Albert Camus, the French humanist, wrote, “there is only one true philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is worth
living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy.” Pliny the Elder had said earlier, “admit the miseries of our life on earth,
suicide is God’s best gift to man.”
These are the words of egomaniacs - or rather, egomaniacs caught up in a state of depression.
Is there truth to these words? A recent study proved the obvious (to me and anyone else who scientifically studies the brain), that suicide and hot
weather are linked:
Hot Weather amd Suicide
A hot planet in 2050 could spark tens of thousands of more suicides, a new study suggests.
Thermodynamics, a law that governs all matter in the universe, means 'heat loss'. As energy enters a system, unless it is a crystal, the energy is
going to leave it after some interval of time. The measure of this loss of energy is termed "entropy".
Heat goes up, and the molecules which make up your cells vibrate faster - which causes them to lose heat faster, which causes the body to speed up its
processes, and so, reduce the functional wherewithal of your biodynamical system. An example: under heat duress, the solitary nucleus of the lower
brain stem changes its behavior so that parts of the brain like the amygdala become more reactive to events in the environment. Why does this
connection exist - between the solitary nucleus and the central amygdaloid nucleus? It makes much sense if you simply contemplate the homeodynamic
basis of the body. Whether the perturbation be microbial, heat, cold, or social, your body has a 'homeostatic range' which it wants to stay within. If
heat goes up, all the other parameters which your body controls adjust with that change. So, with regard to the brain and the regulation of feeling
states, when heat goes up, the central-control system of the solitary nucleus influences a suite of other brain-sites which ultimately results in
reduced blood flow to cortical regions furthest out from the brainstem - which are also the most recently evolved structures.
Heat thus reduces forebrain 'control' on affective processes. If the humidity and heat is low, humidity 15%, a comfortable 25 degrees, lets say - the
human body is hardly disturbed. Crank the humidity up to 60-70 %, and the heat to 30, and the body begins to operate at a shortfall, as it were,
relative to the former conditions. The former conditions provide the sort of 'external support' to mediate optimate usage of the forebrain.
Conversely, 30 degree weather with a high humidex is going to lead to high dehydration, and thus, reduces system functioning.
Regular eating and hydration can counter these effects, of course. And staying away from coffee, alcohol or anything else that can dehydrate you is
essential if you want full control of your brain-mind.
In the case of microbes, the energy balance between brain and body tilts to the latter, with the immune sytem increasing its output, and
correspondingly, the mind feeling tired and apathetic. Its as if a perfect sphere were dented; the dent goes inward, into the body, and its not until
the infection is dealt with that the dent is fixed and the system becomes 'symmetrical' again. In the case of the mind - or social stress - the
relationship is inverted; stress in the mind can depress immune function.
Notice what I am writing: your feeling states are oftentimes controlled by impersonal ecological factors. Ecological factors are transitory. Feelings,
too, are transitory. Suicide during hot weather seems incredibly bizarre, from a logical perspective, because the greatest constraint, or control, on
the individuals feeling, is the weather. Yet it is not this that is emphasized by the person who suffers this way, but whatever it is in their life
that is haunting them.
Think for a moment what a public campaign that emphasizes this difference could do for people. Our mind-brain functions according to energy input. If
I never hear people talking about the significance of the impact of weather on my emotional functioning - if these connections are never made out to
you - why would you be compelled to form that sort of thought? Not everything becomes interesting to us, but only those things, as Stuart Kauffman
would describe it, within your semiotic "adjacent possible".
Still, I am sure most people would find this idea helpful when their distraught. It gives you some sort of existential breathing room; you can 'hold
it out', let the stressful pressure of the weather pass, before you do something that canot be undone.
This 'relational' logic applies as much to microbes or social relationships, insomuch as "a certain amount" of microbes and negative socioaffective
meaning can produce certain deleterious consequences in our functioning.
Another important parameter on 'feeling' is sleep and food, but this thread is focused moreso on the relationship between heat and feeling, and the
incredible fact that some people will do things at certain times without realizing how much wiggle-room they have with their feelings.
Knowledge is power - and in situations such these, the more you know about what you need to feel 'right', the more power you have over the qaulity of
your existence. The only way to change this situation is to recognize the value of normalizing this sort of relational logic in conversations.
Feelings are emergent; they depend upon certain interactions for them to emerge. In humans, oftentimes it takes psychotherapy for a person to realize
what seems obvious right after its known: that the relationships one has developed are the source of the negative states they experience.
Such relations go to the most basic and banal. Eating, getting hydrated, heat, humidity, microbes. All sorts of impersonal things affect our feelings.
It makes sense to integrate this knowledge if we hope to improve our relationships with one another, as well with our selves.
The Albert Camus quote is about another matter - developmental trauma - and how ignoring that fact about yourself leads you to ignore the 'special
nature of the assertion being made. In other words, non-traumatized humans aren't struggling with the question Camus does. They are busy enjoying
their living - not being weighed down by the unresolved force of traumatological feelings.
This is the most toxic attitude humans can have. When they ignore the previous events that lead up to their assertion - as if their 'feelings' were
expressing reality as a general truth, as opposed to their truth,
which, of course, happens within a more fundamental ideal truth, defined
as the normal, and natural, teleodynamic tendencies of the human system.
edit on 29-7-2018 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)