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

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 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 (  ) 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 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
  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.