“Everyone knows that …”. “All people are like …”. The completion of these sentences includes an assumption about human nature. What you see as human nature.
What you see AS human nature depends on what you see IN human nature. Our study of four cosmologies (wisdom traditions, physics, daily experience, strategic systems understanding) suggests nine basic dimensions interpenetrating all of reality. As we humans are reality as well, we are also constituted by these nine dimensions. Energy that is purposeful. Experienced because it is reflected off of something and then witnessed. A choosing of the form it takes, which extends in a resonance field over multiple instances (time) and other resonance fields (space). The feedback in what results in form is taken up in the reflector, to be witnessed and a subsequent choice made in the next instance.
Another way that this is often described is that all humans experience a pull towards their unique higher purpose, which they engage with their thinking, feeling, and willing, in a physical and non-physical form. You have morals that guide you. You have thoughts, feelings, and intentions. You have physical experiences connected with your body and its context, and you have non-physical experiences in your thoughts, feelings, and intentions.
The dimensions you include in your understanding of human nature determine what you see as human nature. If you only include the pull, the higher purpose, then humans are moral. If you only include the thinking, then humans are rational. If you only include the feeling, then humans are social. If you only include the willing, then humans are stimulus-response organisms, purely biological. If you only include the physical, then humans are an interesting accident of matter with emergent properties. These simplifying models of what we each know we are, in our own actual experience, are major models of human nature prevalent today. By focusing on one of these dimensions of human nature, these models tend to exclude the other dimensions as irrelevant, unnecessary, emergent and secondary, or misguided.
Another way to approach the question of human nature, other than reading what a philosopher thinks, is to ask yourself, “What do I know, from my own experience, about the dimensions of my experience?” For me, I observe that I have a north star—a purpose that engages and guides me—and I have thoughts, feelings, and intentions, which I experience physically and non-physically. Each dimension seems to be different, in character, and they seem to come together to inform different dimensions of an experience. It is useful to understand that I have these different dimensions, and that integrating them gives me a fuller picture of my experience. I can corroborate this picture with the experience of others, and that is useful.
What I see that is included in human nature affects what I see as human nature. Seeing that I, you, and maybe everyone else, have all of these dimensions of experience within themselves leads me to curiosity, to inquiry, with myself, with you, with others, and the creative process, knowing that the ability to create the now, the future we really want is available here, within each and all of us. There are treasures everywhere to find–I just have to look. Whether one can see and access this infinitely-available creativity depends on what one sees as human nature, which depends on what one sees in human nature. The fuller human nature or a more collapsed form of human nature. It is a choice. Your choice. The difference that choice makes might be infinite.