Old Wild Horses

Read in Dutch on The Fire Online

All wisdom found outside the rational mind has consistently received a bad rap, particularly during the last fifty to one hundred years. Much attention was given to academics, researchers and thinkers who claimed that civilization depends on people rejecting and repressing their instincts, while the opposite is more likely true: humans can only survive and thrive when natural instinct is not consistently overpowered by the mind.

Five hundred years ago the Spanish released horses on the North-American continent. Ever since, they’ve been roaming the plains. Throughout the centuries people were continuously trying to catch and tame the younger horses. The older horses were either left alone or they were killed, but never were they captivated. They were known to be untameable.

Writer Julius Ruechel, who owns a cattle farm in Canada, described:

“The loss of freedom was simply unacceptable to them, at any cost. They would never stop trying to throw their rider even if they bucked themselves to death through exhaustion in the process. Their master would never be safe from their hooves. These horses would sooner throw themselves over a cliff with their rider onboard than live as a domestic beast of burden.”

Julius Ruechel

This instinct is the primary reason why the horses roam free today. The battle between the human who wants to catch and tame, and the horse rejecting it, is nothing personal, there exists no moral to the story, it just is. It’s the simple dynamic of opposing interests.

Unlike animals do some humans think it’s a good idea to try to tame their fellow humans, to break their free will and their spirits. The Psy-Op, as described by publications like Tablet Magazine, primarily aims to place the powerful forces of instinct behind a wall of fashionable thoughts and temporary sentiments, a wall built by the pretense of reason and civility.

The pattern of negativity and cynisicm regarding natural instincts becomes clear when studying the interplay between censored versus popularized information. During the twentieth century the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate became dominated by those who claimed that our biological predispositions are full of risk. Sigmund Freud pushed the limits of negativity by defining a ‘death instinct’ that causes humans to naturally self-destruct, a theory most of his direct colleagues rejected. Jane Goodall was revered for being the first to conclude that evil exists in the animal kingdom, after documenting ferocious fights between gorillas. It provided a foundation for the idea that our enlightened, reasonable civilization depends on the rejection of natural instincts, even when evidence for the opposite, as delivered by Bronislaw Malinowski and others, had been around for a long time.

So much for the presumed benefits of repressing instincts, what about the costs? Seldom in history have abuses of power been so blatant while the public’s response remained so meek. How much of our current predicament is caused by the suppression and oppression of what is natural? Security expert Gavin de Becker warned in his 1997 bestseller The Gift of Fear: Survival Signs that Protect Us from Violence how losing touch with your instincts can be harmful and dangerous. Of course Carl Jung also prominently underscored the importance of wisdom outside the rational realm.

Not every horse fights as hard as the older horses, because there is no need for that, the old wild horses raise the cost for anyone attempting to catch and tame any horse. A small percentage of observant gatekeepers is sufficient for the species, and the same is true for us humans. Two years ago, the Irish singer Van Morrison asked a question that remains only partially answered, ‘Where have all the rebels gone?’ Our societies may have enough of them to temporarily stop some abuses of power, but until there is a widely held recognition of the immeasurable worth of the untameable ones, both freedom and security will not be within reach.

Read this article in Dutch on The Fire Online

One thought on “Old Wild Horses

  1. The African continent is a perfect example. The indigenous people are with few exceptions are untameable . There is no other continent that comes close to the the freedom its inhabitants enjoy .

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