MIRRORS OF THE SOUL
DO NEURONS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?
Is Evolution All Biological? Or Cultural, Too?
There's this notion that we evolved consciousness due to physiological changes in our brains, aeons ago. But our ancestors and relatives among hominids and simians share many of the same innovations. Why don't they have Tivo, like us?
There's another notion that there exists among us humanoids a kind of racial consciousness, or group mind. Some people call it the great unconscious, a vast aquifer connecting us all, down there in the bottom of our minds, a sort of animal thing, but more evolved. Other people believe it's a higher, more transcendant thing, like the starry skies above, where our minds join in cosmic harmony.
We tend to theorize like this when we don't have quite enough information to really nail something down: Just enough to get us ruminatin'. But, that's what we do. It's a human thing, man, you wouldn't understand. The question of precisely how, and when we evolved or invented or received language, I mean speech, is one that may never be resolved, definitively. But get it we did, however, whenever; and we were never the same: In the beginning, there was the Word. And then all this OTHER shit. It enabled us to begin building these bridges between minds, and to act together, across centimeters or miles, nanoseconds or millenia, to build what we superciliously refer to today as civilization. And civilization made higher and higher technologies possible, which made communicating and working together, teaching and learning more widespread and more powerful. So, are we still evolving? Physically and mentally? Individually and collectively?
Some of us are, one way or the other. Where the rubber meets the road to Nirvana, though, is in some mental or physiological thingie that turns on this: Mirror neurons, which enable us to not only mimic, but to experience and learn from the words and actions of others. Our brains actually respond physiologically to things we see other people do, in exactly the same way as they do when we are carrying out the same acts. As if we were capable of instantaneous recording, storage and playback of whole physical routines from the real world, in our tiny minds.
Now, some of us are cheap Chinese VCRs, that only record and play back grainy copies of what we've seen and heard. But some of us are multi-media computers, capable of analyzing, changing, improving, and passing on the improvements to others. I wonder if there isn't some physiological or cultural thingie that makes some of us act like sheep or monkeys, and others act like leaders or artists? Is this a glitch, or an evolutionary switch? Is it like autism, or more like neanderthalism? A brain defect, or a "great leap forward" in physical or cultural evolution?
I'm not sure if it matters exactly what it is, or what causes it. Not so important as recognizing it, and doing something about it. If you look around you, you can see that the world is dominated by monkeys and sheep. Most people are scarcely capable of leadership or creativity. Whether they are physically or mentally disabled, or somehow less evolved, as they say in Aspen, culturally or biologically, they are in danger of being left behind. And the evolved ones are in danger of being subsumed, or wiped out by them. Clearly, we are at a great juncture in human evolution. Clearly, the throwbacks recognize this, instinctively, if not intellectually. Clearly, I say, because we can see that they are taking steps to gain and hold a dominant position over more evolved people. What is not clear is what the more evolved will do about it. Right now, they seem to be navel-gazing, or self-destructing. This will not win any evolutionary or social struggles.
If you are one of these less-evolved people, biologically or culturally, you should and probably will find someone to lead you in this struggle to secure your dominance. If you are more evolved, you must take a creative leadership role in moving society in the evolved direction, or leaving it. Otherwise, evolution will cease at this point, and the neanderthals will simply phase themselves out, or blow themselves up. What are YOU going to do?
TO POST A COMMENT: CLICK ON "COMMENTS," "Post a Comment" or "# of COMMENTS" just below the SOCIAL BOOKMARKING LINKS (Digg, Delicious, etc), about three inches down from here. Please do comment. Thank you.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM YOUR BLOGGERS:
Suggestion Box & Tip Jar We would like to make over this blog to make it easier to access, to read and to comment on. We would also like to serve our readers better by providing more of what you need and want to see. All serious suggestions will be considered. We hope to move to our own domain in the near future, and we would like to ask for your financial assistance in doing that, and in upgrading our hardware & software. Small one-time donations and larger long-term subscriptions are welcome. Exclusive advertising is also available. If you think we are wasting our time in doing all this, please let us know. If you wish to help us, now is the time. As always, negative bullsh*t from right-wing trolls will be sh*tcanned. Thank you to everyone else. Please send feedback & PayPal contributions to cosanostradamusATexciteDOTcom. Thanks.
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS: BRING THEM ALL HOME ALIVE, NOW!