One can ask why did nature gift us with the belief that we can be anti-nature to produce greater happiness, why nature defeated itself by using us human as a guinea pig…
We know what it is like to be sick. It is the worst time of our life, being the antithesis to our happiness, comfort and sense of well-being. It is even worse when it is accompanied by pain, involving then the body, brain or mind.
Can we view sickness from a different angle and give it another dimension?
After the Big Bang our baby universe inflated at fantastic rate, atoms and molecules got organized into gas and dust, which led to conglomerations of same to form stars, planets and galaxies. Later explosion of stars and supernovae created heavier molecules of elements like carbon, iron, nickel, oxygen, phosphorus – the stuff our bodies would be made from. For billions of years, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen got organized into protein, forming the basis of life.
Yet this progression to complexity was part and parcel of the well-established Second Law of Thermodynamics (SLOT), which predicts that as our universe expands and ages, it would become colder and our atoms and molecules become more disorderly and gain entropy. That is, energy available to do constructive, useful work would keep decreasing.
How is it then that our organism accumulates energy and gets more complex! That looks paradoxical, but it is not, because that SLOT applies to a closed circuit system, which is the solar system where the sun loses energy continuously. It builds up somewhere else – partly in our body, which however is itself an open system – while the major proportion of that energy is dissipated as heat. And that’s how we humans, full of energy, find ourselves in such a colder and progressively chaotic system. Ultimately that energy within us, obeying the SLOT, has to go and get locked into dust and ashes through a process called sickness and death, after we put up a fight to acquire energy outside our body.
Manifestations of sickness
(a) Hostile viruses and bacteria imposed a constant threat from a suffocating environment – and that conflict is the beginning of our health problems. Bugs attack our skin; fortunately nature has fashioned it so well that it knows how to resist most infections. Those bugs can easily invade our lungs, and via any orifice in our body lead to diseases. But now we know how to tackle these infections. Let us lie dead for one day – and immediately those in our intestines would invade all our body within no time; they are waiting to play the game of SLOT and have their pound of flesh, to reduce us to the lowest level of energy!
(b) A couple gets married, and within a year the lady is pregnant. She may develop an allergy to the husband’s sperm and goes on to have a complication known as pre-eclampsia. Yet if that couple has waited for 2 years, the theory is that the wife would have been immunized against the husband’s sperm antigen and the pregnancy would go unhindered. That’s allergy for us; we do react to foreign proteins that are not ours, which is a cause for concern in transplantation of organs and leads to rejection. And allergic reaction from environmental molecules is a well-known health problem, manifesting as asthma. Our white blood cells play a major role in these instances and in inflammation, which would underlie most of our physical decline.
(c) Then we adopted “bipedalism” – to run, hunt and escape from predators. But this posture has imposed certain disadvantages: making us prone to backache and to overuse joints like our hips and knees (which we now can replace with synthetic materials). But unfortunately that posture and our sense of propriety make natural labour more difficult for our women, and predispose to varicose veins of the legs in others. We are supposed to walk and run, but we want to ride and fly to beat speed and time. In so exposing ourselves we often end up at the hospital
(d) The eternal question: is our life ruled by our environment or our genes? At the beginning genes did not exist, so they are necessarily products of the environment meant to perform a specific function and resist changes as much as possible. Nature produced them to transmit traits from parents to offspring. But malfunctioning genes, after exposure to thousands of synthetic harmful environmental factors, can trigger disabling, incurable diseases, like cancer.
Plenty of sunshine, fresh air and good food render us healthier. We must not forget that for billions of years a million facets of that environment have adapted and interacted to finally offer a stable energy background of which we form part. But we have rapidly come on the scene to upset that stable, well-interconnected chain of events, eroding and destroying our environment with all sorts of pollutions. We’ll have a price to pay in form of physical or psychological impacts. All the chemicals we include in our food management and cosmetics have a tag price attached to them.
(e) The sense of paradoxical energy follows us everywhere; we are told not to overeat, not to drink alcohol in excess or smoke cigarette – yet we continue to do so, knowing quite well that they are detrimental to our health. Is it a death instinct or is it that SLOT principle which is ingrained in our brain and mind? Excess of food stretches the limits of our body and can lead to cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. The other side of the coin is that billions go undernourished which also gives rise to ill-health.
(f) If we are lucky to escape all the traps that nature has aligned in our way we find ourselves ageing. Energy starts failing to circulate efficiently through all our organs, as wear and tear catches up with us and we may have all sorts of pains and so on. After standing up against all the forces of nature, we now must give up as gravity starts to pull us down to the lowest state of energy.
(g) We are the special beings who have tried to oppose nature, to exploit its gift, to service to the maximum the pleasure centre in our brain. Payback time will come. It looks as if on one side was the universal force/energy and on the other ourselves, the very product of that force; we stand all alone against it. We rose with special feelings, intelligence and wisdom. Most of us take fun in opposing that natural environment, break it down, and exploit it. We complicate our psychology by inventing all sorts of complex restricting social laws with resulting psychiatric problems. But our body and mind are from a different dimension, sometime unable to toe this linear thinking – and the killer stress sets in; with it come all sorts of psychosomatic problems.
We are discovering that people who view themselves as a parcel of the universal process, who do least harm to the other creatures of creation, who consume less venison, who live a slow unexcited but peaceful non-ambitious life, who resist destroying nature for fun are the ones who enjoy better health.
And one can ask why did nature gift us with the belief that we can be anti-nature to produce greater happiness, why nature defeated itself by using us human as a guinea pig?
Why did She produce an intelligent being, which would wreck that very Nature? Did she not anticipate that risk? Maybe all that is a ploy concocted with a greater universal agenda – to continue satisfying her Second Law of Thermodynamics? We pay the price in the form of sickness, and we’ll be reduced to ash and dust – the lowest level of energy.
* Published in print edition on 20 April 2018