I met Anna Albright in my first year at shrink school. We still meet occasionally over coffee and discuss what makes humans tick under their mild mannered exteriors. What lies in the belly of the beast? We might be wrong with our conclusions but I don't think so. We love to talk about what people might be thinking under their words and gestures and that they might not even know they're thinking or why they're doing what they're doing; it's like sleuth work.
Why is it we use so much energy to hide what's really on our minds? If people knew what you were thinking would it be such a disaster? When we're kids it's fine to be honest: if you don't like someone you literally throw mud at them and tell them you never want to play with them again. As an adult you try that, you'll get sued.
Maybe it's better to keep it to yourself most of the time because what we're thinking is usually Machiavellian. I read somewhere that for every five negative thoughts there's one positive one so we have a leaning to be deceptive. We are creatures of want and need.
Read the "Selfish Gene" (I haven't but I can imagine what it's about), I think it may be about the fact that we are all out to win at any cost for the sake of the mother of all needs; survival. Every cell in our body is there to survive. It couldn't give a shit about your happiness.
We still, under our civilized surfaces, hunt for the alpha male and female (see trophy wife). We may not like them but we want them or want to be them or be best friends with them. We know they might not make us happy - as a matter of fact, if they're so desirable, you can bet your booty someone else thinks so too and is waiting in the wings to nab him/her. The real bitch is, the alpha males manufacture the best survival seeds and the alpha women lay the best long lasting and robust eggs.
We seek advantage for power, sex and rock and roll and we always did historically. Just take a peek at how the Royal Courts of Europe worked; from serf to hand maiden wasn't an easy leap, you had to screw someone metaphorically and literally to get up there. We've been using each other from when we first began. "I'll give you my daughter if you'll give me some camel teeth" and they shook on it.
Then we have another part of us that seeks love and that, in a nutshell, is why we're so confused and need medical help. Thank you and goodnight. These are two very contrasting needs that tear you apart. You want to be altruistic and yet want to rob the bank. You want to be caring about humanity and yet you drink from plastic bottles or whatever... You want to help an old person over a puddle and yet if they slipped and fell in it, you'd laugh. We are a hodge-podge of desires and it was always thus. We should all pat ourselves on our backs for getting this far, let's hope we can keep it up.
Ruby's new book - A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled - will be published in January 2016. Be the first to find out more here. Don't miss out on the last chance to see her Sane New World show - at the Arts Theatre in London, Jan 19 - Feb 13 2016.