Until recently I never really understood why humans abused and slaughtered their own species. Researching my recent book ‘Happiness Genes’, I was startled to realize the nature of our mind. Since it is believed that we are all aware of the ‘voices in our head’ the stream of thoughts that rarely stop, I just assumed that it was the human condition. Particularly since science has yet to define the mind, other than to generally agree that it is divided into an unconscious and conscious state, with about 90% in the unconscious.
Mainstream educated opinions indicate that our unconscious mind is comprised of; survival genes, instincts, habits and life experiences. This data is recorded in our brain to be continuously replayed in our mind to direct our thoughts and behavior. Our conscious mind, which evolved much later, is used for such as; problem solving, creativity, social activities, and altruism. The bottom line is that our unconscious mind uses us and we use our conscious mind. If you watch the thoughts and emotions of your mind, you will see this is how it works.
The highest priority instinct of our unconscious mind is motivated by our survival, or ‘caveman’ genes, which demand competition for resources. This has been the human condition from the beginning and still is the cause for: unhappiness, violence, abuse, greed, killing, wars and all that’s concerned with defending the false self of our unconscious mind.
Since the pursuit of, what is commonly thought of as happiness, is under the direction of our unconscious mind, it is only concerned with the self. Further, it can only come from outside sources and consequently is constantly subject to changing conditions. Our conscious mind has the ability to turn off the expression of our ‘caveman genes’ by epigenetic mechanisms, to enable moving down the hierarchy of needs priorities, allowing expression of our altruistic or “Happiness Genes’.