The Anthropological Timeline gives a scientific, objectively researched timeline of the ever-increasing pace of life – showing the velocity of change and development – throughout our earth's history ... And then there was man.

The following is a summary of The Amazing Development of Focusing and Beliefs and Their Confirmation.

The Amazing Development of Focusing

Focusing with our senses and our thoughts is how humans survived.

We could select ideas and we could remember, i.e. we could focus on memories, repeat things and learn. And as we associated selected ideas, we became clever and creative.

Humans processed, collected, and communicated ideas quickly, and we soon learnt to repeat an extraordinary amount of tricks, from chipping the first flint tools, to making fire, and then wheels.

We focus on what we want. This is natural and intelligent. Wanting always results in repetitions, either an idea will repeat in our memory, or there will be an actual repetition in practical life. We always want to repeat previous pleasures. And all this is natural and sensible.

And as we repeated all the things we wanted, life slowly became more pleasurable and secure. But this inevitably led us to an ever-increasing multiplicity of things we want, with more things to focus on and think about. So in modern times we value an early training of concentrated focusing on drawing, reading, and writing, and then later studying specialised subjects.

The habitual ruts which gave us security and pleasure became self-perpetuating feedback loops. And gradually they multiplied, and the velocity of life increased. Because very sensibly and naturally we repeated the things we wanted, and that means focusing on them, living with a sense of purpose.

Beliefs and Their Confirmation
And when humans developed beliefs with Gods and ideologies, they gave our lives meaning, and became the central priority for our sense of reality, identity, purpose, and even hope. They became our central focus points in life.

And it really didn't matter much what we believed in, as long as everyone in our social group unquestioningly believed in the same thing. Like most other animals, our survival depended on the unquestioned feeling of belonging in a group. And for humans this meant the mutual confirmation of the ideas and beliefs of our tribe. And the mutual confirmation of the tribe was always far more important than the truth.

We don't need to prove that honey tastes good, and we don't need anyone else's opinion about if fire is hot. But in our abstract world, the only way to confirm thoughts is with another being who understands such abstract thoughts. Abstract beliefs are dependent on mutual confirmation.

And, over the last few centuries, as modern man explored his abilities with abstract thought, we started questioning our beliefs. With the result that we have now lost the automatic mutual confirmation of our social group.

The mutual confirmation of our tribe has disintegrated, and with the modern multiplicity of beliefs, there simply isn't enough mutual confirmation to go around, and there never can be. Our modern fight for survival has continued, in the abstract dimension of beliefs, ideas, and opinions.

Beliefs used to unite local cultures; now, in our global world, they divide. Respect for someone else's beliefs, even rejoicing in the variety of modern beliefs, is only a shadow of the mutual, united, unquestioned confirmation of a group.

So, regardless our modern material security, we feel psychologically insecure. Perhaps we cope admirably, but all the time, we are coping against a form of insecurity which no other animal or pre-modern human has ever experienced or even imagined.

After an astounding million-year-long history of focusing with our thoughts and senses for our survival, our strategy has now led us to a critical point. Our human survival strategy has become self destructive.

We are collectively suffering the effects of Displacement Activity. The illness animals suffer when they feel insecure, and compensate with habitual but inappropriate, sometimes self-destructive activities. And we are overcompensating with the only thing we know, our species' tried and tested survival strategy, our human habitual rut – focusing with our senses and our minds. We are overfocusing.

Please continue with Displacement Activity