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.

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┬áhumans 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.