These days all I really do is edit my book “Human Being: Instruction for Use” in English. I am finally satisfied with the text! I decided to share the introduction with the wide world … Please, please, please, comment!
the cover of the book as I saw it in my dream — and drew it right afterwards
This book came into being by defecation. In 2005 I decided to write a witty little article on harmfulness of sitting toilets—a topic I never encountered in any health magazine or book. It turned out to be the most popular article on health that I’d written that far.
The articles that followed were just as thrilling as the first one, examining a wide range of natural habits, analysing them through unbiased insight into human anatomy. Reliable scientific resources were scarce so I had to rely on traditional knowledge from various cultures and on my own experiences over the last two decades.
Practicing the natural way of defecation for all those years helped me gain trust in the wisdom of human body. I learned to allow myself to breathe, sit, eat, walk, work, hear, look, etc., according to my body’s anatomy.
It wasn’t easy at first. In going from knowing what’s right to doing what’s right I stumbled upon conservative social norms which expected me to silently conform. I started questioning those norms with common sense and rational arguments; I gradually compiled a list of senseless habits and obstinate prejudices, which are so ingrained in our culture that they became invisible. Not only that we don’t question them, we’re not even aware they exist!
Until that time I was just as blind to these adverse habits as everybody else. Nobody ever told me it actually mattered how my basic bodily needs are met. It didn’t seem possible there could be anything harmful about the way I do casual everyday things. But unraveling my body’s inherent wisdom lead me to the conclusion it did matter a lot how I eat, sit, work, defecate etc.
“Strange thing, habits, people themselves don’t know they have them.” — Agatha Christie
People tend to take their way of life for granted—nowadays this means dwelling in square rooms among chairs and tables and shelves laden with nonfunctional property, staring into electronic screens all day long, moving around in steel carriages, wearing particular clothes for every occasion, evaluating everything with paper bills, eating out of plastic plates, defecating into drinking water.
As I realised most of these modern habits are unreasonable and many of them even harmful I began replacing them with natural habits, thereby gradually transforming my way of life. Years of practice proved beyond any doubt that there is only one healthy way of using the human body, and that is according to its inherent anatomy. For some reasons every single culture in the world got carried away from the organic use of the human body as it developed increasingly complex social structure and system of norms.
Thus seemingly insignificant basic habits got detached from their natural way; anomalous habits creeped in one after another, insidiously undermining human health, resilience and wisdom. In the present age the instinct of how to live is covered by thick layers of programmed, unvoluntary behaviors. There is hardly any awareness of minute and gross repetitive patterns that constitute your hours, days and weeks.
What you’re not aware of you can’t change. What you can’t change has power over you. Over centuries the ignorance of the organic how has crippled the physical health of the entire civilisation. Our ancestors considered this knowledge too marginal to have it documented for future generations, and even those bits of it that had been documented got devastated in intercultural clashes and destructive wars.
That’s why such knowledge is rare in historical records. It can only be reconstructed from bits and pieces that didn’t get lost, or from natural habits preserved in remote tribes, or from new research of the organic functions of the human body.
My intention in writing this book was to stir up such research and to encourage the readers to take a critical stance to their present everyday habits, no matter how innocent they may seem. Only when you try something different can you have a choice between the new and the old, and to objectively say which one is better.
One more thing has to be said in the beginning of this book. Although we’re all anatomically pretty much the same, we’re also very diverse. Each individual is a unique universe. My experience can’t always match your experience, so don’t take anything for granted. I am not presenting any kind of absolute realisation or scientific axiom, I am merely inviting you to allow yourself to go down to the denied layers of yourself, and to track down the lost bits and pieces of the how of the unique Human Being that you are.
If you find my writing challenging to your cultural norms, religious beliefs or personal habits, please don’t feel offended. Don’t forget, I may be wrong. But let the experience, not your sheer convictions, be the judge of your practices. Your convictions may change, but the anatomy of your body will stay the same. Don’t use your reason just to confirm what you already know, use it to measure what’s right. Only stupid laws prohibit people to be what they really are.
“The universe does not have laws. It has habits. And habits can be broken.” — Tom Robbins
If you read this book with adventurous spirit it will point the way out of the maze of complexities, created to distract you from what’s really important. Your habits, your how is where the roots of your health and happiness lie.
Once these roots tear apart the plastic pot into which they had been squeezed, they will grow wide in the limitless soil beneath, rootlet merged with other rootlets, strong, nurtured and connected.
What will happen then? Do you really want to know? Then keep your mind open and turn the page …
nicely said 🙂
Nara, you are so genius. To question the basic habits is done with such an humor and open heart. I really like the approach and the way you write. The photos with you, looking so happy are a perfect addition. I hope in the book are more photos from you and others being happy.
One little thought: You write: “Only when you try something different can you have a choice between the new and the old, and to objectively say which one is better.”
I would not write ‘objectively’. Here the word ‘subjectively’ is much more accurate in my eyes. To try something new results in empiric knowledge which is subjective perfectly.
Thanks for your great efforts!!!
All (=) Love, Ernesto ~:)
Thank you so much Ernesto! 🙂
I saw on facebook that you wanted us to preview your book. I didn’t intend to read the whole preview, just glance at it. But once I started reading. I could not stop until I had finished. I like the rebel spirit to follow natures laws rather than humans. I think you are awesome. Let me know where I can buy the book when it is finished.
Jaz bom pa tak mal naivno vprašala: bo knjiga samo v angleščini, al morda tudi v naši prelepi slovenščini? 🙂
Drugače pa super, uvodnik vabi, zelo.
Lep dan še naprej!
knjiga je v slovenščini že od leta 2007, naslov je “Človek: navodila za uporabo”. Poglej na: http://www.zarek-hc.si/Zalozba/?zarekhc_frontend=vg34n82hk4rnugjr51074vi7o3
Na strani založbe Žarek so kratke predstavitve mojih knjig in knjig, ki sem jih urejal oz. soprevajal.
Aha, sem se spraševala, če gre morda za to knjigo. Ki pa je že prebrana. Pa bo še kdaj.
Just stumbled upon this site and saw the request for comments. I am probably too late to the party, but here goes my two cents:
A.) The cover page is very busy. The title and subtitle are getting lost in graphics. The idea of several different snapshots of the abstract forms has organic rhythm though, I’d suggest to edit it down to several snapshots and leave the rest bare – let the title breathe.
B.) Translating the book: do you know who your audience is? Who is it for? And please do not say anyone that reads. Is it intended for UK market, NA, Australia, etc…?
Love the title, short and catchy.
Thank you for your comment!
The cover is just an experiment I designed myself, based on a dream I had. There’s a story behind it, but the designers I met so far weren’t able to make use of it and shape it well enough. So the Slovenian edition was totally different: http://sanja-jansa.blogspot.com/2008/08/clovek-navodila-za-uporabo.html
The book has been published in Slovenia already, so I have a pretty good idea of what the target audience is. I was aiming at publishing the book in the United States first, but since I got in touch with the Ecovillage movement in Europe, I found many potential readers in UK and EU, so I already had an editor from England set the text into British English. Among the readers are various seekers, health enthusiasts, open-minded humanists and philosophers, new-age buffs, modern green and back-to-nature folks.
In Slovenia the book had 2 reprints since 2007, I don’t doubt it will have many reprints in English as well. It’s a really cool book 🙂