Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bag of Chemicals


There is this guy at work, this very funny, kind-hearted, obliging guy, who, sometimes – at least once a month – when asked how his weekend was, laughs and says, “I survived my wife’s PMS!” It’s a guys’ thing, a rough conversation to which I only eavesdrop occasionally, when their loud voices draw my attention. The first time I heard this I was outraged, pissed off, upset, barely able to keep my mouth shut.

Then, I thought more about it.

What are we, in fact? I know the tendency is to give all kind of noble definitions, good to tickle our endless self-pride. But, inside us, neurons work with electrical signals through chemical and electrical synapses; chemical messengers called hormones regulate physiological activities including growth, mood, metabolism, and preparation for a new activity or for a new phase of life; glands secrete all kind of other chemicals… Nothing like some endorphin to give you a sense of well being. And serotonin regulates anger, aggression, body temperature, mood, sleep, vomiting, sexuality, and appetite! And how about those nice sex pheromones? Forget the notions of romantic love. My darling, your chemicals and mine seem to be attracted to each other. Often, a little sunshine can work miracles on your mood.

So, is that what we are, a bunch of chemical and electrical reactions? How outrageous a thought, some might say. We, the mighty human beings, (almost) slaves to this?! Unconsciously, women tend to dress better when they’re ovulating. Is that humiliating enough?

And that little something that’s called soul or ka or thymos, what is it? We’re proud of it, we put our hopes in it, and maybe, just maybe, it is what makes us different from the rest. Is it also the product of these reactions or is it a true link to transcendence? I couldn’t tell. There are days when I feel my “spirit” soaring to the skies and others when I’m just a bag of chemicals…

10 comments:

John Eaton said...

Je ne crois pas, V. You will never be just a bag of anything.

Oh, and tag, your meming, not dreaming.

Seven Random Things

Bernita said...

I hold to the hope that the total is greater than the sum of its parts.

Emperor Ropi said...

Guys are expressing themselves in a different way than girls.

Taffiny said...

" days when I feel my "spirit" soaring to the skies and others when I'm just a bag of chemicals..."

I feel this, yes.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

The soul lives in its chemical bag in unity and oneness, teaching and learning all the time as it works and grows its way back home. The body we live in, that is a part of us, is a remarkable bit of "engineering" :-)

I'm reminded of a post I did months ago about bacteria and how smart they are - so much smarter than us humans :-)

SzélsőFa said...

You've expressed it so funnily and promptly.
And while our body is a bag of chemicals, I truly believe that we are more than just a body.

Vesper said...

Thank you, John, on both counts! :-)

Me too, Bernita, me too.

I think you're right, Emperor Ropi. :-)

Thanks, Taff, it's good to see I'm not alone. :-)

Ah, Vanilla, you've said it so much better...

Szelsofa, thank you, yes, you must be right...

jason evans said...

A bag of chemicals, yes I believe that is the most true.

However, perhaps nobility is a choice. The bag of chemicals can aspire to be something greater, and in so doing, once in a while may actually catch a glimpse of it.

Mad Munkey said...

For nearly the last 12 months I've measured my day by how many pills I was taking. Today I measured it by the amount of food on my plate and the tears in my eyes because I'm still here.

Being a bag of chemicals sucks, but it passes and the sun shines again.

Vesper said...

Thank you, Jason and Munkey, for sharing your thoughts. Yes, I think we, somehow, have some power over these ruling chemicals; that we can be greater than the sum of them and that, indeed, the sun shines again.
Good for you, Munkey! I'm glad you're here!