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Unformatted text preview: ory disturbances in our body which are not unpleasant in moderation,
which we call hunger, thirst and fatigue. To relieve these three primitive states we seek food, drink and rest;
we DESIRE food, drink and rest. Desire then is primitive, organic, arising mainly in the vegetative nervous
system, and it awakens mechanisms that bring us food, drink and rest. A feeling which we call satisfaction
results when the changes in the viscera and tissues are readjusted or on the way to readjustment. Here is the
simplest paradigm for desire seeking satisfaction, but it is on a plane rarely found in man, because his life is
too complicated for such formulae to work.
Food must be bought or produced, and this involves cooperation, competition, self-denial, thrift, science,
finance, invention. It involves ethics, because though you are hungry you must not steal food or give improper CHAPTER XI. 88 value for it. Moreover, though you are hungry, you have developed tastes, manners, etc., and you cannot, must
not eat this or that (through religion); you mast eat with certain implements), and would rather die than violate
the established standards in such matters. Thus to the simple act of eating, to the satisfaction of a primitive
desire set up by a primitive need, there are any number of obstacles set up by the complexities of our social
existence. The sanction of these obstacles, their power to influence us, rests in other desires and purposes
arising out of other "needs" of our nature. What are those needs? They are inherent in what has been called the
social instincts, in that side of our nature which makes us yearn for approval and swings us into conformity
with a group. The group organizes the activities of its individuals just as an individual organizes his activities.
The evolutionists explain this group feeling as part of the equipment necessary for survival. Perhaps this is an
adequate account of the situation, but the strength of the social instincts almost lead one to a mo...
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- Spring '11