Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Evolution of Religions

Religions have been upgraded from the beginning of time, each time by the men living at that time. Even if there was a god, men wrote the stuff. This is evolution. God is a concept, and as a concept it exists in the heads of believers, but there still is no physical god. It may teach a moral code, but those are easy to separate from the religion.

When we look at the middle east today, it is obvious that religion must be eliminated if there is ever going to be peace. Treat others as you would like to be treated, and go from there.

But what do I know?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Religious are .... pick a word.

It has become obvious to me that religions have evolved from a attempt at establishing a consistent moral and education from beyond the grave system into a system for expansion of territory,  of control of people, and destruction of those who will not submit to being controlled.

Those savages remind me of Genghis Khan:

Happiness lies in conquering one’s enemies,
in driving them in front of oneself,
in taking their property,
in savoring their despair,
in outraging their wives and daughters.
        Genghis Khan

All religions have evolved form the primitive folk religions. These all are man made. These have been built, by con-men and others to educate from beyond the grave. Some are well inattention-ed, but the ground crew has mutated the intent for there own use. Some people long for direction, and that longing combined with their own imagination creates the directed spirit. Religions are man made. That realization explains a great deal.

In the brave new world, the police will have the right to stop anyone with the slimiest of reasons, even a feeling, and question anyone. Failure to stop and answer, show I.D. and answer the questions will give the police the right to shoot me. I fear it is coming, life in a police state. Perhaps we will require a chip installed, so a wand swipe will provide a sufficient information. It will not impede the cooperative people, just the non-cooperative. I fear it is coming.

The police cannot let someone walk away with a weapon in there hands, or that have committed a offense. It is that simple. Stop or be shot. 

The ignorant will cling to religion, the educated will accept a chip, and away we go. The penal colonies will be set up as fenced slums or the like.

But what do I know?

Monday, December 28, 2015

What Now?

What is the name of that what now lost feeling?

That feeling on completion of a phase of life, or some all consuming issue, when the next step or action is not apparent?

It is not indecision but similar. For the feeling to be indecision,we would need alternatives beyond the ever present do nothing alternative.

I suffered from that during writing of some engineering forensic reports. Typical case would be a house that had undergone settlements due to drying and shrinking of foundation soils. The City does some utility repair work and a bit of vibration occurs, perhaps the cracks extend or some new cracks show up. The home owner suits the city for all the damages including settlements. So how does one separate the damage or the cost of repair? Without the house being leveled, repair is a waste, while the cost of settlement repair is the owners own liability. Anyway, that what now feeling?

Similar feeling arises often when I do not want to do something that is obviously the next step, but I do not want to do it. It can be handled as grouping this as a "stress", but that does not point to a solution. It is the most uncomfortable feeling.

As a retired person, who did not want to do the available work any more, dealing with that stress has become necessary. Normally for such a decision, the decision method is to generate some alternatives, evaluate the alternatives as best one can, set up some criteria and the decision may be obvious. The issue that I have is generating any alternative that I am remotely able or interested in looking at. I just do not want to do it. It is that simple.

In one of the videos I watched this weekend, that feeling was mentioned as being one of the worst feelings which I agree, yet I cannot put a word to it. Just do it does not help.

I miss the social benefits of OA "after meeting meetings" but not the useless meetings. It was those that helped much more than anything else. I have tried to describe what those gathering provided previously.

But what do I know?


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Self reprograming (5) purpose

Self reprogramming must occur on three levels, philosophical aka thinking, emotional and behavioral. Philosophical is where the most benefit can be had, for to some extent, it controls the other two levels, according to some. But then there is habit, an automatic response to a situation. We do it unthinkingly, like dishing out the amount of food we take. We need to understand our motivation, our beliefs, values, what has meaning, and produces engagement in us, and what the end outcomes look like.

Ultimately, the purpose of reprogramming is to stimulate a sufficient change to bring about a immediate and complete end to this overeating problem. So if a modern philosopher wrote the 12 steps, what would step one look like? Using Socratic sort of questioning as a method, I suggest the that would look something like: We recognized that we have a problem with our weight which is brought about by eating to much in general. Carbohydrates are the worst, while fats and excess proteins contribute. The overeating has causes, to be explored later. The overeating and obesity has wreaked havoc in our lives and now needs to addressed.

Step 2 would be something like: We realize that the solution to this problem can be help explore the causes, potential solutions and management strategies to overcome the problem. Step 3 will need to lay out the trichotomy, try the program, or not, or explore the program further before making a decision. What the program consists of is yet to be explored.

In the short term the program requires three small meals each day and a full schedule of activities between meals.  In the long term, we may become very different people than we are today.

Looking forward, the step take us through learning about our good and bad behaviors, changing those behaviors to better, addressing social issues, ongoing self education and spreading the message/program in a meme like fashion.

We come to this overeating problem with a great range in our philosophy of life, emotional growth, and behaviors, and some how we all have this same problem(s). In later discussion, I will refer to 6 typical groups of causes: 
  • Food knowledge,  self knowledge, education in general...
  • Physical conditions that cause or contribute, physiology...
  • Environmental factors, effects of specific substances
  • Social factors, relationships
  • Maladaptive behaviors, emotional, stress, anxiety, inactivity
  • Food addiction - chemicals in the food causing 
But what do I know?  


Monday, December 7, 2015

Self Reprograming (4) Emotion Displacement

The following is a summary of the main points: Emotions are contagious. Positive emotions can replace negative or neutral emotions. We can only hold one emotion at a time. Emotions can cycle quickly through a series like desire or baiting, cannot have, deprivation, to resolution, control, power, and this is a learned skill. Some people learn how to manipulate ourselves by manipulating our own emotions naturally, often without even realizing we have done that. Others of us must make an effort in learning this skill. Emotions can be managed.

Our behavior and those around us can influence our emotions. The arts can have a similar impact, or so I understand. Most of the "arts" do not impact me much, so I will take that at their word. What do I know. People around me influence the way I feel to some extent. Positively or negatively. When we know we do so much better with positive emotions, it is difficult to be around a negative person. All this I take as proof that emotions are contagious, and therefore we can infect ourselves with positive emotions, and should at every opportunity, without getting silly.

Positive psychology starts with positive emotion and grows from there. It needs the positive seed. Once the positive seed takes hold, it can grow through interest, engagement, commitment, meaning and bloom into achievement. We get the positive seed through seeing and feeling some success.

How does this relate to overeating?  When someone offers chocolate to me, I can decline it without any problem, as I recognize it for what it is to me, a good tasting poison, that one bite has the power to blow me up a hundred pounds in a few months, to where I become so uncomfortable that I question the purpose of life and of continuing to live. I am addicted to chocolate, and cannot take even one bite without starting the slide down into hell that I have experienced. I am also addicted to sugar, junk food, wheat products, potatoes, nuts, bananas, and the like.

It is difficult to be around those who do not have issues with these as I can feel deprived if I allow myself to remember the taste, or how it felt at the first bite. If I remember how I felt at he last bite, I feel pity for those who are still addicted to those poisons, and that give me a feeling of power and control which are positive emotions. That removes or displaces the feeling of deprivation and replaces it with a ego burst of power. One emotion displaces the previous; hence, in a general way, we can only have one emotion at a time. We can learn to do this, to return to an satisfied emotion where joy and tranquility can flourish.

But then what do I know?


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Self Reprograming (3) Purpose

What is the purpose of self reprogramming?

Ultimately, I believe, that the purpose can be described as creating in ourselves a necessary and sufficient personality change to bring about an end to the problem, in this case, to bring an end to overeating.

First, we need to identify the problem as our behavior and recognize that we can change our behavior when faced with this problem. Exactly what part of our personality is to be changed or what it is to be changed to is up for debate.

We must become willing to identify and change our behavior, not try to change the environment we live in. We cannot get out of a food rich environment... It is just not practical for many of us. That would mean living by myself... in the bush... separated from civilization. A Thoreau like experience at Walden's Pond. It means wanting and desiring to be able to change.

What needs to be changed is often the question. It is us, our thinking, our philosophy, and ultimately our behavior. We cannot just change behavior without changing our thinking first or near simultaneously. First we need to figure out what aspect need to be changed, and how to make that change. That is the hard part. 

Sustained effort to correct the problem, absolutely and completely is required. Complete abstinence from that behavior, or chemical or substance is required. We cannot even give ourselves the change to use.

I am of Irish/Prussian extraction, and I am addicted to the potato, wheat, grains and sugar, aka carbohydrates. It is a bitch to get off of, and to stay off of. I also am cheap and I grow good potatoes. I was raise on them, they are a traditional food... what is one to do.

But then, what do I know?   

Friday, December 4, 2015

Reprograming self (2) Things up to self

Some things are up to us, and some are not. That is hard to argue against. It is the list of things that are up to us is where difficulty starts.

Our opinions are up to us, but we are biased by our upbringing. But we have free will. Will is only free as long as there is no coercion, or other forms of repercussion. So how is a child supposed to go against the wishes of parents when the parent belongs in a lunatic asylum? Or a young adult even, who is not dependent on parents, who's choices would be opposed by the parent, is that really free will? So we have the right to choose but not the freedom to do so, but at times we must choose and bare with the consequences.

We have free choice over our desires, as desires are not physical, but just a mental concept of desire. These can produce expectations and delusions that will cause problem later, but we have power over our desires. The advertising can endeavor to raise an eager want in us, but ultimately, desires are within our power.

Our motivations are within our power. That is not to say that we can achieve what we want, for we are limited by physical factors like our body and memory.

Our beliefs and values are within our power. This makes us responsible for what we actually believe as adults, and what we do as a result of those beliefs. We have the freedom to review and accept or reject, change our beliefs at any time. That is true freedom. Reason and logic can be the true driver of all our actions.

Ethics, virtues, and the like can drive our decisions, not historical cultural rote. Yes, we have the responsibility as adults to review and change where needed, and to changer our culture, based on ethics and virtue. Here we need to know our priorities, facts, truths, and not get swayed by emotions. The political bodies can paint pretty pictures that are half-truths if not outright lies. We need to sort out the reality, and live by virtues, regardless of government programs and attempts at social engineering, or environmental reactionaryism.

On those things that are beyond our power, we have influence or partial control over a few, and much more that we have no control over. Those we just must let go of the responsibility for and learn to live with, making what changes we can. We can only change ourselves.

We can educate ourselves to a large extent. Some of the best education is self directed, along the lines that you find interesting. It does not need to turn into money making education, it can be for your own benefit, or to aid in sorting of fact from conjecture or promotional materials or government propaganda. There is a great deal of that to go around, even in the "free" world.

But what do I know?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Reprograming self (1) Assent

The process of reprogramming of self has been for me convoluted. There is no manual. There is little help that know the solution, for the solution must be unique to us, as individuals. We do not start at the same place, nor go in the same direction.

I think that the underlying principal is that we all have the right of assenting to a preposition. That is we can agree with a statement, but really we have possibly four choices, assent, rejection, we can withhold a decision for further study or just reject the whole consideration and leave. We can, at a later time, also change our minds, or modify our thoughts on the matter or not. We are free.

I am now free of religion. That is not to say that I disagree with all of there teachings, just the supernatural garbage, old stories, and the like. We need to understand our self selected purpose on earth that we choose for ourselves. We need a clear direction to proceed, and that self selected purpose gives us direction. We need to undertake that purpose with a positive attitude and clear head. We need to understand that if we are going to survive and flourish in the upcoming years, we need to be active and follow a reasonable plan including food, activity, philosophy, and learn to be free from all religious supernatural and irrational thinking. We need to become the rational beings that we are, all while living in these animal bodies and having animal urges. The next stage of evolution is on us.

This rational evolution is not uniform, some have evolved, and some have not. That does not matter, we each will evolve, one at a time or die off. The important issue is that we each have that choice, assent, or withhold assent until we have studied this whole concept a bit more. The first step is to recognize that it is up to each one of us. The choice is ours to make, free of influence.

But what do I know?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Natural Religion

I am reading the Arrian - Complete Works - a Delphi Classics, and came across the term, natural religion, in the introduction to the enchiridion. For those of you who do not know, Arrian (86 - 160 CE) was the student of Epictetus who wrote down his lectures, and became a history author or history chronicler in his day. Epictetus was a famous Stoic. The Stoics understand the human mind better that most psychologists today, and provide logical solutions to many of life's problems that apply even today. 

Natural religion is based on reason rather that divine revelation. Other sources quote it as being defined by the belief that there is only nature, and all come from nature. Wikipedia says: in which God, the soul, spirits, and all objects of the supernatural are considered as part of nature and not separate from it. Conversely, it is also used in philosophy, specifically Roman Catholic philosophy, to describe some aspects of religion that are knowable apart from divine revelation. It seems to me to be an oxymoron of sorts. Wikipedia is out to lunch.

Natural religion is based on reason, and reason says that there is only nature. The supernatural cannot exist inside nature, as to be supernatural, it would be greater than nature. There is something wrong here. Abandon Wiki on this point.

Each translation has a different twist on some points. It is within our power also to believe or not believe anything we are taught by our parents, the community, schools and universities. Some of what we were taught is just wrong, and religion in general is just wrong... there is nothing beyond nature. It is nature that drives us to overeat, and knowing this, we can derive strategies to some of the causes of overeating, like food addiction.

As far a I am concerned, food addiction is caused by some chemicals in the food, or situation that causes us to desire more of that food. It does not matter if that is a cultural food or not. Currently it is the problem and must be completely abandoned. Letting go of specific foods is necessary, regardless of what others say. Quantity control may also be necessary for some slippery foods, but that has nothing to do with natural religion.

The point I am trying to get at with this is all we have is nature, external, internal, then we have logic and the mind. We need to accept nature, there is nothing we can do about it, but we can behave in ways to not create a problem for ourselves, even if others are not happy with our behaviors.