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Now for the biggest of all payoffs from our magical ability – saying goodbye to the terrorist who lives within and becoming our own best friend.

     The transformation of blaming-out to blaming-in:  We, like other species, are genetically programmed with energy to physically harm others.  Unlike other species, however, we also convert physical aggression into mental symbolic expression, such as resentment and hate.  Humankind excels in a new category of mental aggression I label blaming-inBlaming-in, which includes self-putdowns, learned guilt, and self-demeaning talk, is not innate like the blaming-out action pathway, but  is a skill we are taught by our nurturers.  Learned guilt and the wide variety of self-putdowns serve as a powerful method to insure compliance with our nurturer’s commands.  With decades of rewards when we conform to our tribe’s perspective, and punishment when we disobey, the two-category manner of processing information becomes indelibly inscribed pathways to action.  Indeed, blind obedience to our dictator’s “shoulds” – such as, don’t go in the street; never touch the fire; don’t go with strangers – are required for our safety and survival.  Failure to uncritically obey the commands of instinct and our nurturer’s commands, which have been proven to work by trial-and-error-experience, can result in individual or species extinction. 

     However, when carried beyond our stage of helpless immaturity, this early way of thinking supports mental slavery to instinct, tradition, and human dictators.  Learned guilt and putdowns sustain our dependency and helplessness and lead to feelings of inadequacy.  You will get the most important wisdom in this stren when you say, “AHA, these self-putdowns, guilt, and blaming are like diapers, once helpful but now a bit ridiculous; I can now replace them with what makes a lot more sense.”  You need to selectively unlearn those dictatorial commands that once were effective but have now become dangerous.  You do so by adding more fulfilling pathways to direct your energy, because habits don’t go away; habits remain with us, ready to take over whenever opportunity permits, whenever we fail to intervene.                        
     The harmful mental aggression to punish ourselves for what is not acceptable to our tribe is rooted in our early two-category prescriptive language.  Who can avoid living up to all the shoulds, have to’s, musts, and ought to be’s we are taught?  We are so far superior in intelligence to any other species that we excel in quickly learning the blaming-in mental action pattern of putdowns, guilting, and demonizing ourselves.  We are experts in recognizing how we are not O.K.  We are taught that our tribe’s goals are the only good and worthy ones, and that if we deviate we have sinned and deserve punishment.  The thinking, feelings, and action pathways others program into us become expressed as the voice of the terrorist within.  The terrorist’s main function is to let us know that we must comply with the rules inscribed by instinct, tradition, and human dictators.  Unless we submit to their authority, we deserve blame and punishment.  We each harbor a terrorist within us whose main function is to maintain blind obedience to authority.  Might makes right; might gets rid of evil in us by punishment.  This blaming-in behavior is prominent only in humankind.  In stren #62, I will elaborate on why suicide is only prevalent among humans and explain the most important antidote against bullying.