Some Poetic confirmation

Submitted by IndividualPerson on
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I shall forget you presently, my dear,

So make the most of this, your little day,

Your little month, your little half a year,

Ere I forget, or die, or move away,

And we are done forever; by and by

I shall forget you, as I said, but now,

If you entreat me with your loveliest lie

I will protest you with my favorite vow.

I would indeed that love were longer-lived,

And oaths were not so brittle as they are,

But so it is, and nature has contrived

To struggle on without a break thus far,—

Whether or not we find what we are seeking

Is idle, biologically speaking.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ole Edna

nailed it. Isn't it about time humans learned to outsmart biology??? It's challenging, but actually quite enjoyable to do so.

dualism, specialization & solution addiction (I digress a bit)

well, I am somewhat uncomfortable with the dualism implied in the Idea of out "out-smarting biology". I am big in to the "Mind-Body" thing which, when you think about it (at least when I think about it) translates into a view of Nature itself (as a kind of "Shared" Body) being inseparable of some kind of greater Shared Mind, or "Shared Self"; I am not sure what this implies for your and Edna's thesis, but even in term of the the "biology" paradigm, the so called higher brain and fore brain are just as much "biology" as the limbic and reward systems so the problem really seems to be one of poor coordination or integration of the various functions and aspects of the brain/mind as a whole such that the problem can be seen as just a much with the forebrain as with the limbic/reward system.

of course one of the misuses of the fore brain is a failure to coordinate problems, with the result that a solution to one problem leads to other, sometimes even bigger problems in other unconsidered areas of life. For example many people lose weight and then become smokers, finally become clean of drugs by becoming workaholics, overcome "sex addiction" through what Anne Wilson Shaefe ("Fear of Intimacy") would call "Relationship Addiction" etc. The "Self Help" market itself might be understood as fostering a kind of "addiction to specialized solutions", each "solution" giving a kind of dopamine high while it lasts while ones life as a whole, (and the world and society as a whole) continue to disintegrate regardless of the short term spikes in the graph. Actually Science and technology themselves also tend to do this...

I think addictions of any kind have a deeper and bigger cause and that ultimately a real sustainable solution requires recourse to broader and deeper diagnosis and prescription (Bruce Alexanders "The Globalization of Addiction" as well as Gabor Mate's "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" gesture at this need to some degree, especially the former book).

Anyway, none of this is meant to totally dismiss the thesis of your books (I've only read the "Peace between the sheets one"); There is definitely something to what you and Edna are saying and I do plan to read your newest book soon...I guess I'm Just trying to stay in "Recovery" myself (what I see myself as "recovering from" exactly is a long story but suffice to say that this "specialized solution" thing is certainly a part of it...).

take care,


Interesting thoughts

Guess my view is that the limbic portions of the brain have a limited number of evolved agendas (mating, eating, bonding, avoiding predators, etc), and the ability to send very loud signals when cues related to those agendas appear. It pays to know its agenda items, because it's (a bit) easier to turn to the frontal cortex for guidance if one is aware that one is hearing an amplified signal from the limbic brain.

You are certainly right, however, that all parts of the brain are equally "biological." Nevertheless, shorthand is sometimes useful. "Evolved priorities" might require more explanation and yet communicate the basic concept no better.

I agree that addiction has deeper causes, and one of them is a chronic sense of lack/dissatisfaction/discouragement. One can blame "the system" of course, but my hypothesis is that we collectively create/attract the system, and while we use sex in a way that leaves us feeling depleted and unsatisfied, we are powerfully contributing to the creation of unhealthy systems...and ought not to be surprised by what we see around us.

Personally, I've found that when I tend to my inner feelings of wholeness with practices such as bonding-based sex (karezza, or whatever name one chooses), it shows up in my experience as increased wellbeing and abundance. I can't help wondering whether, if humanity tried this on a mass scale, we would see very different systems evolve.

BTW, Cupid is the updated Peace, not really a new book. You can find much of the updated material in our "Psychology Today" blog: Cupid's Poisoned Arrow | Psychology Today