Charles Lindbergh on the Primitive and Subconscious

Within every man, less disguised by skin than by clothing, is the spear-bearing savage. Our relationship to our ancestral past is inescapable. Often, it seems to me, the external conflict between the civilized and the primitive is the counterpart of a conflict within man himself, a conflict between modern intellect and ancient sensate recollections, between systematic rationality and instinct. The extraordinary fact is that the intellect in the relatively short period of its existence has been able to gain such domination over the eon-developed and generation-proven senses retained by civilized man, and that the intellect is unappreciative of the value of these senses to its own astuteness, not consciously aware of the terrific powers they retain.

I believe there is wisdom in the primitive lying at greater depths than the intellect has plumbed, a wisdom from which civilized man can learn and without whose application his survival time is limited. It is wisdom born of instinct, intuition, and genetic memory, held by the subconscious rather than the conscious mind, too subtle and elusive to be more than partially comprised within limits of rationality.

The primitive remains internally in man as it remains externally in nature, challenging the intellectual constructs, forming its rebellions and revolutions. Whether they take place in civilization, in nations, or in a single individual, rebellions and revolutions touch on the primitive and subconscious.

–Charles Lindbergh, Autobiography of Values