I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Monday, August 16, 2010

50. The Evolution of the Human Mind

The Evolution of the Human Mind

Simplified, I use 'human mind' in this entry for all capacities and functions of the brain, that are unique to humans, that define the fundamental difference between humans and animals.  

I define 'maturity' as the genetically built in potential of the brain of an individual to develop a human mind with all capacities according to its stage of evolution.  

At the present stage of evolution, maturity includes emotional intelligence as indicated by empathy, abstract thinking also concerning emotions, communication skills, long term planning, learning from experience, balancing giving and receiving, being guided by values and ethics, evaluating others by their personality, love as a reciprocal mental bond, consciousness of self, self-control,  introspection and more.    

Some people reach such maturity in their early twenties, some much later, and some never.   But it is the general level of the evolution of the human mind at present.  

This evolution of the human mind has started many millions years ago inside the adult body of some ancestral animal in the savanna, that already was capable of all basic functions of survival and procreation by a fully evolved instinct.   During the time of that evolution, there were functioning adult bodies with the mind of a human child inside that was getting older as evolution progressed.  

I assume, that the cavepeople, who began painting on the walls of caves 35.000 years ago, could have been at the beginning of evolving towards more advanced maturity.   I call them cavepeople as a very fuzzy description for Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons, living in any dwelling, not only in the caves.   

Making tools from stone, throwing meet into a fire, using furs as protection against the cold are very practical skills.   The evolution of abstract thinking seems to me a quality step.   It seems plausible, that when they learned to paint abstracted animals to cave walls and to melt metals, that this was the trigger to later also evolve more complex and abstract feelings as are caring love and happiness.     

At some time in prehistory, there were cavepeople with the maturity as what is the development of today's children between 8 and 12 years.   I make no guess about the time of the following scenario.  

A person with a fully grown adult body with all the strength and dexterity, but the maturity of an 8 year old, could well learn to keep a fire going, to prepare meals, to built huts or tents, to use hides for clothes and to coordinate their behavior to hunt as a group, to paint animals to cave walls, to count small numbers, to do simple reasoning about natural phenomena, to make tools from stones.    In short, all accomplishments of the cavepeople, of which archaeologists have found evidence of, did not require more of a mind than what has an 8 year old today.  
But in their interaction, they were still more adult animals driven by instinctive behavior than humans.
I imagine this mentally 8 year old cave man, who has successfully fought for or otherwise gained possession of one or more women, who has gained a dominating role in the group's hierarchy by his physical fitness, as someone, who is completely selfish and selfcentered.   His identity is narcissistic, he perceives himself as a strong body, who has power.  Knowing of or considering any invisible personality traits are beyond his consciousness, either in himself or in others.   
A woman under his control is a body, an object, a possession, to whose availability at any moment of his convenience he is entitled.    To love her as a person is beyond his capacities.   If he feels anything like love, he loves the advantages and benefits of owning her.   He does not need to care, if she wants to be with him, nor to bother to make her want him, as he owns her and therefore takes her for granted.    Her father had handed her over into his property, it never occurred to him to ask himself or her, what she wanted.   Nor did he have any clue, how to win a woman's wish to be with him, as this was not a necessity in acquiring her.

The survival of a small group in a hostile environment needs every member to function reliably.   So the role and behavior of every member is prescribed and defined by clear rules, that are enforced by sanctions.   By the rules of the group, and by empathy, his care for the woman and her offspring is limited to physical needs, he provides food, shelter and protection.    He does this by his own judgment and interpretation of the rules, not by asking her, what she subjectively needs, because for him, his own needs come first, and then he bothers about hers.  

He may deposit a hunted deer at her feet, and then disappear into the wilderness without telling her, where he goes and when he will back.   With her equally self-centered 8 year old mind, she is content to have the deer, and as soon as he leaves the cave, he is out of her mind.   It does not even occur to her to worry about his safety, and equally it does not occur to him to think, that she would be worried and need to be better informed.

They are both utilities to each other, important for the instincts and not as persons.   All communication is restricted to practical matters.    He might give her instructions, what he wants to be done with the deer, or she might later tell him, what she in fact did with it.   Nothing of this requires them to listen to each other about abstract matters or about each other's feeling.    There are no abstract matters in their life.  

In a small group, everybody knows each other well and they are only in contact with the same people all the time.   There are no quality differences in social roles except the position of power in the hierarchy.  A dominant male has a position, entitling him to address any group member at any moment without the least hesitation or restraint.   
Lying is obsolete, as people know too much about each other, and just blurting out the truth is the easiest way of simple communication. 

Wild animals like bears, lions and wolves are a permanent danger, especially when they are not only attracted by humans as prey, but also by the smell of food around them.   
Focusing too much on a task or on the interaction with one another can be dangerous, the cavepeople have to be alert all the time for any suspicious events in their surroundings.   

Since writing is unknown, the cavepeople need a good memory for survival information.   But they need little abstract reasoning.  

The cave people have little identity as individuals but rather perceive themselves as group members with specific functions, that they have to fulfill without hesitation or questioning.   Privileges and disadvantages are both taken as fate and not questioned.    

In such a situation, advanced abstract emotions have not yet evolved, as there was no occasion for them to be in demand.    Who experiences himself not an individual but as a function, does not have any reason to feel self-esteem or lack thereof.    Instead of bothering about the estimated esteem of others by observation of indications from their choice of behavior, a high position in a hierarchy was connected with the entitlement to gestures of submission by rules.   As long as such gestures were outwardly shown, it was perceived as enough.     

Rules defined behavior, there was no room for any individual decision of feeling obligations as a mere option.   To be trustworthy or to trust or not, was not a choice.   There was no freedom of behavior, that caused someone to feel responsible and accountable for his own actions.  
In short, they followed the rules, where they were required to do so, and else they considered themselves as entitled to whatever they could get for their self-interest without consideration for others by choice. 

As a consequence, these cavepeople did not feel hurt by betrayal, humiliation, degradation, inequality, insult, inconsideration, because they did not even know, what all these means.    They probably were much less aware of any of their feelings, except the one of being tired all the time from the hard physical requirements of survival.    They probably also lacked any feeling for bliss and joy beyond simple physical pleasures.   

In short, nothing of what we call emotional intelligence today, was present in such a group.