Published on Chowk, by Khalid Sohail April 4, 2010.
When we study human beings from an evolutionary point of view, we realize that one of the fundamental differences between animals and human beings is that animals are aware but human beings are self-aware; animals have simple consciousness while human beings have self-consciousness; and animals know but human beings know that they know. Such self-awareness and evolution of consciousness has made it possible for humans to create language and culture, science and technology, as well as art and mythology. As human beings have evolved, they have become increasingly aware of their personal and collective unconscious.
In the last couple of centuries, scientists, psychologists and philosophers from all over the world have brought to our attention that the human unconscious is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted … //
… Critical Thinking:
Highly evolved human beings have developed critical, logical and analytical thinking. Socrates and other Greek philosophers provided significant constructs by which human beings can think rationally and critically analyze their traditions. Such thinking is used in the evolution of science, philosophy and psychology; wherein human beings challenge the social conditioning they receive from their families, communities and cultures.
Highly evolved human beings have developed a creative imagination and an appreciation of fine arts. Some of them have creative personalities and produce poems, plays and paintings. They have a well developed aesthetic sense and are able to entertain and enlighten others in their communities and cultures. Where human beings have developed print and visual media and are using newspapers, television and internet to communicate, other communities and cultures in the world are able to receive their creations.
Highly evolved human beings have also developed a compassionate heart and their empathy is not limited only to their own family and tribe but extends to other families and tribes. They focus more on similarities than differences. The most evolved human beings care for all of humanity. The scientists who discovered penicillin and insulin did not develop them just for their own families but for everyone. Such human beings strive to decrease human suffering and improve the general quality of life. Many philosophers and reformers have worked to raise social consciousness so that human beings would develop compassion for the wider community.
Highly evolved human beings with creative personalities, whether scientists or artists, poets or philosophers, reformers or revolutionaries, have been trying to guide other human beings to the next stage of human evolution by helping them to think critically and logically, imagine creatively and interact compassionately. They want all of us to rise above the tribal mentality and social conditioning so that we can achieve wisdom and live meaningful and peaceful lives. We need to develop communities, cultures and countries where all citizens have equal rights and privileges and opportunities to grow to their fullest potential. We have to learn to resolve our personal, social and political conflicts peacefully. That is the only way for all of us, individually and collectively, to grow to the next stage of human evolution. (full text).
(Note: This is the introduction of my new book with the same title).