Daily Nugget of Gold 1568

If we didn’t have genetic mutations, we wouldn’t have us. You need error to open the door to the adjacent possible.” – Steven Johnson


Daily Nugget of Gold 1568

Mental Awareness

We’re on the subject of sanity, and moreover, normality, and we’re going to open up for discussion an area we’ve covered before- the senses. Notice we said “the” senses and not “our” senses. For us- and every other living creature out there, the senses we use define how we see and interact with our world. It’s easy for us to forget that we sense a world in a much different way than some other animal. We could be laying on the couch, for instance, and our dog comes along and takes a whiff just to make sure the person there matches what they have “on file”. Seldom do you see people do that just to be sure of who’s there.

As a common house fly buzzes about the room and lands on the desk in front of us, it is treated to a view of us which makes it very difficult to just slap it with a hand if we wanted to get rid of it. It has compound eyes- like peering through a massive kaleidoscope, which give it a quick and unmistakable message to take off if a hand should approach it. Can you imagine what it would be like to live and exist in our world with compound eyes?

A bat uses echo location to “see” the world, to locate food and to find its way around. It’s not that they don’t have sight, but they rely on sight far less than other species. So what’s up with all of this? Here’s the thing, all these creatures have evolved a way of interacting with the world which give them certain advantages. Mutation and adaptation are ways that nature does a “trial run”, to see if maybe a different way of doing something might be better for a group than another. Lots of things don’t work out- and sometimes an entire species goes extinct because of that. Before we blame mankind for this, understand that tons of species went extinct before we even got here.

So what does this have to do with mental awareness and sanity? A different way of looking at someone we might think of insane is that they have adapted or mutated in a slightly different direction than we have. This might be no more different than the fact we have people of different heights or shapes. Sure, it’s easy for “normal” people to call out “abnormal” people, but perhaps a better way of thinking about this would be to call those observations “usual” and “unusual”. We’ll take a closer look next time, literally. See you then!

Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves

How do I define “normal”?

Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.

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