Human Instinct

I am developing an article on the contents of the subconscious mind.  I think it’s best to think of those contents as “knowledge” or “information,” but one way of looking at it is, that at least a portion of the subconscious brain-mind provides for instinctive behavior.

Instinct doesn’t play much of a role in human behavior on a day-to-day basis.  Cats and dogs are pretty much born knowing how to be cats and dogs.  Humans have to learn everything.  We even have to learn how to have sex.  In class.  In school, for Pete’s sake. (No! It’s not a good idea to have sex in class.  But they do teach classes on how to have sex.  Whether or not useful teaching is occurring is another matter, because the topic is a bit more complicated than “insert tab A into slot B.”)

To start, I’m trying to come up with a list of human instinctual behaviors.  For now we will leave out concepts — things like universal or personal symbols.  Here’s what I have so far.  Comments appreciated.


  • FnF (fighting and -erm- having sex)
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Coupling (I don’t use the term “love” because that word has too many meanings.)
  • Spirituality (search for meaning, communion with higher power)
  • Art (music, visual arts, story-telling)

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