„Quotable“

Intelligence is an accident of evolution, and not necessarily an advantage.
– Isaac Asimov
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Bliss

I have an acquaintance, he is a priest. Cynical atheist chumming with a genuine fucking Christian priest, odd, ain’t it? I like him a lot, because I can discuss God with him. We have very amusing conversations. We are both amused by our respective viewpoints. You know what he says? He loves talking to atheists, because they generally know more about God than believers. In general, he said, believers mostly simply believe, and it is the atheists and agnostics of the world who actually think about God. He sees it as an intellectual challenge, discussing God, and I must say that we have reached an agreement, in the latter stages of our drunken discussions: that there are moments of bliss.
Wether God exists or not, there are moments of bliss. Moments where human beings believe that everything is all right. Everything is perfect… well, maybe not everything, but the moments of bliss transcend every worldly concern. You are in tune with the world and the moment is perfect, even if your whole life is not.
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced such moments, but I have. Actually, I feel bliss every time I am in the forest by the river and see a pair of crows chasing a buzzard away. It’s nature at its most basic that gets my goat every time. My breast expands, I take a deep breath, and I feel as one with the world. So, is that God? My acquaintance says it is, he says that those are the moments when I am near God. Well, if you want to call it being near God, that’s fine with me, as long as you don’t expect me to chime in on the same note. I say those are the moments when I simply feel good because evolution has seen to it that I enjoy being in nature. My ancestors were forced to be in nature for millions of years, it’s the normal state of being for humans. And when I see how the buzzard tries to find the crows’ nest, and how they are on his ass in a trice, I just know, deep down inside, that this is the way of things, and that it is right.
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Right? Right, you ask, what’s „right“ about it then? It’s natural, that’s all. There are no complicated philosophical concepts behind it. And no God either. It’s the way things have been for millions of years, basic natural patterns, and it is ingrained in our genetic makeup to understand it, because we’ve been living with it for millions of years. To put it simply, it’s what we’re used to on the most basic human level. And humans always somehow get to like what they are used to, given time. A damned long time we’ve had for it, too. The time the human race has spent living separated from nature the way so many of us do nowadays is utterly insignificant in comparison.
Listening to Komine, by Habib Koité and Bamada.

Lying to Yourself

Nothing is better ingrained in the human psyche than lying to yourself. Who, after all, knows you better? There is no one on this world who can fool you better than you can. You fool.
The question is, who lies to himself better? Have you ever met someone who lies to themselves better than you lie to yourself? I’ll bet you have, and you felt like an idiot after it came out that they’d fooled even you. They sounded convincing, didn’t they? Because they lied so well that they believed in it themselves, totally. But it served their purpose: to convince those around them.
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I am certain that this is an evolutionary phenomenon. Humans have removed themselves from the natural cycle to such an extent that they have an evolution all their own. That means that our crazy, big-brained thoughts and desires have a huge influence on our evolution. Our brains are far too large for our own good. We all lie to ourselves, and the lies influence what we and those around us do. They influence which mate we choose. They influence how we treat our children. They influence everything.
I once read a sci-fi novel where a race was described in which the females had, through natural selection, become stupid. The males of this race believed the lies they told themselves with regard to the superiority of males over females to the point where they preferred females who were not quite as uppity, who didn’t argue all the damned time… and so on. Hell, I can understand that! (Mr. Hellstrøm does the Groucho eyebrow thing). And over the millennia, this led to the stultification (wow, that is a cool word, I didn’t even know I knew that word until just now) of the females, to the point where they were hardly more than helpmates, a means to reproduction. They could hardly even speak anymore, such was the loss of intellectual capability.
So, you see what lies can lead to. The little lies you tell yourself could influence the entire evolution of mankind. Perhaps they have already… Jesus. Look out.