Brain-Gut Axis, or: Two-Way-Crap
I have guts, just not when it counts.
-- John Green
Run Down by a Crazy Inner Traffic
Neuroscientists are telling us about this so called brain-gut axis, while pointing at the close relationship between our digestive tract and something that I am calling personal emotional climate.
In shortest possible elaboration of that statement, our guts are producing more of serotonin, that feel-good neurotransmitter, than our brain, and as unsightly as it may look, what's happening in our colon may make the difference between our being in the mood for love or in the mood for fight.
This is partially why that satiric in me chose to rename the brain-gut axis into two-way-crap, and much of everything that follows will try to provide a justification for it.
Now, since we just can't stand the idea of such a prosaic dependency of our emotions on that tube which we don't particularly see as important until we get constipated or we develop runs -- we had to invent an outside excuse for our emotional mess.
So we invented stress.
"Life is stressful", we say in a chorus loud enough to irritate our gods up there, especially since it's a lie. Well, if only one of our many lies composing our cultural paradigm which somehow succeeded to provide a comfort zone for us.
Now, this lie is not just a lie, but also a conviction, and convictions have this nasty habit of affecting us seriously. Actually, to the point that some 95% of all our ills are caused just by our identifying situations, people, and conditions of living as a threat to our well being.
After making ourselves depressed and anxious enough over our air, water, and soil pollution, and something like noise and electronics pollution, we even started blaming what we are eating. A whole band of nutritionists joined that outside-stressors-crusade by coming up with the slogan "You are what you eat".
As if to prove it, they reported about the diets of some peoples in far away places -- as an explanation for their many centenarians. Truth be told, those folks are actually far from eating a "balanced" diet by our standards. They eat less, which would question the amount of necessary basic calories and possible amounts of available nutrients -- while many of them smoke and enjoy their wine.
Well, so much for "you are what you eat".
Let's face it, folks, the whole racket is about selling to you some foods and supplements, and then sending you to a doctor or shrink when food doesn't help. Both nutritional and medico-pharmaceutical industries are heavily relying on placebo effect. Meaning that some medications and supplements work for some people, and not for others -- depending on our personal suggestibility.
But what they are definitely doing is unburdening you of your responsibility to see the whole damn thing happening somewhere in your personal space -- somewhere along the two-way-crap axis.
Never bend your head! Always hold it high, look the world straight in the eye.
-- Helen Keller
Counterfeit Currency Deposits -- And Alike Withdrawals
So, what is hiding behind the longevity of those folks, if it's not their surviving on some fish, rice, bread, and fruits? For one most significant reason, they don't tell their kids that "life sucks, is full of hardships, is short and filled with disappointments, and that the world is generally unfriendly".
They don't do it to their kids' "life orientation" because their own parents didn't do it to them. So, thanks to that healthy brain-gut axis, there they go making babies at age when we, westerners, start looking like our grandfather's ghost.
Now, according to my favorite kind of literature, we are allowing our scared-shitless gut to tell us how much we can afford to want of life.
O.K., that literature might not phrase it that way, but that's what it boils down to. Namely, each of our trillions of body cells is a complete organism, with nervous, respiratory, immune, digestive, and elimination systems -- sorry if I missed any.
As we live our drama called life, we keep depositing our negative interpretations about unfriendly environment into that memory bank of our body, in form of energies that stay trapped within our tissues. (Hey, at a certain very tiny level, we are merely a bundle of energy, and all that negative crap is creating blockages to a free energetic flow).
Over a time, our body develops an emotional model of reasoning about the outer world, feeding all that programmed, inflexible crap back into our mind's processes. It literally becomes our mind -- and we are not aware of it.
From ever I viewed body as animalistic by nature -- if it wasn't so, all those lab animals would not offer any relevance in our studies of human anatomy, physiology and bio-chemistry, right?
As such, like any animal, it translates everything that we are repeating as a new survival skill, and adds it to its survival strategies. Meaning that, when we are frequently pissed one way or the other, our body thinks "that's the way to be in order to survive". Just like it will think that smoking is necessary for survival, after you have made a habit out of it. Try to quit, and it will literally feel like dying.
Now, equipped with that precious knowledge that being pissed is the answer to most of the life situations, quite early in our life our body is telling us what to think, feel, even what to believe, while providing the limited set of templates for all those fine mental processes.
On that brain-gut axis all kind of crazy phantoms are playing tricks on us, hijacking our logicalness and making us unsuspecting puppets of a played-in emotional routine in which we have no say.
At least that's what it feels like, until and unless we wake up and stop obeying our body's neurotic tyranny.
Remember, "you" are not your body, no matter how much it wants you to believe it. As grim a reminder as it may be, look at a person who just died. That body is not he or she, it's just a body.
So, awakening means detaching our true identity from our body, and even though we are nourishing it and grooming it as best as we can, we are this consciousness -- and guess what -- scientists are even telling us that the site of our consciousness is somewhere above our head, not within our skull.
Doesn't it make us rethink about all those impulses coming from body, and while translated into emotions by brain turning into a mess.
Maturity is when you stop complaining and making excuses, and start making changes.
-- Roy T. Bennett
What Would That Desired-You Be Like?
This point is worth repeating: We think those are our genuine responses to life -- which is wrong.
We don't see how our body is providing all raw materials for our beliefs, impressions, thoughts, attitudes, etc. If we did, those of us with a spirited bug in our personality makeup, and more introspective about inner works -- might decide not to obey their body.
Which reminds me of that silly, but popular saying: "You should listen to your body". If I listened to what my body wants, I would still be a chain smoker, beer drinker, and a coffee monster.
So, the basis of our self-liberating project would be a question that so many of us have neglected -- what do we really want to be like?
How would that wanted "you" respond to life? How would they breathe, what posture they would hold, how would they talk, experience these same people around...but above all, how would they reason and feel if they were free to do it the way you want it in your liberated soul?
So, if we intuitively don't agree with what we are being served in form of "spontaneous" emoting, why not go for a way out of that emotional prison of sameness that carries the taste of the last year's chewing gum?
Why not crawl out of the shelter provided by that ridiculous excuse of life being "stressful"? For, how could anybody ever get into our skull and press some buttons there to make us stressed out? It's all of our own make, and the only reason why we don't see it as ours is because it really does feel like it's being imposed unto us.
Imposed, yes, but not from outside -- rather from our unhappy bodies which keep feeding us back what we deposited there at times when we didn't know any better.
The only real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
-- Marcel Proust
After Seeing It Can't Win -- Body Joins
During my own beginnings of living by a conscious self-conduct -- I used to see it in a metaphor which I called "building beside".
It meant that I was not to take the old mind's home apart, and use its bricks for my new mind's home -- but rather, leave the old one alone, and build beside with brand new materials. Eventually, the old house would crush down on its own, due to that principle of nature that says: "You don't use it -- you lose it." The same happens with the neural pathways that are replaced with new ones being more used.
So even though I used bright colors of youth to paint my walls, that was merely a frame, not dictating the serene furnishings centered by a shrine devoted to the mysteries of all yet unexplored.
I just loved the expression "library of potential" depicting my thousands-of-genes rich genome, some, when activated, bringing all the desired blessings, and those deactivated putting to sleep what I didn't want.
One of my meditations, a verbal one, designed by myself and recorded on my MP3 for private listening, starts with words:
"My intelligence is the personalized extension of the Universal Intelligence, and now I am tuning into that magnificent source for guidance, for vital energy, and for abundance on every level of my life..."
Please note, that I am not starting it with the usually recommended progressive relaxing my body, part by part. If I did that, I would be admitting that my body has something to do with my awakened state -- like making it possible. Well, for a simple metaphor, we take our dog for a walk, it's not that we let him walk us, right?
So there was no end of my joy upon noticing what my conscious choosing and my disobeying the "spontaneous" coming from my body, was doing for me. Some mini miracles started happening, as my body obviously surrendered to that saying: "When you can't win them -- join them".
That once-upon-a-time brain-gut axis spelling a two-way crap slowly started turning into a two-way joy.
I love my body now, and it loves me back.
© 2019 Vladimir Karas