Most of us have an interdependent relationship with our Macs or PCs. Should we think about our bodies that way? Our bodies are the computers we reside in during this adventure we call life. They provide the recognizable appearance and function of our names. So?
If the brainware of our bodies is impaired, the functioning of our bodies becomes impaired. I know this first hand. My mom had Alzheimer's and as her mind became scrambled, so did her body's capabilities.
Like computers, our bodies operate according to their software, their capacity, and their charge of energy. Bodies are recharged with oxygen, food, water, exercise, and sleep. Each has physical, intellectual, and psychological distinctions. Some have blood types that are A, B, B+, or AB. Bodies are what they are, no more, no less.
All bodies are high-powered computers, capable of exotic functioning. We see this in the outstanding capabilities of scientists, gymnasts, artists, psychics, and in our own distinctive ways of being in the world.
Our bodies have organs sensitive to touch, taste, smell, and sound. While these are sense receivers, the brain is the message interpreter. Thoughts interpret the signals and make up stories of desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, relationship, work, and play — all based on sensory messages. Sometimes we believe these stories, sometimes we know they’re fantasy.
We’re getting better at understanding the mechanics of how the body functions: how hormones communicate; how veins and arteries accommodate blood flow; how skeletal structure and muscles create movement and rest; how the digestive system macerates food to create and store energy; how the lymph system mediates the world beyond our skin; and so much more.
We get what we get, and it changes over time. Each time we upgrade its knowledge and skills, the body's functioning improves.
Like computers, parts of our bodies’ systems may break or malfunction. Fortunately there are replacement parts like: knees, hips, hearts, and shoulders — and as technology improves, even bone marrow, liver, and kidney replacements. So far there are no upgrades to increase brainware efficiency, although there’s recent news about a "smart pill," and Dr. Daniel Amens has done amazing work rehabilitating football players with brain injuries.
We’re born into these bodies and they’re naturally designed to grow and mature according to their individual genetic coding. What we eat and breathe and believe can activate, deactivate, enhance or interfere with the way the code is interpreted —sometimes interrupting, slowing down, or speeding up cellular processes.
Whatever we do or don't do, bodies and their brainware have targeted obsolescence.
No computer analogy quite fits the amazing design of our bodies. And although its structure and functionality are awesome, each of us will eventually use up its majestic life force.
Wonder what it’s like to be no body?
Photographs: The Architecture and Design of Man and Woman