Monday, July 21, 2008

Nature vs. Nature
Last week or so I've been sick. Not coughy, sneezy sick, but sick just the same. I can feel it in all the important places. The barometer is down, nearly bottomed out. My energy is affected, and my mood, and the way I'm able (or unable) to interact with others, especially my children, has become a problem. I don't think it has anything to do with the root canal of six days ago, or the apparently terrible infection that lived in there for God knows how long before it became painful, but it could be a factor. I have more than enough painkillers and antibiotics, however, to eliminate that as a real cause of the short-term, daily issues, so for now I'm taking it out of the equation.

Speaking of root canal, last week was real eye-opening in a particular way. In my brain the last few months has lingered thoughts from a TAL episode called Testosterone, which put into serious jeopardy the idea that I am who I am for inalienable reasons. I learned that this one little chemical, C19H28O2, is an huge player in the everyday game of how I live my life. I asked, as did one man featured in a segment in the episode, how I can really define who I am when so much of the answer depends on the tiny amount of testosterone that is secreted into my blood on a daily basis.

Testosterone is known to control such human impulses as ambition, mental and physical energy, memory, spatial ability, aggression, and (you were waiting for it) libido. So in some respects, a person becomes a different person without it, or with larger or smaller doses of it than one has been accustomed to being. Personalities develop, and the ever-human quest of discovering oneself takes place, in an arena governed in part by our body's chemicals, and big T is a major player in that arena.

A similar epiphany came last week, as a result of the pain I felt pre-root canal, and the sudden relief under the glorious needle of my endodontist. Obviously, a person in pain is much different to interact with than a person who is not. Obviously. Why do we say that? Because we fully understand this, and the reason for it. A pain stimulus is easy to detect: you know when you're in pain (and where, and how much, and sometimes even why). The effect of the stimulus is clear on a person's mood, and therefore his ability to socialize, reason, and react.

So in some respects, a person becomes a different person when they're in pain. Right? Logic shows that, even though this is a much better understood line of reasoning, the effect of pain is much like the effect of testosterone on a person. Right?

So here's my question: who the hell am I? Am I just a biological being, governed by compounds and stimuli and environment? Or am I something more? I believe the answer to be the latter, but in a pure sense. I believe that who I am, the real me, is defined SOLELY by the Divine thing that was installed into this body roughly 36 years ago. However, my access to that thing has mostly eluded me. I haven't yet figured out how to interface with that larger, largest, part of my being that operates this big bulky thing I carry around with me. Is what I believe true, if I cannot even explore this, and therefore not even say who I am in the Divine context? Is the me I show to the world, the person I strive to understand and earn a place among others with, really something more, despite the daily lottery of things that can go wrong inside?

It is at times like this that I must remember what one energy healer once told me: your body is not who you are, it's just a vehicle. And like any vehicle, no matter how noble the trip or how important the driver, sometimes things go wrong. I suppose, in a case like mine, in a week like this, I have to maybe start paying attention to the oil pressure and or something. Otherwise, I'm headed for a wreck only a minor overhaul will fix.

*Disclaimer: I'm neither a biologist nor a psychologist, and I have only a layman's education in theology, and this will not be the last post written in such a confused, inordinate manner. Suck it up, people.

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