from The Worldview Literacy Book   copyright 2009            back to worldview theme(s) #28


#28A: Displayed just below the "Hedonist International" web-site's banner is the phrase "Do what you want!"  This group's  call for people to exercise total freedom is followed by a list of what these extroverted hedonists want: "joyful togetherness, anarchy, epicurean ideas, multifaceted joy, sensuality, diversion, friendship, justice, tolerance, freedom, sexual freedom, sustainability, peace, free access to information, the arts, a cosmopolitan existence, a world without borders or discrimination, and everything else that is wonderful but not a reality today."  Added to this later is the dream of achieving "a world where highly developed technologies allow all human beings to live free of the necessity to work."  Ah--a life full of pleasure!

     While it's fun to fantasize about a world full of such things, such a fantasy ignores certain hard realities: 1) freedom is not free—serious discussion of types of freedom must necessarily involve their opposites: types of restraint, 2) in seeking to create a wonderful world, a utopia, the balance one strikes between allowing freedom and designing in restraints depends on one's values and worldview, and 3) things which bring some people pleasure can directly or indirectly bring other people (even the same people, but at different times) pain.  We could use any one of several items in the above "wish lists" and counter simplistic, narrow imaginings of associated pleasures with examples of painful realities from these three areas.  

     Let us pick sexual freedom.  After a pleasant fantasy involving free love, multiple partners, orgies, a minimum of emotional entanglement & commitment, maximum sensual enjoyment, another side would emerge: shallowness, mechanical performance devoid of meaning, human nature where jealousy and possessiveness are nearly universal, accusations of using people and/or cheating, side effects of contraceptive technologies, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion, the pain of childbirth or raising an unwanted child, etc. 

     The lesson here is: before being seduced by the "Hedonistic Orientation," weigh its advantages against those of its antithesis —"The Self Restrained Person" (theme #29A). The extent of discounting the future and trading later consequences  for


for immediate pleasure must be considered.  So must human nature: one suspects jealousy defeats polyamory (Figure #28c)!

#28B: Rather than maximizing the (perhaps shorter term) sensory enjoyment derived from one's body, those who opt for the "Healthy Orientation" aim to take care of their bodies and maximize the enjoyment it ultimately gives them over the (hopefully) long haul.  (See Figure #28a for an overview of the body.)  They do this by practicing self-restraint and what preventive medicine suggests: 1) eat healthy, nutritional food: a) eat a variety of foods, more natural foods, less processed ones; b) eat plenty of grains, vegetables, and fruits; c) keep intake of saturated fat and cholesterol low, avoid trans fatty acids, and minimize red meat consumed; d) keep consumption of sugar, salt and sodium low; e) drink alcohol only in moderation; 2) exercise regularly and avoid gaining weight: a) keeping calories consumed vs. calories burned equal maintains one’s weight (see Figure #28b);  b) doing this reduces chances of getting diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and perhaps certain cancers;  3) don't smoke: this has general health benefits as well as benefits both in lessening one's chances of getting certain types of cancer, and in preventing cardiovascular disease; 4) avoid environment-al factors known or suspected to cause cancer including ionizing radiation, chemical compounds, pesticides, certain viruses, etc;  5) if you're young, be alert for—and avoid— impulsive, risky behavior; as you age avoid high stress life-styles;  6) have regular medical checkups—especially if over age forty—and watch blood pressure, lipids / cholesterol, blood sugar, unusual looking moles on the skin, etc.

     While wholistic health practitioners have long recognized that poor mental health can lead to poor physical health, increasingly traditional practitioners of Western medicine are realizing it as well.  Studies have linked being upbeat, feeling loved, or having expectations, to maintaining or regaining physical health.  In this regard embracing certain worldview themes—including "Belief in a Personal God," "Gratitude & Forgiveness," "Valuing Family," (themes #8B, #17B, and #38, respectively) and perhaps others may be important.


1) integumentary: skin / structures derived     from it—protects, senses, regulates temp.

2) skeletal: made of bones and cartilage—      provides support and protection 

3) muscular: skeletal, cardiac, internal organ  muscles—they help us move & function

 4) nervous: nerves, brain, spinal cord,     sensory organs—a chief regulatory system

 5) endocrine: glands that release hormones—   with nervous system regulates metabolism

Figure #28a:

Systems of the Human Body

6) circulatory: heart, blood vessels serve as transport  system; lymphatic subsystem defends body vs. disease

 7) respiratory: lungs and air flow paths—supplies     oxygen to the blood and gives off carbon dioxide

 8) digestive: stomach, intestines, glands (liver, etc.) that secrete juices to break down food, excrete waste 

9) urinary: kidneys and urinary tract—produces urine,  regulates blood chemistry, removes wastes

 10) reproductive: in male & female versions, consists   of gonads, other structures to perpetuate the species


Figure #28b

Calories from Foods

from eating one gram of...

 ...carbohydrate => 4 calories

 ...     protein      => 4 calories

 ...            fat      => 9 calories

Lesson: Minimize the amount of fat you eat, since you get over twice the number of calories from an equal weight of it versus either equal weights of carbohydrates or protein!

Facts:  1) Average adult needs 2000 calories daily  2) walking for one hour at moderate pace burns 250 calories (average adult)




Figure #28c: 

The Symbol for Polyamory

Love Outside the Box!





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