The Herd Instinct!


Videos like this give great pause on a number of levels; It’s not just eating fish and how they are treated behind the scenes; it’s the aquarium industry! People buying beautiful fish to put in their homes and businesses. How it affects the coral reefs is astounding!  I watched a movie this past Sabbath (I often watch documentaries and nature videos rented from the library on my day of rest. It’s an absolute treat I highly recommend.) This is one small video clip from such a video. Here are a few statements the video made about the unique and special place called, ‘The Coral Reef”.

Diversity! These are a few of the statements made about life on the Coral Reef. ‘ There is more diversity here than anywhere else on the planet.’ Did you know, that ‘the community remains in balance because it functions together? The community stays healthy and whole because of diversity!. . . Neither plant nor coral can survive without the other. . . and that’s the key the whole coral reef community is built on: relationship!.”

Symbiosis: a relationship between two people or groups that work with and depend on each other; a cooperative relationship! Close Union of dissimilar organisms!! “The relationship between 2 different kinds of living things that live together and depend on each other! This is so amazing: the glassy minnows, in groups of hundr Sally Ettari a/k/a Sally Atari, Singer and Song Writer, Blog, Music, Guitar Twelve Step Recovery, Speaker, Concert Artist,, sallyatari.comeds,  move as a unit (these tiny little fish) and they dance as a group. The Gruber comes along and plows into the center of them in an effort to eat just one and can not isolate even a single minnow because of their ‘herd instinct!’ They press into each other and dance through the whole event! Oh, how beautiful!

Nature provides us a visual of how so many groups on the planet function. In the traditions of Twelve Step Recovery, we learn about diversity and it’s importance to building a healthy fellowship where ‘Love and tolerance of others is our code.” (Pg. 84)  Symbiosis is seen in the herd instinct discussed on page 569 of the Big Book: “Dr. Foster Kennedy, neurologist: “This organization of AA calls on two of the greatest reservoirs of power known to man, religion and that instinct for association with one’s fellows. . . the ‘herd instinct’. In the 12 & 12, much is said about the social instincts including the herd instinct; the need for companionship, relationship and the need to belong. The glassy minnows are such a sweet visual of all three!

There are three instincts that drive and dominate us  (12&12 Step Four):

Social instincts :
a. The herd instinct (companionship)
b. Self-knowledge and personal relationships
(Character Flaws of the Warped Instinct: Power Mad, controlling, ego-driven, Pomp, attention seeking.)
Step 4, Column 3: What does it affect? Personal Relationships, ambitions, fear, self-esteem, security?

Security Instincts:
a. External/Financial: Material, Shelter,  Clothing,  Food, Physical needs.
b. Internal/Emotional:  Basic Safety and Survival Instincts
( Warped Instinct: hoarders, misers, pursue wealth, penny-pinching, dependent, helpless, fear filled, lean on others)
Step 4, Column 3: What does it affect? Ambition, fear, relationships, self-esteem, security?)

Sex Instincts: 
a. To procreate
b. Our Desires: both acceptable and hidden
(Warped Instinct: Unreasonable expectations, demanding, Self-centered, control-driven. )
Step 4, Column 3: What does it affect? Ambition, sex and personal relationships, fear, self-esteem, security?)

These instincts apparently are inherent in nature as well. It’s amazing that we share so many of these instincts with minnows! And the same fear that acts as a corrosive thread and impacts so many of our decisions and mistakes, impacts the animal kingdom as well. This to seen when animals are running for safety in a herd! This video clip is amazing!

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; For God has foundBio, Sally Ettari a/k/a Sally Atari, Singer and Song Writer, Blog, Music, Guitar Twelve Step Recovery, Speaker, Concert Artist,, sallyatari.comed it on the seas, and established it on the rivers. Psalm 24:1 & 2

Sally Ettari a/k/a Sally Atari, Singer and Song Writer, Blog, Music, Guitar Twelve Step Recovery, Speaker, Concert Artist,,


Filed under Lessons

3 Responses to The Herd Instinct!

  1. Lydia S.

    BRAVO FOR YOU, SALLY! You continue to evolve into a more RADIANT being day by day…. This BBC video was heartbreaking, as are countless others that document the inexcusable encroachment we perpetrate on our fellow creatures… My commitment to veganism is a daily “prayer”. Bless you, Sally, for shining the Light! Lydia S.

  2. Inabelle Levin

    The herd instinct videos were amazing. Imagine those minute glassy minnows herding together by the 100’s defeating the attempts of a gigantic grouper to eat just one. Even more amazing was the baby buffalo hanging in there while being attacked by an entire tribe of lions and an alligator. The baby must have trusted that its mother and the rest of the herd would come to rescue it if she could only hang in there. How miraculous it was to watch her rescue! Sometimes I also feel so fragile in early weeks of abstinence. Hook ups with loving sponsors have encouraged me so much. God bless you all.

    • Sally Atari

      Thank you, Inabelle, for writing. It’s a joy for me to know some one reads these. The Herd concept is so important and the baby buffalo video is such a great example from start to finish of this important lesson. The baby and it’s mother are trotting along lagging behind the tribe and so they were vulnerable. If we think we are with the herd and then we are still isolating and doing our own thing, we are kidding ourselves and we are in danger!
      So, suddenly, danger come from no-where; the baby gets attacked, Mom runs for help. The baby remains calm and appears to not put up a fight. Suddenly the herd, with Mom in the lead, come to the rescue and the baby gets up and quickly, trots off- apparently unharmed! I bet that baby and MOM will press into the herd now! And so should we! We need each other!

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