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The History of Human Thinking

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Imagine being a human in the year 200,000 BC. Your body would've being pretty much just the same way it is today, genetically, but your mind would've been looking at the world in a completely different way. No telephones, no cellphones, no ipods. No books, no written language, your experience of the world was one of drives; the drive to eat, the drive to sleep, the drive to procreate. For about 160,000 years it seems this was the dominant way of being a human being. And then around 38,000 BC something shifted. A radical new idea entered the mind of human beings. Early man started to feel him and herself as separate from nature, something different. And out of this sense of separation came this urge to control nature and to get into good graces with these unseen gods operating behind the scenes. And so we see the rise all around the globe of these tightly knit tribal cultures organized around very strict rules and rites. And so legions of young rebellious tribes people set out to create empires of their own and we see the rise of vast, dictatorial, authoritarian regimes based on a "might makes right" mentality and yet for people living in these societies this yearning for meaning surfaces once again. For the haves the problem was, "Well, I've got everything, now what? I'm still a human bound to die." For have-nots the problem was, "Well, I'll never have the indulgences of kings... So, what's the point?" And so out of this yearning was an existential vaccuum filled with the desire for purpose which has never been seen before. And from that, we see around 3000 to 4000 BC the rise of major monotheistic religions all around the globe. Heaven, hell, right, wrong; concepts that before didn't even exist, became the dominant ways that humans made sense of the world around them. The idea of life as a battle shifted to the idea of life as a test. And so, we see around 15 to 1600 the rise of the scientific method and arts and education flourishing, and creativity bounding and exploding in ways that had never before been seen. An ability to think outside of the traditions and religious dogma, we see the birth of the renaissance and free thinking in which man used his own wits to try to figure out life on his own merits. And through that, innovations flourished. And the industrial revolution leading to the mass distribution of goods and services around the globe instantaneously. And so even today the conforts that we enjoy as we go from work to home and beyond; many of them were born out of this creative, individualistic worldview which worships power, success and affluence. And yet for those of us lucky enough to have tasted the fruits of this innovation and prosperity, it seems that something deeper once again calls for our attention. There's a dawning, painful realization that prosperity and abundance did not create the happiness we were seeking. A fresh question enters, that is: What is happiness? And where can I get it, if it's not in this world? And so the turn from materialism becomes a turn towards human beings. So we see around 1900 in this country the beginning of this humanistic world view which blossom full force in the 1960s with the civil rights movement and all the colorful paraphenalia associated with it, and yet, still, despite the beauty, despite the emotion, despite the non-dogmatic spirituality, once again a shift has started to take place. Because people operating from this idea of the world is one big family are sorely disappointed to realize that this family isn't getting along. The ice caps are still melting. The species are being depleted. The oceans are getting poisoned. The powerful rich few are still ruling over the have-nots but through multinational conglomerates. And so, for the brave souls who're willing to let go another grand shift awaits. A shift to a more sistemic world view. A more pragmatic world view, a less ideological world view. A world view of someone who has the faith to let go of the mind and still feel connected to life, and who has the courage to use their wits in the service of life harnessing the sun and nature's intelligence to recreate the systems of our capitalistic world. And these people become proud innovative problem-solvers, affluent in every dimension of life. And it's a beautiful leap forward... Once people become affluent with form, creating solutions that work on a economic, planetary, and humanistic level, they end up surrending yet again to a mystery more subtle and more profound than they'd ever imagined. Life turns from a problem to a poem, and that deep yearning for beauty becomes the all encompassing quest to surrender to the moment and all that it has to offer. And all the left-brain thinking and figuring out can't ever replace the shear mystery of being alive. And so at the end of this long road, humans find that the true value of life is the mystery. And the true enjoyment... ...can only happen now.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 3 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: John Marshall Roberts
Director: John Marshall Roberts
Views: 307
Posted by: cdf83 on Mar 26, 2011

With poetic flair, author John Marshall Roberts tells the history of human thinking from the caveman days forward. In so doing he links more than 4 decades of data driven developmental psychology research (based upon the work of Clare W. Graves) to the dramatic narrative of human evolution.

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