Primal Mind Primal Games

Why We Do What We Do

READ IT by Bruce Mason

Primal Mind Primal Games book cover • Perhaps we have been made numb trying to make sense of our world with its endless wars, senseless violence, ongoing, human-caused climate change, the dream-like stupor of shopping, celebrity obsession, insatiable money/power lust, the millions of traumatized refugees, greed, corruption and heart-breaking inequity.

But we still have a three-pound universe and resource between our ears with more connections than stars in the Milky Way. And we have innumerable books that provide insight, including bestsellers such as Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer-Prize-winners and the many books on shelves in endangered spaces such as Banyen (one surviving oasis in a desert of disconnected, information dust storms, parched of wisdom).

Primal Mind Primal Games: Why We Do What We Do is one such book. Exploring human behaviour and the human condition, it offers a practical guide and path forward for those who seek more sanity, coherence and fulfilment in life. Readers will undoubtedly identify with the chimpanzee pondering the chessboard on the book-cover.

The book is the result of a 10-year collaboration between co-authors Hifzija Bajramovic, an Ottawa-based psychiatrist with a career spanning 40 plus years, and Paul LeMay, a Vancouver-based science writer with front-line experience in national politics. Primal Mind uproots the hidden, unconscious programs – millions of years in the making – that run our minds and shape our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions.

Bajramovic’s work in victimization resulted in the identification of three primal, biologically determined mindsets: fighting, appeasing and defeated. You will recognize yourself and everyone you know in these universal default systems. I know I did. Fight, flight and freeze pretty much sum up our options.

Let the games begin. The Primal Games. By analyzing and providing examples of what these ancient mindsets engender, Bajramovic and LeMay provide tools to unravel and demystify much of human behaviour. “Integrating Self Function” is the all important, missing key, the lifelong reward for absorbing, understanding and utilizing the mindsets.

Author Gabor Maté notes the book’s originality and “deeply thoughtful systematized expression of the human psyche and behavioural manifestation.” He also points out it is “theory with a practical dimension.” Pop references to films, lyrics and graphics help make Primal Mind accessible. So do the enthusiasm and optimism of the co-authors, who recommend you read it in stages. Sure, it’s complicated – by design – just like the solutions. It’s either that or victimization. It’s in your hands.

Bruce Mason is a Vancouver and Gabriola-Island based banjo player, gardener, writer and author of Our Clinic.

April 7: Paul LeMay gives a public talk (by donation), 7-9pm, Fireside room, Centre for Peace, 1825 W. 16th Ave.@ Burrard, Vancouver. Info: (Primal Mind is available at Banyen Books.)


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