skin wrapped around bone and guts...

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    Mar 20, 2008 9:22 PM GMT
    that's really all we are.


    although that sounds defeatist/pessimistic/emo i'm somehow relieved by that thought. i don't know where it came from or why, and i don't know why i'd feel better for thinking it, but somehow it's oddly comforting.

    anyone able to help me analyze why? i'm kinda confused by it. someone in another thread mentioned being a professional psychiatrist - i'm here to talk... what might underlie this sentiment and the relief i feel from it? icon_question.gif
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    Mar 20, 2008 9:32 PM GMT
    It's oddly comforting (well, to me, at least), I think, because you've left out body fat.
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    Mar 20, 2008 9:52 PM GMT
    i agree... and hormones too.
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    Mar 21, 2008 12:14 AM GMT
    Because it puts things into perspective. There are more important things in the world, or even in your own persomal life, to worry about and focus on rather than having the 'perfect 6-pack'.

    I'm not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to have a great body, for the most part a great body comes with good health, a good lifestyle, which can mean a better life for the individual.

    But yeah, it's just skin, bone and muscle, and one day it'll all be gone, and if you're a spiritual person, your spirit will still exist and move on.

    If you can put things into perspective and realize your personal apperance isn't the most important thing to concern yourself with, you can better find a balance between the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of yourself.

    Just a thought.
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    Mar 21, 2008 12:22 AM GMT
    To build off what ShawnTO said, it also serves to simplify our existences. Maybe you're feeling the need to over-simplify yourself into black-and-white physical components because something is existentially overwhelming you right now, and you need to see yourself as 'parts is parts' automaton of sorts rather than a complex, feeling person??

    Just a random guess, because I can tend to do that from time to time. I'll take off my Dr. Phil hat now. Oh, and a disclaimer...I did not study psychology. I studied English, which only qualifies me to think I can grasp every other discipline.
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    Mar 21, 2008 12:29 AM GMT
    zdrew78 saidOh, and a disclaimer...I did not study psychology. I studied English, which only qualifies me to think I can grasp every other discipline.


    Aw, way too modest.
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    Mar 21, 2008 12:38 AM GMT
    zdrew78 saidTo build off what ShawnTO said, it also serves to simplify our existences. Maybe you're feeling the need to over-simplify yourself into black-and-white physical components because something is existentially overwhelming you right now, and you need to see yourself as 'parts is parts' automaton of sorts rather than a complex, feeling person??

    Just a random guess, because I can tend to do that from time to time. I'll take off my Dr. Phil hat now. Oh, and a disclaimer...I did not study psychology. I studied English, which only qualifies me to think I can grasp every other discipline.



    hahahaha, that's too funny.

    to me, thinking that all we are is skin wrapped around bone and guts actually astonishes me. our body is so amazing and complex, yet so simple. we are mostly made of carbon atoms yet somehow everything works together to give us life.
  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1364

    Mar 21, 2008 12:40 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidthat's really all we are.


    although that sounds defeatist/pessimistic/emo i'm somehow relieved by that thought. i don't know where it came from or why, and i don't know why i'd feel better for thinking it, but somehow it's oddly comforting.

    anyone able to help me analyze why? i'm kinda confused by it. someone in another thread mentioned being a professional psychiatrist - i'm here to talk... what might underlie this sentiment and the relief i feel from it? icon_question.gif



    Repeat after me:
    I am Fucking Fabulous!!!
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    Mar 21, 2008 12:47 AM GMT
    I've been having a lot of these thoughts lately. When you really sit down and think about how insignificant we are in this world, this galaxy, this universe, life suddenly becomes really scary, but beautiful in the not knowing.

    I sometimes look at people who rush to work, make their millions, etc, and think - you're exactly the same as me. You evolved from the very same components as that piece of plastic over there. You're just a walking piece of mass.
  • yogadudeSEATT...

    Posts: 373

    Mar 21, 2008 12:57 AM GMT
    dancerjack said
    i don't know why i'd feel better for thinking it, but somehow it's oddly comforting.


    It's because the part of you that finds this realization comforting has nothing to do with your physical body. And when your physical body is gone, this aspect, this self/witness/soul, whatever you want to call it, will still be present.

    Zen Master Seung Sahn, on visiting the site of the Buddha's enlightenment in India, wrote a beautiful piece that concludes with these words:

    "....and so he was awakened to the truth and attained freedom beyond birth and death."

    To have faith that this is possible we first must realize that we are more than our physical bodies.
    And when this realization becomes truth to us, we no longer view our existence as having a beginning and an end. Hence, "the freedom beyond birth and death."
    And then we no longer fear death.
    And when we no longer fear death, we no longer fear anything, because the fear of death is the foundation for all fear.

    I'm a yoga teacher. I have to say stuff like that.icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Mar 21, 2008 1:51 AM GMT
    wow, that is really profound.

    one thing my astronomy professor told us that made me feel kind of "special" i guess, is that we are all made of "star stuff."

    all matter was created by the "big bang" so therefore, our own bodies are made of the very stuff that stars are made of. it's kind of stupid but a nice thought
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    Mar 21, 2008 3:36 AM GMT
    all of you have contributed something that helped me understand better why i'm okay with being animated stardust.

    thank you.

    oh, and by the way:

    I AM FUCKING FABULOUS (thanks for the reminder, babe!)
  • imperator

    Posts: 626

    Mar 21, 2008 4:33 AM GMT
    txguy1605 saidwow, that is really profound.

    one thing my astronomy professor told us that made me feel kind of "special" i guess, is that we are all made of "star stuff."

    all matter was created by the "big bang" so therefore, our own bodies are made of the very stuff that stars are made of. it's kind of stupid but a nice thought



    Man, it's so much more *interesting* than that icon_smile.gif Most of the early matter in the universe was hydrogen, which eventually coalesced into the first generation of stars. They fused hydrogen into progressively heavier elements until they exploded, spreading them into the interstellar medium to eventually coalesce into the second generation of stars where the process repeated, until those stars started blowing up and giving rise to the third gen stars (like our sun) and their planets (like this one). So everything in and on this little ball of rock we call home (ourselves included) is the product of billions of years of stars forming and dying. Then all of that "stuff" somehow, at some point made the leap from simple inanimate materials to living cells that over billions more years evolved on up into trees and birds and cats and cows and monkeys and bees and roaches and whales and plankton and e. coli and platypi and us, all related however distantly.

    Which is why I find it funny whenever 'anti-science' religious adherents start raving about how science reduces us, somehow, to something less "special." It might undermine our self-importance, make us *not* the center of the universe or the jewel in the crown of some supernatural being's creation, but I think it makes us even more wondrous. It's *awesome*-- the processes that all had to fall into place for us to be here. And when you realise what the most basic elements that make us up went through to get 'here,' and realise that they'll be around for (at least) billion of years after we've died, there's a sort of peace and wonder that comes with that understanding. We're part of something eternal, and even if we're an "insignifigant" part, it's a hell of a thing to be a part of. And maybe being able to appreciate that makes us somehow special, after all.
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    Mar 21, 2008 4:46 AM GMT
    God damn it, if the simile is good enough for a Joni Mitchell song then it is good enough for all of us!
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    Mar 21, 2008 4:48 AM GMT
    dancerjack saidthat's really all we are. icon_question.gif


    This generation is influenced more by facts, rather than faith - which previous generations have depended on for answers to their fears. So, it's normal to accept that a higher being may not exist at all, and still feel relieved that you're alive and happy.
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    Mar 21, 2008 5:32 AM GMT
    so are our emotions, thoughts, reasoning and everything in between a mere product of chemical reactions in our brain and the interaction of neurons? or are we more than that?

    i remember reading of an experiment done a long time ago in which they weighed a man before and during his death. apparently, the moment he died, the scale dropped 21 grams (3/4 of an ounce).

    http://www.lostmag.com/issue1/soulsweight.php
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    Mar 21, 2008 5:56 AM GMT
    It's supposed to be comforting or atleast recommended to accept one's own mortality, this way it doesn't come as such a shock when it's limits are tested.
    However, if you didn't accept the boundaries of your own mortality, wouldn't those limits be harder to test? This is why I accepted the belief long ago that I am not made of skin and bone, but rather super strong polymer and steel gears.
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    Mar 21, 2008 6:46 AM GMT
    I had similar thoughts one time and the best way to get over it is to get busy doing things you have not done before. I went to Louisiana for a while.
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    Mar 21, 2008 6:49 AM GMT
    When you confront what you really are at any level there will be comfort. Sometimes when we confront what we fear and accept what we are, the mere act of being accepted IS comfort. For one thing, when we accept what we are, we drop the burden of trying to be what we are not or what we are trying to be.

    I have written about the importance of being accepted before and can talk about the biological reasons that we need acceptance, but at this point just think of how important things like having a partner, or having a sibling, or even believing in a God or Saviour (as some may choose) is to us as humans. It is all about being accepted, approved, appreciated ... these are all shadows of the same thing. If you can learn to accept yourself DEEPLY, it is a very powerful thing.
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    Mar 21, 2008 6:54 AM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidGod damn it, if the simile is good enough for a Joni Mitchell song then it is good enough for all of us!


    That is my favorite song and I was thinking of it all along as I read this thread.

    Ciao
    Terry
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    Mar 21, 2008 8:56 PM GMT
    which joni mitchell song are we referencing?
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    Mar 21, 2008 9:00 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidwhich joni mitchell song are we referencing?


    Stardust. The version on her Travelogue album is fantastic.

    But if you wanted to listen to Flesh and Blood by Oingo Boingo you could really put together a soundtrack to this thread.
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    Mar 21, 2008 10:45 PM GMT
    Here are two strange thoughts:

    First, that every single atom that comprises your body was made in a star that went supernova billions of years ago, and those atoms were synthesized by nuclear reactions.

    Second, you know that as humans we ingest food and excrete waste. Atoms and molecules are taken in, ferried around, replace or join other atoms there and leave all the time. If you are an adult, then the odds that a *single* atom that you were comprised of when you are born remains in your body are *vanishingly* small. You are not, in a totally material sense, the same as you were when you were born. You will not be made of the same stuff when you die.

    I normally frown on metaphysical reflection from science, but the latter has quite profound implications for our sense of permanence. The former is merely a neat thought -- we are all made of stars!
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    Mar 21, 2008 10:50 PM GMT

    blah! blah! blah!...touch me.
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    Mar 21, 2008 10:55 PM GMT
    I am afraid I must disagree a bit with this summary of human beings. Although we are skin wrapped around bone and guts, we are much more than that. We have a brain which is one of the most complex and least understood parts of life. We have only just started to understand what it is capable of.

    One thing we should all remember, in the entire history of the human race (past, present, and future) there will only be one of us. We are each totally unique. Even identical twins, differ in some respects. Think about it for a minute or two and you will realize how amazing that really is.