The creative Mind
The origin and spread of mental programs
Currently, in our Western culture, many people think that all aspects of their mental activity – and consciousness itself – are determined by the brain functioning. As we have seen in the blogs of 2019, there are good reasons to sustain this point of view, which leads to a conclusion: I am my brain. Of course, there are other people who do not believe that the existence of their conscious Ego can be reduced, in whole or in part, to brain activity alone. Since these people too have often a healthy brain, which does not show functional defects, those who support the monist thesis that the existence of the Ego coincides with that of the brain, are then forced to recognize that the brain can deceive itself, since some circuits of the brain can convince other circuits of untrue things. The problem of brain unreliability is very interesting: there are cases in which believing in good faith in things that are obviously not true – such as claiming, for example, that the Earth is flat and not spherical – denotes a deficit in reasoning ability. It could be a hardware defect (some parts of the brain are not working properly) or a software defect (some previously acquired programs block the functioning of brain circuits, preventing them from reasoning correctly).
The mores and popular beliefs widespread and active even in today's world are due to mental programs that are acquired by the brain, from childhood, with extraordinary ease: orthodox Jews dress in black and wear payot, in many parts of the world children are circumcised, Muslims pray facing Mecca, and so on. If these behaviors depend on the way the brain works – as is commonly believed – it is evident that many (but certainly not all) brains operate throughout their lives in order to comply with the programs that have been acquired, especially in childhood and youth, without being able to process them independently, or by processing them to a minimal extent. But, as we have seen, these programs are not stable and permanent: they differ from one culture to another, and change over time even within the same culture. So they are born, develop and propagate within a network of brains.
At first these programs begin to take shape in the mind of a person, who manages to influence an initially reduced group of followers. Usually this is not a linear and clear path, but a tiring and tormented genesis, which can also jeopardize the mental health of the human organism in which the process occurs. An analogy can be noticed with the creative process of works of art of particular conceptual complexity, which consume physical and psychic energies. The conscious perception of this process by the subjects involved has led to defining it with the term inspiration, often – especially in the past – attributing the origin and mental development of the creative phenomenon to the will and ability of a numinous entity not belonging to the physical world. When the knowledge on the brain functioning was still very limited or completely absent, the attention was directed only to the mental process which – through a particular and uncommon sensibility – perceived the creative process as a manifestation of something superior, with whose intent the human being complied voluntarily and with a spirit of sacrifice, conscious and satisfied with the role played in the activity of the creative Mind.
The inspiration does not concern only the poet, the storyteller or the music composer, but also the religious prophet, the inventor, the scientist and the legislator: every time the creative and organizational process intervenes to create something new, which did not exist before, those mental processes are activated which – under the name of attention, concentration, meditation, reflection, rational or emotional evaluation, etc. – determine the ideation and subsequent manifestation of the created work. It is evident that the important aspect of the creative process then lies in its ability to be accepted and to gradually spread within a social context formed by a network of brains, channeling energies and determining collective behaviors that influence social evolution during a given period: a typically psychic phenomenon, in which human beings have always been involved in an essentially passive role, as they are unaware of the purposes of the process. This complex game of the world has always had mental activity as its foundation, through which all the events in which humans have been involved, at the same time in the role of actors and spectators, have been transferred into tlife he dimension: only since a few decades the brain has been studied as the instrument through which mental activity manifests itself and produces its effects.
The charm of the world show
We cannot know for sure if there is a form of non-human consciousness capable of perceiving and feeling the events that have humanity as protagonist, both in their external manifestations relating to behaviors and events in which our organisms perform their activities, and in the psychic dynamics in which billions and billions of conscious Egos have been and are involved. However, some experimental data may lead us to believe that nothing of what happens and what is experienced by each person is lost forever, and that everything is recorded in a kind of cosmic memory that could be accessed, even if not through normal means. We have already mentioned the fact that there are people whose memory cannot eliminate memories, and therefore they are forced to remember in detail years and years of their lives. In any case, human consciousness registers the way the mind experiences and interprets the events of life.
Although on this site the importance of the detachment of the conscious Ego from the psychic dynamics in which it is involved has been repeatedly stressed, this does not mean that the Ego cannot benefit from those mental tunings that it feels more in harmony with its nature and its own evolutionary needs, both as an actor and as a spectator. All of us, for the mere fact of living, play our role as actors on the world scene, and at the same time we have the opportunity to attend the show – or rather, the multiplicity of shows – that the world offers us: even apart from humanity, it is nature that shows itself to us in its various aspects, offering itself to the interpretative and emotional reactions of our mind. The mind's intellectual and creative faculties also allow some humans to conceive and stage a show within the show, through music, interpretative ability and stage arts. That our mind has the resources to get enjoyment from certain spectacles of nature or human creativity seems to me evident, as well as the fact that the circuits and neurotransmitters that determine such enjoyment must be active in the brain. In fact, the evolutionary level of what the individual feels attracted to depends on the brain functioning: there are those who find football irresistible and those who are sensitive to the charm of refined music.
Both in the case of the shows offered by nature and in those organized through the collaboration of a group of human – an example of which is a symphony orchestra – enjoyment is often connected to the emotions aroused by a sense of harmony and beauty that transcends the ordinary dimension of this world, activating the nostalgia – and perhaps the memory – of a lost dimension, or the yearning for a desired and hoped-for dimension, whose existence becomes real, at least for a few moments. These particular emotional attunements can be autonomously activated in the dream state too, making it plausible the hypothesis that these mental experiences can be enjoyed even in the absence of objective stimuli from the environment. In our western culture, however, the brain is programmed to function primarily by reacting to environmental stimuli. Even the complexity of what we creatively organize and produce, determined by what are considered normal and natural needs and desires, is in fact linked to the particular reactive sensitivity of our brain towards stimuli coming from the environment.
Creative activity is a source of joy, both by the creator in his/her role as author, actor or organizer, and by the spectator in his role as user and also, as we say today, as consumer. There are various levels of complexity and elaboration of creative ideas, and even the spectator's brain requires a particular evolutionary commitment in order to get enjoyment from high-level creations: in a certain sense, also the ability to appreciate a performance and enjoy it is determined by a mental creative process. To give an example, when the elements of an orchestra, a chorus and a corps de ballet, in addition to the set designers, lighting technicians, costume designers and various other collaborators – a few hundred people in all – tune the resources of their brains to stage a Ciaikovskij ballet, the resulting show can be appreciated at different levels, but can only be fully and intensely enjoyed by a brain that is able to perceive and recognize the complex harmony generated by the whole details of sounds, colors, lights, movements and expressions, which in their interactions produce the temporal development of the work. The same can be said of certain architectural or technological products, even if in this case we ususally perceive only the final result, without attending the spectacle of their conceiving and realization.
This tension of our mind – and, let's say, of our brain activity – towards the search for elaborate forms of artistic expression that require high-level creative faculties, and towards an evolutionary path that leads to a more refined and intense ability to perceive, understand and enjoy the complex spectacle offered by the world – in its natural aspects and in the more complex elaborations due to human activities – can be attributed to the influence of an agent which is usually identified with the term spirit. Spiritual activities, whose origin is made to coincide more or less with the dawn of the first human civilizations, but which may have had a much earlier genesis inside some individual mental activity, are distinguished from utilitarian activities, determined by the natural needs of our bodies – also in relation to the interdependence of our bodies in the context of social structures – because they seem to be inspired by a yearning for the mind towards dimensions other than that in which we live with our current psychophysical system.
A violinist, a pianist, an opera singer, a dancer, must practice for many years in order to achieve that condition of cerebral efficiency necessary to perfectly perform what is required of them. The same applies to those who want to practice a sport at professional levels. Once they reach a certain level, a certain amount of creativity can also intervene, but their talent is essentially expressed in the executive and interpretative ability, acquired through a disciplined training under the direction of a master. It could also be argued that, beyond their artistic sensitivity, they are people who know how to do their job well, like any other pro or skilled worker, and in this way they earn a living. Instead, there are other people for whom the need to create exceeds any other natural need, so much so that in some cases they are unable to carry out the normal activities required to earn a living. Many examples can be made in the artistic field, even among those who reached a certain fame and then died in poverty, like Mozart, or who were never successful in life, like Van Gogh. Creativity, as an individual experience, is not just about successful artist, even posthumously, but also the artist who, without being publicly recognized, continues to create because he feels the need to do it. An interesting and disturbing example of how creativity can transform itself is represented by Hitler, who – in trying to express his creativity through painting – produced conventional and diligent works, not devoid of their own dignity: if he had had more luck as an artist, probably humanity would have spared itself the considerable misfortunes brought about by the channeling of its distorted creativity in politics.
Neuroscience has so far be unable to find out the ways of brain functioning that determine creative inspiration. The mental conscious experience of the feeling and the need to create, to conceive, to plan and to realize something new, both artistically and technically, has been part of the heritage of human experiences for millennia. But also in the organizational and social field – in politics and religion – or in the progress of knowledge – in science and philosophy – creativity is constantly manifested, producing changes and exploring new possibilities for development. The creative people often have the impression that an entity distinct from their conscious Ego insinuates itself – desired or not – into their mental activity, and consequently interferes with the usual functioning of their brain circuits, determining the creative process. This intrusion can also present disturbing and conflicting aspects in relation to the normal equilibrium of mental activity, and shows – albeit to a lesser extent – some affinities with certain forms of mediumistic activity, in which the medium's mind, put into a trance, is used by an autonomous and intelligent personality, distinct from the medium's conscious Ego.
Currently the human systems of advanced societies are much more influenced by the mental programs that circulate and spread within the brains' network than by natural environmental conditions: technological progress have in fact allowed to exercise sufficient collective control over natural resources and cope with most of the natural disasters (famines, floods, epidemic diseases, etc.) that afflicted all human societies in the past. Although a part of humanity has to deal still today with this kind of problems, another part can live as if they did not exist, or at least as if they did not concern it: indeed, today we must face an antithetical problem, let's say, that is, to have to protect the natural environment from the excessive exploitation of its resources caused by human activities and needs. All these creative processes, including those that determine common rules and social organization, whether they occur exclusively through brain activity – which implies that the brain has an intrinsic creative function – or are inspired through the brain by an alien intelligence, entails a series of experiments and attempts at social development, sometimes harmonious but rather often conflicting, the effects of which can be experienced and evaluated only afterwards.
Human creativity, manifesting itself through a number of different people, can express itself in mental states that determine within social structures both chaotic and conflicting situations, and organizational solutions aiming at order and greater cohesion: at times these, at times the others prevail, but the hope that humanity can benefit from a state of constant harmony and concord remains, at present, an illusion. It is the very functioning of the brain that induces some people to prefer war to peace, fight to harmony, coercion to law, destructive action to constructive action. There is probably – in this way of functioning of the brain – a conflictual tension determined on the one hand by the ancestral heritage of the struggle for survival against a hostile environment, and on the other by a boost to improve the human condition in function of a less painful and more pleasant life. Furthermore, as the brain processes mental programs acquired progressively through interactions with other brains within a certain socio-cultural environment, it is difficult to accurately distinguish the programmatic origin of certain creative ideas (software) from the congenital way of functioning of the brain in which they formed (hardware).
The origin of creativity
In this blog we have always considered the conscious Ego as an entity distinct from the psychic events – determined by mental activity – in which it is constantly involved in the course of its life. We have also observed that the level of involvement is such that in most human beings the conscious Ego identifies completely with its own psyche, and we have defined this condition with the expression «human automaton». Even if we refer all mental activity to the brain functioning, the condition of the conscious Ego does not change: it will always be more or less influenced and ensnared by the psychic reactions determined by the brain that destiny has given to it. After all, many neuroscientists assume that the Ego itself is nothing but a product of brain activity. This position, however, ultimately explains nothing, because it does not account for the creative process that produced first all the biological and organic phenomena of nature, then the human brain and the consequent mental activity, and finally today's complex and technological socio-cultural systems. And I hope nobody will try to deny the reality and chronological evolution of this creative process.
In the face of the mystery and power of this creative process – which remains unknown in its essence and can neither be personalized nor anthropomorphized – the conscious Ego can feel lost, impotent and insignificant, imprisoned as it is in an organism and in a brain, on which its very existence seems to depend. The nature and origin of the creative process, whether it has an intent and a purpose or not, the condition and destiny of the conscious Ego within this process that has determined its existence, at least temporarily, all this completely escapes our understanding, goes beyond our cognitive faculties, since we have not been provided with the suitable tools to investigate and know what seems to remain a mystery to us, even in the context of scientific knowledge. At this point we have the impression that our participation in the creative process, at least as it manifests itself on our planet Earth, has reached a terminus, in the sense that either the consciousness and intelligence with which we humans are endowed can open a gap in understanding the mystery of creativity, or we continue, by force of circumstances, to go on blindly, moving like automata in a flow of events incomprehensible to us.
At present, in the mental states of human beings we can generally identify three main positions concerning the origin of creativity, neglecting the various intermediate nuances. The first of these mental attitudes involves the more or less critical adherence to one of the many forms of institutional religion currently present in complex societies, endowed with their own corpus of scriptures that offer a mythical interpretation of the creative process and give advice and directives on the correct way to behave and how to react to the psychic dynamics in which the conscious Ego is involved. In the most primitive societies this corpus of knowledge is not written but is orally transmitted within the framework of a consolidated and ritualized tradition. The second position, more widespread in complex societies, scientifically and technologically advanced, is that of those people who believe that human life is complete and accomplished in its temporal dimension, and therefore should be lived – with its lights and shadows – without having to ask or resolve questions concerning its meaning, the origin of the creative process or the possibility of the continuation of the conscious Ego's existence to the brain's death. It should be emphasized that mental tunings of this type can be active both in criminal personalities and in individuals of high ethical or scientific profile, committed to social utility activities.
The third position is that of those who, in the light of the resources offered by human intelligence, try to orient their mental activity in order to succeed – if not really in solving the mystery of creativity – in obtaining further elements of information regarding the nature and purpose of this process, and to the destiny that awaits him/her – as a conscious Ego – at the end of this life. It is the position – it should be clear – of who is writing this blog. Human creativity, which manifests itself through the activity of the brain and body, derives from the universal creative process, since our body and our brain are a product of evolution and precede, so to speak, our ability to reflect consciously on the origin of our creative faculties. And just as, from the point of view of the conscious Ego, human creativity develops through a process of mental activity aimed at a goal, in the field of art, production, organization or knowledge, we can also consider the evolutionary process as an expression of a universal creative Mind that manifests itself in the physical dimension. However, we do not have sufficient knowledge elements to establish whether this creative Mind has its own consciousness and intent, since our perception of creativity cannot be separated from the time factor. If we could understand the creative process in its entirety, we could perceive our consciousness as an element of the consciousness of the creative Mind which, by reflecting on itself and on its intent, realizes itself.
Of course, being our existence conditioned and limited by time, we can only participate in a phase of this evolutionary process of knowledge elaboration: however, we already have enough elements to evaluate the creative aspect of knowledge, and to get – so to speak – a benefit from it. I am not talking about a benefit in terms of acquiring power in the management and use of terrestrial resources: all this has been known for some time, and constitutes one of the main supporting drives for scientific research, and incentives for the technological applications deriving from it. The benefit consists in the fact that creativity, associated with conscious intelligence, can direct the perception and feeling of the Ego towards a real dimension more suited to its needs, helping to determine the evolutionary path of the Ego already in the course of human life. In fact, once we understand that we do not have sufficient elements of knowledge to affirm – but also to deny – that the creative Mind is endowed with its own consciousness and will (in which case all the good and evil of this world should be attributed to its intent), we can recognize our mental activity, which is conscious and intelligent, at least a spark of creativity, as a legacy of the universal creative process from which all experiences of the conscious Ego originate.
The mental interpretation of our world
The reality of this world, as it is represented and interpreted by the human mind in the light of its intelligent cognitive activity, consists of a balance – often precarious and unstable – between positive elements, creative and formative, precise and harmonious, and negative elements, destructive, chaotic and conflicting. Both in the context of nature and in that of interactions within human societies, and in the relations between these societies, one always has the impression of a constructive order that emerges with difficulty from a primordial chaos which, from time to time, takes over again, and in any case constantly reaffirms its destructive presence within the order. Obviously the perception of this reality is due to particular psychic tunings elaborated by the human mind – on the basis of the programs circulating within the brain network – given that the physical reality of this world could be considered only as a changing dynamic and energetic interaction between a huge number of atoms and molecules. But the human mind must interpret the world because it must take into account, in addition to the dance of atoms and molecules, all those effects determined by the functioning of the brain that are part of the set of experiences of the conscious Ego: thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories, dreams, fantasies, etc. It is an asset of immaterial experiences which – through the brain – become part of the physical dimension of this world.
The mind therefore has its own reality and autonomy, which however belong to a different dimension from the physical one. In order to manifest itself in the physical dimension, the mind needs a complex tool like the brain, whose admirable functioning has been developed by the creativity of the evolutionary process operating in nature. The interpretation of the world, as it occurs through the activity of the human mind in its most evolved manifestations, extends to all aspects of creativity, including those related to the process of natural evolution: the human mind is inclined to examine, evaluate, judge, approve or criticize on the basis of criteria that are proper to it, but we do not know how legitimately they can be applied to other aspects of universal creativity. Furthermore, the human mind expresses itself individually, so that the interpretation of the world of one person can present substantial differences compared to that of another, and overall those interpretations prevail, which have the ability to spread in the brain network by persuasion, or – in some cases – because imposed through power. Since this is the current state of the art regarding the functioning of human minds within the cloud of interconnected brains, only a minority is granted the privilege, if we may say so, of observing and critically analyzing the various aspects of the creative process.
The first aspect that shows itself to the observer is that natural creativity involves the destruction of what has been created and, with regard to death, nature shows indifference to the way and the time in which it occurs. In the same species, one animal can live long and another can die young, and the predator who in his life killed many other animals to feed itself, can die in suffering. In fact, not unlike humans, animals too have to endure the suffering caused by injuries, diseases, and other accidents. Natural creativity has gradually taken possession of this planet, in a process lasting for billions of years, imposing its laws to which all living beings are subjected (with some rare exceptions, as we will see). However, the reality of natural creativity is given by the interpretation that the human mind makes of it when it perceives its effects. For example, today we all believe, with well-founded reasons, that animals such as dinosaurs really existed in a remote past: but if you leave the human mind aside, what other form of conscious mind is aware of the existence of dinosaurs? I don't think any other animal is interested in this problem, and for many centuries, in the past, even the human mind has given substantially different interpretations of the creative process, which today are considered imaginative or mythical.
Once perceived, investigated, known and interpreted the various aspects of natural creativity, also considered in its chronological development, our mind raises the question of which forms of power, energy or more or less conscious intelligence are able to determine this process and possibly to orient it. The first observation of our intelligent mind is that these powers, or these entities, escape our direct perception, therefore they may or may not exist. However, in nature there are laws to which the informatics complexity of creative evolution must refer: it is hard for our mind to admit the existence of a process that draws an order of ever higher level – up to the complexity of human brain – from an initial condition of chaotic disorder, without speculating on a form of intelligent energy that determines this process. Even without personalizing this energy in anthropomorphic terms, our mind can imagine a complex organization that deals with the biological functioning of our planet. The fact that these entities escape our perception is no more surprising than the fact that dark matter and dark energy – which also constitute the predominant part of the physical universe – are not detectable either by us or by our instruments: our psychophysical system is obviously subject to limits, both perceptive and intellectual.
There is also another aspect to consider: the natural creative process is limited – as far as living organisms are concerned – to our planet, at least in the terms in which our mind can interpret it. It is certainly possible that other worlds exist in which a similar creative process has occurred or is developing, but at present our mind is not able to perceive and know anything about it. In any case, natural creativity always remains immersed in a universe, whose state is determined by physical laws whose origin dates back to primordial ages. About 65 million years ago the impact of a meteorite and a series of volcanic eruptions caused the extinction of most living species, and even today catastrophic events can occur, caused by the physical laws that govern our world and the universe. Until now, the natural creative process has always found a way to recover from any destructive event, manifesting its dynamic creativity on a large scale, always indifferent to the individual destiny of single creatures, and so it will be – most likely – as long as the physical conditions on this planet will be suitable for hosting organic life.
A final observation regarding natural creativity concerns the substantial differences between plants and animals, which have yet evolved from common ancestors in the form of single-celled organisms. Plants and single-celled algae of phytoplankton are real factories which use solar or thermal energy to transform inorganic substances into organic substances, most of which are at the base of the food chain of the animal world: the biochemical complexity of plants is at the same level as that of animals, even if they are devoid of mobility and autonomous nervous system. One could therefore imagine a nature made up of only plants and bacteria, but not a world with only animals and without plants. It seems that the eukaryotic cells, from which both plants and animals and fungi originated, appeared on Earth just over two billion years ago, while the prokaryotic cells from which the various bacterial forms developed – which still dominate this world – are much older: life on Earth has been limited to single-celled and aquatic forms for over two billion years. Furthermore, the survival of some bacteria – in the forms of resistance and self-protection defined as spores – can last several million years. All this information can radically change the mental interpretation of the natural creative process.
The mental interpretation of human condition
In this historical period, the mind must face an authentic revolution, because the interpretations it offers regarding the various aspects of life must take into account all the information acquired and available on the evolutionary process that gave rise to the organism – and in particular to the brain – on whose functioning its own possibility of manifesting and expressing itself throughout human life depends. It should not be forgotten that mental activity is fragmented into a large amount of individual manifestations, some of which impose themselves by spreading in a brain network through indoctrination programs, and that the legacies of the past are still very widespread and active, since – as I have already said – many human minds do not have their own creative resources, and are willing to accept uncritically what they are taught. In our day the most important mental network is represented by the scientific community, which includes the best intelligences, and the most significant function of human activity seems to be to acquire and transfer into the mind as much information as possible about our physical universe and the evolution of organic life.
Although the social (political and cultural) organizations inherited from the past still survive – sometimes hindering scientific research or attempting to exploit it for their own purposes – the technological application of acquired knowledge is radically changing the cultural framework worldwide: it is forming in fact an interconnected super-network within which information of all kinds, from the most stupid to the most important, rapidly circulates, and the legacies of the past can only delay the involvement of some human communities in this process, but not avoid it. Through knowledge, the mental process is progressively affirming itself, freeing from its dependence on the natural creative process. On the whole, the living conditions offered by a technologically advanced society are in fact more attractive than those of a simpler society, even if in the latter people could live happier: in fact, technologically advanced societies can support, to equal resources on a certain territory, a much greater number of individuals than more primitive societies, and those who have been raised, conditioned and programmed in a technologically advanced society, then find it difficult to adapt to a more natural life and its risks.
One of the most important knowledge of scientific research is given by the study of the complex functioning mechanisms of microbiological organisms, true self-sufficient living systems that often have developed exceptional defense resources against adverse environmental conditions: the understanding of life has moved from the macroscopic level to the microscopic one, with respect to which multicellular organisms represent a relatively recent and surprising evolutionary stage, given that – as I have already said – unicellular organisms had been the only living forms present in terrestrial waters for two billion years. From just over a billion years ago, some eukaryotic cells began to aggregate into colonies of undifferentiated individuals, all capable of performing the same functions. About 700 million years ago began the evolutionary process whereby groups of cells within the colonies differentiated and specialized to perform certain functions, giving rise to the first multicellular living beings (animals and plants) with organs. From that time on, the development of multicellular organisms has continued, producing increasingly complex individuals, made up of societies of several billions of highly specialized cells, which continuously work and collaborate to allow the survival and well-being of the organism of which they are part. Each body of an evolved animal or plant therefore represents the synthesis and product of billions of years of evolution.
However, from the point of view of complexity, there are no substantial differences between the organism of a sheep or a dog and that of a man. Depending on the development of the central nervous system, each animal is equipped with particular programs to control its own behavior as an individual, even without being aware of the complexity of its organization and its functioning as a highly evolved cellular society. For a long time, human beings also functioned in this way, and still today a large part of humanity continues to live ignoring almost all of the evolutionary complexity of the body. To represent this state of affairs, we humans say that the functioning of our body is largely unconscious, as the conscious Ego does not experience it directly nor can direct it at will. But the human mind cannot limit to identifying itself with the biological destiny of the body to which it is connected (and of which it can also feel captive), as if it were just an animal: mental life, as well as biological life, has its own evolutionary reality – which goes beyond the life span of each human being – and is able to transform the world by opposing, in many respects, nature itself.
Through the development of the brain, humans have become the site of confrontation – and not infrequently of conflict – between forces of different nature: the different aspects of this confrontation prevail in one individual or another, determining both the behavior of each human being, and the perception of the psychic events that each of us experiences. In its effort to know the mechanisms underlying the origin and evolution of life, the mind tries to understand the laws of nature, that also affect the functioning of the human body, which in many ways escapes the knowledge and control of the conscious Ego. Furthermore, considering the ways in which it has developed, and still elaborates, the programs according to which human societies work – and in particular the current complex societies, made up of many millions of people – the mind questions and reflects on its very functioning within the environmental and organic reality of this world, and on the objectives that are proper to it, and that do not seem to coincide with those of nature (assuming that nature has a purpose that is not only the implementation of its own creative potential).
In comparison with the times required by natural evolutionary processes, the transformations induced by human mind are extremely rapid: in a few centuries much of the Earth's surface has been anthropized, and the environmental transformations produced by our mind's creative activities under everybody's eyes. Moreover, the constant increase in the human population of the last 150 years causes an ever-increasing demand for natural resources to be transformed by consuming energy, and the waste materials of these transformations must be stored somewhere, often with detrimental effects for the quality of the environment. On the other hand, I do not think that it can be claimed that human mind has had – at least to this day – success in its intent to establish harmony and concord within human societies, or in relationship between different societies: there is still a long way to go, given that forms of egoism, abuse of power and violence (probably inherited from our animal origin) are still widespread, and the balance between the human mass, natural resources and climatic and environmental variations has yet to be achieved.
The fact is that both nature and the human mind often proceed by trial and error. Only recently has the mind developed an intelligent programming method for creative, operational and organizational projects, through which real results should conform to the expected ones. But often even these programs collide with the inevitable variables presented by the same humans responsible for their implementation. Man-made machines are often more reliable than humans who use them, who, for one reason or another, consciously or not, can make mistakes. In the passage from intentions to facts, mental programs show their limits especially in the social organization, both from a political and religious point of view, given the tendency of humans to be enchanted by the ideas proposed by the charisma of the moment leader, to then suffer the disappointments resulting from their practical application. Even the historical memory of past mistakes is weak. The fragmentation of the mind into millions and millions of nuclei of individual psychic attunements, not infrequently in conflict with each other, hinders the consolidation of harmonized and coherent forms of feeling, instead stimulating the factional conflicts: that this happens in relations between states, in political struggles within a society, or in religious wars, the results are anyway harmful. But this is the current state of the art as regards the organizational skills of the human mind in the social context.
Although the impact on our psychic activity of the natural origin of our body is still very strong, several manifestations of the human mind are characterized by empathy, the desire to improve the living conditions of others, the feeling of justice and attention for the individual destiny of each person, which we would like to free from his/her dependence on the environmental conditions in which she/he was raised, and even from the congenital malformations and acquired diseases of his/her organism. Of all these aspects, nature shows that it does not care in the least. It therefore seems that human mind is, at least in part, the manifestation of a creative process that presents substantial differences compared to natural creativity, differences that are well summarized and expressed by the word humaneness. It can of course be objected that many mental activities have as their purpose the development of weapons, the creation of organizations for the exploitation of human resources, or simply criminal activities of all kinds: in all these cases, however, the mind puts its own creative and organizational abilities at the service of self-affirmation, abusing and power instances, already present in the animal world, which – amplified and brought to extreme consequences by human mental activity – in some cases can make us regret, so to speak, nature's naivety.
In summary, the human mind, making use of its cognitive and interpretative faculties at the best possible level, must recognize that humanity, as a whole, is still today mainly influenced by conflicting psychic dynamics, largely determined by the gap between the natural origin of the human body – as such subject to all the risks that nature entails for individual life – and mental aspiration for a more harmonious life experience, less subject to physical and mental sufferings. In fact, it is precisely because of the subjugation of the conscious Ego to bodily life that the Ego can be involved and ensnared in suffering, a condition to which it rebels up to prefer, in certain conditions, to put an end to the experience of its own life. It is possible and desirable that over time this conflictual state inherent in the human condition may attenuate, and even resolve itself, as the human mind acquires new elements of knowledge and the ability to successfully control psychic dynamics: a minimal part of humanity has already reached this condition, which however represents a precarious state of equilibrium precisely because it is immersed in a widespread conflict that can always determine critical conditions. Looking carefully and with detachment at the evolution of the human condition, it must be recognized that it will still take centuries, and probably millennia, for this harmonization process to be achieved.