Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Obsession, a natural characteristic

Obsession, is a natural characteristic.
Now, do I want to keep practicing this
or let the whole characteristic
fall to the ground, to cast it off,
like an old coat?

There is a space between
stimulus and response.
I can add to the Epictetus filter
that I have slipped into that space,
but then, nothing get through.

Without obsession,
will anything get done?
My life has been driven
by a series of obsessions.
There never has been a reason
to do any of the thing I have done
beyond the need, desire,
obsession for money,
and the things money provides.

I never wanted,
beyond the potential for money,
to do engineering,
to dig holes,
to solve problem others created,
to provide solutions
before others knew they had a problem.

Lack of desire, or what?
Is obsession just a fixation on a issue,
without a reason.
Or with a reason?
A solution must be found.
Just supply the problem.
This sounds like obsession.

Perhaps the Epictetus filter
need a few holes in it.
To allow engineering like problems in.

But for today, with family,
I am just a mushroom:
kept in the dark,
fed shit.
It is none of my concern.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Warning: Direction Change

This blog is going
off course for a while,
to drift where the mind blows it.
While I consider
the possibility that
this problem that I have
has nothing to do with compulsive overeating
and has everything to do obsession,
only obsession.

Obsession is a natural characteristic
of some portion of the human population.
Now what if that natural characteristic
gets itself pointed at food and/or eating?
How would we treat this?
It may be easier to treat
and measure the success
 of the treatment
than determine if
one has an obsession.

So here what the treatment would look like.
Every time I get the urge to eat
more than my prescribed amount of food
or outside of meal time,
feeding time at the zoo,
I will leave and do something else,
walk, read about or study this problem,
or something else.

Now what about the
black box(s) concept of the mind?
We receive a stimulus,
that thought, impulse or image
passes through a conversion matrix
in the mind and a reaction direction comes out.
That output may also be zero, the null solution.
The conversion matrix is under my control,
some thing are up to us and some are not.
Now I need to watch
for a while
and see what happens.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Obesity, the Cause of Isolation

Step eight of today
drove home the realization
that I differ from the common order
of the development of this overeating issue.

My order is obesity as an infant, small child,
before I had reason, control.
The harassment followed,
and then self imposed isolation
as self defence of from harassment.
Self protection is a basic human characteristic.

This suggest a chemical/physiological problem,
chemical food addiction to milk, dairy products,
grain and sugar came first.
Separate and treat the chemical addiction with
total abstinence from those chemicals.

The behavioral addiction of overeating
is a separate issue.
This can be handled through choice,
the power of choice, of stewardship,
separation of me from my meal.
The steward in me prepares the meal,
and puts the food away, and serves the meal.
The other me show up and eats
and runs.

Intentional living limits my time at the dining table.
On to other things. Life.
Intentional action to displace the 
habitual unwanted behavior.

We have the natural faculty of choice
and reason among the available
alternatives. Walking away is a alternative.
So is the zero choice, do nothing; or write.
No people needed. But in a crowd,
isolation is easy.
Noise causes isolation, naturally.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Emotional to Rational

The human population is seldom either emotional or rational, but rather a mix of the two extremes. If we could truly measure this characteristic, what would we find?

I expect we would find something that looks like a normal distribution folded in half. A few high emotional, and a few high rational, and most of us in the middle.

What difference does this make? Well, if we were rationally driven, we could follow a diet without issue. But we cannot, therefore we are emotionally driven, when we fail. Add physiological in with the emotional, and we are in good shape. The model behaves as people.

Now the problem is that it is rational to set up a diet, and then say those that are unable to follow it have a philosophical, psychological, or physiological problem, but never accepting the issue that 50% of the people are not predominantly rational. So the diet industry is based on a non-understanding of people, so the failure rate will be high. Yes, exactly as we see.

Now how does one get hold of directing the emotional part of oneself? Adopt a god is one method. Adopt a philosophy, and convince the emotional part that it should be followed. Not so easy.
But we can also lever off our beliefs, bend behavior. Some things are just not food works. But that alone may not be enough. Perhaps we need a purpose bigger than ourselves, that we become obsessed with, regardless of what that purpose is. Perhaps it is understanding this disease, and understanding a solution, and describing that solution without resorting to a god for a solution.

Each time we go through this model, more is added, or refined. sooner or later it will all become clear. As we age, we may become more rational as well; hence, age out of the problem.

I think that we are reluctant to admit that we are emotionally based and are unable to consistently and committedly able to follow a rational plan of eating, aka a diet. We cannot be rational and still hang on to religion, so as long as we have religion, emotional govern people. This is beyond the issues of setting up and measuring food energy in a useful way.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Starting with the Bottom Line

Intentional living is any lifestyle based on an individual or group's conscious attempts to live according to their values and beliefs. These can include lifestyles based on religious or ethical values, as well as coaching, personal transformation, and leadership training. These are often expressed by living in a community with other like-minded people, claiming higher satisfaction, and more sustainable future.

Ok, so we have living by some principal. Frugal, green, self-sufficient - more or less, subsistence farming, why not Stoic, or Epicurean principles; but living with an underlying purpose. It is that purpose that provides the motivation. So how is this different from an action plan ? Or from Smart - life balance? Or really, goal setting? It is placing some emotional value on some future desired result, and then using that to lever motivation. We need to know where we want to end up at, the bottom line.

I was at a OA meeting last night and the subject was step 7. It once again struck me the negative aspects of the term "character defects". These are characteristics that I must stop practicing. I do not know whether the outcome will be negative or positive. Being overly chatty and other verbal diarrhea can be corrected by silence and walking away with a smile on my face. Practicing saying less, cutting to the bottom line, starting with the bottom line, may be a better way to live.

Negative visualization for today: Some of the drivers today will be aggressive assholes, just as the wind blows crap around. It is nothing to do with me. Just smile and let it all go.      

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Do I have free will?

Considering the animal brain, emotionally driven person has free volition; there is no doubt that we have control over our judgements, opinions, beliefs, values, and the like. We have general control over our movements, up to the physical limits, although it may not be precise.

The difference between free volition and free will lies in whether we have control over our desires, delusions, and aversions. Totally rational people (Spoc like) have control over their desires, while the remainder of us have less control, but some management ability of our desires. Those of us who do not have control but only some influence over our desires are hurled along by our desires, not down a planned course but from one desire to the next. It is in satisfying those desires rather than ignoring them that this eating problem seems to arise in me and others.

Could this be one more key in understanding my problem? or just take me one step closer. Perserverence. I need to see if this worm hole goes somewhere. So next, how does one dissipate a desire once it has formed?

Now the kicker. Free will may be a learned characteristic. Can we learn to say no to all the shit on offer? All the food, drugs, bad habits, all forms of addiction, bad behavior, and learn to live a frugal and prudent life? The frugal part will be the most difficult within the cities, if we have an average income or better.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spiritual or Philosophical Development

One thing that is absent in the steps but many of us have found necessary for continued development is a ongoing commitment and effort to develop spiritually or philosophically. Step 11 suggests that we need to work on improving contact, but nowhere is there any suggestion that ongoing development is necessary, until we read the book, or AA comes of age, and then we see that the whole program is about spiritual development. The steps are just the starting point.

For those of us who do not profess to follow a god, we must learn something of what a god would have us do and do it, because it is simply right to do right. We may subscribe to doing what it is natural for us humans to do, or what we may define as our purpose inside the greater purpose of humanity.

It may be the purpose of humanity to grow and prosper, to create and support creation, but we are also rational beings. We should accept that there is a limit to growth given finite resources, and we may be beyond sustainable, without shortages. There is likely poor, good and better ways of doing things, of relationships, of speaking, of acting, and of making a living. There are as likely wrong, better and best known ways to thinking, of knowledge, of intents, and attitudes. And to go along with this, effort, concentration and attention or mindfulness.

Some thing are up to us and some are not. Our judgements, opinions, volitions, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, values and the like are up to us. If we are a highly rational person, our desires, expectations, delusions, aversions and like are up to us. That which is not up to us is beyond our control and is therefore none of our concern. Our bodies are beyond our control, but we do have influence over what we put into them, but not over physiological cravings. We can use our volitions to leave the scene of eating when necessary, and hide out elsewhere, as a last resort to eating, while learning other methods of handling the problems.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Original Sin

Eve was the first recorded overeater; she took the apple. I am non-religious, not anti religions, and certainly not christian. I prefer a magpie approach, pick the shiney bits, and leave the rest. I do beleive that the concept of the original sin is wrong, not a shiney bit. Eve caved to temptation, or was it greed or envy, I do not remember what the old preacher said, but I think the original sin was pushing the apple at Eve. Had the Christians defined sin as pushing products rather than the weakness of needing or accepting produces, we would not have the issue of obesity today. Today, I choose to define sin, or lack of virtue as pushing food on others. I will not cook for other beyond family, and will not offer that which I do not think it is proper to eat, either quality or quantity.

Note that they, christians, defined accepting a product to fill a physiological need as sin. Their concept of god created the need for food, and accepting a solution, food, is sin... not rational, I think. Just like computer virus companies today.

So is the original evil to offer food to others? So what happened to do no evil?

This simple change in philosophy would destroy the advertising industry, or at least beyond a low pressure offering of there products. It would also change the way sales are conducted, it would be on the effort of the buyer to find products, that would likely be produced on demand, not ready for purchase. Middle quality, rational supply, Custom built if you prefer. We would need to order groceries ahead, not make the choice at the store or refrigerator. Is there room for an empty fridge diet? Or perhaps the only freshly cooked food diet.

Oh, well, are philosophy and definitions necessary in our life today?  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Black and White, Expecting Perfection

One of the frustrating things I see in program, after hanging around 20 some years, through thick, thin, thick, thin, erratic, half sane, and stoic,  is seeing the mistakes that I made being repeated by others. 

One common mistake is making big changes fast without failsafe system in place, and expecting not to fail. What does this mean? When we are in the process of changing a habit, addiction, or negative behavior by adopting a new philosophy of life, errors are likely. It is our first time. We need to expect that for a time, several months, and likely for years, we may almost unthinkingly slip back to our subconscious way of reacting to some stimulus. We need to consciously entrench into our subconscious the "new behavior." When we suddenly change a bunch of things, we are going to slip, sooner or later, and when we do, we must immediately stop, get up, dust ourselves off, and get back onto our new program. We may need to add more to our philosophy, or do more subconscious reprogramming, to cover new situations. We may need to adjust our environment. We may need a bigger hammer. Whatever.

We need to know that we are the most important person to ourselves, and we must do what we must do for survival. No ands, if, or buts. The bottom line. Survival is necessary for anything to matter. Other around us may not recognise nor accept the seriousness of the situation. If we want recovery, we must do what is necessary.

If we pray for potatoes, we must be willing to pick up the hoe. We also must plant them, water them, and not allow others to plant weeds in them nor pull them out. 

To me the program is just a guide. Some of the steps or the words of the step are dull pointers to the underlying necessary concept. They show one way, but miss the necessary concept underneath, which is essential.    

Are we willing to stop practicing our characteristics when those characteristics produce negative behavior? So how do sort by outcome? So we need to stop practicing some characteristics all of the time. Now I need to know what negative behavior looks like, and what good behavior looks like.

We also must recognise that there will be times when we have no support, and are "fighting a strong current". It may be best to make way to shore and walk away. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Faith, the Secret Weapon

Does faith alone, regardless of what that faith is in, protect against addiction, and relapse?

Faith is a blind and strong adoption of some principal. It is easy to see that some principal -- Thou shalt not eat processed food.-- or --Thou shalt eat three time each day, no more, no less. --- can have a strong influence on lifestyle. Now if we never question that faith, and keep the faith up, religiously, scaredly even, holding to that view and action, then recover will happen. It is the act of faith, rigidly holding the belief and action that produces recovery.

Now many of us had religion drilled into us, but little in the line of education as to why it is necessary. Today, it may not be necessary, but it would have been in short life expectancy periods of development. It is the quick way of learning proper behavior ( or just a strongly held opinion) , before we have developed the capacity of making good decisions. Religion should be the sum of good behavior, but it has become the sum up to the point it became fixed, not necessarily good.

Faith, moderated by reason, should be the norm. But if faith alone is used, and the parental behavior is obviously wrong, faith will be ditched by some of the offspring. Now what? Life as a hedonic based person? Answering to the excessive call of nature and Yetties, eat, eat, eat. I use Yetties as the the word for Polish grandmother, Yets, yets, yets (eat, eat, eat).

Now to find relief:  faith in the correctness of good logic and knowing that faith in ourselves, science and logic can find an answer, even when that answer is really just faith. Circular logic, but that may be the answer, short term. It may be the availability of food, and our genetic programing in a time of excess that is the problem, and faith that gets us through the problem.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Should Believe vs Believe

The government and others in authority keep trying to tell us what we should believe. Carbohydrate diets are good for us. Equal opportunity. No racism, even if the only thing those people do are lay around and collect welfare. So now where is what we are told to believe, and what we actually believe.

So gay are gay and married, color and white intermarry, and the children grow up in a living hell, in neither culture, and we all smile and have our silent beliefs and know the government position.

We see cops looking to shoot someone, with their guns in hand at every traffic stop, and a young lippy doctor from down the road got beaten. (with me, an old bearded codger in Alberta). The young gaffer who has not figured out that they are looking for any opportunity to shoot, and had a knife in hand. The cops only know increasing force, and are looking for any opportunity to use violence. Be aware. They are out of control. Do not resist, else you will be damaged. Keep silent, or you will be next.

Then they say we must comply with all their dictates. French, immigration policy, preferential government hiring in terms of visible minorities, gay, interracial, Speed tax, (if it were a safety issue, they would be watching where the accidents occur).

Now it is up to us to understand that we are the most important person in our lives, and we must know what is right, and do right. At the same time we must provide lip service to what the government says, even when they are wrong. Avoid all processed foods. People are not rational, only a small number are rational which includes sociopaths, and OCD personality disorders. The remainder are a mix, small amount rational, but often controlled by their agenda, or emotion, greed, hurry, animal instincts, or lizard brain.

For those of us who are controlled by our lizard brain, the primal part of our brains, with some logical- intellectual input, now we need to learn to get ourselves to do the logical things - such as to follow a reasonable food program, but without setting off the primal part. I do have free volition - the ability to go away, more so than free will.

End of rant, but then what do I know?   And today, I can hardly write.    Also note :

Monday, August 12, 2013

I am what I am

This post is all a about the I for I am what I am. I am trying to suppress ego, and at the same time not crush my self-esteem, for I am the most important person to myself. This is self preservation, knowing that I am primary, and must look after myself, no one else will, infact, they work against my best interests.  Self preservation is a basic instinct, as is attachment and authenticity.

Attachment can vary widely in strength as adults, from zero of the  sociopath or the negative of the recluse, to high of those who cannot stand to be alone.  I am a low attachment person, but not recluse. A few hours per week is enough human contact, beyond wife, which is minimal contact. How does all this tie together?

Authenticity is basically knowing who and what we are, which changes with time. Now we partly rational animals can choose to live within a set of virtues, beliefs, values, and if we clearly understand these and know these, we can live well, happily, and at the same time, know where we are likely to end up. Knowing our virtues, our beliefs and values takes self reflection and study and/or adopting virtues. But the important part is knowing them intellectually, in order that we can use these values for adjusting our decisions.

We may not have free will (with respect to food) but we likely have free violation, that is we can go away from the food when it is calling. The craving may be a natural phenomena, and the only solution may be to keep moving, where food is not available and in front of us, if we are unable to remove the cause of the cravings. It may be self preservation, and virtue that keeps us moving to our ultimate final goal in life and toward the end.    We also have a choice of early termination.

Also an quzi OA post at

Monday, August 5, 2013

Abiding Commitment to Change

A deep and abiding commitment to change, a willingness to change significant fundamental personality behaviors is the essence of  recovery. The program suggest that a god is required, which is bullshit. We need to develop or adopt a philosophy of life to enact real change. Acceptance of a god could be a change, but that is not dealing with reality.

Removal of our drug of choice leaves a hole in our lives. Our best solution to life so far has been our drug of choice, our best solution yet, to get us out of our dissatisfactory {(replace with any one), sadness, boredom, anxiety, suffering, frustrating, meaningless} thinking and lives. The work of recovery is to find {any one of... pleasure, meaning, purpose, joy, satisfaction} in an active balanced life.

If life has a purpose, it may be to create or develop the species, or support the same. This assumes division of labor and acceptance of our role in that endeavor. It is what most of us do, a job that someone is willing to pay for, or grow a bit of food... whatever we do.

Life after death is a concept that removes the finality of death, but it is only a concept, beleive it and it will help you mentally, but nothing changes in reality. Do not believe it and now we need to leave our mark on the world in life. The standard mark is our name chiseled in a rock, but if we want to leave a bigger mark, write a book detailing what we learned along the way that is not written elsewhere. I have written engineering reports that will not likely survive, but oh well, I will likely have the standard mark in the world, a grave stone.

Now that I have depressed everyone, there is only up to go. Desires are necessary to drive us, else we would just sit, and do little. But which desires do we need to develop? not the ones for food, we cannot be satiated, that is the problem. We do not need more consumer goods, electronics, or the like. We can hardly use what we have, and find little value, utility, or satisfaction in them or there use.

Desire to learn is always available, but this should be an instrumental desire, not a terminal desire. What utility or interest is there in the classic greek and roman philosophy other that to pick it over, magpie style, for bits and pieces that can be used today, or religion for that matter?

Do we have free will of just free violation? Can we manipulate our will or just our violation? If it is only violation, I could walk away, or drive away, but if I could control my will, I could will myself to not eat. Therefore, in my case, with respect to food, I do not have free will, but must bow to the subconscious, physical or physiological demand for food, or go away.