I read enough of the book to learn that even the financial meltdown of 2008 can be traced back to the human habit of taking instant gratification instead of waiting for delayed gratification. “Good things come to those who wait,” but we humans struggle so hard to wait, especially if we’re in some kind of pain.
Eagleman talks about all this, and the brain’s part in it. The author informs us that the idea to not suffer some ruins is to make a “Ulysses contract” with ourselves, for resisting temptation in advance. It’s a great and difficult battle, to resist temptation, but our brains can help us do this. It’s a mighty struggle, but our brains are capable of resisting temptation, Eagleman explains.
The German words for resisting temptation, he points out, are “innerer schweinehund” or “resisting the inner pigdog.”
Jesus said resistance to our inner pigdog leaves empty spaces, which we must learn to fill up with good things, which hopefully lead to good places and good practices and other people trying to do good things.
If we don’t fill our lonely emptiness with good, Jesus warns, worse things can happen, damaging our lives and the lives of others. So we must practice looking for the good things and practice doing good things and practice being with the people who are also trying to do good, like helping and disciplines and budgets and exercises and eating well and “first, do no harm” because we are all capable of being healers of humanity, in some little or big way.
We can help heal ourselves too, and God helps, if we ask. (And one step to healing ourselves must be to stop beating up on ourselves (it’s so hard!) for not knowing enough soon enough. “Be Sweet to Yourself,” like a McDonald’s cookie. It’s a good idea).
So, I signed up for more classes and also called the CSCC business office and planned a meeting, for planning something good. I’m here at the CSCC library again, hopefully about to check out what looks like a good book called “Faith Bass Darling’s Last Garage Sale” by Lynda Rutledge. The book flap says the book is about second chances and changes—and God.
At the top of the first page, there’s a fictional ad, about Faith Bass Darling’s garage sale. It says, “Louis IV Elephant Clock, signed by C. Balthazar.” Doesn’t that sound like a good story?
Isn’t it good, the way you can check out a good book at a good place, for nearly nothing, at a library? Libraries are such good news.
The holidays were really stressful and hurtful and lonely, mostly. I don’t have a printer at home and was afraid to write without one. It felt like trying to jump without a parachute, so I didn’t write.
But it’s good to be back. *Thank you* for waiting.
- David Eagleman on possibilianism (makedoandbend.wordpress.com)
- Seeing Sound, Tasting Color: Synesthesia – David Eagleman (recoverynetworktoronto.wordpress.com)
- We Want it Now (nativescience.wordpress.com)
- Nepal celebrates elephant beauty (bigpondnews.com)