THE TOPIC OF THE HUMAN
REVISITED SIX YEARS LATER
Ingo Swann (08Aug02)
“No one gossips
people’s secret virtues.”
entitled THE SPECIES GUILD was introduced into this website in June
It was designated as an “ATTEMPT to consider and discuss how
astonishing, amazing, wonderful, creative, energetic, and visionary
species actually is, and to focus on these qualities and attributes
ONLY in some positive sense.”
some of the awful content of the past six years, it seems time to
take another look at the topic, and to enlarge consideration of
Unfortunately, one does not have to go far to encounter the overwhelming
accumulation of information, literature, and entertainments that
focus on the most dreadful going’s on within our species as
In stark contrast, references to the amazing nature and superlative
virtues of our species have become almost non-existent, most specifically
within the conventional mainstreams.
For example, the term WISDOM has almost dropped out of usage altogether,
even though IF our species has intelligence it OUGHT to have engineered
deliverable and perpetuating wisdom, too.
Reference to wisdom in this website is not out of place, since it
constitutes one of the most superlative superpowers of our species,
alongside the several others that support and nurture it. Indeed,
if intelligence is not somehow effectively infused with wisdom,
one could think that intelligence might not be all that intelligent.
In a superficial
sense, WISDOM is ambiguously defined as knowledge accumulated via
philosophic or scientific learning.
More profoundly, it is defined as “ability to discern inner
qualities and relationships” in order “to achieve insight,
good sense, good judgment, and wise attitudes and courses of action.”
The foregoing is not so much a complaint as it is a reminder that
all individuals of our species are born with innate, hard-wired
equipment to have insight, etc.
But it can be stipulated, as many authors have done, that a wide
variety of social conditioning software programs can cause insight
to remain latent and therefore not too actualizing and functional
– the same conditioning programs that largely result in “the
unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.”
writer at least, it seems that when there is constant focus and
emphasis on the negative aspects of our species, coupled with NO
nurturing of our superlative virtues, one can begin to wonder what
the long-term outcome of things will be.
Our history bears ample testaments to this. There are many deplorable
examples of affairs within which wisdom, etc., was apparently considered
as nothing more than an inconvenient nuisance.
VISITOR FROM EUROPE
A few years
ago, an individual of rather remarkable status in Europe came to
see me. The purpose of the visit was to discuss certain issues,
one of which was why it was so difficult to research and develop
those human attributes referred to in this website as superpowers.
We quickly agreed that the world’s conventional power structures
and affairs are largely governed not only by control of power, but
also via secrecy of various kinds, and that those affairs need elements
of secrecy in order to function as they do.
of human activities that depend on secrecy is actually quite long.
But even a short list shows the magnitude of the role that secrecy
plays - for example, in political, governmental, and diplomatic
activities, in intelligence and espionage organizations, in major
economic activities, in military and warfare strategies and tactics,
and in nefarious activities many of which can outwit discovery of
can be seen as meaningful - as long as conventional human existence
is conceptualized only in the contexts of the short list above.
Indeed, it is quite clear that those contexts are not all rowing
the same lifeboat of developing and nurturing human excellence.
secrecy activities are, of course, enemies, or at least opponents,
to each other. But they all have one concern, or fear, in common:
discovery and exposure not only of their activities, but also their
goals and motives.
Most formats of secrecy are pursued with at least a relative certainty
that they can be set up and remain secure, specifically within conventional
sense, there is a relative trust in knowing what conventional contexts
consist of, so that the understood dimensions of these can be factored
into designs of conventional secrecy efforts.
is to keep things hidden from the perceptions of others - specifically
from the conventionally known and thus ordinary perceptions which
are understood to be narrow, and therefore easily identified and
All secrecy efforts have vested interests in keeping modalities
of secrecy within the contexts of ordinary perceptions. And so all
of them find themselves united when it comes to ANY prospect of
non-conventional forms of perception.
If non-conventional forms of perception would become efficient enough,
they would be seen as invasive to conventional formats of secrecy.
So the solution to this would be to prevent knowledge and development
of them altogether.
SCENARIOS THAT MIGHT DEMAND EMERGENCE OF
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN SUPERPOWERS
and I then began discussions of what would have to happen in order
to transcend whatever prevents development of human superpowers
- including intuition, clairvoyance, and telepathy, each of which
is considered as non-conventional, hence invasive of secrecy and
all THAT implies.
spent an invigorating morning sorting out three potential scenarios
that would not only support research and development of human superpowers,
but also demand it.
scenario would consist of discovering that a nation or some other
powerful human group has taken a secret, but serious initiative
in this kind of research and development.
If something like this did happen, then other nations or powerful
human groups would have to respond to it, at least in order to find
out the specifics of what was going on and what progress was being
of the first scenario actually happened during the Cold War era
when, much to their utter surprise, American intelligence analysts
learned, during the late 1960s, that the Soviet Union had been involved
in this kind of research and development since the 1920s.
agencies were thus obliged to fund significant research of their
own, even though the idea of emergent human superpowers had long
been consigned to “giggle factor” status.
scenario could not gain permanency, because individual national
and power-group activities come and go. Their initiatives would,
in time, be covered over within the power machinations of conventional
would not be the case if the second scenario came about.
Let’s say our human species encountered another species at
least equivalent or greater in intelligence, but which was also
equipped with certain developed superpowers – especially that
In that nothing like this other species exists on our planet, that
species would necessarily have to be ET in origin.
This means that such species would not be confined to the contexts
of Earth environments and limits as those are presently understood
so far in conventional terms – and that THEY might even have
greater flexibility outside them.
second scenario would come about (and there are indications that
it has), then some kind of serious human species effort would ultimately
have to be mounted, even if only to attempt to obtain a defensive
posture to the possibly invasive threat from Out There.
A developmental effort of this kind reason would surely disrupt
the secrecy elements of our own species conventional power structures
scenario could come about if, in advancing times, it might be perceived
that wheeling and dealing only in conventional power-structure contexts
alone are not all that workable with regard to saving, for example,
Earth’s ecology, or to save the integrity or, in some possible
end, even the survival of our species.
good evidence that conventional elements and their traditional contexts
put their own survival in front of, and often in opposition to,
numerous larger whole-Earth issues that ultimately affect everything
spectrum of those larger issues had little meaning 100 years ago,
they are now slowly manifesting in undeniable negative ways. Without
some kind of big scale responsiveness, they will have dire consequences
– even for conventional elements.
recent times efforts have arisen efforts outside of conventional
elements to save things such as forests, threatened species, the
air, water, and natural resources, etc., and to do so before they
are depleted and perhaps irrecoverable.
shared by all such efforts is that they represent formative guilds.
GUILD is principally defined as “an association of those with
kindred pursuits or common interests or aims,” formed especially
to save, protect, and preserve, sometimes by any ways and means
for saving, protecting, and preserving that has not yet come into
existence is a human species guild. One essential aim of such a
guild would be to reassert the higher-order superlative virtues
and superpowers of our species.
Or, if one prefers, to rescue and re-emphasize them from among the
massive morass of lower-order activities that focus on our species
negative going’s on - a focus which is ending up in the depletion
of just about everything including human wisdom-making.
of course, confusions about just what human superpowers consist
Many human factors that are simply taken for granted are not thought
of as superpowers – such as insightful thinking and deduction,
intuition that foresees outcomes, problem identification and solving,
and that type of clairvoyance (sometimes called “hunches”
or “gut-feelings”) that can assess whatever is invisible
to the physical senses.
This author even includes thinking itself as a superpower, if only
because it can be discriminated from thoughtlessness, especially
from big-time thoughtlessness.
And a superlative
superpower, almost always ignored as such, is Caring - and which
can achieve great positive outcomes and influence. After all, the
absence of caring achieves nothing while its presence can often
research and development of human superpowers, a potential human
species guild would have to establish at least some kind of focus
as to what might save the human species from its lower-order, often
absymal proclivities within which evidence of FUNCTIONAL human superpowers
event, as indicated in the quotation at the head of this essay,
human “virtues” (secret or otherwise) are almost so
alienated from social awareness that their existences does not even
enter into the realm of gossip about them.
was actually triggered by a recent quotation offered up in the syndicated
gossip column of Liz Smith, and featured in The New York Post.
one gossips about other people's secret virtures." (Bertrand
Russell (1872-1970) was the once-famous British philosopher and
social reformer, and whom, in my own experience, had tremendous
influence and impact during the 1950’s – that post-war
decade during which were blueprinted the outlines of many socio-economic
scenarios that are still functioning today.
surface, the quotation seems simple enough, even somewhat amusing.
But it has several significant layers of meaning – one of
which is that the blind spot regarding human virtues is so insidious
that other people’s secret virtues do not even enter the otherwise
powerful realms of gossip.
people’s secret virtues also reflect virtues inherent in our
species, then Russell’s observation can be seen as deep and
trenchant. In other words, the quotation takes on far, far more
meaning than the mere eight words used to say it.
to there being no gossip about other people’s virtues, no
encyclopedias exist that itemize positive and superlative human
qualities, just as there are no encyclopedias itemizing human powers.
And so no one has any organized source to consult about the real
existence of their own superlative qualities and powers.
of such encyclopedias may not at first seem all that meaningful
But the absence reflects the on-going existence of some kind of
subtle and mysterious sociological situation which, itself, is left
unexamined in ways that almost everything else otherwise comes under
Indeed, no one gossips about the existence of that mysterious situation,
Russell (a once important philosopher and social reformer) has faded
into the past (like so many others of now-defunct significance),
he indicated in his autobiography (published in three volumes between
1967-69) that: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly
strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search
for knowledge, and the unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.”
aside the “longing” (because it is all too familiar,
right?), any search for knowledge that does not include attempts
to increase knowledge of the superlative qualities of our species
is a somewhat suspect search – for if we do not achieve such
knowledge, then what does the search otherwise consist of.
INTELLIGENCE IF IT IS NOT INFUSED WITH
KNOWLEDGE OF OUR SPECIES SUPERLATIVE VIRTUES?
event, in the absence of the search for knowledge of our species
superlative qualities, then the unbearable pity for the suffering
of mankind DOES tend to come into view – at least to those
who bother to notice it.
It then can be wondered why the unbearable suffering exists in the
SAME species that otherwise prides itself on having what is grandly
referred to as intelligence.
So we have a prideful intelligent species within which pity ALSO
exists for the unbearable suffering of mankind.
A sense of that pity can activate, here and there, what is often
defined as “social consciousness,” which is generally
thought of as discovering ways and means to alleviate and combat
the existence of the unbearable suffering of mankind.
any doubt, such social consciousness activities are obviously laudable
But it can be assumed that the unbearable suffering merely consists
of symptoms downloading out of much deeper going’s on that
are not too much attuned to the suffering itself – and in
some cases are notably aloof from it.
One reason behind this assumption is that the unbearable suffering
of mankind has a very long and still on-going track record.
reason could be that human intelligence, as so far defined and perceived,
still has something to find out about itself in order to become
more fully functional.
Perhaps the desirable terms here might be something along the lines
of “superfunctional” or metafunctional, which incorporate
the superlative qualities and powers of our species itself.
If that might be the case, then it is appropriate to wonder about
what IS incorporated into human intelligence, or, rather, into the
uses of human intelligence that are not really consistent with all
that much intelligence.
could enter into the well-known litany and dirge of uses of intelligence
that do not really reflect too much of it, but which are made quite
visible everywhere, so much so that one doesn’t really need
an encyclopedia to grasp them.
This litany and dirge apparently consists of almost anything that
does not reflect, or even suggest, the existence of the vast reservoir
of superlative human qualities that endure throughout our on-going
species, even though not much real use is made of them.
RECORD OF THE SUFFERING OF MANKIND
times, historians have principally focused on the great changes
and shifts that have occurred within the outlines of various social
orders. In more modern times, the on-going historical effort has
included emphasis on “progress” that has been made within
In the same modern times, and in keeping with the emergence of various
formats of social consciousness, some historians have attempted
to document the tremendous suffering that has occurred within and
because of the great changes and shifts that seem noteworthy enough
to be considered of historical importance.
Except for some statistical downloading, these few efforts have
not attracted any large degree of interest.
reason for this is that most of those who have suffered are not
among the movers and shakers of those orders – and so they
have little historical importance or interest. But even so, many
movers and shakers have been brought to their knees, beheaded or
hanged, sometimes exterminated, and so they are not automatically
excused from the suffering.
power orders are indeed composed of movers and shakers, but their
numbers involve certainly not more than 10 percent, and probably
less than 5 percent of any given societal population.
Thus, conventional human history is not much more than the history
of this smaller fraction of our species, and as such is NOTHING
resembling the real history of mankind – because that real
history needs to incorporate the magnitudes of the unbearable suffering
of the majority born into life.
If we think
of our species as having intelligence, the actual historical track
record of the suffering of mankind is appalling in the extreme.
In one way or another, it certainly involves more than 50 percent
of all those born into human life, many of which have been direct
and indirect victims of 5 percent of human history, this including
the many who have simply been wasted within the contexts of collateral
– THE BAD – THE UGLY
of all this, it seems to be the case that our species has its ugly
underbelly, some parts of which seem to be devoid of intelligence
- with the exception of whatever kinds of intelligence or cleverness
are needed to propagate them.
parts of the underbelly ARE propagated, if for nothing else, via
the overwhelming focus on them.
Now, it needs to be pointed up that dealing with the ugly underbelly
is considered a high virtue, and so, for example, the fictional
superheros Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman, etc., including
007, having possession of some kind of superpowers, inherit this
The implications of all this are that the essential and only purpose
of the superheros is to deal with elements of the ugly underbelly,
and specifically within the terms recognized by those elements.
is well done, either in fact or in fiction, it is a joy to behold.
But a subtle element of all this is that the superheros seem to
have no other function.
And this gives the impression that the ugly elements are always
on-going and that one needs to be a superhero to begin with in order
to deal with them.
If one reflects on the reasons for the tremendous popularity of
the fictional superheros, it could be thought that their successes
trigger some kind of latent awareness that reminds of superhero
factors in our species.
event, the contexts of the superhero fictions do deal with potential
human superpowers, and do so in ways that are hardly to be found
elsewhere. The fictions can therefore be appreciated for this, since
any contextualizing of human superpowers is better than none at
of course, numerous jumps that have to be made to get from fictional
contexts to non-fictional ones, i.e., to get into what is usually
referred to as “real-life” issues regarding activities
within the ugly underbelly.
Characteristics of the ugly activities usually become plain to see
in the end. But by the time the activities are seen it is usually
too late to do anything about them.
activities are interesting and fascinating in themselves. But they
do come and go, perhaps largely because they come crashing down
as ultimate effects of their own internal discord.
The ugly activities therefore do not persist as such, but the human
motives behind them seem to be on-going and continuous – and
so chapters in the saga of the unbearable pity for the suffering
of mankind also continue.
begins again in each generation, making the platitude that our human
species should learn from the history of its past mistakes seem
badly out of tune.
of ABSENT encyclopedias, there are none that list and itemize identifiable
human motives, very many of which are repeated time and again, and
are therefore identifiable.
One possible reason for the absence of THIS particular kind of encyclopedia
is that once motives are identified then too many games are automatically
down the tubes – unless they are maintained by social conditioning
or by abject force.
that sense, it is better not to have encyclopedias that list the
wide spectrum of motives along with their subtle characteristics.
Indeed, there are many human motives that cannot fulfill themselves,
that cannot really work too well, if they become too visible –
visible, say, to their potential and ultimately realized victims.
not too clear, in conventional terms human motives, and their resulting
activities and proclivities, are commonly divided into the good,
the bad, and the ugly.
In the sense of this division, our species thus reflects one part
positive and two parts negative motives and activities.
of this little calculation is that the one part good can easily
be outmaneuvered by the two parts negative.
There is copious evidence easily at hand that something like this
is the on-going case. It is well understood that the two parts negative
can, in time and with dedication, disassemble the one part positive,
and do so within the contexts of clandestine machiavellian strategies
Thus, as it is commonly said, things can change but things remain
– THE GOOD - THE BAD – THE UGLY
event, it IS quite well understood that our species/mankind is in
possession of superlative virtues, i.e., superpowers, against which,
if they manifest, do give problems to the two negative parts.
For example, when linked with each other, the two basic superpowers
of insightful deduction and caring can easily give pause and concern
to the two parts negative.
the mix of these two basic superpowers often results in serious
commitments that are difficult for the two parts negative to cope
It is thus to be wondered why the super-positive superlative part
is lopped off from positive-negative line-up of our species.
Which is to say, lopped off, for example, within modernist sociological
and psychological contexts and which disciplines otherwise exclusively
tend to focus only on what is negative within mankind.
explanation for this is that those two once-powerful disciplines
were being responsive only to social orders whose workings cannot
permit too much manifesting of superlative human powers, and all
that they imply in superpower ways.
AND HIGHER-ORDER MOTIVES AMONG OUR SPECIES
of a better way to express it, one can think in the rather tired
and tattered terms of higher- and lower-order motives, but with
the proviso that distinguishing between them is often difficult
For example, many lower-order motives announce themselves as higher-order
ones, and all too often continue generally to be perceived as such.
It is tempting
to begin a list, as so many have, of lower-order motives. But each
reader should attempt this on their own steam, lest it be thought
that this author is trying to lead readers into his own reality
event, it is far more challenging to try to identify at least ten
of task somewhat depends on what one is using as a reality box,
whether one has self-constructed it, or whether it is a socially
conditioned one. So guidelines are a little hard to establish.
speaking, however, lower-order motives ultimately lead in the direction
of victimization of one kind or another – and/or, when large-scale
enough, into the direction of the unbearable pity for the suffering
that can be encountered in attempting these lists is that one might
have to depend on one’s intuitive, clairvoyant, and telepathic
factors – because utilizing reason and logic alone might not
reveal too much with regard to motives that are deliberately hidden.
in this website have discussed the background of these particular
difficulties. But briefly here, hidden motives, especially of the
lower-order kind, need to thwart too much emergence of those particular
human superpowers, and the reasons for doing so are quite obvious.
human superpowers are perceived as an invasive threat to hidden
lower-order motives, higher-order motives are but an occasional
nuisance to them.
While there are numerous reasons for this, higher-order motives
are, on the one hand, often based in a sense of potential harmony
throughout the species that COULD be nurtured as such.
But, on the other hand, many higher-order motives tend to try to
unfold within their own reality-box contexts, and thereby make themselves
aloof from the prevailing real-time, lower-order activities and
the rather sorry intellectualizing of the motives that invigorate
THIS author has been told by many higher-order activists that giving
attention at all to lower-order motives serves no other purpose
than to give energy to them.
Well, lower-order motives have more than enough energy of their
own – which is why they do prevail so easily and have evolved
many Machiavellian devices whereby they reproduce themselves so
is, of course, “the view that politics [of any lesser or greater
kind] is amoral and that any means however unscrupulous can justifiably
be used in achieving political power.”
As has been pointed up by many investigators and authors, Machiavellian
perceptions translate quite easily into all walks of lower-motivational
orders in which unscrupulousness is depended upon to play many significant
It is understandable
that many higher-order enthusiasts do not themselves wish to evince
symptoms of unscrupulousness - which, nevertheless, is explicitly
acknowledged as one of the principle sources of the unbearable pity
for the suffering of mankind.
And so those enthusiasts have not evolved Machiavellian strategies
and tactics of their own – which is somewhat to say that they
have not become lean, mean, fighting machines with regard to their
own goals and visions on behalf of our entire species.
of lower-order motives of course realize this, for some of them
are not entirely bereft of modicums of intelligence.
So the best thinkers among them realize that higher-order enthusiasts
will not, in general, become lean, mean, fighting machines.
Rather, as one anti-utopian functionary once told this author via
a nice turn of phrasing, they “will strangle themselves with
their own platitudes of social consciousness.”
or even most, lower-order motives do not have too much social consciousness
to begin with. Indeed,, the history of the twentieth century alone
has provided some stunning examples of this kind of vacuum.
aspect of higher-order motives consists of the pseudo-legendary
assumption that human superpowers of the species (such as intuition,
clairvoyance, and telepathy) should not be developed because they
could be used to support negative goals and ends.
but maybe not.
reason for the “maybe not” is that modicums of clairvoyance
and telepathy put one in closer touch with sensing and feeling the
unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. Many famous psychics
this author has fortunately known often complained about this, and
begin wondering how to “help.”
Indeed, lower-order enthusiasts seem not to come into too much contact
with these kinds of sensing and feeling, and so although the suffering
may be “out there” it doesn’t have all that much
to do with them.
Johnson (1709-84), the English author and leading literary scholar
and critic of his time, once observed: “Those who do not feel
pain [and suffering] seldom think that it is felt [by others].”
One of Johnson’s more famous works was his book entitled LIFE
OF SAVAGE (1744). This was a bitter portrait of corruption in London
and the many miseries endured because of it.
somewhat familiar, doesn’t it?
past, this author read somewhere of the concept that each of us
becomes what we do, but only in the light of what we can sense and
feel – what we cannot sense or feel does not really exist
This is somewhat like saying that if we cannot sense-feel “ripples
in the Force,” then we are at distinct disadvantages as to
what is impending in it. The “ripples” of course refer
to, say, lower-order disharmony injected into the higher-harmonies
of the Force.
of the meanings of this is that while those who do not feel pain
and suffering might not think that others do feel and experience
them, the awakening, for example, of the superpowers of vibe-sensing,
empathy, and telepathy, etc., tends to put one more in touch with
the unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
those particular superpowers are among the many that, in a more
complete sense, connect us with the larger vista of mankind, our
species entire, and perhaps with all species and life forms.
in little developed evidence of this in our species so far. And
so it is not too surprising that ET fly-bys fly right on and do
not touch down to engage in interchanges.THE HUMAN SPECIES GUILD
[To Be Continued]