Humans are descended from hominine ancestors who lived almost three million years ago. Those monkey-like animals began to act, speak, and think differently, like a new species. This is a story of how the hands were able to transform them from animals to humans.
We will see how humanity emerged from their experience building primitive tools. What happened between the hands, also happened between the two right and left parts of the brain. By collaborating on the same task, they communicated in a kind of dialogue in which each contributed a different experience, inherited from a long time ago. Those experiences then incipient, are still active today, as a pragnanz by the left hand and determination by the right.
Pragnance presents possibilities in every situation. And thus it offers the sense of the situation and existence here and now, from the unconscious to human consciousness. In this way she was also able to find the meaning of messages in all languages, especially those of art, as an essential part of human creativity in different forms. That is why the pragnanz (completed with the determination) gave rise to the works art that appeared towards the end of the stone age.
Determination (aided by pragnanz) built tools, extracting the being hidden in the stones, to make them sharp. With time, she came to produce words, extracting the hidden meaning in objects and events, which they communicated to other members of the group. And with much more time, she came to interpret the logic that governs the most visible part of the material and social world.
In the other, more hidden or contradictory part of reality – when logic collides with paradoxes, determination goes mad between being and non-being. Actually, nobody’s perfect. But, even in such cases, we are left with the pragnanz, which can cope with everything it finds; because, for her, there are no limits.
In short, the combined capacity for pragnanz and determination made us human and maintains us as such… as long as the two collaborate with each other. Their collaboration manifests itself in the human brain, mind, culture, and spirit.
But when they do not collaborate, when they surpass one another, repress it or ignore it, catastrophe ensues. Will we be poorly designed? Of course we are: we are the result of DIY; built with pieces discarded earlier in life on this planet. We are a being-to-become: not yet completed…
To complete it, we are left with the human essence that we have inherited: the highest level, spiritually, of pregnanz and determination. This is: our freedom and responsibility, which humans have been developing as a frame for dialogue between pregnancy and determination. Because in that frame (or context) we have not been alone: another dialogue was added to make our humanization process even more complex, the individual/group relationship. Because the extraction (determined, but subjective) of the being hidden in the stones, had to be shared for the survival of the group, or for their enjoyment, or for their destruction. And it is in this continuous process of creation, in its social confrontation, where human freedom and responsibility acquire their meaning.
This introduction has been updated on June 28: Global Pride Day of being human in the best way.
From here, this story unfolds in 32 essential chapters.
Our ability to feel in the womb the movement of the nascent being.
…the hands began to build the human being.
The left hand was humanized making it easier to sense what was hidden while building a tool.
The right hand rationalized itself, by determining the possibilities presented by the left hand.
The individual intelligence was deployed pushed by the social intelligence of the first humans.
Females and males became even more differentiated in humanization.
The forced separation between female gatherers and male hunters, made them find a new way of relating: storytelling.
The shared stories facilitated the reunion with the absent being and his persistence in the memory, beyond his material existence.
Between nothingness and being, the object separated from the subject and the subject of the object. But soon they would meet again.
The experience in building tools opened the door to human reason. But in social relationships, reason is easily lost.
Before the articulated language, they played incipient forms of artistic languages.
All the arts are used to tell stories. Always surprising in different ways.
The hominins articulated phonemes in something similar to our words. When a current child in his second year of life plays constructions, he is reconstructing thought and articulated language.
For more than a million years they lived in the least possible relationship with the daughters of the sun. Because they knew by experience their ferocity. Until one night they began to understand each other.
The sense of transcendence marks the beginning of the spiritual dimension of the human being.
Burying the best here, it will grow again.
Social inequality was and still is business of men
The story of humanity began to be told and almost everything was a lie.
Agriculture was going to upset the cognitive capacity of humans for good and bad.
These women were the exception to male dominion in religions. They knew about the paradoxes of the future, something that men forget.
Philosophy was born in Greece in two divergent ways, by the left and the right: the mortal and the immortal. Logically, the second quickly crushed the first.
Europe, unified culturally and politically by the Roman Empire, came to have a unique God throughout the fourth century. But still, the Empire ran out of time.
The Greek civilization was not completely lost, thanks to the fact that the Arabs prevented some books from being burned by Christian fanatics. But soon there were Islamist fanatics willing to burn the few that remained.
Going from hunting human beings, to being equal before the law. That was a change that would bring good consequences.
Between an almost universal illiteracy and the iron control of the theologians, artists made their way. Your trick: Not using words.
In the Italian Renaissance, artists managed to slip through censorship; but the scientists had it more difficult.
Darwin discovered the trick of Nature: bet on all the possibilities and then, eliminate the tickets that have not been successful. So, Nature always wins; and life makes its way.
Neurosciences study the mind as a result of brain activity.
Humans continue to believe in many things, especially those that give us a false sense of security.
When the wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger.
What the Angel Novus can not see, but we can.
Thus ends, for the moment, the essay Hands made us Humans. It is also published in Spanish: Las manos nos humanizaron.