Hello Curious Friend. Welcome to my book about Hate. The number tells you where you are in the sequence. I look forward to your comments.
Catch the Conscience (Continued)
There is one final characteristic about our actors that I have purposely ignored until now. That characteristic is their relative ages, and this is vitally important in aiding our understanding of hate.
The actors in our play are comprised of one adult, one child, and one toddler. This is enough information so that, as adults ourselves, we can instantly comprehend the mental states of each of them at any time.
We know the toddler, Tango, is of the simplest mind. Even the concept of harm is foreign to him. He knows the love of his parents, the pleasure of a full belly, and the pain of a fall. There are a few other mental states Tango has mastered, but we know from personal experience that his is a simple and untouched mind.
Our adult, on the other hand, has been affected and molded by decades of hard experience. We can be certain that Oscar has seen great pain, and great pleasure. He knows some of nature’s most intimate secrets, both beautiful, and ugly. And he has created his own set of explanations for why his universe works the way it does. Clearly, Oscar represents the most sophisticated mind in our play. As such he can easily comprehend everything going on inside the mind of Tango.
What of Sierra? She represents more of a mental challenge to Oscar because she is a child not far removed from adulthood. As such, hormones are coursing through her, creating urges she’s never experienced before.
Oscar can still comprehend Sierra’s mind, but it’s more challenging than Tango’s. After all, Oscar also went through puberty, but it was many years earlier, and puberty affects everyone differently.
Which finally brings us to Sierra as our single focus. She is on the borderline between child and adult. She knows fairly well what goes on in the mind of Tango, for she is still partially child. At the same time her body is budding toward adulthood, a process that always inspires and terrifies. She may understand Tango, but she is having trouble understanding herself.
And, for the final step in our evaluation, her ability to appreciate or fathom what goes on inside the mind of Oscar would be incredibly difficult. She’s only beginning the process of going into adulthood and barely understands herself, let alone other adults. So it is safe to say that Oscar’s mind is beyond Sierra’s grasp.
What of Tango? Is there any chance he can divine the minds of either Sierra or Oscar? Impossible. Not only are the mental states of both so far above him in terms of complexity and experience, even the very concept of “other mind” does not yet exist for him.
It will be some time before he realizes that he has his own mind, and that it can be understood as an object on its own merits. Tango is in an ideal place, his mind is understood by all, and on his own he understands nothing.
To be continued …