Humanaut: someone who explores what it is to be human. Just like an astronaut explores the universe beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, or a cosmonaut explores the cosmos, so a humanaut explores the world of the human.
What does it mean to be human? How can we discover what it is to be human and, enticingly, what potential such exploration can reveal?
The more you think about it, the more ways there are to explore what it is to be human.
Human beings are animals, animals which live on Planet Earth. We can explore human life from the scientific perspectives of biology, ecology, anthropology, the human health sciences of anatomy, physiology, pathology and so on. This scientific perspective considers human beings as objects. In the most up to date thinking, human beings can be understood as “complex adaptive systems“.
Human beings are animals with consciousness. This opens up the path to exploring humans as subjects. What do we think, feel and do? How do we experience ourselves and our lives?
Human beings are storytellers. We create a sense of self through the stories we tell ourselves and others. We convey our subjective experience through stories. We seek and create meaning by weaving narratives.
Human beings interact with the world through a fascinating set of tools which we call symbols, signs and metaphors. Indeed human beings have been described as metaphoric creatures because metaphor is so important to how we understand and interact with the world.
Human beings think and feel. Philosophy and Art are ways of exploring thoughts and feelings. Giles Deleuze described three ways of thinking – philosophy to think about concepts, art to think about affects and percepts, and science to think about how things function. These are all paths which can be explored.
Human beings are connected. We love and are loved. We are embedded in complex webs of relationships.
Human beings love, desire and enthuse. We live lives of passion, of longing and and desire. We can explore our dreams, our goals and our motivations.
Human beings are creators. We are the co-creators of our reality. We are expressive, problem-solvers, providers and performers.
Human beings not only belong, and feel connected, gaining a sense of identity from being a part of the communities to which we belong, but every single human being is unique.
Human beings are individuals. What makes each individual unique?
I’m sure you can add some more ways to explore what it is to be human.
Interested? Being a humanaut is a whole way of living. If you’re curious, if you love stories, people, Life……become a humanaut!