alea iacta esto

The Real Daddy

Which enlightened soul hasn’t heard it a million times and more that the brain is the most sophisticated machine nature ever created? Its fifteen to thirty billion neurons form a complex processor that no human computer is yet able to match, a day we all dread. What’s scary about the brain is that although we can live without anything else (we can even have artificial hearts), we cannot live without our brains. And when you can’t live without something, you are its slave.

If your brain isn’t there as in “there” you may as well be dead. We can’t reason or act without it. We can’t think without it or fall in love or feel pleasure or pain. Some people think the heart is where love is but they are so wrong. You won’t stop loving if you get an artificial heart. But the brain; this is where everything that matters to living is. Short circuit the brain and kaput goes the human. My shoulder is in pain right now from a bad fall at jujitsu training. My shoulder is in pain but it’s my brain that’s telling me so. If I had morphine to short circuit the brain, I’d be pain free.

I have a big issue with the brain. My brain. It demands a lot of fucking energy. It’s two percent of my body weight but requires 20% of my oxygen intake and 25% of my glucose. I have to keep breathing or it dies or rather, I die. A few seconds sans blood and I’m on my way to The Beyond. One third of my living existence must be comatose in sleep to give the brain a rest. And a massive chunk of the time I have left awake was in education to bring the brain up to scratch. I can’t stop thinking with my brain, even unpleasant and painful thoughts like death or poverty or why I am still a small cheese. My brain goes on and on and on. In order to stop it, I have to short circuit the thinking process by actively thinking of something else. It’s rather like being dumped by an ex, you hurt until you shift your attention.

I am resigned to the fact that my brain requires, no, demands constant caring. Trouble ensues if it doesn’t get what it wants. It becomes bored and that’s a very dangerous place to be. If the brain isn’t engaged in something interesting and pleasurable, it will find something to do and not always good. If you try to muzzle the brain’s attempt to enjoy itself you will eventually lose the desire to live. Scientists say nature abhors a vacuum. Well, the brain abhors boredom. Boredom is the empty space between moments of pleasure. That’s why the brain is such a highly addictive creature: sex, flammable love experiences, food, sugar, sloth, alcohol, television, sports, even books. At its worst, boredom can lead to hard drugs, crime and war. We humans are like rats, running around day and night, weekdays and weekends, trying to keep our minds occupied. The Devil finds things for idle hands to do.

But in order to break any destructive brain addiction you need a heavy dose of willpower. And where does the will come from? You got it. You need the brain to cure the brain. Man, some say, is free. I have come to proclaim that we ain’t. Our brains have us by the bollocks.

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