What does it mean to be a human? The answer is not based on theology or any scientific theory. However, both spirituality and science do have a complementary role in helping us understand the human existence.

The human existance follow a certain design. Physiologically, this design allows for a certain way of being in the world.

Psychologically, the design allows for a multitude of ways of engaging the world.


In either aspect of our existance, optimal living and experiencing depend on how well we function and how we preserve the integrity and authenticity or our living forms. The mind and body as the two poles of our existance are inter-dependant and require appropriate nuturing.

If we compare our structural design to that of other mammals, we find that no other animal has the same capacity to engage in the environment as we do. A number of factors are responsible for this, both physiologically and psychologically:

  1. We are bipeds. This has afforded us the ability to move more freely within our enviroment and have a more dominant presence.
    1. A biped design has a more versatile affininty for movement. In other words, unlike other mammals, humans have been able to engage in a variety of activities other than just using our extremities for survival; i.e., eating, defending, running, climbing, etc. We have been able to make tools and alter our environment. This has been made possible by delegating locomotion to the lower extremy and delegating manipulation to the upper extremity.

      Lower extremity and pelvis in locomotion - The main difference between the biped and quadruped designs is the role of the pelvis. In quadrupeds, the pelvis is part of the weight bearing mechanism and lower extremities are the locomotor. The quadruped pelvis is in essence a rectangular box with the femurs hinged inside the box. In the human biped design, the pelvis is open in a butterfly fashion and is also engaged in locomotion. However, from a biomechanical view, this design and relationship of the pelvis with the lower extremity and the spine is not a perfect engineering piece of work. In other words, the structure of human pelvic girdle does not allow for a 100% biped mobility.

    2. Bipedalism provides an increased physical awareness of the environment through enhanced visual, auditory, and tactile perception of our surroundings. This enhanced perception has had a tremendous impact on the development of human technological and social cultures. With our hands free, we have had a greater capability to manipulate and transform things in our environment and to make tools that have made our present technology possible.
  2. We are mentally reflective. We can consciously reflect upon oureselves, therefore, our psychological attitude guides our mode of action in and perception of the world.
    1. A quadruped is flexed upon itself. A biped is extended. This is reflected in the overall posture, the shape and position of the lower extremities, the trunk, the neck and head and the arms. A flexed posture in humans can promote passiveness, submissiveness and social introversion from a psychological perspective. In contrast, the upright biped posture stimulates activeness, dominance, confidence and sociability.

    2. The most significant psychological impact of proper biped posture is the mode of interaction and perspective that it promotes. In a proper posture, the eyes do not see any part of one's body; not even the nose that is in front of our face! By not being able to see any parts of oneself, a person is able to remove themselves from the subconscious perception of being centered in the world.
      The positive attitude associated with human posture and the biomechanical integrity of human frame can only be maintained through harmonious physical and mental balance. Humans are designed to act, to move and to engage in some form of active expression of their existence. The health of the muscles, joints and the bones is based on active movement and exercise.

      This movement indirectly influences the cardiovascular system and therefore the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the above tissues and other organs, and the removal of waste products and recycling of the blood.

      In a parallel fashion, the human mind is influenced by feelings of wellness, accomplishment, confidence and adequacy when we maintain a certain level of physical activity as well as exercising our social and emotional ties with others. Proper biped posture is both a requisite and a catalyst for positive engagement in the world.

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      go back to Aethyr's Big Health Related Metanode
      In response to deconstruction:
      Firstly, I did not write these lectures, I am merely transcribing notes from the lectures. BUT I also believe that there is a lot of validity to what is written that you might be overlooking by nitpicking. Basically humans are bipeds, the point isn't so much that being biped is better than being quadruped because we can do things better than animals. Animals have evolved for survival purposes. You'll never see an animal admiring the scenary because that would mean lowering their chances of survival. So yes, animals may be better at specific talents, but I can't think of an animal that exhibits the range of diversity in their mobility that humans do. Now for a de-deconstruction:

      We are bipeds.
      Except those of us who can't walk at all, and are thus quadwheels (in this century in the West) or zeropeds (made-up word) (in the past / in poor countries).
      Homo sapiens as a species are bipedal (end of story).

      This has afforded us the ability to move more freely within our enviroment and have a more dominant presence. A biped design has a more versatile affininty for movement.
      Except that monkeys are much better at climbing trees(without tools). Dolphins are better at swimming, cheetahs can run faster, etc. If you define "our environment" as "the parts of Earth where humans can easily dominate," then we're deep in the land of tautology.
      Yes, some animals are better adapted to specific tasks, but next time you see a monkey swimming, or a dolphin walking let me know. The point is that humans are versatile in their mobility (the advantage afforded to us by being bipeds).

      In other words, unlike other mammals, humans have been able to engage in a variety of activities other than just using our extremities for survival; i.e., eating, defending, running, climbing, etc. We have been able to make tools and alter our environment. This has been made possible by delegating locomotion to the lower extremy and delegating manipulation to the upper extremity.
      Lots of animals make and use tools. Beavers build dams. Seagulls use rocks to crush shells. Beavers also alter their environment. And other animals do to.
      Yes, lots of animals make tools. Yes, animals can manipulate their environment. But again, I think you may be missing the point in your nitpicking. Animals don't alter their environment for reasons other than survival.

      We are mentally reflective. We can consciously reflect upon oureselves, therefore, our psychological attitude guides our mode of action in and perception of the world.
      Do you know what a cat is thinking? Can you know?
      I can almost guarantee a cat isn't thinking about their psychological attitude and how it guides their mode of action in and perception of the world.

      Sub-sections A and B must have been garbled in transmission. Please tell me that a human did not write this.
      Sub-section A basically states that by not mantaining a proper upright position, you will promote submissiveness and passiveness in your psyche, while a proper position promotes confidence and the like. Sub-section B was a bit messy, so I've revised it.

      The positive attitude associated with human posture and the biomechanical integrity of human frame can only be maintained through harmonious physical and mental balance.
      Provide evidence, not proclaimations.
      It's hard to provide psychological evidence for these ideas. The physical evidence is coming in later sections, along with psychological theory.

      What does this have to do with health?
      health
      • The overall condition of an organism at a given time.
      • Soundness, especially of body or mind; freedom from disease or abnormality.


      Why is this philosophy so superficial?
      I'm sorry if you find it superficial, maybe later sections will be more interesting to you, if not, there's not much I can do.
We are bipeds.
Except those of us who can't walk at all, and are thus quadwheels (in this century in the West) or zeropeds (made-up word) (in the past / in poor countries).

This has afforded us the ability to move more freely within our enviroment and have a more dominant presence. A biped design has a more versatile affininty for movement.
Except that monkeys are much better at climbing trees(without tools). Dolphins are better at swimming, cheetahs can run faster, etc. If you define "our environment" as "the parts of Earth where humans can easily dominate," then we're deep in the land of tautology.

In other words, unlike other mammals, humans have been able to engage in a variety of activities other than just using our extremities for survival; i.e., eating, defending, running, climbing, etc. We have been able to make tools and alter our environment. This has been made possible by delegating locomotion to the lower extremy and delegating manipulation to the upper extremity.
Lots of animals make and use tools. Beavers build dams. Seagulls use rocks to crush shells. Beavers also alter their environment. And other animals do to.

At this point in my response (having not even read the entire original write-up), I have some questions:
  1. What does this have to do with health?
  2. Why is this philosophy so superficial?

And now back to your regularly scheduled deconstruction:

Bipedalism provides an increased physical awareness of the environment through enhanced visual, auditory, and tactile perception of our surroundings.
Dogs can smell better, hawks can see better, and cats can hear better. I don't know what can feel more effectively, but I bet flies or octupuses or something can.

We are mentally reflective. We can consciously reflect upon oureselves, therefore, our psychological attitude guides our mode of action in and perception of the world.
Do you know what a cat is thinking? Can you know? Sub-sections A and B must have been garbled in transmission. Please tell me that a human did not write this.

The positive attitude associated with human posture and the biomechanical integrity of human frame can only be maintained through harmonious physical and mental balance.

Provide evidence, not proclaimations.

Response:
You'll never see an animal admiring the scenary because that would mean lowering their chances of survival. No, it would mean *raising* their chances - that's why we humans do it. If you look hard at the world around you, you'll pick up stuff that less perceptive members of your species might miss, like that snake that's about to bite you. Now, maybe a leopard is under the impression that it's just admiring the world around it - the same idea we seem to have. But the *evolutionary* purpose of that appreciation of nature is to make you look around so that falling tree (watch out!) doesn't kill you.

I think this is a big problem with the above stuff, and in general: people thing evolution is straight-forward thing. It's not; it's twisty. Any change that's helps people's genes propagate stays, those that don't matter spread at random, and those that hurt die out. Changes don't happen in order to help, they just happen, and happen to help. So, there's an evolutionary advantage to enjoying good poetry: When you recite it, the MOTAS go crazy for you :). Twisty.

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