therefore I am human
It is late at night and I am planning my trip to bed for about thirty minutes, when suddenly I stumble upon a talk show, which obviously sounded interesting enough to crap on my “go to bed early” plan. As I sat sunk in the couch admitting my defeat to the shiny grin of the TV, my ears picked up the discussion. The show was a lifetime achievement celebration for a teacher of agricultural sciences. This 80 year old man sounded so crisp and eloquent as he talked about his love for corn and linen, when the blast of something like this sentence got my attention:
I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than a field of blooming linen
What? WTF! Blooming .. linen? I thought: this must be an interesting person if he got to appreciate linen for its … flowers! And I was right, because for one hour and a half of remembering his life, lauding ex students who achieved amazing feats in agriculture, discussing the philosophy of teaching, commenting on the communist backlash he experienced and so on, I watched mesmerized the stories of a cool old man. But the real treat came towards the end. Here is how I remember it:
What is your opinion on GMO plants?
I believe GMO plants are the normal next step in agriculture and we are fools for forbidding GMO agriculture in the EU. We have selectively influenced plants genetically for thousands of years but the natural possibilities of increasing productivity in agriculture through selective pressure have reached a dead end. As long as we cannot find human resources to handle the work required for increasing productivity, food production required to feed humans has hit a wall that GMO plants solve brilliantly.
Hunger has been man’s enemy ever since the dawn of mankind, always constantly waiting to strike and us always evading it, and we should be constantly aware of that.
Who am I?
I am a person. I am a programmer. I am a writer. I am a husband. I am a lover. I am curly haired. I am getting fat at an alarming rate. But, really, what am I?
I am an electric equilibrium that is maintained for a while inside an organic tissue made of neurons. I am all in my head. The rest is life support.
Considering this, just about any creature with a brain has this split. Their perception of their selves on one side and their whole selves on the other side. The whole self includes the life support.
The whole self is hungry, and it is hungry at all times. We are hungry indeed. We are hungry for food and the nutrients in it, but we are hungry for love too. We are hungry for life itself, we are hungry for glitter, water, pleasure, bliss, validation, and the useless calories in double peanut butter chocolate ice cream. The hunger for success, for the sand on sandy beaches and the height of waves to surf, for the leather on that yacht’s couch and the salt in our lover’s hair, put there by the warm breeze, which we’re also hungry for.
But we trick our hunger. We prey on chocolate, when we crave closure. We chew on regret, to soothe our gluttony of life. Our tongues caress teardrops, when we’re starving for forgiveness. Nails can be bitten, when hunger for another existence makes its sickening rumble in our tummies. The fleshy taste of our lips give us dinner haze, when we’re hungry for each other.
Yes, we trick our hunger.
Because we’re smarter than our hunger. The electrochemical state my brain holds, the chatter between dendrites and axons, can trick the life support. My eyes can see what they don’t see, and my hunger can be eased by what I don’t eat. We are smarter than our hunger, and that makes us eat the world itself.
Yes, hunger is our enemy. Hunger for validation. Hunger for lust. Hunger for the present moment. We feed on Tinder, on Facebook, on Twitter. Hunger for food. We feed it, even when we fed it thirty minutes ago, just like babies suck on the milk in the second bottle. But we’re not babies.
We are humans. Civilization, society, hope, exploration, family, philosophy, games, religion, all made so that we can trick our hunger. We are prepared. Among all things that demote us from humans, war is first place. War is when hunger gets the best of us. War is when our hunger is for the other’s life.
I am eating these words as I write them, because I am hungry for your inside ears to listen to my thoughts. I am all in my head and desperately knock my skull from inside out. My life support is so hungry. I just want to tell someone what’s like inside these mushy layers enveloped in dura mater. But you all know, don’t you? What news of that land so familiar could I bring? Hunger is our enemy and, yes, sometimes outsmarting it is straight out boring. God forbid we ever deem it useless. But sometimes, some people do and dendrites and axons stop talking to each other. Fist the who am I will vanish, and very soon after the what am I starts to dissipate.
Sometimes I feel sorry for life support and just eat when I am hungry. Whatever eating means at that very moment. Do you?