ReptilianThroughout the ages, many have wondered what drives a person to do what he does, despite his culture, the way he was brought up or his environment.

Why does a person act against his own believes and against common sense in a society?

We, as humans, are governed by two different parts. It is the instinctual or reptilian part, and then is the rational part.
The reptilian part governs our primal instincts, our instant gratification.

A moment’s pleasure.

Back in the primitive and tribal times, people used to guide their lives towards instant gratification rewards.
They had no fridge, so whatever food they had, they would consume it at that moment.
They had no laws, so if there was anything they liked, they took it.
Had they had the chance to quickly have sex and perpetuate the species. the man would then jump onto the woman and more or less, rape her – to a small degree of satisfaction on her part for being “taken off her feet”.

That’s the part that has to do with being an animal, which humans are.
But humans are also more than that.
Or so I naively think we should be 🙂

Because we are humans and not mere animals, we tend to climb the pyramid of Maslow and go beyond the primal instant gratification rewards that govern the reptilian side.
We are rational animals. We are beings that will pursue something greater than the basic needs. It is hardwired into our DNA.
Obviously, there are exceptions, and these can be observed daily in your town, strolling down the street, even in your offices – I guess this is actually normality. I still have high hopes!

Religious interpretation

I am not a religious person, but bear with me for a second.
The bible states that the beast, satan, bears the mark 666.
In our material world, carbon, which is the base material for absolutely everything is composed of 6 electrons, 6 protons and 6 neutrons.
Materialistic “aspirations” consist of purely flesh desires and other non-spiritual pleasures such as buying and owning stuff.
Thus the warnings to stay away from “the beast” do have a certain truth.
It is the beast within us. The beast that desires instant gratifications.
Which again in different religions, would be called A Sin.

In order for a human being to evolve beyond his mere primal condition, he needs to self-impose restrictions against instant gratification rewards.
Why? Because by doing so, we will have triumphed over our animal nature.
It is what we came to do, here on earth.

What can we do to fight against the animal nature? 

We should give and not take more than we need.
We should get to know a person before we have sex with her/him.
We should wait 10 seconds before we say something in a conversation.
We should think that if what we are about to say has any real value or it’s just an EGO boost.

So why do I think that We Are Defined by Our Actions, Not Our Words ?

Because of laws, we don’t go around raping or stealing. But it’s all based on fear of being punished in this world – prison, fees, execution etc.

We do not think that this instant gratification has an impact on our core, on our human decency. Yet it does a lot of damage.

Our rational part will always push us towards what it is good and right. The rational mind will guide use to talk and write about decent and goods things.
Yet the main trial comes when we have to do things.
Our actions are based on the primal instinct and it overwrites any other words or thoughts we might have said a few moments before.

It is then when who we naturally and truly are deep inside, comes to surface.
It is in the moment of intense passion, rage, anger or envy that will show the world who we truly are.
If we are not envious, if we respect our bodies, our soul and last but not least, if we respect our neighbour, our actions will be accordingly. We will be defined as a good person.

By prolonging our reward system with mindfulness, meditation and good choices, we can become the person who’s actions will define him or her into someone he can be proud of, not only in this life, but maybe, if we are lucky, into the next one.

photo credit: redbubble

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