Acknowledging Our Biology

Why is it that humans have a habitual tendency to ignore the biological necessities of their everyday life? We treat bodily excretions as disgusting and excuse ourselves when we must use the toilet or when we sneeze. At a more serious level, until someone dies, we live in blissful forgetfulness that we too are mortal. And what’s worse, we return to this state after some time has passed. We work as though we are machines and strive to improve our productivity, not accepting at all that there is only so much a human body can do. We also dismiss emotional reactions as silly sentimentality and regard logical thinking with far more respect. At every level we think we are more than mere biology and we see all that interrupts this machine like ‘perfection’ of life as mere interruptions to our larger sense of existence.

While most of this can be attributed to the unrealistic portrayal of life in the movies where no one ever goes to the toilet out unless it plays into the plot, it can also be blamed on western culture. I observe they eat with knives and forks, they garden and even wash dishes with working gloves on and maintain their cities in such a clinical and detached way that any direct contact with soil or their own food is seen as disgusting. Physical contact with other humans is also fully formalised. They shake hands with people and hug only those they are close to. They try to maintain distance with strangers on a bus or in a cafeteria. They need reasons to smile or greet someone walking by on the street and if anyone seems happy and sings a lot, they automatically assume that alcohol has something to do with it. These traits may be observed in cities generally, not only in the west and perhaps in rural areas of the west, it is not so.

Such detachment from our bodies and in our lifestyles result in children growing up with the same impression as perpetuated around them. Young adults are surprised when they have their first romantic encounter and find that they already know what to do without being taught and it is far easier than ever expected. In fact, it involves no mental understanding at all. Sexual activity has been instinct to all sexual forms of life throughout evolution. And yet our mental outlook has made us think it is a strange and exotic art to learn. And to fight the basic need for companionship and reproductive activity when the body is most ready for it, is trying to fight millennia of genetic expertise and evolution. In short, it is anti-tao; anti-flow; unnatural.

It is important that we start recognising that we are indeed biological entities and do need to eat, sleep, have a community of loved ones, and have a balanced work life. And as biological entities, we will all die someday so once we acknowledge this, we could start to live more honestly and meaningfully, in tune with Nature and evolution.