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Cognitive Revolution (1) Existential Questions



Existential Questions...


  1. Who are we?

  2. What makes us so special?

  3. Are we special...as a species?

  4. How did we become conscious?

  5. Are we conscious...or do we just like to be believe we are?

  6. Why don't other animals imagine new ways of doing things?

  7. Why do humans believe in so many different Gods?

  8. Why don't other animals wear clothes, create tools, or bury their dead?

  9. Why do we fear death and think about the meaning of life?

  10. Why did humans take over the earth?


These questions are what you might call existential ...


An existential question is a deep, philosophical question concerning the nature of existence. Perhaps the most cliche existential question is, “What is the meaning of life?" Humans didn't always ask such questions. We only started about 70,000 years ago in what historians and psychologists call the Cognitive Revolution.

Imagination Thought Experiment

Homo sapiens were not the only human species on earth 70,000 years ago. But we were the first and only species to develop the ability to image things that didn't exist. You have this ability. Everyone does, even if we choose not to use it. Go ahead and see for yourself! Here is one way how... Close your eyes and image that your conscious mind is looking down on you from behind your head...just staring at the back of your head as you stare at your computer or phone reading this sentence.

There ... you did it ... and confirmed your ability to image something that didn't exist. You exist, but the perspective of you from behind was something you had to imagine. You might remember what the back of your head looks like. You might remember what your room looks like. But you still had to piece together these bits of data into an image that you did not exist until you constructed in your minds eye. This ability might seem trivial to you, but understanding your ability to image is the key to understanding life's most existential questions, and unlocking your potential. -- Stay tuned for more essay's on the Cognitive Revolution!

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