Humans come by certain characteristics naturally. This is called human nature or the essence of humankind. Humans in large measure feel as if they are dying on the inside but put on a pretty face to hide it. We are hiding from our true selves and putting up a false front that develops over time—a learned characteristic. Confusing at best—why do we act this way and how is it part of being human.
The fundamental dispositions and characteristics that humans are said to have naturally include ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. The term is often used to denote the essence of humankind, or what it ‘means’ to be human.
Most animals stay with their normal behavior patterns. But humans have language skills and greater brainpower which permits us to develop many more elaborate systems of rules, taboos, and etiquette
Humans are constantly sorting the world into categories, predicting how things work, and testing those predictions which is the essence of science.
Our feeding behavior is also exceedingly odd. Most animals just eat. I watched a squirrel sit in place under our bird feeder and munch on sunflower seeds dropped by the birds. He just ate. On the other hand, we make it a meal usually at a set time with different foods for each timeframe. Is it fun to eat eggs or pancakes at dinnertime? For some humans, this is too far outside the norm.
Nothing is quite as puzzling as our predilection for clandestine copulation. Why do humans have sex in private? Why is sex a fearful subject for humans? We are preoccupied with denying and escaping it. We need a therapist to tell us how to do something that is wonderful and so natural. Our religions, particularly Christianity, have not helped to appreciate the intimacy and wonder of our sexuality.
The truth is that while much attention has been given to the need to love each other and the environment, the real need is to find the means to love the dark side of ourselves—to find the reconciling understanding of our ‘good-and-evil’-afflicted human condition that is causing so much suffering and destruction!
Certainly, we have invented excuses to justify our imperfect competitive, selfish, and aggressive behavior, the main one being that we have savage animal instincts that make us fight and compete for food, shelter, territory, and a mate.
It overlooks the fact that we humans have altruistic, cooperative, loving moral instincts—our conscience—and these moral instincts in us are not derived from situations where you only do something for others in return for a benefit from them.
We have an unconditionally selfless, fully altruistic, absolutely loving, universally considerate, genuinely moral conscience. an unconditionally selfless, fully altruistic, absolutely loving, universally considerate, genuinely moral conscience. Our original instinctive state was the opposite of being competitive, selfish, and aggressive: it was fully cooperative, selfless, and loving
Once our self-adjusting intellect (EGO) emerged it was capable of over the management of our lives from the instinctive orientations we had acquired through the natural selection of genetic traits that adapted us to our environment.
It was at this juncture, when our conscious intellect challenged our instincts for control, that a terrible battle broke out between our instincts and intellect, the effect of which was the extremely competitive, selfish, and aggressive state that we call the human condition.
Our intellect (EGO) began to experiment in understanding as the only means of discovering the correct and incorrect means for managing existence, but the instincts—being in effect ‘unaware’ or ‘ignorant’ of the intellect’s need to carry out these experiments— ‘opposed’ any understanding-produced deviations from the established instinctive orientations.
The intellect was left having to endure a psychologically distressed, upset condition, with no choice but to defy that opposition from the instincts. The only forms of defiance available to the conscious intellect were to attack the instincts’ unjust criticism, try to deny or block from its mind the instincts’ unjust criticism, and attempt to prove the instincts’ unjust criticism wrong. So, we became ego-centric, self-centered, or selfish, preoccupied with aggressively competing for opportunities to prove we are good and not bad. The EGO unavoidably became selfish, aggressive, and competitive.
Our True Self was banished to the wasteland of our being—submerged deep within. It takes massive effort to bring the True Self to light. The EGO wants to separate and project uniqueness.
But I want to love and be a part of humanity. The struggle continues.