|"We are going to pump up your brain, maggot."|
by the Evil Dr. Emile Schmitt-Rottluff
« Before you can win; first you must live. »
« Avant que vous pouvez gagner, tout d'abord, vous devez résider. » -- old French proverb which I just made up ‘cause I’m sneaky.
Yeah, ladies and gentlemen. I’ve been working on my boy Louis’s brain. He’s right out of it, ah, presently, and I’ve blocked his ability to see this post and one or two others, so bear that in mind. You must never mention this to him, by the way, or it will break the block.
Overcoming every obstacle does some interesting things to the physical structure of your brain.
A person accustomed to failure or even futility might begin to see things in a whole new light.
A few small victories definitely helps.
The Greeks used to heat up the tip of a sword to red hot temperatures and burn out the eyes of Cynics, a recognized belief system in its own right back then. I was just a very small boy at the time, but I did read the papers. (I gave that up when they went to the new paper format. I’ve always preferred wax tablets incised with a nice clean papyrus reed cut sharp on the proper angle.)
But anyway, this was supposed to help them see things a little more clearly, and in fact it worked very well. As you might imagine.
Rather than go off on too many historical digressions, the fact is that my brain, or your brain, can be re-wired. There are plenty of folks these days, all signing up for ‘memory-enhancement games’ online, and there were ‘speed-reading’ courses in the past, advertised on TV so you know it had to be real.
People learn new tasks all the time, but what about new attitudes, and how does that help the problem-solving process?
We all have certain expectations, and those expectations are also being re-written constantly with each new experience, for surely they rest at some cellular level. It's an electro-chemical process, inside each and every one of us carbon-based units. Our negative expectations from the past can be over-written with more useful and positive expectation-patterns from the present or the more recent past. It’s simply a matter of doing the work, and adapting some effective techniques, although this author’s approach is intuitive…even unplanned.
What’s happening is that the brain is being redesigned. It is adapting to the newer, more complex tasks set before it. With experience comes a data-base for further problem-solving. But also with experience comes a record inside the brain of new methods and procedures of experimentation. There is now an extensive history of past successes to review, which can be very motivational. And prior history is the best indicator of future behaviour, and as often as not, future outcomes. In other words, my brain or your brain now decides that it can in fact win one once in a while. In fact, it wants to win just as all such carbon-based units do in Darwinian terms as well as Freudian. It is the survival instinct. It is us, ladies and gentlemen, at some deep and fundamental psychological level.
We want to win, (for we must win or at least break even over time in order to survive) and if we are going to win, then we need to approach each task with that winning, problem-solving attitude. We know we have learned new things in the past, plus new things only recently, and so we approach the new problem with a can-do, or even a must-do self-image.
I don’t care what happens, I’m going to do this. I don’t care how long it takes, I’m going to do this. No one can stop me from doing this. I don’t give a dang if no one likes it—I’m going to learn how to do this and then fucking learn it some more. That’s what your subconscious mind (hence my reference to Freud) is thinking.
That little voice inside your head is there all the time, isn’t it? That’s the id or the ego or something according to Freud, and he should know, as he wrote the book on it.
So why not put the little bastard to work for you, and make him earn his keep. Right?
Depression is an ailment that is often triggered by some external event, or so it seems.
I went into some big long depression back in April or May and the bloody thing lasted all summer. One day last week I realized it was over—the contrast is pretty stark, what with me driving down the road singing along with Tom Petty.
I was sublime, by the way.
But even so, I knew it was over.
How did that happen? How did I make that happen, bearing in mind it seemed like I had no control for months on end, and also, it would be nice to have some tools, right? Some way of dealing with it.
Looking back, one day I went to the beach, and I was pretty sure I could do a hundred metres along the shoreline. I got it all paced and measured and everything—it’s a hundred metres.
Like the crazy knucklehead that I am, I ended up swimming three hundred metres. Without touching bottom. I swam on my front, my back, my side…I drifted on my back, while controlling my breathing. I was totally comfortable in that water. This was a first for me.
A first. You know what that means?
I done real good there. I mean that.
I’ve never even swam a hundred metres before, not in my whole life, not as I recall. Yet I had also been practicing a little bit, going maybe seventy or eighty metres, two or three times each session at the beach.
And I did three hundred metres. Sure it was hard. Sure it took effort, sure it was painful and sure I had to focus and concentrate and want it really bad…for no real good reason anyone can explain.
Maybe that’s the sort of thing that kills depression. Setting some goals, working on some new things, and accomplishing a few oddball accomplishments…it all adds up, doesn’t it?
Anyway, the whole process seems to be working.
I’ll report on it from time to time, er, when I get a minute. I’m busy trying to figure out what my next little stunt will be.
There’s a whole shitload of my books up for free at Diesel Books.