Monday, December 23, 2013

on Predators

In my last post I made a comment about how we as a society have done so much to control or even “eliminate” the predator from the human psyche.  That statement felt wrong and has been bothering me all day.  I had thought to correct it through editing but, decided to let the statement remain in its imperfection and expand my thoughts on the subject of predatory nature through a new post.

I have a personal appreciation for the predatory species.  I am drawn to them and feel an affinity for them as well as a great deal of respect and admiration.  My living companion is feline.  One of my totems is a bird of prey.  And I learn from the canine species every time I am privileged to be in proximity to them. 

Most human beings admire predators in the wild, or even live with the “domesticated “siblings of those wild animals.  But many refuse to acknowledge the nature of predators and insist upon projecting upon them gentler and more civilized  qualities as if there was something unacceptable about the predatory instincts of the wild animal.  This human tendency annoys me greatly.

 I believe that we as a species are also predatory by nature.  There are those who have completely rejected the instincts of the predator.  To be honest, I find those particular humans difficult to relate to and to be around.  They have a tendency to bring out the nastier aspects of my personality.  And that is where we come to the statement I had previously made.  We all try to civilize the predatory instincts that we possess.  We do not want to behave as wild animals (although I would still make the argument that in some ways that might actually be an improvement over some of our “civilized” behaviors). 

We invent rules to make us feel less than wild animals.  There are aspects to our predatory nature that need to be channeled in more socially appropriate behaviors.  I will not argue for anarchy or against the rule of law but, I do not think it serves us so well to attempt to ignore or eliminate those aspects of our humanity that give us power and strength.  Our will is a powerful part of our selves.  Instinct is necessary for survival even in the modern world.  The wild inside of us is a great source of vitality and life-force. 

I have a wild nature and I have strong instincts.  I find myself driven to explore those parts of myself.  I desire to engage with the predatory nature of others because my instincts tell me that through such interaction I may come to know my own predatory nature.  But I also feel the need to explore the polarity of the prey.  I need to experience both sides of the relationship. 

Hunger, lust and the drive to express what it is to be alive, these are strong instincts and I will not try to tame them.


  1. I, too, was troubled by what you said in the previous post. I think the problem stems from the dual meanings of the word 'predator' today. I have no quarrel with the predators of the animal world - by which I mean, those who hunt to eat. From my personal perspective it looks to me like everything that is alive must live by eating another living thing. Some folks may prefer to imagine that vegetables have less investment in their lives than animals, but that doesn't match my experience. Other folks may want to split hairs about how eating eggs or seeds isn't the same thing as eating a fully-formed member of whatever species, or that eating the leaves isn't the same thing as eating the root or body of the plant. But it all looks the same to me. And I have no quarrel with it.

    On the other hand, that word 'predator' is also used to speak of humans who prey on other humans, in the sense of 'taking what is not freely given' and 'using another person to gratify oneself without regard to the other person's experience.' I confess I am NOT okay with those behaviors and have trouble understanding why you would be. Not to say, by any means, that I have any moral objection to folks wired for kink ... but consensual seems to be a pretty important restriction. And, at least from where I sit, it looks like consent would take it out of the realm of 'predatory behavior.'

    Similarly, I have trouble imagining how it would benefit any of us to experience being 'prey' in the sense of having one's boundaries violated without consent for the sole purpose of selfish gratification of the predator.

    The language you've used in these two posts seems to suggest the whole mess of pedophile priests and Jerry Sandusky ... but surely that is not what you're seeking. So how can the language change to make those distinctions clearer?

  2. Maggie,

    Indeed, I am not referring to the criminal definition of predator. (I thought that I had been clear about the standard of consent between adults.) I have no interest in being victimized. But I do not wish to reject the use of a word that is by actual definition the most accurate word to describe what I am speaking about. None of what I am speaking to refers to criminal behavior. Again I do not reject the rule of law nor the great lengths that honorable people have gone to in order to make their explorations of these ideas safe and appropriate to a civilized society.
    As for the experience of prey, I believe that the spiritual and energetic nature of those polarities have valid things to teach me. Again I am not speaking of victimization, but rather the experience of how my body reacts to struggle on a physical level by staying present in my body without resorting to leaving the body and being an observer.
    I understand that the words and ideas are uncomfortable and that many people would associate the language I have used with the worst type of cowards in our society. I object to the subjugation of the word to only that use and feel the desire to reclaim its more noble use and definition.
    These are uncomfortable ideas for me as well. I have developed a very painful stutter when trying to discuss them through spoken word. The irony is that the word I had the more difficult time using was perversion. Because the larger society in which we live would define what I am seeking to learn as such, and I chose to use that word because I truly believe that the only perversion is being false to one's own desires.

    I will think about what you have said and try to find the words to clarify my chosen use of the language. Please be patient. This will take some work.
    Thank you as always for helping me to refine my thoughts.

    Love and blessings to you my valued teacher.

  3. Love and blessings to you, my valued teacher. Methinks both of us are teachers and students together in some of this stuff.