Thought Question:

Why are dogs excited to eat the same meal every day, whereas Humans are not?

The answer to this seemingly harmless question may seem obvious but I assure you that there is a lineage of psychological reasoning that must be followed to determine the truth.

This question may appear surface-level but essentially attacks the foundation on what it really means to be “human” in the first place. It is said that humans are endowed with the most effective of all evolutionary traits that have yet to exist, that is the ability to reason.

Many animals have been studied to become self-aware, for example, it has been shown that dogs can recognize their own scent and therefore have become, self-aware through their memory of personal characteristics.

We all know the famous quote by Descartes, “I think, therefore I am.” Which explains the very nature by which self-awareness exists. However, don’t confuse self-awareness with the idea that any specific thing exists.

We Know Nothing and of the Properties of Nothing

The fact that anything at all can be experienced means that something exists, but it can never be determined with 100% certainty what does and doesn’t. Take the matrix for example, how can we be sure we are not simply a multitude of batteries to fuel the alien takeover while living in a simulation of everyday life? How can we even be sure others exist around us, and it is not our own simulated experiences that are fed to us through our own senses and channels of thought and emotion?

Most radically, perhaps, is the idea that we (or you, I should say) is merely a cosmic array of dust and various elements somewhere in the vast expanse of the universe that has, under perfect conditions, arranged in a way to produce the entire sensation of this thing called life, for only an average of 71 years (globally).

Wait…

Is that not exactly what happened, coined by our own scientific theories and possible explanations? It is.

The point is this, act with humility in this race of life, you (and I) don’t really know anything. We only perceive everything.

What makes Humans Different?

Humans are special only in the way that we can perceive the world around us and form thoughts based on what we choose to. That is reasoning. By way of it, my little wiener dog (named Spud, by the way), cannot reason by our own measures. He has no deductive logic or ability to determine if there is a likelihood that I will ever feed him again. Therefore, he resorts to basic survival instinct, which is to eat any and all he can, to ensure the survival of his species.

Humans can assess likelihood by having thoughts about our thoughts. That is why we disgust in eating the same meal continuously. We know we have options.

But wait, …reasoning…

Reasoning, by this logic, is therefore at the forefront of why we don’t live happy lives. It is commonly known that intelligent creatures are more prone to depression and mental illness. Why? Perhaps it is because we have the reasoning to recognize possibilities based on experience, in other words, what we believe things should be.

Beware the “Should

If we were all as grateful for the same meal as our pets are, I’m sure there would be far less torment in the world. Changing the nature of your thought patterns can make this happen.

Think about it…

Intelligent people often recognize the realities of the world, this does not mean that if you are happy you are unintelligent, rather that you have found something that has made the injustices and want and greed and all that becomes so abundantly clear with reasoning, worth the trouble.

You have found your reason for being. Most people don’t recognize it, especially not early on, but everyone has a passion for life. Consider that thought?

Whether you have found yours or not, don’t stop searching. Eventually, you will find it. In fact, there are tools I discuss in posts (The “Own It” Principle) that will explain these things to you, and how to find/act on them.

If you’re reading this, look forward to your actualized self!

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-Austin Denison