I've been thinking how little we know about ourselves no matter how much has been coughed out to shrinks. Surely to understand our inner inconsistencies there must be some other influences outside our paltry life stories which some of us repeat on an endless loop tape to get to the nub of who we are.
My opinion is we need to take into consideration the influence of our ancient roots, our prehistoric past.
Like it or not, we all started as tiny one-celled protoplasm. We should look further back than our time as Homo Sapiens to understand who we are today. It wasn't all that long ago when we even began; only for the last 200,000 years have we been modern humans (hairless), before that fish, lizards and a various assortment of apes. (Not the most sophisticated of lineages.) Most of us are hopelessly unaware of the extent to which we're held hostage by our moronic beginnings.
In some ways we've come a long way i.e. standing up in high heels but as far as our emotional development we're still swimming in the pond scum. The problem is that we're unaware that part of our brains still play by the rules of 400 million years ago. I'm talking about the 'kill and mate' school of thought. As evolved as we think we are, we're still cave folk with Stone Age brains trying to deal with the complexities of the 21st century. This could be the answer to why we need so many shrinks and medication.
In the beginning things were fine, we lived in tribes with family members. We all shared the same genes so we trusted and protected each other. The bad news about this is the bit about all being related which caused infinite mutations; some of our cousins had more fingers than needed, others had their feet growing backwards. These were the days of hunter-gatherer, which lasted for many thousands of years. The men did the dirty work spearing dinner, the woman peeled roots and bulbs (before women's lib.). No one complained, mainly because they couldn't speak; language was not invented yet. The problems began when the tribes started to expand, cities grew up and civilisation developed. Now we had to make rules to control our deeper, darker desires, i.e. don't sleep with your sister. Freud tried to help us reign in our 'ids' but our baser, primordial selves are still sliming around under the surface. Repression doesn't help; that Alien inside is always lurking ready to let it rip. These days we convince ourselves we're fighting for justice to defend our beliefs. In my brutal opinion, we're simply appeasing our basic urge to kill; as in, tear the throat out of the foe, irrelevant of race, religion or political affinity. Every cell in our bodies wants to divide and conquer, why should our yearning to overthrow other countries be different?
To evolve any further we need to become conscious of these 'ancient whispers.' Underneath our mild mannered exteriors are our barbaric brothers of the past. If you act unaware of your Dark Force it will act out without you being conscious and throw grenades where you think you've done good. So when you feel the urge to tear off someone's head that got the job you always wanted, remember that we all have a savage within that seeks revenge. I even go as far as giving a little compassion to the beast within because I wouldn't have survived without him. So in essence, it took us four billion years to evolve to where we are and though we're cognitively brilliant we're still a little emotionally dwarfed, the question is could our more empathetic side catch up?
I say the first step is learning to hug your inner ape. (Perhaps the name of a new book? Maybe not).