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Nicholas Humphrey

Sees human beings as needing to learn and modify strategies for social survival and interaction. He says of the human animal, ‘It depends upon the bodies of other animals not merely for immediate sustenance in infancy and its sexual fulfilment as an adult but in one way or another for the success – or failure – of almost every enterprise it undertakes. In these circumstances the ability to model the behaviour of others in the social group has paramount survival value.’ We know that cat’s, while dreaming, practice stalking and hunting. Humphrey speculates that in dreams humans practice and modify social behaviour.

What many people fail to realise is that each of us are actually a part of an immense web without which we could not exist. For example you do not make your own clothes, and even if you do, do you make the threads and material? Do you grow your own food, build your own homes, produce your own electricity, gas, entertainment and education?  We are all a part of Life, a part of a super-organism, and we would find it impossible to exist alone. Even if we lived on desert island we could not exist without all the chain of life that supports us and the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. We are all a part of each other. And so it is very important that we recognise that and learn as Nicholas suggests ‘strategies for social survival and interaction’.

See super-organisms

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