The subject is aware of caste separation and has focused on transcending her systems. As we continue with this analysis, I will measure those transitions to see subtle ways caste separations affect our lives and whether a full transition from one of the lowest caste points to one of the highest is possible for our subject. To begin our study, we will consider caste structures as a measurement of maturity and maturity as a measurement of safety. We will set the foundation and our subject’s place in it.
To begin, we will examine the idea of safety. Whether we see safety through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and think of basic physical necessities like food, water, and shelter being the primary foundation for security or personal security, community, or spirituality as the fundamental needs to create safety will not be our focus. We will not consider those things that impact our feelings of security as much as we will discuss how our position in society is affected by how safe we feel.
People in lesser caste systems generally feel more vulnerable to conditions. They have fewer resources and spend more days experiencing threats against those fundamental principles of safety. Using Maslow’s model as a comparison, the division is easy to recognize. Those in lower castes have less physical resources like food, water, and shelter than those in higher castes. The same is true of what he defines as “safety.” The concept of safety in this example would extend beyond just employment, healthy, and property—though they play a significant part. The concept of safety here would also include threats against safety and position in society.
Looking at Maslow’s model, one might go as far as to say his perspective was caste-based. The lower the caste system, the more prominent the threats in each of his levels of hierarchy. People in the lowest caste systems lack basic physical needs. As we move up the caste ladder, we also climb the pyramid. Let’s take a closer look at the first three levels of Maslow’s pyramid using our subject as an example.
During her early development, she lacked the basic physical needs for survival, but not at what we might consider the lowest caste. She was exposed to people who did not have homes or food and clothing, but her family held itself in a caste consciousness slightly above the lowest caste. The behavior of positioning is as typical in the lower class as it is in higher classes. It is just less obvious.
Most humans that operate withing caste structures will surround themself with those they consider beneath them. As mentioned, experiments like the Marshmallow Test have proven that feelings of lack influence our ability to succeed. In current societal structures, success is nearly equivalent to caste, though maturity will play a more significant role.
To create healthy brain function, humans need to feel successful, so putting ourselves in a position where we feel superior makes sense. This function is likely the reason we have not overcome the obviously defunct structure. For immediate survival, it is better to be in a position above last place. So, it makes sense to surround ourselves with people who will fail more consistently. However, people in the lesser caste also become drains on our resources, which is prohibitive to advancement.
As a note, some individuals will surround themselves with the higher caste. As we continue this study, we will look at the effect this has on healthy brain function, but our focus will be on the dependency of the lower caste for today.
Our subject’s journey began at what I will call level one of Maslow’s pyramid. Though there were inconsistencies, she had food and shelter. What she lacked was security. She lived in a volatile environment will few resources—level two of Maslow’s pyramid, and what she inherently strives for, is level three.