where the writers are
The Justification Engine

What is the purpose of the human mind? Why is it so damn smart that it actually becomes aware of itself?

Ever wonder?

I wonder about that endlessly. Can't help myself really. Like everyone else, my mind loves to obsess. My mind likes to obsess over itself. There's a word for that: can't think of it though. Its not conceit. I seem to remember there was a Smurf named after it. Wait maybe that's not the word I'm looking for. Oh well, you catch my drift.

I've come to some conclusions. They are not permanent because, well honestly, I tend to learn more when I keep my conclusions open ended. I treat them like stepping stones on a path to the shore.

I believe people are smart because they needed to be smart to survive. We didn't need to outsmart other species. Oh no, we took care of the Neanderthals quite easily without being too much smarter than them. No, I've come to the conclusion that we needed to be smarter than each other to survive. We competed with each other so much that through massive inbreeding (keeping all the power / resources in the family) we gained super intelligence. We became aware. It happened over Milena, probably just before most of us move out of Africa. I can't site my source on that whole genetics thing, but it is in an article I read somewhere that the extra genes that we have are duplicates that affect brain development and scientists theorize that it was inbreeding that made them happen.

I believe intelligence is a two edged sword. Sure, we're smarter, but we're also unstable. Luckilly nature takes care of the unstable by keeping them from propigating through more than a few generations so even though we're a bit nutty, only the relatively stable survive to have children who have children.

In our case, intelligence was a genetic advantage that enabled us to survive horrid circumstance. It made it so we could not only outsmart other family groups, but made it so we could amuse each other and ourselves during times of hardship. Quite literally, our minds enabled us to develop coping mechanisms for surviving hardships. People with the best coping mechanisms survived.

From this perspective its pretty easy to understand how we became such a bundle of loose afflictions. All those afflictions (also known as coping mechanisms) enabled us to survive.

When survival is easy, like today, our minds tend to run unchecked and unbalanced. People's who's minds need a certain amount of stress to be in that happy afflicted mode don't know what to do with themselves, so they make stuff up or cause drama, or seek distractions or obsess over stuff.

You may be asking yourself, "so if you're on to something here Brian, what's the point? Why know this?"

Honestly, I dunno. These are observations of myself. I see myself needing certain things to feel normal and seeking them in others. I do this without any awareness that I'm doing it until my world crumbles because these unconscious, affliction driven tendencies are unhealthy and tend to snowball out of control until ... well ... no one is willing to take from me or give to me anymore.

There's another word for all this and its well documented: co-dependence. But suddenly, from my perspective, its not such a bad thing to be codependent when you realize it kept the species going for thirty thousand years during the highs and lows of our evolution. It seems that only now we have a chance to rise above it and for the first time be free of the unhealthy unconscious needs.

We are blessed when we become aware of it. Even though it feels horrible, it is in fact a very positive step in our evolution.