The first four components of our evolved human nature are outlined. These are:
Animal inheritance which is not just our aggressive and sexual impulses (the id) but the inherited reservoir of evolved genetic intelligence.
Emotional structure: as life evolved instincts evolved into emotion. As the primate brain expanded a far greater and more differentiated emotional structure developed.
Ego consciousness combines rational intelligence plus a distinct personality. It is a master coordinator to allow the brain to focus and plan and is the integration of multiple brain functions so that a version of ‘reality’, both subjective and objective, can exist. As Self-awareness develops in early humans, they became acutely aware of death. The ego is also the tool for repression of parts of the psyche. Homo sapiens became the world’s first repressed creature. The ego, however, is also a vehicle of meaning in a world which possessed no conscious expression up to this time. Homo sapiens is the problematic embodiment of meaning and awareness in an animal.
The unconscious. With the emergence of Homo sapiens the ego provided an automatic filter for consciousness which increasingly repressed impulses, instincts, and emotions. Three dimensions of the unconscious are relevant: the psycho-somatic unconscious, the emotional or personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious.
In the next episode I will continue with the essentials of human nature and focus on higher consciousness and the archetypeof the Self. Finally I will ask what, if any, is the purpose of human nature?