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Warning, philosophical ramble, may offend...

I've been thinking about this for a few days, and now need to get this down on "paper", so to speak. I understand and accept that some of what I'm about to write might challenge common beliefs and accepted ways of thinking about stuff, and therefore might offend some readers. Also, I'd like to point out that I don't necessarily *believe* the stuff I'm writing either, I'm merely exploring some thoughts...

Ok, disclaimer dispensed with...

I participate in a number of communities that are constantly trying to get "back to nature" or trying to respect "natural processes", and it has often occurred to me that maybe we only respect those natural processes that suit us as individuals...

A recent discussion on following children's lead with regard to when they want to sleep and don't want to sleep was one such discussion that got me thinking about how we ignore a lot of what doesn't suit us in favour of just "picking and choosing" the stuff we like, or seems easy and calling it "natural" to justify our own needs...

The idea being discussed was put forward in an article about allowing children to choose their own bedtime and choose their own mode of "settling down". It suggested that parents shouldn't really need time alone in the evenings and therefore children should be welcome to stay up as long as they needed to. They should also be welcome to run around, and "party" as a way of releasing their energy before going to sleep, and that there was really no such thing as children becoming too hyped to go to sleep, that was merely a modern take on things that allowed parents to set abitrary bedtimes and force their kids to be quiet so the parents didn't have to deal with them...

I suggested that "in the olden days", when people really did live close to nature and the natural state, adults and children rarely stayed up very long past sunset because a) they led very physically demanding lives and used up a lot of energy, b) they were as "stimulated" as people are these days, especially by electronics, and c) they were able to "bring the sun indoors" via the miracle of electric lighting, and so they couldn't just "keep doing stuff" around the clock, they way we do now.

It was then suggested that some people are early birds and some are night owls, and you can't just ignore you body clock; a night owl will just lay awake in the dark if they go to bed too early...

Yes, there is probably a lot of truth in that, however, I still believe a night owl might not be awake as long into the night when leading a physically demanding lifestyle and not having access to all the stimuli available now, or the ability to just keep doing stuff under articificial lighting... Also, I argued, perhaps the night owl might benefit from processing the days events in a quiet and still manner at the end of the day, instead of further distracting themself from those thoughts by continuing to do stuff...

But moving away from the issue of sleep, and looking at another arena of the pursuit of the natural...

There is always a lot of talk about natural birth... And yet there is so little acceptance of the nature of birth. The nature of birth does include, sometimes, maming or death of either the mother or the baby, or both. These days our take on natural birth is that it should be natural unless nature wants to some sort of Darwinian "survival of the fittest" gig...

The planet has an overpopulation problem, and the answer is for people to limit the number of children they have, but there is no acceptance of some couples not being able to have children (in that case IVF is available), or that anyone should die in the process of a child entering the world.

As someone who would surely have died during birth or soon after birth, myself, except for the miracles of modern medicine, I'm not being flippant about this topic, I'm merely exploring the idea of accepting ALL aspects of nature, the good and the bad, and what's more honouring the natural processes, both the good and the bad.

By honouring, I'm thinking of how we often seem to be happy to honour the positive aspect of nature, but we don't want to know about the negative. Which includes not wanting to know about those things we have to take responsibility of when accepting natural processes.

Take, for example, my own recent gall bladder attack. I'm sitting here waiting to see a gastroenterologist so that she or he can put me on the track to a gall bladder ectomy, LOL. Yep, my gall bladder is no longer doing what it "should do", so I'm all for whipping it out. Why? Because it means I can go back to eating fatty foods. Now, eating poorly, including half starving myself at times in vain attempts to loose weight quickly, is probably what got me here in the first place. Basically, I didn't want to honour the natural processes and eating in a way to keep my body functioning properly, so my gall bladder became stressed and now doesn't work properly, so I'd rather get rid of it than live with the consequences of my own past choices...

We're all for natural birth, but we don't want to accept that if we're overweight, that might impact negatively on the birth process. Or even the conception process. We just want to quip about how "nature doesn't get it wrong"... I believe nature, in fact, DOESN'T get it wrong, but we take nature for granted and we only want nature to work in ways that suit us, we don't want to do our part in honouring the natural process.

We want to live for 100 years or more, but we want to be able to do that AND live a very sedentiary life, AND eat whatever we want to eat, AND burn the candle at both ends because we don't want to stop partying...

We want to have children, people born completely dependent on us, AND we want them to be independent of us at just a few weeks of age, AND we want them to take responsibility for knowing all the consequences of their children from birth so that they always make the right choices for their own well being, even though their brains aren't fully developed until they're in their 20s and as mammals they're the most physically DEPENDENT (on their parents care and protection) species on the planet. Why? I believe because we don't want to have to put ourselves out.

If our children become overtired, we're just relabel that in a way that makes us feel good about ignoring their need for sufficient hours of sleep because we don't want to put in more than minimum effort helping them recognise that if they don't go to sleep now, even though they're having fun, then tomorrow when the sun comes up and they have to get up and do stuff, they'll be tired and cranky and sad because they didn't get enough hours of sleep to allow their bodies to recover from the previous days activities.

Alternatively, we are happy for them to go to sleep, but we still don't want to have to put in too much effort helping them recognise their own need for sleep, so we'll just stick them in a dark room and let them cry themselves to sleep alone, occassionally going in there to asuage our own nagging guilt and hopefully calm the child a little before the next lot of crying before exhausted sleep...

Yes, nature is fantastic, except when it makes us face the fact that sometimes we need to be responsible and honour the fact that if we don't take care of ourselves in the natural process, the natural process can't keep the equilibrium that makes everything work smoothly...

Even the "bad" in the natural process has a very good reason for being, it tells us when we've pushed nature to it's limits. In nature, balance is everything, for everything to run smoothly and KEEP RUNNING, all things must balance. There must be good and bad, life and death, easy stuff and hard stuff, stuff we enjoy and stuff we'd like to avoid, but can't if things are to remain equal and ongoing...

Comments

katef said…
really interesting topics and thoughts... I've mused over this when it comes to 'natural birth'... if my first birth had been left to 'nature' my girls would not be here. So I fully admit that I am only up for natural birth when it is all going to turn out ok... if there is something that nature can't take care of, then get me all the medical help in the universe...
I think people don't like to accept that 'nature' is hard-arsed. It all sounds so lovely hippy la la, lets be natural, etc but if we were truly 100% natural (which I don't think is actually possible today - I don't even think you can know what exactly is 'natural' today) then it's not all roses...
ramble ramble... I like it when you rant!
Amanda O. said…
Have to agree with Kate. There are bits that kind of follow along the lines of a more minor rant/musing/thought chain thingie I've been churning over on a few subjects that can't quite seem to gel itself into words for me. That and I think I'm just at a point where I find anything that's perscriptive in how it's telling me to view or experience something even more obnoxious than usual.
Tabs said…
I twittered about nature getting it right with regards to Type 2 Diabetes:
"believes Diabetes 2 is a healthy response. The body is too fat so wont produce insulin as this will convert blood-sugar to fat to store it."
I had trouble expressing myself really clearly in the 140 character limit, but I think you'll get what I meant.

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