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Do our minds come to us factory installed? Do we have free will? Do we have a choice in the art we find beautiful, the homes and landscapes we choose to live in, do we decide who we will marry? Is man one hundred percent predetermined? Is everything we do depending on our genetics and is everything hereditary? I think that everything we sense has an aesthetic quality, whether we like it or not, and the aesthetic quality effects us whether we know it or not.

Why we choose our habitats today and why our ancestors did is connected. We prefer homes that will provide protection, status, we like trees, grassy yards, and water much like our ancestors did. We like our ancestors choose grassy wooded areas because of the resources and refuge it may provide. Certain landscapes turn us on or turn us off. Today we live in neighborhoods rather than the forest. Yet we still surround ourselves with manmade lakes and rivers, we put plants in our homes, we surround ourselves with things we would have gotten and needed from nature in the past. Our ancestors need to live by plants that would provide food. We can live by a grocery store. As time goes by we tend to move further and further away from our evolutionary instincts because culture has changed so drastically over millions of years. We have learned to adapt to a new society and the new things that we need to do and have to survive such as a home near a school that will provide and education and possibly a better job in the future to ensure a better income so we can buy food and clothing for our families.

What we consider beautiful art may also be genetically imprinted in our minds. We tend to prefer outdoor scenes, animals, people, trees, and water. Flowers in painting have been shown to improve ones health. Cool calm colors in art remind us of water, sky, and trees. Hot exciting colors remind us of blood. Is there a universal reaction in humans to colors like red and blues? I think the feeling may have evolved from when we lived close to nature. Our physical and mental health is improved when we are physically stimulated. Why don t we paint our walls bright red? Because we are reminded of blood, fear and death. Maybe we are closer to our ancestors than we would like to believe.

In most cultures and most countries people will go to extreme lengths to live without indefinite struggle. They will do anything to survive as our ancestors did. Our ancestors choose to live in the woods with trees and the sky above them. We choose to live in a fancy house and hang a picture up showing a bear playing in a lake. Certain colors and landscapes intise us. Some cultures don t have choice. Some people were born into an environment and have few choices in how to live their lives. But they are possibly genetically predetermined to do whatever it takes to survive. If our ancestors of the trees gave us one thing it was the will to survive, and the survival of the fittest mentality. People will do things that are unhealthy, painful, unpleasant, and dangerous just to survive. To obtain even minor success one needs resources whether its money, land, or social status. People will go to great extremes in order to survive. The padaung tribe of Thailand wear coils around their neck to attract tourist that give them money. This is their only source of income. The coils are painful and take away their ability to hold up their neck on its own. There are many cultural traditions that have developed because people have no other choice, whether it is to protect their land, their resources, provide income, shelter, and food. People do these things not out of choice but because they have an instinct to survive and pursue a better life. This is true no matter what culture, country, or time period.

We are not only driven to things that protect us and provide for us; we are driven to things that are beautiful. Society is obsessed with beauty, we are obsessed with beauty, and our ancestors were obsessed with beauty. In the past beauty was used as a survival instinct. Our ancestors depended on facial and body beauty to tell them whether the mate they choose was healthy, fertile, would be able to hunt and gather food for the family, and pass on good genes to the next offspring. We look at beauty today as a survival mechanism but not to such extremes. We can get plastic surgery if our face is not symmetric, we can wear make-up to cover flaws in our skin, and we can get a tummy tuck to make our hips more round and exentuated. Beautiful people today rule the world. I wonder if our ancestors would find us beautiful today with all of our make-up and plastic body parts. Would I have been chosen as a prime beautiful mate? Beautiful people today get better jobs so they can provide more for a family. Beautiful people have cuter kids, have nicer husbands. The beautiful ones are looked up to admired given more opportunities in life in general. If we are beautiful we will succeed like in the past. Being beautiful protects us it makes us feel secure with our surroundings. If we are attracting the opposite sex we feel secure and better about ourselves and we will succeed. When we interview for a job if one is clean and well groomed they are more likely to get the job. We want to be chosen so we will do whatever it takes to appear to be healthy and beautiful.

All of these things go back to our evolution past. Where we live, art, culture, our neighborhoods, the car we drive, the color of our walls. Everything we do depends on our culture, where we live, how we were raised, what we have to do to survive. It also depends on how we perceive others, and how beautiful people are. Everything is connected to our past. Everything is a message about survival, survival of the healthiest, wealthiest, and the prettiest. And it is up to us to decide who wins and passes on the genes to the future generation. Everything we think, feel, sense has to do with our past and maybe we should try to embrace it a little more, our instincts got us this far so there must be a reason for them.

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