Caveman brain – By @Djaydancer1
It makes a lot of sense to me that the way our psychology works is based on the conditions of evolution/survival. It also makes sense to look at the relationship between physical and mental. For these reasons, I’ve been looking into evolutionary psychology again to add to my world view.
Better understand the rules we inherited from the conditions of evolution to better understand how to perform modern life. This scab will be some of the things ive learnt and questions im considering recently.
One thing that surprisingly gave me comfort was being reminded that our basic behaviour and our conscious awareness are separate.
The basic behaviour is often an unconscious automatic response. Decisions often made simply based on survival.
While our psychology is just telling us how our body is reacting.
A fish, for example, will swim towards the water with nutrients and away from the water with toxins automatically.
The autonoetic consciousness (ANC) is a self-involved consciousness, its what becomes aware of the philosophical response.
The ANC also relates to our ability to have a personal past present and future that we can project ourselves into.
Perhaps I think I find all this comforting because if action is simply merit of survival then it certainly simplifies a lot of decisions. I feel in society were conditioned to seek opportunity within our identity which can be limiting or confusing (for those that feel they don’t conform to one of societies prescriptive characters).
But no matter what action of options lay before us, another major psychological hurdle lays before us, anxiety.
The 19th-century Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard anxiety sucks. “But you cannot be a creative, imaginative human being without anxiety.” Kierkegaard says anxiety is the price we pay for being free to make choices.
Anxiety is simply thinking about all the various choices you can make and considering the consequences of the different decisions.
Fear is different, it’s about a present danger.
And then there’s general existential angst. All of that is due to our prefrontal cortex. Our ability to conceptualise, imagine things that have never been imagined before, to create art, to create architecture, to imagine building an instrument to go to the moon and back.
Our prefrontal cortex gifts us that. But it also has a trade-off. It also allows us to be incredibly selfish, narcissistic, self-centred and support tribes and groups.
We have a mental inquisitiveness that allows us to plan and to anticipate problems that may come up but we can also use it to be devious and to scheme so that our group gets ahead at the expense of others.
Is the autonoetic consciousness is what makes us human?
Is the key to navigating the human experience managing our consciousness, understanding the mechanisms to avoid pitfalls/traps?