What is a human?

It seems to me that human beings are amazingly complex entities, in an amazingly complex reality.

It seems that our reality started to take shape some 14 Billion years ago. The original stuff of this reality was weird beyond our current knowledge, and as time space and matter sorted itself out, this original stuff condensed through many phases until eventually we were left with simple atoms and electromagnetic energy.

Over hundreds of millions of years the first stars formed, and in their violent explosive deaths most of the heavier elements that make up our bodies were formed.

Our solar system is a second generation system, composed of star dust from earlier exploded stars – as are we.

It seems that our planet formed some 4.5 billion years ago, and very early on developed life. For over 2 billion years early life on earth was simple single cells – bacteria.
Eventually about a billion years ago, more complex eukaryotic cells developed. These were essentially a colony of simpler cells within a larger cell membrane. The remnants we see today of these are the plasmids – the mitochondria within our own cells, and the chloroplasts within plant cells.

Eventually sexual reproduction allowed more complex organisms to evolve far more rapidly than asexual reproduction allows. It seems likely that the force that allowed sexual reproduction to get started was the genetic damage caused by free radicals released from the mitochondria.

Over the next billion or so years, life seems to have evolved from single cells to the amazing complexity we see today ( plus many times more than that that have gone extinct in the interim, for a whole raft of reasons, large comet strike, large meteor strike, large scale volcanism, climate change induced by plate tectonics, climate change due to changes in solar activity, and many many others).

About 5 million years ago our ancestors seem to have started walking on their hind legs, which freed up their hands for tool use. Slowly we have acquired a huge number of characteristics that allow for the many layers of systems within us to give rise to the self awarenesses that are reading these words.
It seems very probable that the process that has powered all of this is evolution by natural selection.
Evolution is fascinating.
It is a very simple idea, that leads to amazing outcomes over time.
All it requires is something that makes copies, occasional errors in the copies leading to variation, and differential survival of those variants.

For billions of years all evolution had to work with was DNA and RNA.
For the last few million years it has had culture.
About 10,000 years ago, something seemed to really happen to the rate of cultural evolution – it shifted into overdrive.

Now we have evolution happening at many levels, and we have awarenesses arising at many levels.

It seems to me that there is no limit to the potential number of levels to which awareness can rise – at each level transcending and including the lower levels.

Each human being appears to be a potentially unlimited creative entity, yet most of us form habits very early in our lives that severely limit our ability to see our own creative potential.

We are each an interesting interplay of probability functions, potentialities, habits, culture, and creativity powered by holographic intuition.

We are each complex beyond the ability of any mind to comprehend.
Every one of us has about 10,000 times more cells in our bodies than there are people on the planet.
Every cell has within it about the same number of molecules as there are cells in our bodies, of some 50,000 different types.
All of that complexity is doing stuff thousands of billions of times every second.

Our conscious awareness cannot register anything faster than about 15 times per second.

Yet our conscious awareness can create contexts, and contexts within contexts, in potentially infinite complexity.

We are truly amazing things.

It seems to me to be time to start taking very good care of each other, and the environment that supports us all.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) with reasonable security, tools, resources and degrees of freedom, and reasonable examples of the natural environment; and that is going to demand responsibility from all of us - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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11 Responses to What is a human?

  1. holessence says:

    Ted – What an interesting, mind-stretching read to have before heading out the door this morning to teach Reiki Level 2. Bottom line on top: I am in total agreement that we are truly amazing.

    When you have a chance, will you please explain what you mean when you use the term “holographic intuition?” I’ve experienced being taken forward in time by Susan Wisehart (author of Soul Visionin) using holographic time. I don’t want to assume that these to types of “holographic” (holographic intuition and holographic time) are similar, or are different. I simply don’t know.

    Thank you for this post — a great way to exercise the mind as we launch our day.


    • Hi Laurie

      I will come back to holographic intuition in a future post, so I will not go into great detail here.

      The way in which our minds create the models of reality that we use, the process of intuition, is amazing. That we can, with great reliability, work things out without going through extended processes of testing, is something that confuses many people into thinking that such intuitions are always reliable, or that they come as revelations from some other source. It seems that the process by which we come by such intuitions (as visions, voices, or just as ideas) is amazingly simple, yet profoundly powerful, and has a reasonably easily comprehensible analogy in LASER holograms – see a paper I wrote some 20 years ago on Holography / Intuition.

      This ability is central to the development of our self awareness. This physical process, combined with the evolution of language in culture, and the individual distinction of the idea of right/wrong (or good/bad) leads to each of us intuiting our individual self awarenesses into being in a declaration in language. This too will be the topic of a future post.

      That such simple mechanisms can lead to such amazing complexity is profoundly beautiful; though it does rather disrupt most of the cultural explanations of what stuff is and how it works.


  2. Ted – thank you for this explanation – I sincerely appreciate it.

    We just finished the Reiki Level 2 class. Len and I are getting ready to leave holEssence. As you know, you are the person we did our distance healing work on. It was a strictly female group this time: Jill, Lisa, Mary, Chut, and me. Like before, each person had your photograph and the detailed information that you had provided me. Thank you for granting permission for the work.


  3. Hi Laurie

    Thank you for making the effort on my behalf – I sincerely appreciate it, irrespective of any outcomes.

    The Hippocratic Oath, “First do no harm” – comes strongly to mind. One thing I am certain of is that Reiki does no harm.


  4. “Reiki does no harm.”

    Ted – we’re in complete and total agreement on this. I was going to say we see eye-to-eye, but you’re so tall it’s probably more accurate to say we see “eye to throat” (my eyes to your throat). Regardless – we’re in in sync 🙂


  5. Ted—-
    Happy Birthday to you!!!!!

    It is a pleasure to read you insights and always a joy.

    Have a Great Day



  6. Pingback: The presence of Ted « Eternal Presence

  7. Nick David says:

    this stuff is very interesting Ted!

    I met you in the health store about one month ago, and wondered if you are on facebook also? Is an easier way for me to stay connected.. anyway great work with your blog, you’re certainly onto many a great things.. You’re warning with the environment is something I would be interested in looking into a little more.. Last time I looked into the environment stuff it was a little hard to swallow with so many different opinions from various scientists and experts it left me not really knowing who to believe so i just left it – out of sight, out of mind. talk soon



    • Hi Nick

      Good to make contact with you again.

      The environmental movement has many within it who are willing to lie to achieve what they see as a noble end – that being the major reason I left both Greenpeace and Friend’s of the Earth.

      There are also many within it who have very limited views and understandings, who see things in very simplistic terms.

      Those are two of the major forces leading to the confusion of misinformation on the topic.

      A very good read is Jared Diamond’s “The third Chimpanzee” – you will get a good historical overview of the big picture environmental issues facing our species.

      The issues are not insoluble, and they are not trivial either.

      We are limited by our awareness, at every level.

      Currently the dominant social paradigm of awareness is based upon money as a system of valuation, which has a fundamental flaw in it, in that money is a measure of “exchange value”, which does not value things which are abundant, because no one will exchange anything for something they already have all they need of (like air to breath).

      This difference between “real value” and “exchange value” (monetary value) is perhaps the greatest systemic level threat to the environment. In a mathematical sense, it introduces a fundamental instability into the system. At some point, we need to alter control systems to one that is more stable in a mathematical sense. Raising “consciousness” or “levels of awareness” is one possible (necessary) set of paths.



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