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Human Body: a model to understand system design.

The human body is one of the most complicated ‘designs’ in the known universe, to have life thrive in this system is sheer wonder to the curious minds, though we might have largely understood its system in terms of physiology, there is so much more mystery to the intangible elements present in this system, the psychological — the mind, with its emotions, thoughts and its iceberg level of being, sigh! so much left to discover.

In this short essay I attempt in relating the complicated human system with another system to find if any “system” related dots that can be connected between them.

The human body has many systems within its system, to me, it is like a ‘studio apartment’ or may be a simple house. The generalised 10+ systems ( nervous, circulatory , digestive, endocrine, immune, respiratory, skeletal, muscular, exocrine etc ) are related to the many elements present in the design and use of a house. For example the skeletal system in this case becomes the beams, columns and foundation of the house or the endocrine system is the human in the space of the house, likewise we can connect many more parallels to this metaphor, but what I take away from this series is that, no system works independent similar to the case of the house. The Human (endocrine system) must remove the garbage generated everyday in order to bring back the house to its ‘homeostasis’ or in another case the electric bill (nervous system) generated by the house is a form of ‘feedback’ to the human to make necessary changes. The example of the house may not be the “perfect” parallel but to understand certain concepts of systems thinking, it works to the extent of my knowledge.

To level this up a little, we introduced an ailment in to our body, in my understanding something like anxiety or an emotion like ‘anger’ is a psychological ailment which alters the human system, both psychologically and physiologically, the body mind connection is uncanny, I still fail to understand when the body takes over the mind and when the mind takes over the body or its a relationship that needs both to engage actively. In the case of the house, let’s take air circulation ( ventilation ). The sense of suffocation arises to an individual, all that we can do materially is provide an AC or a fan, but if we can design the house with few well designated windows, the problem is solved on its own naturally, by the means of cross ventilation.

This is to say that the body and mind can also achieve this state through certain natural methods. But like all systems which are bound on certain limits, this is also bound by a limit. The house in this scenario is given a defined space where the natural wind doesn’t come that naturally, which when we attain to material ways of solving it.

In the case of the human system, the body learns through experience and awareness how to come back to homeostasis, or it can be made to be a zombie through medication provided by psychiatrists with their knowledge of the mind and it’s patterns.

“YOGA” is a science of naturally understanding the body which is claimed to have originated in the sub-continent of India, it talks of a method much more subtler in its approach rather than the gross methods of allopathy, This is a subject which talks of the cooperative relationship between the mind, the body and the energy systems that are working constantly on this system and how they relate not just with human system but to the micro ( cellular ) to the macro (cosmos), to go into detail about this school of thought is beyond my limit to explain.

Breathing has become second nature to us, we physiologically know that the breathe changes its pattern, the beating of the heart in the context of anger or anxiety, but to my experience a simple technique of ‘breathing with awareness’, the flow of it, ‘prana’ or 'chi' or just oxygen in other words of chemistry may be? , as its called, brings the system back to equilibrium (homeostasis). It consciously brings the rigours breathing pattern back to normal, the question I always had is, then, where does my emotion disappear to? may be somewhere into the depths of my unconscious, just to re-surface again in a much more violent ways, may be this is the system limit of this science, but as I do not know, there is more to this science, it suggests techniques to this too.

Everything in nature is interconnected, each with its own limits and unique features, helping the seasons to change, the birds to migrate, the rivers to flow and the earth to sustain, since the human is a part of nature, the system is not completely closed.

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