The Human in us is above the simple, instinctive level

Question from the Internet:

“Is life just a matter of balancing multiple costs of opportunities every single day versus our objectives and constraints, in all aspects of our life?”

At the basic level of operation, this is how our “personal computer” works, constantly making calculations based on a self-centered “pleasure/pain principle”, deciding what is worthwhile, what is not thus plotting an instinctive path of day to day survival.

Most people remain at this level of operation. We are emotional creatures thus in our conscious we experience this as happiness, contentment when our needs are fulfilled, while we feel sad, angry, frustrated when our needs remain unfulfilled. We love the source of our fulfillment and hate whatever prevents fulfillment.

The “truly Human” level in us searches for an overall purpose, a clear cause and effect relationship over this day to day survival, the “truly Human being” tries to place oneself into the “grand scheme of things”, finding its role, purpose in Nature’s deterministic, lawful system.

Thus we can remain on an instinctive, hormonal level, reducing life to a simple “cost/benefit” ratio to obtain what we think we need, or we can develop further understanding why we need what we think we need, and what, with what intention we need it for, why we are here, why we are called Human.



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Zsolt Hermann

I am a Hungarian-born Orthopedic surgeon presently living in New Zealand, with a profound interest in how mutually integrated living systems work.