It is true that we have a primative animal nature and that it is active in us to this very day.
We evolved in an additive manner, one function of the brain was added on top of the others while the old functions are still there doing their jobs.
When we evolved, that animal nature did not go away but our modern civilized selves developed on top in the form of a neocortex and frontal lobes. Below these lie the same structures that other animals have. A friend of mine used to refer to these primative brain structures when he would imply that conservatives use their "lizard brains".
The modern structures of the brain gave rise to consciousness...which is of course only nature's latest survival technique, just like sexual (vice asexual) reproduction, social behavior, and communication.
But this latest survival strategy of the brain (consciousness, which is produced in the most recently evolved structures of the brain) does indeed cause some problems. Other survival strategies have caused problems. It was found that the same condition that causes a predisposal towards sickle cell anemia in Africans also results in a resistance to some other disease (which one I can't remember) so evolutionary advances can also have drawbacks. Another example of an evolutionary advance being a drawback in some cases is that of a fishes fins evolving into legs and feet lessening the ability to swim...and gills evolving into lungs lessening the ability to breath under water resulting in some accidental drownings.
With consciousness the drawback is a communication disconnect between the old "animal" structures of the brain and the modern structures responsible for consciousness.
The older structures of the brain "think" in a primative visual mode...hence the symbolism of dreams where pictures and feelings are dominant. Verbal language is a higher function of the brain and is the new kid on the block. Animals did not have a verbal language (or the structures responsible for verbal language) and so the old and the new structures of the brain have a communication problem.
When we "feel uneasy" about something, this is a direct communication from the older structures of the brain, which are still alive and performing their normal functions of warning us about danger and guiding us in our behavior just as they has for millions of years.
The problem is, we function so much in the new language oriented mode that we do not know how to interpret the old form of communication any more. Indeed, many times we do not even recognize it as a communication from a primative part of our brain.
Primative societies were much better at communicating with and understanding the lower brain, presumably because they function less in the higher modes.
They communicate with the lower structures of the brain by following their instincts, by engaging in ritual, and by taking seriously (though perhaps not literally) their dreams, and by being superstitious
The higher the intellect, the more an indivudual relies on conscious, rational thought to guide him, the more likely he is to ignore the feelings and communications (such as a "hunch") produced by the lower structures of our animal brain.
This lack of communication leads to emotional problems and psychosomatic illness.
Sherlock Holmes was my favorite example of person who relies so much on rational thought produced by the higher structures of the brain that it causes problems in his everyday life.
Did anybody notice what a basket case Sherlock Holmes was? When bored he either fiddled or turned to a 7% Solution of cocaine...he had no friends aside from Dr. Watson, and he had no girl friends. Can some of you internet types relate to this?
Psychiatric medicine was first practiced in Europe at the hight of the industrial revolution where society had reached it's highest development to that time. People were listening less and less to the old superstitious
communications of their lower brains and were instead giving rational thought the greater part of their attention.
This led to emotional disorders and the need for Freud and others. This is because the animal part of our brains are not only still functioning as they have for millions of years, but they get scared and mad and frustrated giving rise to mental (and even physical) illness if we do not recognize their communications.
Does this sound crazy?
Jung called consciousness, being a split from the unconscious as it is, a form of neurosis. A neurosis is a splitting apart of a part of consciousness from the rest of consciousness.
Our natural, everyday consciousness is a form of neurosis. Evolution gave us this condition. It has great benefits but also great drawbacks (i.e. non-communication with our "old selves").
Again I would like to say that this noncommunication is partly because the mode of thought of the old and new are different. One is visual and emotional and the other is verbal and rationsl.
But the "drawback" of course is mainly due to the fact that, as in a neurosis, an actual splitting apart of the old self has taken place. It is this "splitting apart" which gives us our ability to self-reference. This self-referencing is what we normally think of as consciousness.
As I have ranted about before, the stories of Prometheus stealing fire (or consciousness) from the gods and giving it to the human race and the humans being punished via Pandora's box...along with the story of Lucifer (Bringer of Light) tempting Eve to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (or consciousness) and then being punished by expulsion from paradise...these stories are mythologies of the dawn of consciousness in man and tell of the boon and pain caused by the seperation of consciousness from our animal brain.
Ironically, mythology incorporates many communications from the lower brain (symbolic imagery) and the Prometheus/Eden mythologies are themselves the lower brain telling the higher conscious where it came from...
Warning: Marijuana use while reading this post may cause permanant psychosis.
(> < )
This is Bunny. Why don't you kiss his fuzzy ass?