Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alchemy, Chemistry, Mechanics, and Medicine

"We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery ,we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. ...

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural." Sir Charles Chaplin - "The Great Dictator"

There is a way of practice, with accompanying theory, in medicine that says you are a machine. You are an organic meat machine. We can change your parts, make you stronger, faster, better by swapping out the old, and implanting the new. Though, with all of implants that Steve Austin had would probably now cost WAY more than 6 million, but the company who made them could easily triple that margin per soldier per year for any government for whom they chose to make augmented soldiers. But I digress. 

Food is often considered "fuel for the meat machine". But it is not. Food is the substance out of which you make more you. You are less a machine, and more an on going chemical reaction. Less Iron Man and more Dune. Not only are you a chemical reaction, but you are part of an ongoing chemical reaction that has been chugging along at LEAST from the moment that life on this planet emerged from the primordial soup of our churning ocean cauldrons. Now there are theories that those simple proteins and bacteria that started life on our beautiful spinny blue-green jewel of a world did not originate here, but hitch hiked on a meteor, space ship, giant primordial bird thing, whatever. So it is possible that we are the current representations of an unbroken succession of interstellar chemical reactions that are far OLDER than life on this planet. 

Let that sink in. 

"You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate. Only the unloved hate. The unloved and unnatural. "

Your body is literally made of the living substances of this (and possibly other) planet(s). Mineral/chemical life eventually formed into micro organisms, which eventually become plants, and animals and eventually us. Your pedigree links you with Land, Sea, and Sky, and all the Powers therein. 

Now that we have built a little more perspective, back to food. Every day, everything you take in is something that you will digest through a chemical reaction in your guts, and use to make more you, or you will excrete it in some fashion back into the biosphere.  It's a pretty awesome concept when you think about it. It is also why in traditional medicine, food is medicine, and good digestion is key to good health. It works for other substances as well. Anything that you take in to your body becomes a part of you for a time before it runs its course and leaves or is assimilated into a more stable homeostasis. You are what you eat, drink, smoke, inject.

It also carries over into the finer realms. Emotions are PART of you for so long as you choose to indulge in them. Anger, Jealousy, Love, Joy, all of these things you BECOME so long as you "eat" them. You aren't just feeling angry because someone cut you off in traffic, you are temporarily BEING angry. (And no lectures on how Pete Carroll doesn't like infinitives! Things are what they are until they change. Being is a snapshot in time. Being is also doing. All nouns are also verbs. God is a verb.) 

You are also what you think, as your body doesn't differentiate between real and imagined stimuli. Experiments in hypnotism, the placebo effect, and everything I have ever experienced in the field of Occultism has proven that enough for me. Your mileage may vary. Thus you are also what you think, in addition to what you feel, and what you eat. 

"Machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts!"

The Deistic idea that the Multiverse is a giant clockwork, and we are meat machines negates the real effects of the interactive universe. It also presupposes a great gulf of separation between all subjects and all objects. This presupposition often turns abusive. Cooking up the cold, detached, scientist trope. An older white man in a white coat with white hair dissecting a dead, interlocking universe set in motion with some strange randomness call life interrupting the smooth and orderly progress of eventual entropic decay. Living things heal. Machines need to be replaced. You cannot replace your life until the next one.

It is the flaw of sticking too close to the model. Of one's map replacing the actual territory. Mechanical thinking is useful because it works accurately enough within its own realm. Much like surgery. The problem comes with the specialist who sees all things under the purview of their specialty. A specialist can have massive bouts of Apophenia which can bring in other connections precisely because of their specialty (QBL anyone?), but on the ground they usually go back to their specialty to actually fix problems. Our metaphorical surgeon will usually recommend a surgical solution to your medical problems ninety nine percent of the time. Surgery for every problem is its own problem. 

"The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost our way."

Am I saying that having a balanced diet, a balanced mind, and balanced emotions will solve all of your problems? No. Life doesn't work like that. However it makes things significantly easier and more healthy in all aspects. Health here is optimal function. Being is doing. Anything carried too far becomes its own undoing. Steam rises, rain falls.

We live in a society full of excess, striving, and imbalance. We are reaping the consequences of that now. Order dissolves into Chaos. Too many facts make facts meaningless, and old maps inaccurate.

 7 Tips to bring things to balance:

1. Use your eyes, not the map: Be where you are, not where the map says you should be. If you are in the forest, and the map says you are in a lake, your eyes are probably right. If you are really optimally healthy, but the map says you should be 20lbs heavier, 20lbs lighter, or anything else.. perhaps you are actually healthy. Likewise, if you are always sick, miserable, and hating life, perhaps your goals, habits, and patterns of behavior are not healthy for you.

2. You must find your own health: Since every one's needs are different, it is up to YOU to find them. To find them you must look for them. Try different diets, pass times, and perspectives. If you aren't where you want to be, the only thing you know for sure right now is how to get where you DON'T want to be.   Where do you feel your disease? What has lost its optimal function? What are you doing to help it heal?

3. You are what you eat. I know it's cliche', but it's true. Did you know that cancer can only grow in acidic PH body environment? Since you are what you do, as well: Did you know that the actions you do every day get rooted into patterns in your body? If you are leaning towards a monitor in an ill fitting chair all day your throat muscles will shorten, your spine will bow, and you will stick like that. Everything in moderation, including moderation. 

4. Remember you are alive. You need companionship, art, beauty, truth, and a way to make you feel like you are contributing and enriching the world you live in. All work and no play makes Jow a dull boy. All work and all play also leads to depression, anxiety, ill digestion, insomnia, and a generally shitty life. All play and no work leads to the exact. same. thing. You need BOTH. You NEED both. Like you need food. 

5. Make sure you are mobile. You need to be agile in body, in thought, and in emotions. Most animals will not drink from still water, it breeds disease. It is stagnant, and in its own way breeds life appropriate to that stagnation. If you can't move you are at the whims of your environment. Given the ever present nature of change, every environment becomes hostile to any given creature on an infinite line of time.

6. Everything is connected. I know I harp on this a lot, and I will stop when every single human being realizes it to the point that we are born knowing it. Everything in your body is connected. Disease in one place will spread to others if not corrected. This works on all levels of you, and all levels of the planet. To quote William Gray, "We are choking on our own shit!" That is because we have been shitting where we eat, and in such vast amounts it is hard to fine a bit that isn't polluted. Start with cleaning up yourself, your body, your mind, and then work for your house, your relationships, your environment, and keep scaling up. Cleaning means everything in its natural place. If I have air in my lungs, that is good. If I have air in my pericardium that is bad. One makes me live, the other makes me die.

Each of us is the Sacred King/Queen for our own bodies, the Genius Loci for the patch of earth that is our flesh. We must do all we can to protect our Sacred Grove, and extend that outward to nourish Life as it blooms. The alternative is to let disease fester in our minds and our society, polluting everything we come into contact with until the natural progression of entropy reshapes everything through death and rebirth into new form.

7. Stay Aligned: In Feri one of the foundational practices is "Ha Prayer"". Many traditions have different parts of your soul. Feri is one of the only practices I have ever done that makes sure every part is getting what they need from day one.  Your Fetch, aka Nephesh needs things to be healthy. Good food, good sex, exercise, and just luscious physicality. Your Talker aka Ruach needs study, mental calm, engagement, communication, and many times REST. Stop using your Talker for EVERYTHING. (It's a habit that I have, personally.)  Your Godself, your blessed Neshemah, needs you to shut up and listen. Calm it all down and just receive. Allow the Spirit to move you. Let go, and be blessed. When all of these parts are doing their thing in proper order, with their proper function, you are aligned. Vivid, vibrant life force, a clear mind with clear communication, and a ready and stable path to God Herself. When you are aligned, you are WHOLE. When you are aligned you are your best self, even in your worst moments. 

"The misery that is upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die, and the power that they took from the people, shall return to the people, and so long as men die liberty will never perish."


Andrew B. Watt said...

This is AWESOME. Thanks.

Satyr Magos said...

"The Deistic idea that the Multiverse is a giant clockwork, and we are meat machines negates the real effects of the interactive universe. It also presupposes a great gulf of separation between all subjects and all objects. This presupposition often turns abusive."

For months I've been working on a long diatribe about how top-down cosmologies creep me out and why I think they're problematic. You said it better in two sentences.

Good show.