Unimportant Questions

What makes humans better than other animals? This is such a stupid question! Who are you asking? Humans. Who are you trying to convince? Humans. To whom does this even matter? Humans. Stop talking to yourselves, humans. Nobody else gives a hoot.

What’s so bad about rolling over in one’s grave? My wife came up with this one. So a corpse gets a little exercise. Big deal.

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3 thoughts on “Unimportant Questions

  1. How humans are different from other animals is an important question when answered within a framework of how humans deal with pain.

    It’s easy to recognize that terrible things happened to a dog or a cat in their infancy and early childhood. The painful events become imprinted in their brain memories. The beaten dog acts the same way when it’s old as it did as a puppy because the pain is still there.

    It’s less easy to recognize this in a human after they’re no longer a child. We have extra layers of brain function that repress the pain. So we don’t recognize, for example, how someone may want to get all sorts of substitutes for love such as social achievements up to and including becoming a president. It isn’t apparent that they’re still reacting to the imprinted childhood pain of a missing father who didn’t give them the love they needed as an infant.

    Humans also write books because of these additional brain functions. The extra layers make authors good at disguising the truth of their underlying condition. We react to the wounds without acknowledging their presence.

    I read fictional work after fictional work where the author is engaged in some type of symbolic fulfillment of their underlying need. It doesn’t address the author’s imprinted pain to grant the main character’s wish to find the perfect romantic partner, for example.

    I finished one book last night that was a big act out of the author’s underlying feeling that something was wrong with her, that she didn’t belong where she was. I couldn’t see that the act out of writing her novel was therapeutic for her. She probably still feels the same as her protagonist: unloved, out of place, and unwanted.

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