An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself.
As an introvert I wonder about the origins of introversion in the light of evolution. When did introversion emerge? One could argue that there are more and less social apes; more and less social insects for that matter, but introversion and extraversion are not measures of sociability (though their differences manifest socially). Introversion is best defined in opposition to extraversion; extraverts live primarily in the external world of actions and objects, while introverts live primarily in the internal world of thoughts and ideas.
I’d make the case that that introversion could not have preceded consciousness, that it arose only after humans developed a mind capable of introspection. Consciousness could itself be defined as the ability to distinguish between inner and outer existence – it’s only natural that once the division occurred, individuals would vary as to which mode was more comfortable. One cannot have introversion without consciousness, but one can have extraversion. I would go as far as to say that extraversion – dealing primarily with the physical world – is the default mode of action and experience for nearly all forms of life, from basic cellular forms all the way up to mammals and primates. Introversion is the exception, a mode that exists only in conscious lifeforms. This is not to say that introversion is more conscious, just that introversion cannot be unconscious, while extraversion can be.
I’m reminded of the tripartite mantra “I am the World. I am Brahman. Brahman is the World.” Extraversion is exemplified by the first stage; identification with the physical (outer). Introversion is exemplified by the second; identification with the spiritual (inner). Higher realization is attained by unifying both dimensions of existence; realizing they are not separate at all. Pre-conscious extraversion gives way to conscious extraversion and introversion, and both yield to a unifying post-consciousness.
Fatima – Innervision || 2011/Follow You