free your body and mind from the afflictions of civilization
“Someone once argued that there is no choice about whether to train your dog. You either train your dog or your dog trains you. Something similar happens with our brains.” (167)
People who consider these matters often refer to the ‘omnivore’s dilemma,’ but it gets more and more difficult to claim to be omnivores, creatures that eat both plants and animals. The prima facie case is we have become carbovores as a result of our domestication by grain. This is the carbovore’s dilemma: we exist for the most part on a substance that our bloodstream treats as a toxin.” (76-77)
this one was a very special custo pick. this little woman is like looking into the future for me, not just because she’s a virgo born one day and 35 years before me-so she is twice me, but she also knows how to live. i love that she doesn’t stop learning, and that’s the ultimate message of this book.
“The fact is, everything effects a reshaping of the brain, especially our relationships with one another. The tangible, weighable, measurable, energy-sucking organ is being built from the ground up, beginning even before we are born, and the whole stream of information we call life is doing the building work. The degree to which those relationships are healthy, especially when we are children, is the degree to which our brains are healthy.” (167)
“We have long said that there is no reason to write a book unless the process of doing so changes the author’s life.” (15)
i like how this idea of meditation as the deliberate shaping of the brain, in relation to the shaping of the brain that’s happening just by the simple fact of us being alive. it empowers us as humans to take over our learning, even when we are living outside of the traditional understanding of “learning”. like when we’re eating or exercising, or making certain food choices and the choice not to exercise:
“Modern humans have forgotten what it is like to be meat, and being prey must have entailed terrors beyond imagination, particularly for the young and helpless and for the people who cared about them most.” (137)
“Evolution has made provisions for our happiness, but to take advantage of them you’ve got to move.” (119)
“The early campaigns to sell the public on shortening and margarine were the prototypes for today’s sea of hype and cynicism that is the processed foods system. These are the roots of fast food.” (85)
“Civilization is starch, and by extension, diseases of civilization are diseases of starch, either directly or indirectly….” (50)
“But the supreme irony in all of this is that the obvious toxin hides in plain sight. It’s difficult to accuse the very substance on which all of civilization depends.
and so, sugar is a toxin. and we need to get off our asses. the other interesting point that i’m going to read up further on is that evolution has been tracked based on things that men do-hunting and gathering, killing and such. there has been work done on evolution from the vantage point of women’s roles-nurturing and child rearing.
“This is why aggression is the flip side of the bonding powers of oxytocin; it is adaptive not only to cooperate and bond with our fellows but to protect and defend.” (214)
i think this is why the nicest folks make the biggest assholes.
libraries used: toronto public library (for a disappointing toronto book awards verdict), annette street
watching: the newsroom season one
sleep until the raptors open practice and the west end clothing swap: one!
sleep until watching dreamgirls with neil and tala: two!
sleep until the raps play the knicks at the bell centre: six!
raptors’ preseason record: 5-1
duolingo status change: italian level 14, translation level 3, 2191 lingots