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A Thumbnail Sketch of Paul's Semantics

The following is an extremely concise summary of Paul's ideas (the kind you write on the back of your hand before you enter the examination room). Since I prepared it after he died, he never got to correct any mistakes I may have made. Still, it may be useful to some people.

Neurological Polarity

Life begins when inanimate matter develops a capacity to interact with its environment in order to survive. Sensory and motor organs provide receptive and expressive functions which allow the individual to comprehend and control its world.

Gender Polarity

To permit the communication of genetic material on which evolution is based, organisms specialize into female and male individuals. Various mechanisms bring otherwise competing individuals together, beginning with the externally fertilized egg still used by fish. As life becomes air-breathing, amphibians still lay eggs in water. When life moves inland reptiles need hard shells, necessitating fertilizing the egg before it is laid and requiring even closer contact. Sex and celebration evolve to override competition between female and male long enough for copulation to take place.

Biological Surpluses

To give each individual more time to adapt to its specific environment and increase the range of environments a species can tolerate, a longer childhood is now required. Mammals evolve the capacities to divide the nurture and protection of their offspring during this new growth phase between the parents. This specialization overflows into all areas of the personality. In most mammals it is the female which specializes in submission and the male in dominance.

Psychological Polarity

Man is the only mammal that allows the individual to make personal contributions to the welfare of the social group via the roles of the shaman or priest and the warrior or soldier. Contributions to the species as a whole arise in the historical era in the form of that storehouse of knowledge and ability called civilization. A lifelong devotion to the search for truth that can replace magical thinking or the reaching for right that can supplant miraculous behavior is the mark of the creative individual.

During the rise of civilization, gender polarity between the female and the male becomes overshadowed by the psychological polarity between first priests and soldiers, and then thinkers and men of action. Psychological polarity is expressed in family life between the father and son and mother and daughter. Social roles are still influenced by gender polarity, but are scorned by creative individuals as being irrelevant to the larger purposes of civilization.

At this level of evolution it becomes useful to use the terms femininity and masculinity to refer to those who bring insights into the world and those who develop methods.

Other Polarities

A secondary polarity appears to have evolved between subjective and objective types. Subjectivity in a masculine helps to balance his personality, as does objectivity in feminine. Objective masculines and subjective feminines are similarly in this sense referred to as unbalanced.

There may be a tertiary polarity between hedonists and stoics. Hedonists are more developed in their two-dimensional life, stoics in their three-dimensional life.

Components of the Psyche

There are four components of man's psychological life:

A fulfilled life requires balancing and expressing the needs and purposes of each component. If you try too hard to be creative, you suffer exhaustion or "creativity poisoning". If life is all fun, you loose your sense of self. If all work, you'll never know what it's all been for. If all romance and adventure, the ability to contribute to the building of a better world evaporates.

Psychological and Social Evolution

The goal of living for the creative individual is his own human development, the reward for which is experienced as universal love or objective power. The goal of society as a whole is social progress. There are no apparent limits to the human development and social progress our species is capable of.

-- prepared 9/86 by Dean Hannotte


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