Mirror of Zen Blog

Alpha Males Are Not Brutes in Non-Human Primates

When you “teach“ or guide people in meditation, you are immediately faced with questions of psychology, of motivation and cause-and-effect. “Karma” is just a Sanskrity term for “mind habits”. The Buddha was not a teacher of “religion“, rather, a supreme scientist, an expositor of the verifiable sciences of mind and its machinations. Most of these “machinations“ have fairly predictable trajectories, based on the laws of cause and effect. So, it is essential to understand this not the only in humans, but in our near relatives, the non-human primates.

I have always loved to read things in evolutionarily psychology. Robert Wright’s The Moral Animal is perhaps the only book that I have read three times, and I have gifted it to a good number of people over the years, in English and in Korean translation.

If I ever started a school of meditation – – don’t worry, I won’t! – – it would be required, as part of the curriculum, that people do some reading in evolutionary psychology. (I would also require that they listen to Andrew Huberman‘s lectures on neuroscience, as well – – absolutely.)

In an age where so many subjects are becoming so easily fraught with supposed gender-skewing, it is especially welcome to hear this enlightening perspective from a leading scientist who happens to be, well, if it must be said, or if it really even matters, female. Bravo again for science!

Her followup to comments in the thread are equally enlightening:

Here is the link to the entire discussion, which, I have just discovered, includes Jordan Peterson. Mouth is absolutely watering :

Jordan Peterson & Heather Heying: Identity, Religion, Death

“Identity, Religion, Death” — it’s all of my favorite subjects in one handy little video! Can’t wait – – got to make some time to meditate on the full discussion, soon.

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