Saturday, September 18, 2010

get busy livin or get busy dyin

"It's your life. You don't know how long it's going to be, but it has a bad ending. You have to move forward. As soon as you can figure out what that is." -- Don Draper

I get it now. You don't drink beer because it tastes good. You drink for the social benefit of not having your frontal lobe over think things. The reptilian brain is an useful guide when it comes to navigating the terrain of primal instinct and even basic human interaction.

Beer... it's awesome

I've dropped the ball guys, only because I've just realized the game has changed. Certain of our number, the post/ex/anti mo brigade, think the desire for "sin" is not a major factor as to why people leave the church. Maybe they're right. Maybe they're missing out on a lot of fun. How bout this though? Fuck the thought police. "Sin" is a tool of control invented to underpin a slave morality. I can happily exist without maintaining the standards of an organization whose prime concern is ten percent of my income. Once ties have been severed, why continue hanging myself? Perhaps "sinning" wasn't the primary catalyst for my disaffection, but goddamn if it sure as hell hasn't made me satisfied with my decision.

My mother is thrilled.

The Loz says this: "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." Happy trails, pilgrim.


Justin said...

And which particular brand of sin do you find enjoyable? drinking beer? not paying tithing? or something else?

Human Needs Pyschology identifies 6primary human needs essential to happiness:
1. Certainty
2. Uncertainty/Variety
3. Significance
4. Love/Connection
5. Growth
6. Contribution

The first 4 can be associated with physical/biological survival. The last two can be considered spiritual needs (not biologically/pysically necessary, but still very satisfying/enjoyable to us human beings).

Any activity one does can get a personal rating of 1-10 for fulfilling each of these human needs.

These 6 needs can be viewed as the fundamental reasons for any decisions we make, or any behaviours we adopt. Concious or Unconscious.

Anyway, the reason why people do anything routinely/habitually is because it satisfies 3 or more of these 6 human needs. Because, if something meets 3 or more of these needs at a reasonably high level then one will become ADDICTED to it.

Looking back at some of my old addictions and some of my past and present habits/obsessions and relationships I can see these 6 human needs and the 'addiction' threshold at work.

You can also appply them to 'sinful' activity or going to/quitting something (let's say church). Loren, here's a question: how many of the 6 needs were being met for you when you were going to church? If it's less than 3 then I'll be so bold as to say that's why you stopped going to church.

On the flipside: how many human needs are satisfied by a perticular sinful activity? three or more? that means one will be addicted to it.

(by the way, hope you pick up that 'ball' again one day ;) )

Loren said...

I'm not quite addicted yet. Beer still tastes like shit. It's most likely true, the church wasn't fulfilling my needs, so I went looking elsewhere. I lean toward being a negative type person, but my brake with the church seems to have brightened my mood some what. I'll never be Richard Simmons enthusiastic about anything, but at least I smile now once in a while. It's strange the promise of mortality has given me hope.

I think which ball has gone where has gotten confused. I punted the TBM ball out of the stadium. The ball I dropped was showing how us apostates are still thoroughly morally decent human beings. I think that I am, but some would argue. One day me Joe Smith will sit down and have a laugh about this over a pint or two of beer. He knew how to put them away.

Justin said...

On my wedding day I thought about whether I should pour myself a big glass of (non-alcoholic) sparkling grape juice. It's not my thing to drink that stuff, all that fructose just isn't going to be good for my body - 'not for the belly'. But hey, it was a special occasion, and I'd grown up enjoying the taste of it, so I had one or two, for the sake of relaxation and celebration.

I'm sure Joseph Smith felt the same way, sure he drank, but as far as I can tell obedience to the Word of Wisdom was not hard-line at the time. It was simply regarded as good advice and best practice, I suppose.

Just how heavy and frequent a drinker was he though? I've got a feeling he would decline you on the pint or two.

Of course, a canned answer to the "Jesus-used-wine" objection - "well, actually the wine was non-alcolholic grape juice" - is probably a load of nonsense. I think the answers need to be updated in that area. The problem is, a more complicated answer is a lot harder to understand or teach... so it's unlikely to get used by many people. Now what is that more complicated (but more honest)answer ... let me think. (dinner is calling... gtg)

Justin said...

D&C 59(see verse 18-20) received by Joseph Smith on August 7, 1831, (a few years before the Word of Wisdom)

It reads, “all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.”

When these verses are applied to the Word of Wisdom, they suggest moderation rather than abstinence. Which when combined with the background culture of the early saints could have resulted in their relatively lax attitude toward the D&C89 revelation.

The stricter observance of the law that came about later was probably due to adequate preparation of the saints and establishment of the saints as a secure and numourous enough body of people (was lesser observance tolerated to prevent too many people being turned away from joining the church? maybe, I don't know).

Another reason may be because of the greater onset of "evil designs" of "conspiring men" (see the modern-day alcohol industry giants that have emerged and their methods of promotion to the masses). I'm pretty sure it's easier for the average Joe (no pun intended) to get pissed on a regular basis these days than it was 150 years ago. Hence the more severe threat of addiction.

As for Jesus using wine, well, even reading D&C 89 clarifies the acceptable form of these products (yeah, most wine of the market these days is overly-priced altered/conterfeit deviation of the original), and the acceptable context of use.

As far as I can tell, throughout time the acceptable use of alcohol in God's eyes was
a. dependant on availability of other resources (if the water's poisoned, drink the wine?).
b. for use in ritual or ceremony.

Having said all that, I've seen the variety of problems that alcohol causes, and see it's relative benefits as being very few. It's a neurotoxin, some people take on extremely dangerous behaviour when under it's influence, it can be highly addictive and it causes the Spirit to leave a person. As for claimed health benefits of drinking red wine? you're better off eating grape skins.

Leave the church for love of alcohol? nahhh.

An overly long post and more obfuscation perhaps? Still, an interesting topic...

Loren said...

Augustine or some other dude said: "perfect moderation is harder than absolute abstinence." I think he was on to something. Any organization that claims absolute divine direction will have problems dealing with the idea of moderation. Total devotion is usually the order the of day. Even when it doesn't make sense.

The WoW just seems like an archaic cultural practice used as a point of demarcation from "Babylon". It was originally offered as a suggestion and not a commandment. When and how it became a requirement for temple attendance and consequently exaltation is a mystery (it's still written as a suggestion in the D&C). What happened to all things must be done by "common consent"? I don't think the change in status ever came up for sustaining vote by the body of the church.

That aside, when we get in to what it actually entails, the logic is muddled. No hot drinks, now somehow means no coffee and tea. OK, what about chocolate, and any other kind of junk food that can be equally addictive and harmful (what about chilled coffee)? What about the part that says yo eat meat sparingly? No one I know of has ever lost their temple recommend by breaking that part of the WoW. It's easier to draw a line of prohibition than to gauge when over indulgence is becoming a problem, I suppose. Augustine was right.

Also, the thing about poisoned water is simultaneously a huge reach and the greatest justification for alcohol consumption I've ever heard. There's a chance that we'll go on water rations in Queensland this summer due to water shortages (true story), it's OK though, I'll just sustain myself by drinking 2 litres of wine everyday. In arid regions water may have been scarce, but I find it difficult to believe that alcoholism was the best solution. People drink because they like to drink.

Justin said...

Yeah, "possible reason a." sounds a bit silly. Thanks for pointing it out :P

You probably already know that I'm a bit frustrated over D&C 89 on a couple of points. Generally it makes very good sense, but, but...
The "hot drinks" thing was identified as tea and coffee pretty early on tho I think.

In my personal opinion the Word of Wisdom severely needs to be updated/clarified according to modern needs, but I don't see any general authorities interested enough in that area to get the update rolling.

A bit like the blacks and the priesthood thing, as far as I can tell it never should've been outlawed in the first place (a black man receiving the priesthood was initially acceptable, and what subsequent revelation to outlaw it was there?), it took them till 1978 to wake-up on the issue.

I think the WoW isn't just about physical health, but it's pretty embarrassing seeing members of my church going in to hospital in appalling health even tho they are following the word of wisdom.

This is the closest you'll hear me sounding like an anti-mormon by the way ;)

The people are imperfect, but the church is still fundamentally true.

Loren said...

they should make you an apostle and bring an end to the madness. I'm still working on eating healthier, I'd love to live forever. I just can't bring myself to eat raw meet though, there's something about it, that I can't articulate, that I find fundamentally wrong. Also, what do you think about protein powder, can it ever be good?

Justin said...

I've repeatedly heard that most protein powder is absolute garbage... I may be able to look up something that's good if your keen, expect to pay tho (probably imported from the states). The best protein supplement (barring raw meat) is raw egg (easy to get), raw milk (not so easy to get) or raw fish.

Easy way to avoid the squimishness of raw egg white - put 3 eggs (always with the yolk!)in a blender with 1 banana and some quality unsweetened yoghurt. Blend for no more than 5 seconds (air exposure will oxidise the nutrients). Works with raw walnuts if you can get them. Forget the stories about too many eggs being bad for you too; 20 raw eggs a day over many years is not unheard of to me.

Search the net or whatever and see if you can find some kind of farmers market in your area, they are getting pretty common these days. You can get some really good food for decent prices.

Once you are getting enough natural/undamaged food (especially fat) cravings for junk food disappear should almost completely.

Well, I have thought if the raw meat thing was good enough for Lehi and his family while crossing the Arabian Peninsula, then it must be good enough for me in my own home.

Giant Samoan Clams

Ethiopian Raw Beef

Regarding slower aging, for all my experience and studies is worth: for people who don't have the quality food access or discipline (most people), intelligent supplementation is a smart choice.