What is human?

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious.

We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

--Douglas Adams

What is human?

Humans spend an awful lot of energy trying to make their lives fit images (expectations) of what life is or should be.

Always turn the embroidery around and look at the underside but don't get caught doing it. That is what one does on the side, in secret. Because otherwise you play the game that everyone is as it's supposed to be on the front, but that makes you humorous and that makes you human.

--Alan Watts

What is human?

Human beings walk toward, but run away.

--David Rock

What is human?

Human is a possibility to be.

Human is a truth seeker. Human is to long for the highest.

Human is to want to be something more, to expand, to long for limitless, to be boundless in some sense. The nature of a being human is: the moment you become consience of a boundary you want to break that boundary.

The moment we deprive our selves of something, slowly it will becomes the highest value in our life.

Science is the fundamental need in human beeing wanting to know, it's the nature of human intelligence. It's the nature of human beeing, if he sees something new, he want's to know what this is.

Whatever the humans don't have, that is what they'll seek.

Humans always want to be something more, when it happens they want to be something more.

Humans have the freedom to become what ever they want.

Humans are seeking for expansion all the time, they are looking to have a larger slice of life then they have at a time.

There is something in humans that can not stand boundaries. The moment they feel boundary, they want to break free and become boundless, become non-physical, become spiritual.

Humans is the ability to mold any situation the way he wants it.

Good/bad all in your head, all these judgements are essentially human and socially conditioned. In every society they have their own idea of good and bad.

There are two dimensions of your intelligence - one is designed to create self-preservation, one dimension of the intelligence is designed to make you expand once you have come as a human being. This is your issue fundamentally. Whoever you are whatever you are right now in your life you want to be something more. If that something more happens you want to be something more. If that's something more happens you want to be something more..... This is the nature of being human there is one dimension which always wants to expand another dimension which always wants to build walls. You build a wall you feel safe, after two days you feel you understand the walls of self-preservation are also the walls of self imprisonment, you want to break it, you break it and you put a new wall there and you think this is great this is freedom. After some time you feel that's not it and you want to expand it. These two dimensions are not opposing each other, they are not diametrically opposite to each other they are complementary.

--Sadhguru

What is human?

Human is to need each other. The more safety networks and more independence our society is going to build in, the less friendship and less love is is going to spark out. We'll be safe and independent, but become mechanical and robotic at the same time. Men, women, kids and neighbours used to need each other.

--unknown source

What is human?

Human is to synchronize with peers. If unable or unwilling, the troubles creeps in.

Humans prove them selves by belonging.

--unknown source

What is human?

I'm tired of this back-slappin' "isn't humanity neat" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes.

--Bill Hicks

What is human?

Human is to inject and feed fake reality, things as if they would have had really happen, into their unconscious system to train it, feel according to it and automatically react uppon it.

--unknown source

What is human?

However, man differs from the animal by the fact that he is a killer; he is the only primate that kills and tortures members of his own species without any reason, either biological or economic, and who feels satisfaction in doing so.

The human passions transform man from a mere thing into a hero, into a being that in spite of tremendous handicaps tries to make sense of life. He wants to be his own creator, to transform his state of being unfinished into one with some goal and some purpose, allowing him to achieve some degree of integration. Man's passions are not banal psychological complexes that can be adequately explained as caused by childhood traumata. They can be understood only if one goes beyond the realm of reductionist psychology and recognizes them for what they are; man's attempt to make sense out of life and to experience the optimum of intensity and strength he can (or believes he can) achieve under the given circumstances.

But even though the life-furthering passions are conductive to a greater sense of strength, joy, integration, and vitality than destructiveness and cruelty, the latter are as much an answer to the problem of human existence as the former. Even the most sadistic and destructive man is human, as human as the saint. He can be called a warped and sick man who has failed to achieve a better answer to the challenge of having been born human, and this is true; he can also be called a man who took the wrong way in searching of his salvation. These considerations by no means imply, however, that destructiveness and cruelty are not vicious; they only imply that vice is human. They are indeed destructive of life, of body and spirit, destructive not only of the victim but of the destroyer himself. They constitute a paradox: they express life turning against itself in the striving to make sense of it.

The deep need of man not to feel lost and lonely in the world had, of course, been previously satisfied by the concept of a God who had created this world and was concerned with each and every creature.

The data of the neurosciences which I have discussed have helped to establish the concept of one kind of aggression - life-preserving, biologically adaptive, defensive aggression. They have been useful for the purpose of showing that man is endowed with a potential aggression which is, mobilized by threats to his vital interests. None of these neurophysiological data, however, deal with that for of aggression which is characteristic of man and which he does not share with other mammals: his propensity to kill and to torture without any "reason," but as a goal in itself, a goal not pursued for the sake of defending life, but desirable and pleasureful in itself. … Man is the only mammal who is a large-scale killer and sadist.

--Erich Fromm

What is human?

A personal bond, an individual friendship, is found only in animals with highly developed intra-specific aggression; in fact, this bond is the firmer, the more aggressive the particular animal and species is.

--K. Lorenz

What is human?

The human mind "first believes, then evaluates," as one psychologist put it. To that I’d add, "as long as it doesn't get distracted first."

--Ryan Holiday

What is human?

The power of imagination makes us infinite.

--John Muir

What is human?

Where land meets water. Where earth meets air. Where body meets mind. Where space meets time. We like to be on one side, and look at the other.

--hhgttg

What is human?

We all know right from wrong. It's what defines our humanity. Acting on that knowledge affirms our faith in the idea that what we do in this life matters.

--Robert Lawrence Smith

What is human?

In contrast, it is the prerogative as well as the burden of human beings to be able to exert choice, to have to make decisions.

In moving toward people the person tries to create for himself a friendly relation to his world. In moving against people he equips himself for survival in a competitive society. In moving away from people he hopes to attain a certain integrity and serenity. As a matter of fact, all three attitudes are not only desirable but necessary to our development as human beings.

Sincerity, that is, not-deceiving, means "putting forth one's whole being," technically known as "the whole being in action" … in which nothing is kept in reserve, nothing is expressed under disguise, nothing goes to waste. When a person lives like this, he is said to be a golden-haired lion; he is the symbol of virility, sincerity, wholeheartedness; he is divinely human.

Human beings can apparently endure an amazing amount of misery as long as there is hope;

--Karen Horney

What is human?

The feeling that someone else is more intelligent than we are is almost intolerable.

It is an obvious law of human nature that we will flee what is unpleasant and distasteful, while charm and the promise of delight will draw us like moths to a flame.

For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities.

--Robert Greene

What is human?

Man is gifted with reason; he is life being aware of itself; he has awareness of himself, of his fellow man, of his past, and of the possibilities of his future. This awareness of himself as a separate entity, the awareness of his own short life span, of the fact that without his will he is born and against his will he dies, that he will die before those whom he loves, or they before him, the awareness of his aloneness and separateness, of his helplessness before the forces of nature and of society, all this makes his separate, disunited existence an unbearable prison. He would become insane could he not liberate from this prison and reach out, unite himself in some form or the other with men, with the world outside.

--Erich Fromm

What is human?

And we've got an inner self-conflict which animals don't have. And we're always condemning ourselves and making ourselves feel guilty.

I press a button and you're up; I press another button and you're down. And you like that. How many people do you know who are unaffected by praise or blame? That isn't human, we say. Human means that you have to be a little monkey, so everyone can twist your tail, and you do whatever you ought to be doing. But is that human?

If you ever let yourself feel good when people tell you that you're O.K., you are preparing yourself to feel bad when they tell you you're not good. As long as you live to fulfill other people's expectations, you better watch what you wear, how you comb your hair, whether your shoes are polished - in short, whether you live up to every damned expectation of theirs. Do you call that human?

It's like when you throw black paint in the air; the air remains uncontaminated. You never color the air black. No matter what happens to you, you remain uncontaminated. You remain in peace. There are human beings who have attained this, what I call human. Not this nonsense of being a puppet, jerked about this way and that way, letting events or other people tell you how to feel.

--Anthony de Mello

What is human?

Because, in the evolution from animal life to human life, along with the gain in knowledge and awareness, we have gained also the ability to deceive ourselves. We arrange not to know our nature, not to see what we are up to. Our self-deceptions are so dense, piled on so thick, like layers of paint on a canvas already painted, laid on from school and pulpit and lectures and TV and Internet, that it is all but impossible to break through, to get a clear view of what we really are.

We are in fact largely the opposite of what we think we are.

To be human is to be false.

In animals, fear is episodic; in humans, because of their enlarged consciousness, fear is constant. Even in our pleasures, our triumphs, fear is a lurking presence. We are never safe. We live in vivid awareness of dangers not present but remembered or anticipated - drought and famine and predators, pain and pestilence and war. And something new; the awareness that we will die.

Animals live within the limits of their lives as biologically given, within circumstances that are environmentally given. There is no separation of self from environment, therefore no sense of self. There is no knowledge of death, no watching of one's actual condition, hence no need to transcend that condition. Needs are immediate; when they are met the animal is content. There are no transcendent needs.

--Allen Wheelis

What is human?

--unknown source

What is human?

Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's places.

--J.K. Rowling

What is human?

Whether expressed or implicit, this is an intrinsically human question. Challenging the meaning of life can therefore never be taken as a manifestation of morbidity or abnormality; it is rather the truest expression of the state being human, the mark of the most human nature in man.

I would venture to say that humor also deserves to be mentioned among the basic human capacities. After all, no animal is able to laugh.

--Viktor E. Frank

What is human?

We humans have not one but two hereditary systems - one chemical and one cultural. The chemical system is based on strands of DNA molecules and other components of our cells; it determines what we can be. The cultural system consists of the dialogue between generations; it determines what we then become. Our chemical system barely sets us apart from animals, but our cultural system has no equal in nature.

I am a late scion within this aristocratic lineage of highly organized matter. This lineage is over 3.5 billion years old - plenty of reason to be proud of it.

Today, I consist of about ten trillion human cells and about ten to twenty times as many bacterial cells. Are these bacteria part of me - or only parasites? Where does my self end?

Bacteria read their genomes; we interpret ours. We are like musicians in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, who could make any given basso continuo sound quite different by approaching it in a different way.

--Gottfried Schatz

What is human?

Early man is, like everything else, an evolved creature and he finds himself in a world that he's begun to take a little charge of; he's begun to be a tool-maker, a changer of his environment with the tools that he's made and he makes tools, when he does, in order to make changes in his environment. To give an example of the way man operates compared to other animals, consider speciation, which, as we know, tends to occur when a small group of animals gets separated from the rest of the herd by some geological upheaval, population pressure, food shortage or whatever and finds itself in a new environment with maybe something different going on. Take a very simple example; maybe a bunch of animals suddenly finds itself in a place where the weather is rather colder. We know that in a few generations those genes which favour a thicker coat will have come to the fore and we'll come and we'll find that the animals have now got thicker coats. Early man, who's a tool maker, doesn't have to do this: he can inhabit an extraordinarily wide range of habitats on earth, from tundra to the Gobi Desert - he even manages to live in New York for heaven's sake - and the reason is that when he arrives in a new environment he doesn't have to wait for several generations; if he arrives in a colder environment and sees an animal that has those genes which favour a thicker coat, he says "I'll have it off him". Tools have enabled us to think intentionally, to make things and to do things to create a world that fits us better.

--Douglas Adams

What is human?

Hartung writes that only in humans does the self have 'social interaction with itself, controlling information transfer between the conscious and subconscious in order to manipulate its own behavior, ...' and Fingarette identifies 'man's enormous capacity for self-deception' as one of the most salient human characteristics.

Durandin comments that 'lies of justification' in particular take the form of an inner dialogue. We can make excuses for ourselves to ourselves; we also sometimes have to make excuses for ourselves to others.

--Hartung

What is human?

This ability to apprehend what seems to be going through someone else's mind is one of our most invaluable human skills.

We are all mindreaders.

--Daniel Goleman

What is human?

Understanding feelings, talking about feelings, managing feelings - these are among the greatest challenges of being human. There is nothing that will make dealing with feelings easy and risk-free.

The phenomenon of an internal voice and the three conversations within it [The "What Happened?" Conversation, The Feelings Conversation, The Identity Conversation] seems to be a universal and fundamental aspect of being human. What does differ across cultures is whether, when, and how the internal voice is expressed.

--Douglas Stone + Bruce Patton + Sheila Heen

What is human?

Perhaps the most puzzling feature in man is his capacity for sacrificing himself for objects he is unconscious of.

--A. S. Neill

What is human?

What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.

--Warren Buffett

What is human?

But one thing about human beings puzzles me the most is their conscious effort to be connected with the object of their affection even if it kills them slowly within.

--Sigmund Freud

What is human?

We human beings have an inherent and deeply rooted desire to be: to express our faculties, to be active, to be related to others, to escape the prison cell of selfishness.

The human desire to experience union with others is rooted in the specific conditions of existence that characterize the human species and is one of the strongest motivations of human behavior.

It is also the main cause of the need to adapt; human being are more afraid of being outcasts than even of dying.

Lacking the capacity to act by the command of instincts while possessing the capacity for self-awareness, reason, and imagination - new qualities that go beyond the capacity for instrumental thinking of even the cleverest primates - the human species needed a frame of orientation and an object of devotion in order to survive.

But map is not enough as a guide for action; we also need a goal that tells us where to go. Animals have no such problems. Their instinct provide them with a map as well as with goals. But lacking instinctive determination and having brain that permits us to think of many directions in which we can go, we need an object of total devotion, a focal proclaimed - values. We need such an object of devotion in order to integrate our energies in one direction, to transcend our isolated existence, with all its doubts and insecurities, and to answer our need to a meaning to life.

--Erich Fromm

What is human?

What is this peculiar capacity of immediately knowing what is right and what is wrong? That has nothing to do with the logical thinking within society and the classification of things on which the whole of science is build. It is an entirely different capacity and you all know that there is a thing like that. So a symptom of this self -- I'll give you a few symptoms -- a symptom of this self is that you know that that girl is your wife. But if somebody would ask you, how do you know -- you don't know. Isn't that a peculiar thing, this capacity of looking over space and time? You all know that it exists. Another symptom is what we call a bad conscience -- what's a bad conscience? You all know what is a bad conscience. Now a peculiar thing wit a bad conscience is that you think everybody knows that you have done that evil thing. Nobody was there - then you go out in the street like that -- you know and have the uncomfortable feeling that everybody knows -- that's a bad conscience. How can you have that feeling that everybody knows -- that again is that self. And the reason is the following -- it is the difference between what we call "me" and what we call "I." For example, when I say "I know me" what is it that I know? Well, I know me -- so, I know me. That's what I know, but what about the "I" who is doing the knowing? That, of course, I don't know, because I know the "me." How about the "I"? Now the peculiar thing with the intrinsic value of the human person is that we are all identical as selves -- I -- as you can very easily see. For example, somebody rings the bell at your house and you say, "who is there?" and the answer is, "I." Would you know who it is -- you know it is a human being -- a self-reflecting being who can say "I" and that is the definition of a human being -- that I can say I -- I am I -- that I am self-reflective. That table doesn't know he's a table -- it's a table. It's an "it" -- it doesn't know it's a table. If there were a table who could say, "I am a table," then it would be a human being.

--Robert S. Hartman

What is human?

There is another part just as compelling, one which is not rooted in bodily processes but in the very essence of the human mode and practice of life: the need to be related to the world outside oneself, the need to avoid aloneness. To feel completely alone and isolated leads to mental disintegration just as physical starvation leads to death. This relatedness to others is not identical with physical contact. An individual may be alone in a physical sense for many years and yet he may be related to ideas, values, or at least social patterns that give him a feeling of communion and "belonging." On the other hand, he may live among people and yet be overcome with an utter feeling of isolation, the outcome of which, if it transcends a certain limit, is the state of insanity which schizophrenic disturbances represent.

--Erich Fromm

What is human?

See also What is viral?

--unknown source