The Death Instinct

For our survival, we have to recognize, understand and contain –

Violent Projective Identification.

Putting it another way –

We have to prevent Trump from wrecking the planet.

Elections have consequences, none more so than last November’s. It made Trump the most powerful man in the world!

Freud was taken aback by the destructive forces lurking in man’s inner self. He referred to them metaphorically as demons and linked them with Thanatos, a Greek mythic figure who personified death. For Trump, his demons surface frequently in the guise of tweets. In my judgment, they are a key to understanding how he works the presidency.

Put yourself in the shoes of San Juan’s mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz. A Category Five hurricane had all but destroyed the island of Puerto Rico, which, of course, included San Juan. Nine days after the catastrophic storm, effective Federal response had still not materialized. The mayor went on TV and told Trump and the world, “We are dying.”

Trump responded with a barrage of tweets, deriding the mayor’s alleged weak leadership. In one tweet, he slammed her as a “politically motivated ingrate.” In fact, she had been working night and day, helping victims and trying to get government help for them. She was obviously exhausted, barely hanging on. Trump had spent the two week-ends subsequent to the appalling disaster at his golf resorts.

Patient reader, what is your response to Trump’s response?

Mine is murder! I want to kill the sonofabitch.

THAT is violent projective identification!

The small-town, harmless, dedicated mayor Cruz had stirred up violent feelings in Trump. The slightest criticism always does. Immediately his inner Vulcan, like that ancient god of forge and fire, hammered his murderous rage at the mayor into some twenty tweets, objects he could project as efficiently as the packages of paper towels he tossed to the Puerto Ricans.

Tweets are a major vehicle for projecting Trump’s violent feelings, thereby ridding himself of them. As he is my president, I am keenly responsive to his actions. Trump’s violence towards mayor Cruz got projected into my belly. It became an identifiable part of me.
I experienced murderous feelings because of his murderous behavior.

That’s what is meant by Violent Projective Identification.

Trump’s use of tweets inexhaustibly projecting raging states of mind makes it a certainty his internal world is populated by demons, dreadful carriers of hate. They are the source of his lethality. They are a gang of killers. By virtue of his office, he has planetary powers for projecting these immensely powerful explosive devices, however he pleases.

The National Football League – “You’re fired!”

The White Nationalists – “Blame on both sides”

Some 200 nations sign Paris Climate Accords – Trump withdraws

Iran Treaty on nuclear development – Trump threatens to withdraw

“Rocket Boy” – a callow, volatile leader! – with a hydrogen bomb and an ICBM!

A “moron” can’t become President of the United States.

A “moron” can work violent projective identification with the mastery of a Rock Star. And, in brutal fact, Trump gathered some 62 million votes on November 8th, 2016.

President Trump has no legislative interest, no knowledge how the U.S. Congress works, no curiosity, no sense of objectivity.

What he has are his demons. He projected them violently into Puerto Rico, a tiny island 135 miles long. He projects them violently across the globe, 196 million square miles.

He’s the most powerful man in the world, and he is demonic.

Filthy Rich!

The Republicans have trotted out their tax proposals, insisting piously they are aimed at improving the lot of the middle class. In fact, Trump claims it’s the biggest break for the majority of plain citizens since the founding of The Republic. It isn’t. According to impartial, financial experts, trained economists all, that is a lie. As always, the proposed revision of the tax structure benefits the wealthy. The Rich get richer, not so much the 1%, but the 0.1%! And that raises a profound problem –

Why do the Filthy Rich work as hard as busboys to get filthier?

Here are thoughts from Montaigne –

Epicurus said that being rich does not alleviate our worries: it
changes them. And truly it is not want that produces avarice but

There is more trouble in keeping money than in acquiring it. When I
had more to spend, the spending weighed no less heavily upon me.
When it comes to plucking out hairs, it hurts the balding no less
than the hairy: once you have grown used to having a pile of a
certain size, you can no longer use it. You don’t even want to slice
a bit off the top…

Limits are hard to discover for things which seem good, such as
saving. You go on making your pile bigger. You deprive yourself of
the enjoyment of your own goods; your enjoyment consists in hoarding
and never actually using.

Here is Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice –

Prince Morocco asks Portia,

“Deliver me the key.
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!”

The Prince opens the golden casket.

“O hell, what have we here?
A carrion death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll. I’ll read the writing.

‘All that glitters is not gold —
Often have you heard that told.
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold.'”

Montaigne published his essay in 1580, less than twenty years before Shakespeare wrote the play. Both make the same observation –

When you’re Rich you are at risk to lose your inner world, that is, you are in danger of losing your soul.

Montaigne uses a brilliant metaphor to expose the internal vacuity: one becomes preoccupied with one’s hair-do. It has to be just so. “For heaven’s sake, don’t take any off the top!” Forget the poor, the disabled. Forget victims of hurricanes. “I have an appointment with my hair-dresser.”

Shakespeare observes that money blinds. It’s The Strip at Las Vegas at three o’çlock in the morning. Inwardness, a level of consciousness that illuminates the dark corners of the human interior, is impossible with the dazzle and the glitter. In the light of day, however, riches are so-much carrion.

The Rich are vulnerable precisely because the outside and the external are a constant seduction. They think what is merely glitter suggests something meaningful and worthy. These days I have thought of John McCain. He owns seven houses. At least six of them stand empty. Always have. Do the arithmetic. How much time and energy did the rich senator expend on buying seven houses? How large a portion of his soul’s allotment did he sell off doing such foolishness?

1500 years before Montaigne and Shakespeare, Jesus told the parable of Dives, a member of the Filthy Rich, who could afford only a few crumbs from his table for the beggar at his gate. Whoever wrote the Republican Tax Plan sure knows the first part of the story – but, like President Reagan’s atheist son, “is not afraid of burning in hell,” its ending.


The Republican Party is not a political party. It is a mobster syndicate, committing crimes in broad daylight, and we have looked away.

Consider: if, thoughtlessly and irresponsibly, one leaves a child in a car so that it dies from heat prostration, that is a crime. The Senators are willing to abandon the sick, the disabled, the children to the elements, denying them the protection, support and healing powers of modern medicine.

Isn’t such irresponsibility a crime?

Over the last seven years, the Republican Congress has taken sixty-plus votes to repeal The Affordable Care Act, a mugging of government.

Isn’t mugging a crime?

On Monday, the Finance Committee scheduled the only hearing on the latest version of Repeal/Replace. A riot erupted, as 181 victims protesting Hit-and-Run legislation by the Republicans were arrested. The Senators were considering a bill that would in fact shatter the lives of millions of their constituents, folks they had promised – nay, took an oath! – to serve and protect. For all intents and purposes, the Republican senators planned to plow into these Americans with a legislative truck that makes the Hit and Run carnage at Nice a mere footnote. Why did the VICTIMS of such destructive irresponsibility get hauled off to jail – many of them in wheel-chairs – while the Republican senators deplored their victims’ lack of decorum.

Isn’t Hit-and-Run a crime?

In 19 states, Republican governors have refused to accept the Medicaid provisions in the ACA, denying coverage to millions. Statistical analysis shows a significantly reduced death rate in states with Medicaid as compared to states without Medicaid. Why aren’t the governors charged with manslaughter? Aren’t they guilty of a crime, sacrificing the lives of their constituents?

Isn’t manslaughter a crime?

True, this week the Republicans failed again to rustle up the necessary votes to enact the appalling Repeal/Replace bill. By one vote, probably! In other words, all but three Republican senators would have voted – again! – to destroy medical protection for their constituents. There are 52 Republican senators. 49 would have committed this crime, presumably in order to keep their job, with the prestige and perks that go with it.

Many impartial observers have judged Repeal/Replace legislation the most thoughtless and vindictive to have ever come before a committee of Congress. The voters give Congress an approval rating under 10%, the lowest number in the history of polls. So the people are on to the Republican abandonment of responsibility.

Nonetheless, now in the eighth year, Mitch McConnell was breathing down the neck of Republicans to get their murderous legislative truck up and running before the September 30th deadline. But, lacking the 50 Republican votes, plus that of the god-fearing, misogynist Vice President, Mitch cancelled the vote. However, he insisted the Affordable Care Act would come up again for repeal. He is not interested in working with Democrats on improving the ACU. He will not cease his inexhaustible attacks on Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

Doesn’t that qualify for a hate crime?

Who Are We?

So, the Republicans are going to try yet again to destroy The Affordable Care Act. They don’t CARE! They will deny modern medicine to some thirty million of their fellow Americans. This assault has gone on now for eight years.

Do you think this astonishing ruthlessness would have survived this long without Mitch McConnell? Is he The Torturer-in-Chief?

Do you understand Senator Bill Cassidy? Does he have any sense of shame? Does he feel embarrassed to be caught in a blatant lie, which the entire nation hears about, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel? I don’t understand how he can be seen in public after such miserable behavior.

It is possible not three Republicans will vote against the Graham-Cassidy bill. If the Cassidy-Graham bill passes, they are making illness, which befalls everyone sooner or later, as terrible as it was throughout human history. The magnificent achievements of medicine to treat and ease human suffering are to be denied to tens of millions of their countrymen. Why are Republicans not conscience-stricken at their blatant cruelty? why not appalled at being responsible for thousands of deaths, an inevitable consequence of lack of care?

What is the spiritual depth of our country? Every developed nation provides medical insurance for everyone. We are the only country that has millions of uninsured, and Republicans in Congress find it no problem to take another thirty million off health care.

Who are we, as a People? Can anyone explain to me this lack of common decency? of common sense? Senators and congressional Representatives are our surrogates. Which people are they representing?

Have WE lost all sense of shame?

President Trump stands before the world at the UN and threatens to destroy totally North Korea. He is proposing the death of some thirty million people. He doesn’t CARE!

The most terrifying picture of Trump’s speech showed General John Kelly, the president’s Chief of Staff, with his face buried in his hands. He knew, as Trump spewed his madness, that there was nothing to be done to protect not only his country but the world from the recklessness of the most powerful ruler in history.

Who are we?

We can claim we are not Trump’s base. Of course we are. His administration is based in our country. He lives in our White House. Until 2020, he determines the direction of our government. We elected him.

In eight months as our president, he has brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war –

For eight years, the Republicans have tried – over sixty times – to drive thirty million Americans back to The Stone Age, whenever they become ill.

Will someone please tell me who we are as a nation.

Doin’ Nothing!

We all know Republicans squat on a three-legged stool, a metaphysical contraption they cobbled together out of The Moral Sense. It is not found in nature. It is a man-made artifact. Examine any Republican’s political position, and it invariably comes down to that three-legged stool –

First leg – No new taxes – disregards arithmetic

Second leg – No regulation – disregards history

Third leg – No government spending – disregards We the People

You want to risk starting your week on a wave of nausea? Look at that fella’ in yonder corner. It’s Mitch McConnell! sitting on his three-legged stool, glaring out at the world. Has there ever been such a humorless face? an uglier curmudgeon? a more useless politician?

Or take a gander at Paul Ryan, squatting next to Trump, smugly pleased at his high seat at the table – Incompetence paired with Madness.

The secret to Republican success? They peddle values, not positions evolved from data. They disregard common sense and mobilize The Moral Sense. The race is vulnerable to that bait-and-switch. In this morning’s New York Times, Paul Krugman figures around 48% of the electorate votes tribal, that is, it is bamboozled by Republican fixation on values.

What about Democrats? They stand on a platform made not from metaphysical presuppositions, but out of wood brought in from the local lumber yard. This is how it works.

Democrats calculate with real numbers. Should minimum wage be 15 dollars or what? – arithmetic!

Democrats learn from experience. The recession of 2008 came from unregulated banking, so they put together Dodd-Frank – history!

Democrats provide for the uninsured, so they pass The Affordable Care Act – We the People!

But the Democrats, bless ém, don’t just go with common sense. They have a secret weapon.


Check out YouTube, “Two Comedians in a Car Having Coffee.” President Obama is sitting at his desk in the Oval office. Jerry Seinfeld pops up like a friendly spook outside the window behind him and taps, getting his attention. Annoyed, The Prez waves him in.

Jerry arrives and plops down on the couch. He takes an apple from a bowl, leans back and takes a bite. He asks The Prez, “Have these been washed?” The Prez cracks up. The next minute they’re having a rumble about where to dispose the apple.

They go outside.

“Where ya’ goin”

– Out.

“What ya’gonna do?”


They tool around the White House grounds, doing nothing. Jerry is a world-class talent at doing nothing. He’s driving a 1963 Corvette that Jerry insists is shaped like a submarine. Jerry is a spirit at play, and The Prez joins the game. Doesn’t have to put on a uniform to join the team. He’s a Democrat. Doing what comes naturally.

When you’re doing nothing, you don’t have time to moralize. The two bro’s on YouTuube don’t. What Anthony Burgess said about Falstaff is true for Barack and Jerry. “Their spirit of play is a great sustainer of civilization. It disappears when people worry too much about their souls.”

They talk about money. Jerry tells the Prez, “I’ve made a lot more money than you have.” The Prez tells Jerry he might use his loot to make a Jewish Citizen Kane.

When you can have fun with money and PRO-Semitism and drive around the White House in a car designed like a submarine, you know you’re living with Dems.

Best of all, when you’re having fun, you can’t moralize.

Jerry and Barack don’t. Too busy doing nothing.

The Mind!

Let’s draw a line through the sands of time –

– 1440 A.D. The Gutenberg Line!

Let’s now position ourselves on that line. Behind us, “the dark backward and abysm of time,” 200,000 years during which we walked the earth with the fully evolved powers of Homo sapiens sapiens. 2,000 centuries!

From that Gutenberg line we will journey through the next 350 years, a mere three and a half centuries, our Mind newly empowered a thousand, no, ten thousand fold, by The Printing Press –

1511 – In Praise of Folly – Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam

1532 – The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli

1543 – On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres – Copernicus

(1564 – Shakespeare and Galileo born.)

1605 – The Advancement of Learning – Francis Bacon

1623 – The First Folio – Shakespeare

1632 – Dialogue Concerning The Two World Systems – Galileo

(1642 – Galileo dies, Newton born)

1689 – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy – Isaac Newton

1690 – An Essay Concerning Human Understanding – John Locke

1750 – The Spirit of Laws – Montesquieu

1787 – The American Constitution – James Madison

Each of the above resulted from an action of Mind. Each was difficult to create. Each is difficult to understand. Supported by the giant winds coming off The Printing Press, they brought into the world a new construct – The Humanitarian Revolution.

By contrast, the Problem of Good and Evil is second nature to us. We are born with The Moral Sense. We don’t arrive on the planet equipped with an understanding of The Calculus! Hear how trippingly the destruction of 800,000 young people comes off the tongue of Jeff Sessions. No more difficult than the condemnation to The Flames of 100,000 young people in the 15th and 16th centuries. Did the citizenry back then hear the agonizing shrieks, see the engulfing flames? No.

Does Sessions register the terrors those 800,000 young folks are experiencing every day, their lives in the hands of an Attorney General who lies? No.

Marvel how effortlessly every Republican senator voted to repeal Obamacare, thereby, had each succeeded, depriving tens of millions of the poor, the aged, the disabled of medical insurance. Did that give them pause? No.

Consider that Mitch McConnell’s only vision for our country since he became Majority Leader is to destroy the Democratic agenda. Does he have pangs of conscience he is trashing his high office? No.

The Cowboy and I had kept his cruelty and hypersensitivity tucked under the couch. Hadn’t he gone from poverty to a comfortable living? Did it restrain his Moral Sense? No.

The Moral Sense cares about only one issue –


It is unaffected by reality. Take DACA. A Nobel Prize economist, Paul Krugman, cites facts that demonstrate arithmetically deportation of The Dreamers is against the financial interests of the country. For example, 90% are employed, higher than most any other demographic. Do these facts have any bearing on the problem for the powers that be? No.

The metaphysical basis for destroying those hundreds of thousand of young, “American” lives, The Dreamers, is not affected by facts. It is a moral issue, that is, it obtains its authority from a belief system not accessible to reality. The common sense world, the one registering on our five senses, is not relevant.

A consequence of splitting the world in two, one Good, the other Evil, is that objectivity goes out the window. Good and Evil are defined not by the five common senses, but by “meta,” – a Greek prefix, meaning beyond – a META-physics that is beyond the physical.

(to be continued)


The Cowboy!

“The Cowboy” and I knew there was risk involved – the two of us locked in a room, dredging the depths, working to make unthinkable thoughts thinkable. Six foot, four inches tall, the Cowboy moved in a space instinctively no one entered. When he lay on the couch, my task was to enter that space – it crackled with menace, its clock forever set at High Noon – but not to trespass. He worked as an actor, his paranoid sensitivities crippling his career.

We scheduled two sessions weekly. As the work proceeded, his physical violence against women ceased. His income went from 30,000.00 to a quarter million. And then, one day, I offered an observation. He seemed stunned. In the next second, he leaped off the couch and thrust his face an inch from mine. “Why did you say that?” he thundered.

It was the voice of The Moral Sense ringing across two thousand centuries. It was terrifying. I felt infinitely small. My interior vanished. All was emptiness. By the time he had climbed back on the couch, however, I was filled with a hatred I had never before experienced. I wanted to rend him limb from limb. Thinking about it now, at that moment I could join Pepys on his walk through Charing Cross.

When the smoke cleared, I hadn’t lost my mind, and the work went on. But I had help on an unimaginable scale.

Aristotle didn’t.

Plato didn’t.

The Roman Republic didn’t.

Shakespeare did!

Bach and Handel did.

The Founding Fathers did.

I did!


Until 1440, a scribe could write out, by hand, five pages a day. Gutenberg’s technological wonder could print 3,000. And that was only the beginning. Today, The Library of Congress has more than 16 million books.

For two thousand centuries, for all intents and purposes, each generation had to start over. Without the printed word, it could not create a history. It could not learn from experience. The result, more often than not, was catastrophic.

Steven Pinker poses a scary question, “What makes us different from our ancestors of just a few centuries ago, who savored the infliction of unspeakable agony on other living beings? Why don’t we feel it today?”

We do! I did. With The Cowboy. Our biology didn’t change miraculously in a few centuries. But our technology did, thanks to the Printing Press. We remain a dangerous species.

The poet gives warning –

O the mind, mind has mountains,
Cliffs of fall, frightful,
No man fathomed.

O the mind! Yes, indeed. But with The Cowboy and me teetering on cliffs of fall frightful, I had

The Collected Works of Sigmund Freud –

Envy and Gratitude, by Melanie Klein –

Transformations, by Wilfred Bion.

I had Gutenberg.

One can’t exaggerate the power of the Printing Press. It fueled The Humanitarian Revolution. How? The Printing Press broke the Good and Evil mentality of The Moral Sense, that is, my group, Good, every other group, Evil. The Printing Press sent out word across the globe – histories, plays, poems, novels, textbooks –

“We are much more human than otherwise.”

The Humanitarian Revolution made accessible the deep structure of democracy, the self-evident truth that all men are created equal. The Printing Press provided James Madison the political histories of the race, enabling him to write our brilliant Constitution. It printed hundreds of thousands of Common Sense, Tom Paine’s 48 page pamphlet, the mind refusing submission to the lie that a divinity shapes a crown.

The Printing Press offers The Mind limitless reinforcements in its struggles against the Moral Sense. The 16 million volumes in The Library of Congress constitute a vast syncytium.

(to be continued)

a Horror Show – for Two Thousand Centuries!

We come into this world programmed for language acquisition. By six, we speak fluently, having accumulated a sufficient vocabulary and, unaware, having mastered a huge “book” spelling out its grammatical rules.

Symbolic language defines us, making us “infinite in faculty.” Yet in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Caliban tells his master, Prospero, “You taught me language, and my profit on’t/ Is, I know how to curse. Damn you for teaching me your language.”

It’s not Prospero’s curriculum that’s the problem. Rather, as with language acquisition, we arrive on the planet neuro-anatomically programmed with The Moral Sense and have for, at least, two thousand centuries. The Moral Sense presents a profound conundrum.

One of my beautiful granddaughters got married last month in St. Paul’s, London. Some twenty family members attended, drinking in the sublimity of the back-lit Cathedral, evenings. At the hour-long ceremony, the splendid St.Paul’s chorus and trumpeter bedewed the wedding with Bach and Handel.

A twenty minute walk from St. Paul’s brings you to Charing Cross, where in 1660, Samuel Pepys watched a man hanged, drawn and quartered, “looking as cheerful as any man could in that condition.” That condition included being partly strangled, disemboweled, castrated and shown his organs being burned before being decapitated. After the execution, Pepys moseyed on, joining friends at a tavern with whom he shared oysters. Bach and Handel were both born in 1685, a mere twenty five years after Pepys’s stroll through Charing Cross.

Pepys was a man of his time, which, unfortunately, had spanned several hundred thousand years. During these numberless, mostly unrecorded centuries, we behaved as dictated by our group, which in turn was under the unopposed hegemony of The Moral Sense.

In “The Emotional Brain,” Joseph Ledoux notes that the emotional behavior of decorticate animals – the cortex surgically removed – lacked any regulation of their rage, which suggested that cortical areas normally rein in these wild emotional reactions and prevent their expression in inappropriate situations. I submit that throughout history, The Moral Sense called the shots, no counter-force available to modify it. We were decorticate.

Since we became fully evolved as Homo sapiens sapiens, the year, 1660, was probably average for “wild emotional reactions.” Torture has always been practiced world-wide. In Pepys’s day, The Judas Cradle lowered a naked victim, bound hand and foot, onto a sharp wedge that penetrated the anus or vagina. Victims were hung upside down and sawed in half from the crotch down. Hundreds of devices were invented to maximize agony. “Codified laws prescribed blinding, branding, amputation of hands, ears, noses and tongues. Executions were orgies of sadism, with prolonged killing such as burning at the stake, breaking on the wheel, pulling apart by horses, impalement through the rectum, disembowelment by winding a man’s intestines around a spool.” Inquisitions were in full swing. Europe was burning witches by the thousands. The Religious Wars halved populations. Slavery was everywhere. From what we can glean from our hunter-gatherer millenia, death by violence was 500 times more likely than now. The Aztecs carried out 40 human sacrifices a day, 1.2 million total.

And so on.

And then came the Age of Enlightenment. Pinker calls it The Humanitarian Revolution. Mankind’s on-going Horror Show went from “the unexceptional to the unthinkable.” Historians are so baffled by the turn-about they are tempted to invoke a Higher Power.

The same century Pepys consulted his private GPS for directions to Charing Cross began The Age of Reason, culminating in The Enlightenment. From these two miraculous centuries, the 17th and 18th, two great documents emerged – the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in 1789, and The American Bill of Rights in 1791.

Decorticate no longer, we finally were a match for The Moral Sense – take THAT! and THAT!! and THAT!!!

(to be continued)

The Right and The Left

Physicist Albert Einstein is a world-class member of The Left, Poet John Milton, a world-class member of The Right. The Left concerns itself with the physical universe, The Right with metaphysics.

Here’s Milton, from the opening of “Paradise Lost” –

And chiefly Thou O Spirit,
Instruct me, for Thou know’st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad’st it pregnant: WHAT IN ME IS DARK
ILLUMINE, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.

Here’s Einstein,

“I prefer to stay in the dark.”

The poet invokes the Spirit for instruction that he may justify the ways of God to man. The physical universe fills the physicist with wonder. It exists without moral justification on his part.

How many Democratic commentators have you heard denounce angrily their Party for not filing impeachment proceedings against Trump? “If Hillary were President, Republicans would have done so ten times over.” No doubt. When they weren’t locking her up! 2,400 pages of Obamacare spell out actual visits to real doctors and the economics to make it possible. The eight pages of Trumpcare is a metaphysical document, with no relevance to the care of sick folks. Pick a card – Obamacare or Trumpcare? You can’t have both.

The human genome comes with The Moral Sense. How we integrate it into our inner world determines our political destiny, an action that makes us a Democrat or Republican. Phylogenetically, the Moral Sense is similar to the Language Acquisition Device (LAD) described by Noam Chomsky.

Chomsky observed that children are born with an ability to learn linguistic structures so accurately they must be imprinted on the new-born’s mind. Every child has a Language Acquisition Device which encodes the major principles of a language and its grammatical structures. All children, regardless of their intellectual ability, become fluent in their native language by five or six years of age.

The same imprinting is true for The Moral Sense, with a different time scale, as we’ll see.

In The Descent of Man, Darwin states that “…any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a MORAL SENSE or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or nearly as well, developed as in man.”

Pascal Boyer reports, “Experimental studies show a specialized MORAL SENSE underlies ethical intuitions in all children the world over. Neglected or abused children have similar intuitions. The MORAL SENSE functions as a congenital invariant. It is not affected by early experience. The MORAL SENSE simply IS!

In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul observes, “The truth about God is known to mankind instinctively. Since earliest times men have known of God’s existence and great eternal power. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. They have no excuse for saying there is no God.”

Neuro-anatomically, “knowledge in their hearts” refers to a system hard-wired in the brain, built in. It is not a product of learning, ontogenetically evolved through personal instruction. By any other name – MORAL SENSE, Moral Intuition, Natural Law, Super-Ego, Conscience – the truth about God, claims St. Paul, is known to mankind instinctively.

Like all animals, we come into this world equipped to register fear and pursue Sex, but we’re the only animal that arrives with a MORAL SENSE.

(to be continued)