Instinct – IF

I cannot wait for Spring, because Winter does not always bring pleasant thoughts!

This was originally going to be a drawing of a Mama Polar Bear and her Baby Cub, just a little animal instinct, and lo and behold, I fell asleep with the local news on after watching a nature documentary so…

(figure study for Bear Series (there will be no guns in the series!)

I awakened, with a question, so if you leave comments, I will read them to listen for some answers.  Here goes…

Human instinct is supposedly more colorful in its width and depth than any other being. Many humans are taught to believe that this instinct is a combination of curiosity, the need to interact, analysis, our insistence on freedom, creativity, interest, synthesis, innovation and sexual curiosity.   This is what makes us seemingly more intelligent.

Humans have also been taught that animal instinct is only limited to self preservation, movement, interaction and procreation.

With all of these amazing gifts, human are endowed with …would someone, please tell me why…there is the urge among humans to prey upon trusting, smaller, vulnerable, passive,  unsuspecting, innocent, beautiful, fortunate, unfortunate, four-legged, two-legged, furry, bald, fascinating, boring, sweet, physically challenged, hearing-impaired, old, young, blind, healthy, ugly, peaceful, happy, unhappy, cherished, loved, unloved……?

Peaceful dreams!

40 Comments »
  1. Beautiful bears, Indigene! I love following your bear series. The addition of the machine gun is alarming and makes a powerful statement. It’s sad that humans, despite being endowed with all those higher-level instincts, also possess those base animal instincts, and the need for power, dominance and control. It’s a pity that so many of us choose to listen to the wrong voices in our heads.

    But on a lighter note, I saw a video this morning of a mama and baby polar bear. Somehow, mama bear has the instinct to crawl over thin ice so as not to fall in. Hope it makes you feel better:
    http://www.videosift.com/video/Ice-skating-polar-bears

    Comment by Bella Sinclair — February 21, 2009 @ 8:18 pm

  2. I don’t believe that we are any different from the other animals…the dolphins are just as smart, and the crows use tools…there’s really nothing to differentiate us.

    We are ruled by chemistry and electricity, just like them…our cells do what they’re coded to.

    The only control we have is in how we socialize our young…and it must start early. Children are pretty much hard-wired by the time they’re 7…and truly, much if it is done by the time they’re three.

    Kill your TV. Even if you can control the shows they watch…it’s those damned commercials that are killing us. Who needs a car? Who needs more clothes? or more than a couple of pairs of shoes?

    And don’t let them read the bible. Genesis teaches kids that God put the beasts here for man…that we have dominion…what ROT.

    Comment by catnapping — February 21, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

  3. I do believe we as human too exist with great instinct but the worldly things have sidetracked us far behind.
    For this, follow instinct is good but surrender to God is a great privilege.
    That’s my experience Indigene.

    Here’s my tag and the number 25 said that:

    http://yoonsee.blogspot.com/2009/02/tagged-by-marvic.html

    Comment by yoon see — February 21, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

  4. Interesting reflections. I have discovered that the best way to judge character is to see how a person treats those who are weaker than him/her.

    Comment by andrea — February 21, 2009 @ 10:24 pm

  5. Well….since you asked…We have a pet rabbit living in our family room. We learn a lot from him. I’ve often said that if humans acted more like bunnies, the world would be such a nice place. Rabbits are really low on the food chain. They only live 5 yrs. in the wild, but 20 or so in captivity. Their main role in life is to feed fox and other predators. With a job like that, it’s no wonder they are such creatures of instinct. When you approach Kenyon, our pet, he assumes a submissive posture – head down to the floor. If you pick him up, he knows he’s defeated and goes into a “kill me now” trance…more submission. He dances when you feed him treats. He snuggles up to you for warmth and companionship…all instincts to fulfill his selfish needs. But he’s not ever jealous, moody, mean.

    I think humans have gotten so far away from following their instincts. That’s why we’re trouble. Instead of worrying about running as fast as we can and outwitting the panthers chasing us, we have transposed that. We think of our boss, or coworker we are competing with, or our spouse, or whoever as the panther. And instead of running away, we devise ways to try and flip the chase around, so we can become the predator instead of the prey. If we all got back to the basic instincts, and worried less about the worldly stuff of our own creation, I think we’d all be happier. Easier said than done, though.

    Thanks for your nice comments on my blog! I like your bears.

    Comment by Deb — February 21, 2009 @ 11:13 pm

  6. I wish I had answers for you. I think power and the ability to manipulate our surroundings has corrupted mankind quite a bit. I see a lot of very unkind behavior from/among my students everyday. Depressing to see people treat each other with so little regard–I hate to think how they treat their pets.

    I can’t even watch Nat’l Geographic because I hate watching animals even hunt each other. I wish we could fix things.

    I like the bears. The gun is jarring–but it does make a clear statement.

    Comment by Gillian — February 21, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

  7. Maybe those people haven’t evolved to more intellectual beings and stuck with their primitive ancestors.;)

    I feel for the bears. Very nice statement Indigine.

    Comment by Björnik — February 22, 2009 @ 12:30 am

  8. its a terrible “survival of the fittest” kind of thing. so sad, that when we are threatened, we only watch out for ourselves. I believe its all about breeding and continuation of the species. funny how this skill is not necessary in modern society (as we are so overpopulated), so its mutated into bullying, racism etc

    Comment by messy_fish — February 22, 2009 @ 2:47 am

  9. You wrote a very touching post. I really don’t know why humans do this..
    It isso sad.

    Comment by Madonna Davidoff — February 22, 2009 @ 7:33 am

  10. My goodness! So many thoughtful responses! I simply have no answer to your question. Perhaps it is really a more complex form of survival – there are those who only feel strong and powerful when they can control or hurt weaker creatures. I think we’re all guilty of this to some degree – we gossip or judge others unfairly perhaps to bolster our self-esteem. I believe that our human condition and challenge is to be aware of these things and then work to evolve as more compassionate beings. It’s not always easy! Your illustration is heartbreaking and so beautifully done. It has a lot of emotion.

    Comment by carla — February 22, 2009 @ 9:05 am

  11. awwww…. but I am intrigued by your question; and wanted to read the responses.
    My response is different. I don’t think hunting, hating, insulting, mocking, abusing is a nature question; but a nurture question. People who have not come to terms with their own loss on innocence try to take others. At first I thought this meant that they try to put it in their pocket and walk away with it – but now I understand it is trying to do to others what was done to them; so they can express their rage. (I am not a big fan of “Americas Funniest Home Videos” for this reason, laughing at people and animals who are hurt)

    Comment by AscenderRisesAbove — February 22, 2009 @ 11:56 am

  12. very moving……..makes one stop and think.

    Comment by cartuneman...John — February 22, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

  13. Wow Indigene, you’ve opened up a huge discussion here! I loved reading the comments. I like parts of what many had to say. Interesting that Ascender said it’s more of a nurture thing than nature. I agree and understand that concept completely.
    Ignorance is also often passed down by generations.
    I couldn’t imagine looking anything in the eys and hurting it or taking it’s life, animal or human. I don’t even like to speak unkindly.
    We may never know the answer to your question because in thruth there are probably many answers.

    Your bears are beautiful! I hope they outrun the gun.
    XX

    Comment by studio lolo — February 22, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

  14. Ouf! yes dificult to find a clear answer. … I do think humans have lost instincts..a few for good, but a loads for worst… now we have hard to find our place, as if we have lost the earth we belonged to…
    Truely, I don’t know. Thant makes me think..
    Beautiful reflexions and illos, always!

    Comment by cati — February 22, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  15. Hi Indigene! Great work! Hang in there- Spring is on the way!!!- John

    Comment by JOhn York — February 22, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  16. Hello.
    I think that you will not find an response that please you, man do that stuff simply because he can…
    Thanks for the kinds words on my blog.
    May the force be with you.

    Comment by Alexandre Esgaio — February 22, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

  17. i wish i knew the answer to this question indigene.

    Comment by soulbrush — February 22, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  18. NOUGH SAID!!!!!! This is one awesome write up and I love the picture too. Your words are so very powerful and profound as well. YOU GO Indigene!!!!

    Comment by vanessa newton — February 22, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

  19. I like the bears very much, and your provoking question about human nature. There are so very many answers, and the truth seems always to exist somewhere between.

    Comment by denise — February 22, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

  20. It’s so true – some humans seem to have lost the plot and it seems like they have no care or respect any more. I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments here – you’ve made a very thought provoking illustration, Indigene.

    Comment by Caroline Soer — February 22, 2009 @ 11:44 pm

  21. Hey! Very cool piece. Always had a fascination for polar bears… so mysterious and beautiful, only taking what they need to survive.

    I think we’re just a greedy ape. We’ll never have enough.

    Comment by Marg — February 23, 2009 @ 3:07 am

  22. The problem seems to be we ignore our instincts to save others.
    Unfortunately humans have evolved to a point they can ignore the nature inside them.

    Comment by Diogo Nogueira — February 23, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  23. A beautiful, poignant and sad piece.

    Comment by mary stebbins Taitt — February 23, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  24. Hi Indigene!
    I like to read and watch your illustrations, and I’m always glad when you visit my blog,
    so here an award for you,
    http://catilustre.blogspot.com/2009/02/7-things.html
    Of course feel free to do it :-)

    Comment by cati — February 23, 2009 @ 2:03 pm

  25. What a wonderful post and it has been much much too long since I’ve been around your little spot in the cyber world! Your question is so very poignant and deeply close to what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately – in fact that was the basis for my whole pocket moleskine sketchbook – Animal Crossing Manimals…why do we allow our intelligence and ability to reason to separate us from a core part of our being? In addition, why do we not see the relationship that exist between us and every other living creature on the planet? I don’t get it? i do know that we’re bound to have to face ourselves. Thanks Indigene!

    Comment by Amarettogirl — February 23, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  26. Very thought provoking subject. I don’t have an answer for you but I would like to compliment you on your bears. picture perfect.

    Comment by jack foster — February 23, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

  27. Moving illustration – the baby bear is too young to realize the danger facing him. Because of man’s great ego, I think he feels he is the center of the earth and has the right to do whatever he wants. And it is always easier to prey on smaller, more vulnerable beings than those that are strong enough to challenge back.

    Comment by Ellen — February 24, 2009 @ 6:20 am

  28. I Love your polar bears. very though provoking. so sad.

    Comment by Lisa — February 24, 2009 @ 8:26 am

  29. Oh, Indigene, I do love you for standing up for the world! the painting is beautiful and horrible, one can just feel that one moment of suddenly understanding what’s about to happen. Dunno if bears do get such feelings but then again, neither would we if we didn’t know what a rifle looked like. :( Ick, I’m all inspired by the artwork but also down, because of the artwork. ;)

    Comment by Nancy — February 24, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  30. noooooooo not the bears!! !! ps.thanks for comment

    Comment by loubylou — February 24, 2009 @ 3:16 pm

  31. I love your take on instinct and human nature, and what you had to say about it. Beautifully done Indigene!

    Comment by Cindy DiBlasi — February 25, 2009 @ 12:31 am

  32. Oops! Poor bear!!!

    Comment by Shani — February 25, 2009 @ 11:52 am

  33. i think it is safe to say that bo one really knows WHY… it could be that we are no different than animals as some have said… but i don’t believe that… i think that as the capacity for intelligence increases so does the capacity to do THINGS… humans aren’t the only “animal” that preys upon the weak… take a look at cats, for instance… they routinely maim lizards and other small creatures… other animals do it too… i guess one thing that we do have going for us is that there are enough of us humans that know better…

    wonderful bears…

    Comment by Michael O'Connell — February 25, 2009 @ 6:14 pm

  34. So touching…wonderful

    Comment by flower girl — February 26, 2009 @ 11:33 am

  35. i am also waiting for spring! …..
    beautiful polar bears and wonderful subject but i don’t have any answer because i have been asking the same question for years now…..and the responses to your post were all very interesting.

    Comment by isay — February 27, 2009 @ 5:51 am

  36. Hey, a good idea and combination! I like the bears, they look so innocent.
    thank you for your comment on my blog :-)

    Comment by claudia — February 27, 2009 @ 6:25 am

  37. What did the bear do to deserve a gun in his face???? Anyway, I love the painting. It’s just amazing. You great two thumbs up for sure!!! What a great post my friend.

    Comment by vanessa newton — February 27, 2009 @ 8:13 am

  38. The answer is simple. Humans, as a species, are morons. I lost my fath in humanity a long time ago.
    You artwork is wonderful, though.

    Comment by josh pincus is crying — March 1, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  39. I thought I left a message here last week. I forgot to tell you, I like your new blog design.

    Comment by Ces — March 1, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  40. aw, this is so sad, but in a wonderful way.. You really got me thinking and that is the best about art!
    thank you for stopping by at my blog and for your lovely comment!

    Comment by Iva Yaneva — March 30, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

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