Domesticated Primates…

It’s been a really long time since I’ve read any of the works of Robert Anton Wilson, but there are a couple of things that I remember very well about the experience. This first is what a hilarious “couldn’t put it down” roller-coaster ride they were to read. But the second, and most important thing I remember was his razor sharp, if somewhat disturbing, incites into human behavior…

Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy

Most of the domesticated primates of Terra did not know they were primates. They thought they were something apart from and “superior” to the rest of the planet….

Benny had actually read Darwin once, in college a long time ago, and had heard of sciences like ethology and ecology, but the facts of evolution had never really registered on him. He never thought of himself as a primate. He never realized his friends and associates were primates. Above all, he never understood that the alpha males of Unistat were typical leaders of primate bands. As a result of this inability to see the obvious, Benny was constantly alarmed and terrified by the behavior of himself, his friends and associates and especially the alpha males of the pack. Since he didn’t know it was ordinary primate behavior, it seemed just awful to him.

Since a great deal of primate behavior was considered just awful, most of the domesticated primates spent most of their time trying to conceal what they were doing.

Some of the primates got caught by other primates. All of the primates lived in dread of getting caught.

Those who got caught were called no-good shits.

This metaphor was deep in primate psychology because primates mark their territories with excretions, and sometimes they threw excretions at each other when disputing over territories.

Via The Robert Anton Wilson Website – Schrödinger’s Cat Trilogy

“Obviously, the faster we process information, the more rich and complex our models or glosses — our reality-tunnels — will become. Resistance to new information, however, has a strong neurological foundation in all animals, as indicated by studies of imprinting and conditioning. Most animals, including most domesticated primates (humans) show a truly staggering ability to “ignore” certain kinds of information — that which does not “fit” their imprinted/conditioned reality-tunnel. We generally call this “conservatism” or “stupidity”, but it appears in all parts of the political spectrum, and in learned societies as well as in the Ku Klux Klan.”

“The current rampages of territorial-emotional pugnacity sweeping this planet are not just another civilization failing … They are the birth-pangs of a cosmic Prometheus rising out of the long nightmare of domesticated primate history.”

“One of the most profound and important scientific philosophers of this century … His vast intelligence and sharp wit are sufficient to shock and enlighten the most heavily imprinted domesticated primate nervous system.” ~ From the Robert Anton Wilson profile page at

Via Robert Anton Wilson – Wikiquote

Since the deep depression I live with is so rooted in my disgust at human behavior, Mr. Wilson’s analysis raises a couple of important questions for me. First, could my depression be merely my mind’s way of rebelling against my own unrealistic expectations for humanity to be something it is not? And second, if the evolved and enlightened behavior I expect from us is unrealistic, then what kind of behavior should I be comfortable with? 😕

I want ice water.

See more of my Random Ravings

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8 thoughts on “Domesticated Primates…

  1. That’s a very good observation. I know, for myself, as much as I like to be aware of up-to-knowledge about things, I’m also just as happy to be ignorant to most of it. Let’s be real: reality is depressing. If you watch the news at any given time, you hear about murders, abductions, bomb threats, etc. Where are the good stories about food drives? Where are the stories about random acts of kindness? Why are those stories the ones you hear within the last few minutes of the broadcast and not the first few? Oh, because why would anyone care about a story of two neighbors helping each other out when the news can sensationally report on a bomb explosion that happened 30 miles away from your house and freak you the fuck out?

    I think everyone, not just conservatives or even liberals for that matter, have a degree of, ‘I just don’t want to know’ and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I have personally adapted a mantra of, ‘I know I don’t know the whole story and I’m perfectly okay with it.’ Case in long-winded point, the whole Benghazi thing. I don’t care about it. Really, I don’t. I probably should. Even my friends are surprised that I don’t care. My reasoning is that particular scandal isn’t going to pay my bills. It’s not helping me with my current medical condition. It’s not helping me figure out what I’m going to make for dinner. Now, eventually, I’ll probably catch up to speed about everything and rage then. But for now? I’m perfectly okay with not caring. Everyone always wants to know the truth, but honestly, I don’t think most of us can handle it. Ignorance is bliss.

    I hope you’re doing well, my friend. *kisses and hugs*


    • Well said Vera! My OCD style pursuit of “truth” certainly hasn’t done me much good. The problem is that I’ve never figured out how to shut it off without resorting to “mood altering” substances. And mindless “busy work” doesn’t help either, as it’s just too easy for me to do those things on “autopilot” while my mind goes right back to “deeper” thoughts. The closest I’ve been able to get to shutting it off while remaining sober is to throw myself into something that requires as much focus and thought as the things that depress me, and those are getting harder and harder to find…

      It was so great to hear from you again. I wish you continued success with your writing career, as well as improvement in that medical condition you mentioned.

      *kisses and hugs* right back at ya!


  2. Expectations. That’s the problem, a shrink once explained to me. I had too many expectations regarding other people and their behavior. I was setting myself up for disappointment by imposing expectations that other people weren’t even aware of and had no obligation to live up to. You can hope, you can request, etc., but expectations are just lead to disappointment and worse.

    Or something like that. No matter. I still have expectations and other people still fail to live up to them, and I still get mightily disappointed and distressed. Do you think it comes from being too idealistic? Too moralistic? Too romantic? Whatever, it sucks.

    Loved the first paragraph of the second quote!


    • You know, I’ve been through umpteen psychiatric sessions and (I think) 5 complete in-patient “treatment” programs, and about all they boiled down to was “expect nothing and accept everything.” I’m sorry PT, but I’m just not wired that way. I may not be from Missouri, but my conscience likes it much better when I call them as I see them. Unfortunately, being a non-violent person with such an attitude means keeping my mouth shut, and I’m not very good at that either. So I just choose to stay away… :???

      Not sure which quote you mean, but I love them all! 😀


  3. If I must be a Chimp, I want to be a Bonobo!

    PS This Bonobo thanks you for the great cat picture that accompanies your posting.


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