Dr. Graves'

THE THIRD SUBSISTENCE LEVEL - The C-P or Egocentric Existential State

Theme: Express self, to hell with the consequences, lest one suffer the torment of unbearable shame.

This level arises when the achievement of relative safety and security produces boredom with the life of elders and activates awareness of self as a being separate and distinct from others.

The accumulating problems from living a secure, unchanging, elder-dominated, "shaman"-controlled way of life produces expressive problems for those who experience the awakening of "selfism."

These problems activate the P system, that psychoneurological system which possesses the tissue which is specifically tuned to sense consciousness and consciousness of self and has the capacity to experience the feeling of shame. It also activates the operant or intentional learning system.

Thinking at this level is totally self-centered, that is, egocentric in fashion. It is in terms of controlling or being controlled, in terms of intentions to assure that self will receive and to insure that self will always receive.

Thinks in terms of struggling to gain one's own satisfaction, to hell with others--in terms of snaring, entrapping, and acting to avoid being caught while taking advantage of others.

Shows stubborn resistiveness to power exercised by others, but obeisance when overpowered until power over self is lost. Thus, thinks in terms of "haves" and "have nots."

Sees life in a very person-affective way. Is a cauldron of strong, negative emotional forces such as shame, rage, hate, disgust, grief, but not guilt. Coexistent in this person is the tendency to revel in hedonistic, pleasure seeking pursuits to an orgiastic degree.

Shows strong emotional reactivity to the actions of others who are pleasing or not pleasing to selfish desires. Expresses such with no consideration of others, spawns an exploitative form of management.

Shows a generalized "you are with me or against me" emotional response to others. Has a two-fold aim in life -- to win, or at least to live forever in the mouths and legends of others. There are no true two-way'-interpersonal relations.

Learns predominantly through Skinnerian operant conditioning principles, but does not learn from punishment.

This system is open to verbal assessment, but only minimally so.

First appeared about 10,000 years ago.

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