The Naked Ape

Morris, Desmond 1969. The Naked Ape. Dell Publishing Co., Inc.

"Paljas ahv" üllatas. Ootasin labasemat sorti kehakeeleõpikut. Sain zooloogi kirjelduse inimesest ja tema käitumisest. Paljud tähelepanekud on kehakeeleõpikutele olnud tõepoolest väga mõjukad, sest D. Morrise tähelepanekud šimpansite ja inimeste sarnasustest/erinevustest olid omal ajal ilmselt väga uudsed. Raamatu ülesehitus oli huvitav (Origins, Sex, Rearing, Exploration, Figting, Feeding...) ja lõpetuseks oli Morrisel ja oma üldideeline sõnum: peatselt saabuv ülerahvastatus. Võttis kaua aega, et raamat läbi lugeda, sest iga järgnev peatükk nõudis teatavat kaalutlemist (savor the knowledge). See sisaldas tõepoolest rohkem (minu jaoks) uusi ideid kui olin oodanud. Erinevalt mõnest teisest kirjutajast kes kuhjab tähelepanekuid üksteise otsa, vaevub Morris oma seisukohti põhjalikult argumenteerima. Kuigi ta väldib akadeemilist (autoriteetidele) viitamist, jätab raamat üpris tõsiseltvõetava ja asjaliku mulje. See on peaaegu, et õpikulik. Mulle meeldis. Paar kasutatavat katkendit ka:
Much of what we do as adults is based on this imitative absorption during our childhood years. Frequently we imagine that we are behaving in a particular way because such behaviour accords with some abstract, lofty code of moral principles, when in reality all we are ding is obeying a deeply ingrained and long 'forgotten' set of purely imitative impressions (along with out carefully concealed instinctive urges) that makes it so hard for societies to change their customs and their 'beliefs'. Even when faced with exciting, brilliantly rational new ideas, based on the application of pure, objective intelligence, the community will still cling to its old home-based habits and prejudices. This is the cross we have to bear if we are going to sail through our vital juvenile 'blotting-paper' phase of rapidly mopping up the accumulated experiences of previous generations. We are forced to take the biased opinions along with the valuable facts. (Morris 1969: 104)
In discussing all these aggressive and submissive behaviour patterns, it has been assumed that the individuals concerned have been 'telling the truth' and have not been consciously and deliberately modifying their actions to achieve special ends. We 'lie' more with our words than our other communicative signals, but even so the pheneomenon cannot be overlooked entirely. It is extremely difficult to 'utter' untruths with the kind of behaviour patterns we have been discussing, but not impossible. As I have already mentioned, when parents adopt this procedure towards their young children, it usually falls much more drastically than they realize. Between adults, however, who are much preoccupied with the verbalized information content of the social interactions, it can be more successful. Unfortunately for the behaviour-liar, he typically lies only with certain selected elements of his total signalling system. Other, which he is not aware of, give the game away. The most successful behaviour-liars are those who, instead of consciously concentrating on modifying specific signals, think themselves into the basic mood they wish to convey and then let the small details take care of themselves. This method is frequently used with great success by professional liars, such as actors and actresses. Their entire working lives are spent performing behavioural lies, a process which can sometimes be extremely damaging to their private lives. Politicians and diplomats are also required to perform an undue amount of behavioural lying, but unlike the actors they are not socially 'licensed to lie', and the resultant guilt feelings tend to interfere with their performances. Also, unlike the actors, they do not undergo prolonged training courses. (Morris 1969: 140)


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