User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Have we replaced our animal instincts?

  1. #1

    Default Have we replaced our animal instincts?

    Have we replaced our animal instincts?

    We are also creatures “prone to anxiety, extremely helpless in his natural state, almost entirely devoid of instincts.” Therein lay the paradox. ”Instead of remaining free and broadly adaptive, the new symbolic animal immediately became ‘symbolically re-instinctivized’ almost as solidly as the other animals were physio-chemically instinctivized.”

    Sapiens evolved into creatures with symbolic structured modes of behavior. Human consciousness extended wo/man’s reach to infinity—wherein infinity is within the extended reach of human imagination. We are creatures with the ability to create symbolically a virtual reality that extends out to the limits of our imagination.

    Evolution has programmed the animal world to act automatically in certain ways under certain conditions. Humans have lost a good bit of these programmed responses because we have an ego that places our responses on hold until we have had time to reflect and construct a non-programmed response.

    Humans create the world we live in; it is a virtual world constructed principally because of the neurosis we have developed in the first five years of our life.

    If we try to think about a virtual world I think we must start with a natural world so that we have a starting point, something with which we can compare. What is a natural world? Is it what we ‘see’? Is it the ‘thing-in-itself that Kant tells us about? Depending upon which is a natural world I think we can begin to realize that the world we live in is a virtual world. We are creatures who create symbolic worlds that are more important to us than the world we ‘see’.

    Water boarding is a good example of what we feel about death. Being sentenced to death for a crime is a good idea of what we think about the importance of death. The things people do to prolong their life one more day is a good example. We have been very successful about hiding these anxieties from our self that we have created an inferior culture in our pursuit after something that we do not allow our self to think about. Self deception is our greatest enemy and our closest companion.

    I am claiming that the reaction we feel when water boarding or claustrophobia is that very fear of death. If someone asks me what is the fear of death I will say that if they can imagine the feeling of being water boarded they are feeling the fear of death. Our rather blaze attitude that we say we feel about dying is our self deception.

    This fear of death that we work so hard to hide from our self is one of the major reasons that we have created a virtual realty and this virtual world we have created is going to kill us. Now ain’t that ironic?

    Quotes from Escape from Evil by Ernest Becker

    Do you think that humans have replaced the basic animal instincts with symbolic type instincts as the author notes?

  2. #2
    . Array Blank's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    I read the Denial of Death by Becker. I have been meaning to read Escape from Evil. I just started a thread in the Nature forum
    which relates to what you are talking about.

    I find this reality disturbing and do not know what to do about it. I think I am just going to find a few people who understand and try to make a life living as genuinely as possible. The more I think about this the more I want to smash my head open.

  4. #4
    Intriguing.... Array Quinlan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Apply a bit of pressure and then wham! there are those sneaky instincts....
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

    Quinlan's Creations

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Feops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    Our instincts are fine. Humans are social creatures with a very deep society to navigate around. It's just that some whiny "humans suck wah wah" people get all wistful for a two point Fight or Flee decision tree for some reason.

  6. #6


    First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling.

    What are the emotions? The primary emotions are happiness, sadness, fear, anger, surprise and disgust. The secondary or social emotions are such things as pride, jealousy, embarrassment, and guilt. Damasio considers the background emotions are well-being or malaise, and calm or tension. The label of emotion has also been attached to drives and motivations and to states of pain and pleasure.

    Antonio Damasio, Distinguished Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, testifies in his book “The Feelings of What Happens” that the biological process of feelings begins with a ‘state of emotion’, which can be triggered unconsciously and is followed by ‘a state of feeling’, which can be presented nonconsciously; this nonconscious state can then become ‘a state of feeling made conscious’.

    ”Emotions are about the life of an organism, its body to be precise, and their role is to assist the organism in maintaining life…emotions are biologically determined processes, depending upon innately set brain devices, laid down by long evolutionary history…The devices that produce emotions…are part of a set of structures that both regulate and represent body states…All devices can be engaged automatically, without conscious deliberation…The variety of the emotional responses is responsible for profound changes in both the body landscape and the brain landscape. The collection of these changes constitutes the substrate for the neural patterns which eventually become feelings of emotion.”

    The biological function of emotions is to produce an automatic action in certain situations and to regulate the internal processes so that the creature is able to support the action dictated by the situation. The biological purpose of emotions are clear, they are not a luxury but a necessity for survival.

    “Emotions are inseparable from the idea of reward and punishment, pleasure or pain, of approach or withdrawal, of personal advantage or disadvantage. Inevitably, emotions are inseparable from the idea of good and evil.”

    Emotions result from stimulation of the senses from outside the body sources and also from stimulations from remembered situations. Evolution has provided us with emotional responses from certain types of inducers put these innate responses are often modified by our culture.

    “It is through feelings, which are inwardly directed and private, that emotions, which are outwardly directed and public, begin their impact on the mind; but the full and lasting impact of feelings requires consciousness, because only along with the advent of a sense of self do feelings become known to the individual having them.”

    First, there is emotion, then comes feeling, then comes consciousness of feeling. There is no evidence that we are conscious of all our feelings, in fact evidence indicates that we are not conscious of all feelings.

    Human emotion and feeling pivot on consciousness; this fact has not been generally recognized prior to Damasio’s research. Emotion has probably evolved long before consciousness and surfaces in many of us when caused by inducers we often do not recognize consciously.

    The powerful contrast between emotion and feeling is used by the author in his search for a comprehension of consciousness. It is a neurological fact, states the author, that when consciousness is suspended then emotion is likewise usually suspended. This observed human characteristic led Damasio to suspect that even though emotion and consciousness are different phenomenon that there must be an important connection between the two.

    Damasio proposes “that the term feeling should be reserve for the private, mental experience of an emotion, while the term emotion should be used to designate the collection of responses, many of which are publicly observable.” This means that while we can observe our own private feelings we cannot observe these same feelings in others.

    Empirical evidence indicates that we need not be conscious of emotional inducers nor can we control emotions willfully. We can, however, control the entertainment of an emotional inducer even though we cannot control the emotion induced.

    I was raised as a Catholic and taught by the nuns that “impure thoughts” were a sin only if we “entertained” bad thoughts after an inducer caused an emotion that we felt, i.e. God would not punish us for the first impure thought but He would punish us for dwelling upon the impure thought. If that is not sufficient verification of the theory derived from Damasio’s empirical evidence, what is?

    In a typical emotion, parts of the brain sends forth messages to other parts of the body, some of these messages travel via the blood stream and some via the body’s nerve system. These neural and chemical messages results in a global change in the organism. The brain itself is just as radically changed. But, before the brain becomes conscious of this matter, before the emotion becomes known, two additional steps must occur. The first is feeling, i.e. an imaging of the bodily changes, followed by a ‘core consciousness’ to the entire set of phenomena. “Knowing an emotion—feeling a feeling—only occurs at this point.

    Quotes from The Feelings of What Happens by Antonio Damasio

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Feops's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    How about a little insight as to your own opinion on these things, Cob?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Ahaha, no, our instincts are just as strong as they ever were.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    How about a little insight as to your own opinion on these things, Cob?
    Opinions are a dime-a-dozen. Almost everyone has an opinion about almost everything. I do not do opinions.

Similar Threads

  1. What are your instincts?
    By Magic Poriferan in forum Online Personality Tests
    Replies: 278
    Last Post: 02-25-2015, 09:30 PM
  2. [Inst] Yet Another (!) Look at the Instincts
    By VagrantFarce in forum Instinctual Subtypes
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: 10-07-2011, 06:04 PM
  3. Gut Instincts
    By wolfy in forum General Psychology
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 10-02-2011, 09:00 PM
  4. [Inst] Another look at the instincts
    By VagrantFarce in forum Instinctual Subtypes
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 09-15-2011, 03:46 PM
  5. Instincts Metaphor
    By Costrin in forum Enneagram
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 12-03-2009, 04:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts