Being Natural by Dr Beetle
Biologists tend to understand the importance of being natural, but they concentrate on the efficiency part. They are often impressed by the efficiency of adaptations, describing how a predator 'ruthlessly' attacks and brings down its prey, or waits camouflaged in ambush so that prey 'does not stand a chance', or how a snake has enough venom 'to kill tens of thousands of mice let alone one'. Presumably you wouldn't like it the other way around, where predators 'clumsily' attack their prey, leaving them escaped but maimed or in pain.
Humans also have efficient adaptations such as an opposable thumb, and large brain size. But there is more to being natural than just having a list of adaptations. Adaptations are of little use if they are confused, misdirected, and not used at their full potential. Before an animal can efficiently enact its adaptations, it has to know or sense the core of what it wants and the reason for its adaptations. This is an area of biology that has not been studied enough, especially for the human context.
An obvious difference between humans and wild animals is that one is natural while the other is artificial. Clearly, being natural is vital in nature. It is the pathway to energy savings and efficiency. The natural course is normally simpler, easier, parsimonious and less stressful to follow. Actions will touch the right chord and reflect true desires. Being natural should also give more stable and lasting results, because actions accord with time proven principles already accepted by a wider ecology. Unfortunately, humans have chosen to be artificial. By this I mean that they put aside or postpone their better judgements and true desires, as a way of getting by within society, simply to survive, or to meet responsibilities. To get ahead, some may push aside conscience and senses to become ruthlessness instead. There is the hope to get back to a more natural life at some time, perhaps when on holidays or in retirement, but often this never seems to happen due to the fast pace of society.
Currently, humans are not moved by nature. Instead, they must devise their own singular goals and systems where nature has little part. But such an isolated course increases the chance of producing problems. Humans cannot be sure that what they are doing is really what they want. They may later regret what they have done, and have to change or repair that which upon reflection they recognise as damage. By being artificial, are they really just digging a bigger hole for themselves? Artificial will also get little feedback or recognition from your surroundings because those links cannot see the value or reasoning behind your actions. Achievement based on artificial standards might really be destruction. Life can become a bit of a blur and de-motivating.
Intuitively, people would like to be more natural, relaxed and stress free. The benefits are obvious. But the difficulty of course is how to implement. Being natural, or at a minimum, being more natural than occurs now, is within reach of everyone at any time. Any gains in the following steps will help.
1.Detect within yourself where your true motivations come from. It is my observation that humans do not really know what they want. This makes them inefficient, and full of crossed purposes. Science still cannot actually tell you the source of your motivation. Is it from your genes, emotions, instincts, selfish nature, limbic system, greed, culture, civilization or desire? Sift the phoney from the natural and real. Sift the excuses and fears from the strengths. Sift the right chord from the clamour of delusion. (The origin of your motivation is the 'interaction desire', more beetle). 2.Become less serious. In the wildness there are no problems, and even though a human will not be able to see how such a statement is possible there it is. Every problem can be solved by taking the circumstances creating them less seriously, so that you can then look at the issues from an ever broader perspective until an insight can strike through their heart and lift you to freedom. Artificial lives stumble across numerous problems, while the natural course simply fails to muddy the waters (for more hints, see complication). 3.It is interesting from 2 above that an insight is always available. This, and many other indicators, suggests that there is a broad and common framework or pattern throughout our nature and universe. The trick will be to see this pattern in its simplest form, as it could be a source of great reassurance and understanding. In the process of seeing such a branching pattern, it is also important not to give up too early or accept lesser stories by falling for the trap of believing, deluding, or going airey fairy. If something is real, it should work, and now. 4.Have greater confidence in your animal instincts, links with nature, and accept more native animals into your space. The current teaching by biology and evolutionary psychology that nature is selfish and world of dog eat dog is wrong, and a reflection of human pomposity and mob scientific chant rather than any leap into objectivity (see anthroprudism).
(Posted April 2001)