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Ghost in a machine (A tribute towards the mysterious human)

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posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 05:48 PM
Consciousness, the inherit gift shared by the human race, a species so complex in nature, that conscious self observation for millennia has barely scratched the surface towards the multitude of fascinating aspects that form our unique make-up. We are physical marvels with a unique and complex biological make-up, a make-up beyond the comprehension of even the most brilliant of engineers this planet has to offer. The plethora of mentalities that develop throughout individual life spans is a clear indication towards the diversity human kind has to offer. It is as if curiosity is a genetic trait amongst our species, as if that sole characteristic fuels our desire towards more knowledge of our environments and ourselves.

It is with a great amount of gratitude and pleasure that I write this article, to celebrate our existence as a unique, comical, crazy, and mostly unpredictable family of individuals.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Wow, look how far we have come as a species, from tree swinging halfwits, to sophisticated emotional biological machines. Look at all the amazing inventions we have adopted as a norm to comfort our existence. Witness our ever-expanding actions of self-expression. The items we cover our bodies with to flaunt our looks. The unique relationships we form with our peers towards a sense of social acceptance. The variety of rituals we adapt to impress a suitable mate, whether it is with temporary or permanent intentions. Marvel at our unique ability to maintain our health from various threats with the application modern medicine and well planned lifestyles. Be amazed by our breath taking artistic capabilities and the wide range of creations we develop to express those abilities. Celebrate our skills of working together to construct gargantuan architectural structures to cater for our ever-expanding populations. From a man that observed the flight patterns of birds to men engineering space travelling rocket ships. From a horse pulling a cart with wheels to a two hundred mile an hour bullet train. From chanting and animal skin drum bashing to five hundred piece symphonic orchestras. From hand written mail to video calling. We have come a long way; and our characteristics have adopted complex definitions compared to our ancestors.

The question I ask myself sometimes (what does it really means to be human?) is a thought inducing one with so many aspects to take into consideration. There is this dualistic battle of mind and body, physical and mental, which has endured throughout the ages of the Homo sapiens existence. Objectively speaking it would be viewed as the battle of survival versus harmonic co-existence, both with ‘self’ and ‘everybody’. Subjectively it varies due to the multitude of individual ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ in both the categories of physical and mental. One thing that is common in this question at hand is the fact that the physical can be measured in terms of biological make-up or structuring if you will, whilst mental cannot.

Physiology sets about to explain the physical aspects of living creatures including humans. In a nutshell it focuses on the functioning of organisms. In today’s times the branch of physiology can explain our genetic and biological make-up to the utmost of precision. From cellular functioning to tissue and bone, nervous systems, organs and their individual functioning to neurology. The aforementioned can all be measured and explained to the finest detail. Just a bit of research on physiology and one can make the assumption that the human body functions exactly like a complex machine, in the sense of moving and functioning parts working in harmony to perform a great number of tasks.Some voluntary (picking something up), some involuntary (circulation of blood), some can be overridden (increase/ decrease of breathing) by consciously changing the patterns of function.

Then we find ourselves in the mental realm, full of mysteries, contradictions, and riddles. Mentality is a part of our make-up that cannot be accurately measured scientifically or biologically. Yes brainwaves can be measured and complex scanning machines operated by experts in the field can pinpoint the areas of brain functioning. Yet thoughts, expressions, ideas and all the other mental processes said to be from the grey matter (largest part of the brain) cannot be measured. Cause and effect can be observed by the actions from thought but those thoughts cannot be viewed objectively. This is the part of humanity that I think makes us truly unique. It is the inherit attribute that sets us apart from each other, the true origin of individuality. People can have similar views or perspectives about their current surroundings and how they interpret reality, but just a slight variation can set us miles apart to say the least.

All the ‘man made’ objects we see around us started from a thought. All arts and music came from individual thought and or collective thinking. Creativity is an attribute to a large number of humans and all of those creative attributes where born in the mental realm. The words ‘soul’ and ‘spirit’ are both associated with mentality/thought, considering the fact that they cannot be measured, have no fixed identity, and can have variations in definitions. Along with mental variables from humans there are also expressions of emotions that set us aside from one another. One person may cry in moments of anguish whilst another may display anger, this again establishes the unpredictable basis of thought/decision making.

Reason is approached in so many different ways that some people cannot communicate effectively, causing them to 'clash', and in worst case scenarios revert back to instinctive retaliation both verbally and physically. We develop certain personalities that ‘match’ the mental make-up of our peers, which can lead to lifelong friendships and or intimate relationships. Some fear the very thing that others aspire towards. The mental realm is in most cases a complete mystery and its origins is left towards interpretation and that very aspect makes it a true wonder for all of human kind. So we are left with this metaphysical (relationship between mental and physical) dilemma. In the mist of our greatness lies a mystery of a somewhat incomprehensible magnitude. This mystery is part of humanity; it is the very thing that defines our unique place in this universe. Our capability to progress is indeed part of that mystery, edging us on to know more by toughts of questioning.

Wars have been fought and truces have been made because we have this remarkable ability to conciously portray love, which is a gift way beyond physical actions like hugging or kissing. It is the ability to look past our flaws and differences, to extend a helping hand to our fellow species in need. To work together against a greater good. As we begin to understand the schematics of mentality, we can succumb to universal acceptance and fully embrace individuality and difference. For our similarities in physical make-up coupled with our vast differences in mentalities truly makes us all ghosts in a machine, roaming this planet for acceptance and purpose, a purpose we make for ourselves.

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