The human being is rather unique among all animals. We are considered the most adaptable of nature and animals. We are the only ones who are smart enough to have developed a culture. We are the cause of our cultural changes, and we are supposed to be able to adapt to the changes.
But do we?
What is wrong with us? We are smart. That is our potential asset and that is our potential liability. What do I mean? Let me give you an example.
If we take a baby wolf into our homes and treat him like a loving pet he would grow up like a domesticated dog would. If when fully grown, we return him to the wild wolf pack, he will quickly adapt to acting like a wolf again. Part of us may be hurt and angry. We might say to ourselves, “See that, once a wolf? How can he be so ungrateful and forget all the love we gave him? He is acting just like all the other wolves.”
Now if we take a human baby to a wolf and her wolf pack adopts the infant (this has happened in India on several occasions), the baby will act like a wolf. As the baby grows into childhood, the child will even tend to run on all fours. If the child is discovered and captured and then given to warm loving human beings who want to re-civilize her/him, the child will fight viciously to escape back to the wolf pack where she/he feels she/he belongs. Some have escaped back, some have died in captivity in their struggle to escape.
What can we learn from this?
It means that human beings because they are so intelligent, not only adapt to their environment, but they intellectually believe and emotionally trust the early environment to which they became adapted.
What does this mean?
It means that when human beings are born in hell, because of their great adaptational ability they survive, even though they are miserable and yell and complain that they want to leave, when they are placed in heaven, they will feel so uncomfortable and lost, they would try to go back to hell where they feel they belong and have learned to survive.
Freud saw this but misunderstood the cause. He called these people masochists. My teacher at Columbia University’s Psychoanalytic School, Dr. Sandor Rado, understood the cause. He called them pain dependent. People get conditioned to pain, and do not trust pleasure without the pain. I call them the “Acceptors,” which I will discuss in detail later.
Few if any one in America has been raised by wild wolves. No one has been born and raised in hell literally. But many of us have been born and raised in hell figuratively. If in our infancy and childhood we were treated like an unwanted stray dog, we would adapt to that conditioning. We might look around and see one of two opposite extremes.
We might see that others are treated or seem to be treated differently. Symbolically, we were not allowed or entitled to sit at the dinner table with or without others. But we saw others we knew who were allowed to sit at the dinner table with other warm loving human beings. We were thrown a bone out the window in the backyard dirt for the first five to 10 years of our lives. We would learn to survive eating alone, dirt and all. If we try to get close to the table we were yelled at, perhaps hit, and in no uncertain terms we were told to get back to where we belong.
In the next 10 years, we grew up emotionally alone. We were able to obtain our own bone and did not need anyone. We felt there is something terribly the matter with us. We are just not good enough or lovable. That is the way we are. There is nothing we can do about it but suffer. We get anxious if someone or some people treat us nicely or try to love us. We say to ourselves, “How can they say they love me? I’m not good enough or lovable. They must not know me very well, I’ll run away before they find out the truth.”
Or we say to ourselves, “They don’t really love me, they must want to use me. I’ll fix those bastards. I may not be lovable, but I’m not stupid.”
Or we say to ourselves, “They really love me. They really know me and they still love me and they do not want to use me. They must be idiots. How can I love them or even be near them?”
This is not the thinking of the ghetto delinquent. This is the thinking of the neurotic “middle class”. One can be financially poor or wealthy and yet still fit into the emotional human value system of the “middle class” neurotic.
If we lived in the ghettos of Americas inner cities we might see that almost everyone we see there and get to know is treated like that. Life is just dog eat dog. The severe delinquents from the inner-city ghettos I have treated were raised in this environment.
Like rats, many are confined to a relatively small space. Like rats, they break out. Like rats, no one really emotionally cares about them. Like rats, nobody wants to be near them, they are a danger. Like rats, they are a total liability. To live with them, you have to act like them, they will not act like you. Like rats, they will destroy the neighborhood and the environment they live in. Like rats, they take what they want. They learn to band together like a pack of rats. If the opportunity arises they will eat each other, like rats. Unlike rats, the public cannot kill them.
These ghetto delinquents learn to take whatever bone they can find. Others may call it stealing. The ghetto delinquents if they put their feelings into words would think, “How can they call this stealing? It is the only way I and others learn to survive. It is not stealing whatever that is, it is survival.”
They are angry because they see people with so much more food and other things that they never had and know they can never get. Whenever they can, they destroy just for the hell of it. It helps vent their anger and then they feel better. They do not care if the food is wasted, or the building burned down.
“Shit” they say, ” what do I care about a f—ing building. Nobody cares a f—ing thing about me. And I’m more important than a f—ing building.”
A family meets one and invite him to sit down and have all the dinner he wants with them. There was a beautiful clean linen table with clean sterling silver knives, forks, and spoons and all kinds of dishes with delicious looking and smelling food in them. How do you think he would feel? How do you think he would act? What do you think he would think? What do you think would finally happen? You are right, he would steal the silver. He would bite the hand that feeds him. He is America’s equivalent to India’s wolf children, multiplied by millions.