Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow …

“And all our yesterdays have lighted fools … ”

ゆりかごの歌”  William W. Spearman IV, from the album “Beautiful Japanese Songs” (2006)

Obedience is an essential aspect, a virtue, a character trait intimately associated with Christ’s life on earth. It is essential in any attempt to follow Him and to conform one’s will to God’s.

Fasting and praying are both difficult when distracted by the daily vicissitudes of illness. Having had the most vicious cold with accompanying lung ripping cough it has been difficult to continue my fast with dedication.

As Jason Fung has mentioned in his blog, just take a few days off from fasting to get well, don’t add unnecessary stress when you are fully engaged in getting well.

Being obedient to the mission goals – restrained eating – 1 meal a day, pushing fluids, water, broth, is problematic and requires real effort of will.

Obedience … the voluntary surrender of one’s free will to accomplishment of the goal. Who would have thought that obedience would be even more difficult to embrace than humility.

I feel that we are on a mission against great powers to push through (the mud and the blood) to the green fields beyond (my grandfather would have recognized the reference).

The goal of health, weight loss, low insulin levels, low blood pressure and on top of that “spiritual peace and tranquility” seem far away and unattainable at times, especially when the trials of this world intrude upon one’s determination to persist.

Hobbes’ Leviathan – life as “nasty, brutish, and short” mid nineteenth century.

It does seem passing strange that ill-health, disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, muddy thinking and fuzziness, lack of energy, lack of conviction and certainty, all seem to directly benefit the higher authorities who have assumed nominal responsibility for looking after our well-being.

Just think for a minute, if we all actually got healthy they would all be out of work. The legions of health related government service silos and the big pharma and big food multinational agri-conglomerates, the whole GMO crowd, would all be in dire financial straights, wouldn’t they?  Who was it who said “follow the money”?

In the real world of every day …  blood sugar hovering around 7.0 – best since I was diagnosed 8 years ago, weight down to 238 lbs. best in 8 years. BP down to 115/65 also good, and off all my medications for blood pressure and diabetes. This is all good, right? Why do I feel so down then?

St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians seems to speak to this experience – this whole struggle is much larger than just dieting … Ephesians 6 … Douay-Rheims Bible … attempting to return to an earlier order that was not about breaking down people into resources to be used and used up …

*****

Children and Parents

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is just. 2 Honour thy father and thy mother, which is the first commandment with a promise: 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest be long lived upon earth. 4 And you, fathers, provoke not your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord.

“The Wind Of Liudao”, Jia Peng Fang, from the album “Faraway”, (2002)

Slaves and Masters

5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your lords according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your heart, as to Christ: 6 Not serving to the eye, as it were pleasing men, but, as the servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart, 7 With a good will serving, as to the Lord, and not to men.

8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man shall do, the same shall he receive from the Lord, whether he be bond, or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatenings, knowing that the Lord both of them and you is in heaven; and there is no respect of persons with him.

The Full Armor of God

10 Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. 11 Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

13 Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: 16  In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. 17 And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

Pray Continually

18 By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints: 19 And for me, that speech may be given me, that I may open my mouth with confidence, to make known the mystery of the gospel. 20 For which I am an ambassador in a chain, so that therein I may be bold to speak according as I ought.

Final Greetings

21 But that you also may know the things that concern me, and what I am doing, Tychicus, my dearest brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent to you for this same purpose, that you may know the things concerning us, and that he may comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren and charity with faith, from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption. Amen.

*****

Dieting as an exercise in scriptural meditation … “the spirits of wickedness in the high places” is that just too pretentious? I actually don’t think so … wickedness in high places … affecting every aspect of every day in every way …

Meanwhile, in the real world of every day …  blood sugar hovering around 7.0 – best since I was diagnosed 8 years ago. Weight down to 238 lbs. best in 8 years. BP down to 115/65 also good. Off all my meds, just taking vitamins, really, except for the cold we are struggling with we are feeling the best we have in years. Things are actually looking pretty good when we stay focused on the minutiae of the day.

Cheers

Joe

and never take yourself too seriously …

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Life in a small town

Fasting, Year End, This and That …

Shakuhachi Flute Music”, from the album “Chinese and Japanese Koto Harp and Shakuhachi Flute” (2008)

001-a-tumblr_ofo3pky5rz1upvbufo1_540Peaceful mind, peaceful body, fasting, fasting is proving to be an interesting and surprisingly fulfilling experience. In my last post on fasting I mentioned completing a 7 day 24 hour intermittent fast session, supper only.

Then I did a 7 day total fast, water and broth only. Then a 14 day 24 hour intermittent fast eating only supper. I am now in day 4 of another total fast, water and broth only and am intending to see if I can go 14 days without problems.

I am now down 14 pounds, blood sugar is down to 8 MMol/L from 16 or 17, BP is 120 over 65, ketone bodies are at 16 MMol/L. Energy high, brain is sharp, and sleeping well.

I continue to take my vitamins and mineral supplements but I have stopped all diabetes medications (Metformin and Gliclazide).

DP130155, 2/7/06, 11:18 AM, 16C, 6856x8852 (180+693), 100%, Rona Copywork, 1/30 s, R93.8, G57.6, B56.4 Working Title/Artist: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji)Department: Asian ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 10Working Date: 1831-33 photography by mma, Digital File DP130155.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_17_11

Working Title/Artist: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji) Department: Asian ArtCulture /Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 10Working Date: 1831-33 photography by mma, Digital File DP130155.tif retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_17_11

My blood sugars are much better fasting and not taking meds than they were when I was eating normally and taking meds.

I suspect that over time they will in fact reach “normal” levels in the 4 to 5 range as my body becomes less and less insulin resistant. 

This second fast event surprised me because I was expecting day 2 to be another death march to the refrigerator, like the first fast, as my body resisted the shift to fasting. Not so!

It seems it remembered that it would not die from lack of food (at least not immediately) and shifted smoothly into ketosis and using up fat stores of my own body.

I did not experience any of the difficulties I had with the first 7 day fast. I am looking forward to seeing how things go as I push this out to the 14 day mark.

As I mentioned in my first post on fasting I began fasting as part of a spiritual path much recommended in all the world faiths throughout history. In the Christian tradition, fasting and prayer are often methods of cleansing and renewing the soul.

000-st-john-of-the-crossSymbolically, believers empty their souls so that they may be ready to receive God. Fasting is about self-denial, mortification, sacrifice, atonement and also about reaching for a focused spiritual state where one can better  commune with God and hear his voice.

For millions of people, regular fasting is a commonplace part of life and has been a part of spiritual practice for thousands of years. In ancient times, before we discovered agriculture about 10,000 years ago, fasting was the natural way of life.

I am doing daily meditations on St. John of The Cross’ “The Way Of Nothing“. I am using a book “Divine Intimacy”, by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, O.C.D. pp. 674.  Copyright 1953 Monastero S. Guiseppe – Carmelitane Scalze, 2014 edition

It has been hard going because I am so attached to everything in this world. In fact the saint himself tells us that it is impossible to become completely detached from this world but we should be striving for detachment anyway.

“To reach satisfaction in everything, desire satisfaction in nothing.
To come to possession of everything, desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all, desire to be nothing.
To come to the knowledge of everything, desire the knowledge of nothing.”
Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book One, Chapter 13″

“Àki”, Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

This fasting exercise has given me my first tangible breakthrough to understanding on this path. The intimate understanding that food is not nearly as important as I believed, and that all of my interest in food, all of my attachment to food is nothing but a pursuit of pleasure.

Taste, satiety, social and communal experiences, praise for a good meal cooked and presented, self esteem about the food and my efforts and the experiences surrounding the creation of a “‘special meal” are all about worship of self.

I have discovered that not only is food not as important as I believed but I don’t actually need very much to keep going, and I am much sharper and more at peace when I am fasting. Wow, who knew?  This is the first material evidence that perhaps detachment is a lot more reachable than I first believed.

Meanwhile, back in the world, I have been busy as hell working on year end and for the first time ever I am caught up and current and only have a few more days work finishing everything up. On target to get this out to the accountants by end of March. Then I can blame them instead of making excuses why I am not done yet.

Idiots HappenAlso spending time these days arguing and emailing with one vendor about a bill from 2015 for $14,000.00 which they insist I did not pay and I insist that I did. Sigh! Not only do I have to do my own accounting but in the case of this vendor I have to do theirs as well.

If this particular vendor was not in my life I would have no problems, but we are joined at the navel since they are my POS and Management software provider. Oh well, into each life and so on …

In passing I include part of something which a contact sent to me on email.

A VERY BIG NUMBER

 If I give you $1 billion and you stand on a street corner handing out $1 per
second, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, you would still not have
handed out $1 billion after 31 years!! 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chat prior to a roundtable meeting with oil and gas producers in Calgary, Alberta, on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Larry MacDougal/CP)

Now read on.
A VERY BIG NUMBER 

This is too true to be funny. The next time you hear a politician use the word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you want the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money. 

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases. 

  • A billion seconds ago it was 1959. 
  • A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive. 
  • A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. 
  • A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet. 
  • A billion Dollars ago was only 13 hours and 12 minutes, at the rate our present government is spending it. 

Stamp Duty
Tobacco Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Income Tax
Council & Municipal Tax
Unemployment Tax
Fishing License and Dog License Tax
Petrol/Diesel Tax
Inheritance Tax (tax on top of tax)
Alcohol Tax
G.S.T.  and  H.S.T.
Property Tax
Service Charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Vehicle Licence / Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
And now Carbon Dioxide Tax 

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? 

Not one of these taxes existed 60 years ago and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.  We had absolutely no national debt.
We had the largest middle class in the world. A criminal’s life was uncomfortable. Immigrants actually expected to work when they got here.
What  on earth Happened? 

I hope this goes around CANADA and beyond 1 billion times!

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desertAlways remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” and of course “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.”

Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice.

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Life in a small town

Fasting … Part Two …

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

001-a-fung-5x7-webWell, the Jason Fung diet effort continues. I started on January 17th and immediately proceeded to the 24 hour fast, that is, only eating supper every 24 hours.

I watched my blood sugar start coming down, my energy picked up and I quickly moved into ketosis.  By day 6, I had decided to go to a complete fast, no solid meals, just lots of water, coffee, and chicken and beef broth. After 7 days of liquid only fasting I decided to break the fast and go back to eating supper every day.

At that point I had been fasting for a total of 13 days counting both the 24 hour fasts and the 7 day total fast. I was in heavy ketosis, with ketone bodies at 16 mmol/l, my blood sugar and come down as far as 8 mmol/l, I had dropped 6 pounds, I had stopped all diabetes medications and I felt good.

The only hard part was day 2 during which I was sorely tempted to just abandon it all. I must have visited the fridge at least 25 times that day and still managed to resist temptation.  Anyway, yesterday I started with three small snacks spaced over the day and finished up with a regular supper of steak, scalloped potatoes and string peas.

This morning I find my blood sugar has shot up to 16.8, which on thinking about it is not really a surprise since it is always higher in the morning. I am still in moderate ketosis and I am no longer taking any meds for diabetes.

Yes, I ate a bunch of carbs last night for supper and they are simply the worst for boosting blood sugar. So we will check every four hours and see how the sugars come down today and how I feel going forward.

I didn’t gain any weight but it is definitely back to the no carbs, one high fat high protein meal and the rest broth and coffee and lots of water. I am thinking that I will repeat the cycle I just went through with 6 24 hour fasts followed by 7 consecutive fast days and see where we are then.

So here we go again, and I hope things are easier on day two this time, but it will probably not be easier since I will be going through the same process again. I will keep posting as things develop.

Cheers

Joe

001-the-long-defeatYou know Frodo, hobbits are really not designed for fasting. We haven’t had our Elevenses or Tea in weeks,  and I am getting really sick of waybread …

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