Oh, to ride a scooter.
|May 26, 2014||Posted by Koanic under Health, Learning Koanic Soul, Personal history|
First, a health update.
I managed to knock out as much variance as is possible from my unmedicated state. I’ve found my baseline, with infinite trouble and sacrifice. This permits me to perform the actual cure round of experiments with clean data and confident results.
That said, my energy level and executive function still suck. I can’t eat salt, so I have to absorb it through the skin by a bath. I’ve got my own personal Dead Sea in the bathroom. Point being, I’m fairly fucked up.
I believe I predicted I’d be done with this phase by experiment 8 at the latest. That’s basically true. I never expected to find that I couldn’t ingest any salt whatsoever. The result is shocking, but then, salt is an emetic in sufficient quantities, and any quantities are sufficient for me. Anyhow, I threw in an extra ceiling test to 8, a variation on volume control that went very badly. So I’m on experiment 9 now, a non-experiment, really. More like the control state, the baseline, a holding pattern while I stabilize and pick the first supplement or drug to test.
In plain English, I’ve optimized every aspect of portion control, circadian control, food ingredient and sourcing, water source, and salt+mineral absorption. This was absolutely necessary, because any one of those factors independently can and has put me under.
The reason I had to do this first is that otherwise my illness has a natural rhythm so powerful, chaotic, and prone to feedback loops, that it renders the interpretation of experimental data impossible, or prohibitively expensive. Therefore I had to isolate and control every affecting variable to produce a low-variation symptom baseline.
I imagine it is something like performing surgery on oneself, except instead of a brief exercise in focusing through intense pain, it was a long grueling hopeless labor, fighting time and weakness to stay on impossible regimens, straining flickering willpower against obdurate hours. Willingness to dispassionately accept loss was paramount. The phrase “Dying takes a long time” has echoed in my mind, unbidden, more times than I care to count.
What people in my situation normally do is go on pharmaceuticals to suppress symptoms, and they are fools for it. That is the last resort, because by masking reaction without eliminating irritants, one merely numbs the limb and holds it in the fire. No wonder the next step is amputation, aka resection.
My body currently operates about like a 50cc scooter on the highway of life, but at least I know it will putter along. That is infinitely better than being pavement hamburger, as I have been uncountable times. I can look forward to more wrecks in the next round of testing, but I have something bearable to return to. I can slowly and painfully climb back on the scooter.
Secondly, on the koan project.
It is not possible to achieve perfect right action, for two reasons:
1. All koans require at least some executive function to activate and sustain them. Executive function is a finite and limited biological resource, and no koan can wholly remove the cost in biological executive function currency to perform a right action.
2. The notion of perfect right action is problematic and oxymoronic.
1 should be obvious. It is possible to be in an enforced waking state where one’s internal monologue continues but loses coherency. If you have ever heard your thoughts not making sense, known they didn’t make sense, and been unable to do anything about it, or to even want to do something about it, then you understand the limits of executive function. The boundary between moral failure and biological failure is fuzzy, but nonetheless real. A koan can only help biology; it cannot substitute for it.
2 should’ve been obvious to one so steeped in the ideology of liberty, but I took a long time realizing it. If a command and control structure fails in states, why not also in minds? Perhaps I’ve been reading too much John C. Wright. But it seems to me that the unity of the “one dictate of conscience for any particular moment” is a kind of tyranny. Instead, I conceive of a marketplace of ideas or options, the currency being time+energy. Those thoughts and actions that more cheaply satisfy holistic objectives outcompete their less efficient brethren – a marketplace conscience. This free competition results in more intelligent synthesis than a rigid command and control structure is capable of achieving, rendering the concept of “perfect” right action oxymoronic.
Likewise, a dictatorial model is poorly equipped to deal with fleshly limitations. Formalism, the affirmation of the real, for purposes of normalization and removal of perverse incentives, fits better.
Taken together, formalism and the marketplace are the only internal government capable of ending the war between spirit and flesh. They minimize conflict and scale efficiently across multiple levels of biological capacity, from stupified television watching to socializing to intense work sessions.
Thus, my koan setup is as follows:
backs of hands:
FM (formalism market)
“helps” written across the two. (Reminds that koans can only help, not replace, biology. Thus, avoids unreasonable performance demands.)
So, the fellow who said of my koanic search “it” doesn’t exist was right in the sense that the perfect right action “it” for which I searched doesn’t exist. However, something much better than what I had was possible, which would resolve my internal psychological contradictions. And that was necessary, to keep my bearings in the pounding surf.
I wrote that on day 2 of experiment 8 aftermath, a difficult day. Experiment 9 hadn’t had a chance to take effect yet. Holy shit, am I productive when I’m healthy. It’s like giving a Fremen a fire hydrant.
I may have underestimated the quality of life achievable on an unmedicated baseline. Then again, a remnant of innate cyclicality may remain.
On an unrelated note, I highly recommend any Thallish fellow wrestling with Game take the ultimate red pill (on female nature), in the form of the book “The Keylogger”. I just finished the Amazon Kindle version. Forney reviewed it, and didn’t do it justice. I don’t agree with the author’s conclusions, but the raw data is essential.