapeutic mechanisms behind the use of pet therapy as empathy-training, say, in prison populations.
Like Adi Da (and Gurdjieff and countless others) I see the self-imprisonment of the human mind. And I ask myself: what is the path towards self-liberation? A personal path is simple: meditation. But what’s a social path, a society-wide path? The answer is cultural reprogramming, a redefining of the human narrative in a scientifically-intuitive way. The Neural Tribe idea is tautologically simple and grounded in fact: a neuron is a neuron is a neuron, regardless of the body-form that it inhabits. This is the basis of identification with a larger tribe, with the Neurokind. And this identification is, in turn, the basis for compassion and non-tribal kindness, Neurokindness, the kind of kindness that focuses on the fact that we are all of one and the same neural kind.
Man and his dog image available from Shutterstock.
Somov, P. (2013). From Humankind to Neurokind to Neurokindness. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 30, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2013/06/from-humankind-to-neurokind-to-neurokindness/