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The Human World is too Small to Contain Itself

The Human World is too Small to Contain Itself

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Published by You-Sheng Li
It is a short essay to explore the irrational aspects and chaotic tendences of our modern world.
It is a short essay to explore the irrational aspects and chaotic tendences of our modern world.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: You-Sheng Li on Jan 03, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Human World is too Small toContain Itself 
BY You-Sheng Li,
(9 November 2012)(The Author’s website:http://taoism21cen.com) The grave seemed too narrow for what it was to contain, and thehuman world is too small to contain itself.When I was sitting in front of my living room window, I oftenobserved squirrels in the park beside my house. There are dozens of them, and they all are in a great shape, neither fat nor thin buthealthy. Do they all live a healthy lifestyle? They spend a minor part of their life looking for food but the rest, idling around nonstop. If we callthe former their working hours and the latter their spare time, theyenjoy their spare time by physical exercise, exploring their world of grass and trees. As to food searching, they are apparently very picky.When they have found something to eat, they examine it carefully at aleisurely pace. They throw the parts that are not delicious enough, and
often than not, they discard the whole thing and then move aroundlooking again.Once I saw on TV a scene of native people who lived in theAmazon jungle and did not wear any clothes except their natural skin.It struck me that they were also uniformly in a great shape, neither fatnor thin. To an outside observer, they are indistinguishably the same. Ihave never seen a gathering of so many healthy human bodies exceptfor soldiers and athletes who are apparently highly selected groupswhile the native people are not.Before the invention of agriculture and stockbreeding some tenthousand years ago, our ancestors, the so-called modern home sapienshad successfully managed a life like squirrels by gathering andhunting. A minor ethnic people called the !Kung lived in South Africauntil the 1960s when their homeland was transformed by modernindustrialization. According to the anthropologists who visited andstudied them, the !Kung were hunters and gatherers who lived aprimitive but affluent life. They managed to provide themselves with avaried and well-balanced diet based on a selection from among thefood sources available in their environment. They classified more thanone hundred species of plants as edible, but only fourteen are deliciousenough to be called the primary or major. Some 70% of this dietconsisted of vegetable foods; 30% was meat. Women provided about
55% of the diet, and men provided 45%, including meat. To do this, the!Kung spent an average of 2.4 days or about twenty hours per adultper week, in food-collecting activities, most of it undertaken at aleisurely pace. They consumed about 2355 calories per day. About 10percent of the !Kung people were over 60 years of age compared to5% in contemporary agricultural countries such as Brazil and India.Medical examination showed them to be healthy. Their population wasstable, neither increasing nor decreasing while the less healthypopulations of India and Brazil were increasing rapidly. They lived insmall bands with an average of 31 persons each. Their leader was apowerless figure and could not force his will on others. When theanthropologists asked the !Kung people whether they had “headmen”in the sense of powerful chiefs, they replied immediately to show theyhad the concept in their minds already.“Of course we have headmen! In fact we are all headmen…eachone of us is headman over himself,they said. This is the bestillustration of how the word freedom is understood in a primary societysetting.Anthropologists believe that humans only began to work after theinvention of agriculture and stockbreeding some ten thousand yearsago, and only after civilization created an idle class to supervise otherpeople’s work, did humans work as hard as today’s people, whose

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