Ancient Human Thought
The profound sense of self-significance leading to the formulation of the universe as some abstract not-earth, but certainly something because in this space of habitually-blue-but-not-water-blue somethingness exist the two great balls, the one of fire who must be best friends with eyeballs, raised to an exalted position because despite eyeballs’s inability to provide reciprocate offerings (staring at the fireball all day is harmful (while inducing any major-general assumptions about something based solely on sensory perception generoftenally (moreoftenthannotuhlee) makes an ass out of umptions or sumpthins, enough anecdotal evidence exists to support the following conclusion: staring at the Great Ball of Fire assiduously ironally makes an ass out of one’s eye duo thusly we derive the proverbial epithet ‘butthead’ to those blindly worshipping that which cannot be known) the great fireball still shows up and gives to eyeballs everything it can. And even though it must abdicate for that introverted, oft-veiled (finger nailed?) ball of shadows, the two balls having some sort of agreement or compromise on the great question asking is one ball better than the other (I’m playing around here wondering what representations consciousness and memory could have possibly formed in early homo sapiens, but humanity’s common perception of our ‘outer space’ remained fairly static until relatively recently on our timeline); or, perhaps, equivaliantly to these icons of egotism, is one ball more deserving of attention than its dual.
This is probably how early human minds thought about these things right? No? We tend to imagine transitions like the one to full conscious thought and fuller sense of time and self and environment and others etc. as very sudden, or we don’t think about it at all. Biologically, we share certain invariants with all life, but consciousness split human evolution because a brain with some self-awareness, self-reflection, being-in-worldness with other beings and objects, and access to long-term memory representations and associated functions to compare and synthesize (thus self-generating new constructive representations leading to creativity and imagination and multi-tasking) and retain for most of a lifetime has profound implications for human life, for all life, and even for the universe. Instead of relying on successive generations for evolution to perform its future-blind, random ‘learning’ by natural selection on entire populations using DNA as the memory record-keeper (but one the individual member of the species cannot access for learning it’s merely to pass on to offspring), the human brain can create limitless closed representations to both map in reduced form onto DNA for later generations but, locally, to store in the infinitely complex (built on unity) fine structure underlying our hyperfunctioning deep memory. Over an entire (very short relative to biological evolutionary timescales even though we live long) lifetime, each individual human being experiences, learns, and synthesizes more knowledge than natural selection can do on its own over epochs.
The BIG QUESTION OF QUESTIONS at the beginning of the evolution of human beings is then, informally, the following: Why consciousness evolved at all? We shall see…though to answer this I will first write about evolution from a general, theoretical perspective (I know I’MSOEXCITED URGONNALUVIT!).