Fear has been an integral part of the human emotional experience and psyche since the dawn of time. Every human being alive intimately understands the sensation of fear because it is literally wired into our DNA, and all of us have almost certainly felt it at one point or another. It is the emotion that makes your heart skip a beat when your mind registers a threat to your physical integrity. Fear can make your stomach churn, make you sweat profusely, and make your voice quiver unnecessarily as your heart beats faster than required. Fear can also temporarily paralyze a person and strip the brightest and most capable people of all confidence and verve. One of America’s greatest presidents – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – thoroughly understood how debilitating fear could be and this prompted him to famously tell the American public during one of his speeches that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Right… if fear is so bad, why has the process of evolution allowed it to linger ever so strongly in our human minds? Why haven’t those of us who feel fear (pretty much all of us) been ruthlessly eradicated by the unforgiving process of natural selection? Continue reading Transcending your Fears
At times, I can still hear my mother’s voice in my head saying “Chuba you can’t leave the table until you finish your vegetables”. And like you (probably), I resented it. I hated vegetables because they were either terribly bitter, or didn’t taste like anything. I couldn’t understand why an otherwise wonderful human being would often torture me by insisting I eat the very things she knew I didn’t like. As I grew older, I noticed that many doctors and naturopaths in the healing community also spoke of the virtues of vegetables. We’ve all heard the rallying cries: “Eat your vegetables regularly because they are good for you”. “You should have nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day”. “Each person requires 9 cups of green vegetables each day to stay healthy”. Although people continually point out the many health benefits of vegetables as a strong reason to consume them regularly, very few seem to be able to precisely explain why they are so good for you. This perceived weakness in the pro-vegetable consuming argument was what I used for several years to convince myself that the whole “eat your vegetables” rhetoric was just a load of bollocks concocted by sadistic adults who took offense to the freedom young people enjoy. So on and on I went, feeding my body whatever the heck I wanted for many years until I came to my senses just shy of my 30th birthday. Continue reading The Green Smoothie – Gimmicky Green Sludge? or Human Rocket Fuel?
You and I are largely physical products of the genetic information passed down to us from our ancestors through our biological parents. The fact that all the members of your family share a certain resemblance is no accident… you all share pretty similar genetic material. As a matter of fact, you and your biological siblings are actually hybrids of your biological parents. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) is the vehicle through which the information that governs and maintains each human’s physical form is passed down. The building blocks of DNA are called nucleotides and there are 4 of them – Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G), and Thymine (T). A legitimate argument could be made that these are the very building blocks of life itself because these same nucleotides make up the DNA of pretty much all living things on this planet. Continue reading The blueprint of life: DNA
Judeo Christian philosophy espouses the idea of an omnipotent (all powerful) and omniscient (all knowing) being who created the world in seven days. This supreme being goes by many names: “The Lord of Hosts”, “The Almighty Father”, “Jehovah”, “Adonai”, or simply, “God”. According to Christianity HE or SHE is immune to the passage of time, knows each and every one of us by name, knows the number of hairs on each of our heads, watches each of us carefully throughout life, and responds to our individual prayers. Further, the glory of God can supposedly be felt through the awe inspiring depth and diversity of the organic and inorganic world. God himself/herself is said to permeate the wonder that is the plant and animal kingdom, the most dazzling gems we’ve discovered, and even the stupendous vastness of the outer reaches of our universe. In some circles, God is also assumed responsible for the direct creation of the crown jewel of our planet… the very first human beings. This notion of a divine spirit being directly responsible for the creation of human beings has remained a timeless source of conflict between the schools of christianity and the natural sciences. Continue reading God vs Darwin
According to the age old saying, “Ignorance is bliss”. This implies that we can hope to stay blissfully happy if we remain ignorant of life’s inevitable pitfalls… or so the saying would want to make us believe. To be honest it sounds correct on the surface. After all, when you don’t know how ruthless and unfair the world can be, you are in effect shielded from the mental torment that such knowledge brings. When you don’t know how hard becoming a surgeon or mastering a musical instrument really is, you are more apt to paint a pleasurable vision of these accomplishments with a naive disregard for the intense hard work and drudgery these disciplines require over extended periods of time. When you don’t know how hard it is to love the same person for 30+ years, you are more likely to fetishize the idea of holy matrimony. On the other side of the coin, knowledge of a potentially negative outcome can make us fearful and skittish. For instance, fighters who have previously been knocked out in a combat sport become less likely to take the calculated risks needed for victory in future battles. People who have been fired from previous jobs refrain from asserting themselves at the next one for fear of repeating the same fate. Athletes returning from a serious injury sustained in their competitive sport of choice often lose the verve that once made them unstoppable. At first glance all these points seem to validate the “ignorance is bliss” cliche… but is this really true? Does the saying – ignorance is bliss – really stand up to intensely thoughtful scrutiny on a deeper level? Continue reading Is ignorance really bliss?
We all intuitively know when we have experienced a display of exceptional skill because it stirs up emotions in us that words cannot quite capture. It is the feeling that causes you to shake your head in disbelief at Stephen Curry’s accuracy from 3-point range on a basketball court. It’s the emotions you feel when a soulful guitar solo leaves you in tears. It is the excitement that forces you to dance when you hear Alicia Keys belt out the chorus to “Empire State of Mind” from her famed vocal chords. Words cannot describe these feelings because exceptional skill predates language in our human culture. Before the invention of language or the existence of insanely skilled musicians, writers, and athletes, our ancestors were insanely skilled hunters and navigators who could deftly weave their way through the rich African jungle and strategically plan the efficient killing of prey. Master’s of their respective domains seem to possess skill that is otherworldly and beyond the average person’s grasp. This apparent unattainability of mastery is further heightened by the fact that there are so few masters in history who really stand out. These masters form a shining line through the annals of time: Galileo, Leo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Albert Einstein, Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Michael Faraday, Benjamin Franklin, Martha Graham, Marie Curie, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, Steven Paul Jobs, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and John Mayer amongst others. The otherworldly skill these masters possess seduces us into repeatedly asking certain questions. How does exceptional skill come about? Are their brains just different from that of the average person? Are these people just born geniuses? Can anyone become a genius? Do I have what it takes to be like that or should I just accept my lot in life and stop fooling myself? Well my friends, I invite you to follow me on this literary journey as I attempt to explain where exceptional skill comes from. Continue reading How to get really good at (fill in the blank)
Why should we eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds? They taste awful.
The glorious human body requires a few essential things to thrive. Sleep/rest, adequate nutrition, and the occasional stressful event. This stressful event may take the form of physical exercise such as running away from a sabre tooth tiger or beating the hell out of a punching bag, as long as it is followed by long luscious periods of rest. With our busy lives, most of us ignore at least one of the above stated categories but the human body in all its amazing glory can actually compensate for the absence of any one of these pillars of good health for a surprisingly long time. There is a limit however to how much abuse the human body will put up with before it starts to tell you of your negligence. The human body is divine and therefore very respectful… It won’t “yell” at you unless it has to. It will begin warning you with small cryptic signals: catching the common cold more than once a year, dizzy spells, rashes, acne outbursts, heartburn, or like in my case, migraine headaches and frequent muscle strains. It is important to note here that your body isn’t the enemy. The pain it is strategically delivering is actually good for you. Your body is merely trying to get your attention ina way that you cannot ignore in the hopes that your spirit will wise the fuck up and change something. Most of us are too detached from the beautiful instrument that houses our souls to heed these warning signals. If the signs continue to go unheeded, the body will eventually lose its temper and ratchet up the intensity of the pain signals it delivers. Very often, this culminates in a catastrophic event which leaves you no choice but to do something. Continue reading Nutrition
Why do we keep repeating the same mistakes?
Most people keep making the same mistakes and getting the results they don’t want in life. The question is: Why does that keep happening to intelligent high functioning people? Continue reading The subconscious
The dangerously seductive unavailable person…
From a male heterosexual perspective. The point of view I can see most clearly…
Gone are the days when women stayed at home to take care of the children while the man went off to work everyday to earn money for the family’s upkeep. In those days, women were literally dependent on their men for financial solvency which often times directly predicted the probability of the survival of their offspring. It is deplorable to think it now but back then, women couldn’t drive, vote, or work for a living. Their place was in the home… raising children, cooking, cleaning the fort, and politely entertaining guests that their men brought home… or so they were erroneously told. Continue reading SEDUCTION
The interior of the human body is largely made up of bones (the skull, tibia, fibula) and soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) most of which are invisible to the naked eye. Prior to the invention of MRI, the x-ray was the gold standard for getting a detailed view of the body’s innards without cutting it open. Even though the x-ray worked brilliantly for decades, it had a few drawbacks. First, excessive exposure to x-rays leads to deadly radiation poisoning. As a matter of fact, radiation poisoning actually claimed the life of the esteemed inventor of the x-ray (Marie Curie, 1867 – 1934).
Second, it only allowed you to visualize things that were dense enough to block or significantly attenuate the x-rays. This meant that in visualizing the human body, the x-ray method was largely limited to the skeletal system. X-rays were perfect for diagnosing broken bones but were found wanting when it came to diagnosing torn muscles or severely sprained ligaments. Continue reading How MRI Works