Human beings have built enormously complex social and economic systems around which our day-to-day lives are based. Man is a social animal and a creature of habit ; and it is no wonder that his habit of looking at things through his lenses often results in an unwarranted sense of self aggrandizement and subsequent creation of knowledge gaps and blind spots.
While assessing our own role in the natural world, we seem to have overcome nature by taming the untamable and softening the intensity of nature “red in tooth and claw”. Man has anthropomorphized nature itself to render it fit for human taste. The physical sciences have helped us convert nature into a plaything, while the digital prowess of man through the utilisation of information and technology has helped us create entire realms of world that is seemingly independent from the natural world. However, amidst the wide range of epithet that have used to describe man as an emotional animal , a rational animal, a social animal , a political animal and a technological animal, what seems to have been lost is the real nature of man : that he is first and foremost an animal, a organism dictated by his basic biology.
Information and technology we have become digital but we are still hopelessly analogue , living and breathing within a fairly narrow range of physical and biological constraints. Change a variable of temperature, pressure or biology and and kaput ! We shut down quite like the computer screens faced with power shortagew.
While the systems we have created evolve in a fairly rapid pace and technology gallops at a breakneck speed, our biological bodies unlike the two, have largely remained the same and function within the delicate parameters set upon it by Mother Nature. Naturally, it is wise to function within those parameters and live according to nature’s metronome.
Following the gradual pace of nature is often the most efficient way of going about our lives. No wonder the ancient Romans recognized this steady and measured pace of nature in the phrase Natura non facit saltus, or , Nature does not make jumps.
If we were to go further back in history, we see the ancients of India exhorting people to follow the course of nature, live with it, respect it and identify oneself as a part of it. This philosophy not only manifested in the fields related to health like Ayurveda and Yoga ; it also found its expression in the very idea of worship wherein the elements of nature were presented prime position in the form of various gods like Agni, Indra and Vaayu. And this adulation of nature isn’t just confined to religion. Science has also come to appreciate the efficiency of design that nature provides in its components, whether it is the solar-efficient photosynthetic ability of leaves that have provoked the thought of solar cell manufacturers or the hydrodynamic shape of dolphins that have inspired numerous submarine design. So, if entire systems of knowledge made by man take a cue from nature, it would be the foolish on our part to try to live unnatural lives using the biological bodies that is is itself a part of nature.
Insomnia, hypertension, stress and problems due to artificial food, excess of screen time and sedentary lifestyle are just some of our unnatural habits that have had negative impact on our lives. We cannot even begin listing out the modern modes of lifestyle that lead to modern maladies
While trying to tamper with the workings of nature, we have created “solutions” to problems that often lead to greater problems. It is a hopelessly cyclical process. A simple example of this could be the disruption of our Circadian rhythm through the excessive use of phones, owing to which we end up sharing our bed with insomnia more often than we’d like to.
Whereas the trend of trying to live an unnatural life that is sedentary, uhealthy and stressful is a recent phenomenon in the evolutionary timescale , our biological bodies are a result of millions of years of evolution whose workings cannot be mindlessly tampered with without inviting inevitable consequences. If we are to keep on living healthy and fulfilling life, we must follow the dictates of nature and go back to a lifestyle that is in sync with the rhythm of Nature.