Most of peoples impulses are right.
Historically, has evolution been a voluntary affair for most species? We act like animals all the while claiming advancement beyond them because our animal complexity is greater? Is greater complexity progress? Have we chosen our social structures? Do we choose our communal, industrial and social pursuits? Can we name something that is actually a newly acquired choice for humans?
In the animal species, they are said to have evolved when they display the capacity to make a new choice regarding their behavior, survive by eating a new thing, develop habits that let them find shelter in a new environment, or simply develop a tolerance for things they can’t avoid. Do humans have anything like this that is uniquely human?
I offer that humans have achieved their apex position because they are the supreme imitators, but where does that leave us for actual advancement?
Well, humans are constantly expanding their horizons, questing to develop and discover new things. Cougars prowling around cities? Bears nosing into Subway restaurants?
We have the ability to understand things on a higher level. Higher in what way?
To understand the concepts behind an idea, to adapt that idea to new areas. We seek awareness itself. We seek higher consciousness. We understand the concept behind an idea by imitating diverse points of view. We have our complex idea of food because we imitate the eating habits of many different species.
Combining two old ideas to synergize a new one, where the whole is more than the sum of the parts, but not always to our benefit. Yes, we synergize remarkably well.
We need to assimilate the cat view and the dog view? We domesticated animals that way, and we imitated the behavior of squirrels and the like when we “discovered” agriculture.
There are animal names for lots of human behavior. Yes. So is anything genuinely new in human behavior? Even oblivious consumption isn’t new. Simulated scenarios are practiced by a variety of species. Many mammals pretend to fight, even pretend to hunt each other.
Play fighting isn’t just cute then? No, it’s practical.
It’s vital for practice, just like when we played house as kids. Yes, and they do have a sense of constraint. They know that it’s only pretend.
I think what makes us human is our awareness. So far, nothing concrete makes us human.
What about metaphors… is that something human? You’ve hit upon something, and virtual reality is another part of it. We have the potential to understand creative metaphor but we stop there. We are acting like someone half awake. We like are dependence on our dream of reality. We prefer the security of animal norms to the point that people are afraid of even moments of true awareness. Is this unfair to say?
A Buddhist teacher said his students after nine months or so would do one of two things. Quit and go back to life as normal, or change their life. i.e. Breaking free of those norms? Indeed. That is an example.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.