We are just another species. Our genes had to adapt to survive the inter-species competition; then it is no wonder that we are genetically hard-wired to hope for the best in every situation. Without hope, we could have never survived the terrible odds against us. It is being optimistic which really distinguishes us from all other species; we fight, invent, organize ourselves and do everything propelled by hope that things will just be fine someday. But for hope depression and suicide would have made our species extinct. This has been firmly established by researchers from both New York University and the University College in London. What are the implications of this discovery?
To understand the real importance of this finding buttressed by scientific data, we have to understand the biofeedback mechanism, which regulates so many processes in our bodies. When we are happy we release internal enzymes which enhance this effect of well being and thus a bit of happiness goes long, long way in keeping us fighting against the problems that life invariably springs on us. On the other hand, if we feel bad and depressed, it too starts a chain reaction much in the same way. Ultimately, a person then becomes clinically depressed. In the light of these facts, it appears that emotions are part of the genetic arsenal necessary for species-survival.
Another very interesting issue to ponder about is whether emotions like happiness, love, sorrow are merely products of chemical reactions in the brain or are they independent of physiological processes. If they are only genetic products, much literature and philosophies of the world have to rethink their premises. As a species, we have always wanted to escape our apish origins. And this report will not gladden religious fanatics who see the soul and emotions as totally separate from the body. This solid research will also go a long way in helping patients with psychosomatic disorders. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, very common, causes people to feel unexplained bowel pain and have untreatable stomach flus. Now we know that the right mental suggestions may cure the disease.
The Holy Bible talks of Hope as a cardinal virtue and despair a great sin. Dante in his famous Inferno says that the entrance to hell announces: ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’. These scientists have now shown how the ancients were right in associating hell with a lack of optimism. To be hopeful, to be optimistic is to attain God. For God is the ultimate object of our hopes. We are hardwired to reach God.
Image Credit: Biblia
Via: CBC News