As I See It - Human Nature


Rodney Chang, 1979



Awareness is a human subjective experience of reality. The relationships between sharing and emotions are indeed complex. Our purpose in life changes with the entry into different cognitive levels of thinking. Experience is a powerful influence over future behavior. Knowledge remains sterile and static unless mixed with imperfections of personal experience. And as the individuality of experience differs, so also our inherited vigor fluctuates in its distribution among the members of the species. Some are more energetic than others and get more out of an eight-hour day, and for that matter, out of a lifetime, than others. Perceptual distortions are always with us. We may, through maturity, eventually learn to recognize and thereby control operating subconscious perceptual distorters. The truth of the matter is, however, that this control may only culminate in an insignificant, failed attempt to be on our constant best rational behavior. Emotionality will always exist and hamper the pure intellectualizations of the scientist. And it can be assumed that as long as human emotions, such as passion and revenge, exist, there will be new avenues of inquiry into the creative potential of man's intellect. So there is a constant struggle in an individual between his subjective feelings and his analytical intellectualizations. To complicate the matter further, life, in today's times, is fragmented into a puzzle of unrelated pieces of experience. One may become confused about his true motives regarding a pursued goal and at times lose trust in the expectation of honest play from his social group.

Love, I guess, is one of the contemporary sought-after mental self-actualizations of personal mental evolvement. One is anxious that he or she may never experience being in love and thus be ultimately gypped out of one of the most advertised and romanticized instincts of the human organism. To stay in love, one must keep alive the abilities to fantasize, probably even to the complex level necessary to sustain the quality of fantasy characteristic of childhood mentality. In other words, it means the rare preservation of perceptual distortions that interpret the essence of the other by each respective party.

Pets are a revealing evidence of our mental continuity with animal minds. Are the affinities developed over time for our cherished and faithful pets just personal perceptual hallucinatory feelings or actually the emergence of a common mental brotherhood that can only manifest itself after a minimum amount of introductory time in cohabitation of the same environmental space? We get in tune with the commonalities of thinking across genera, generally related somewhat in having to deal with the same life-maintaining biological-mental coordination and controls.

A stimulus triggers excitement at different levels of mental consciousness. Some stimuli are more intense than others, and consequently the former may be more meaningful to one's individual idiosyncrasies than to another's. Each stimulus is subject to the illusionary interpretation of a personalized self-identity. From this source of personal awareness stems the outer effect of our personal projections. Our interpretation of things outside of ourselves influences the interaction with them and the rest of the immediate surroundings.

If evolution means constant change for more efficient adaptation for survival supremacy, then we can be assured that our mental evolution will not remain static. As we increase our complex interaction with our half-natural and half-urban/industrial environment, so will our mental potentials adjust to assist us in keeping up with future environmental demands in support of the species in an ever-depleting condition of competition and survival.

Only the latest moment of a human relationship is of prime importance in sustaining the stability of that union. Included in this here-and-now tradition of thinking are abilities to be emotional, irate, impulsive, and deceptive - especially towards oneself. The present relationship is very anxiety-provoking, since it is susceptible to sudden change and maintains, at best, a tenable equilibrium of social interaction and expectancy. Infatuations are a nostalgic mental distortion of the senses among the young. The brain actually makes a conscious effort to blind oneself to the defects of another and hopes that idealized dreams can come true even under circumstances of repetitively short durations.

Conceptually, unconscious information channels probably work continuously in influencing and distorting the objectivity of our perceptions. Thus the times of irrational behavior compounded by that of another person result in gross misinterpretation of cues in communication. The irrationality of human emotions may be a natural development of group/social dynamics of some primordial tribal life. Only much later did man develop the mental faculty to control his emotions with civility. Emotions may be the progeny of an earlier epoch of human thought processes, yet this imbalance from rationality and intellect helps make us "human."

All of experience is a tentative hypothesis predicting future events, which are not static entities but of a dynamic nature within a trial and error framework. There is a basic unpredictability to events. Some call it fate some call it chance. But no matter what group one belongs to or whatever his philosophy of life and religions is, he will never know exactly the moment of his pending death. There is no logic to "fate." Nothing is static. Everything in the cosmos keeps changing. We live with a philosophy that values speed, dynamics, and change. Consider the change hidden in things we traditionally think as immutable. The length of the year is slowly changing as our planet changes its relative position within the solar system. Our average life span keeps lengthening due to medical developments. Animals, some of which we never have yet discovered, are constantly becoming extinct. And, as rapidly, constant genetic change and mutation is occurring in the insect pest world due to survival from bombardment of insecticides.

Our society produces individuals who live lives of psychological fragmentation. Our system doesn't attempt to form a smooth mental adjustment continuum for aging from birth to death but settles for anxiety-provoking gross aging social landmarks, such as "adulthood," "middle age," and "old age." Although most men try to live their lives by a code of rationality, there is no doubt of the coexistence and sometimes conflict generated by other levels of mental activity.