How do we arrive at our thoughts? What generates our thinking and thought processes? Is it the result of:
- Personal experience?
All are reasonable answers. Taking it one step further, perhaps those things form some sort of collective, integrated framework. A framework we then go out into the world with and seek out particular experiences that we then “consciously” reflect on. And upon exercising our “free will” we reach conclusions about life, ourselves and thus achieve a measure of control over our thoughts, intellect and behaviors.
If only it were that complex!
One thing that many of us forget, or don’t realize is that we are animals. This is a simple statement of fact without any connotation on my part attached to it. Yes our brain size, and intellect separate us from other animals. But just because we use a different fork for our salads than we do our main course doesn’t make us as different as we think.
We are still primal creatures driven by survival instincts, needs and fears. Thoughts are its byproduct. Intelligence is merely the mechanism or tool by which we express our primal needs, and emotions.
The blessing of intelligence is the awareness it gives us, and that it affords us the opportunity to grow, evolve and experience life in ways that would otherwise not be possible.
Its curse is that awareness can trick us into thinking we are smarter than we are. We’re susceptible to confusing perceived truth with truth. Our reason and logic is oftentimes nothing more than our primal needs and emotions constructing a reality or thought process that suits our needs. This can correlate to pleasurable and un-pleasurable experiences.
Its weakness occurs if and when arrogance or defense mechanisms rear their head and prevent us from seeing its curse in action. These defense mechanisms reveal themselves when we unconsciously seek out relationships and experiences that enable us to play out old issues.
Further when we react in the moment based on issues from the past, or distortions, as logical as the reaction may seem in the moment, its roots lay elsewhere.
In reality, our “rational” thought gives voice to our insecurities, demons, joys and wants… Whether or not we are in a positive or negatively charged state, it makes them all sound reasonable and logical. Sometimes they may be reasonable and logical…However, other times maybe not.
The path to authenticity and becoming, or remaining, a truly actualized individual, begins, or continues, with an awareness of these mechanisms when they are at work in our lives. Beyond that is the inner work that is up to a person to decide if the destination is worth the journey.
I tackle these issues and whole lot more in my ebook, “The Authentic You”. Until January 7th, 2014, you can get it for free by clicking here and then inputting the following code: DM36K, at checkout.
Peace And Adventure On The Journey!