My Take on The “Human”
Humans. We’re about as simple as it gets. We revolve around this base philosophy that we’re deeply complex; so incomparably individual. And we are! But at the same time, we forget we’re about as simple as a chemical formula. And there’s already one out there for us. In fact, there’s more than 7 billion of these human formulas. It’s called DNA of course, and it ‘s existed for millions of years. But it’s just too complex for us to crack or recreate artificially. Though probably for good reason, and not through lack of trying. We’re already creating formulas for things like waves, and trees (see the Lindenmayer System , an equation for foliage, for example).
Humans are put simply, a network. We’re robots by our very own technical description. Our functioning parts are operated by a matrix of electrical nerve impulses, all held in by a protective shell of fleshy, fluid casing. Every move we make is responsive, and pre-determined. Our body and mind works together to select the best response from an array of learned behaviours and possible reactions. My point is, we’re all programmed by something. A mother battery. Maybe each other.
The concept of fate has been the hardest for me to understand/accept in philosophy. Each one of us is different in genetic make up, thought we all still experience the same feelings, the same fears, the same desires. Down to the dot. We ARE a network, whether we choose to feel it or not. Like the roots in a forest of trees or a river of rushing water particles, we’re one big interconnected substance. Inseparable and reliant on each other’s existence. We’re a liquid upon the surface of the earth, laced by a galaxy of other similar, scalable networks. Some visible to the naked eye (like animals and their family kingdoms), some not (like the the moon, and how it pulls the tides).
This is why I find psychology so particularly fascinating. It is the very motherboard science behind the human organism. The study of how our human battery (the brain) functions and deciphers useful information. We can use psychological knowledge alongside biology to uncover some truly extraordinary secrets dictating our species. What other creature is able to study its own self with such scrutiny and methodical accuracy?
I love just using the word “humans”. I’m not sure why. I think I like the way it alienates our comfortable sense of familiarity towards ourselves. But we’re just another species that’s simply become very, very aware of ourselves. Just an animal. Just a creature, a creation, an organism. A live, chemical substance inhabiting planet earth. But we philosophize.
We generally use a softer word for creatures of our kind: “people”. Notice how we don’t have a translatable word for any other animal, really. “People” has a higher sense to it, an air of dignity, community, inclusivity. I like the word “humans” because it somewhat neutralizes our presumed superiority. And as someone fascinated with evolution, I like how it encompasses the one thing that always remains the same despite the test of time and natural obstacles – we’re still the silly, simple, loveable primal creatures we’ve always been with our long, clumsy limbs and opposable thumbs.
Knowing that at the end of the day we are all “just” humans gives me a greater sense of ease in society. All the makeup, flashing advertisements, fumes and mobile applications seem to dissipate just a bit when I think of us as animals. Simple animals with simple needs, like love, stability and belonging. Simple fears like ostracism, uncertainty and separation. Simple desires like tasty treats, play, and regular naps for our big, overstimulated brains.
Modern society is a lot for an ape to process. No wonder we’re such a confused and existential species sometimes. Though I see a lot of good things coming out of this tremendous race. Things no other animal has ever been able to achieve before. Meditation, technology, fitness. Nutrition, games, and bonding between human and animal. Photography, stories, music and space travel.
I believe I am personally here to communicate and create momentum for some of these movements and ideas. Because I believe there is more good than bad to the human race. Sure, we operate like an infection sometimes. But most organisms do. We consume, we breed, we compete. And we compete for things like more time to exist, resources to satisfy our creatures comforts, space to call home, and peace to just observe while we’re here. To be honest, I really don’t think that’s too bad in the grand scheme of things.
Art titled “Nina In The Roots”; a photograph by Anka Zhuravleva