Human: Instructions for Use–the title of the book says it all… or does it, really?
Depending on your background, the title triggers a myriad of associations. What’s the book really about? Ethics, health, education, wellbeing, religion, medicine, philosophy, sociology, psychology, politics…?
Well, yes, the book can have different impacts on you. It all depends on your attitude. Do you read to confirm what you already know or to learn something completely new?
What you’ll ultimately learn about human nature won’t come from reading Human, or any other book. That will be the result of your dialogues with those you agree and disagree with. Your agreements and disagreements are alive as long as they keep changing in a real dialogue.
If nothing is changing, you’re not really having a dialogue. You’re probably caught up in cliches that you’re not even aware of.
I expect you to disagree, whenever something makes any less than sound sense–either in the book or in your own mind. When you discover something potentially mistaken in your own worldview, please put even your holiest presumptions on pause, if only for a short while, and allow a new image to crystallize. It might surprise you!
Read carefully, please, and engage in dialogue with your friends and family on the topics you’ve read.
If you find flaws in my writing, I’ll be delighted to hear from you! I’m excited for every opportunity to learn in dialogue with scrutinous readers!
The overview of Human
Now, after this brief introduction, allow me to walk you through the book–in this and two following posts…
Human: Instructions for Use starts off with defecation. It’s for a reason I call the book a back door to health and happiness.
Defecation has become a ritual, or as I like to call it a shitual. It’s as unnatural as it could be and the consequences are devastating!
What’s wrong with how we shit?
Almost everything. Your body posture, psychological state, social context, physical infrastructure, etc.
“The list of health problems associated with sitting down to poop is very long, but the problem behind the problem is that visible symptoms take years to develop and overlap with other sedentary habits of modern life; modern medicine doesn’t fully recognize the gravity of the negative effects of sitting defecation.
“Deepening irregularities torment more than half of elderly people in the civilized world and many of the younger too, regardless of their age. Colon diseases are practically unknown where people squat to poop, although eating habits in such regions vary greatly. This indicates that posture during defecation does matter.”
To shit naturally, you have to be able to squat. If you can’t, the first chapter of the book is for you.
If you can muster a deep squat with your heels on the ground, pat yourself on the back! Then go to the toilet and figure out how to shit in that same position on the regular toilet. If you can’t, you’ll find good hints in chapter two…
“Many studies point out the benefits of composting human feces and the appropriate usage of urine in farming. Additional studies explain the benefits of squatting. I like to combine what and how and top them with a sublime why, as I aim to penetrate into the tenets of our culture.”
Next, figure out how to make sure that the nutrients in your excrement find their way back to the plants. If you have a composting toilet, pat yourself on the back. If not, chapter two will give you some ideas.
Once you’ve relieved yourself, your breath will be lighter. The third chapter is about the physiology of breathing. I describe a simple “exercise” which even a baby can do. Actually, babies do it all the time since that’s exactly how they breathe. When it comes to breathing, babies are your best teachers!
(The overview of the book continues in the post Overiew of the book Human, Part 2.)