A Chapter by Paul

Final section of The Me Primer






When I am starved the meaning of life is to eat. When I am exhausted the meaning of life is to rest. When I am aroused the meaning of life is to have sex. When I am physically content the meaning of life is a great mystery to be solved. The mind becomes content or volatile depending on the solution to this mystery. My imagination will not stop in the case of either. My imagination will work to remain content, or volatile, pursuing the particular understanding of the meaning of life that has been formed; sometimes even if I again become starved or exhausted or aroused. This is the power of imagination.

            When I don’t know all of the answers there is always a leap of faith necessary. For me it has become faith in the scientific method, even when an answer does not seem possible. I want science to have answers that are absolute, right now. I want science to be magical. I must recognize that science cannot always be positive of the finality of answers. This is because of a lack of facts, or our inability to properly interpret facts, but I have faith that science is our most consistent tool for discovering.

In the past, if I wanted answers, I turned to magic. My faith was put in supernatural elements that gave me absolutes. The magic may not have given me all the answers but it gave me reasons why some things had to remain a mystery. It gave me confidence that if I did “this” now then I would get “that” later. I now have confidence that, as part of the natural world, I can discover which human inventions work best for me. I know now that I need to be confident in my life as an animal. This can seem to be a life of uncertainty and so I give it some certainty by controlling the things that I can control, like my behavior. I control my behavior in the hope that others will control their behavior. I would like to have only facts to support my ideas for how best to do this, as an individual, in a society, but at times I take a leap based on what seems the best choice. I examine the consequences of each possible action and discover which choice will be best for individual, human-animals. I do this because I am an individual, human-animal. My ideas about specifics can be wrong, they can be skewed and silly, but my premise will not be, it is fool proof: I am an individual and I am only satisfied when I can meet my individual needs.

I believe that I am an animal living in the natural world. A world where good and evil are subjective terms, where right and wrong only have power in an accepted code of conduct. It then becomes a question of what is best. What is best for the most individuals to feel safe living their individual lives? I believe it is best to tolerate other individuals satisfying their needs, so that they will tolerate me satisfying my needs.


I am an animal I don’t believe I could ever understand myself if I did not know this. It can be argued that my brain is bigger relative to my body than in other animals. It can be argued that I have greater capacity for creative thought. This does not change the fact that I have an animal brain that functions and is driven like every animal brain. Giraffes have a very long, very strong neck but fundamentally it works in the same way that my neck does.
all thought begins and ends with this understanding
I can think anything I want. My brain does not have to limit any ideas. But I must always keep the basic understanding, that I am an animal, in order to understand my motivations. I can say that I am an animal that wants to be more than an animal. I can invent all kinds of scenarios to explain my actions but I will never know myself unless I take the time to attribute my motivations to the basic motivations of all animals. I am selfish, selfish as all animals must be. Even if I do something for someone else, I understand that I am driven to do so because it is satisfying something in me.

my evolutionary advantage is imagination Not a pretty phrase I know but it is necessary to state this way. The poet in me wants to make this a line of lyrical beauty but I know that its real meaning would get lost in prettier words. The human brain has evolved biologically, allowing for increased thought process, while my brain has evolved to the point where its foundational desires are almost unrecognizable. I am aware that science is learning more and more about how other animals also are creative. I believe that science will always find that the human animal has a brain that cannot be matched when it comes to imagination. My brain has taken the simplest desires/ feelings and made them into great webs of thought, for better and for worse.

I create to survive My creativity is the advantage. What I lack in speed and strength I make up for in creating new reactions to survive every day. Creating refers to any idea beyond the most basic animal instincts but recognizes that my eventual creation is just a mutation, or many mutations, of the same instincts that all animals have. I have imagined them differently and it has helped me and my ancestors survive.
at times I have imagined myself more than an animal
I think I have made up a lot of things to explain this very complicated thought process that my complex animal brain has. I do this instead of just going to the common threads, the basic feelings that all animals have. As a child I believed in supernatural powers and I was moved to make decisions, and to act in ways, consistent with this confidence or fear. Even after religion I have done things because I thought I had to perform to some higher standard than an animal, without understanding that this was a choice that I was making, based on the web of thoughts that I had amassed.

capable of wonderful things Wonderful is of course subjective and anyone can imagine scenarios or search history for the details

and awful things Awful is of course subjective and anyone can imagine scenarios or search history for the details

I imagine there is a better way to do wonderful things This is what I feel called to do. To define wonderful for myself as that which lets individuals thrive in private and expect tolerance in public. No other animal has to do this. I do not expect others to have to follow this path unless they also choose to look for a way that is most beneficial to maintaining individual freedom. I believe this is necessary for human happiness. Having made such a choice I do not need to insist that people seek more than the satisfaction of their animal instincts. I do not need to insist that they forego their magical beliefs. I will insist that they abide by the rules of a society, in which they are safe to fulfill their desires, or find somewhere to exercise their individuality that does not adversely impact other individuals. 

I am an animal I don’t believe I could ever understand myself if I did not know this...

© 2022 Paul

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Added on April 24, 2017
Last Updated on August 23, 2022



I am writing in the Mid Atlantic area of the United States, mostly non-fiction at this time. I am a song writer as well. http://songsongsongs.com Also of interest could be- http://bookstore.trafford... more..

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A Book by Paul