This is another one of those topics that has a habit of branching rather quickly. Hopefully can stay focused without too many tangents.
How much control do we really have over ourselves? That isn't really a rhetorical question. You might expect that simply by asking that, I am implying that you think you have control but really you don't. But thats only half right. We actually don't have much control over ourselves, but some people are more aware of this than others. As you may recall from my first "Thoughts" post, our actions and thoughts are the result of trillions of calculable events that occur in our brains. Going a step up from atomic and subatomic interaction, we get to molecular and chemical interaction. In this case specifically, emotions. Emotions like love are not magic. If you are feeling depressed, its not because your dog just died, its because the chemicals in your body are interacting with your brain in such a way that makes you feel bad (see first Thoughts post for more info). Think about how you feel right now. You're probably calm and can think in a rational manner. This is your Default state. For the most part, the level of chemicals in your brain are overall average. However, get too much of any one chemical and suddenly rationality can go out the window. If some guy punches you in the nose and insults you, its very 'natural' to get angry and lash out in a way that you normally wouldn't. This is when your body takes over and pushes your Default state aside. The drive for sex is quite possibly the strongest emotion or state of mind that decimates normal behavior. As I've mentioned before, the basic meaning of life is to make more life. To reproduce. In order to ensure that life goes on, evolution has done a fantastic job of encoding everything living thing's DNA with the desire to make more of itself. This goes back to how the brain rewards us when we do things that keep us alive or spread our genes. Sex only feels good because if it didn't, life might not have gotten this far. And now here's my two cents about the whole thing. I hate my body. My body is just a car that my brain drives except that quite often my 'car' drives itself and my brain is almost powerless to stop it. I can't stand the fact that I don't have complete control over myself. To me, the mind is infinitely more important than the body. So maybe being a head in jar wouldn't be so bad. This is where the topic has a tendency to branch out. Consider this: what if everyone was just a brain in a jar with a mechanical body? Suddenly reproduction is irrelevant. Suddenly gender is irrelevant. Suddenly everyone is just a mind that is free to experience the world without evolution instilled dependencies like sex, eating, and sleep to hold us back.
I doubt in our lifetime (or probably anyone's lifetime) people will be able to transcend their physical bodies and escape these chains. However, I think I am getting a little closer to winning the battle over my body. I think that just being aware of how and why my body and emotions work, gives me power so that I can force control over myself. You may recall my recent abstinence vow. Its getting easier to stop myself from checking out every girl I see. Its a daily war but I think its starting to affect my subconscious and soon I won't even have to tell myself not to stare at the hot girl at the counter.
I feel kind of like I'm in the Matrix, but instead of being a slave to it I'm a slave to my emotions.
"I know what you're thinking... Why, oh why didn't I take the blue pill?"