Friday, December 28, 2012

Stoics and gods

As I read these old Romans and Greeks, I realize that they knew more than we do about training good human behaviour into themselves and their children than we do now, or at least, take the time to do in mass of the population.

That is to say that the Christian religion stalled progress for most of 2000 years, in many ways of human behaviour. Oh well, shit happens, drop it and move on. The Romans used god to explain what they did not know, or were just unable to understand yet, but knew that the earth went around the sun.

They knew how to train people to do most anything. They knew it was our thoughts about the subjects that caused problems, that our desires was the main issue, and getting our desires under control was the job of reason, will, awareness, soul, spirit, consciousness, what ever we call that part of us that knows right from wrong, reason from desire, and the like. As Tolle's "I cannot live with myself", the split must come, and we need to figure out what "I" is, and what we can control or have power over. All else is for others to take care of, or the gods. We need to learn to live in accordance with the laws of nature, Logos. That does not include addictive highly processed foods with added exorphins to bump up the addictive property's.

My beliefs do not require that anyone believe as I do.

Enough. Please feel free to express any thoughts on this subject or any other burning desires you may have.     

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Self Abuse

Last night we went out to some friends. They all know I have food issues. For four hours, I was forced to sit in front of food, and not overeat. It is just abuse, self abuse. Why go? Yetties. There cry, eat, eat, and in Polish, yets, yets.

For me, it is this damn christmas season, and there is nothing good about it. Food pushers. Stupid, rushed, aggressive drivers, not showing any good will. They are more aggressive than usual, likely due to being in a rush.

Going out around foodies is a bad thing for any compulsive eater, whether they have a chemical issue, behavioural issue, or temptation issue, food knowledge issue, or any of the others.

Enough said. this is the last year of self abuse. No more.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Epitetus makes clear three pertinent ideas:

a) That it is not the event that causes the feeling, but rather our mental thoughts about the event.

b) We have power over our own reasoning and little else. We have influence over our desires and aversions. We have no power over our bodies, or instincts. We have power over our violations, most of the time. That which we have no power or influence over is non of my concern. It is; therefore, accept it.

c) It is the job of we humans to bring our desires and adversions into alinement with reason and Logos (Laws of Nature).

The typical desires may include greed (coveting the neighbours job), lust (coveting the neighbours ass), envy, jealousy, sorrow, fear, spite, petulance, and over-indulgence.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Epicurus - the pleasure guy. OK, but pleasure as he defined it was not modern pleasure. Pleasure to Epicurus was absence of guilt, pain, and anxiety. Not to much pleasure there, Epicurus included the middle ground, which in our modern thought, is not pleasure. But there is much neutral ground in life. Epi was a Stoic, so accept all that is not in our control, and we can accept or change any thing in our control, which is our mind and some actions. It was not left to wisdom.

Most people do not know what would make them happy. Epi says it comes down to "we can be happy if we look in the right places." That is internal, where we have control, in our minds. Happiness is that our expectations have been met. If we lower our expectations to our reality, we can be happy anywhere.

Epi went onto say, beyond that, for him, he wanted friends and family to be close, freedom, which is economic independence, or self-sufficiency, and an analysed life. He started a commune on a hill side in Greece, not far from where he was from, and they achieved self sufficiency. Old hippy way of life, but that was the standard of the day. The analysis life part is a basic of Stoicism.

Now just consider what he achieved. He wrote a few books, that 2000 years later are still being studied. He recognised that advertising (even then) raises expectations, and high expectations lead to unhappiness. Self sufficiency provides basic needs, security, and safety at the time. It also provided some physical work that is so essential to health.  Being part of a community / commune provided belonging, and social activity. The self analysis of life and writing provided esteem and status, self- realisation and fulfilment. When we look at our modern Maslow's needs, what do we find?

All this from a fellow who lived on a hillside in a rock hutch and raised goats and a garden. It is our expectations that are out of line with reality. Perhaps, as a youth, I picked up the idea I could eat whatever I wanted and I wanted everything. Do I expect to be able to eat sugars, grains, dairy products, and excess fruits? Does advertising drive that urge, that want, for good tasting food? What level should my expectations really be at?  Also note that hunger was not included in Epi's list of nots.   

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stoic's and Overeating

What would a stoic think of the modern issue of overeating?

Yes, the Stoic's, back 2m in time, where a few nobles in Rome had a overeating issue. Logos had the issue down to overconsumption, and the thinking of the subjects. The solution was to change the thinking, and end the problem.

Logos is a concept of "the natural laws" or the word of nature, or the laws of nature, as understood at the time. It contained much wisdom, and something like the serenity prayer, but first is it outside of our control, than accept it, if it is in our control, accept or change it. It is all about figuring out if we have control of not. We have no control over our bodies, only our will, beliefs, and some thoughts  and some actions.

Death was an ever present issue at the time. There are many things worse than death. Slow, painful death is one, as is suffering until we die. Both worse than death, OK. Now consider obesity as a major factor in a slow painful death, worse than death. So then the behaviours that lead to obesity are worse than death. Therefore, overeating and eating in response to cravings are worse than death. Use that as a motivator to stop overeating and eating to satisfy desire. Desire is the enemy. "At the table before consuming, look upon on these dead plants and animals before me and meditate on death a bit."

As a Stoic, such thinking should have empower anyone who enjoys life. The Stoic seem to define joy differently than most. They use a negative definition. Joy does not contain anxiety or suffering. This is includes the near neutral area, which contains most living time, not just the high of modern joy. It is much easier to live in Stoic joy.

Please express any opinions on this or any subject.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dissolving of my Inadequacy

Many of us have experienced a feeling of inadequacy, unworthiness  or similar negative feeling. The Tolle Philosophy provides a quick method of 'dissolving' these feelings. Buddhist is similar, but Tolle is easier to understand, and once we understand, the process is simple.

The first thing we need to understand and accept is the physical/conciousness/mind or ego split  of we humans. This may be also seen as physical/spiritual/emotional split. Then we need to understand and accept that the ego is a construct of the mind, and emotions are stirred up as a result of impinging on the ego. The ego has a function, to protect us from sudden change, and to collect all the collective expectations of others. The ego in general, is the reflection and collection of others expectations; it is not us, but what others expect us to be, as we have gathered over the years.

I grew up in a verbally abusive environment, where everyone had expectations on me, all unreasonable, and nothing based on the authentic me, or my limited physical or mental capacity of a child. I was expected to grow up fast, perform like a motivated adult, when I did not care. It youth was labour enslavement in a form.

No child can grow up to meet the expectations of 5 adults (2 parents, one set of grandparents, one great uncle). All these expectations were drilled into my ego. By 'dissolving' the ego, all these feelings disappear, including the feelings of inadequacy. I was inadequate, when measured against their expectation. It was there expectations that was out to lunch, not me.  Add to this, the habit of trying to fill the expectations of others of influence; employers  partners.

The method of watching thoughts and recognising the feelings as feelings, and watching those feelings is a neat concept. We need to recognise that the feeling is something pinching our ego, and understanding that ego is a reflection of the expectations, from  interpolation of what happened, extending beyond the real data.

Data is, it cannot be changed. Our opinion of that data can be. We can accept the data, and not accept our interpretation, we can change our interpretation, or we can accept the old interpretation, along with the suffering that it brought. In summary, we can accept it or change it in some way, or change our ego, one of the three.

If we do not live up to someone's expectations, they will need to deal with it. We do not bow, grovel, or put up with their abuse.

The ego is a reflection of others, therefore impermanent, not us, and changeable.

Please feel free to express any opinion you may have on this subject or any other.      

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Belief System

It occurs to me that our belief system, which we rely upon, is also, like ego, largely built from what we have been told by others, not first hand experience or careful study. In fact, all that we know is from others. So both are full of errors. Back to Buddha: do not believe anything you have been told until you have tested it yourself, and if you find it to good, right, and true, then adopt it and live up to it.

So not only are our egos misleading us, so is our belief system. Silence. We can have no opinion without due consideration.   Anything we say is built on either ego or belief system, or knowledge. The science is good, if it is well done. Food science is at best shaky.

Where does this leave one?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tolle Trinity

Tolle does not express the same trinity, but he does separate consciousness from the mind which constructs the ego, a reflection of the expectations of others. It is not hard to relate consciousness with some that we may call spirit.

When something impinges on our ego, we generate strong negative emotions. It is not hard to relate our emotions to the ego and the ego to the past. Knowing that allows us to apply our consciousness to look at what generates the emotions, and see that we could not live up to the unrealistic expiations, hopes of parents, that we would be the ideal child, as each of them hoped for. All different, all beyond any possible achievement. They expressed disappointment. The ego is just collective reflections of others, parents, grand parents, teachers, coaches, others. We can accept that and let it all go, or we change our egos. Either way we end suffering. Score one more for Tolle.     

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Do You Grow an Overeater?

How does one grow an overeater? This starts out like a questionable joke. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

But seriously folks, how do you train a infant/child to become an overeater? Easily, I think.

Every time they cry, feed them. Every time they are stressed, feed them, rich, sugary food. Every time they have a tantrum, feed them. Resist bed, feed them, and give them wheat, potatoes, gravy.  Every time they get cranky, feed them. Keep lots of rich, fat, starchy and sugar treats around the house, freely available. Lots of proteins, prepared meats, just ready to eat. Lots of pies, cookies, doughnuts, fruits, nuts, ready for the crew and kids. 24/7 smorgaus board. Encourage uncontrolled eating, and make it possible, even expected. Soon they will expect it, want it, and use it to stuff feelings, especially if the parents are always busy, working, cooking, and the kids are left to there own entertainment, and often left alone.
Isolate the one you want to make fat, to cause ongoing stress, to make it worse.

Now the young adults must retrain themselves. This may or may not be successful. It may take considerable time, effort, perverseness, and the outcome may not be what is expected.

One of the powerful methods of correction is some form of spiritual awaking, a new awareness, and new attitude toward life. What this may involve is anyone's guess. It can take the form of tremendous personality upheaval. They (I) became someone else, and my true authentic self began to emerge from behind the parental imposed collective expectations. The science is strong, but the direction is not clear yet.

Thank you for reading. Any opinions / suggestions?



Sunday, December 2, 2012

OA Meme

In preparation for this upcoming workshop, I have been doing a bit of reading. It has become apparent to me that the OA organization guidelines hinder adoption of newer understanding of the disease, as they prevent the dissemination of newer information. Oh well. They do provide for a relief from social isolation, caused by the personality's that typically become overeaters and made worse by the electronic communications that enable productivity without human contact.

It has become apparent to me that we OA people appear to be comprised of two separate populations: those who have a endocrine or chemical addiction to specific foods and those who have a behavioural addiction. There are those too, that have both, like myself.

The chemical issues must be cleaned up first. It is my current opinion that these are exorphin addiction. These are a group of chemicals that drive us to eat more, and to seek then out. Abstinence from these chemicals is the first step, followed by developing integrity to never intake these again. (No SGO6EEH)  It is a natural genetic characteristic carried to excess in a world that these exorphins are plentiful in. To recover, we need overcome our nature, to change. In addition, the food industry is aware of this human behaviour and is exploiting this increase sales. That is likely one of the main cause of the current obesity epidemic.

Behavioural addiction is also a mater of identifying, displacing the behaviour with a better behaviour, but neither is easy. (Schwartz relabel, reattribute, refocus, revalue) or (psychological strategic, describe and replace).

OA, at the group level, still provide me with the extended social benefit, and occasionally gives me the opportunity to spread my message.   

Thank you for reading this. Please feel free to post your own thoughts or opinions on this subject or any other.