(This informative book recommends using colors in identifying parts of the brain.)
Vigilance Through Strength
Vigilance Through Strength
The Care and Keeping of a Healthy Self
It is my understanding that a person cannot authentically show, or advise for or against, for that matter, anything which that person has not personally experienced. I first experienced the pain of the double-bind which at that time was unknown to me. This led to my necessity to find its cause. The first had to do with the awakening of my perceptions, the second, the awakening of my ability to think which led to the discovery of The Pattern. The third, the subject of this essay, was the awakening to my body's needs in order to support my whole Self with the "fuel" necessary for optimum energy, to be used for more passion for life, more brain power, and a healthy, active body, in short, to support my efforts to be all that I could be. This aim has developed into a total strategy for a Self-rejuvenation, so to speak. In the Closed System, the body comes last; in the Open System, the body comes first. (See: The Nature of the Pattern and the Double-Bind.)
* * *
Strength Through Strategy
"The question is not whether or not I am capable. Very few people are incapable. The question is whether or not I return to my coign of vantage after each exploit."
~ A Human Strategy, #403, Matt Berry
The most important part of my strategy is knowing that I need to protect myself from the weeds of the pattern that can keep cropping up. And, they do intrude even with the best of intentions. So, in that sense, it takes time to grow out of The Pattern. The more we grow, the more we can leave it behind. I have found that good intentions aren't concrete enough, a Self planned strategy is needed. It is not that by nature we are not capable of being strong, it is that we have not previously experienced, nor been able to exercise another way of thinking, feeling, and acting. The very personal Passion for Life, for Art and the Integrity of the Self is the opposite of The Pattern which destroys all three essentials. It takes bold measures to counteract the conditioning we have received; it takes vigilance and strength to be able to keep our own Integrity.
Personal Strategy vs Rote Stratagem
The Pattern has left a "tape" in our memories that is triggered to play when the old buttons of unearned guilt are pushed; it is a pattern of stimulus and response. A strategy is needed to counteract the stimulus that can trigger an automatic response to a former input that was not consciously chosen by us. A life without the pattern requires the Self-creating of new pathways, the integration of new connections in the brain. The old "tapes" then gradually "deconstruct" with intentional immunization. I liken these old "tapes" to the weedy path through a vacant lot that I used to walk every day, as a child, in going to school. When school was out for the summer, the weeds grew back, but part of the path was still visible. It was reinforced each September when I started school again. There was no deviation. The weeds were never totally erased; nothing had really changed, only reinforced.
Because the stimuli of The Pattern is still on both sides of the old path (the Shepherd and the Wolf), it is necessary to avoid even the possibility of getting entangled in the gauntlet of Double-Binds. We literally must leave the old path of habits, and create a new one for ourselves through a new, chosen strategy. It was through an unconscious, destructive repetition of the Double-Binds that had become habitual that we were caught in the Upside-down World in the first place; the way out is by a conscious, constructive repetition, repeating new conscious responses; this time, in the Real World. That is the beauty of the brain, no matter what our age we can choose, cultivate and "grow" new rational, neural pathways that are non-punishing. We consciously learn to change and to learn to consciously change our responses to negative stimuli by putting to use new, constructive understanding ... grounded in reasonable connections.
"Certainly one significant achievement is the ability of the brain to change in response to cultural diversity---with measurable chemical and structural changes! Indeed, our brains literally add nerve cell branches in response to training and learning, no matter what our age."
The Human Brain Coloring Book, M. C. Diamond, A. B. Scheibel, L. M. Elson, Harper and Row, Publishers, Inc.
"Man is organic. He only need remain rooted in the soil where he finds himself. He grows himself ..."
(A Human Strategy, #287, by Matt Berry)
In the Open System the Body comes first ...
... And understandably so. The body's function is to supply the necessary fuel for all its parts, especially those that are essential for survival; the body thrives best on certain foods and exercise that provide the right amount of nutrients and oxygen that can optimize perceptions and the thinking process. A refreshing exhilaration is experienced throughout all three ... body, brain and emotions. All three function together as a whole ... as the Self; they are inseparable ... physically and psychologically, therefore, a well-being permeates throughout the whole body. What is materially "planted" in the body of the best nutrients, water and oxygen, is transformed into a Self-generated, physically felt, "spiritual high" ... by the means of the innocent senses ... the fertile soil that can receive. As a consequence, new connections ... grown through exercising the brain ... flower into new insights in the Real World. All new growth being the well-earned state of well-being through a healthy, functioning body ... as an undivided, nourishing whole ... in itself.
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Innocence vs "Guilt"
"For every lie I kill, I find another innocent truth grazing in the meadow." (Ibid. #283)
To realize the True nature of a healthy, functioning body, is the opposite of the intent for which The Pattern was designed ... a Pattern of denial ... the attempt to kill innocent human sense perceptions ... our means of survival and growth in the Real World ... by labeling them all "evil," in order to turn the Real World upside-down. In the Binder's world the Bound become planted in Him upside-down and are nourished only through His thoughts, His ears, eyes and mouth ... via His empty words ... the result of the LIE.
Yahwah, as the Binder, steals (consumes) the physical senses (through which we perceive the Real World), then invites the Bound to "taste" and "see" that the Lord (Yahwah) is "good," that there is no WANT for them that FEAR Him. It is through fear and hunger for that which has been stolen that the individual becomes Bound to Him; then, the Binder promises to give back that which He has stolen, IF ... you FEAR (love/hate) Him enough ... IF ... you are authentic, i.e., if you "truly" LOVE Him ... (fear = "love"). Today, this could be called the "Stockholm Syndrome" ... even a disguised Sado-Masochism, "a taste for suffering," (Webster's Dictionary). (See also: Psalms 34:9)
The Binder's Groundless, Unsupported Word
in the theft of the body.
The word "taste" here is a psychological substitute for the physical act of tasting. The use of it by a Binder, in this case, is what I call "psychological cannibalism" which is masqued by a teasing "poetic label." This is the euphemistic stage 7 ... Black is "White," Fear is "Love," Suffering is "Joy" ... Less is "More." ("Don't see this as bad, see it as good.") In short, the Binder substitutes the unreal for the real, under the mantle of Poetry ... under the mantle of the Real ... True Poetry being a metaphor for the Real, the Substantial, not the empty substitute for it.
The Wolf-Binder always steals physical Reality; the Shepherd-Savior claims and uses it as a cover to hide His Wolf-self. Still another way of saying this, is that "psychological cannibalism" is what the Binder has "consumed" from the Bound, and which he now claims and owns within himself; He now claims to be the source. He then invites the Bound to "taste" Him, i.e., taste what has been stolen from them which is now in Him ... the repository of their lost Identities ... which "tastes" good to them ... a metaphor for the unreal, the insubstantial! In "tasting" the Binder, they "taste" themselves; their longings become a promised fulfillment in total surrender to Him.
The Binder's "Poetic" word is an empty, unsubstantiated, unearned word which has been stolen from the Real World, because the Binder, being empty of a Self, can never retain what he has stolen, a result of his own compulsive, insatiable appetite. Promises can never be fulfilled because, he, himself, is forever hungry. He cannot give to others what he does not have in himself.
An Example of the above from the Real World
Pavlov, the Bell, and the Dog
From: The Role of Repetition in Human Significance, under "Summary of Assumptions," by Matt Berry.
"After a sufficient number of attempts, accompanying food with the ringing of the bell, Pavlov can ring the bell and the dogs will salivate ... whether or not food is given. The ringing of the bell is a type of word.
"All words contribute to the illusion of a dual universe ... of a metaphysical reality. The bell might ring, just as the word might be spoken; the dogs must now salivate even when food does not follow, just as the word now feels substantial, all the more when we imagine it "removed" from its physical counterpart.
"The significance in a word is the same as the significance of a signpost: both are stimuli which provoke human responses. Thus, the only form of expression is one of association ... one of poetic metaphor. Even the most abstract logic is ultimately poetic."
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The Abstract Poetry of the Binder vs Real Poetry
The "Poetry" of the Binder is plagiarized out of the Real World of Poetry and turned into an "illogical logic." Real Poetry is only abstract in that it has not yet been given a name to its insight. For instance, The Pattern, in my human experience, at first had no name, it started as an insight which was grounded in reality, but not yet known; in the end it was seen to be a definite Pattern which I found was repeatable; there was a "blueprint." It was no longer an abstraction; it was known. I then gave it a name. The assignation of a name then, is legitimately anchored in the substantial ... the word (name) is now full ... of the meanings and connections from which is was born. In logical logic, insight becomes Poetry ... a metaphor in search of a the true name. It is the process of becoming, and at the end, the first abstract insight and the Poetry expressing it is subsumed under the known, the noun ... the name. Then, another insight is seen and we begin the process anew to arrive at a higher Truth.
For instance, Newton's Law was sacrosanct, then Einstein comes along with a new insight, and through the substantial, his new abstract insight culminated in a higher law, which was given the name of "the special Theory of Relativity" which could be applied in the Real World. The exciting thing about this life is that there is always more to be dis-covered and the joy is in the journey.
The word, or name, changes the abstract insight into a fact, substantiated with a "blueprint" that can be repeated. The "Poetry" of the Binder is empty of substantiality, it contains only empty promises that can never be realized, because the "word" is empty, unreal, not grounded in the Real World. The dog comes at the ringing of the bell (word) but the trough is always empty.
"I have pursued the shell of existence ... and it is not despair. Those who have found only despair here are those who embraced the shell in order to preserve the vacuum. Let it fill ... let it fill ... it takes no effort to let it fill." ~ A Human Strategy, #444, by Matt Berry
Devising a Strategy for remaining Free from The Pattern
Self-ownership, retention of all our senses and faculties, and
fearless Self-action in being vigilant in preserving that ownership, and therefore, our freedom, is what is necessary to stay in the Real World.
"How to kill what I love: do everything for the beloved ... mercy, pity, help in every way ... never let the beloved strain a muscle. Ah, but to be truly kind ... one would be crucified for that." (Ibid. #34)
It takes effort and Self-control, but this time, it is for your own Self, not for the Binder. And, as the last essay illustrated, to be selfish in this way is to be "unselfish." When we learn to take care of our self, we relieve others from "having to take care" of us ... we do not, inadvertently, "invite" a Binder to "help" us, which would be to give him all own strength ... for his own use. That doesn't mean that we never help anyone, or accept any help whatsoever from anyone else. It means that you do help others who are in a real position where they can't help themselves, and you do accept help when you are in a similar situation. Those who can help themselves, but refuse to do so, are not helped in the most constructive way but, in fact, are weakened by becoming totally dependent on others, and possibly on a Binder who claims he is the repository of all your needs. We can, inadvertently, weaken rather than help, which is the stratagem of the Binder; we are, in essence, reflecting the Binder's goals of "living through Him," and become His slave.
In the real world a constructive relationship is a partnership, in that you have the same constructive goals, therefore, helping a fellow traveler who has stumbled, which we all do, is not painful, but a joy. It is being one in purpose, NOT one in identity, but rather, in the purpose which is Life and growth in the Real World. It is not striving for the "perfection" of obedience and sacrifice as defined in The Pattern; it is striving to be all that we each can Self-creatively be, which is fulfillment, ... size is not the issue ... whether we have a large container or a small container, when one is full to capacity we know and feel the maximum Joy that is possible for us. This fulfillment, to me, is Spirituality ... in a Real World context.
And, it starts with the body ......
* * *
"Water is part hydrogen and part oxygen and that third thing? ... one part human." (Ibid. #69)
A Strategy for
The Care and Keeping of a Healthy Self
Since the Body sends the fuel needed for the Brain and the Passions to function constructively, it is our first priority. That means that a healthy self is dependent on physical exercise and the food necessary for maximum good health. The Body, Brain, and Emotions are one complete whole. Food and exercise should be in the amounts to keep a balance within the whole functioning Body. The following is my strategy:
(1) Food for a strong active Body.
Food that fosters constructive Emotions.
Food for an alert Brain.
(2) Aerobic Exercise for a strong active Body ... which contributes to positive Emotions and an alert Brain.
(3) The Best Literary "Food" to chew and to digest, in order to nourish the expandable, creative Mind ... to increase my Passion for Life and knowledge ... gained through my own reasoning.
The physical, the functioning, human "machine," i.e., the body with all its parts "wired" and working together unimpeded, is the "means" ... the source of our happiness, our spirituality ... through keeping our functioning parts well "lubricated" with the best foods we can find. Heaven is right here on earth.
Food and Exercise
Since everyone is unique, a blanket recommendation for food and exercise for everyone cannot be made. For instance, through heredity or some other problem, one person may need medication to normalize a part of the body that is not functioning properly. However, in general, aerobic exercise of some kind, a good diet, and "food" for the soul (the brain and the emotions joined in agreement) can keep the whole Self functioning in optimum good health. These are the important check-points. It has been my experience that when the weeds (tapes) of The Pattern crop up, it attacks the emotions first, which cancels out my ability to reason, and settles in the Body. We then can "forget" to eat, or we eat the wrong foods (sweets, etc.) for "comfort," and we can become too depressed to exercise.
A Strategy - Horace, 65-8 B.C.
Just a few days ago, after I had written the above, I read Horace's "strategy" for living a life without anxiety, which in many ways echoed my own. I include it here.
"I will my own self make my spirit undisturbed." Always, he said, "Prepare what will make you a friend to your own self."
Also, it was written about him, that he thought happiness and misery were inside emotions, not outside facts; essentially, he was saying, "they are under my control." However, underlining, and making possible the above was that he "refused to acquiesce miserably in an existence that was not reasonable. He insisted upon finding sense in the way things are, and so a possibility of living serenely through life's cares and troubles, difficulties and dangers." (The Roman Way, by Edith Hamilton)
He had his own Self-planned strategy. He was a Self-made man amidst a contrasting environment.
Serenity lies in Self-discipline and a conscious repetition of a planned, Self-chosen strategy. Our own strategy is our own "thinking that has already been done!" ... for our own well-being. In this way, we return everything Right-side Up. Our world had been turned Upside-down and backward by negative conditioning with the Binder in control. We reverse the process through conscious repetition ... in re-"membering" our once Doubly-Bound, divided Self which had been dis-"membered." Serenity is all of our parts reclaimed and functioning in equilibrium as a whole Self ... in control ... going forward.
A Daily Accommodation for a Strategy
My strategy is a simple one, to remain active physically and mentally; this fosters a real sense of emotional well-being; it becomes an exciting art. We are all artists in the sense that anything we do, that we do well, qualifies us as such.
I begin with physical activity by walking and jogging outside in the fresh air. This increases the oxygen to my brain and helps to clear any unwanted residue of a foggy state of mind; it also lifts my emotions by helping me remember my Self ... and my goals ... to live ... to say "no" to the old "guilt-tapes." Just as at any age we can "grow our brains" we can also "grow our muscles" through exercising them ... at least into our nineties! The concept of brains and muscles are literally connected.
In order to remain active, the Body needs the best fuel to keep it at top levels of physical functioning. There are best foods one can eat and drink to stimulate the brain for maximum alertness, as well as foods to eat to maintain a positive emotional state. There are also foods to avoid, that may be tasty but counteract the good that we have chosen. It becomes a matter of priorities.
I consider the food that I eat to be of prime importance for all my goals. As a morning person, morning is the best time for me to be most alert. I try to enhance that trait by eating an apple, some nuts, and drinking a mug of coffee upon awakening ... while I read something positive and mentally stimulating. That is at least one half hour before I take my dog, Bonita, out for a walk and a jog, giving the food I have eaten a chance to support my body before I exercise.
A warm-up walk, then, a 20 minute aerobic jog/walk and the brisk walk back home takes about 30 to 45 minutes. My mind is most alive at this time; this is my favorite time to write or to do research. Later, I take a break for a light breakfast, and continue my "work/play." I make the most of my morning intellectual "highs" and plan on other "work/play" for the afternoon, such as gardening, cooking, washing, etc. In the evenings, I read entertaining literature, e.g., "The Roman Way," for instance. However, I have friends, who are "night" people; they have more energy in the evenings than they have in the mornings. That's when they do their best creative "work." We each get to know our own body and all its own idiosyncrasies; it's no longer the "mystery" that Mormonism projected it to be, because we have claimed it, can have knowledge of the right use of it according to our own creative needs.
In regards to the stimulant, coffee, it is ironic that the Word of Wisdom in Mormonism forbids the drinking of it (if Mormons drink coffee they are not allowed admittance into the temple). However, "Yes," Cola drinks can contain as much, or more, caffeine than coffee (plus they have a high "given" sugar content). "But," drinking Cola is merely frowned upon by Mormon leaders as a venial sin (a flaw) and does not keep members from being admitted to the temple. The other irony is that Joseph Smith, himself, drank coffee! (Mormon Enigma, Emma Hale Smith, Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, pp. 164-5, with Brigham Young references.) In moderation, coffee stimulates the brain's alertness and critical thinking ... a little goes a long way in a healthy body.
I am still learning what the best foods are for my own body ... about the chemical contents of different foods that can maximize my own physical, emotional, and mental well-being. My son, Matt, has been making almost a science of this. He refers to the popular health books written by Jean Carper: Total Nutrition Guide, The Food Pharmacy, and Food-Your Miracle Medicine. However, there may be other more recent books available now that may contain additional, newer findings and information. As a general rule, we eat a low fat, low salt, low to no-sugar diet, and mostly fish and chicken (fish is a great brain food!), very little beef, plus fruits, nuts, vegetables and legumes.
* * *
"My Life Strategy: The management of immediate stimuli for the sake of a necessarily slow, accumulative indulgence in the approach toward a grand end."
"There are no magic words, just as there are no instant values. The confusion arises when we think we are scientists etching a complex formula on a chalkboard, when in reality we should be simple farmers weeding and cultivating a garden of preferred habits and stimuli."
Cultivation and Repetition
The kinds of foods we eat to generate energy, are the same foods that keep our emotions on a high level, just as there are some kinds of foods that can make us sleepy and lethargic instead. During the week, for 6 days, I stick to my low fat, low salt, low sugar diet, however, for one meal a week I "pig-out." I allow myself to eat anything I desire. Surprisingly, I found over time, in doing this on just one day a week, I eat less and less of what I have tabooed for myself on the previous 6 days. One gets used to feeling great; you get hooked on the highs of a healthy diet and exercise. One finds that Self-discipline turns out to be a great indulgence! At first it seems harsh, hence the one day a week to begin with to "pig-out" for one main meal. Later, our sense perceptions of what is giving us more life take over as preference ... so there is no feeling of making a "sacrifice." Life begets more life. It is that simple.
* * *
The Third "Food"
The third "food" we need for a complete balance is what we consciously choose to expose ourselves to intellectually. This means we select the highest rational thoughts to be allowed into our minds that will contribute to our growth and joy. By "highest" I mean the opposite of the thoughts contained in The Pattern of The Double-Bind ... thoughts are "highest" when they are constructive, not destructive. Whatever makes us feel more alive, constructive ... whatever is personally, intellectually stimulating and Self-validating is the "highest." I find a camaraderie, as a fellow traveler, in reading about those who have gone, or are going through the same growth process ... as Self-creators.
The Ramifications of this Third "Food"
The human individual is the core of society ... the nation ... civilization. Gordon Childe said that "Man makes himself;" further, Will Durant said that "Man ... makes civilization." To strive to be all that we each can be is of the greatest importance to mankind and womankind ... by concentrating on being "Self-ish" in the individual, constructive sense. Only an individual mind can create; it is impossible for a "group-mind" to create anything but chaos, which describes the mind of the Binder.
One of the first books that really helped me to see this point was Emerson's Essay on "Self Reliance." It helped me turn completely around. I was ready for it. Since I didn't know exactly what I was looking for, at that time, I read everything that "fed" me, everything that said "yes" to my emerging Self-Identity. Some books were way over my head, however, I could always find some one or two things that felt "right" for me ... that stimulated my thinking, made connections, and added to my Self-knowledge, and hence, my Self-confidence and Self-esteem.
* * *
"The secret of success is constancy to purpose."
~ Benjamin Disraeli
My goal was to find out what was true, how to "separate the (real) wheat from the (real) chaff." Mormonism had betrayed me; my search was for more light, understanding and Self-control ... my own Identity. My son, Matt, and I, independently, each in our own way, searching for what fed our own needs, came to the same conclusions. We do not all approach the same needs in the same way, but the goal is the same. There is some truth, I believe, in the saying that "All roads lead to Rome," or to facts ... or to what is your desired destination. If you take any subject that you honestly search and dissect to its connected end, each investigator, though they use different approaches, will be led to the same place or the same conclusions. Only the way of getting there and the names of the "streets" may be different. We start from where we are, and mostly unknown to each other. The main thing is to remember the Goal and to keep constant in the quest of it, through its companion, Hope ... a hope that has Faith in the Real World means of attainment of the Goal, which is the filling of our own personal "(W)holy Grail" ... when our "cup runneth over" with Love, where we find that .....
"Beauty, joy, and strength are proofs." (Ibid. #562)
..... of our attainment of our own Self-Identity. So be it!
(... yet, only the Beginning)
* * *
A Final Note
On My "Repetition"
I fully realize that I have been repetitive in my essays. The reason being that when I started searching I, personally, could only grasp a new idea if it was written in terms that I could then understand. As I progressed in my search I began to recognize the same idea in other terms, however, I had to grow through repetition in order to do that, by seeing an idea from many angles, as it were ... many different minds confirming the same thing, independently.
Since I don't know where my readers are, in regards to a term, or terms best understood for each one, I have tried to convey my ideas in as many ways as possible, within the limits of this one series of essays. And, the fact that the aspects of the Pattern are disguised in so many ways and situations, has also urged me to repeat them in varying ways.
For variety, and concise clarity, I have included in this essay some of Matt's ideas and insights. He has the earned talent of being able to put a complex idea into what I call a "nut-shell," which he calls an aphorism. Although Matt and I may use different terms, we have come to the same basic conclusions.
While I have been writing mostly about the discovery of The Pattern, Matt, in his own unique approach, has been writing about how to rise above the double-bind in his new book The
Role of Repetition in Human Significance, from which I quoted in this essay.
His first book, A Human Strategy: Toward a Genuine Spirituality, written in the form of aphorisms, reveals his penetrating intellectual and emotional journey out of Mormonism as he methodically questioned everything. The result of his quest led him to form a firm basis for a strategy to counteract and to leave the Mormon dilemma. I have quoted (by number) in my essay above some of the aphorisms contained in this book.
Matt has also written a brief summary of his strategy:
THINGS I WISH I HAD KNOWN WHEN I FIRST QUESTIONED THE CHURCH.
* * *
Tracing The Origins of The Pattern
(Is in process for a separate series of essays.)
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