What makes us human? Is it consciousness? Is it our ability to reach reality? And specifically to reach the reality better than other species? Do we have a purpose? Are we closer to the gods because of that? Because humans represent so radical break with nature, the measures to find the answer are also radical: brain imaging, DNA sequencing, magic mushrooms, Gaian mind theories… However, it looks there is no need to go too far to look for an answer, it can also be found nearby. As Galileo Galilei is alleged to have said, “all truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them“. Likewise, there is a chance that the big questions of human emergence, consciousness, religions, and mysticism are due to one single human trait: a mental growth failure.
We invariably turn a blind eye to the fact that we are mentally like teens and we never have a feeling of being full-blown adults regardless of how long we live. We’ll act like that because we are taught to remain silent and take on the role of fake adulthood. Although we may try to rebel against it, we’ll end up accepting the effectively ”anesthetic” social contract which leads only to the trivialisation of life. It’s a big mistake also because in that way we’ll never find out what makes us human and what human consciousness, reality, and gods are made of. There is a reason for our growth failure, but it has been kept secret.
The real adulthood unknown to modern humans was commonplace to all pre-human species. But this changed. The change is due to a failure of psychic growth that was inherited from some pre-human individuals to modern man over millions of years. Initial adulthood, however, still appears momentarily in connection with mystical and psychedelic experiences. These experiences offer us also a clue as to how consciousness works. However, civilisation obscures all the traces that would lead us to understand ourselves and our origins.
It’s time to bring into the open that the real adulthood is a stage of psychic development resulting from a radical change in consciousness. Alas, we have lost the opportunity for knowing it long ago. This is due to a failure we have inherited from earlier human species. The failure is difficult to detect and only comes up in two ways. First, the so-called mystical experience tells us that we once had a mechanism that changed our consciousness. Mystical experiences are remnants of this mechanism.
Second, substances called psychedelics are capable of altering consciousness because they contain the same compounds as our nervous system. Psychedelics are not not so much hallucinogens as they are highly selective psychic medication. Psychedelics are able to reset our teenage mind and restore the original adulthood of our species back to normal. By eliminating, if not the disorder itself but in any case its symptoms, psychedelics are able to revive the early human mind and show that our mental growth disorder is real and existing phenomenon. Psychedelics do not distort reality, they’ll fix it. Both mystical and psychedelic experiences have only a temporary effect, i.e. they don’t eliminate the problem, but they alleviate it. But most importantly, they reveal the problem.
Our genetic disorder
It is quite possible that the entire mentality we call humanity is due to a genetic defect. There are many points that support this argument. For example, phenomena created by mysticism, religions, and psychedelics are very difficult to explain except through genetic defect. It is possible that the exceptional human nature was initially a recessive trait in the same way as colour blindness. In any case, it has now become a feature for which there is no alternative. We all have mental growth disorder. And the reason is most likely that the original dominant trait disappeared when the human species emerged.
Therefore, the emergence of modern man and the radical spread of a gene defect probably mean the same thing. The process of emergence can be reconstructed, as shown further below. The gene defect can explain how human-like activity (such as making of stone tools) could have existed even before we can speak of a species called homo sapiens. This is because “humanity” (defect) was already a trait of many pre-human species, although only on a small scale. Human peculiarity is not anatomical, not even the mental or its disorder, it is the fact that we all have the disorder.
Some examples of how recessiveness could explain the slow emergence of human traits. The human mentality, or the permanently juvenile psyche, is seen in this hypothesis as a growth disorder caused by recessive gene allele.
The first signs of genetic defect can be found in the numerous stone tools, that appeared to indicate not evolution but problems in mental growth. As said before, the growth disorder may well have been inherited in the same way as the rare colour blindness. Human colour blindness is caused by a gene defect and is recessively inherited. Recessiveness affects the incidence of a gene defect, meaning that the disorder requires appropriate parents to appear.
So if, as it looks, only 8% of men and 0.4% of women have red-green colour blindness, the impact on our society is not very significant. Accordingly, if 8/0.4% men/women in pre-human populations were affected by the mental adolescence, or permanent consciousness, the percentages could well be consistent not only with the relatively small number of occurrences of stone tools but also with their minor effects. But this only applies until the emergence of modern human. Then the number of stone tools exploded.
The fatal bottleneck and human emergence
The radical spread of stone tools suggests that something significant must have happened to the ratio of gene alleles especially in one particular Heidelberg population in Africa: very likely the recessive gene allele overthrew the population’s dominant one. There is only one explanation for this: genetic drift caused by a bottleneck effect. Only the genetic drift could have affected the occurrence of gene alleles. It is highly possible that due to some cataclysm the population lost normally developing members but saved infected individuals.
So what could have caused the bottleneck? Such an event can be found. In all probability it’s the recent ice age. The emergence of modern human more than 120,000 years ago from amongst the Heidelberg people was very likely the result of a glaciation in the northern hemisphere that, in turn, caused a long and fatal drought which led to a population bottleneck. The genetic bottleneck in humans is usually associated with the eruption of the Toba volcano 74,000 years ago, but it is probable that it was of greater significance already 50,000 years earlier during the ice age. It caused a proliferation of the growth disorder in the population. Eventually this led to the emergence of modern man.
In this hypothesis there are two major stages in human emergence: 1) a genetic defect that appeared in early human populations for millions of years and was manifested in stone tools, clothing, using fire, and migrating out of Africa; 2) a bottleneck phenomenon in Africa, that caused the extinction of the normal and healthy Heidelbergs: they died but the defective ones survived. We are the offspring of the defective Heidelbergs. Both stages were necessary for human emergence.
People often talk about the ancient lost or secret knowledge. There is only one secret in mysticism and religions I can think of, and it is related to lost human adulthood. And it is likely that the knowledge has never disappeared, nor is it so secretive, hermetic or esoteric that anyone other than insiders could understand it. It is just hidden, mainly because, if a person, even an adult, is considered a child, he or she always needs a parent to guide and support. Hiding the primal adult nature of man drives the business of people who want to control others.”The secret knowledge” contains ways to deal with the problems of human spiritual growth. It seems that it can only live in indigenous, nomadic and rural cultures; elsewhere it becomes a mystery, a religion, and the secrets of the initiates. Initially, it might have even contained practical information on the problems of human adulthood. However, when the problems were obliterated, old wisdom was no longer easy to understand and turned into myths like the story of Adam and Eve.
“Original sin” means a hereditary fault in genetics
The biblical story of the Fall of man is said to echo the earlier Mesopotamian myth of a king, as a primordial man, who is placed in a divine garden to guard the Tree of life. What is the Tree of life? Is the myth still possible to understand? Despite all the doubts, the myth fits miraculously well as an early explanation for the growth problem and genetic defect of the human psyche. Let’s take a look!
Paradise lost | It is difficult for us to see here what is most evident in it: adulthood and the problems of growing up. The tree signifies cognition and the serpent can be seen as a symbol of something we can now define as a mental defect or disorder. The forbidden fruit is human consciousness (and its components of volition, cognition and memory). Shame is just one of the mechanisms to protect growth. Paradise means nature from an adult perspective.
The thing that makes this interesting upon the cultural interpretation of the story, is how it describes four key elements of human burden: sexuality, shame, guilt and knowledge. It is pretty interesting, that, in explaining these by connecting them with each other, it unlocks the human essence far better than any Western biblical study. From this perspective the story seems to be a very straightforward description of the human mental adolescence and its causes. It gives facts the later civilisation wanted to forget.
First, the tree of good and evil knowledge implies the existence of morality. And morality is part of cognition, neither of which was part of the adult psyche. For us, morality means the ability to distinguish good from evil. In Paradise, morality meant debility, or vice, because morality equals condemnation. Human values of moral and immoral are inverted compared to those of the Paradise, or nature. This also applies to the “sins of the flesh”. Being ashamed of their natural sexuality, Adam and Eve condemn something created by God. The flesh was not sinful in Eden, but the fact that man considered the flesh sinful. Man made nudity a moral issue.
It’s amazing how clearly the serpent refers to something that could be seen as a genetic defect of all homo species, or the mental growth disorder. The serpent is poison to the human mind. Influenced by the Mesopotamian cultures, the serpent symbolises cunning, the skill of survival, and rebirth. It’s “wisdom” is clearly practical and strategic, not pure and deep understanding. It’s a survivor just like a human. In that sense, it’s not the creation story but the story of the tree of good and evil knowledge that reconstructs the emergence of modern human. This describes the moment when man factually emerges.
The story is highly ingenious also because, according to it, after eating forbidden fruit, humans should have died (out), but, with the help of the serpent, they had been given “eternal” life. It is worth noting that from the standpoint of human evolution, this really happened! Although man remained still mortal, the human species was spared from extinction since it had escaped the natural selection. So, this is clearly more than just an allegory.
In my hypothesis, the roots of problems in people’s psychic growth, mysticism, psychedelics, early human tool making, and religions lie in neurochemical activity and its errors. However, the genetic defect is hard to detect as nothing happens. We just need to know that something should happen.
It seems that civilisations are not paradises of wisdom. Instead, they always have something distorted and they are disposed to rely on human inferiority. It is a huge paradox that mystical experiences are despised in our civilisation when they probably are the only way to understand our true nature, our growth disorder, and our lost mental landscape. The lost feature has become a taboo and a myth. If only we overcome our prejudices and biases towards irrational phenomena, our spirituality, religiosity and mythical beliefs would have a lot to say about our ancient human nature.