Brain vs. Body

It’s hard to get a grip on things. 

I understand that making a plan doesn’t mean you’ll ever enjoy the fruition of that plan. I also know that a certain degree of entropy is required to unravel the unknown’s full potential. I recognize that “grand forces” (thank God for quotation marks) need their chances to operate with full functionality.

But I can’t help but wonder what would happen if there weren’t so much personalized resistance to basic and fundamental living.

The human body knows what it needs, and it knows when it needs it. Biology is not a foreign concept to any living creature; whether such knowledge is conscious or subconscious is another matter. There’s a thoughtless, ruleless, utterly benign reaction that occurs within us regarding our physical well being.

Then the brain gets involved. 

One system is orchestrated to exist beyond the boundaries of control, commandment, orders, or any form of coercion. It doesn’t care at all. Either I feed my body, or it dies. Either I trim my fingernails, or they grow. Either I groom myself, or adverse effects appear. I don’t get to have it any other way.

The brain, on the other hand, physically operates the same as any other part of the body. Mentally, though, it introduces the concepts of reasoning, connections, understanding, dreaming, imagination, and all the others that I don’t possess the education to deduce.

God, how can two such manifestations coexist in the same creature…?

Some wish we could live simply, reduced to the “animal urges” as we call them and avoid straining what intelligence places upon us. But that robs us of every ounce of individuality we’ll ever have. Gone would be our delights and revulsions. Forever lost are valuable memories or precious relationships.

Others would establish protocols and programs that succumb to the thumb of the creator, creating order, so chaos finds no breath to multiply itself. But then we forget the little things. Then we lose our humanity and ability to feel, touch and take in this exquisite existence.

As we are, we possess both. But, if we were to have the power to relinquish one entirely, we embrace the likelihood that we’d be left hollow. Bereft and yearning for the rest of our life knowing what was, once.

It takes the wisest, the most forgiving, the most adventurous, the most passionate, and the ablest of our race a lifetime to find balance and peace within themselves; to bring cohabitation to a creature that arguable stays at war with itself for no better reason than it can.

If it takes these, the best of us, a whole life to accomplish this goal, what is left on the table?

Is there a hierarchy? Should there be? Aren’t all created in the realm of equality? But all are different from each other. Even identical siblings, visually forged as reflections of one another, diverge from that sameness the instant they become a living soul. 

There is no original thought, yet all thinkers are diverse.

Everyone walks, but our paths are distinctive.

Our bodies require the same chemicals to live, yet we pick and choose what we ingest and what amount and life goes on.

We are all mirror images of each other physically. Yet, the realm hidden behind something much thinner than skin keeps us forever unique. 

Life treats us all the same, but we all go through our own versions of it. Every time. We have no choice but to be unique.

Age-old questions. Age-old worries. Age-old black holes that seldom regurgitate anything helpful to aid us in our journeys.

Ages old. Every creature is ages old, and we’re still learning.

For me, this is the only peace. I’ve lost faith in humanity. I have little hope that what should yield results, positivity, or reward will actually do so. 

But I can always learn. It’s humbling to think I have a grasp, only to feel that hold reveal something I never anticipated. My plan was executed, and the universe twisted it into something unrecognizable.

Not always corrupt or wrong. Just beyond my comprehension.

This makes learning hard. There are seldom happy feelings when years spent working toward one thing end in utter emptiness. This hurts even more when you don’t feel anything beneath to catch you after the void has come. 

Security blankets make defeat bearable. Not having one turns failure into an Anti-Christ.

However, to know that I can always learn lets me know, no matter how remotely, that something is achievable that I’ve yet to experience. My physical self understands that past the thoughts, there are causes and effects. A purpose outside of our hands.

And the brain knows that the simple can be extended and improved upon by not adhering to the routine, or what’s “always been done.”

But, like anything, there are limits.

I don’t know. Conceiving a life beyond what I know intrigues me to no end, but no matter how hard I seek it I will never find it. Not through thought, at least. In the now, I’ll never see tomorrow. I can only work with what I have in the hopes that tomorrow will match at least some of my anticipations. 

As Master Oogway says, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.”

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