You are invited to visit in your imagination, ancestors from a time long ago past.
A time when human beings had bodies and brains just like ours.
These human beings lived in a world of sensations and emotions just like we do.
They were just like we are – with a few exceptions.
Although they already had the capacity for abstract language,
their culture was just on the verge of discovering this new function of their evolving brain.
Lacking abstract language they reasoned concretely rather than abstractly.
They made decisions with their emotions – and not yet with their reason.
They lived just on the edge of discovering their imagination,
thus they inhabited a world of physical experience — of what is,
without the benefit of easily turning what is — into what might be.
Welcome to a fleeting experience of what First Order Intelligence might have been like.
Welcome to the world of Crüe and Amai.
A Glimpse into First Order Intelligence
Amai paused to fuss with the brightly colored woodpecker feathers that adorned her tightly-matted blond hair. She loosened her beaver pelt to allow greater freedom for running full speed. She sniffed to sense the air current. This was the spot to snare her prey, offering herself as bait to set her invisible trap. Amai felt compelled. She was familiar with impulsiveness - but feeling compelled was new to her. She waited curiously for a sound or a movement - some sign to set the hook deep into her prey.
An alert from his brain awakened Crüe. The whiff of female hormone had traveled from his nose deep inside his head. His limbic system excited and awoke his own sleeping hormones. Crüe’s attention shifted to the sides of his head. His body lay motionless – his ears listening – silently grasping, reaching to connect sound to scent. Crüe heard only silence – but the scent in his nostrils promised him there was a female very near.
Crüe uprighted himself and scanned – but his eyes did not see what his imagination conjured to be the source of the arousing scent. Crüe sniffed four times quickly. There it was again. Crüe stuck out his tongue to taste the direction of the wind. His ears discerned a giggle.
Spying him stretched alert by the trunk of the oak under which he normally slept, Amai took flight, running with deliberate tempo, sure she would be chased.
Crüe's feet propelled his muscular body, racing heel to toe toward where the giggle mixed with crackling dried leaves. His neck craned to capture a glance of the form leaving the fresh scent-trail. His ears informed him that his quarry could not be more than a quick sprint away. Crüe first caught a glimmer of the familiar color of Amai’s hair flashing with streaming red feathers, racing through the brush following the deer trail. His eyes relaxed slightly, soothed by the recognition of familiarity. His brow wrinkled, perplexed.
An astute attention was apparent in how she balanced her head. A determination in her gait was evidenced in how she shifted her buttocks. Amai was deliberately moving toward or away from something. Crüe was on Amai’s heels in no time. His focus began to swirl with intoxication, as his nostrils neared the source of the fragrance exciting him.
Amai turned her head at the sound of the leaves crunching beneath Crüe’s pouncing feet. Amai’s lips smiled as she recognized his strong features. She broke into a sprint, provoking Crüe to quicken his chase. Crüe became even more excited as he accelerated his own pace, determined to overtake her. Amai’s giggle again escaped from her lips into Crüe’s ears. Crüe’s mouth inflated into an ambitious grin. Both were snared in the wonder of what was suddenly overcoming them. Neither had a clue they were being overcome.
What Crüe’s eyes saw was very familiar – but the messages coming through Crüe’s nostrils put him on alert. Amai had never broadcast this scent before. Crüe’s feet slowed to enable the unsureness of his straining eyes to catch up with the broadening of his grinning jaw. Crüe’s nose was somehow caught in the middle. If only his brain would sort out these mixed messages.
Amai felt the shift of Crüe’s pace and her instincts cautioned her to slow her stride - just when she had started to quicken it. The clumsiness of her slowdown cautioned Crüe even more – so much so that he shifted next to Amai to clearly discern who this was he was giving chase to. Amai dropped one of the shells she was carrying and turned to pick it up. To Crüe’s eye, the shell was dropped with sudden deliberation.
He felt at once an urge to race up to Amai yet he was still uncertain whom he was chasing. Amai turned her head, opened her mouth, and showed Crüe her teeth. Crüe felt her smile travel down the back of his neck, making the hair stand up as he realized that his feet had made the decision for him. Crüe was quickly again upon Amai. She had frozen in her stance. The proximity allowed him to sniff deeply of her scent and fully experience the arousal that had awakened him from his slumber.
Crüe’s chest expanded and issued a deep sigh – a sigh that signaled to Amai to stop and pay attention. This powerful male whom she had oftentimes followed from a distance was now responding to her. Crüe’s face contorted into a look that she had seen her father give her mother. Amai felt her heart quicken as she stood motionless. Crüe sniffed Amai more deeply. A sniff that was both cautious and excited.
Amai began to relax. She filled her lungs with a deep breath signifying to Crüe that she was somewhat receptive to his presence. Her nostrils confirmed the sage that surrounded her. But what else was filling her nostrils? She felt the drug in Crüe’s sweat affect her equilibrium. Her nostrils had tasted this scent before. But she had never felt the inside of her respond like this before. Images of her mother and grandmother shook her attention. Images of her older sisters wisped through the brush around her. Amai felt something was very different and it started when she first sniffed Crüe.
Startled by her growing intoxication, Amai directed her focus downward toward the path in front of her; more to make time to explore what she was feeling than to reach her destination, and certainly not to depart from Crüe.
Crüe’s attention focused and became fixed. Crüe followed Amai closer and closer eventually bumping into her - driven by his growing arousal. Amai experienced her pace quicken. Her body was not accustomed to the advances of a male. These few minutes had filled her with countless unknown sensations and feelings. She was overwhelmed at the newness with which she experienced herself; uncertain what to do; uncertain who she was – familiar feelings of fear mixed with intoxicating feelings of losing control.
Crüe’s nose immediately sensed the shift in Amai‘s body odor. He smelled her fear. He glanced around to detect whatever threat he might protect Amai from. The result of Crüe’s scan was that Amai had outdistanced herself from his watchful eye. With an electric burst of speed Crüe was instantly behind Amai dwarfing her with his form. Amai recognized Crüe’s protective stance and her fear abated.
Amai had watched many interactions between males and females, both within her tribe and between her tribe and neighboring tribes. She had often watched as a puzzled expression overcame her. What she had seen had never made sense to her. In this moment, Amai realized exactly what she had been observing. The secret was being communicated to her through her feelings.
Amai was not the first female in heat that Crüe had approached. However Amai was the first female that Crüe had ever approached who was experiencing her first estrus. The unease of Amai straining to update herself with these new experiences made no difference to Crüe. Crüe was only interested now in testing Amai’s receptiveness. His arousal approached her to negotiate with her receptivity. Had the power of his protective stance and his scent stirred a desire in this woman, who only a month before he had experienced playfully as a young girl?
Amai felt comforted by Crüe’s protective stance. She passively granted him the proximity that females allowed males at the scent of danger. Slowly both Crüe and Amai realized there was no real danger threatening them. The electricity sparked by their skins brushing lightly against one another blanketed them into a shared mesmerizing alertness. The glow of their reciprocating smiles began to ignite what the excitement of their proximity and scent had kindled. Crüe expressed the hormones of hopefulness in a chest resonating sigh, while Amai’s attention diffused to acknowledge the tingling of her newborn pleasure sensations.
Crüe began scanning for potential rivals as he realized his role as protector might soon be no longer justified. Crüe felt the delight of the excitement of proximity and settled into just enjoying being on the path with his newly transformed friend.
Amai began to slow her pace as she spied others from their tribe. Her habit of running to join her girlfriends for play was held in check by a new sensibility. She imagined herself as her kin and friends surrounding the campfire would see her. Amai exaggerated her unbridled strut as her longish legs pranced proudly, her shoulder now nestled in Crüe's protective embrace.
Friends and kin from their tribe smiled and nodded in approval at the image of proud overprotective Crüe guiding the nubile Amai. Crüe, ever hopeful, confident that he might have attracted a mate for himself. Amai, intoxicated by new sensations and feelings, caught up in the excitement of trading her feelings for Crüe at a distance for feelings for Crüe up close - very close. And life continued a day at a time, for human beings, sixty thousand years ago in the lower forests of what is now Eastern Europe.
This brief encounter is a glimpse of life and interaction as it might have been lived by our ancestors through an earlier order of intelligence – what I call First Order Intelligence. Although their brains and bodies were just as ours are today, they had not yet evolved the artifacts, tools, technology, and benefits of culture which we enjoy today.
Lacking our dependence on abstract language these humans communicated directly and concretely, sharing their world of sensations and emotions. They lived in their physical bodies, not in the abstraction of their minds.
The seeds of abstraction were incubating in experiences of imagery which would later become named. These people lived a simpler life. Although their lives were limited in culture and void of technology, they were rich in experience and presence. There was a clear integrity in their lives and experiences.
Their senses and feelings were informed by the concrete sensory world around them – not by the abstract opinions, beliefs, judgments, and shoulds dictated by an anonymous media dedicated to controlling their perceptions and judgments.
Do we today, in our culture dominated by the abstract judgment of what I call Second Order Intelligence, embody a clearer or even similar integrity? Has the integrity demonstrated by our First Order Intelligence ancestors been diluted or even transformed into something else – something other than integrity?
How many among us today long for the intensity and fulfillment of experiences which were ordinary in the First Order Intelligence days of Crüe and Amai? How many of us experience the world of nature and our natural surroundings with the degree of connectedness that Crüe and Amai did?
Rather than our own senses - how many of us are dependent on the input of the mass media to inform our view of the world? Rather than building our emotional sensitivity to enhance our feelings - how many of us self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, nicotine, and other addictions to numb our feelings?
How can we experience integrity and fulfillment when we live in bodies that have forgotten how to connect directly to the sensory world, with feelings that are numbed in order to fit into the expectations of a reason-based society?
Is it possible to experience the intensity, connectedness, integrity, and fulfillment of First Order Intelligence with an abstract intelligence that has been conditioned to be dominated and governed by other’s rules, instead of empowered to experience the world directly and clearly?