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Subtly Complex Humans

This article aims to shed light on the intricate workings of the human body and understand its complexity. We aim to dissect its systems and functions that facilitate its working so seamlessly, despite its complicated nature. The need for understanding these complexities of the human body has been an ongoing endeavour for both, scientists and healthcare professionals. Through this article, we will explore the different aspects of the human body and delve deeper into its mechanisms. Human beings are intricately complex. They have big desires and work hard to achieve them, but even after they succeed, their desire does not diminish. They deliberate upon world peace and serenity, however, they, themselves, corrupt their bodies and minds. They preach goodness to children but contradict morals when someone crosses them. We, humans, are endowed with complexity. Complexities in body structures and the networks of the mind. To understand them thoroughly, let's understand the basic makeup of a human being. Humans are more than just a brain.

They comprise a mind, body, and soul, and exist in a social habitat. Living in such a diverse and dynamic environment requires an amalgamation of rational, emotional, moral, spiritual and spontaneous thinking. All these components co-exist and help a human function properly. It enables them to communicate, think, feel and exist independently. Mindfulness has been philosophically and empirically related to psychological well-being. Mindfulness consists of awareness and non-judgmental acceptance of one's present experience. Sensory processing sensitivity typically involves a greater awareness and responsiveness to sensory stimuli and has been around for thousands of years. In recent years, mindfulness has been combined with cognitive therapy in treatments aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Even for the simplest of decision-making, we use information from both the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.

This unconscious mind consists of mental processes that occur beneath conscious awareness. While the conscious mind holds our thoughts, feelings, and memories, the unconscious operates on a deeper level. Mindfulness, a concept present in many cultures, is viewed differently depending on the context. In the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness is seen as one of many practices necessary for achieving spiritual liberation. It must be cultivated alongside other practices, such as ethical living, in order to reach this goal. On the contrary, In the Western understanding of mindfulness, it is generally not tied to a specific philosophy or set of practices.

In Buddhism, the act of being mindful involves reflecting on important teachings such as the inevitability of change and the experience of pain. The Buddha recommended maintaining mindfulness of bodily functions, sensations, feelings, consciousness, and the content of consciousness while being aware of their transient nature. Western practice puts less emphasis on these aspects compared to traditional Buddhist teachings. Biologically, the human body is an intricate and organized structure made up of unique cells that work together to regulate life. Cells are the building blocks of the body, and all tissues and organs are composed of billions of different cells. Despite varying in size, all human cells are quite small. Even the largest fertilized egg, cannot be seen with the naked eye. Cells come together to create tissue, which then forms organs.

The collection of organs is known as an organ system such as the Respiratory system composed of the nose, mouth, throat, lungs etc. Although these organs may appear simple, they perform a wide range of functions that are often difficult to understand. For example, the brain is the ultimate controller of the human body and is composed of nerve cells called neurons. These neurons send and receive chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. The brain regulates all bodily processes such as thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, and hunger. The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system or CNS. It's interesting to note how the brain judges a situation first before expressing disgust or awe at it. It also signals uneasiness as soon as we witness an overwhelming situation. This is a behavioural response of the brain regulated by the sympathetic nervous system, a component of the CNS.

The brain is a complex organ made up of three main components: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. These components each have unique roles in the body. The cerebrum is responsible for interpreting sensory information and controlling emotions, logic, and learning. It makes up about 80% of the brain. The cerebellum, located at the back of the brain, is responsible for maintaining balance, posture, coordination, and fine motor skills. Finally, the brainstem regulates automatic body functions like heart rate, respiration, sleep and wake cycles, and swallowing. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and is located in the lower region of the brain.

The spinal cord carries nerve signals throughout our body and is responsible for controlling bodily functions, reporting senses to the brain and managing the reflexes. This reflex action further works on a complex network of neural pathways involving the brain, sensory receptors, spinal cord, and motor neurons. As we continue to study the nature of humanity, we come across the concept of the soul, a spiritual and religious aspect of a person. The soul is the immaterial essence of a person that defines their identity and humanity. It is often seen interchangeably with the mind or the self. In theology, the study of religion, the soul is considered to be a part of an individual that is divine and can survive even after the body dies. Many cultures acknowledge the existence of a non-physical entity associated with the soul, even in non-human organisms. This belief has existed for a long time, with evidence of it among ancient societies. Despite the widespread belief in the soul, different religions and philosophers have developed various theories about its nature, relationship to the body, origin, and mortality.

Ancient Egyptians and Chinese believed in a dual soul, where one part remained near the body after death, and the other proceeded to the region of the dead or was worshipped by ancestors. Ancient Hebrews had a concept of the soul but did not separate it from the body, while later Jewish writers developed the idea further. The Bible connects the soul to breath and does not distinguish it from the physical body. Various philosophical schools have different beliefs about the nature of the soul. The Believers of Greek philosophy believed that the soul was composed of atoms, just like the body. On the contrary, The Platonists believed in abstract objects and saw the soul as an intangible substance, part of the world of change. Aristotle's understanding of the soul was unclear, although he did believe that it was a form inseparable from the body.

In Christian theology, St. Augustine described the soul as a "rider" on the body, which emphasized the separation between the material and the immaterial, with the soul representing the "true" person. However, even though the body and soul were distinct, it was impossible to think of a soul without its body. In the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas revived the Greek philosophers' notion of the soul as a regulatory force of the body, independent but requiring the substance of the body to form an individual. The last aspect is the Social Habitat. The Social Habitat is a multifaceted and ever-changing environment where human beings coexist and interact. It represents a crucial aspect of our life, shaping our actions, habits, and personal growth. As social creatures, we are born and raised within a society that abides by a set of rules and regulations, which are continuously changing to meet the evolving demands of its people.

The ultimate aim of society is to provide individuals with a fulfilling and satisfying life, promoting harmony and cooperation, while also solving occasional conflicts and tensions. Society can take on several forms, ranging from a group of individuals who share common values and beliefs, to a complex economic, social, or industrial infrastructure composed of diverse groups of people. In today's world, society is a blend of traditional and modern approaches, with technological advancements such as Artificial Intelligence transforming various industries and paving the way for increased production and efficiency across a broad range of sectors. The introduction of the internet and AI have had a significant impact on our lives, making it both simpler and more complex. These technological innovations have provided ease in transportation, communication, research, and trade, and have facilitated globalization, connecting people and ideas from all corners of the world. The impact of AI has been particularly noteworthy, transforming the way we live and work, and offering ways for personal and societal development. Despite the challenges and opportunities presented by these changes, society remains a vital and dynamic aspect, continuously evolving to meet the needs of its members, and inculcating progress in a variety of fields. As we approach the end of this article, we can firmly conclude that humans are incredibly complex organisms. This complexity extends beyond just physiological systems; it includes emotions, thoughts, and behaviours as well. The subtle complexity of humans is what makes us unique and constantly intriguing. It’s a testament to our capacity to grow, learn, and innovate. It is what makes us, us. It is what makes us humans!

Soumya
Writing Mentorship Programme 2023

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