Tuesday, December 30, 2014

No God Religion

What would a No God religion (NGR) look like?

This is a complex and heady sort of question which can only have subjective answers. It has been approached by many in the past. The current guru is Alain De Botton in this area. But the more important question, is what would a no god religion teach?

First it would teach a rational, logic system of beliefs, a knowledge system as nothing needs to be just believed, that are common to most religion, or a consensus of beliefs that may be taken as facts with a bit of doubt. It would need to allow for a range of views on some subject, and always be ready to update views. It would allow for non-rational people, and those of us who are a mix of rational/nonrational. It would need to stay current with science, more or less. It would need to be a systematic work, and cover a great deal of material.

NGR would need to be rational yet cover non rational subjects. It would need to address the golden mean concept of characteristics and emotions. This golden mean is that too much of a good thing may not be good, that a desired characteristic has two opposite. Consider charity for example, too little is stingy, too much ends with us in the poor house, with (mother) haven given away everything. Charity also has two other sides, those that collect for charity, and pay themselves most of what is collected, and collecting for non existing charities. There are those who's primary reason for giving is narcissistic to make themselves feel better, those that give unwanted or inappropriate items, those who do it to reduce taxes, those who do it to build a reputation to counter what their employees think of them, or their customers who are being gouged. But then what is gouging? Does Bill Gates do it? Or is this an acceptable profit for the risk?

It will need a foundation on the sanctity of healthy life, and build from there. Notice, that I inserted healthy in there, I could have said flourishing, or some other adjective to eliminate those who the medical industry can keep alive to generate revenue but no quality of life. It is always at our option to leave at any time when conditions are extreme, and real.

It will need to teach at a lower level than Alain De Botton, so that the young, uninterested, and oppositional defiant either through resistance or existing belief can understand. I am not suggesting forcing adherence by any means, just to not confute the actual teaching or bury them in thousands of pages of irrelevant dribble like the christians. 


Monday, December 29, 2014

Belief Without Foundations

What happen a belief is overturned, we recognize it as false? (First I will say sorry to you English majors, this is bad english many ways). There is an saying about beliefs, "and thinking makes it so." And what if it just ain't so? What is the result of discovering that a foundation belief is not true, and all beliefs that build on that foundation belief are not true. Or they may be true, but not for the reason that we originally believed it. Just doing the right thing but for the wrong reasons. Oh well.

Consider all those reasons to be nice to others: Buddhist, they may be the soul of some dead relative (reincarnation), or Christian and Judish; all in god's image (requires a belief in god), Stoic, we are all related, part of the devine, for the common good of society. But now that we know there are 10% psychopaths, and most people do not care about us (narcissistic). Ultimately, it all falls from sanctity of life, golden rule, live and let live principals of most religions. (Not Islam, the non Islams, non sect are considered animals, according to many and the literal translation of the Quran ) Most people just want a quiet life, just like us. From this simple perspective, and likely enough to be part of our virtue. All the extraneous bullshit is just that.

It all come down to our hierarchy of values. What is our primary values? Perhaps a bit of gratitude, or spiritual safety or security, or virtues, or mental doing what is right, taking care of our spiritual health, followed by taking care of physical self, followed by concern for others. Or perhaps virtues, gratitude, taking care of spiritual self, followed by physical self, and then compassion for others. I am not sure, but something along those lines.

So what am I saying? How do we protect ourselves from mass bullshit that we see in media? If I can identify it as bullshit, I may be ok, but what about all those innocents that have not yet had the benefit of the education that I have had?

How about all the bad nutritional and weight loss information.

Fasting has long been a contentious issue. Now we have cleanses. So what is different between a cleanses and a fruit fast? Mainly the name, but it is not contentious. OK. A day of fasting or even two is likely good way to get insulin down and fat coming out of fat cells. Atkins Induction phase anyone?     

Saturday, December 27, 2014

On Prader-willi like issue

My question is simply is a lesser form of Prander-willi possible? Prader-willi is the result of a group of  genetic deformation. If only one or small amount of that group occurs, then what?

Quotes from about the web:

The reasons for abnormal eating remain unclear and effective treatments are lacking. Ghrelin, the most powerful hunger hormone, is markedly raised in some and is the likely cause of overeating. 

In individuals who are obese, including those with a biological predilection for excessive eating due to delayed satiety response.

Individuals are noted for relent-less food seeking (e.g., hoarding, foraging for food) if free access to food is denied, and their insatiable appetite may lead to maladaptive behavior(e.g., stealing food or money to buy food, aggressive behavior). If food is readily available, however, it may lead to life-threatening obesity because of overeating, low metabolic rate, and decreased activity.

Hunger does not appear to be the issue, rather heightened visual stimulation, combined with availability. Allow them one cookie, and they will eat the whole plate. Address the visual stimulation is the most important part of treatment. Ideally, there should be no visual stimulation. 

But, but, other than high Ghrenlin, which I do not know about, this describes my issues.

Protein in diet suppresses ghrelin
Diets high in protein are a good way to keep hunger in check. Protein in the diet is effective at keeping ghrelin in check, while carbohydrates and fats don't work that well. Suppression of ghrelin is a way to lose appetite. Fats suppress ghrelin quite poorly. Proteins suppress ghrelin quite well. Carbohydrates suppress ghrelin well at first, but levels rebound later, rising to an even higher level. Carbohydrates eventually make people even hungrier than before they had eaten. (http://www.raysahelian.com/ghrelin.html)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

BuSto mesh

Merry Christmas  to all who celebrate.

Quote from Ronald W Pies, The Three-Petaled Rose -  this is a book about the common ground between Judaism, Buddhism, and Stoicism. His depiction of Stoicism and my grasp of Stoicism is not the same, by that is not the subject today.

"Marcie has a distorted understanding of the world, herself, and others."

This is from a summary of Marcie's issues, which the book then go on to take it apart with CBT style questioning in Buddhist and Stoic perceptive. But the Stoic perspective, while it is taking the distortions, one at a time and addressing them, misses the real effect of Stoicism, that is Stoicism is a replacement philosophy. Had Marcie been a stoic, her whole understanding would be different; it would be distorted, in a different way. She would know here whole story is just story in a way that her whole life story would be mostly irrelevant, just the underlying motives and values have lasting effect, and she would be full of joy and this situation would not be discussed. There would simply be nothing there to discuss, no issue. She may need a bit more purpose in her life, but most the non-understanding would be gone.

Such is the effect of Stoicism. It is a philosophical clearing of the fog and mist. (1) It is a clear hierarchy of values, starting with virtues and knowing what virtues we wish to uphold, and going down through knowing that taking care of self, (2) physically and mentally, which is primary. We are of no use to others if we are not looking after ourselves, like that air mask on planes, place yours on first, then help others. Health and our own welfare must be first, even if that is not what you were trained to in your youth. Moderate exercise and proper diet are primary and essential. For this, I am responsible. Mental health includes protecting our mind from bullshit, and distraction. Turn noise off. (radio, music, TV) and the like. We cannot live with continual stimulation. Maintain a proper attitude toward life. After that extending our (3) understanding and knowledge is likely third value. By the way, this includes the Buddhist four truths, and the first 2 of 8 of the path. With the exception of the emphasis and language, Stoicism and Buddhism mesh amazingly well.

After that the hierarchy of values (HOV) is not so clear. We are here likely to serve others in some capacity. The remaining items on the path, and fleshing out details of our desired life must occur high up on the list. It is like the first thing on a todo list should be to make a todo list, which gets crossed off when the list is completed.

It is obvious to me now that a school of Stoicism combined with Buddhism could be wonderful. Stoicism supplies the theory and Buddhism the practice.  It is not clear what form that should take.

Just as Buddha accepted his birth religion concept of reincarnation/rebirth, belief in a supernatural god is not required, and is not even logical. Carma is a concept equivalent to the next life, not much real substance there, but some influence in the present to improve or compliance with virtue, without demonstrating the present value of living virtuously.  For something to exist, the description should be independent of the observer. When we apply this to a god, the logical conclusion is that we are opportunistic aggressive organic matter growing on a big rock.

Our relationship with time will need a major rework. Past and future will get a haircut, and be put on a diet. The future is changed in the present, and the present is all we really have anyway. 

Morning meditation to encourage gratitude for another day, to lay out our work for that day, and a bit of reading to pick something to learn today. Perhaps even run our HOV list. We then must do the work of a citizen of the world for this day. Evening mediation, to see how we did, what we need to fix up tomorrow, what we did well, what problem we fixed, what we learned, and the like. If we return to our bed with the world better than when we arose, perhaps the day was good.

Enough. A plan to try.   

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

On Beliefs #3

What is human nature?

We are all just animals, sometimes clearly reasoning animals. So what is the basic characteristic that are difficult if not impossible to train out of us? But what is our individual reason for doing anything?

Opportunistic animals, we always want a equal or better life that our peers, other citizens. Well at least a blood good life. But it is mathematically impossible to all be equal or better, or above average. This makes us naturally greedy. We are typically eager to get a leg up above the herd. That makes us aggressive.

We are all programed to eat and to reproduce. When food is plentiful, many of us are programed to get fat, something some sixty percent of the population need to correct. Some of the others 40% either do not have the drive, biology, money, or address these motivations, either through direct control or by redirection. Displacement of the motivation toward making money, greed, or some indirect, all absorbing endeavor, work or career. Those who are all work are also obsessed, but their obsession is a social accepted, even preferred characteristic.  This makes " obsessed" as a common characteristic, it is just what we are obsessed with a quasi choices.

We need a set of words to describe good and evil, and those affects which is more sever that good and bad or harm. There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. The stoics say that nothing can spiritually harm me other than myself and my thinking. We need a word to describe hard on a spiritual level, non physical level for good and harm. It is only our spiritual self that has ethics, virtue. Our body does what it does, but it is the reason, logic, that is a chip of divinity. It is this duality of our nature, a reasoning animal and sometimes instinctive animal of our nature that we must also account for. 

And lets not forgot the ego, I'm right, you are wrong attitude, and we all have a issue with time, past, present, future, rush, not enough time, and then we die. Embrace impermanence, and living in the now. We have issues with attachment to things and people. We create expectations and delusions of how things should be. We develop desires for things, people, places, wealth, fame, concepts, comfort, security, safety, relationships, etc. We can let all that drop, live in the now with no attachment, and looking after only those things that are truly up to us. 

We can paint on a purpose of working together for a better future, but that is not held by all. As ideology comes into play with more people on earth, the difference become apparent. Islam vs Christian vs Communism being the most obvious ideology conflicts.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dec 23 On Beliefs

It is not our beliefs that are important but what we do as a result of beliefs. Only our action effect other people. It is not events that effect us, but rather our thoughts about those events. I cannot be harmed by those events, just my reaction to them. That is the true "I", that part that I have absolute control over. The Stoic I, that controls judgement, desires, impulses, aversions, attachments, delusions, beliefs, values. It is also the no self part, impermanent, with no physical existence, like time, voids, opinions, and the like.

So I guess I will take this bundle of habits off to do something.

Monday, December 22, 2014

On Beliefs

It is not our beliefs that are important but what we do as a result of those beliefs. The concepts we hold as good and right are just concepts; it is our actions that effect others. Also our speech about our concepts; these can cause others to turn off, to run, to avoid, or to challenge us.

We can examine our beliefs four ways, internally for negative and positive effects, or externally for positive and negative. What do I mean? Lets consider four topic groups:
  1. Tact, empathy and compassion, -external, postive
  2. Anger, rage, revenge, -external, negative
  3. Worry, sorrow, and depression, -internal, negative
  4. Joyfulness, gratitude, pleasure, -internal, positive 
Now we can expand these group to cover any number of other emotions. This is not unlike the cost-benefit analysis, both ways, for and against something.

Now we have no right to force our beliefs on others and no right to shun those who do not believe as I do; however, I am under no obligation to hang out with them either. It is all about finding like minded individuals. There in lies the challenge of society, and special interest groups. 

In protected environments, I have no right to express my beliefs if they are not the common belief of the group. For example, in OA meetings, I cannot say that I am a food addict, even though that is the better description. I cannot say that a belief in god, and indeed, if or if not there is a god is irrelevant. It is all about following a food program, regardless of cravings, desires, habits, impulses, baiting, temptation, physical issues that cause craving, emotional issues, or food addiction. It is the doing of the action is all that is important. Inventories, relationships, history and the like may give some relief, but their main function may also be to produce busy work.  There is a line in the Bridge Over the River Kwai, with the meaning of "if they had not asked for a bridge, we would have need to build one anyway for morale.  These inventory processes may also help us to understand ourselves better, and have no bearing on the problem. We may stumble across a solution or two. But in OA, do not dare to describe a solution to a problem you solved, if someone is having that same problem... you will get attached. Oh well.

We also have no right to force our beliefs on others. That was the way I was raised. Believe this because I say so. It was all bullshit. I also note that a religion forcing their belief system on others is the cause of the current war in the middle east. (ISIL) my way or die. All of Islam has this view, however, some do not force the issue, else they would be more issues. I digress.

I have been enthusiastically persistently pursuing a cure and understanding of this over eating compulsion that I suffer from. The science and rational study of the problem has lead me away from the religious cult solution offer by OA, but it can work if you are a believer in and of a god.


Sunday, December 21, 2014


Gratitude may be the most important emotion, feeling to have on a frequent basis. We can only hold one emotion on top; gratitude would be a good one for us older people. Greed and need are fine for the young; they need to hurt a bit before they become willing to listen.

We can have gratitude first thing in the morning for waking at all, likely in a warm bed, in this country, where we are relatively safe and secure, even with those radicals Islams around, and other wild humans around. Oh well.

We can have gratitude for having time to read this, and all the development that has allowed such a system to develop before it needs to be so limited that it becomes secure. That time, I fear is coming, but it is not here yet. Rejoice. The days start getting longer now, spring is coming. We may get a few cold days first yet, spring is coming. We are half way there now. It is that six weeks psychological lag behind the true season that gratitude can get us through.

also Food Junkies is worth a read for more understanding of that part of this issue.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

another skill deficient

The ability to separation of wrong information from right has become necessary in this information age. Wrong information is potentially more damaging than no information. So what stratagems exist for handing information?

Well, we were not trained anywhere that I have been for sorting of information. Engineering always used logic from "first principals" for the basic stuff and then dumped tones of unsourced stuff and a list of references that we not readily available. Minimalism may be the best method, believe nothing or very little. Religions, the first dream merchants, selling false hope and dreams of a wonderful future are not the way. The cultures are not correct, they produce a bunch of misfits. Stoicism, is good for what it is good for: With hold judgement on everything, I know nothing is a good place to start, but then what.

I do not know nothing. I think I should go shoot something at the range.    

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Skill Deficient

Do we suffer from a skill deficient? What the hell is a skill deficient?

Can we cope wit frustration?
Can we cope with niggling picky abrasive people?
Can we handle conflicting and wrong information?
Can we manage anger?
Can we manage resentments?
Can we handle stress, emotions, boredom, isolation, exhaustion, etc.

How is our relationship with time? Are we in the now or in the past or in the future?
Can we maintain a positive attitude?
Are we engaged with life?
Are we doing something with meaning for us?
How are our relationships or the lack thereof?
What have we achieved recently?

Are we living by our virtues or what we hold as virtues?
Are we living within our means, or are we digging ourselves a hole? Do we need to curb our wants, desires?

Up to us are our judgements. Desires, aversion, impulse to action, delusions, expectations follow directly from our judgements.

These are all skills that we can learn. Many are induced by our belief system. How about that folks?

But what do I know?

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Destructive imagery and self-talk, awareness and refusal method. 

Aka cravings. First we need to become aware of these nasty little concepts that creep into our mind. They may come as images, or impulse to act, or thoughts, or smells, or sights. They are destructive, there is no mistake there. After we become aware to these rotten little bastards, smelly rats, we need to acquire an adequate impression of how rotten they are. They will not kill us, they are just unpleasant, vial concepts that wonder around in our brains. We can kill them dead with a big hammer or club. We need to minimize there effect, they are not awful, just unpleasant but strong, like a rat smell. Squash rat dead.  I am not entitled to live life without them, they exist and I accept that. I will even give him an name -Billcurtis. Someone who I would never say yes to, evil bastard. Get out of my life. I stomp on them with big foot, OK. end.

Note that we have an opportunity after we form an adequate impression to reject that adequate impression before we get to the evaluation or judgement stage. This could be a truly Stoic tool as well.  

Is this a skill that can infill the skill deficits list?
What do I know?

More defination control bullshit

Does realizing that we live on a rock, and we are just part of the opportunistic organic matter count as a spiritual awakening? 


If you’re a real alcoholic, nothing short of a spiritual awakening will eliminate the obsession to drink.

And if anything but a divine intervention keeps you sober and clean, well then you were not a real alcoholic.

So AA  defines an real alcoholic as one who gets better via a spiritual awaking. So what are the rest of us?


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fear, Shame, Guilt

http://www.laurassoapbox.net/2014/12/throwing-starfish-interview-at-gurze.html got me thinking. Fear, shame and guilt are christian responses. Other religions do not have these. This suggests that the root cause is christianity. Go figure.

I lost all traces of those when I went eccentric (not concerned about what others think) and started to study and understand the Stoic philosophy. Shit happens, I need to tend to what is up to me first. What other think is up to them, and none of my concern.

We need to let young people grow up, and teach them many things not in the current curriculum. How to deal with stress or not to feel it in the first place. How to be free of worry, how to put fear into bullies. How to control our emotions, especially anger resentment, all those negative feelings. How to deal with academic work overload,  overbearing and controlling parents, or absent parents for that matter. They need to have the tools of life taught to them. Some will use them, some will not, oh well. But we will have done our part, and that is up to us.

Do not lie to the young, tell them the truth. We live on a big brutal rock, and we are just organic life forms without a natural purpose beyond eating and reproducing. We can pick any purpose we want, but to survive within society, we can choose to tow the cultural line, what ever that may be. Fish, cut bait or go away. It is that simple.

Yes, I am an eccentric asshole. But what do I know.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Living in harmony with Nature

All things can be divided into self, the world and mankind. Self can further be divided it up to me, and not up to me.  The universe can be seen as beyond the home rock, the home rock, and the organic matter that lives on the home rock. Part of that opportunistic organic matter is the human species. The natural purpose is to survive and multiply (you may need log tables if you can only add).

I have started to read "Donald Robertson,  Stoicism and the Art of Happiness. It is one more interpenetration of the ancient philosophy. It is striking how one word can be translated in so many ways. Virtue or flourishing or character development. OK. But then to say that it is thoughts that lead our beliefs and desires. Our automatic thoughts, decisions of judgement are largely due to our individual beliefs and patters of thinking. Ah yes. Thinking that something would taste great leads to overeating. It must be stopped before that thought. Baiting ourselves to eat is not good; that is over the slippery slope for sure, headed to an undesirable situation, a vice, an evil of personality behavior.

Do not allow thoughts to wander, to even consider and thing beyond my portion to be food at this time.

It is thinking that makes it so. And then thinking seeds the desire, and the desire leads to a drive to satisfy that desire. Plato had it pegged the third part of the mind that houses desires, after emotional, and rational. In the triune brain scheme, this would be the primal part. This is where motivation comes from, the desire to move, to do something, to act or not. It is fed by the conscious and unconscious parts. So it is thinking that seeds the primitive, and the way to address this is to not even consider it is possible, as if it were evil as it is. Some other ancient thought we would not knowingly do wrong, and if we consider even thinking about the possibility of eating more to be wrong, perhaps we can rationally end overeating long enough to make it habit. But our bodies will not let this happen. We who were obese can absorb more food than we need, faster than we need, and so become ready for more food too soon. We need to down regulate the intake and absorption process to more closely match our need. Since up regulation is quick and natural, cheat days cannot be considered possible, as they will completely destroy the effort to down regulation of absorption rate.

But then what do I know?

Duties, responsibilities, and appropriate actions are all the same.  

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mental Standoff

It is not merely living but living well that matters.

To live well, we must do so with intention to live well, that is to cultivate a healthy state of mind. So what is a healthy state of mind?

It is a state of joy, independent of what the circumstances are at the present may be part of a healthy mind. It is a state of being not just OK with what is happening, but expecting it to happen just as it does, with an attitude of wonder and gratitude. Joy is a pleasant mental state, while pleasure is a pleasant sensory response. It is a flourishing life, a live of following virtue, a life direction created by reason and understanding. It does not include taking the word of others, but being able to derive, from first principals (an engineering concept), what is a good life, for this I am responsible. I am responsible for my life, so I had better know it is right.

This third rock from the sun is just that, a rock. Rocks have no purpose. They just are. That is our universe. We organic material have specific characteristics. We are opportunistic, we will grow where ever the environment is suitable. We will change to suit the available environment, if the change is slow enough and does not kill us all off first, before we have had time for some to adapt. Oh well, shit happens. We evolved, and became conscious, likely out of adaption to survive better. Now we need to paint a purpose on our existence, to provide a purpose for our continued existence, just to keep our mind happy.

We are self-preserving in every sense, if we have choice. That makes us selfish, there is no question of that. We do what we must to survive and secondly to feel good about ourselves, which is what drives us to do for others, as we believe we should. Food, sex, water, are all for survival and self preservation of the species. We are programed at a cellular level for these. Security, is the next level of being, and society provides that. We are social beings to some level. Beyond family, community, it is not primitive instinct, but ration mind activity that says we must all get along, work together for the common good if we are to all survive. 

If we happen to think that we should eat just a little deeply enough, then that is what we will do. But we have a triune brain, the desire, craving, and body need part is not in rational control, but we can sometimes convince ourselves that it is.  We need sufficient nutrients, including oils and fats. If we are getting less, we will crave. Not good. Once we get the poor nutrient stuff out of our diet, aka nutrition displacement, the cravings should reduce, but perhaps not. That is a problem, if our nature demands more food that we need, and there is no medical help. So now we have a stand off, the primal part saying eat more, and the rational part saying eat just a little.

So how does one beat that primal part down into submission? I doubt that forcing one's to believe in a non existent god is part of the solution. Understanding how the mind works and what is our priorities may show a philosophical work around the problem. Positive attitude, engagement in life, relationships perhaps, establishing and understanding meaning and some form of achievement may be essential in recovery.    

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's a Twisted World

We have a problem in our education system. A bit of philosophy should be taught to try to put purpose in the lives of the youth. Some have a well defined purpose; those you will not change for the worse. It is the lost that at least a bit of exposure would do good to many. Of course, some would need to learn to read first, and remember a few things, like how to spell those words that sound alike but are spelled differently. And then there are those words meanings are different that commonly used. Cement sidewalk, I do not think so. Cement is a gray power used to make concrete. But I degrees, back to the subject at hand.

Some things are up to us, and some are not. OK, that is difficult to argue with. What is up to us? Our judgements. We can then select our beliefs. We are adult, we need no longer believe whatever we we told. We can examine these beliefs, and accept them, reject them, or withhold judgement. As a result, we are responsible for our beliefs.

We were brainwashed in our youth, unconsciously and involuntarily. We can now brainwash ourselves again, consciously and intentionally. Emotions are automatic reactions to situations, as defined by our beliefs. It is our beliefs that control the automatic response that we have allowed to be programed into our mind, hence we are responsible for the current automation, and the result of that automation. This is individual responsibility, that is the foundation of human rationality. It become clear when there is no god, no belief in any supernatural, just in the brutality of nature, and a way of thinking, knowing ourselves, that keeps equality of persons, gratitude for truth, and a bit of wonder for it all.

We are responsible for our thinking, and through extension, our emotions or feelings, and thence through extension, our behavior. With the triune brain, that desire to eat is either primitive, which is beyond our control, unconscious or conscious, which are both within our indirect and direct control. It is all up to me. Eating beyond the prescribed quantity or not in the prescribed times is my issue, my responsibility. It is an opportunity to dig out the thought that I should eat when I am hungry and through it out. Take that goofy OA program.

The process of knowing ourselves may require a bit of digging in the past, but most of our effort should deal with the present and the building blocks of a flourishing life. Positive attitudes, engagement in life,  meaning in life, relationships, and achievements. Pick a few more if the need arises. Working one day at a time allows achievement each day. A positive purpose takes up a couple of those.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Genetic Predisposition vs Philosophy

Does genetic predisposition dispose us to "select" a specific 'philosophy of life'?


Do we topple toward a philosophy as a result of discontent with our belief system, uncomfortable with our life style, with our faith, or just curiosity. What starts us down the road toward philosophy of life? Those of us who are analytical, analyze.

What started me was a desire to overcome overeating. OA has a concept the god can help, but what is god? So where does that leave the non-believer? Out in the cold. That what started me down the path, which I do not know where it leads other that to my death at some point.

First I stumbled into the god is just a concept camp. Through the Good Orderly Direction camp, and through the belief in god is the only way camp. Then into the god is a human construct bunch. But I kept digging until I realized that it is all empty and meaningless, and the fact that it is meaningless and empty is in it's self meaningless. The universe consists mainly of big rocks, atoms, debris, and a bit of organic matter. It has no purpose. Rock cannot think, it is not their fault. The only purpose that we can use rock for is material, we can impose a material purpose on them from home to a door stop.

The organic matter is opportunistic and reproduction orientated at a cellular level. It's own purpose is to feed and reproduce. The individual does not matter. Those who best fit there environment will survive the best. There is no purpose to anything until we humans apply a purpose. No god, no life after death, no souls, just matter. We are conscious as the result of evolution, the brightest reproduced better to this point in time. That may change with overcrowding, has changed. Many of our brightest do not reproduce. Oh well, shit happens.

The search for understanding has brought me to looking at philosophy as a way of understanding overeating. Many of the concepts I held of society are just wrong, and all that does not matter; it is their problem anyway. We are all on our own for the most part. Few knows the truth, and they are not being heard well over the roar of the mob. Once we understand the basic truth, the only way is up, building with reason on the truth. We, with our triune brain need to overcome the primal and unconscious desire to eat with reason, the conscious part. That is what makes lasting recovery from overweight and obesity so difficult. We do not have control of our primal and unconscious mind, and therefore all our desires and activities. We, the conscious part cannot outlast the primal and unconscious parts.With oversupply of food, the result is overweight and obesity (owob).

Now how do we over come this?

Well perhaps we need to live by virtue as the Stoics suggest, but what virtues? The following is attached as a list of virtues but I suggest we replace humility with equality. Humility is defined as being not greater that anyone with is numerically being less that everyone. That is just a no go for me, being numerically aware.


Other reference  http://thelivingphilosopher.com/2014/11/23/the-lonely-stoics/

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Human Equation

The ultimate human satisfaction equation is sanctification is equal to life divided by expectations. So what does this mean? If life is better that our expectations of life, we will be satisfied, at least for now. But satisfaction is adaptable, as we receive, our expectation increase, and life must deliver more to remain satisfied. But we can fix this by lowering our expectations to the stoic level, our thoughts are the only thing that are truly ours; if we lose our thoughts, we are dead. Nothing matters, but even our life is expendable, should it get 'too hot in the kitchen'.

From this level of 'life is satisfaction', we can grow to require more for satisfaction: food, close, shelter, water, companionship, support, security, community, nation, or we can look at these as more 'benefits of life', and hold no expectations that these will be available tomorrow. But beware, this can produce a 'eat now effect'; not good for those of us that have weight / overeating issues.

Some needs are natural and necessary; some natural but not necessary; some necessary and natural, but can be carried to excess, like overeating. These are the hardest to deal with. But then we have control of out beliefs, and values, and judgements. This leads the way out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of reason. But we humans have dual drives, passion and reason. Expectations control passion. Reason controls expectations. If we take the time to do the middle step, and limit our expectations, life should be better.

Throughout the ancients writings there are warnings of excessive soft life increases expectations and destroys the people. Sparta is an example of the brutality of living such a philosophy. But on the other hand, the moderate Stoic saw nothing wrong with having more, but warns that it is the clinging to more that creates the expectation that creates the problem. Gratitude is lost, and that is the start of the decline. The Stoics held that we need to hold the big picture view (equality, and we individual  humans are insignificant), gratitude for life, and a sense of wonder. Beyond that the courage to do what is right, virtue, justice, magnanimity, temperance, perseverance, and duty to humanity is expected from human citizens.

At the same time, nothing is required of the individual human, but without doing, we just survive until we do not. Yes, it is all meaningless until we adopt and apply a purpose, and then live the life that purpose directs.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Overcoming a Desire

Blog note: my other blog http://philosophyofweightmanagement.blogspot.ca/ and this blog being merged into one thought stream, to overcome overeating. 

So now that we understand that there is a desire behind a craving some of the time, we need to understand how to quash desires. 

The process of overcoming a specific desire is not direct but rather to push out that desire with a new and different desire. Ah yes, escape by doing something else. A conscious effort to replace a desire by a different activity.  Now when we consider the desire to eat, what should we replace it with. It does not matter, walking, reading, anything.

We can also quash desires by thinking how disgusting the desire is.  In stoic style, a desire for a dead fish or a chunk of dead beef.  A root or tuber grown in dirt, or perhaps think of the cabbage worms that frequent brassica. How can we make eating a disgusting image? Sugar and grains are poison marketed by evil persons. The health industry does not care about nutrition, and the food industry does not care about health. It is us against the government and the industrial products they would like us to eat.   

So how is overcoming a desire different that overcoming a habit? But these are connected. A habit is something we do because we have always done it. It would feel unnatural if we did not do it. It is desire control; we are slaves to our desires. F that, I want to be free. When our unconscious is in control, and we are on autopilot, it is habit.  So what are we saying? Habit is the automatic behavior stimulated by an automatic desire? So we consciously do some else and displace the automatic habit and the underlying desire.

Examining desire removal, yields solution in the here and now, not in time = never never concepts used in religions. We need to use reason, logic, and processes to quash desire. 

So why is it so difficult to adopt a new behavior, and ignore the underlying desire?


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Changes are comming

This blog is going to change directions. Why? .. I have seen the abyss, the empty and meaningless center of my human psyche and even that is meaningless and empty and realized that a purpose is required to provide meaning. The best purpose I can come up with is to find the real cause of this overeating issue and try cures.

Ultimately, the cause is too much desire for food. How and why that occurs is part of the problem, and may be the problem in some form. I am having difficulty supporting the "solution offered by the program", and having difficulty not speaking at meetings to problem that I have found the solution too. That would be against tradition one. So the program looses one more member. maybe. Oh well.

It is the combating of the desire to eat that gives the greatest hope of recovery. William Irvine wrote on desire, an I am now on the third reading of this work. It is in applying the possible solutions where the difficulty arises. Desire is just one of the 8 groups of causes ( http://philosophyofweightmanagement.blogspot.ca/2014/11/what-is-normal.html  ) that I have been studying.The treatment of dealing with desire is it must not upset any of the others.

There are parts of the book that I do not agree with also. I maintain there are three sources of desires, a primal part, where the desire for food, sex, ambition, greed for more, security, sociability, and the like derive from. On top of that is the unconscious where additional these desire may be modified, but the big distinction is that the unconditional is learned. On top of that is the lightly driven conscious mind, which must enlist the help of the unconscious for some real substantial force to either control of modify the desires.

Some of the food desires is a strong primal/unconscious desire for food or food components.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happiness is a Result, not a Purpose

http://www.wildmind.org/blogs/news/4-reasons-to-stop-pursuing-happiness-what-to-do-instead got me thinking.

Some old philosopher/psychologist said something like success is equal to life divided by expectations.  This is pretty much the Buddhist, Stoic, Hindu, Tao view also. So how does one achieve happiness. Well, happiness is not within our control.  It is the result of living a purposeful and meaningful life. A life free of obsession, well no, more like balanced obsessions, a balanced life. What do I mean by a balanced life? See the SMART handbook for details, or your neighborhood Buddhist. In general it is a full life of right actions, right deeds, right thoughts, intents, a life lived by virtues. These produce happiness as a secondary effect. The primary effect is fulfillment of our purpose in life, unconscious or conscious.

When our purpose in life is conscious, we then know what the next right act should be, or at least we have a choice of the next right act, among the choices of next right acts. We then must have a clear conscious purpose in life. From time to time, as one purpose is fulfilled, we may need to ramp up our defining of our purpose a bit.

I have seen the abyss of nothingness, the empty and meaningless center of my human psyche, and realized that a purpose is required, and it is fulfilling that purpose that applies happiness to our lives. It cannot be applied directly. That is why it is so illusive in the modern world, we as a society, have lost our direction, and we cannot buy it. We need to build it for ourselves, each of us. When it no longer applies happiness, we need a better purpose, a more detailed purpose, a better defined purpose to bring meaning back into our lives.

It is this understanding that has been missing from my life, and possible others as well. Oh well, what do I know? 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Defining Recovery

What does 'recovery' look like?   How would I know, I have lived in and with this 'disease', issue, condition, problem, behavior, what ever you call it, all of my life that I remember?

I would not think, obsess about the next meal, but instead would eat small uniform meals at a set schedule, go to bed on schedule, get up on schedule. But I want to watch late night TV, when the blood and gut and gore shows are on. No. But that is not likely to happen yet.

When I get up, come home, and wander around the house, turning off the lights that were left on, closing the windows that are open and the furnace on, I will not be bothered by how careless the wife is now. It will not bother me that she will not do anything on here own volition any more. Nothing around here at least. But why should I care? She does not care.  

Well it would include enthusiasm for life, a few passions that would drive me, none that would drive me to the food. It would not include the need to tell people when they are wrong. That critical element, that my father had, and I inherited, has a bad effect on everyone. It served well during my time in QC positions, and in the engineering forensic and insurance work, but it must go in my personal life. Somethings are up to me and some are not. Keeping my mouth shut must be part of my new recovery personality, about those things that are not up to me. But what about my archery coaching? Here is something you might change for improvement. Try not dropping your bow hand until the arrow hits the target. Tighten back and follow through.

Passion for life and what life has to offer is required. 


 Maintenance is tougher than weight loss. (Y/N) Here some the rules from http://www.refusetoregain.com/
  1.  Be Tough, Not Moderate
  2. Commit yourself to a 3 Month Opt out Period
  3. Weigh yourself every day
  4. Reverse small gains immediately
  5. Eat Primarian 90 percent of the time
  6. Eat one major meal a day
  7. Perform a daily “Scan & Plan”
  8. Stop eating at 8 pm
  9. Eat from a limited menu
  10. Have one acceptable treat per day
  11. Have a love affair with exercise
  12. Maintain with support and support others
This is all well and fine but doing it is the problem. If is could do these, I would not have the problem. Another circular solution from a person who has never had the problem. Oh well.

It also depends on how sever your (my) problem was in the start. Of the 8 groups of reasons for overeating, I suffer from some of each group. I would like to take a holiday from this problem, but death is the only option, and I am not that desperate yet.

Missing from this list is the food journal, and 6 should say a moderate major meal. When we remove dairy, sugars, grains, much omega 6 oil, and processed foods, we automatically have a limited menu. The problem is sticking to the plan, which no one ever discusses. How does one overcome the desire for food? I am not talking about a bit but all waking hours? Do something else sure, but tired and not yet sleepy?

There is too much day some days. Oh well, there is little help on the matter. Lack of passions, sure, and how does one develop or maintain a passion when we aches and in pains are constant, all the time. Sure, I can slip into a meditative state and block of the pain while meditating, but how much meditation does one need?

Maintain support of others is not within my control, and I have no concept of how to support others. I cannot solve my own problem. Motivation and desire, passion for recovery, persistence, or something else is the first requirement, missing from these steps.   

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Food desire

Is it a desire for food or a desire to be rid of a feeling?

There are two ways a desire can manifest, a desire for something, or a desire away from something unpleasant. Both are hedonistic, therefor strongly motivated with passion derived from the unconscious mind. One is toward, one is moving away from something. Now which do I really have?

After examining this desire that I have, I realized that it is a desire for disposal of any uncomfortable anxiety that I interpret as a desire for food, or as a way of removing the uncomfortable anxiety feeling. The threat of withholding food was often used as stick/carrot in molding my behavior. Was this part of the process of learning overeating behavior at the hands of my parents? I was an overeater by age 7 for sure.

It seems that motivations and desires arising in the unconscious or more primitive part of the brain are much stronger than those arising in the conscious rational logical part of the brain. In fact, we have little control over these drives, once they arise. We are sometimes able to satiate these desires or dissipate or distract them confirms that they are generated in the same part as the emotions. We can sometimes consciously change the inputs, and thereby change the desires and motivations.

Either way the desires to eat, at the level I have, are irrational. No reason nor logic here.   Either way, it is terminal and hedonistic, the strongest of desires. Would it help to understand which I have? It seems to be both, but that may be the addiction talking.

A shared delusion

Religion is a fine example of a shared delusion. I was at a catholic funeral yesterday, and it was a fine example of the life after death delusion of those folks. I may not know what is really true, but I can separate out some of the obvious delusions. Learning to live in reality may be the ultimate answer.

Realizing that life can become a delusion may be the way to prevent radicalization.  If someone is selling it, it probably is a delusion. We all need to cooperate to for us to all survive well, and that gives each of us the best chance of surviving well. There will be the sociopaths, egomaniacs and psychopaths who realize that they can take a bit more and live better still, but we know they are sociopaths, egomaniacs and psychopaths. Oh well, predictors and assholes exist.

Where is this going?

Predictors, sociopaths, egomaniacs, psychopaths and other types of asshole exist, as well as those living their delusion. We need to be aware of them, and not become there targets or get in there way. (Should that be their? but they are less than the ideal human, there will do) The deluded may be the most dangerous for they believe they are in the right. It may be that belief, that they are right, that makes all these groups the most dangerous of peoples.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dueling Desires

Is the weight about dueling desires, the mutually exclusive desires to eat and to be thinner? So which desire is stronger? But weight, on one side it is not just desire, but also a biological imperative also tipping the balance. So WTF now?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

On Desires

First, (desires vs needs) we need to understand what desires are and separate them from needs.

Needs are rational, logical, and arise from the body or the rational mind. There is no passion associated with needs. We don't needs chocolate (newfieism, nf). Plato termed them the white horse of reason, needs are logic based, we do need some food.

Desires arise from the automatic part of the brain and are connected to passion.  Plato termed them the black horse of passion, desires and passions are noncognitive, automatic mind responses, and are connected. These are deadly and can be classed as wants as " I wants it "(nf). Desire and passion for those desires are the deadly part. These can also arise consciousness, and must be rooted out to avoid eating because of them. These can be induced by the senses, temptation, availability, advertising, sight, smell, hearing, feeling. We can whet up desire easily by thinking how it would taste, feel, smell.

We need to separate desires into two types; appetition and volition. It is appetition group that give us the most trouble. These drive consumption. Volition can also be a issue, they can drive the act of eating.

Now what does (nf) we need to do to eliminate desires for food, or almost all desires? Buddha implied: extinguishing all desires is enlightenment.  Delusions, expectations, aversions, are all forms of desires. Vices are unskillful, virtues skillful. There is nothing wrong with skillful desires or impulses. Sense desires must be cut out completely. Skillful desires are ok, liberating and enhancing, while unskillful desires should be avoided and cause obsession, resentments, embittered negative issues.

One issue with food is too much desires. Beyond a point, some skillful desires become unskillful, and must be cropped. Over-consumption, OK.

Self-consciousness causes desires according to Kant. Passion is "agitation of the soul".
Stoics advise to live by virtue, and avoid vices. This is essentially the same thing Buddha recommends. Buddhists "generate desire" for the fostering of skillful qualities and the abandoning of unskillful ones.

So WTF does this have to do with overeating? Next we need to separate three more things; hunger, cravings and desires. Hunger is physical, cravings arise in the body or primal mind, desires  arise in the automatic mind, are whetted by senses, temptation, availability. Occasional the rational mind can give rise to desires, and these are attached to passion to give them life. So do I (we) suffer from excess hunger, cravings, or desires?

After much searching, I realized that it is desires that drive me, not cravings. These are within my control, and my responsibility, even though there is not modern training available that teaches how to control these not how to manage them either. This is a failing of modern society, and one more cause of the obesity epidemic.

Now I need to explore desire control.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On Habit

So if overeating is `just a habit` who does one address such a persistent habit?  The net does not offer much help. Overpower it with a new habit. So how does one overpower a necessity of life? Displace the habit? Just eat the prescribe bit of food and then go away. Yah sure. What about the craving or desire for more? Well it will not hurt you. Just ignore it. Yah Sure.

It is the craving or desire function that drives this whole problem. So how did the stoics handle excessive desires?
Suppression of desires.
Desires are the root of all evils, all vices, and slavery to organizations, money, property and other things. It is the desire for goods and services that drives consumerism. It is desire that drives greed, lust for power, property, prestige, control and the like. Freedom is not attained through the satisfaction of desires but through the suppression of desires. Diogenes lived free of desires, well so the book says. He did tell Alexander to get out of his sunlight, so he desired sunlight.

Desires are within our control, well sort of. We have control over them, they are generally within our power, except if the desire is from some physical or chemical source. When other polish it, to make it shiny, we can then metaphorically "piss all over them to make it unsuitable to consume." Brutal but effective. It is in the extinguishing or all desires that relief can be found.

So where does this all leave me? It is me that is primary on my mind, as it is with each person, even if few will admit that fact. Well I need to control my desires, and not let anyone polish them up to make them attractive. Perhaps with food it should be a small limit of freely consumable food, say for now spinach, cabbage, kale and perhaps boiled potatoes, but no fats with those. Limit all other foods to the prescribed quantities.  I do not know how else to eliminate desires yet. I have never been schooled in such things, other that to walk away muttering.

Expectations of how life should be, delusion of how life should be, and desires are intimately connected.  Inner peace is the result of no desires and living by virtue. No desires result in inner peace. Circular logic, either we have inner peace and no desires or we do not. It is a mental triple pole double throw switch, as with three phase delta connection, where ground is a true neutral. Rare, but possible. But we humans are guided by the dark horse of passion and the white horse of reason, but not equally so. We who have the passion higher have the more difficult time. Those who have higher reason guidance should be able to follow logic. Ah yes, but it is their logic, and we may not understand the reasons or their weighting of the reasons, as there is likely more than one. Perhaps that is the clue; to weight logic higher, to give some thing more emphasis or value, long term, or possible future pain, or current pain, in the case of weight management.

Understanding where my desires arise, and how to eliminate them may be the next challenge.

Any ideas? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Or Habit

What if the problem with overeating is an automatism or habit? Then we need a replacement behavior of equal or better effect and longer duration than the existing habit.

Is the reason that overeating - obesity is so difficult to successfully treat, a problem of mistaken identity, we are trying to treat the symptom or object when the real issue is the habit. The behavior, learned behavior, and the simple method of treatment is replacement of an undesirable behavior with a better habit.

So what is a suitable habit for replacement?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Where to?

Where do I go from here? We need to start change at where we are. OK. So where do I go from here?
The problem that remains is lack of interest in doing anything. Most evenings I just want to sit, and the TV is on already. My eyes will not stand more reading. My body will not stand more activity. I have no sense of community, beyond a few hours each week, that is enough.  Other people seem to prefer time with others than me. Well OK. It has always been thus. It is likely my nature. Yous all are lucky, I did become more radical. Perhaps it is time to write a manifesto stating my beliefs.

Equality of all is a fine ideal, yet we are not equal. We have non-equal abilities, interests, skills, and personalities. Certainly not our earning potential. Knowledge was, at one time, worth something. Now with internet, not so much. It is only valuable if it is very specific, and is salable. If nobody is buying, tough. 

It is the outliers in personality that have issues, yet there is no method for identifying and correction of those personality characteristics that cause isolation. Isolation results from the lack of social contact, as those of us who were trained to survive alone, in isolation, may have personality issues. When it is more comfortable to be alone that to be abused by others, we will stay alone, more or less. So which came first, the personality issue or the isolation?  

So this is the dilemma. Lack of interest and isolation. That which I am interested in, the mob is not. That which the mob is interested in, I am not. A Stoic description, but it fit me.

OA and AA is a religion in my opinion. To me, it is only my opinion that matters in my decisions. AA is dependent on faith, has rituals and tradition, a set of beliefs, and is resistant to change or correction when parts are demonstrated to be wrong. Belief in a god is just wrong, it is a wrong concept, but we need to have a belief system. Belief in a rational human system would be better,  but that would require cooperation and submission of some concepts. It would require time and study, and in the end, does anyone care? Some will understand, some will not. So what. Carry on.

That is not to say that OA/AA is not without value. The steps describe some of the processes many of us need to go through to clean up our lives; yet it includes a god concept, that is not needed but the overall message is simple enough to teach to the masses. Programs do promote a sense of community, but a unchanging devotion to a system which I struggle with because of the god concept and the limitations placed by the program meme. It must hold true to the meme philosophy. Perhaps I need a new life meme.

What is needed is a understanding of the processes required; a summing of AA/OA, psychological, SMART, Peele, DiClemente, Stoicism, and Buddhism processes to under one hat or tent.

We would then understand a bunch of concepts useful for life
  • What is up to us and what is not up to us
  • Living by nature, rationally, with virtue, 
  • Temperance in all things and pleasures
  •  Life in the present time, present moment, our relationship with time
  • Consistency, all day, day to day
  • Contentment and satisfaction, joy
  • knowing that all mankind are born to cooperate
  •  a sense of community, 
  • equality of all, 
  • gratitude for life as it is, 
  • an sense of wonder,
  • within our priorities. 
There again we need to understand our precognitions, what we now believe, and clean out the garbage.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Letting go

What does it mean to let for of the food? More correctly from a stoic point of view, the desire to eat is within our control. We can therefore counter the desire to eat, and go do something else. Easily said, not so easy to do, or is it? But the desire is always there, weak but there, sometimes strong but there. That feels like a craving, but what if it has a physical cause? Hyperinsulinema? Excess ghrelin? Adrenalin? Adrenalin is a natural response to stress, anxiety, even mild allergy, the body dumps out a bunch if adrenalin to deal with the issue, and adrenalin cause hunger through the re-feed cycle.  So it is a natural effect to feel hunger from stress, anxiety, boredom, etc.

Now one more twist in all this. Sugar, or more exactly high blood glucose, and also high insulin are both relaxants. So we want to relax, we eat carbohydrates, the "comfort" foods. Now we know addiction is typically a cue-consume-benefit-want more (crave)-consume-cycle over again and over again-until we can stop problem. We get a benefit, we like the feeling, and this would not be a problem if we did not eat too much. There is the problem, we can be addicted and yet limit eating to a suitable amount, and not get clear of the problem, problem foods.

So letting go of the food is not what we must do, but let of desire to eat may be what is meant, in stoic terms. We must let go of the desires in general.

and about the net:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/food-junkie/201410/physician-shares-her-private-struggle-food-addiction  

But then perhaps we are looking for the other thing when we need to:
Learn to become content with a minor amount of food.
Learn to become content with less food.
Learn to become content.
Become content.

Stoic world view http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/stoicismtoday/2014/10/25/the-stoic-love-of-community-by-matt-van-natta/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reasons we eat

The following is a summary of concepts, stimulated by KK.

When we get here, we are beyond lack of food knowledge issues. Those are required, but not sufficient to correct the problem. Self observation through meditative state or conscious patient observation will be required. That is shutting down your mind for a period of time, and watching what we are thinking. (see Jon Kabit-Zinn or equivalent if required) 

The difference between eating and overeating is in our utilization of energy since the last meal. If we eat more than we have used since the last meal, we are overeating. Food energy computations and estimates of used energy will be sufficiently accurate to divide the two. The scales is the ultimate test.

Hunger can be out of control, causing us to overeat. This is typically insulin resistance. Eliminate enough sugars, starches, carbohydrates, eat enough good hard fats, and this should reduce to make it manageable.  For true mild hunger, and a small amount of good hard fats will remove true hunger, as will warm liquids. If in doubt, fast for a couple of days and watch hunger. (Lustig, Taubes, Kessler, Moore, McNoughen, LoBag, Low-carb)

If we are overeating, and hunger is in control and not the issue, we must be dealing with cravings and/or:

  • Willful overeating, the FU's (See the Stages of Change, DiClemente)
  • stimulating desire, by self or others (See SMART, Peele, Epictetus)
  • habit, automatic plate cleaning, trained in behaviors (retrain yourself, the Stoics)
  • physical driven cravings, excess ghrelin, hyper insulinemia, leptin issues (learn to live with these problems, and there are some medical interventions possible)
  • Environment or temptation issues, living in a high food environment, low impulse control, continual baiting, hyperpalatible foods, prepaired, inviting, (change your environment, change yourself, or learn to cope)( if you try to change others behaviors... I wish you good luck)
  • Maladaptive behavior, eating over stress, boredom, anxiety, emotions, never learned to deal with emotions, stress, torpor, life, relationships, behaviors, beliefs, values, ethics, virtues, vices. This includes eating disorders. (learn to deal with life, issues, people, events, adopt or develop  a belief system)
  • Food addiction, chemical, (abstinence is the only solution). 
  • There may be other undefined causes
These are not logic based, rational problems. So without understanding the causes (likely) it will be difficult to stop overeating. Each of the foregoing is a group of causes, with specific issues fitting into one group, but there may be other issues.

Cravings can arise from four areas:

  • Body, pure chemical
  • primal mind, body-mind interface
  • automatic mind, unconscious mind
  • rational mind, conscious mind
The source will dictate how to deal with the craving. Mediation can show the source, or blunt force effort to eliminate the craving, regardless of the source. Remove the cause, remove the craving. For some there is much to know, while others can quickly remove the current problem.

Understanding our actual belief system, and having our belief system in the conscious mind, along with our personal priorities list is part of knowing ourselves.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Canadian Thanksgiving is over

Recovery from overeating and traditional holiday have nothing in common. We overeaters are not supported by those around us who pile the house full of tasty but poisons foods. They sabotage, destroy, vandalize, etc. any environmental controls we may have had.

For those of us who live with others, there are no non-program "helping relationships". Other people do not get it. Those processes of change do not work for us, but against us. WTF do I even try? 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stoicism + Buddhaism = ?

Aha   duha  what?

 How well does Buddhism and Stoicism match? Well the emphasis out of phase. Stoics say virtue is necessary and sufficient for a good life. Buddha says do right knowledge, intent, speak actions, livelihood,  effort, mindfulness, concentration for a good life. Sounds like ethics to me.

Impermanence, well yes both b & s, is is contemplating our own death. No permanent self both.
Nature as the ruler yes.

Much is the same, but the emphasis is different. So what.

Karma give purpose, vs working together to satisfy human nature for food and propagation.

But what doe I know?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Acceptance - another Christian Concept

Acceptance - another Christian concept. Delving into stoicism/ skepticism ( the ancients)  and having delved into Buddhism, some concepts take on a flavor of the religion. Flavored philosophy from where they came. How is that possible, I here the skeptics scream. It is not so much the flavor of the religion, as the need of the people who believe in that particular flavor of brain washing. We are all unconsciously "brain washed" into believing whatever in our growing up, and until we clean up those beliefs we will tarry there.

Stocism separates what are our responsibilities are, for and against, what were are not responsible for in no uncertain terms. We need not accept history for it is fact, we cannot change it, we need not accept the future for it is not. We need to not accept stuff outside or us for it is not any of my concern. It is up to me to live in the present, without fear of the future, nor concern for that which is beyond my control nor for the past, as it is but history. To extinguish all desire to have or influence those things beyond my control is freeing. Acceptance is, as a result a minor part of my personal philosophy. Self acceptance of where I am at in my life, and acceptance that I live in an insane world, populated with crazies, is a different matter. Those are real, present and none of my business. Nature will just have to take care of herself.

What does this have to do with food issues. I personally am responsible for my behaviors, well at least the intention to act or not. The action itself may be beyond my control. I am responsible for my beliefs, habits, values. I am not responsible for those biologically driven cravings that grind on my mind (those primal lizard parts, that is body, beyond my control). At time the only reason to eat is to relieve those mind grinding cravings. Our personality and attitudes are built up by our culture, environment, and the like over our lifetime until we realize that. Now we can clean our beliefs, values and become a responsible for our beliefs authentic human being with purpose in our lives, whatever that may be.

In my working life, my purpose was "to provide information to build on", well at least some of the time. The remainder was spent figuring out what went wrong, and how to fix it. Some was done to support myself and my future. My future is now, and I need to fill this big hole in my life, time wise, that retirement has created, hence I have time to study this overeating problem. This study has led me here and there, good fun, sometimes useful information shows up, sometimes the information is less so. Some blind channels. Christianity looks like a misdirect. Oh well.

Personality is layered on top of the physical brain and learned skills and somewhere in that mix. If critical observation and analysis are there, we still have two choices, to chose not to analysis, or to withhold any comment. The automatic response can be silence, not for any reason than there is enough noise in the world. What can I add?


in response to  http://www.mindfulnessmuse.com/dialectical-behavior-therapy/the-power-of-radical-acceptance-when-you-feel-miserable

Friday, October 3, 2014


Now that we have met the triune brain, I will say there are three general or potential sources for the desire for food, a physical, secondly emotional, third - rational. That is not saying that there are only three sources. A few days back, I listed the physical causes. http://oathursdaynightgroup.blogspot.ca/2014/09/circuits-of-overeating.html      So within the physical category, any one of these can be driving the desire to eat. Now how do we know which one?

Knowing the cause, it would be nice to remove the cause, and give relief.  Insulin / insulin resistance can be relieved to a large degree by going Low Carb, or LowBAG, low bio-available glucose. These plans are interesting in that they remove all sugar and grains, potatoes, rice, sugar rich fruits and similar sources of glucose, all processed foods, and hence return us to something paleo to primal type food plan. We need to watch for quantity creep, but they do remove the food desires. This concept helped a great deal in the beginning during weight loss. But all good things come to an end, we adapt to the lower glucose level, and insulin resistance grows. The desire for food returns, or is it from a different source? How does one tell? The only way to know the cause is to treat it, and if the problem is removed... maybe, we have found the cause.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Triune brain

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triune_brain

Triune brain

 Paul D. MacLean
 The triune brain consists of the reptilian complex, the paleomammalian complex (limbic system), and the neomammalian complex (neocortex), viewed as structures sequentially added to the forebrain in the course of evolution.

The reptilian complex, also known as the R-complex or "reptilian brain" was the name MacLean gave to the basal ganglia, structures derived from the floor of the forebrain during development. The term derives from the fact that comparative neuroanatomists once believed that the forebrains of reptiles and birds were dominated by these structures. MacLean proposed that the reptilian complex was responsible for species-typical instinctual behaviors involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays.

The paleomammalian brain consists of the septum, amygdalae, hypothalamus, hippocampal complex, and cingulate cortex. MacLean first introduced the term "limbic system" to refer to this set of interconnected brain structures in a paper in 1952. MacLean's recognition of the limbic system as a major functional system in the brain was not widely accepted among neuroscientists, and is generally regarded as his most important contribution to the field. MacLean maintained that the structures of the limbic system arose early in mammalian evolution (hence "paleomammalian") and were responsible for the motivation and emotion involved in feeding, reproductive behavior, and parental behavior.

The neomammalian complex consists of the cerebral neocortex, a structure found uniquely in higher mammals, specifically humans. MacLean regarded its addition as the most recent step in the evolution of the mammalian brain, conferring the ability for language, abstraction, planning, and perception.

An old theory based on behavior, but there is little doubt about three sources of motivation to eat, a physical, an emotion - automatic, and a rational. We have only power over the ration, which has never driven me to eat anything, but it is the only brake on the eating system.

Over at my other blog http://philosophyofweightmanagement.blogspot.ca/2014/09/bah-experts.html we have experts blowing smoke and telling us that the intellectual part is in control. Perhaps for them, but not for most of us. We (I) need to sell it to the emotional/physical part of me before recovery can happen. 

It is a lot to absorb. It may take a day or two. Ah well, life goes on.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Non-theist vs Atheist

The difference is simple. I, being a non-theist do not give a damn about what you think, while the Atheist thinks there is no god and that you should also think that way. Non-theist is in keeping with the Prime Directive, for you fans. We do not interfere with other cultures. You can believe what ever shit you like.

We talk about pealing the onion, one layer at a time, until we get down to the authentic me. When I pealed it, I found a void, nothing, empty, meaningless void. So I adopted a purpose, to live as nature intended, to work for the good of all in ways that I found enjoyable. Personalty is controlled by our beliefs, and as such can be built up, one layer at a time. Tranquility - acceptance of all that is beyond my power, should be the first layer. Maslow's hierarchy of human needs gives some indication of the layering. Physical survival, and those issues comes first. Next Maslow put social, but I think authenticity is more important than social at this stage of life, then social and self realization fulfillment, but this realization is the fulfillment. It is understanding that our beliefs, which we have control over are the thing we test against for emotional control, satisfaction, automatic responses, and similar. Expectations, values, any cultural values we adopted, and the like reside in our beliefs, and hence within our power to accept, reject, or withhold judgement on. What freedom. We are steeped in our culture. When we put it down, and look, we can become separate and free of the society around us. They will not even miss us for the most part. We still can go to work, carry on life as before, if we wish, or we can do something else.

Are we slaves to money, as the government would like, or are we free? I say screw the government's desires, they do not care about me.
Do we control our wants to the essentials, and few non essential items, books, communications, and the like of utilitarian items?
Do we consider what is up to us and what is not?
Do we live up to our duties?
Do we shut down other's "expectations" of us?
Do we need to do a bit of retraining on those around us, to bring their expectations of us inline with our authentic selves?

What are your thoughts on this heady concept?      

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What do you believe?

Know yourself question

Are you an abstainer or a moderator with respect to food?


What do you believe is a massive question, yet can produce tremendous relief.  Now lets consider that stressed irascible ill depressed feeling that many of us suffer from time to time. What is the cause?

Well lets look at what the mystics and other old wise have said.

Buddha... the cause is expectations, desires, aversions.
Diogenes... believing the false values of civilization or society.
Epictetus / Rufus... some things are up to us, somethings are not. If we place value on the things  up to us, we will suffer. If we do not value the things that are up to us, we will suffer.

Is there a common theme here?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Circuits of Overeating

after reading http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2910406/ , it is obvious that a review of the other factors should be conducted for the sciences.

There are a number of circuits involved in the overeating process. These include but are not limited to:
  1. insulin  and glucagon
  2. ghrenlin
  3. leptin
  4. dopamine
  5. sertonin
  6. and for the ladies, two additional reproduction circuits
All these circuits drive overeating, and there are no healthy circuits that inhibit eating. The best that we can do is absence of drive. There may be some short term discomfort from overeating, and lots of long term issues with the result, obesity.

One bite, one taste, of food can reset the insulin drive to full on. No snacking, only three meals per day may be the easiest. 

Now for a bad part; with overeating we need to go through the action >>> maintenance stage of change (DiClemente, Change for Good) (summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transtheoretical_model) three time each day. There is no such thing as long term recovery; we need to eat to survive. That is likely why eating is such a driven circuit.

We never get out of the cycle.

Reward can be a short walk, taking us from in front of the food something else.

Is there any interest in exploring the science of recovery? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Theorical vs practical advice for life

http://www.livingthestoiclife.org/2014/09/on-crime-and-punishment.html got to me.

When dealing with drunks, addiction, and the like what is preventable?

We need to survive our youth to be of value to society, and yet society does not provide much help to survive. Survival is and must be our primary consideration. The ivory tower platitudes "all is necessary for evil to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing" is one more of those "necessary but not sufficient" concepts like "positive thinking".  This is a facility of logic or something, or public logic, aka illogical.

But what would I know? I am more passion based than logical, when food is concerned. Other times, who knows.

It is like Bush's ignorant statement "if you are not for us, you are against us". It misses all those who are neutral, and those who just do not care. It is like the government and the 2 second rule, yet do not provide sufficient roads to make this practical. Or the idiot who was killed on the 401 who was driving aggressively, over-driving his  stopping distance, and ran into a abandoned car. The car owner had gone off to chase ducks. A lot of imprudent decisions on both sides. It is like the no-win situation of driving in fog.  Slow down, and get hit in the rear, hold speed and hit someone who has slowed, The driving manual says slow down, put on flashers, but the public ignores the advice.

These are not unlike the Positive Philosophy people who say claim all wins and yours, but never take responsibility for a failure. We all need to take responsibility for our actions, and decisions, but we also should not judge people too hard if their decisions do not match with our philosophy. My safety, when dealing with drunks outranks your or the public's safety.  The public (culture, society, customs, beliefs, government) created the possibility. They will need to take their chances.   

Philosophy loses every time it is not realistic or practical. OH, well it matters not. The prime directive applies. (prevents us from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations), but not alien, less psychologically evolved, or greater evolved. I do not know what direction our population is headed in.


Monday, September 22, 2014

The Cause Important or not?

Are the causes of overeating important or not?  OA states in Our Invitation to You that they are not. I struggle with that. They are not important in that the solution to any weight loss must be to follow a diet for the remainder of our lives. They are important in that if we remove the causes of overeating, the problem dries up and blows away. Well, at least reduces. We may still need to overcome an entrenched habit and/or addiction. The cause is therefore critical from the members view, not from the program survival point of view. Recovery, the member view is most critical. I have learned that I have control over my beliefs, and am responsible for my beliefs. It is the necessity for rigorous honesty that drives this question.

 There is value in the program; it puts me in contact with many people who have eating issues, some of which have solutions to some of the problems, few have a good long lasting solution to all the problems. But back to the causes. In the Big Book, Doctor's opinion, the "causes of alcoholism"  are listed: maladjustment to life, seeking oblivion, mental defective, overcome craving. With food issues the list must be longer. It must start with lack of food knowledge or amount, at least for some of us, for that will be required for recovery.

Willful overeating is the first cause that must be removed. It may have been the cause of us starting down this path of destructive eating, but it likely is not a big issue, although it could be if we get into a free wonderful food situation or and entrance price that covers all the food we can eat and I, being a cheap bastard, want my money's worth. I need to just stay clear of those environments.

Next, many of us were trained intentionally or unintentionally to overeat. Clean your plate or your do not get desert,  the sugar rich addictive part of the meals. It was always there, always present. Any disturbance and I got a cookie shoved in my mouth. Silencer plug. It becomes habit, unconscious, and then addiction.

Next we need to understand that, having become addicted, we physically need and crave those foods. Insulin raises just thinking about food, and we develop appetite, and desire. This is made worse by lack of impulse control and availability of food 24/7. Environment and temptation is everywhere.

Then there is all the maladaptive behaviors, where I never adapted to life's situations. I did not know how. Never learned that skill, those useful beliefs. Instead we had god concepts pushed on us, pure rubbish, I now know. Nature is an system, not a thinking system; it cannot have purpose, it is all random generation,  and selection by survival. It is empty and meaningless unless the human defines and believes in a purpose. Stress, anxiety, emotional upset all have belief solutions; all we need do is learn these and practice these. We are responsible for our beliefs, and these are within our control and we can change them.

The last is food addiction, when our mind and behavior becomes chemically dependent on high insulin, low leptin, high blood glucose, perhaps a few other chemicals, and we crave to return to what we are comfortable with.

Enough. My purpose is to keep the message out there that we can change. Epictetus is the place to start, or perhaps Jules Evans, I do not know. Start where you are, recovery is possible.      

Sunday, September 21, 2014

For this, I am responsible.

Epictetus notes some things are up to us and some are not. OK, so about the only thing that is up to us is our beliefs, our judgements, our opinions, and our thoughts. All else is not up to us, that is events, situations, acts of others, and all acts of nature. This sort of defines the wisdom spoken of in the serenity prayer. Now there is a potential power concept. 

In the words of Jules Evans, when "we try to exert absolute sovereign control" over something beyond our control, we are in for a world of hurt.  If we do not take responsibility for the things in our control, our beliefs and thoughts, and instead blame our thoughts on the outside world; those who we first developed or acquired these thoughts from; we will be in a different world of hurt to walk through. (http://avantlive.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/philosophy-for-life-and-other-dangerous-situations/) ,   http://philosophyforlife.org/

So there we have it, some things are up to us and some are not. We are responsible only for those things that are up to us, the rest can go toot. Then the reciprocal opens us up to a world of hurt.

So we are responsible for our beliefs, for these I am responsible. Well now, a house cleaning is in order. God is a pronoun for a belief system will still work because that would place my belief system in control, but it really is anyway. The Stoics said our consciousness was a sliver of divinity. OK. so those two separate concepts lead to the same no god place.  It is all empty and meaningless until we apply a purpose. But since I am responsible for my belief system, I can change it to anything. What power. A heady experience, this Epictetus concept, and freeing.

Sugar and wheat and that long list of chemicals are not food. It is improper to eat between meals. Nobody knowingly does wrong, according to Socrates. So where does that all lead to? It points to no eating between meals. Everything can be build from first principals.

So, consider what bothering you; is it up to you or others by Epictetus rules or not? Is it our belief that is the issue? Then change our belief to Epictetus and away we go, with tranquility at our back and the joy of life in our heart. Remembering that there is a space between the event, and our interpretation, and that there is a second space between our interpretation and any decision to do anything or react; never forgetting the zero alternative, blanking, we have time to respond or not appropriately.

I have never seen before such a clear concept of we are responsible for our beliefs and can change them at will. We do not need to even see events that are not up to us, we certainly do not need to judge them good or bad, nor even have a response.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

What will you do for recovery?

When I started around the program, I was desperate. Everything was new and I was interesting in studding it all. Of course, that was 2x (or should that be 20+X) years ago, when I was less old. I explored my belief system and and separated out what I believed and knew from all the crap and lies I had been told to believe. You will never believe how brainwashed I had been, through my youth, and early working life. That was all interesting and fun, but now that I have started to rebuild my belief system, I have all this spare time. Much things that I thought important are just time burners.

To me, within program, god is a pronoun for a belief system. What we believe is not of importance, but it may be better if it is true. We people range from the empty, meaningless futility of purposeless existence, to the human has assumed a purpose, and goes out from there, with all his finite daily energy, to fulfill that purpose.

Today I was out training future "potential terrorist" to shoot arrow or darts with a recurve bow. Some ass-hole within government, with their infinite wisdom, has decided we may be "training future terrorists", and now we need to "justify our actions in training".  We are just a volunteer club with a 24/7/365 day  20 yard indoor range. How re-dick-u-less petty is the public service anyway? 


 What has this all got to do with keeping busy where food is not. It is just Epicurius statement on death: "were death is, life is not; where life is, death is not; what is death to a living soul (person); it is not (nothing). This is the toggle switch decision. A or B, one has nothing to do with the other; they are mutually exclusive.

Haroldism:  I will let you in on a secret; I was not always old.

Ok. Enough. OK. 


How far?

How far are you willing to go to lose the desire to overeat?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Home again, finally.

It has been a long summer, too many miles. Is it finally back to a routine?

First from around the web more expert bullshit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE3fyQV_chI 

Caused: well maybe not directly,  but they often have a major hand in creating the situation where the trained in habitual response was overeating. Much of overeating is trained in, and becomes habitual. We then, as adults need to overcome that early training. Not an easy tasks when overeating/overfeeding becomes cultural. We need to step back from our culture to overcome this problem.

I am not saying they are to blame. We may not have learned what they intended to teach, but overeating is what we learned. It is our first time through life, as it was our parents, but they had a hand on the wheel also. Nobody understood the ditch was there. It was a accidental result of unknowing collaboration, but to hold them blameless is a bit untrue, however, coming from an expert, who is dependent on a parent to select them and pay the bill of any child with eating disorder, I can see why they would say that. Overeating may not be the disorder they are referring to, but it is the most common.

Now on with recovery; the act of living well while not falling back into the habitual / cultural / part of this disease, while living with family in our native to us culture. Not an easy task.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Attitude of enough

Recovery is really about a change in attitude. Successful obesity recovery may be as simple as going from a deprivation attitude after a metered meal to an attitude of enough. It is all about learning to control our attitudes.

In the Enchiridons, Epectitus is quoted as saying "the things we control include our judgements, our impulses, our desires, aversions, our mental faculties. Attitudes are not specifically listed but it is likely lost in translation. We can manage our attitudes easier that desires. We just need to strongly believe and affirm the correct proposition. I have had enough already. No more feeling deprived of food. Enough is enough already. It is just as those who take pages to say something but never gets to the take away message. An attitude of "enough" can go along way to correcting the obesity, once we learn to give up all processed foods.    

I realized that an attitude of "enough" already can go along way in relief, especially if we apply it to food.I have never seen that stated in any diet book, or self help stuff. We are in control of our attitudes, - those automatic thoughts that we run our lives by.

Apathy, I just do not care, is another good one for relief.

These may define Autism spectrum with it's limited interests, difficulty communicating, and social awkwardness.