Surviving Human Nature

Some Topics

  • Preface

    Aging brings some wisdom and some acquiescence to the world of Samsara – the swarming of humans in ephemeral groups, driven by needs and desires that can never be satisfied. I am convinced that human nature involves a collection of tendencies and contradictions that have prevailed for hundreds of thousands of years and will not change in the foreseeable future. The basic expressions of humans are now inflected by an increasing population. The idea of a global community was based on wealth creation and the hope of social innovation. Some observers have been optimistic, but the reality is that problems have increased with population growth and adverse events are monotonously recurrent - only the names and places change. The behaviors remain the same. While news reporting is focused on samples of current events called “news” there are underlying stories that repeat with many variations. The news is not new. The need for stories that unite groups is built into human nature and will not charge in any foreseeable future.

    I am impressed by optimistic humans who work to solve the world's problems even when successes are modest. Problems recur. Success turns to failure. Leaning and Guha-Sapir summarized the threats to humans in the 21st century:” The effects of armed conflict and natural disasters on global public health are widespread. In the years ahead, the international community must address the root causes of these crises. Natural disasters, particularly floods and storms, will become more frequent and severe because of climate change. Organized deadly onslaughts against civilian populations will continue, fueled by the availability of small arms, persistent social and political inequities, and, increasingly, by a struggle for natural resources. These events affect the mortality, morbidity, and well-being of large populations. Humanitarian relief will always be required, and there is a demonstrable need, as in other areas of global health, to place greater emphasis on prevention and mitigation... armed conflicts persist, with entrenched internal violence lasting for years, in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan Sudan, The eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. Advances in small-arms technology and struggles over natural resources of international value (oil , natural gas and rare minerals) make conflict resolution challenging. Civilians bear the burden. Families are forced to move from their homes to escape internecine violence. Refugees cross national borders and are legally entitled to assistance in United Nations (UN)–managed camps. But increasingly since the mid-1980s, people have been unable to cross international frontiers and so remain internally displaced." [i]

    Bad news dominated 2018. The USA, usually a country of self aggrandizing hyperbole, was disintegrating under the direction of the worst president of all times. A few people were buying or building bomb shelters and more were seeking peace and happiness in rural locations. Most Americans were assuming polarized positions that offered little or no hope of ultimate solution. A wave of enthusiasm to recruit children as saviors of the planet encountered a population of young people disabled by their smart phones, tablets, video games and bullying. Virtual realities are replacing the real world. While some young people are idealistic and well-motivated, their enthusiasm for change will confront the rigidity of established groups and their stories and beliefs. Their enthusiasm will not last.

    In this book recent developments in human events have been selected not as unique occurrences but as samples of recurrent events that can be projected into the future. The remarkable growth in knowledge and technologies should offer hope of a better future, but real understanding of complex issues remains localized and esoteric. There is little doubt that everything changes and the future cannot be foretold. History will unfold as the play of innate tendencies that will remain the same with new possibilities gained through creativity, invention and innovation, all challenged by changes in the planet that humans have caused or changes that are beyond our control. The enlightenment tendency of mind is to open up, to expand beyond limiting local conditions. If any enlightenment tendency survives the rigors of traffic jams, shopping malls and TV news, then there will be tension between the limiting needs of daily existence and a deep and recurrent call to expand beyond local conditions, to open up to the universal properties of mind. In this 21st century a more realistic philosophy of human life is required as we recognize that it is impossible to permanently change human nature by social and political means - by education, persuasion, coercion and law.

    Stephen Gislason MD

    [i]Jennifer Leaning, M.D., and Debarati Guha-Sapir. Natural Disasters, Armed Conflict, and Public Health N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1836-1842 November 7, 2013


  • Persona Digital publishes a series of books on current topics in psychology, neuroscience, music and philosophy. eBooks and can be downloaded to any destination on the planet. Printed books are also ordered from Alpha Online... shipped only to Canada and the USA by postal services.
  • eBooks All books are valuable as quick, inexpensive downloads. Persona Digital has a complete series of eBooks for download.

    Surviving Human Nature
    is published by Persona Digital Books. All rights to reproduction are reserved. We encourage readers to quote and paraphrase topics from Surviving Human Nature published online.
    The author is Stephen Gislason MD The book is available in print and eBook version ( for download.) 362 Pages

  • "The 20th Century was the century of domination of planet earth by a single species. Human activities have become all pervasive and clusters of human constructions have replaced the natural world in all habitable regions of the planet. Human events are deeply troubling overall but at the same time, much has been accomplished in reaching for a sustainable, good life for some but not all humans. The 20th century will be remembered as the century of waking up to the universe as it is. We woke up to our own nature and responsibility and can no longer plead ignorance ."

    Download eBook


    Order Persona Books

    Alpha Online ships printed books and nutrient formulas to the US and Canada. Prices are listed in Canadian dollars.
    US $ cost is lower depending on the daily dollar exchange rate.
    Click the Download buttons to order eBooks for download. Pay by Pay Pal for quick download.
    Click the book title (center column) to read topics from each book.

    Print Books Read Topics Download
    Human Nature
    The Good Person
    Pieces of the Puzzle
    The Sound of Music
    Surviving Human Nature
    Language and Thinking
    I and Thou
    Emotions and Feelings
    Neuroscience Notes
    Children and Family
    Intelligence and Learning
    Religion for 21st Century

    Persona digital