In my discussion of inheritance I have addressed Cosmological Inheritance, Biological Inheritance, and Cultural Inheritance. I now focus on Self-Inheritance.
Nature’s make-up pertains to human beings coming from a long cosmological and biological inheritance. We inherit phylogenesis (phylum characteristics), homo sapien (species characteristics), and an ontogenesis (personal characteristics). Nature gives us a shared humanity that allows us to have a shared human commonality. At the same time we all have biologically inherited an individuality that makes us unique from all other human beings who have ever lived. Genetic inheritance is unique in a predispositional sense where some individuals have reactions to certain things like asthma, hay fever, and diabetes. Humans are protean creatures in the sense of having unique physical characteristics such as eye color, hair color, skeletal formation, native IQ, aptitudes, and physical abilities. We all biologically inherit the race we are born into and for many that is now biracial or multiracial. We inherit our sex and our sexual orientation. We inherit introversion or extroversion —> in some cases ambiversion. We inherit our unique personality traits and features they generally fall within the following temperamental patterns: 1.) sanguine (calm, relaxed, pleasant, agreeable, warm, and even-tempered), 2.) phlegmatic (lethargic, laconic, not quick to action, and slow-tempered), 3.) choleric (react quickly, volcanic, easily upset, and hot-tempered), or 4.) melancholic (feeling down, sorrowful, depressed, and having a sad-temperament).
Nurture’s make-up has a major influence on our natural inheritance. Nurture comes from the society we are born into where we inherit cultural norms. I have not heard anyone refer to it before, or use these words but I contend that there is a social recapitulation of the culture we are born into. That is, there is a replay for each child of learning expectations that follow the various developmental age stages for a culture. We are on a continuum of developmental stages that we socially move through. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin came close to conveying the concept of social recapitulation by saying, “that which takes place in all of us when, as we grow up, we become aware of our family past, our present responsibilities, our ambitions and our loves, is nothing but the brief recapitulation of a far vaster and slower process through which the whole human race must pass in its growth from infancy to maturity.” (1964) Social recapitulation and re-enactment of cultural norming is especially influential during the critical imprinting and stamping-in ages of 0-7. This age span has learning taking place at the emotional Limbic system level —> a time when our cognitive capacity to analyze environmental input is highly limited. Critical age imprintation and stamping-in has made for a deep-seated Limbic system very resistant to change. Each of us deeply inherits how our culture has interpreted Nature. Lindquest maintained “we learn that many of our natural impulses are unacceptable; sure to win disapproval,” and “without conscious thinking about it, we learn to hide whole portions of our nature.” (1967)