In episode twenty-eight of Thoughts, I talk about the follies of consciousness and what we do with our understanding of them. Enjoy!
There will be people that can argue to a good point that human consciousness is a part of evolution, but my intuition says it just ain’t! Hence my title: The Follies of Consciousness. First, what is consciousness? Consciousness is the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world. In shorter words; self-awareness. I am of the strong belief that human consciousness happened by mistake.
I think evolution, as a process barreling forward with whatever it got, sharpened our ancestors social game and mathematical problem solving to a point where we started knowing it was us in a river’s reflection. I think it happened as a side effect of making us so smart. What started with cognitive growth for survival’s sake, like the ability to plan for the future, morphed into contemplation about why we’re even here.
Here are some examples of follies of consciousness. 1) Suicide. Suicide does not help our survival, so clearly that wasn’t programmed into us by evolution. It’s a disorder of the mind when looking inward and forward, and not wanting to live anymore. 2) Obsession. Wouldn’t it be easier to distribute our DNA if we didn’t care about which mate we did it with? What about workaholics that literally work themselves to death from a lack of sleep and nutrition? Jealousy and fixation are another example of defects of consciousness that holds no survival advantage. Paying attention does but not at such high levels. And lastly 3) Religiosity. Fanatics do wacky shit. They’ll dance like they’re being possessed by the holy spirit just because some dude with a microphone is swinging his arms. Old people will stop taking their medication because some fraud said Jesus is with them and will heal them. Young virgin boys with rage issues get sucked into believing the end of the world is coming and join ISIS to partake in a holy war.
In general, depression and anxiety are like really crappy side effects of being smart. You get the best brains on Earth but it comes with this baggage. We can let it tear us down, or we can use these faults to excel us forward. That’s the great thing about where we’re at as a society now. 100 years ago if you wanted to talk about your anxiety you’d just be called weak. Now, we’ve done the research and realize it’s something we’re all going through and ought to help each other out with it to be our best selves. Being self-aware of the follies of being self-aware is a step in the right direction. It allows one to course correct whenever finding oneself descending into despair. It can be the thing we use as motivation to keep working, keep striving, and vent about on the weekends.
I’ve always been a palm-sweater, prone to silence in frantic situations. I clam up. But instead of me accepting or being owned by these defects, I learn what causes them and work on either avoiding those situations or teaching myself to lessen the impact it has on me. The fact that we are self-aware is the luckiest luck a living creature could hope to have on this planet, but it doesn’t come without cost. We must all learn to cope with our defects and continue to help each other out when needed. Thank you for reading dear viewers. I love you, and I’ll you next time.