This article is the beginning of an inquiry into how and why humanity evolved backwards, losing the capacity and interest in using their brain for constructive thought, reasoning, questioning, inquiry.
Humanity has four distinct brain capacities that place us above other animals. 1
But capacities are capacities. Like a door can be opened and closed, a drawer...ditto. But someone or something has to operate those... And that something can be machine-like or conscious.
In the beginning of the human race, our understanding of cause and effect was very poor. Natural catastrophes abounded, storms, eclipse, celestial events, like meteorites, and comets...
One of the brain capacities is to look for the cause. But the cause is almost never visible, or not in the narrow cone of view perspective we had, and most of us still has.
One explanation named the cause of events on invisible beings, gods, ghosts, spirits, witches, devils, and such.
Humans are naturally looking at themselves, their feelings, actions, thoughts as cause...
And then, someone came around and suggested that the gods know what you do, what you feel, what you think, and they punish or reward you depending on what a particular god likes.
All these invisible entities, ghosts, gods, spirits are imbued with anthropomorphic qualities: humans create their gods to their own image... jealous, possessive, vengeful, cruel, angry gods...
And like with other humans, they tried and try to manipulate these gods, etc. to favor them, by prostrating themselves, by sacrifices, promises, piousness, and such.
Then came along THE BOOK, presenting the worst god ever, and a world view where humans are less than dirt, and all they can do is dance to the tune of this cruel god... and its minion, the priests, the churches, religion.
That signified the end of thinking in Western cultures. Eastern cultures have give up thinking thousands of years before.
Humanity thus under the yoke of religion started to devolve... go backwards, and lose its ability to use their brain capacities, especially the capacity for reasoning, seeing the big picture, telling truth from falsehood.
This is the state of humanity as we speak. Even if you consider yourself "not religious" you live by the truths, commands, of some deity and its threat to kill you and yours. That threatens or promises to influence your fate.
So if this is the case, what am I doing writing all these articles, you ask?
I am talking to the select few, the one in a million, who, for some miraculous reason, has enough individuality to go for a prison break, and escape, and a life suitable for the peak of "creation", a human going on becoming a human being.
I grew up in Hungary, and the state religion was there Marx's teaching... almost as limiting as other religions, but not quite...
And yet, when I talk to my older brother, a millionaire money man, I am clear about the limitation of that world view... It took me several wild turns to rid myself of the limitations of a world view that don't allow seeing beyond the visible.
The biggest price you pay with your religious world view is that you have no capacity to take responsibility, to assign yourself as cause in your life.
Responsibility is your access to your own power, and your power is enormous... but not magical. Being small, being an effect, being a leaf blown in the wind is comfortable and easy... Taking on your own life, taking on your own power is scary... and frowned on by ALL religions, even newly created ones, touting, similarly to Christianity! the power of your mind, your thoughts... like the Law of Attraction religion, Scientology, Landmark, Unlimited Abundance, Spiritual Wealth, etc. All limiting, all frowning at you taking complete responsibility: after all if you do, you don't need their hocus pocus... and hocus pocus makes money for them.
I feel fear as I am writing this. But I have been using fear as guidance, to show me the direction to push... towards the fear, not away from it.
The presence of fear shows that you have an opportunity to summon courage, and do what you fear.
One in a million... Is that calling to you?
- Researchers have identified four abilities of the human brain that they believe to be the essence of our "humaniqueness" mental traits and abilities that distinguish us from our fellow Earthlings. They are: generative computation, promiscuous combination of ideas, the use of mental symbols, and abstract thought.
1. Generative computation
Humans can generate a practically limitless variety of words and concepts. We do so through two modes of operation recursive and combinatorial. The recursive operation allows us to apply a learned rule to create new expressions. In combinatorial operations, we mix different learned elements to create a new concept. Most of them are, of course, hogwash... nonsensical, just a game.
2. Promiscuous combination of ideas
"Promiscuous combination of ideas", allows the mingling of different domains of knowledge such as art, sex, space, causality and friendship thereby generating new laws, social relationships and technologies.
3. Mental symbols
Mental symbols are our way of encoding sensory experiences. They form the basis of our complex systems of language and communication. We may choose to keep our mental symbols to ourselves, or represent them to others using words or pictures.
4. Abstract thought
Abstract thought is the contemplation of things beyond what we can sense.
"This is not to say that our mental faculties sprang fully formed out of nowhere," Hauser wrote. "Researchers have found some of the building blocks of human cognition in other species. But these building blocks make up only the cement foot print of the skyscraper that is the human mind. The evolutionary origins of our cognitive abilities thus remain rather hazy. Clarity is emerging from novel insights and experimental technologies, however."