The human body, consisting of about 10 trillion cells, carries about ten times as many microorganisms in the intestineswow! so there are 100 trillion entities within the entity that I know as "me". 10 times more than the parts that are only "me". In fact they are ME!
A healthy adult has about 2kg of these bacteria in the gut. All these bacteria live in a highly organised micro-world with certain species predominating and controlling others.Knowing this puts so many things into a new perspective:
The way to a man's heart is through his stomachDamn right!, that's where most of "me" live!
Talk to the handI would rather that you talk to my gut, that's where all my veto power is concentrated!
A man is known by the company he keepsShould be "community" instead of "company"
We are what we eatHappy Realization! No, seriously!
Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.Only place for me, and all the little ones that make up me!
Finally, if in the future someone walks up to me and asks me "who are you?", I will be confused as to what would constitute a scientifically correct answer!
Maybe I could answer philosophically (and scientifically!):
I am the sum of my experiences (and Gut Flora).
Explore further (quoted lines above, taken from these):
- Gut Flora (Wikipedia)
- List of distinct cell types in the adult human body (Wikipedia)
- The Gut Flora - This one makes it sound as if your intestines are like an airport's security check! The "beneficial flora" are the security personnel. They let the "transitional flora" pass through while the "opportunistic flora" are kept in check!
- Gut Sense: How to restore intestinal flora and eliminate constipation - This make a lot of sense, considering this post was inspired by a lengthy period of upset stomach.
- 15 Beautiful Microscopic Images from Inside the Human Body - Nothing to do with the topic at hand, but was so awesome that I had to link to it!
"...Here's how the end of the world happens: It's a Sunday afternoon, and I'm at a barbecue in someone's back yard. I'm sick of too many people and of standing in the sun for too long, so I go around to the side of the house and sit in an old folding chair, wishing it were night time and that I hadn't come to the party. I'm looking at a fly buzzing in front of me. It isn't bugging me or anything-I'm tracing its flight pattern in the air behind it, like an invisible waggling strand of yarn, when out of the blue, the fly stops and falls to the ground.
And the world becomes quiet: the voices around the corner near the barbecue stop, as does a touch football game-but I can hear the hamburger patties chattering on the grill. But a neighbour's weed whacker two yards over stops, as does someone's lawnmower.
I know right away what has happened-every living thing on earth except me has died. People, seagulls, earthworms, bacteria and plants. I look at the trees and shrubs and think, Well, of course they're not brown yet, they've only died just now-but they're not trees and shrubs any more-they're more like giant cut flowers in vases. In seven days, they'll be brown like everything else.
Everyone at the barbecue simply stopped where they were. It isn't gruesome or anything. Their eyes are open.
Then I start hearing thumps and explosions from all over the city-cars wiping out, planes crashing, incinerators and furnaces exploding like popcorn on the back element-at first just a few, and then more and more. And then they stop, and I begin seeing streams of smoke reaching up into the sky, like shoestrings, binding the planet to the universe-so many smoke streams and clouds.
And then I start to feel unwell. Know what it is? All of the organisms in my body that aren't "me" have died too. Those happy bacteria that live in the stomach, good viruses and bad viruses and symbiotic amoebas and all that small, scary shit-dead. Your body isn't just a body, is it? It's an ecosystem. And my body can't handle all of this dead stuff floating around in it.
So I go out onto the patio and sit down on a chaise and stare up at the sun. It's warm out, and I feel happy to be joining everyone else wherever it is that they've all gone...."