The following isn’t a new thought by any stretch of the imagination I’m sure, and a theme that crops up in my posts often. So if you don’t mind, or if you do, I’d like to start the New Year by deliberating a characteristically heavy subject (and one I like to poke a facetious funny stick at. Always)—that is, the subject of human behaviour. Or rather, our penchant for spiralling down the dark hole of our misguided but not necessarily unwarranted emotions. Just to add, I also love to recognise how genuinely brilliant and loving we can be, but that’s for another post. On occasions I feel humans, myself included, are just a ridiculous bunch of obtuse potato heads who refuse to acknowledge, understand and fully appreciate what Life is really about. A question that will no doubt remain with sentient beings throughout their existence. Yet, I have to admit, there must be more to it than the stubborn will of human negligence, ignorance, incorrigible self-loathing and unrelenting desire for drama…
Ahem, sorry about the rant, it would seem my partner and I have been apart for far too long again…
Back to the subject. However, before I ramble on I want to highlight I’m not a psychologist or involved with any part of the field, I merely think things. I think a lot of things. Human behaviour then. Out of all species, what is it that makes our genus so unique with our unequivocal and arbitrary destruction of ourselves and of our planet? What a quality, hey. That’s why I love animals, they just you know, do their sweet thing without question and melodrama.
There are plenty of ideas and theories shooting across our collective conscious. Such as Eckhart Tolle’s ‘ego’—this dual part of ourselves that runs rampart in our psyche and feeds all manner of egocentric neurosis. There’s the studies in social and childhood conditioning. Then there’s the question of diet. It has been recently discovered that our digestive processes control a large part of our brain activity and subsequently our emotions (for more information research the ‘enteric nervous system’ or ‘vagus nerve’). This I can certainly relate to having repeated battles with gluten consumption which, if I insist on shovelling down my greedy throat, transforms me into an irrational and overly-sensitive weirdo. My sister, who copped it again recently (blame Christmas treaties), calls it the ‘Jekyll and Heidi’ effect. Though it’s a crying shame my actual name refers to the evil character. Anyway, thanks to science I have a better explanation to this phenomena than trying to convince people certain foods make me crazy: “No really guys, I’m usually devoid of these emotions, kinda like a robot. Guys?” Realistically we ought to be more mindful of what we put in our bodies—do you want more MSG or E951 with your meal? Bad stuff.
When it comes down to it, I have no definitive answers (obvi – not God) to what causes us as a species to be so … different. And I can’t imagine, like the battle between science and religion, that it’s either one thing or another but rather an amalgamation of causes that perhaps we’ll never understand, and which is in any case irrelevant to our existence. We are what we are regardless of whether or not we discover why. Science reveals what already exists, while personal religion and spirituality does not alter what may or may not be present in another realm. All we can do is try to be better Homo sapiens. How about starting in 2016.
Current read: The Distant Hours by Kate Morton—ties in nicely with this post with themes of friendship and attachment, family, personal demons and fantasies, and hereditary eccentricity (aka madness).