Being human

It’s really difficult and complicated being a human being. Always has been. Always will be.

We are all animals and share many body and brain features with other vertebrates. But we have this enormous swollen brain which makes our skulls so huge. We’re literally, big-headed.

Evolution always bodges, in the sense that it has to make do and work with, what came before. And what came before mammals was reptiles. Our old reptile brains are very quick thinking, instinctive and unstoppable. They drive us, and our swollen ‘new’ brains which are considerative and think and learn slowly by trial-and-error and acquisition of knowledge. So, it’s an unequal competition. We have to try and cope with the raw emotions pouring through us and understand and modify them. Many of the mental health issues humans suffer arise from these drives and conflicts.

If this all sounds too sciency and speculative, you’re right. The facts of our animal drives, and the way our rational, moral, ethical, thoughtful selves try to rein them in, has been known throughout human history. All great religions, and probably all tribal belief systems, have had to face and help people to cope with being conflicted humans. That’s why the morality tales in ancient stories including those in the Old and New Testaments speak so loudly and truly to us. They were us, and we are them.

Maybe it’s just us super-rational moderns who have difficulty with what, in different ages, was taken for granted?

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