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What Makes Us Human? | The Rabbit Hole

What, if anything, sets human beings apart from other species? More and more research in anthropology, primatology, and zoology points to the fact that, biologically and even behaviorally speaking, there is very little that defines humanity.

Even empathy and altruism, characteristics formerly believed to be singularly human, are now known to manifest in many non-human species. In this week’s episode of “The Rabbit Hole” on The Chopra Well, Deepak Chopra explores this fascinating question about the uniqueness of the human species. Perhaps consciousness, alone, is not the answer to the riddle, but rather the remarkable way in which it functions in human beings.

As Deepak describes, consciousness sleeps in minerals, dreams in vegetables, wakes up in animals, and starts to become self-aware in humans. In word, action, and intention we have the limitless ability to reflect and consider chain reactions. Other barriers may otherwise inhibit us, but no one can curtail our inner freedom nor the self-awareness that generates infinite vision. When we ask ourselves questions like, “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” we turn the mirror back on ourselves and see all dimensions of our existence. We can play with new identities, experiment with different lifestyles, and experience the whole spectrum of sensations, while simultaneously knowing that identity and experience don’t constitute the Self. We are so much more than the sum of our parts, AND we have the ability to recognize this fact.

Now, of course we don’t know that other animals lack this trait (and even if they do, it doesn’t make us “superior,”) but you have to hand it to human beings for really making the most of our consciousness. Let’s be sure to live up to the name.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well and check out Deepak Chopra’s book, Spiritual Solutions!

Write Your Comment


CL Coaching - May 4, 2015
I love your wisdom. I could have sworn I hallucinated you when I was in the hospital. I think you were a janitor! Lol We all know your a famous doctor.
danielle stover - May 3, 2015
How do I subscribe to Chopra Well? Thanks.
Johanna Turitto - April 30, 2015
I Am Universe. May Humanity Break Free From Its Humanity. A Human And Being Human Is Matter. The Essential Is Spirit Bound For Timeless Flight In The Perfection Of Love. - VM Chan Velarde, From My Deepest Heart To Guru Deepak Chopra
VM Chan Velarde - April 28, 2015
Se supone que la capacidad de reflexionar y la capacidad de discernimiento nos hace humanos? No estoy segura, pero lo que si estoy convencida es que somos la especie que tiene mayor capacidad de destruir la naturaleza y a sí mismo. En estos momentos de crisis ambiental y de exacerbación de la violencia en el mundo es fundamental tomar conciencia de nuestra verdadera naturaleza como seres individuales y nuestro papel en construir un mundo mejor para todos!
Lilulí Millán - April 28, 2015
A conscious lifestyle isn't divided but integrated - you must embrace our
whole day in order to build a whole self. Routine is your psychological foe
and a drag on your brain. See it as such and become active about the
problem. One of the greatest hindrances in everyone's life is low
expectations, and nothing traps you in low expectations like dull routine.
By rising above routine, you can build a life that feels alert and alive at
every moment. The only tool for building such a life is self-awareness.
Lise Miley - January 23, 2015
We have been listening to Deepak chopra's babbling bullish for 30 some
years, and in my understanding he is still at the same first step level
when he had started his shenanigans. He needs to find a real master.
MYCOVEREDWAGON - April 30, 2014
I disagree with Deepak. I think animals have it figured out already. They know how to live in connection with the natural world. They need not question, they innately know. Imagine having THAT level of inner knowingness, that level of connection to the spirit of life. That`s far better than the trivial things that humans have to contend with on their way to enlightenment. Most humans are so far from that point and they are completely unaware of that fact; completely invested solely in themselves and cut off from the rest of existence as they selfishly tread on through life. Animals, in my modest opinion, are the superior souls.
LS - January 21, 2014