Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thank God for Skin

Every time I think about we humans' incredibly stable internal landscapes, it blows my mind, seriously. Homeostasis is amazingly precise. We maintain an internal temperature that varies by only fractions of a degree under normal circumstances, whether it's 20 F. or 100 F. externally. Even when we are ill, our internal temperatures only vary by a couple of degrees. More than 5 degrees of difference, warmer or colder, and our lives are in danger. Wow.

Blood pressure, heartbeat, respiratory rates all vary depending on the situation, but not by much, especially when you consider the truth that externally the world is in a neverending flux in terms of weather, temperature, humidity, season. We are also constantly encountering unexpected situations and challenges. Is it any wonder that life's big changes take their toll on us?

As with all things, balance is the answer. We need to switch things up enough to keep us alert, on our toes. A life that is too predictable renders everyone dull. But too much change is traumatic, harmful. It's an interesting thing to think about.

One of my great teachers believed the science/art of philosophy was developed to help us make sense of living in a crazy, unpredictable world while maintaining internal homeostasis. He believed philosophy is one way to reckon with dichotomy. Rings true for me.

May your day be peaceful but also interesting.

Eid Mubarak to all.


Jo said...

What a beautiful photo!

I love the idea of philosophy helping to maintain balance.

A philosophy professor once told me that most philosophers are good mathematicians, too...makes the balancing of equations and the balancing of logic and philosophy seem almost symbiotic. Very cool.

Reya Mellicker said...

I bet they are!