Electricity

If you ever touched a live wire, or two poles of a battery, you have experienced your sensitivity for and conductivity of electricity. Don’t worry if you haven’t. Your nervous system acts as a communication network, transmitting information from our senses, muscles and organs back and forth.

You have three cloud networks for all the electricity buzzing along your nerve cells right now, coordinating millions of simultaneous signals along simple rules. Each node of the network has lots of input and output connections to other nodes, and can fire impulses more than 100 times per second.

Multiply this with trillions of neurons, and you will understand that a lot of electrickery happens within your nervous system at any given moment, definitely much more you want to spend attention on.

The cloud networks host the centre of each node, the body of a nerve cell. Out of the cell body grow the communication channels, the axons. When you pick up a cup, the axons on your fingertips connect with the nerve cell body within the brain. Imagine axons as tentacles of neurons.

Your arms and legs fulfil different functions from your trunk or your head. Limbs seem more disposable, but rarely develop a life on their own. Skin covers the entire surface of your body, and that’s precisely where your brain ends. Your nervous system looks more like a jelly fish with heaps of entangled tentacles than the inside of a walnut.

If you could see a little blue dot when a nerve cell body in the brain fires, and a tinier golden dot as the signal moves along its tentacle, then you would witness a brilliant fire work. Not all of your electric activity focusses in your brain. Add green dots for nerve cell body within the heart, and orange dots for the gut nervous system to add a bit more sparkle.

The spine contains abundant numbers of neural cell bodies while connecting the cloud network centres heart, brain and guts. It contains the colours of the rainbow from red to light blue, your skull adds the remaining frequencies of the visible spectrum.

Luckily, like all systems in your body, the electric system largely organises itself in response to its internal and external environment. On the highest level, you can distinguish (with some training) the nerve centres for thinking, feeling and moving.

As an experiment, map the gut centre (lower dan tien) as the feeling centre, the brain as movement centre and the heart as thinking centre.

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Movement

For as long as the human body lives, it maintains movement within. Our breath moves our lungs, blood absorbs the oxygen by moving in bursts through its vessels, electrical pulses move along nerves, interstitial fluid flows along its channels, connective tissue is moved by breath and blood. This happens all the time, and you haven’t even moved a single muscle consciously.

You affect processes like breathing and heart rate to a certain degree by conscious means, but without necessary knowing to which effect. Usually, the way in which the autonomous systems work, reflects emotional states and/or the physical activity you engage in.

Unless you learn a new way of moving, like dance, martial arts moves or other physical skills, voluntary movement happens by executing habitual patterns. It took you a while to master the art of walking and talking, of reading and writing, yet now this activities requiring a complex set of muscular coordination happen by pure intention.

If you ever engaged in ‘ghosting’ (copying the way another person walks), you get an idea that the simple act of taking a step forward has quite a lot of individual variations of doing it. Hundreds of muscles acting on the 206 bones in a human body allow for many ways of doing something simple like walking.

The habits of voluntary movement affect the quality of the involuntary movements essential to keep you alive. A simple experiment can give you an immediate experience of this relation. Let your head slowly move towards the ground, curling your spine. When you can’t curl anymore without effort, try taking what you think of as deep breath.

You might have noticed that this bodily configuration restricts the movement of your ribs, and interfered quite a lot with getting much air into your lungs. Less air means less fuel for the metabolic processes happening inside your body, which in turn can limit what you intent to achieve.

Of course, it’s unlikely that this forward curl looks anywhere near how you usually move through your life. This experiment just illustrates that your voluntary movements interact with the involuntary movements, quite often in not beneficial ways. Luckily, no matter how you deliberately distort your body, it’s usually not immediately life threatening.

Transforming interfering habits into supporting habits pays off. Despite the majority of people using their body not really aligned with its design, the life expectancy averages at 69 years.  The way how you move through life will affect how long you live, and how happy you feel on your journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instruction manual for human bodies – networks

All subdivisions of the system called human body are arbitrary to a certain extend, most ‘components’ prove essential to the survival and well being of the organism. Beneath your skin lies a complex, interactive system requiring smooth interactions of every cell involved. This manual uses other systems that have been engineered as comparison to illustrate functions of the human body.

The cells of a human body differ slightly from a single cell organism, as they specialise to become part of other subsystems (eg flesh, bones, blood, organs, etc). The environment of a human body cell determines which function it will fulfil, yet it still has the same life cycle as the whole organism.

Unless you’re very young, none of your body cells from your birth is still around. It takes about seven years to replace all of your currently existing cells with new ones. Most of the cells you move through the world aren’t even yours, as you carry more micro-organisms on your skin and in your guts than those with your own DNA.

Your digestive system needs a microbiome to function – without bacteria living in your stomach and intestines you couldn’t process food.  The human body compares well to a symbiotically living large community of autonomous entities, not so well to an army of obedient cells following the order of general brain.

Just after conception, unspecialised identical cells divide until there are enough to build a hollow sphere, the blastula. In the next stage of development, three different layers diversify the cells of an embryo into endo-, meso- and ectoderm.

The innermost layer, the endoderm will develop into most internal organs, the middle layer (mesoderm) gives rises to muscles, bones, connective tissue, heart, kidneys, gonads and the ectoderm ends up as skin, tooth enamel and the entire nervous system.

These three layers mix up thoroughly in the torso, while limbs and head only contain cells descending from the meso- and ectoderm. Several fractal interconnected networks within the whole body emerge: the nervous system, the fascia system and the circulatory system (blood vessels and lymphatic system).

The concept of morphogenetic fields offers the most plausible explanation to the magic of cells with identical DNA in the same environment suddenly diversifying and specialising. Don’t worry too much if you couldn’t follow the quite technical description so far. I will point out the essential parts for the how-to section of the manual.

Here’s what you need to know from this section. Several interconnected systems work within the human body: An electrical system, a plumbing system and a structural support system.

 

Instruction manual for human bodies

Welcome to the most useful manual you will read. Self-programming, self-regenerating carbon units come without a manual, which often leads to more malfunctioning than necessary.

Thanks to the resilient base design of the human body, functioning in survival mode doesn’t require knowledge of this manual. Human cultures integrated some of the essentials as well, which allowed the development of society as we know it today.

Your curiosity for this manual is living proof of the need for its existence. Maybe a malfunctioning body and failed attempts to “fix it” brought you here. Or the idea “I have a body, I know how it works, let me show you where you’re wrong”. Maybe a bunch of serendipities made it unavoidable to have a closer look.

Even without this manual, you have already managed to make your self home in a human body, and acquired the skills required to access this manual. And many more. Congratulations.

This manual uses a system perspective to explain the human body and some of its subsystems. As mentioned, you already made some important steps in operating a complex entity with amazing features.

Building blocks

Your body consists of trillions of very similar structured units, cells. Each cell has a life of its owns, and goes through the same cycles the whole organism does. We define a unit or entity by having a boundary. A membrane encloses a cell to distinguish between interior and exterior, just like the skin creates the physical border of the human body.

The boundary of carbon based units acts as interface between in- and outside, allowing nutrients to enter the organism and metabolic waste to leave it. This process of exchange and elimination happens nearly automatically while being dependent of the environment.

Once something nutritious has passed through the interface, it needs processing to fuel life. Molecules get broken up and reassembled, assimilating the useful bits and discarding the rest. A bunch of generic molecules transform into very specific ones capable of fulfilling the internal needs of the cell.

The assimilated food can then be converted to power the engine, or integrated to repair faulty components or build new ones. As energy source it provides vitality, as spare part it maintains the purity of the system.

A self-regulating system requires a bit of regulation to facilitate protection. If the membrane can’t react to toxins in its environment, or can’t circulate its essentially needed molecules to the right part of the cell, it can’t survive.

Not everything a cell needs is permanently available, nutrients converted to physical energy will be stored, and can be distributed to achieve the next goal. In an abundant environment, using energy for reproduction makes more sense than moving around. In a toxic environment, getting out of there serve survival best.

Just like any building block of your human body, you need food entering the system, digest it, extract nutrients, integrate and convert them into needed bits, use those bits for vitality and integrity, circulate them around, protect the system, store some energy and choose how to use it.

The subsystems achieving this functionality in a human body appear very complex. Describing any system from an unsuitable perspective makes it look complex, and like fish in water, humans many made some clumsy attempts of understanding their own existence, and how bodies work.

While many people talk about the cycle of life, they often simplify it to “get born, survive, propagate, die”. Life has many rhythms, and understanding the life cycle of a cell has much more relevance to our day to day existence than the life time perspective.

As any decent instruction manual, it starts with a description of the system, important components, features and specifications. This ends the first lesson.

Competition and cooperation

Every living being on this planet obviously managed to survive, and deserves the name ‘winner’. According to the common paradigms surrounding evolution, this means the living entity successfully ‘competed’ against others to maintain the state of aliveness. But does that make much sense?

Even the simplest form of life, single-cell organisms, needs a cooperative environment much more than competitive elbows to fight off others. If the environment ‘competes’ with bacteria, ie becomes toxic for them, they can’t live at all. Only ‘cooperative’ environments support life.

While many people mistake ‘environment’ for the nice backdrop of photos in exotic places, it usually contains more life than the person in the foreground of the photo. All plants and animals humans consume for food have been alive, not competing for an abstract imaginary universal food called money, but creating the self-sustaining support web of life.

Competition exists, although usually arising from opportunity, and not as a normal way of life. Especially mammals seem to spend more time on grooming each other than contesting their social ranking. Not even predator and prey compete with each other, yet create a dynamic balance which supports diversity around them.

Humanity acted often like ecological terrorists, deliberately upsetting the dynamic equilibrium of eco-systems they invaded. At least since the British Empire some people engage actively in geo-engineering the planet. The continents known as America, Africa, Asia and Australia had to cope with introduced species, transforming the eco-systems in unpredictable ways.

Pigs coming to America by boat with Christopher Colombo ‘competed’ with the native wildlife from one perspective, cooperated with it from another. The introduced ‘food’ source made life easier for the invader, the transformation of the eco-systems made life more difficult especially for more complex beings including humans.

The rise of the dominator society needs competition, and the firm believe in its primacy as survival tool. It acts as the screen to project the illusion of nations, religions and corporations on. A firm understanding of the value of cooperation obliterates nationalism, fundamentalism and materialism. The dominator society managed to create a system which bases on the competitive ‘struggle for survival’, as well as the implicit cooperation of the dispossessed.

Humanity has been indoctrinated with the ‘winner’ meme, and lack of imagination means only fight can make winning happen. Cooperation creates win-win situation, synergy, a whole system bigger than the sum of its parts. Each human can win out, without the need for losers. This attitude exists after the cataclysms, and on smaller scale throughout history in some groups. Common sense, decency and facts can easily dismantle the myth of scarcity as foundation of the current global economic system. Fear-based propaganda keeps it alive.

The current economic model made it literally to the top of the pyramid of economic systems, mainly by out-living its competition in a process of continuous violent pre-emptive self defence. It fails to provide access to the abundance of this planet for all members of the human family, and endangers the ability to sustain large numbers of human beings. The evolutionary tree of economic systems needs for branching to liberate the planet from domination and economic slavery.

Nutrition

Humans co-evolved with their environment, and adapted to a variety of different diets. Or rather can host a variety of different sets of micro-organisms in their guts pre-processing what ever lands in the digestion tract.

This adaptability means even unbalanced diets containing of junk food will get the eco-system in the guts working, with potentially harmful consequences for the human host. Food can pre-determine the emotional defaults humans experience, reflecting the harmony existing in stomach and intestines.

While humanity successfully adapted to a variety of locally available food sources, the meme of preserving food transformed the attitude towards food in detrimental ways. The desire to have any sort of taste available at any given time to synthesise tastes and create food-like substances.

Ancient ideas about nutrition, deriving from Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, appreciate the diversity in body types. Nutritional advice bases on the body type and current constitution, the Western approach about ‘one size fits all’ and ‘super-foods’ doesn’t really apply.

Processing food and genetically engineering, combined with an abundance of environmental toxins to grow food in industrial style, contribute to the epidemic of food intolerances existing mainly in the Western world at this time of history.

If ‘food’ remains looking good month it has been prepared, and not even micro-organisms or insects would want to use it, it might have only little to none nutritional value at all. While many places don’t allow to harvest fresh food all year round, some forms of preservation manage to maintain healthy properties better than others.

Not all areas humans inhabit would permit a ‘vegan’ diet, not using any animal products. The respect given to any animal consumed for human survival matters more than the fact consuming something which was alive. If humans can sustain their metabolism without food, no harm to other species need to be inflicted. Otherwise, harm minimisation and respect for other beings seem more important than vegan political correctness.

Yet the view of food as ‘product’ led to the absurd consequence of ‘over-production’ of food – in the least few years about 30% more food than required for the survival of 7 billion humans has been produced, and still some of the human family die of starvation. The systems build to provide security for societies fail to provide essentials for all of humanity.

The second hand reality suggests rather food scarcity, severe enough to throw compassion over board. It appears rather bizarre that in a time of massive information interchange that obvious myth still bears credibility, but then, domestication works better than expected even with a self-aware species like humans.

Local food production would solve many of the perceived problems humanity faces right now. It demonstrates the abundance inherent in life, it grounds humans (literally), and fresh ingredients in a self-prepared meal often act as medicine. Food independence counteracts domestication, which is why the Agenda 21 was devised. It aims to implement centralised food production and distribution, creating dependency to a system of domination.

Local food production is not only possible, but required for the evolution of humanity. Enough people staring edible garden, especially in urban settings, can make industrial style agriculture obsolete. Solutions for growing food in a variety of climate zones exist, and applying these would increase the knowledge required for smooth operations.

Eating non-food for humans hungry for more. If humanity doesn’t tame its rapacious appetite, it will destroy the basis to sustain such a large number of domesticated individuals. This doesn’t happen for the first time in planetary history. No one knows yet whether this time humanity leaps to the next level.

 

Motivation

The dominator society exploits the common misconceptions about the role of humanity in the greater scheme of things in many ways. Humans get distracted from exploring their inner nature by the suggestion to trust in experts.

The idea of genetic determinism still informs many opinions about human nature, generations have been indoctrinated to accept a programmed second hand reality. Many people buy into the suggestion to a slave to genes, hormones and physics, seeking remedy for health problems with clever mechanics for the human machine.

Humans have two basic internal systems of reward, immediate and delayed. In early childhood, delayed gratification needs to be developed. Mature people usually have acquired the skill to decide upon immediate and delayed gratification in any given situation.

Classical conditioning utilises reward and punishment, both of which can be delayed or immediate in case of humans. It taps into what Buddhism calls the major cause for suffering, craving and aversion. Suffering, due to too much craving for material goods, fear of losing them and the aversion to many things seem like the predominant state of being for many people.

Not all the desires humans naturally display need to lead to suffering. Maslow described the hierarchy of needs, with food and shelter on the lowest rank. Happiness and acceptance also belong to the category of experiences humans naturally aspire to.

Many cultures determined the heart as primary, reliable decision maker, yet nowadays, distracted by the marvels of technology, believe in the primacy of the mind runs rampant. This makes it easier to control society simply by giving empty promises, especially about gratification for actions taken.

The concept of heaven and hell looks like the oldest meme influencing human behaviour on the basis of delayed gratification and punishment. From a modern perspective the emptiness of these promises becomes very apparent, as authentic accounts of this mystical realms simply don’t exist.

As the ‘after-life’ doesn’t fit too well into the scientific paradigms of the modern world, the promises of delayed gratification became more mundane. Annual increase in salary, holidays and pensions suggest ‘heaven’ on Earth, weekends, entertainment and drugs tap into the immediate gratification process.

As people spend most of their time in their minds, they lose their ability to distinguish between their own experience and vicarious experiences. While the promises given by the dominator society didn’t hold true for them, they heard the story of others often enough to believe in a genuinely fair system.

The attention given to the mind often distracts from the present moment. Humans can shift their awareness in amazing ways, yet it takes initiative or good examples to master one’s attention, and shift it to a useful space. Obsession with one’s own mind has become an epidemic within humanity, as one of the building blocks of slavery.

A mind disconnected from this universe can be afraid of anything. Living in fear, however, prevents rational thinking, and trains human beings to act in ways inconceivable from the position of a self-aware entity in an interdependent environment.

Societies flourish by cooperation, and disintegrate by a focus on competition. It will take some well experienced souls to provide enough examples and insights in the necessity for cooperation to stop the cataclysm for the human species.