The following analogy will create a more accurate image of how instinct, tradition, and self-mastery, i.e. the three masters of our action pathways, work together. These masters of the way we think have a both...and relationship, not an either/or relationship:
Imagine starting with a few ounces of pure coffee. Now alter the pure coffee by slowly adding milk. As you continue to pour, you will be creating an infinite number of alternative combinations. The milk progressively changes the coffee to coffee milk until you have milk with a bit of coffee. We could then add sugar, a third ingredient to further modify our mixture. This process is similar to our life beginnings when nature stood out as our director. Our nurturers gradually added new action pathways faithful to their perspective. The more they programmed us with their traditions, the less dominant instinct became. As our freedom organ matures and becomes equipped to design its own action pathways, we may add a third set of mentogenous action pathways without removing the first two. Self-mastery may become the dominant but not the exclusive controller of the way we think. Our thinking will continue to be guided by a combination of instinct and tradition and self-mastery.
The three influencers of our thinking gradually shift from domination by our inherited instinct to the traditions commanded by our nurturers, and then to the self-initiated “out-of-the-box” newer way of thinking we design. The three phases progress from endogenous to a combination of endogenous and exogenous controllers, and then, some combination of endogenous, exogenous, and mentogenous controllers. Humankind is unique in that we can add a third self-mastery phase as we attain maturity. The progression goes from immaturity to maturity to super maturity as follows:
In Phase 1: endogenous or inherited behaviors dominate
In Phase 2: exogenous or acquired behaviors are added to our endogenous
In Phase 3: mentogenous or self-initiated out-of-the-box thinking is
added to our endogenous and exogenous programming
[*bold = the preferred dominant force as we progress from immaturity to super-maturity]
nature ⇒ nature + nurture ⇒ nature/nurture + self-mastery
instinct ⇒ instinct + tradition ⇒ instinct + tradition + mental freedom
Note that our thinking, feelings, and actions are not the product of endogenous or exogenous or mentogenous forces; they are some combination of these powerful controllers, i.e. instinct, tradition, and self-mastery. We can expect that the hard-wired either/or thinking pathways that lead to action designed by endogenous and exogenous dictators, primarily instinct and tradition, will continue to dominate our way of thinking. We make the both...and, common sense newer way of thinking dominant only when we educate first ourselves and then our population with sufficient mentogenous common sense wisdom.