Nerian

Arbitrary desires and pursuing pleasure

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Nature is neither malevolent or benevolent.  Nature is.  Only conscious beings can be malevolent or benevolent.  Nature outside of living conscious biota  is not conscious.  It is massive and energetic  but as intelligent as a carton full of bricks. 

I know that just as well as you do. And probably about 99% of the general population knows that as well as you do.

How would you handle the following line of poetry?

The moon was a ghostly galleon upon a stormy sea.

Let me guess. You would point out to the poet that the moon is not a ship but a big round rock in orbit around the earth and it's not in a sea but in the sky and clouds are moving across it and the poet needs to take a course in elementary astronomy.

 

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

Where would civilized countries be without history and the influence of more advanced civilizations? Progress would be slower. Consider The Renaissance, The Enlightenment, Libraries, and the greater use of Logic and Reason. We shall not forget.

I am not trying to be insulting, but Africa, or places inhabited by descendants of Africans are NOT influenced as much by greater civilizations. To a degree they cling to tribalism as exemplified by gangs such as the Crypts  and the Bloods, even in places like Chicago. A lower median IQ and other innate traits may be the cause, just as Neanderthals were only able to advance after we came into contact with them . . . but even then . . .  only to a minor degree. They remained in small family units and tribes until they disappeared.

Peter

The realm of cultures  is outside of nature  in the raw. 

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1 minute ago, jts said:

I know that just as well as you do. And probably about 99% of the general population knows that as well as you do.

How would you handle the following line of poetry?

The moon was a ghostly galleon upon a stormy sea.

Let me guess. You would point out to the poet that the moon is not a ship but a big round rock in orbit around the earth and it's not in a sea but in the sky and clouds are moving across it and the poet needs to take a course in elementary astronomy.

 

I could not have said it better....

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2 minutes ago, jts said:

I know that just as well as you do. And probably about 99% of the general population knows that as well as you do.

99 percent of the public  is ignorant of matters of science.  A fitting tribute to our public, tax funded  (mis)education system. 

40 percent of the American public  believe in the Creation Story in Genesis  and they also believe in Angels....

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22 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I could not have said it better....

Let's get back to that line of poetry.

The moon was a ghostly galleon upon a stormy sea.

How would you write this line of poetry better? Make it more scientifically correct.

This is my attempt.

The moon was a big round rock in orbit around the earth and clouds were moving across it.

That's my attempt at scientifically correct poetry. Can you do better?

 

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44 minutes ago, jts said:

Let's get back to that line of poetry.

The moon was a ghostly galleon upon a stormy sea.

How would you write this line of poetry better? Make it more scientifically correct.

This is my attempt.

The moon was a big round rock in orbit around the earth and clouds were moving across it.

That's my attempt at scientifically correct poetry. Can you do better?

 

Sorry.  I should have been more clear.  I was referring to you scold of the poet.  I could not have scolded the poet better.

"Let me guess. You would point out to the poet that the moon is not a ship but a big round rock in orbit around the earth and it's not in a sea but in the sky and clouds are moving across it and the poet needs to take a course in elementary astronomy."

 

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Sorry.  I should have been more clear.  I was referring to you scold of the poet.  I could not have scolded the poet better.

"Let me guess. You would point out to the poet that the moon is not a ship but a big round rock in orbit around the earth and it's not in a sea but in the sky and clouds are moving across it and the poet needs to take a course in elementary astronomy."

 

I got that. Now the question is how would you revise his line of poetry?

The moon was a ghostly galleon upon a stormy sea.

This is my attempt.

The moon was a big round rock in orbit around the earth and clouds were moving across it.

How would you do it?

 

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6 hours ago, BaalChatzaf said:

Think of the Benevolence when an F5 tornado blows through town.  Or when a Tsunami killed 240,000 people in Indonesia  (2004)

Or the infant death rate in Haiti. One dead for every 20 live births. With an average life expectancy of 62.7 years.  And it is that only because of aid provided to Haiti  by international health organizations. Left to its own devices  Haiti would suffer much worse. 

Or a planet that can support 7 1/2 billion people. Out of that number what is the ratio of benevolence to non-benevolence?

Nature just is and life is what we can make of it. Human life is self-sustainable on all but one continent which is benevolent enough for the tough enough.

--Brant

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23 minutes ago, jts said:

I got that. Now the question is how would you revise his line of poetry?

The moon was a ghostly galleon upon a stormy sea.

This is my attempt.

The moon was a big round rock in orbit around the earth and clouds were moving across it.

How would you do it?

He's gonna come with equations and numbers.

--Brant

you've been warned

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1 hour ago, jts said:

I got that. Now the question is how would you revise his line of poetry?

The moon was a ghostly galleon upon a stormy sea.

This is my attempt.

The moon was a big round rock in orbit around the earth and clouds were moving across it.

How would you do it?

 

I don't do poetry....

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31 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I don't do poetry....

As e e cummings wrote: I don't do poetry, I don’t do do, I hold it in as long as I choose.

I love music, I hate the flu, I love everyone, except Ba’al - ee - hoo.

This poem is copyrighted by the cummings estate.

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On 16/01/2017 at 3:44 AM, merjet said:

I've read it many times. It doesn't answer my problems. It side steps them. The question of where do our desires com efrom? Why do certain thigns give us pleasure?

I appologize for the length of this post. These ideas are very hard to articulate, and I'm still working through it in my mind, and trying to get the terminology straight.

On the physical level, Objectivism agrees that what gives us pleasure is not chosen. I merely contend that the same is true on the psychological level. Rand asserted a blank slate, but any sort of introspection or extrospection, including scientific work in psychological and biological easily proves otherwise. Our drives are set up. What gives us satisfication is set up. We merely find the concrete things that trigger those circuits that gives us pleasure. Some people get a thrill from dangerous things. Othre people do not. Some people are innately curious and get a high from learning and exploring things. Others do not. None of this was chosen. It has been said that anyone who has had more than one child understands that the people come out from day one with different temperaments and personalities.

Furthermore, if we came out with no innate values, we would have no drives to do anything. If we had to choose a goal by the standard of life bferoe it gave us pleasure, then how would a baby do this? It makes no sense. You were enjoying things and valuing long before you read about philosophy.

Rand said value is that which one acts to gain or keep. My question is why does anyone act to gain or keep anything? What is the point? My answer is because you enjoy it. And the reason you enjoy it was not chosen (in the sense of physical and psychological, and ultimately the pleasure of living well by satisfying our innate drives and desires in a way that properly maximizes it)

The standard of value is indeed pleasure. It's the only intrinsic value there is. "Value whatever you already value." My answer is we cannot do otherwise. We are wired up for it. The denial of our nature is incidious. And it makes no sense. Where do any of our goals come from?

Knowing one must pursue productive work, why does one person enjoy working as a teacher and the other as an engineer? Is it because someone chose to value this or that and thereby starts deriving pleasure from it? That is absurd. How would one choose it if not by feeling? Then where did the feeling come from? It was wired. Certain aspects of this or that work satisfy your innate psychological desires and that gives you pleasure. In other words, you like it that's why you chose it, you didn't choose it and that's why you like it. People enjoy (get pleasure from) different concrete experiences not by choice but by nature.

Someone said justify to whom. Objectivism says we must justify our values to ourselves rationally. I say, you cannot. Reason can show us the way to our values, it cannot decide on them.

Unless you want to reserve the word value for merely the things we cognitively decide to pursue and keep. (In the sense I was using it, it means the things that give us pleasure) Then fine. I'll use the word desire, but the issue remains the exact same.

You decided to pursue the values because of the enjoyment you will get, either directly or indirectly, because of your innate desires or drives. And Objectivism says we must justify our values to ourselves rationally, and yet the only reason to value this or that is because of the pleasure it gives us, and the reason it gives us pleasure cannot be justified by reason.

Now you say, I pursue things because it is in my rational self-interest. This is a linguistic bait and switch. What on earth is self-interest? That which is for the organism. What is for the organism. That which serves its continued existence. Then how does pleasure factor in here? You might say pleasure needs to be there because it is necessary for spiritual well-being and spiritual well-being is necessary for survival. But why? What is it about not having any pleasure that is against the organisms life? And we come full circle, because in life as conscious experiences, the motivational system and our desire to live, the real reason to live life-as-experienced is for the pleasure of it. And none of the things that give us pleasure were chosen and they cannot be justified with reason, nor do they need to be. And thus we are still pursuing the pleasure for its own sake. It is the reason why you pursue anything, an instrumental value (a thing that serves an instrisic value) or an instrinsic value (the thing for its own sake).

Even Rand admits this. She does not advocate life for life's sake at all. It's about happiness. The standard of value then is not life-as-survival, but life-as-experienced, which is an allusion to life in the sense of our conscious experiences of it. And in consciousness, the intrinsic good is pleasure. It's the thing enjoyed for its own sake. And neurobiology has shown that all pleasures physical and psychological do indeed actually come from roughly the same place.

Our biological drives are not chosen, yet we pursue them. Why? Because suffering is intrinsically bad in our consciousness, and the pleasure we get from the satisfication is intrinsically good. A hedonistic egoism works because it is merely a return to normalcy.

To some extent, I recognize the problem here is partially the use of terms. But if I use the Objectivist definition of value, the issue remains the same. I can identify what I mean by using the word drive or desire. Our desires are not justifiable by reason, and it is our desires that we aim to satisfy when choosing our values. And the only reason to satisfy our desires is for the pleasure of it.

What do I mean by desire? I think everyone understands it on a physical level. Hunger drive is easy to understand. But we have psychological drives too, and I suggest that is at the heart of all of our values, for example such as curiosity. Curiosity is different in different people. Some people get more pleasure from the experience of discovering new things and learning. Hence, that person will choose values that satisfy that drive. But the curiosity was never chosen, and there is nothign to justify rationally the pleasure the person gets from satisfying their curiosity. They do it for its own sake, even if it has coincendental instrumental value. They still do it for its own sake. Now other people do not get that pleasure. And so for that person learning is a value only when it serves some other of their drives. Learning is insturmental, and they aren't going to do it for its own sake. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is possible that a person could get something out of learning, if they wired it up someway to another innate desire. If a person has an innate desire for the experience of having control over their environment, but is not innately curious, and then they realize rationally that knowledge is power, they may start to read voraciously on what they think is useful knowledge and enjoy the process because now it's satisfying a desire.

Objectivism says nothing about our desires because it doesn't even consider our natures relevant.

Since I have gone down this rabbit hole, I have started looking into the actual science, and I am somewhat confused how I missed this error for so long. It's so obvious to me now, and it makes perfect sense why I always had a problem with Objectivism's view of sex. It's scientifically and introspectively false, but I never made the connection why which is because of the rejection of any innate drives or nature.

I'm trying to formulate how to fit these news ideas together. I still consider myself an egoist. I've just come to my first strong rift with Objectivism. I must have spent hundreds of hours studying Objectivism and Objectivist's works at this point.

This was all sparked by a philosophy PhD friend of mine.

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11 hours ago, Nerian said:

Objectivism says nothing about our desires because it doesn't even consider our natures relevant.

Nerian,

I would check this particular premise.

Just a few points.

1. Your view that something is askew with sex in Objectivism is spot on. Rand vastly oversimplified the sex urge in humans and tried to put it under the umbrella of reason (you are attracted to those who express your "sense of life" and Francisco could tell a man's entire philosophy of life from the women he sleeps with), then extrapolated that to mean all sex urges. This was one case--one good clear case--of trying to deduce reality from a theory or principle rather than going the other way around.

We need to observe first, then derive principles. And if we encounter exceptions, they do not negate principles wholesale (like the falsification thing would have you believe), but we have to at least make room for them. Rand did not grok a lot about sex from observation. She judged first, then identified. She did that a lot with sex. (Homosexuality, for example, to her was something to be tolerated under the principle of individual rights, not a state of being, and especially not something to be encouraged. She found it "disgusting." That's her word. In other words, she thought it was perverted and only talked about it because, to her, perversion was not something the government should be dealing with.)

Apropos, with Rand on sex, underneath it all, she was a Christian-like prude with the hots. :) See her early works (starting with "The Husband I Bought") where a woman is demonized in society for having extramarital sex. This theme appears over and over throughout her career. Even Dagny had her moment of public exposure on national radio of her affair and cried her eyes out about it later on Hank's shoulder (actually, on his lap as he sat on a couch and she sat on the floor if I remember correctly).

2. Contrary to your conclusion, Rand does say a lot about our desires and boy does she consider our natures relevant. (I'm not playing the game of defending Rand. I just think you didn't come out of the right rabbit hole on this one. :) )

When Rand couldn't understand a desire or didn't have enough knowledge to deal with it, she used two get out of jail free cards. The first is "the given." You will see her refer to "the given" over and over when she talks about man's "emotional faculty" (I think that was her term for it), his need to make choices, volition, etc. Start looking for "the given" in her works and you will see it pop up over and over.

The second is "law of identity." This is another way of saying "the given," but since it is an axiomatic concept, she even adds another layer of justification to it: one of the ways you identify an axiom is that you must use it as an agent in order to discuss it abstractly. You must have a nature with specific attributes (your identity, just like with all things) before you can think about what it would be like to not have an identity. In other words, you must be a human preprogrammed with "the given" in order to even talk about humans. You won't see her use this particular way of saying it on the innate desire level, but it's there in everything she wrote about innate human characteristics, even her misguided "tabula rasa" formulation. (The tabula rasa state of babies at birth was part of "the given" to her, just as the faculty of volition was, the faculty of emotions was, and so on.)

Whenever you see Rand fudge on an innate desire, look for "the given" or the "law of identity" underlying something else that would explain that desire and it will be there. Seek and ye shall find. (I speak as a long-persistent seeker. :) ) That does not make her right for the universal level, but at least you can see she didn't just pull her conclusion out of her ass. 

3. In your complaint, you try to hold up that we must justify our values rationally in Objectivism, but we can't decide what they are with reason. Be careful here. Justify can also mean identify correctly, not just peg to a principle. You have to identify something correctly before you can judge it and peg it to something else.

If a desire you are talking about exists as "the given," all you can do is point to it and say, "I mean that." Believe it or not, that is exactly how Rand stated we express the definition of existence (she called it an intrinsic definition or something like that in ITOE). She said you simply swing your arm all around and say, "I mean this." Extrapolating, if you use that system of thinking, that is using intrinsic definitions once you have reached the fundamental level, you can merely point to a desire that is universal in all humans and say, "I mean that" and be totally rational. Strictly speaking, this would be justifying a desire according to Rand's system of thinking, albeit not necessarily her conclusion (where she was sometimes in error).

4. I agree that happiness and pleasure are a bit fuzzy in Objectivism. There is an entire area called "meaning" that it leaves out, although Rand provided meaning in spades in the way she framed things. This is a long discussion and I won't go into it in this post. But I can say a word or two. I am now reading about a theory of meaning--one that is being studied in psychology--that is built on four pillars: belonging, purpose, storytelling and transcendence. The short version is that people are healthier and more satisfied with living when they operate with meaning and not just happiness.

When you look at HOW Rand argued, not just WHAT she argued, you will see she satisfied all four meaning conditions in spades. That's one of the reasons her arguments feel so right in addition to making sense.

One of the tasks that I set for myself years ago was to extract this meaning since Rand's works touched me so deeply, yet several of her explicit rational arguments did not work when I looked and used my own eyes. I couldn't believe I had been hoodwinked, not when it made that much sense.

What I discovered (and continue to discover) is that there is huge value in what she did, huge meaning, much more than most people see. And this is true warts and all. In other words, you were not sucker-punched intellectually by Rand simply because she was off on a few things.

The way I frame it nowadays, I say she had a scope problem in these problematic areas (using "tabula rasa" as an easy example just to have a concrete to consider). She was not wrong on such an identification, but sometimes she was wrong on the universality of it. When you look at it that way, you can see she could get awfully insightful within a small scope, but it was not the big picture.

Babies actually are born "tabula rasa" on intellectual content and volition. These faculties have to grow and interact with the outside world in order to develop. However, there are a bunch of innate drives and things that will simply grow out by growing that are part of the "tabula" with each baby. (Think leaves from a tree seed. The leaf is not apparent in the seed, but on growing, the tree cannot not produce leaves.) Rand was right about "tabula rasa" within a narrower scope, but within the whole enchilada perspective, she was easily wrong. One of the things I do for my own understanding is try to define the boundaries of that scope. This way I keep her insights and keep away from her errors.

(There is a cottage industry of trying to prove Rand wrong or right all the time. I've given up on that a long time ago. Besides, the emotional payoff is nothing but vanity either way. And the political payoff is tribal. It was exciting to me when I was younger, but it's boring to me these days. I now seek wisdom in these things, not winning against attackers.)

One last thing on pleasure/happiness versus meaning. These are not antitheses. Humans need them both. Rand said pleasure/happiness was the main purpose of our lives, but boy did she provide a lot of extra meaning to say it. :) To her credit, she wasn't entirely wrong to approach it like she did (there's that scope thing again :) ). There are a lot of philosophers and religious folks who say only meaning is important in human life, which means pleasure/happiness are nothing. Rand was right to fight them on it. When people frame it that way, they generally want power over you. As I said, we need both.

5. Last thing, and this is a quibble. It's to get out of the us-against-them frame and into seeking wisdom. I don't care much for the expression "Objectivism says" and similar. Objectivism is not a person. It's a collection of literature and ideas. :) Use that term ("Objectivism says") if you like and let Objectivism talk up a storm. I won't. I find it a super-religious way of talking. It makes "Objectivism" seem like a god you have to get approval from.

:) 

Michael

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"Objectivism ... doesn't even consider our natures relevant". Why should it (any more than it does?)

Our biology is a metaphysical given, it doesn't need much more philosophical attention than its fact of existence, its specific and special purposes and of the need to keep a watchful eye on any biological drives, such as the possible effects of hormones (etc.) causing impulses and erratic urges.

I mentioned mind-body integration before.

But the main error, I think, you need to fully differentiate sensory pleasure/satisfaction(touch, taste, particularly) - from emotional pleasure, which you seemingly combine.

The second is a consequence of one's thought-about and chosen values - the first is all physical sensation (sought excessively for its own sake, it would be hedonistic behaviour).

At times of course, one's high value, and resultant emotions, and senses/sensuality - all peak together with another human being - and thus, sex with a loved person. When they meet creates the ultimate emotion "non-contradictory joy".

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

Our biology - hormones, etc. - is a metaphysical given, it doesn't need much more philosophical attention.

 

I'm not sure whether that is a correct statement.

Seems to me there may be a possible discussion about the sense of taste. I don't know what branch of philosophy or what branch of science this discussion would be under.

Seems to me the sense of taste has at least 2 natural functions in addition to the pleasure of eating. These are:

1.   The sense of taste tells us what is good and what is bad, healthwise. Click the link for more explanation.

2.   The sense of taste promotes stomach juices and the right kind of stomach juices to best digest the kind of food tasted.

Rational eating might be viewed as non-contradictory enjoyment of food (with uncorrupt sense of taste and no deception of sense of taste). Rational eating supports good health, which is a rational value.

 

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14 minutes ago, Brant Gaede said:

As long as pizza is good and rational we live in a benevolent universe.

--Brant

Pizza has stuff in it that will corrupt your sense of taste. It also can get you into the pleasure trap. Not rational.

 

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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

YOLO!

You live only once. So live as rationally as you can. Living rationally does not imply giving up enjoyment.

 

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12 hours ago, jts said:

I'm not sure whether that is a correct statement.

Seems to me there may be a possible discussion about the sense of taste. I don't know what branch of philosophy or what branch of science this discussion would be under.

Seems to me the sense of taste has at least 2 natural functions in addition to the pleasure of eating. These are:

1.   The sense of taste tells us what is good and what is bad, healthwise. Click the link for more explanation.

2.   The sense of taste promotes stomach juices and the right kind of stomach juices to best digest the kind of food tasted.

Rational eating might be viewed as non-contradictory enjoyment of food (with uncorrupt sense of taste and no deception of sense of taste). Rational eating supports good health, which is a rational value.

 

A quibble on what I said in the context of earlier statements by the OP. You sometimes exhibit a loaded idea of "rational", weighting it to the healthfully efficacious. Health (I get) is your main concern. I was replying to "Objectivism" -purportedly- not considering our (physical) nature .

There's the distinction of philosophy and biology. Objectively, taste is comprehensively covered by "the senses" and *how we know*. Then one will also investigate the invaluable, absorbing science of *how it works* (eyesight, taste, touch...).

It goes without saying, one 'listens' attentively to one's body, to what it needs, what pains it and satisfies it - from the experience of owning a body, iow, from observation and response, intuitively. If you have developed a close relationship with yours, you'll know you can sense when you are short of certain nutrients and vitamins by the very food stuff you get a craving for. E.g. simply, if a sudden yearning for steak - the body needs protein; and dairy - one probably needs calcium; and similar with avocado, nuts, olive oil, fruits, garlic ... and so on... depending on their contents.  And eat too much cake, your body reacts against the sugar and starch. Excess pizza, you get heartburn. Etc. Never to eat pizza or cake, however, is silly and dogmatic.

Bitter taste and sweet taste alone don't tell us always what's good or bad.

There's much that should be self-evident to the animal who's rational, jts, and the rest comes under the wide study of bodily functions, nutritional needs and food science.

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7 hours ago, jts said:

You live only once. So live as rationally as you can. Living rationally does not imply giving up enjoyment.

 

When you do this you'll still be living irrationally when you aren't living rationally?

--Brant

no way out

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8 hours ago, jts said:

Pizza has stuff in it that will corrupt your sense of taste. It also can get you into the pleasure trap. Not rational.

Pleasure trap! Boy oh boy! Here I come!

--Brant

and I thought it was being a sex slave!

Nathaniel Branden once encouraged me to be one--true story--so that's why I'm all fucked up (out?)

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7 hours ago, anthony said:

 And eat too much cake, your body reacts against the sugar and starch. Excess pizza, you get heartburn. Etc. Never to eat pizza or cake, however, is silly and dogmatic.

For the past 16 years I've been battling an inoperable spinal cord tumor in the neck that causes a degree of paralysis and body deterioration neck down. I am strict in avoiding things that promote tumors. I do not want to promote the spinal cord tumor in moderation or a little bit or once in a while. I must be what you call silly and dogmatic.

Over the years my body has acquired a sensitiveness to where it reacts violently against even small amounts of pro-tumor things, let alone what you call excess. And the reaction is not against sugar and starch but the weird ass chemicals. I can eat large amounts of sweet fruit without being bothered by the sugar.

My sense of taste has changed too. For me salad dressing tastes worse than bad, it tastes revolting evil. I can't eat honeydew melon because the acid burns my mouth and lips.

 

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7 hours ago, Brant Gaede said:

Pleasure trap! Boy oh boy! Here I come!

--Brant

and I thought it was being a sex slave!

Nathaniel Branden once encouraged me to be one--true story--so that's why I'm all fucked up (out?)

Alan Goldhamer coauthored a book about the pleasure trap and gave a lecture about the pleasure trap. It means certain forbidden ingredients work on the brain and encourage out of control behavior. These ingredients include: concentrated sugar, salt, oil, flour, dairy. That's his list. I add 2 more to the list: unbound glutamate, aspartame. Perhaps others should be added to the list.

Different people are different in how they react to these ingredients. Some more, some less sensitive. Alan Goldhamer says everyone is affected to some degree.

This is an example of what can happen when the pleasure trap sets up a runaway positive feedback loop.

Manuel%20Uribe.jpg

Not pretty.

I am specially careful to avoid the pleasure trap ingredients coming off a fast. A long fast must be broken carefully. It has been said that breaking a long fast improperly can result in death. If not death, I'm sure extremely unpleasant. Avoiding those ingredients coming off a fast works for me very well.

 

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20 hours ago, jts said:

For the past 16 years I've been battling an inoperable spinal cord tumor in the neck that causes a degree of paralysis and body deterioration neck down. I am strict in avoiding things that promote tumors. I do not want to promote the spinal cord tumor in moderation or a little bit or once in a while. I must be what you call silly and dogmatic.

Over the years my body has acquired a sensitiveness to where it reacts violently against even small amounts of pro-tumor things, let alone what you call excess. And the reaction is not against sugar and starch but the weird ass chemicals. I can eat large amounts of sweet fruit without being bothered by the sugar.

My sense of taste has changed too. For me salad dressing tastes worse than bad, it tastes revolting evil. I can't eat honeydew melon because the acid burns my mouth and lips.

 

You see my remarks as contrary to you? Think again. You've pulled out one aspect of what I've - largely - been on about, and that is mind-body unity. Which means self-knowledge about one's body: what you can take, what you must control, what you must stay away from - while enjoying yourself. Not to omit the empirical studies of food products and their contents, naturally. It means developing "a sensitiveness", yes,  to food intake (and any other intake) and recognizing that there's cause and effect at work here too. Trust your perceptions about a food stuff, be aware of after-sensations and don't evade feeling or seeing the physical changes. That's it, simply. However don't make the mistake of rubber-stamping one-size-fits-all. Constitutions and metabolisms differ from one person to the next, as do the effects of "chemicals", acidity and the rest. As does the self-discipline of some people that comes from their self-awareness. Yours is a courageous battle more than most individuals, and of your extreme discipline I can find understanding (not, I trust, to be over presumptuous). 

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