The Habit of Being Human

When we arrive on this planet through physical birth, we are taught by the humans who were already here how to live being human in a body.  But what if being physically born doesn’t mean what we have been told it does…

What if the process of being born isn’t actually at all what it seems?

and because of that:

What if the way we are living today as human beings on planet Earth
is radically far and away limited and different from how it actually could be?

When we start asking questions like these, questioning the fundamental assumptions we make about everything related to our humanity, it has been my observation that we can start experiencing strange and interesting lives, doing strange and interesting things.  It becomes possible to really start to actually live.

observation of all cool cats

But, Maren (I can already hear my self saying in my own head), what about those aspects of these physical human bodies that we have that seem to need specific and constant attending to?  Those things we currently do to stay in this land of the living that is…those daily things we MUST(?) do to be here in this physical form remaining healthy and alive? Aren’t there hard and fast rules that must be followed?

There are biologically necessary things all human beings inherently need to do to stay alive, right?

do not think do

(I realize there are holes in my thought construction here which at the moment I am skipping over, but if you will indulge me and keep reading, I will owe you one).

There are many ways of talking about how all this being human on Earth goes down, but I will use just one particular construct of thought in the form of a model for reality that I was taught to be valid.  I think it will help illustrate what I am myself attempting to understand.

As a 16 year old student, into the life of M walks Abraham Maslow to the rescue, “helping” anyone who has had a psychology 101 class since 1943 learn more about just what our basic human needs actually are.  And with that price of college admission, we also get taught (more or less) the order in which these needs must be met for us to build the living of a full human life on.

With this model, to remain alive, human beings must first have and keep their focus on obtaining air, water and food, and then shelter and…well you can see the way this works by starting at the base of the pyramid and building up:

the way things are


(M’s Rumi heart, flowery version of the way things are supposed to be)


And for those who appreciate the Zen like clarity of uncluttered visual communication:

the non-rumi version

I was taught this model by the “educated” elder humans of the west who were considered to be wise and learned…good human beings, with well intended hearts.  Humans who in their wisdom through age and experience, purported to know what was going on here on Earth and were helping me remember, too.

However, I for some time (really probably my whole life when I really look at it) have detected the smell of a rat in the way things are working here with most human beings living on this planet.  Something has felt terribly wrong with the “whats” and the “hows” that most of us have been taught to focus on and ascribe to.  There is something fundamentally wrong with who we are taught we are… what we are taught we are.  Those misperceptions in thinking are then built upon as faulty misconceptions develop as we confine humanity with a set rules for the ways we actually can and cannot live in return.

And being the ailurophile that I am, when we sniff out a rat, one is supposed to find it, pounce and kill, right?  That is just the way things work here on planet Earth…eat or be eaten.

9,000,000 + views later and a few more of us on the planet now know of a different potential to contemplate


What can happen when a momma cat is not around to teach the baby cat and a mamma rat to teach the baby rat…and loosely paraphrasing Isaiah in the Bible, thus speaketh the spirit of a viral post on the all wise oracle source otherwise known as YouTube:  “And the cat and the rat can and shall lie down together.”  🙂

Can thinking in a different way about birth and being human rewrite the rules that make up the experience of what being human is? What happens when we become human beings who drop the attachment to what they do with their “human” and are focused on just “being”?  Is what we are currently experiencing on the planet really just one set of many available teaching models put into place that has turned into unconscious habits in living action?

rat race

Well, consider with me the idea that old Maslow may have gotten the laundry list of basic human needs pretty much right, but then he just put them in the wrong order.  Look at the current state of human affairs in the world.  That is what is created by living from the generally accepted understanding of what it is to be human with it’s focus on physiological needs put first.

However, within the current creation out there, there still are found to be some pretty radical seeds for new thoughts.  What if popularly accepted Christian cannon is on to something big with the idea that after we arrive here, we need to be born again?  Or as Buddhist cannon discusses (with very different beginnings but arriving at similar destination thoughts), the idea that we have not really been born at all!

We now take Maslow’s original thought in hand.  Take it as it currently is, in appreciation & love for what our elders have taught us and the world it has created, but still while doing this:

flipping humanity aroundPiazza degli Affari, Milan Italy  sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan


…flipping the foundations on the current system.  Wait, that was the wrong picture!  (See below 🙂 ) What I meant is taking this model I was taught, and then turning the ideas on their head.

What happens when you flip the hierarchy around and build the living of a human life living from the top down?  Being human starting with humans just being.  What kind of world would we create and what would human beings be able to do while living as humans being in a world focused on self-actualization first?

breaking habits



Yet hark, what is that I hear still rattling near the trash cans in yonder dark alley of my living?

Even after thinking that I can love the rat and leave the race,  I still begin to hear a little voice full of fears in my head that says: yeah, but, yeah, but, yeah, but, yeah, but…FIRST FOCUS ON DOING WHAT? first must be food or starve then must be shelter or freeze….   oh really?!


Just some additional things I have been thinking about today.  I am tired of arguing with myself for the current collective limitations we have set in humanity… where so many of us are wrapped up in worrying about the traditionally accepted lower rungs of our current living ladder that there is no room for creating much of anything new into reality.  Anyone else out there with additional thoughts to share?


– – – – –

The only currently detected fears that human beings are physically born with:

fear of falling  &  fear of loud noises

Past these, I think the rest of what is happening on Earth is pretty much human beings who have developed and passed on learned bad habits.  These habits we were taught when we got here based on a foundation of human focus on physiological needs first linked to lack and fear.  But the good news about habits, they can be changed…and their associated unconsciously enforced rules then seemingly bent and broken.

There are more and more humans who are leaving the habitual thinking of the current rat race, and doing extraordinary things in their actual ways of living.  What a gift for thinking about new potentials past the current habits of being  human.  Just what IS possible every day?

– – – – –


M does not claim to know sh*t.  But she can share the fact that no animals were eaten or harmed in any way during the writing of this post; although Maren herself, did consume 3 Trader Joe’s rolled oat & chocolate chip fiberful granola bars during the creation process. (So we see, she is a human being still eating 🙂 )  BUT, as the result of prior deep reflection, she is happy to report that she has stopped seeing the need to shave her legs.  She has stopped shaving as a visual reminding protest of the strange things that we human beings are taught to do to our bodies, (and then without really thinking about automatically do) which become the habits of being human.  It is doing things for no good, apparent reasons that sucks the access to real living away.  Habits, that with awareness, can then be changed without going Brazilian or needing to kill the cat.

Belas pernas, senhora! Diz, baby você quer fixar, por mim? (Meow)


-for those of you who may be wondering what all this rambling and crazy post is stemming from, it is a building on my continuing thoughts from the video links here: X

This entry was published on June 30, 2014 at 2:41 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “The Habit of Being Human

  1. OM, M!!! Can you send me the link, so I can put it on my facebook page…or you can put it on my timeline if you like! It’s to cute, although I don not love rats at all! P x

    • I wrote a reply to this last night and somehow did not get it posted and now it poofed! I am not on facebook and so not sure about hot to put something on a time line. However, I think this is the link one would copy and paste:


      • V -just realized you might have meant the youtube. You can click on the word youtube in the bottom right side of the actual video and it will open in a new window. Now you should see the link address in the browser at the top of your screen (I also think that under the video when on the youtube page itself it offers a tab called “share” to repost or link). Hope that helps. -x.M

  2. ~meredith on said:

    Wow! What a powerful post, Maren. You have so much punch in every paragraph I found myself going back to read previous parts of the post to re-gather awareness again, and again, and again. Great read.

    I do not think we come into a one-sided, I will-teach-you-who-you-are world… and I never did, even as a child. I definitely understand, now, that I didn’t come with skills… but I came with an identity… and so did my children, and it was the most exciting thing in the world to meet them, and learn who they were… and most days were about learning rhythms and dissonance that we created apart as well as together.

    My daughter came with Down’s Syndrome, and it was very clear to me from… almost the first day… that she came to the experience this way of being, and although she was my child, her resonance was that of teacher. She taught with irreverence. At times, she tired of her Down’s mask, and went about her way of being with the mask cast aside. It sounds like a fairy tale, but I was not the only one who experienced this phenomena… and honestly, she was the greatest gift I could hope for. She reveled in turning the ridiculous upside down when her mother (me) stayed immersed in appearances too long, or for dumb reasons. She was very wise.. is.

    So, I’m glad you turned the pyramid upside down. I’m glad you wrote this insightful post. I think we think too much, and talk far, far too much about nothing, really. blah, blah, blah…

    Thanks for the read.
    xx ~meredith

    • Appreciate the kind reflection of your experience. We write and we send the words into the world to do what they will. Happy to know that some hit home. Any time I get the chance to riff, it is fun to see where it leads me. Ultimately I am always writing to myself. Sometimes it is to clarify with a past M and sometimes with the current and in those precious,precious moments there also occasionally is a bleed through of a future M. A sentence will be written about something that I did not yet know I understood as well as the words that came elucidated. The sentence is there, and then the light bulb goes off and I think, who just typed that? I look around and oh, it was me 🙂 .

      I am not sure if you have seen any of my comments on other posts back and forth with Andrea of SolRevel or caught any of my family history in my writing, but my mother was a special education teacher. I grew up birth to age 5 going in and out of her classroom. My first best friends where the tweenage and teenage kids from her class, and most of them had Down’s. Light, love and truly joyful living is my experience with these precious beings who join the party on Earth in this form. I have always felt a bit in the presence of something holy and pure whenever I interact with these master teachers. I am reminded of what is important and how we “able bodied” are so disabled in heart so often by comparison. Precious, precious holders of the “signal” closer to the core of “home” and to have a family member with Down’s in my experience, usually means that you are here on Earth to rock and roll and burn through the illusion and bad human habits 🙂 on the fast track. You are taught and then you turn and teach.

      Look forward to learning and connecting the dots more with you in the times to come. Pillow is now calling after a long work day today heading into another tomorrow.

      Again, thanks M.


  3. ~meredith on said:

    “Belas pernas, senora! Diz, baby você quer fixar, por mim?”

    Nada es menos necesarias. 🙂

  4. The mares that carry me as far as longing can reach ride on, once they had come and fetched me onto the legendary road of the divinity that carries the man who knows through the vast and dark unknown.
    And on I was carried as the mares, aware just where to go, kept carrying me straining at the chariot; and young women led the way.
    And the axle in the hubs let out the sound of a pipe blazing from the pressure of the two well-rounded wheels at either side, as they rapidly led on: young women, girls, daughters of the Sun who had left the Mansions of Night for the light and pushed back the veils from their faces with their hands.
    There are the gates on the pathways of Night and Day, held fast in place between the lintel above and a threshold of stone. They reach right up into the heavens, filled with gigantic doors.
    And the keys-that now open, now lock- are held fast by Justice: she who always demands exact returns.
    And with soft seductive words the girls cunningly persuaded her to push back immediately, just for them, the bar that bolts the gates.
    And as the doors flew open, making the bronze axles with their pegs and nails spin-now one, now the other- in their pipes, they created a gasping chasm.
    Straight through and on the girls held fast their course for the chariot and horses, straight down the road.
    And the goddess welcomed me kindly, and took my right hand in hers and spoke these words as she addressed me: “Welcome young man, partnered by immortal charioteers, reaching our home with the mares that carry you. For it was no hard fate that sent you traveling this road-so far away from the beaten track of humans- but Righteousness, and Justice. And what’s needed is for you to learn all things: both the unshaken heart of persuasive Truth and the opinions of mortals in which there is nothing that can truthfully be trusted at all. But even so, this too you will learn-how beliefs based on appearance ought to be believable as they travel all through all there is.”


    • Whoooa, whoa sister S…she who hits the deep end so gracefully, that the swans shed tears of joy.

      “truth and opinions…nothing that can truthfully be trusted at all”

      “beliefs based on appearance ought to be believable as they travel all through all there is”


      Shave or don’t it is the same 🙂 . But, might make a difference related to chaffing as we ride? 🙂 lol

      (typed with the lightest of hearts and the deepest of bows for such a perfect and wise share)

      THANK YOU S!!!!


  5. Great post, M! I love turning the conventional hierarchy upside down. I think (which I need to stop, at least for a bit) that when we move from creativity, inspiration, and lack of judgment and prejudice first, the rest can fall into place and become irrelevant as something we need to actively think or plan or conceive about. It also strikes me that living the upside down pyramid, the world can actually transform in the ways we desire, but can’t figure out how to achieve while coming from the other pyramid.

    Sometimes it is so confoundingly simple, we just can’t understand how it could be so. From one whose pyramid is probably spun like ninety degrees and pointing playfully to stage right…


    • Every once in a while I will turn my perspective 180º or 90º on purpose in the rooms I know well, the rooms I am used to being in in certain ways. For example, I will get in my bed at home with my feet at the head and my head at the feet and then look around. It shifts the whole feeling of the room and my attention is drawn to different aspects of light in the room and my eyes see the old in new ways.

      There are so many little things that we can do to shake it up and then see how things want to resettle in the new light of shifting experiential understanding. It is also something that can be done when thinking about what it is I think I know and then just trying on the thought of considering the possibility of how life would look or feel if the complete opposite were true, or if only it was a half truth. If that were the case, how would actual living be changed under these new parameters?! We can try on the “rooms of thought” before having to sell whole houses of ways of being we have so carefully built down the river 🙂 .

      The music cues as we stand in the wings getting ready to enter the stage from where we are located inside and outside ourselves at the moment and aim hit the mark…those X’s on the shifting sands of love as it goes about living.


      PS I think it is the playful part that will save the planet 🙂 !!!


    I love the cover of your front page, the figure coming out of the wall!!! I’ve done something like that yours ago in a performance! Sheding the old ( parts which doesn’t us anymore )and welcoming the new!!! Halleluja!!!

    I haven’t read all your latest posts, but I will next week! Go M go!! P x

    • I am writing the book of living here for those who are interested in reading to find. It is my story, but I hope shared in such a way that it can be used to shine light on your own as well. In this together all the way home. -x.M

  7. let me know how I can purchase it!!! Would love to read the book of Maren! I also love that your pillow is calling you 🙂 Px

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