I’ve tended to categorise people into two categories, those who see what they believe, and those who believe what they see; the former are utopians while the latter realists.
There is also a strong belief that humans are a special lifeform based on some divine spiritual sanction that elevates them above the animal kingdom.
But humans are also animals and because they also have learnt to think, think they are superior, and act accordingly. It is clear that it is man’s devotion to religion that results in this self-proclaimed superiority. But how did religion first arise? Gunnar Heinsohn (GH) has offered one view of this based on Velikovsky’s, and other’s, study of ancient history.
Essentially, and in the dim past, humanity were animals, hairless monkeys as U.G. Krishnamurti once described us, and perhaps lived, along with other species, in some sort of primitive Garden of Eden. Then something happened and a catastrophe occurred much as GH describes in his book, The Creation of The Gods: Sacrifice As The Origin Of Religion, the first humans would reacted as any animal would have to incomprehensible violence and destruction. Frightened almost literally out of their minds, what humans survived noted that the males had erect phalluses, people lost control of their bowl-movements, and people simply screamed at the destructive portents in the heavens. Not having learnt to think, the survivors had no understanding of what happened to them.
In modern times animals generally tend to quickly forget fatal catastrophes, and humorously described as like having a 10 minute attention span of a goldfish in a bowl. The difference between humans and animals is that humans developed memories, and while everything seems to have a memory, only humans seem to have become enslaved by them.
The Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti pointed out that the very act of thinking is an escape from the here and now. While it is necessary to think, and it is this ability of the human to also abstain from instinctive behaviour according to Ludvig Von Mises, by choosing to act, to continuously think all the time is a habit no different to being addicted to physical drugs, or some obsessive physical behaviour. Habituated thought expresses itself as religion or ideology, and when the habit becomes unconscious, then the human starts to dwell in the make-believe world of his imagination where imaginals seem more real than reality itself. Such humans only see what they believe and they are very much in the majority divided into sects, cults, identities, religions, ideologies and what ever other identity that becomes invented by a mind fearful of not thinking.
And all because of some innate fear of the present submerged in our subconscious.
The act of thinking is the means by which we escape the here and now – since all thoughts are based on acquired memories, thinking then becomes the extrapolation of the past into the future, and the belief in utopianism is simply the intellectual equivalent of a “high” that demands continued stimulus.
So what is intelligence? It’s the ability to perceive the essential from the inessential, and not the possession of an elevated IQ. Only psychologically disturbed minds fabricate things that don’t exist or events that never occurred. Such minds believe in six impossible things before breakfast, or imagine that space is curved, and that time is physical, or that dividing by zero is real, and that the square root of -1 is also real. Such minds become obsessed with mathematics and the imaginal. Fully distracted by their intellectual habits, they no longer hear their primal signals from their disconnection from physical reality.
Such minds I term as religious, where belief transcends reality. It matters a lot that one understands how we think, and our ignorance of this that seems to have led to the crisis we have today when the various utopians around the globe are slowly discovering that there are no free lunches, that wealth has to be continuously created by production, but who believe that the fabrication of money by printing and credit expansion can bring about wealth. (Apart from their slowly awakening realisation that they have run out of other peoples money). And of course the collective amnesia we all, to some or other degrees, have as a species.
The ones you don’t want to listen to are the utopians, whether offering you a free lunch in the present, or one in the hereafter, along with various virgins and other miracles.
For more perspectives study the writings of Jiddu Krishnamurti (JK) and U.G. Krishnamurti (UG) (no relation) about the nature of thought, its role in our lives. Another important source at the individual level is Arthur Janov’s work described in his book The Primal Scream; Janov’s work will lead to a better insight into GH’s work and how traumas become submerged into the collective subconscious memory. And of course Michael Talbot’s book “The Holographic Universe”, along with Eric Lerner’s book, The Big Bang Never Happened, and Amit Goswami’s “The Self Aware Universe” should help in avoiding a few intellectual pitfalls.
I think they way I do because I came across JK’s writings when I was a teenager. The crucial factor is to understand how we think, because the mess we are in as a humanity is a direct consequence of the results of our present-day thinking.