What are you made of?
After flying back home to the Deep South for a month long break from Ad school, I’ve gotten a chance to do some good eating. I’ve found comfort in my standby grits and sweet tea and eaten my weight in Christmas cookies. If the adage goes, “you are what you eat,” I expect that my demeanor is now sweeter and somewhat covered in frosting and gravy. Which, has gotten me thinking.
Next time you’re sitting down in front of a meal, stop and look at what’s on your plate. Try and imagine how many days it grew from the ground or hung on a tree before beginning the long trip towards your stomach. Einstein proved that matter isn’t created or destroyed, but instead is carefully rearranged in different forms through chemical reactions. If our bones and muscles are constructed from the nutritional building blocks from the food we eat, those nutrients are acquired from the environment our food is grown in. So what are we really made of? Do we grow our of our surroundings?
I don’t mean for this to be overly philosophical and if you’re left-brain dominated perhaps you’re already scowling to “Get real, Gavin”. So think about it like this:
Such has been the debate of philosophers and thinkers for centuries.
You’re given a box of Lego’s and told to make a building. After everything’s constructed and finished, you decide that you’re more interested in trains, so you take apart your building and make it into a shiny new locomotive. You then take it apart and make it into something else, and so on. As you use the same building blocks for every new creation, every individual piece has its own history; an account of where it’s been and what its been made into.
It’s interesting to acknowledge that we’re all essentially living history books. And not just where we've been, what we've seen, or what we've done in life. We’re physically built of a jumbled mess of sub-atomic pieces that have been handed down since the beginning of this universe 13.73 billion years ago. Though it might sound like the crazy ramblings of stoned hippies, the laws of physics suggest that what we’re all made of (physical matter) has always been around, and thus we all must have some kind of sub-atomic ancestry. Thus, the idea of reincarnation makes sense in the right context of scientific thinking: what makes up your cells and bones once was organized into something else and will be rearranged into something else in the future.
As an Ad man, I can draw the analogy of humans to products: Our bodies as the physical good itself, and whatever element that makes each person unique (consciousness, soul, etc.) as the good's brand (defined as the thoughts, feelings, and emotions associated with physical product) of the individual. Thus, to think about your body as the packaging of what makes you an individual, how it will be recycled to package something else in the future?
Just sit and wonder about that before you go to sleep. The skin on your face, the sheets that your under; where have they been and where will they go? After everything gets old and breaks down, the building blocks that you're made of will disassemble and lay in wait to be reassembled into something else. Everything around us: buildings, friends, cars, clothes: we’re all made of the same stuff, more or less.
How does that sound?