We don’t take ourselves seriously enough. This is a good thing, in a way – it keeps our minds from coming up with crazy ideas that interfere with the functioning of our bodies – that can get along fairly well without them.
But, being human, we need our minds too – that is why we have such a huge brain – to think with. The decision to stop thinking – which I think we have made – was the worst decision we could have possibly made. But with our reversed sense of values – it seems like the best possible decision – since it solved all our problems for us – instantly!
So many smart people have analyzed our problems (and come up with solutions for them) I hesitate to add my own – but I will anyway. It’s not complicated – we have decided to not be human – but to be something else – which varies enormously, according to the culture we are in.
This is not a new idea – that who we are depends on where we are.
But we should be reminded of this frequently – because we tend to think we have an essential self that we are born with – that does not change – and even – according to Christian theology, continues after we die. Nothing could be further from the truth – but we believe this, in many ways – anyway!
Now I will describe some of these ways.
Where to start? This would have to be when acquired a language – which depended on a large brain. Somehow or other, we ended up with both. And were able to think about what was going on – and to transfer this knowledge to others – by talking about it. This gave us a huge advantage, and we spread quickly all over the world.
Then, in addition to that, we became civilized – another huge change. We have records of how our earliest civilization, in Mesopotamia, worked – written on clay tablets. There were so many of these, the British used them as railroad ballast! Much of what they recorded concerned Religion – something we invented ourselves, and had to have – and still have to have.
In fact, thousands of years later, we still have to be concerned with the effects of Religion – as it has evolved. In our time, it has become beliefs about Business and the Economy – our latest religions.
It is important that we recognize these are religions – capable of being studied, as any religion is. Their effect on us has been far-reaching – as any successful religion is.
They have changed who we are – especially how we think about ourselves.