chantal stone photography: the blog

May 17, 2006

Law & Order and My One True Self

Filed under: News — chantal @ 10:20 pm

I don’t think I can watch Law & Order anymore, even though it’s been one of my favorite shows for years. I saw the beginning of an episode tonight that was just too upsetting. Because of some illegal dealings, a man’s entire family was brutally and viciously murdered, including his two children, one of which was a little girl around the age of eight.

It upset me a great deal.

I once read somewhere, and I don’t recall where exactly, that there are different levels to the human brain. And the deepest level is the one that connects us to our most primal selves. When one probes deep within oneself, I’m assuming through deep introspection, self-reflection, mediation, and self-awareness, one can truly begin to connect with the true level of self.

I read that at this level is where and how we process the things that we see as actual personal experiences. Meaning that when we witness an event, it’s as if it were happening to us personally. This can be a good thing, when the events being experienced are pleasant and good. However, it can be traumatizing when the event is violent. I suspect that this served a greater purpose early on in our evolution. By experiencing the feelings of others through witnessed occurrences, early humans were connected to each other, therefore creating protective bonds, families, communities, and later, societies.

The problem with society now is that we have become disconnected with our true selves. We no longer recognize the internal mechanism that allows us to feel the joy, pain and sorrows of those around us. And it makes so much sense too. How else could we as a society let hundreds of thousands of people be slaughtered, maimed, killed and starved to death every day in places like Sudan, just as an example?

The mechanism within us that allowed us to empathize with the pain and suffering of another person has been re-programmed to instead of processing violent acts as something horrific, to now process as entertainment. And just look at how popular violent television shows, movies and video games are.

But there are some of us who, through deep thought, introspection, meditation and prayer, and self-awareness, are becoming more and more in touch with our true selves. It’s a process to set the evolutionary mechanisms deep within our hearts, souls and brains, right. It’s a conscious effort, everyday, to look within ones self and “yes, this is who I am…human”.

And this is why I can’t watch Law & Order anymore. I felt the agony of that eight year old little girl, and it was just too painful for me to bare.



  1. If you consider the origin and evolution of the human speices, the first major step was “tool making”. The second major step was the creation of tools for use as weapons. To kill lesser animals and evetually each other. Over the course of time, we as a race have perfected it and raised it to an art form. I do agree, however; that people have a very basic, instinctual knowledge of right and wrong. What is acceptable will vary based on what a person believes themselves capable of. I also agree that long term exposer to violence makes it seem less horrific and more acceptable. Great post btw…food for thought.

    Comment by NightFall — May 17, 2006 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  2. Hmmmm…interesting. But what I’m talking about is something that separated us from other animals long before the urge or thought to use a tool was manifested. If you look at the natural world, many, if not most, animals have an inherent instinct to care for one another–offspring, in particular.

    Humans are the ones who rose above this natural animal instinct, and took it to another level. The tool making and weapon making was a progression from this evolution–the desire to make things for the better of community, to hunt, to create and to protect.

    It wasn’t until much later in human history that we used these tools to be specifically malicious.

    I appreciate your thoughts though, this is definitely an interesting topic for conversation.

    Be well.

    Comment by chantal stone — May 18, 2006 @ 9:14 am | Reply

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