Journey of the Human Mind Series: “The Three Curtains”

This blog post, written by my dear friend Charles Clanton Rogers, is full of both important information and knowledge about the scientific history of mankind.

Professor Rogers shows his readers/followers what was hidden behind the “curtains” of magical beliefs our ancestors used to cling to in their belief and thought paradigms.

I’m most interested in what professor Rogers can tell us about what’s hiding behind the third curtain, because that part of his interesting blog post is about the neuroscientific revolution, still ongoing.

That revolution can, in a way, be said to have started with the discovery that “the Ego is not even master in its own house, but must content itself with scanty information of what is going on unconsciously in its mind.” (A quote from Sigmund Freud.)

And here’s another telling quote from (I believe) professor Rogers himself: “Many people in the Twenty-first Century fail to recognize how the mind can be misled. Perception is often distorted and never absolute when tested objectively. I believe it is likely that humans have sought reality and truth from the dawn of civilization. The recognition of mortality causes Fear. Fear un-docks the mind from certainty which accentuates the fear. The lack of certainty makes man aware of the unknown.”

So true. So full of insight. (That’s why I believe must be from professor Rogers himself.)

One of his many (they are thirteen in all) references is the primatologist Robert Sapolsky, professor at Stanford University, USA. He’s an expert on the uniqueness of humans. And his conclusion is that human behavior is not as unique as we want and prefer to believe. For example: Researchers have found that monkeys and dogs have a clear sense of fairness. Rats show altruism and exhibit empathy. Chimps engage in war.

All these traits were once believed to belong solely to humans, but today we know that they also exist in other members of the animal kingdom.

Lately I read a paper in which the neuroscientist Christopher Petkov and his group at Newcastle University demonstrated/found that macaques and humans even share brain areas responsible for processing the basic structures of language!

And who doesn’t remember Alex the Parrot, who had “intelligent” conversations with his owner Irene Pepperberg, an animal psychologist. Read more about Alex here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_%28parrot%29 .

According to Sigmund Freud, mentioned in professor Rogers’ blog post, emotions play an important role in our lives.

I fully agree.

In fact, “emotions are not just the fuel that powers the psychological mechanism of a reasoning creature, they are parts, highly complex and messy parts, of this creature’s reasoning itself.”

That quote is taken from a reference not mentioned in the blog post I am now reblogging but from an essay entitled “The Intelligence of Emotions: Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on How Storytelling Rewires Us and Why Befriending Our Neediness Is Essential for Happiness”.

Here’s the link to that essay: https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/11/23/martha-nussbaum-upheavals-of-thought-neediness/ . Absolutely worth reading, too.

Talking of links, here’s another one: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-makes-our-brains-special/ .

I’m sure both professor Rogers and professor Sapolsky are going to like that article (about what makes the human brain so special and unique). And hopefully my own blog readers/followers will, too.

Charles Clanton Rogers

In dim old town alleyways.

Wizard 1

‘Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”  (OZ: “The Great and Powerful Wizard.”)

By the completion of  Frank Baum’s  classic allegory parable: The Wizard of Oz,  everyone sees that the man behind the curtain is a charlatan.  For the entire tale, the protagonist have been deceived by an ordinary liar attempting to convince them that he was the Great and Powerful Oz when he had no powers at all except for deception. His obfuscation was revealed when Toto  simply pulled back the curtain.[1]

Homo Sapiens started thinking of more than survival, let us say fifty-thousand years ago.  I propose that man’s search for clear thinking and truth, was frustrated by three curtains for 49,500 of the 50,000 years. [2]

That is for 99% of the history of the mind. I submit to you: there have been  three curtains obscuring the answers men sought.[3]

Curtain number one: The Earth…

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