Human nature and human consciousness. What are they? What enigmas. Here’s their definition. They define humankind.
Human nature is the first of seven steps to comprehend how humans function. In Origin of the Universe, I will explain why each human functions this way.
If you want to print a quality book, you need to know how the printing press works to reach that result. If we want peace and prosperity we need to know how humans work to reach that result.
(Audit of Humankind, chapter 2.3)
Frankly one of the major difficulties today is that we can’t even recognize what a printing press is! In other words, we don’t know WHAT a human being is. If we don’t know that … how can we expect to figure out HOW a human being functions let alone WHY there is such a thing as a human being.
I will not only define human nature but also consciousness in this blog post. They are intricately intermingled and together they represent the first piece of the puzzle of how humans function.
Wikipedia says this about human nature, ‘Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—which humans tend to have naturally... The questions of whether there truly are fixed characteristics, what these natural characteristics are, and what causes them are among the oldest and most important questions in philosophy and science.
These questions have particularly important implications in economics, ethics, politics, and theology. This is partly because human nature can be regarded as both a source of norms of conduct or ways of life, as well as presenting obstacles or constraints on living a good life. The complex implications of such questions are also dealt with in art and literature, the question of what it is to be human.’
Human nature is just that: It defines what a human is. If you don’t get an answer to that question there’s no way to figure out HOW they work. I want to add here that human nature is not what human do … that is their behavior, which is the third point of how humans function to be discussed. Human nature defines what humans are. It’s a description of the intrinsic nature that characterizes each and every human on this planet
From the above please retain: Thinking and feeling. Those are the fundamentals (I removed acting because that is behavior)
This blog post will define both human nature and consciousness. It is the culmination of what I’ve already developed in Inventory of the Universe and the previous chapter of this book Audit of the Universe. In fact, everything I’ve written has been a lead-in to this one key point: What it is to be human? As the human nature article in Wikipedia evokes.
I have to summarize it here, with links back to the various sections.
Mind – Central to Humans
Below in this post I quote Locke and the Webster dictionary, in a Wikipedia article, which say: …consciousness is directly related to the human mind’ and ‘sensation, emotion, volition, or thought: mind in the broadest possible sense: something in nature that is distinguished from the physical.’ Frankly, I don’t exactly know what Wikipedia means by ‘distinguished from the physical. What I can conclude is that sensation, emotions, volition, and thought are in a category of their own. Many other sources confirm this association.
The mind is the key to this definition. Everything human, and I do mean everything, originates in the mind. The mind and humans are inseparable. Remove the mind and what remains is no longer human. It’s still a human body to be treated with the utmost respect but it has lost all the mental capacities that make it fully and truly human. Review these two chapters to refresh your mind as to what mind is. This is the human in human nature.
- Animal Minds – Human Minds, what’s the reality?
- Animal-Human Sociability,
- The Mind-Body dilemma 400 years old and still unsolved why?
- The Human mind–Is it part of the body, or somewhere else?
- Artificial intelligence is the equivalent of ‘creating the mind of a human
Review these chapters. They reveal that the nature in human nature is actually dual.
This definition of human nature is: The duality of the mind with its thoughts and emotions… in the broadest possible sense. Human nature is about the plasticity of thoughts and emotions Click To Tweet
This definition of human nature is: The duality of the mind with its thoughts and emotions… in the broadest possible sense. This means the possibility of the mind to go down both a good and bad track including switching between the two … even on numerous occasions. Hence the term plasticity. But, I want to be clear, I’m not talking about the brain or neural plasticity. Human nature is about the plasticity of thoughts and emotions.
With regard to consciousness Wikipedia says this, ‘The English word “conscious” originally derived from the Latin conscius (con- “together” and scio “to know”).’ (sk. it revolves around ‘know’ (late 16th century (in the sense ‘being aware of wrongdoing’): from Latin conscius ‘knowing with others or in oneself’ (from conscire ‘be privy to’) + -ous.). Scrire-know is associated with the origin of the word: Science.
Read the beginning of this Wikipedia article to realize the clear understanding that consciousness is directly related to the human mind. John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, published in 1690. Locke defined consciousness as “the perception of what passes in a man’s own mind.”
Wikipedia quotes Webster’s dictionary, the state or activity that is characterized by sensation, emotion, volition, or thought: mind in the broadest possible sense: something in nature that is distinguished from the physical. Wikipedia further discusses the philosophy of Mind and the Mind-body problem in the consciousness article.
Both human nature and consciousness are integral aspects and can in no way be separated from the mind. I reiterate. The human mind is the key as to how humans function and as to how they can reach peace and prosperity.Both human nature and consciousness are integral aspects of the mind. The human mind is the key as to how humans function and as to how they can reach peace and prosperity. Click To Tweet
The key concept here is to know. Scio: knowledge, learning, education is a lifelong experience. It starts in the cradle, then there’s child education (which society has almost forgotten about and I’ll discuss this in the next section of this book), then formal schooling including college and university. But it doesn’t (shouldn’t) stop there. It’s a lifelong endeavor just as updates are continually necessary for software, just as training and upgrading are continually necessary for employers and employees alike.
This knowledge is not just data for data sake, facts, figures, encyclopedic descriptions, and details. To gather and store that all you need is memory or a library.
What humans can do is so much more. They can retrieve and combine all this information in a billion and one ways. Humans can understand, they conceive and grasp concepts based on this knowledge. They comprehend and master new themes and go on to solve problems and create innovative solutions.
Consciousness is the mind endowed with its array of reasoning abilities. Humans retrieve and combine information in a billion and one ways. They can understand, conceive and grasp concepts based on knowledge Click To Tweet
Now let’s define consciousness. Consciousness is the mind endowed with its array of reasoning abilities.
I’ve discussed this in Inventory of the Universe with regard to the singularity of humans:
- Unique Brains
- Mind and Cognition
- Thoughts and Activity
- Thinking Precedes and Activates Brain Activity
- Animal-human accomplishments
- Animal-human intelligence
- Animal-human projects
In particular in Audit of the Universe
- Consciousness and the Human Mind
- Space-Time is Not Only Scientific Theory, It’s Also a Human Singularity
- Creativity Sets Humankind Apart from and Above All Other Life on Earth
- Imagination – Another Singularity of Humankind in Your Mind
- Bears Don’t Learn to Ride Bicycles. Humans Learn That and Much More
- Your Choices Tell Us Who You Are. In Fact, They Identify You
- Growth Mindset – A Frame of Mind Unique to Humankind
- I Challenge you … A Human Trait that Keeps Us Moving Forward
- Rule Life Responsibly – The Key Human Singularity
All of this is directly related to knowledge. This is consciousness: Mind activity … the entirety of the thinking, reasoning process. This is the singularity of humankind. What each and every human being who has ever lived on the face of planet Earth has had and has the capacity to do now and during their lifetime.
Let’s be crystal clear here. There are animal nature and animal consciousness, there’s absolutely no denying this. I would call it instinct but I do understand that animals can go beyond what we might define as strict instinct.
But there is no continuum between animal and human nature or consciousness. Humans are not animals with more developed nature and consciousness. As I’ve indicated on numerous occasions, the gulf separating animals and humans is insurmountable. And along this line, there is absolutely no valid theory today that can either explain this gulf or the origin of either animal nature and consciousness or even more so, the origin of human nature and consciousness.
I will explain the origin and especially the why of human nature and consciousness in Origin of the Universe.
Let’s elaborate on human nature
Human nature is the raw material we’re working with when it comes to explaining how humans function. This is a general description of every human being in the world. We are humans and each of us has their nature—character, temperament, disposition. This includes each of our personal emotions, quirks, ups and downs, psychological make-up, feelings, passions, states of mind. That’s what’s HUMAN.
This goes hand in hand with consciousness: All the equations, influences, questioning, contradictions, figuring out, imaginations, imagining, dreaming, assumptions, thinking, expectations, inventions, make believe, presumptions, suppositions that go on in our head, coupled with our heartaches and pains.
Human nature and consciousness are the propensity of humans to make their own decisions—whether right or wrong—and then attach themselves to those same decisions/beliefs (all the above feelings, emotions, comprehension…), create their own outlook, worldview and then defend both their outlook and themselves using whatever means necessary: arguments, coercion, imposition, love, hate, force, exclusion… seduction. Human nature is the sum total of all the myriad characteristics of our: Thoughts, feelings, and surmisings of our minds. This determines what we think about ourselves and what we think about others around us.Human nature and consciousness are the propensity of humans to make their own decisions—whether right or wrong—and then attach themselves to those same decisions/beliefs Click To Tweet
The duality of human nature is part and parcel of humankind.
To resume, humans are endowed with emotions and thoughts. That is a practical way of expressing human nature and consciousness. Any and all humans have both positive and negative emotions and thoughts. These attitudes oscillate, amplify and concretize over time–that’s the plasticity of the mind from which these moods and reasonings emanate.
Eventually, this leads to a set character and personality. And we have a human being established in their mixture of positive and negative mindset. Most often the positive dominates but the negative does rear its ugly head and can put a crimp on a person’s entourage and even go much further, depending on that individual’s sphere of influence.
An illustration of this would be the extremes of narcissistic selfishness where one’s human nature revolves around self whether the person is aware of it or not: focused on self-wants, self-desires, how self-interprets its surroundings, its world. Human nature has a mind of its own.
On the other hand, you have the out-going individual characterized by such positive attributes that render them generous, humanitarian and self-sacrificing.
The above could be summed up with the concept of selfishness to sacrifice. Since humans can be creatures of extreme, human nature runs the gamut of total selfishness to total sacrifice. This is humankind’s frame of mind. That is each individual’s mixture of thinking and emotions: Feeling and acting, reasoning, reacting, doing, analyzing, accomplishing, use of logic, sensitivity, performing, reckoning, executing, interpreting, achieving…
Human nature is the two-fold combination of the conclusions we draw with our reasoning mind + the emotions we feel in our heart. In this humankind is unique… hence the chapter on the singularity of humans which is nothing more, nothing less than the visible expression of this human nature.Human nature is the two-fold combination of the conclusions we draw with our reasoning mind plus the emotions we feel in our heart. In this mankind is unique Click To Tweet
We are dealing with a very multi-sided, complex equation that is individualistic and characteristic of EACH human being that has ever walked the face of the earth. We do not want to underplay both the simplicity of what composes human nature—reason, emotion—and the complexity of each individual’s particular characteristics. When it comes to human nature every person possesses it but we all have different portions and mixtures of all the intricacies that compose this equation.
When a baby is born it comes into the world with a clear, blank sheet of paper, pristine mind, so to speak. Yes, it carries its heredity and environmental traits but it has neither scribbles nor script, doodles nor calligraphy imprinted on its mind. It’s a fresh slate.
As our toddler develops they pick up opposing tendencies: good, positive qualities and bad, negative qualities. These carry various names like human frailty, weakness of the flesh or simply humanity.
It’s also referred to as the human equation alluding to this psychological mixture of good and bad on each side of the scales. A common term for this is human nature—and it’s part and parcel of mankind.
We’ve already discussed the two-sidedness of man’s mental makeup, the two opposing ways exemplified by the singularity of humankind. Galacti thinks the easiest way to clarify the concept is to make a short list of some human characteristics. Good idea, so here we go:
|Arrogant, big talking, bigheaded, cocky, conceit, immodest, know-it-all, puffed up, self-important, snotty, stuck-up, conceited, egoistic, pompous, self-absorbed, self-loving, self-serving, stuck-up, self-centered, conceited, vain…||Self-sacrifice, outgoing, unselfish, compassionate, altruistic, amiable, amicable, considerate, generous, good-natured, gracious, helpful, kind, merciful, responsive, soft-hearted, sympathetic, tender-hearted.|
All language vocabularies have many thousands of words to nuance the myriad characteristics—both uplifting and downgrading—of human nature. They are the non-tangibles behind our mindset, approach, feelings, and sentiments that determine what characterizes each of us. This is our personal human nature.
And it is based on this human nature that each and every one of us functions.
Each of us already has our plate full managing, directing, controlling, channeling just our own human nature.
Galacti: Can we channel each person’s human nature in the direction of peace and prosperity? That seems like an impossible dream!
Yet, this is the ultimate question posed by The Explanation.
And when we juxtapose the next piece of the puzzle we’ll see it only adds to the complexity of matching the edges.
You see, a powerful individual could conceivably impose a way of life on a group of people, forcing them to act in a certain way, even indoctrinating their way of thinking–their nature. Well, free will has to be taken into consideration.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 2.3 of the book Audit of Humankind.
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