More Monkey Biz: loneliness

Interesting bit of monkey business. Researchers claim that older adults run a 14% greater chance of premature death if they feel social isolated.

Anyone acquainted with my scribblings or my conversation may well have heard me make use the phrase: monkey business. You can find an entry under money business in the glossary section of this website.

I use it to refer to the “mechanical” behaviours that are our biological inheritance from our pre-human ancestors, which underly seemingly rational activities. It covers almost everything given by our biology and our culture.

On the second day of the journey outlined in the Inner Look, Silo points out that not only do my thoughts, feelings and actions not depend on me, but even “I” and my desire to change are all dependant on external forces.

Here’s some current research that strikes me as an interesting anecdote to add to that discussion. It seems that they’ve discovered at least one biological mechanism that explains how loneliness can make you ill.

Lonely Shadow of a Man

Principle 10 Solidarity 4

Principle 10, fourth week

This week we continue with our reflections on principle 10 from chapter 13 of the book (The Inner Look). It is also called “The Principle of Solidarity” it says: “When You Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You, You Liberate Yourself.”

At tomorrow’s meeting we will look at our experiences of, and considerations about, this Principle and it’s applications. In previous weeks we looked at the principle overall, examples from the past and from our present situations. This week we turn to the future and reflect on how this principle might be applied to situations we see arising.

This week some more
Monkey Business (link not working see in Glossary)

Inheriting the consequences

Here’s a lesson from biology. It’s not a biology lesson but a cursory, semi-informed look at scientific research that, I for one find, inspiring or possessing (non-scientific) existential value for further meditations.

There’s lots of lessons to learn, because there are lots of questions that are looking for answers.

Am I afraid of spiders, or snakes because people around me, inadvertently perhaps, taught me as an infant to fear them? Recent headlines suggested that scientists have discovered that my fears may be based on memories inherited from an ancient (perhaps prehuman) ancestor. Could that be true?


Is it nature or nurture? It’s an old debate. What conditions us more, our biological inheritance or our social conditioning? Are intelligence, sensitivity, creativity, tolerance, kindness, mental health, etc a result of our genes or our up bringing. “Both” is a legitimate answer but leaves pending the question of which is the deciding factor. Can one of them override the other?