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WE ARE WHAT WE ARE
From the outset, our physical and physiological attributes as humans are coded in our DNA. Our unique individual manifestations of our conscious and unconscious socio-cultural traits are directly linked to the workings of our visceral systems as dictated by our respective genetic make ups. Personal genome sequencing can reveal actual or potential states of our physical and mental health.
Our overall health status has a bearing as to how we relate to nature; how we carry and present ourselves to society at any level, at any one time. The potential that we have to execute both physical and mental work necessary for our survival in any setting in nature and society is crucially dependent on our state of health.
We shall be robust and function well, living in peaceful co-existence with others to the extent that we are in good health. Though not absolutely defined, but for purposes of this presentation as a starting point, good health presupposes normal, balanced functioning of the visceral system. Meaning that, for example, the physical and chemical functioning of the digestive system from the intake of food to elimination of waste is normal: homeostasis. That supported by as normal and balanced central nervous system. The latter consists of the brain and the spinal column, through which the body’s necessary internal functional reflex signals are transmitted in response to stimulations from the hormonal system.
The brain’s work is manifest through outward expressions of motoric abilities, sense of orientation, feelings, thoughts, language, and recollection. That in the beginning we are what we are as social beings, and that we can only be what we are presently is a function of how the brain works given the nature of its wiring, or development.
All things remaining equal, the ever-complex interplay of human developmental processes from fertilization to birth to subsequent growth into adulthood, determines how the brain shall interpret for us what it makes of reality in our immediate and distant ecologies. In order that we shall instinctively or consciously respond accordingly in any given context, the brain shall respond and structure our behaviour according to messages conveyed through the central system. These messages are conditioned by specific hormonal responses. The hormonal responses are transported in the bloodstream.
In joyous moments, we shall express happiness through various ways – laughter, dance, storytelling, and much more – because the brain has come under the influence of happiness hormones: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins. In moments of fear, the brain is powered by adrenaline. Closely related to the latter is cortisol, the stress hormone.
The brain constantly feeds and reinforces our behavioural attributes, as well as expressions thereof in given situations. It conditions our view of the world. As the brain works, qualitatively developing in sophistication or degenerating depending on circumstances, our world view may stay parochial or variable over time. This defines an individual’s mental disposition.
Things fall apart when, out of a myriad of potential causes, the brain is either not fully developed or it both cognitively and physiologically degenerates with time. Things don’t get any better when the brain serves, or is serviced by a body in obvious pathological disorder. Things get even more interesting when the brain is stimulated by visceral, central nervous, and hormonal systems chronically out of balance. Meaning that the systems either individually or collectively do not work optimally as a synergic functional order to ensure good health for the individual.
The visceral, central nervous, and hormonal systems may be out of balance as an inherent outcome. They may come out of balance as a result of external factors also: diseases, aging, intoxicating substances, electro-magnetic radiations, amongst others.
That we are as we are as individuals is not an accident, therefore. Through our constant or variable behavioural attributes, we are expressions of our mental dispositions as an outcome of, or in reaction to given existential circumstances. As human beings, our personal genomes are a subset of the grander human genome.
The human genome is the key determinant factor that ensures successful sexual reproduction amongst people of the world. That irrespective of race, colour, religion, or creed. This fact essentially crushes racism to pieces because the oneness of humanity is imprinted in the core of, if not in the fundamental building blocks of the human organism.
Humanity’s oneness is not visceral in a manner of speaking; it is visceral for real. It is in our blood. Differentiation in blood types is more an evolutionary response to the body’s ability to resist infectious diseases. It also enables adaptation to durable ecological transformations either in one location, or consequent upon relocations from space to space in search of better and more life-sustaining environments.
Response to hunger, sexual drive, variable climatic conditions, fear, affection, and numerous other survival imperatives sensations are a common factor across humans the world over. Humans are driven by the same needs and wants. Differences occur in the competition for the fulfilment of these needs and wants by way of ownership of resources or circumstances facilitating this. Ownership ensures lasting control of supply and distribution of resources and facilitative circumstances.
Ownership entails power. Power, actual deliberate exertion of effort energized by applicable material and conceptual resources, entails domination. Domination entails suppressive rule over weaker competing parties, unilaterally determining the latter’s often undesired, destructive destinies. Suppression ultimately gives rise to rebellions as the oppressed rise to claim their rights to access resources and circumstances imperative for survival: wealth, liberty.
It is in this competitive environment that external human characteristics and cultural practices are applied to justify domination, laying foundations for imperialism and establishments of colonies over generations all over the world. At the same time the human genome and its intrinsic attributes remain a constant.
In terms of human power relations contra survival imperatives fulfilment or lack of, people of identical mental dispositions attract one another. This attraction cuts across all unnatural power barriers instituted to justify domination and dehumanization of others. Political orientations arising in the organization of society are instituted upon people’s mental dispositions influencing and expressing their value judgements. As such, Conservatives don’t like change to the extent that they rule. Whereas Liberals seek to overturn the status quo inhibiting liberty, justice, and equality in society.
Level-headed people are of calm mental dispositions. They are inclined to reason and conventionally held testable truths in the pursuit of finding life-supporting solutions to the ever-present human life existential questions. These people appeal to the like-minded also. The mind being the encapsulation of our total individual view of life as manifest in how we think and act according to how we relate to our existence in the universe
Overt and private choices and activities we engage in by way of vocation, or simply in response to ever-changing realities of life reflect the workings of our minds. The nature, magnitude, qualitative, and intentional aspects of manifestations of the workings of our minds determine the degree to which we shall impact society, both locally and globally.
Great minds are those which inspire and support sustainable human progress in all life’s endeavours. That may be through political thought and philosophy, science and technology, arts and culture. Great minds are not only sensitive to the suffering of mankind; they strive to eliminate that suffering. Benevolence is a trait that knows no irrational, bigotry boundaries created amongst people of the world in their physical but superficial diversity from the point of view of the right to exist for all.
Small minds are destructive. They are prone to lack of capacity to, or interest in thinking about the big questions of life in a humanity unifying, uplifting manner. They are narrow-one-track-minded. Small minds are self-serving at the expense of others’ wellbeing and right to life worthy of dignity and honour. They ever conspire to create and sustain alternative universes of factually false truths contra mainstream paradigms in society, or against certain individuals, if not certain interest groups.
Small minds thrive on fear, uncertainty, lies, rumour-mongering, deception, manipulation, threats, cruelty, hate, chaos and violence, amongst others. Small minds derange. Small minds are delusional. This mental disposition has its kind of people across the board the world over. It explains how even one of the most blatant, most obnoxious of white supremacists and his white nationalist cohorts have black supporters and apologists. Also Latino supporters. And Asians too.
January 11, 2021
Order, read, and be inspired by my latest book, Covid-19 and I: Killing Conspiracy Theories.
JANUARY 21, 2021: BREAKING NEWS – Responding to reports that African and Eastern European immigrants in Norway are sceptical to vaccines; and have the highest rates of Coronavirusdisease (Covid-19) infections in the country, particularly Oslo, the capital city. Video response introducing the book and my thinking behind it:
FURTHER READING 1: “List of unproven methods against COVID-19” on Wikipedia.
FURTHER READING 2: Vaccine misinformation: What to do when it’s coming from leaders – By Tian Johnson• 28 February 2021, Daily Maverick
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