A lot of us are scared to face ourselves. We don’t understand where some of our tendencies come from. Sometimes we think really violent or naughty thoughts, and we wonder, “Holy shit, is that me, can I really trust myself if I think those things?”
The fact of the matter is, we are part lizard. What does that mean? Look at evolution: our bodies are the result of millions of years of trial and error. We have so many body parts and organs doing various functions that we never think about, because we don’t have to concentrate on them. This is the result of all that evolution.
But there’s a side-effect… we also get all that evolutionary baggage. An animal has a strong survival instinct because it lives in a world where survival is very tricky. For most of us, the trickiest thing we face is deciding what to wear in the morning. Yet that survival instinct remains with us, and it translates into strange desires that often involve the indulgence of one or more of our senses, or the massaging of our ego.
We know we want to be good, but strange thoughts keep popping up. The thing is, you needn’t fear them. Ego and kindness, Devil and God, the Dark Side and the Light Side of The Force… these are all metaphors. All religious stories of a dark power and a light power are metaphors for psychological states of mind, as explained in the Kymatica excerpt we shared in an earlier post. The thing they are trying to say is that that struggle is within us. It is the struggle of our animal body (EGO) and our higher consciousness.
Now think about things like love and empathy, and imagination and our ability to create art. Where does this come from? It’s evolutionary, my dear Watson. We have evolved the ability to do all these super cool things, but in order to do that, we had to come through the ranks of the animal body, and that comes with a price. We are striving to become more and more angel, but we have to drag this lizard body with us.
The point here is that you don’t have to distrust yourself. You are not psychopathic, you are not sociopathic, you are not insane. The very fact that you want to be good is a good sign. Humans are the only animal that can control their animal instincts, and who can often go out of their way to sacrifice their immediate material needs for someone or something else. Maybe you share half your sandwich with a friend that forgot their lunch, or maybe you take the blame for Harvey Dent’s murders and disappear into ignominy for the sake of Gotham. You get the point, right?
We need to accept the fact that we have an animal body with a higher consciousness. It’s a double-edged sword, but it can be used for great things if we just accept both of them and find a Middle Path for our individual selves.
This is just a way of looking at things, a point of view, a model for understanding what’s going on. Evolution is not something we really think of in this way, but give it some of your brain time… think about how incredible our bodies are, and how amazing it is that our brains work the way they do. We are surely beings headed towards some kind of transcendental evolution, but until then we have to carry the body with us. So accept it, trust it, and have fun with it.