Primal Man and Modern Professionals…. The Same?
by Jeremy Krakowski
Let me take you on a journey in my proverbial Delorean time machine with myself, McFly and Doc and go see some of our ancient counterparts. We meet a man, his name is Jahn and he lived in a time before modern agriculture, before you could just go to the grocery store or the market and buy whatever it is that you wanted to eat. He lived in a world that God created in it's original setting..
Meet Jahn, our hunter-gatherer from ancient times.
What did he do for a living? Simple. He as a hunter gatherer who would go out into the woods to hunt for his family on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, constantly working to find food to survive. His family was never without and they loved Jahn. His sons would go out and hunt with him for their families. He was a loving caring father with 15 kids (after all he is at 70 years old is still strong as when he was in his 20s).
By modern standards, Jahn was the peak of human physical potential, athletically, and in every aspect. By modern standards he was also a genius and could calculate and make decisions that affected everyday life in a way that allowed him and his family to survive… When there’s a chance of a dinosaur or other predators eating you, it takes some strategy to stay alive to live to be 70 years old with your family, don’t you think? (And if you're a Creationist you realize that yes, dinosaurs did walk the earth and yes, primal man from the Garden of Eden times did have to contend with such beasts!)
Now let’s jump back in our time machine and shoot ahead to 2013.
We are in an office with Phil. Phil is a Marketing Manager of a tech company that is seeing amazing profits and growth in it’s 3rd year. He has a Masters degree in Business and Marketing with Bachelors in Psychology. His IQ is high. He’s so busy all the time with work that he has no time to really see his family or get any exercise, but they still love him and he provides a great living for his wife, 3 children and his one son who just had his first born child as well. He is 70 lbs overweight, overworked, and doesn’t have time for exercise. To help keep his sanity he hits up happy hour every night with his buddies from work to decompress and talk about what happened during the week and how they are going to hit record high sales numbers in Q1 of 2013 above what they did last quarter. When he gets home he has a whiskey and coke and watches a movie with his wife and their last daughter who still lives at home with them.
Meet Phil, Marketing Manager for a Tech Company, 6-figure salary earner, 2013
His efforts have allowed his company to have an opportunity to go public in the coming months and the CEO of the company just loves him. This is his every day life, it’s just the way things are and how he is supposed to live. He can’t fix his weight, can’t spend more time with his family, but he is successful, drives a Porsche, lives in a nice house outside of the city. He’s the poster-boy for the American Dream.
These two men, Jahn and Phil are exactly the same person, living in a different time period of history. Jahn ended up living to be 250+ years old before he died from illness. Phil will die in his early 60s from a heart attack after his 2nd bypass surgery.
Why am I telling you a fictional story of two men that I feel are the same but live millennia apart from each other? In the last 9 months I've had the incredible opportunity to transform my mind, body, soul and spirit through the power of exercise. Not only can I think clearer, feel happier, less stress, and look way better (55 lbs lighter… HOLLA!!) but there's another piece of the puzzle that goes back to our ancient ancestors. History tells us much about their culture and their way of life that may be alot more closely related to modern humans (and the problems we face in America today) than we think.
What connection do these two men have in common and why are they so similar actually goes to the scientific level of our brains and is tied completely to endorphins and the reward system of our brain. Now I am a believer in intelligent design and a creator, so just go with me for a second. This reward system and endorphin release in the brain was designed by God to keep us alive.
I was reading an article the other day about test rats that were given Morphine (an addictive drug). The rats would go to the morphine on a daily basis to get their fix, but something happened when the rats were introduced to a treadmill or a spinning wheel: they would actually stop their usage of morphine and replace it with physical exercise and increase that exercise more and more each day until they no longer used the morphine and instead, exercised.
Now this is fine and dandy, but let’s look a step further. The reason why exercise is, and can be, just as addictive as say drugs and alcohol in a person is because it releases endorphins and dopamine into our bodies, much in the same way as when an alcoholic drinks beer or someone does a “harder” drug (alcohol is just as much of an addictive drug as morphine or heroin, the only difference is it’s legal).
Proverbs 20:1 says “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” I remember this Bible verse because I was raised going to church and had to memorize portions of the Bible on a weekly basis, but I had no idea what this meant! This is more than just words. This is actually scientific knowledge into the workings of the human body I believe.
Wine/beer/drugs/food/shopping/drama/gambing (any 'addiction' really) are a “perversion” or a mockery of the reward system and trigger that God created in our brains to trigger healthy habits in our ancient ancestors such as hunting, gathering, eating food, and and taking care of their families.
When Jahn, the caveman, goes out into the forest and kills an animal and carries it on his back over 10 miles to his family (hows that for some P90X Legs and Back for you), there is an endorphine and dopamine response in the brain that is part of the reward system that God designed. This keeps him going back into the forest to seek out that natural high every day to feed his family. He is, as you could say addicted to hunting and gathering… and eating food. When Jahn eats food, more dopamine and endorphins are released as he benefits from the fruits of his labor! His family is taken care of, and he feels happy and successful. What more is there to life than this and praising his creator for giving him such a bountiful harvest and a loving family.
Wait what? Jahn is addicted? Well by chemical standards yes… however it’s not an addiction. It’s actually the way his body was designed to keep him from starving himself on a daily basis. What motivation would he have to work that hard every day for food and to eat food, if there was no reward center and endorphine release in the body? He would probably sit there and die, in fact, human life wouldn’t exist without this reward center in the brain. Everytime you eat food, that reward center gets triggered. It tells you that what you did was good and you should do it again. This is what kept Jahn and his family alive for hundreds of years…
Now it's Back to the Future times!
Mr. Phil goes to the office every day, makes a $350,000 salary (top 1% of income earners in America), takes care of his family, and hits up happy hour every day and then settles down and relaxes with a whiskey and coke at night while watching a movie, he is 70 lbs overweight and has been for as long as he can remember.
He sounds way different than Jahn, but in fact he isn’t. When he hits his sales numbers and makes his paycheck, the same endorphine and dopamine response in the reward system of his brain is triggered telling him he is successful. That what he is doing is good. His wife can shop for groceries, he just bought his son a new Camaro, and helped put a downpayment on his other sons first home to shelter his grandson and daughter-in-law! These all trigger endorphine and dopamine responses. Then when he hits up happy hour and has that whiskey and coke every night while watching a movie, the same reward system response is triggered telling him that it’s a good thing and he does this every night until the day he died in his early 60s from his heart attack.
I hope by now your putting some of the pieces together, but let me tie all together for you. If Phil were living in ancient times, he ould be the same man as Jahn, hunting and gathering for his family and his 15 kids. But he doesn’t; he lives in an age of modern convenience and by comparison is just as successful as Jahn was for his family.
The endorphine release from physical labor could be a way to keep human beings alive when we were hunter gatherers instead of starving ourselves to death… now in 2013 we just drive to the grocery store for our sustenance and there’s an empty part of our brains that was designed to be fed by physical labor, activity, and instead we end up filling it things like drugs, alcohol, food, things, drama, shopping, etc.
There is a hardwired thing inside of humans that are naturally hunter gatherers that is unfulfilled and the only way we know to appease that center of our brain is to make more money, work harder, drink more, buy more things, gamble, you name it. It all ties to our original hunter gatherer instincts and a physical dependency on releasing those endorphins and dopamine into our bodies from doing those activities. Alot of people will supplement that physical dependency with unhealthy things because of what they have been sold by Madison Ave. about what modern man and woman should do with their lives. Most everything we do as humans on a subconceice level (things we don’t think about) can really tie back to that reward system and chemical release in our bodies.
In 2013, the equivalent of hunting and gathering and working in the fields and hard labor in a society of desk jobs, blogs, and tech companies is exercise. Exercise is IDENTICAL to what ancient man, Jahn, did every day for his family. He would go out into the fields into the forest and hunt, physical activity. He was physically dependent on this physical activity because it was what he needed to survive, otherwise him and his family would starve. Now in modern times, we don’t need to do those things to survive, we don’t need to go out and hunt for our food. But there’s still a physical need to feed that portion of our brain, and the way modern society knows how is a perversion of what God designed to keep us alive by releasing dopamine and endorphins through things like drugs, alcohol, shopping, things, drama, etc.
This further explains the story of the rat who replaced his dependence on morphine with physical exercise. Because the two are physical almost the same, the addiction itself is a perversion, a "mockery" as the bible says, of the real thing. They trigger the same section of the brain and create a dependence much like Jahn when he would go out into the fields to and hunt, Phil has to work harder and harder to feed his family and reach that chemical release in his brain and supplements this with drinking beer on happy hour and whiskey and coke at night with his family.
Exercise is our modern day supplementation of what ancient man did going out into the fields and hunting. Don’t allow modern technology and advertising to pervert the body that God gave you. Instead embrace the scientific design of an intelligent creator that put those chemical responses into your brain for good purpose and create the best life that you possibly can.
You might not struggle with drugs or alcohol, but you may struggle with eating, or even diet plans, or shopping or drama (drama can be just as addictive). I would urge you that, if your not doing some sort of exercise on a daily basis, and you want to improve your life and do better in every area, just add in 15-20 minutes a day of even walking, some sort of physical activity. Your body was designed to be active by your creator! Substitute the time you might spend doing other things with this activity! If you think it's to expensive, substitute money that your spending in certain areas for healthy living.
Me after losing over 55 lbs in the last 9 months
from shifting my brain, not just "losing weight"!
You were designed for more than 9 to 5 and living your life, just going through the motions, doing what society tells you you should do. I can speak from experience because the way my life was headed, I was just like Phil, and by the grace of God I have lost over 55 lbs in the last 9 months as a result of eating healthy and excercising for an hour a day, 6 days a week. I sleep less because I'm eating healthier, so I have more time in my day, my head is on clearer, I’ve stopped drinking, my passion for human beings has returned, and I’m living my life as God designed rather than just by what I thought success was!
You have a message inside you that God wants to birth. Don’t allow what other people have sold you as successful living to cloud your mind and judgment and prevent you from living the best life that you possibly can live. Don’t just do what everyone else in this world is doing, like a rat in a wheel going in circles. Allow your mind to be still and clear and then you will be able to be truly successful beyond anything you ever thought possible.
Keep Pressing On and Blessings to You
Media Manager, A Real Change International Inc
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