Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bent and Folded

At Lower Kananaskies Lake
Sunset and moon rise from the valley perspective in the fall 2014.

Some things are up to us, some are not. Up to us are assent to a proposition, desires and impulses to act, or the opposite of all three including the neutral position of do nothing, or the null choice. Everthing else is not up to us. What does that have to do with anything?

Everything. That is all we have that is truly ours. Not much, and yet so much. Our ability to assent to a proposition controls our beliefs, our values, our choices in life, our decisions, our opinions. The opposite keeps us safe, the ability to reject a proposition as not being valid, untrue, allows us to clean our beliefs out to what we can demonstrate to be true. We can also withhold judgement as the neutral proposition. How does that work?

Well lets first ask, does nature exist, and without a doubt it does. How about the supernatural? to which we can say, without a doubt, it does not exist. Now let us test the god question? Does god exist? To answer that we must first decide what god is. If he is supernatural, he does not exist. There is nothing that is going to answer a prayer, for that would be supernatural. Now we may also need to decide if a concepts exist. They have no physical property, but once articulated, seem to have some properties of existence. They can be communicated to others. They can change people, or rather, one learned some people change themselves spontaneously. At best god can be a concept. so is that existence? The stoics call it subsistence, not existence. To me, there is no god. We are just opportunistic animals living on a big rock whirling about the sun. Death is final, there is no afterlife.

How can that be resolved with the 12 steps?

The 12 steps direct a process of change. That is clear. It tries to dictate the direction of change, cleaning up our character, relationships, and provide us with a make work project for the remainder of our life. It may work for some, but once we realize the god concept is not real, the remainder falls apart.

We humans have a duty, goal, purpose, or mission to nature to flourish. To that end, we have been given reason, physical drives, and the like. Some of us have perverted some of those physical drives into vices, driven by pathological desires, which have give rise to undesirable behaviors. It is up to us to correct those behaviors toward what is better, more toward flourishing. When I apply this to overeating, it is obvious that I need to figure out what is causing the desire to overeat, remove that cause, and thence to recovery. There is no doubt that anxiety in my youth was a major factor in the development of overeating.

Enough for today.

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