There are two kinds of people: those of us that are domesticated and those that feel strangely out of place. The ones that feel out of place, might not be able to communicate why, but know in their gut not only that our world is toxic but that the systems and traditions we’ve created don’t feel even close to natural. No matter which camp you fall in, both feel depressed, frustrated, anxious and flat-out unsatisfied as they get dragged through our culture’s unfriendly demands just to stay afloat. Have you ever asked yourself how and why we’ve sabotaged ourselves like this?
I know this will sound dramatic and easy to dismiss but there really is a Matrix. That’s why that movie struck a chord. We have inherited and continue to invest in an unfair, complicated world of lies we don’t even like. That’s completely against our human nature. There’s a really good reason all our fantasies are undomesticated and filled with apocalyptic visions of wiping the slate clean, or hedonistic freedom.
A huge key to understanding this, is to press pause and look objectively backwards, beyond the short 5,000 years of written history and into the totality of human life 195,000 years before it. To do that you’ll have to look with different eyes and stop using the pejorative, biased, puritanical lens that we were the Flintstones or ugly, violent, selfish, filthy, hairy ape-people. That’s a dangerous and inaccurate story we tell that helps make our lives feel vastly progressive but, in fact, continues to feed the Matrix beast.
This week’s guest, author and Psychologist Chris Ryan, has tackled big parts of the Matrix through his and his wife’s book, Sex at Dawn, his podcast Tangentially Speaking and his forthcoming book Civilized to Death.
(Music credit: “Comfortably Numb” by Dar Williams)
mentioned and related media
- When humans split from the apes
- Ancient hanky-panky means Neanderthals and Denisovans live on in modern people
- Have Humans Always Gone to War?
- How hunter-gatherers maintained their egalitarian ways
- Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution
- Study Detects Gut Microbiome Differences in African Agriculturist, Hunter-Gatherer Populations
- The dangerous drift from our tribal roots
- Julia Zemiro: "I went on a mission to uncover my true identity. What I found was completely unexpected"
- Early men and women were equal, say scientists
- Sex equality can explain the unique social structure of hunter-gatherer bands
- How Paper Shaped Civilization
- ‘Honour’ killings must be exposed for the inhuman, senseless horror that they are!
- How We Learn Fairness
- The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (book)
- The 'hostages' that sailed with Darwin
- Ben Franklin “No European who has tasted Savage Life can afterwards bear to live in our societies.”
- “Waiting for the Barbarians" (‘Time for the black flower of civilization to bloom.’)
- Archaeologists Trace Early Irrigation Farming In Ancient Yemen
- How Humankind Conquered the World
- Does the Language I Speak Influence the Way I Think?
- Ishmael (book) by Daniel Quinn
- These images of fruits before we domesticated them will blow your mind
- How Big Pharma Is Killing Americans
- This is what happens in a society where people can’t touch each other
- Bali culture and customs
- The wealthier you get, the less social you are. Here’s why it matters.
- Democracies end when they are too democratic
- The horsemen of the Trumpocalypse
- War arose recently, anthropologists contend
- Robert Wright, Author.
- The Stone Age Origins of Autism
- In Pursuit of Smelling Love (Claus Wedekind smelly t-shirt study)
- Sperm Competition in Humans: Implications for Male Sexual Psychology, Physiology, Anatomy, and Behavior
- Big testes are sign that a species has history of infanticide