I’ve got a new “working hypothesis” as to why there are so many “sensitives” in the world.
Based on the notion of “balanced polymorphism” in genetics and drawing from evolutionary psychology, it states simply that there is a certain survival advantage (whether to the individual or to the group) that comes with being “sensitive,” “introverted,” “trauma-susceptible” — classic features of the “esotericist type.”
Art, yes, but maybe too an ability to sense things that others are not sensing, occasionally even “seeing” important features of the future that the successful hunter, warrior, and woman-getter extroverts don’t pick up.
Balanced polymorphism has been documented as key to understanding why a number of important physical diseases (most prominently diabetes and sickle cell anemia) are so common.
The genes they are based on actually confer a survival advantage in certain situations that are not all that uncommon (for diabetes, starvation: for SCA, malaria infection).
I’m proposing that the genes for introversion (and it does appear that position on the intro-extroversion spectrum has a sizable genetic component) are so common because they have conferred a degree of survival advantage in “certain situations” that are not that uncommon — perhaps times of great crisis, major decision, etc…
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
As I have mentioned previously re my work on the history of esotericism, there is now growing evidence that shamanism (of some sort) — along with language, art, and humor — are part of the “package” that we humans all inherited from our “out of Africa” ancestors — the original “culturally modern humans” — around 50Kya.
Shamanism appears to have been the original “esotericist institution,” if you will.
Most scholars of Yoga have proposed that its origins lie in ancient shamanism.