In very early times, our species, like animals were guided by our instincts. But a little later in the evolutionary process, we grew a mind, assumedly to provide improved survival guidance in a changing environment. The apparent purpose of our mind was to record programs of our instincts, genetic behavior patterns and life experiences to guide us through tough times. These programs were played back to us from our recorder like mind, as thoughts. Much later, these streaming thoughts came to be known as the ‘voice in our head’.
Our mind was apparently locked in the automatic run mode, as it continuously played back its programs with periodic upgrades from new experiences. The thoughts generated by our mind, were not just idle chatter, they generated emotions that got our attention. In addition they supported our genetic survival behavior of competition for resources, security, mates, and such. These survival genes later came to be known as our ‘caveman’ genes and are very much on the scene today and displayed as; greed, violence, selfishness, wars, and so forth. Our survival genes worked in cohorts with our mind programs to keep us in line.
Evolution throws us a bone
Somewhere along its grinding process, evolution came up with an ‘add on’, and we grew another kind of mind. This mind came with an increase in the forebrain, and was not under the control of our original equipment mind, but instead was a mind that could be controlled by our awareness. To keep the players straight, this ‘add on’ mind is termed our conscious mind, since, unlike our original mind, it was designed to be under our conscious control. Because this ‘add on’ mind is called our conscious mind, our original equipment mind then, by default, becomes our unconscious mind.
However as well intentioned as it may have been, it didn’t come with quick start instructions and it took vast psyche effort to learn how to turn on our conscious mind, not to mention how to use it. The break thru came when we learned to be aware of the present, and ignore any thoughts of the past and the future. When we could stay in the present, our unconscious mind closed down and the ‘voices in the head’ disappeared, as if they never existed. In this mode we could use our conscious mind for such as; creating, decision making, and planning. Since the conscious mind came much later in evolution, it is ignorant of primitive competitive survival instincts and is predisposed to the benefits of altruism, as demonstrated by their rewarding emotions. It seems apparent that the designer of evolution understands that love of neighbor is a far more reliable survival plan then stealing his Toyota, or bombing his house
For thousands of years, humanity has been increasingly mind-possessed, complete identification with the mind, a false sense of self-the ego-came into existence. Some people enjoy periods of freedom from their ego when they are in their conscious mind and these are the moments when, peace, joy, love and compassion arise
Are we out of sync with what is?
It appears to some, at least according to Darwin, that the goal of evolution is survival of the fittest by natural selection, all in tune with the changing environment. When that doesn’t happen, the genes of the species are out of sync with the environment, and the species usually soon disappears, as has happened in many thousands of incidences. And a growing school of thought indicates that this may be the situation with the human species.
It is painfully obvious that our primitive ‘caveman’ instincts are still with us, even though our environment has greatly changed. Witness the present situation, of our ‘caveman’ genes calling the shots in a greedy and war torn world.
Consciousness –our hope for survival
Starting with evolution’s installation of a conscious mind, we have become less dependent on the voice of our unconscious mind, which is evident by the escalating creative works of our species. While that’s a good thing, we still have a long way to go, mostly because the conscious mind has only a fraction of the data processing power of the unconscious mind. Hedging our bets, in the event, evolution, God, or some yet to be determined, cosmic force doesn’t get here in time; we need to focus on self development of our consciousness mind. The way to stop the voice in our head is to live in the Present, where the unconscious mind can’t go, and altruism, rather than competition reigns.