The strengthening of across-group marital-family bonds has exerted a relentless “ground-level” cohesive force that has resulted in the capacity to cohabitate in ever larger groups-of-groups—which is our species root adaptive advantage, upon which all our cognitive and cultural achievements rest.
My basic clinical observation is that at the heart of mental illness is the pathological hyperactivity of the painful social emotions and that the inability to experience pleasure is secondary and reactive.
Pope John Paul II issued and Encyclical that stated that the Holy Spirit has been a force in human evolution.
George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life has never felt that his altruistic, group-oriented behavior is really part of “him” (he’s the one who feels trapped and wants the bigger life); and the revelation that he has been existing in this other spiritual, old-mind realm all along is a wondrous surprise to him—so much so that he now doesn’t care whether he goes to jail or not!
You can quibble around the edges about his analysis (and painfully trite take on religion), but I think he is generally right just as I have been claiming in this blog: over the long haul, human history has been in the direction of greater justice accompanied by prosperity—resulting from the progressive coordination of our increasingly divided labor.
Ben Carson can be understood as an archetype of our “old-mind” in which dominance and submission in apes evolved into obedience to the sacred authority of justice that has sustained our bounty and fertility. When our own species arose 200,000 years ago, superimposed upon our six million year evolution since apes, we evolved the passionate desire to attain social admiration, traditionally known as vanity. No one—no one—is going to make the claim that Trump is not vain.