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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Xerek Files: Entry Number Eleven – [Alienation]

We are social animals by our very nature and even the most reclusive among us desire some form of human contact now and again.  Even those who willfully separate themselves from the rest of society still have that fundamental desire for contact; a fact that is encoded into our very DNA.  We desire human contact, even if we are somewhat removed from the rest of the group.  Even when we find ourselves placed on the outskirts of any social group, we tend to find it better than being a social pariah, social outcast, or otherwise exiled from that group.  And when someone is deprived of essential human contact or is denied the ability to socialize with others, they will suffer the consequences of such isolation.  This can even be seen with babies who are deprived of contact while they grow up and develop.  As these babies grow up and develop in such a deprived environment, they don’t do so normally or healthily as compared to babies and other children who did have social contact as they grew up and developed.

Because of our essential social nature, it leads us to form groups, bands, tribes, and other such social groups that allow for the development of a common culture among people.  And it is from that groundwork that societies are allowed to form and develop; a collection of people who share common traits, ideas, and features that get passed down from one generation to another.  As a result, this allows for bonding practices too easily form and develop.  And with these bonding practices, they tend to occur with those who tend to share traits, ideas, and features that are more closely related or otherwise similar to their own.  This can be as simple and immediately obvious as skin color.  Anything that allows for the easy formation of community, people have a tendency to gravitate towards that feature.  But when dealing with those who are somehow different then ourselves, regardless of what it is, we tend to segregate and isolate them from the rest of the group or community.  If someone doesn’t belong to the community in which we belong, according to the standards that we have established, either collectively or individually, then we will shun that individual or individuals and will persecute, harass, or otherwise attack them if they try to incorporate themselves into our community or try to use or inhabit the same territory or space as we do.

But if we are, for some reason, forced to accept these individuals or have to otherwise coexist with them within a larger social or communal construct, then we prefer if they existed away from the main, central crowd, preferably at the edges of our specific social group.  This can be seen where certain individuals tend to be marginalized by the rest of the social group for some specific or arbitrary reason.  And when these marginalized individuals share, or otherwise have, some form of common thread that connects them with other marginalized individuals, they will tend to gravitate towards each other and form their own groups within the larger social construct that they find themselves in.  And since they are persecuted or otherwise separated from the rest of the group for essentially the same reasons, this allows them to share the same burden, lightening that burden from being experienced by any single individual.  As a result, this can act as a means of social bonding between these individuals.  It’s easier to suffer with others than it is to suffer alone.  An example of this can be seen with sports teams.  If you’re miserable with others, then still rooting for the same sports club isn’t that bad.  An example of this can be seen in baseball regarding the Chicago Cubs and basketball regarding the Los Angeles Clippers.

With this social ostracism, it can be seen regarding those with extraordinary traits and abilities.  Because they possess traits and abilities not typically found in the average human being, or possess traits and abilities that are considered above and beyond that of the average human being, it can cause jealousy, resentment, anger, or hatred to occur within the average human being.  This can be due to a myriad of different reasons, depending upon the person in question.  But regardless of the cause, those with extraordinary traits and abilities become targets of aggression and hostility by others simply because they possess extraordinary traits and abilities.  As a result, those with extraordinary traits and abilities become socially ostracized and social pariahs simply because of what they have and who they are.  This can take the form of simply being socially isolated from others to open acts of violence which vary wildly from what can be considered “harmless” pranks to full out violence that leaves someone seriously or critically injured and possibly dead.

And the very nature of the extraordinary trait or ability that the individual possesses can also play a factor in the severity of the injuries they can receive at the hands of others.  However, some people are actually able to hide the fact that they possess extraordinary traits and abilities.  It’s even possible that they don’t know it themselves for they can possess what can be considered a “mild” form of the trait or ability.  It’s also possible that what they possess can fall within a standard deviation or two from the rest of the community.  But this idea of someone possessing a “mild” form of an extraordinary trait or ability is an absurd one.  This is because these extraordinary traits and abilities tend to fall upon a spectrum with only the most extreme examples of the specific trait or ability being the most obvious ones to detect.  So, when an individual possesses a particular trait or ability, it can take one of many forms.  It’s not an either/or situation.  With the very nature of extraordinary traits and abilities, there is, and can be, no way of definitely saying what constitutes an extraordinary trait or ability and what doesn’t.  As a result, there are those who can possess extraordinary traits and abilities and not stand out because of it.  And because of this, they don’t become harassed, bullied, or otherwise attacked because of it.

However, there are those who can’t be considered so lucky as to be able to hide their extraordinary trait or ability for they are incapable of hiding such a fact.  This is due primarily to blatantly obvious factors that make the individual easy to indentify as possessing extraordinary traits and abilities.  This typically consists of some visual queue that indicates to others that they are different from everyone else.  Typically, there is some visual sign that other people can see almost immediately and can’t be easily hidden by the individual.  As a result, the individual that possesses the extraordinary trait or ability will typically become the victim of harassment and abuse.  However, there are situations where, due to some extraordinary circumstances, the individual who was once able to hide the fact that he or she possesses an extraordinary trait or ability can no longer hide that fact.  In such a situation, they no longer have the luxury of secrecy and will become the target of harassment and abuse.

As a result of this fact, that they are somehow different then everyone else, it causes them to become alienated from the rest of the group.  Sometimes, this alienation isn’t actively performed against that particular individual.  The individual in question could find themselves in the situation where he or she is able to hide the fact that they possess an extraordinary trait or ability, but yet still experience the same sense of alienation.  This could be due to the fact that they witness such harassment or abuse directed against others who are known to possess extraordinary traits and abilities, causing them to identify with the persecuted individual.  So, even though they are not directly persecuted or harassed for being what they are, these individuals still experience some sense of alienation.  And it is because of the abuse and harassment that they experience, accompanied by this social alienation that is forced upon them, that causes some individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities to become hostile towards those who lack such traits and abilities.  This can be done by a lone individual or by a group of them working together toward a common goal or objective.  And through this hostility by those with extraordinary traits and abilities, it can cause some of those who don’t to attack those individuals that do, causing a vicious cycle to form.

All of this because some individuals are harassed, attacked, and alienated simply because they are different.  This illustrates another facet of human nature, something known as tribalism.  Tribalism is quite simple; if someone doesn’t belong to my particular group or tribe, then they should be treated as the enemy and thus, eliminated.  And it is through this sense of tribalism that causes a lot of conflict to occur between different groups of people all around the world, something that is unlikely to change any time soon.  Only time will tell if such attitudes and behaviors will change regarding the treatment of others, or if the very essence of human nature will go about unchanged, allowing such behavior to continue and to go about unchecked.

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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Xerek Files

 

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Xerek Files: Entry Number Ten – [Origin Myths: Aliens]

Regarding the interest, and occasional infatuation, seen in certain groups of people regarding the alien visitation of Earth, it can be roughly traced back to the 1960’s or so.  This can be due, in part, to the gradual shifting of attitudes within Western society during this period away from traditional forms of religion to other more contemporary means of explaining what we are observing and experiencing around us, not only in regards to the world, but with the universe as a whole.  This can be due, in part, to the fact that we are relying more and more upon scientific information and research to explain what we see and experience around us instead of the traditional stories found in religion.  And with the rising belief in UFO’s and extraterrestrials, it plays right into this changing mindset.  With the exploration of space, started during the Cold War as seen with the launch of Sputnik 1 and the Apollo Program, people became interested in space and its exploration.  And from this interest, people began to think “What if life existed beyond the confines of our planet and was able to visit our lonely corner of the universe?”

As a result, it has led some to claim that UFO’s have been visiting our planet for millennia, influencing our history and social development.  This has even manifested itself as the visiting alien creatures taking on the forms described in the world’s holy books and writings, merging traditional religion with a new approach and perspective on it.  On the other hand, some believe that visitors from other star systems have only started visiting Earth after the detonation of the nuclear warhead Trinity, taking an entirely modern approach to the situation.  These are only two of the possible approaches used to explain the situation that we see within this community.

But regardless of the history that is believed to exist surrounding UFO’s, some UFO proponents believe that it is because of extraterrestrial visitation that allowed, or otherwise caused, extraordinary traits and abilities to form and develop in the first place.  These proponents don’t believe, or otherwise accept, the idea that extraordinary traits and abilities formed naturally within humanity.  Instead, according to them, the only possible explanation for extraordinary traits and abilities has to be of extraterrestrial origin.  And it is through this alien contact that caused extraordinary traits and abilities to form and develop.  Otherwise, according to these believers, they wouldn’t have formed because extraordinary traits and abilities are inherently unnatural or are otherwise not of this world.

Exactly how this occurs isn’t clearly explained, and what information that is provided can vary depending upon the story being told.  Some think that when contact was made, some kind of food stuffs was provided by the visiting aliens, and when these food stuffs were consumed by the human recipients, if affected those who ate it, granting them extraordinary traits and abilities.  Others claim that through all of the scientific testing conducted by the visiting aliens, such as anal probes and surgical implants, is what allows for these traits and abilities to form and develop.  According to this claim, because the cause of extraordinary traits and abilities has been artificially implanted into the individual, it explains why some of the traits and abilities are seen as unstable.  But not every position regarding the alien origin of extraordinary traits and abilities has such a claim attached to it.  These individuals believe that simply coming into contact with an alien life form altered the essential nature of humanity, causing it to develop extraordinary traits and abilities.

But regardless of the exact details that caused the formation and development of extraordinary traits and abilities within humanity in the first place, for this group of people, they all come back to the same idea that they are of extraterrestrial origin.  However, there isn’t any verifiable evidence available that supports the idea that extraterrestrials, UFO’s, or aliens of any kind have visited Earth, let along granted humanity extraordinary traits and abilities.  In addition to this, there is the genetic evidence that one has to deal with.  All the evidence that has been gathered so far points to the fact that extraordinary traits and abilities have a long history connected with humanity and are supported by the genetic makeup of the individual who possesses them.  So if extraterrestrials are somehow responsible for the development of extraordinary traits and abilities, they had to get involved pretty early in Homo sapiens development and evolution in order to account for the evidence that has been gathered on the matter.

The best explanation that can be provided to rationalize this position is control.  Believing that other beings are somehow responsible for the creation of extraordinary traits and abilities gives the believer some semblance of control over the situation because it allows them to be able to take some form of action to deal with it.  In addition to this, it also absolves them of any fault on the matter if they possess any extraordinary traits and abilities or is the parent of someone who does.  If it’s not the actual genes that the person possesses that are responsible for the traits or abilities, then they aren’t expected to take any form of personal responsibility for them.  But this sense of control is just an illusion.  The entire situation is inherently chaotic and disorganized.  The fact of the matter is that there is no control, especially when it comes to one’s genetic makeup or the genetic makeup of one’s offspring.  So the whole idea behind control in situations like this simply gives the believer some form of comfort in an otherwise discomforting situation.

Finally, the belief in extraordinary traits and abilities being caused by extraterrestrials, as well as belief in UFO’s as a whole, can be seen as the individual’s loss of faith in traditional or otherwise socially acceptable forms of religion.  So, to compensate for this, they adopt a different set of beliefs that they perceive as being relevant to their lives in modern times and something that they can understand instead of the belief system that they grew up with.  Another possibility is that they are simply replacing an older belief system with a newer one.  But like before, they are trying to explain a natural, real world phenomenon with a supernatural answer that they find psychologically satisfying.

Obtaining some form of spiritual guidance or greater meaning for one’s life through the use of supernatural answers is one thing, but trying to explain the natural world through supernatural means and trying to fit the natural world within a supernatural framework will not work.  This is due to the fact that, no matter how much one tries to do so, the natural world will eventually fail to fit into one’s perception of how it is supposed to work.  Reality, nature, and the underlying principles that constitute the universe are elements that will not be pigeonholed into any one position by what we thing they should be.  They are things much larger then we realize.  They can also be quite simple things to grasp and understand that don’t require an over complicated or convoluted explanation.  That is why believing that extraordinary traits and abilities are caused by extraterrestrial means is an inherently flawed concept.  To paraphrase Occam’s razor, with all else being equal, the simplest answer is most likely the right one.  As a result, this eliminates the need for UFO’s and extraterrestrials to explain the origins of extraordinary traits and abilities.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Xerek Files

 

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