Some years ago Clive Bromhall wrote in his book The Eternal Child that “The human species cannot grow up”. By this, he meant a scientific fact, not a mocking remark. In his view, man has become irrevocably a child and that is a fact characterised by certain features of his actions and being. In addition to Bromhall, some other scientists have also tried to explain human behaviour with an idea of adolescence and a number of factors relating to “the incompleteness of growing up” at least for a hundred years now. But they have not achieved a common satisfactory explanation for the human psyche and culture. The idea of human mental immatureness is overall quite challenging, and we cannot expect – for certain reasons – the science, the arts, neither the civilisation in general to give this support.
An immature animal
However, I have chosen to partially follow the path of reasoning of Clive Bromhall. And while writing this, I have also come to admit that “the divine creation”, man, is nothing more than an immature animal rooted indelibly in his own childhood and mental mechanisms of youth. I strongly believe that people – unfortunately –can’t grow up like animals. It is essentially this feature that gives birth to our human culture from religion to science and art, not forgetting the usual daily life. This will have some severe consequences for the image of a civilised man. Why is that the closest thing for us – our mind – seem to be the most difficult to reach? Is it possible that exploring humanity depends on something else than the highly trendy skill to search for information? Does our worldview prevent us from believing in obvious facts? And do our intellectual tools only deceive us on the information highway…?
The route of cave paintings, flints and bone findings—even if it’s a really interesting one—is not the only way to illuminate our mysterious past. I believe that the key to human culture and the mysterious, distant past can be found in our minds, not necessarily in archaeological or paleontological findings. The paleoanthropological research tries to reconstruct the human mental and cultural essence by means of measuring and analysing skulls, bones and stone tools, but here I do something very opposite: I seek to describe the historic and prehistoric past by means of present human cultural and mental essence.
This is not just a shifting point of view, but also questioning issues, particularly everyday humanity and human knowledge. I do not consider modern human as a king of creation, but as an animal which has rather limited abilities to reach the reality. It takes both humility and courage to see us bravely alongside other animals, and not before them. My view challenges the myth of the superior human mind and the uniqueness of awareness. These are things that have traditionally been self-evident in scientific research and in the religious portrayal of the man. I assume people respect humanity so much that they won’t question it. In this way, however, we will miss not only the easiest but also perhaps the only way to get the answer.
The human path
In these short articles that could be a missing chapter from Darwin’s work, I make an effort to understand the prehistoric sequence of events that drove people to question themselves the purpose of their own life. We will go to Africa’s devastating drought dating back over 100.000 years. The critical struggle for survival in a harsh climate lasted thousands of years and conjured up a modern man out of a real taciturn creature (Homo heidelbergensis). The reconstruction of this survival mechanism is to provide views of cultural phenomena and an understanding of the characteristics of our mind.
Some key terms here are adulthood, adolescence, humanity, will, reason, mind, ego, and consciousness. Important are also faith, knowledge, philosophy, language, civilisation, culture and history. My writings are based on the re-interpretation of existing theories, discoveries and views, reviewed in the light of my ideas of human adolescence. In the light where a whole intellectual empire—the science—is based on the fact that only the questions are enduring and nothing but a breeding ground for new questions, the content of the blog may look unscientific. It’s ok for me.
In science, it is often considered that for an ordinary person is not possible to understand its results neither the fundamental nature of the world. My writings are an attempt to demonstrate that also science can create false images—in fact, science is based on just that. Anyone can understand human behaviour. Making things simple and understandable remains a quiet and yet unfulfilled desire for most of us, and it seems to be too great a challenge to science, too.