CONSUMING, OR THE FAILURE OF MEMORY


My stomach has been upset lately (too much consuming! ) and I realize that appetite is all about the compulsions of the limbic brain. That is why we have so little control over it. There are severed social consequences to our other uncontrolled appetites, like sex and financial greed, but (we think) food is harmless, private, and therefore overindulge in them. Controlling this appetite is less a question of mind over matter than mind over older mind. Today, I have told myself, I will only eat fruit. I will lay out my rations on the kitchen table – this and no more; for my limbic brain, who wants to pounce on food, I will lay out a few things in the closet that it can legitimately pounce on. Consciousness must cater for the inevitable compulsion in a controlled way. I love this image because it takes into account our animalness and provides for it.    
These appetites that have their wellspring, or illspring, in us, are the strangest things. I will count a few ways, for the examples alone will say what I mean. For years and years I have known that caffeine does a number on my stomach and on my brain. But for years and years I have drunk it because my associations with tea have very long roots, in addition to tasting and feeling darn good for a few seconds or minutes. Ditto for chocolate. I have pounced on these mindlessly, instinctively. EVEN WHEN I KNEW THAT THE ILLNESS THEY CAUSE MIGHT KEEP ME FROM WRITING FOR DAYS AND DAYS. I think it has a lot to do with  failure of memory. I tell myself over and over that I must drink a glass of water before I eat, or during, and one after to curb the gobblin in me that keeps on eating once it has started to eat, but I forget it every time, and the gobblin wins each time.
Memory then is the root of wisdom.  Mimir, the giant in Norse Mythology that guards the well of wisdom, charges one eye for one sip of it.     

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