Sunflowers are pretty cool.
They turn where they face during the day, to maximize their sunlight.
Whenever something does anything that resembles anything that us humans do, we anthropomorphize that.
We describe it as if they have the same intentions we humans do.
You might have even explained the sunflower phenomenon to a child.
You could say something like, “Well, these flowers have evolved and automatic strategy which maximizes it’s exposure to sunlight.”
But a kid would say, “um, what?”
Instead we say things like, “They like facing the sun. The sun feels good.”
And the little kid would turn toward the sun, close their eyes, feel the warmth and understand.
Much of our human mythology is made up from anthropomorphized natural phenomenon.
Stars, thunder, oceans.
Watch any TV show or movie about Vikings and thunder is Thor, who is upset for some reason.
We humans tend to do that a lot.
We watch stuff happen, and then make up a story about why it’s happening.
This happens on a much deeper level than most people realize.
Some studies show that as little as 5% of all human behavior is a RESULT of conscious thinking.
Most of the time, we are reacting, and then making up a story AFTER the fact.
Which kind of makes sense, from an evolutionary standpoint.
It wasn’t that long ago that we were very primitive primates incapable of speech.
So it makes sense in our “young age” we are still getting the hang of this “conscious mind” thing.
If you watch those Viking shows, and see those guys praying to Thor or all the other gods, it can look pretty silly.
I mean, the thunder is easily explained by science.
And to us, it seems like those “primitive” people are praying to a god that doesn’t exist.
But often times, we do the same thing.
We PRETEND we are totally in charge, when we may be just watching.
This is kind of scary to think about.
But can you decide not to be hungry?
Can you decide NOT to be afraid?
Can you talk yourself into feeling alert when you are sleepy?
We can run into problems when we OVERESTIMATE the power of our conscious minds.
If we consider that our conscious minds may be (at least some of the time) after-the-fact storytelling devices, are we that different from Vikings praying to Thor, the god of thunder?
Perhaps we may do better to learn to TRUST our unconscious, instead of trying to be control freaks.