Heart episode

“My heart skips a beat.” In fact it has been doing so more lately, seemingly in step with me losing weight. But nothing like what happened today. This hasn’t happened since 2005.

Today I had a heart episode, and to some extent still have. Not an infarct, it seems: I just came home from the clinic and they did an EKG. As always it was perfect. The only thing unusual is that while I was out walking, my pulse began to go up and up until it stabilized at 190, probably my max pulse. Well, that certainly qualifies as an episode in my book, although it happened twice in 2005 as well.

I had left my cell phone at home again, but luckily I had just passed a school where some event was going on, and a handful of parents were out in their cars. I showed them my pulse watch and they called an ambulance. When it arrived, my pulse had gone down into normal human range (although not my range, and it is still about 40 higher than usual. Like 100 when sitting, 120-130 when standing or walking slowly.)

They drove me to the local clinic where a Swedish doctor checked me. Apart from a slight fever (and human heartbeat instead of superhuman) I was in great shape. Even my blood sugar was 5.2 mmol. (This won’t mean anything to Americans.) I explained that it is ALWAYS 6.1, even after 12 hours without food and with an hour’s walk thrown in. They seemed to think it was great that it had gone down. Evidently I can now have perfect blood sugar, at the price of my heart running much faster. I would not be surprised if one of these was an effect of the other, but nobody else seemed to think so.

I had a slight fever: 38.8C (101.8F), and the doctor wondered if that might be the reason. I really don’t think a fever suddenly appears over the course of half a minute. It is more likely the other way around. Or perhaps whatever caused this episode also caused the fever. I have had 3 ticks suck on me this past week, but I killed them all young and put antiseptic salve on the wounds. No red rings this time like some years ago. Still… hmm. I cannot remember how many years ago that was. It is theoretically possible that the body ran across some tick protein and went crazy, but I find it unlikely. The temperature is already down to less than 38, so not fever for normal humans. (I usually have a little lower.)

I drank a glass of juice and water a while after I came home, to check whether the higher pulse was really caused by my lower blood sugar. (Normal human pulse with normal human blood sugar, instead of lower pulse with higher sugar.) That makes sense if there is plenty of oxygen, in which case blood sugar might be the bottleneck in the body’s operations.  However, the pulse remained in nearly the same range. The only thing that gets it down a bit is meditation, but I do that only for a few seconds at a time. I am not sure whether it would be wise to consciously lower the heart rate, as I may be able to do in meditation. Didn’t I just worry a few days ago when it fell to 50? Be careful what you wish for, you might get it!

In any case, there you have it. If I die before I wake, I fully intend to not haunt you, and not check whether my grave is kept clean. If I don’t die – or something very close to it – you can expect to hear from me again.


75% control?

“You can sit there and reflect on what you did!” That sounds like a good idea, but you may sometimes find that it was actually mind parasites (complexes) that influenced you to do it. That is not exactly an excuse – life can be reclaimed from those. But first we have to throw the light of awareness on them.

Recently I was walking and outlining an entry in my head about religion vs mind parasites. By a strange coincidence, this week’s broadcast of Happy Science on Air featured an answer by Ryuoho Okawa about destiny and the degree to which one is in control of one’s own life. Okawa answered that one controls about half of one’s life through the choices one makes. A quarter is decided before we are born. And the fourth quarter is decided by spiritual influences, good or bad. So by religious training the part of your life that you can control goes up from 50 to 75%.

That is what Ryuho Okawa says. But he also occasionally says that he is God and comes from Venus, so you may want to call a couple more witnesses before making your final decision.

I think even 50% is actually very rare in typical humans. I mean, I suppose technically you can make that many decisions if you are wide awake while living your life. And there are a number of secular philosophers who just may have lived that way even without religion as we usually think of it. So I suppose the potential exists. And it could be argued that to not choose is also a choice, although I wonder how accurate that is if people don’t even KNOW that they have a choice.

Making people aware that they have a choice, that reality is not as small and bland as it sometimes looks, is one of my major aspirations in life. But I wonder if I should be more selective about it. A number of my friends did wake up a bit and began to think for themselves. They went on to think wrongly and went astray, as in causing suffering for themselves and others. But I guess at least they were not bored. Still, I sometimes wonder if this restriction on seeing the freedom, this “sleep”, may have been put upon people for their own protection.

And yet, to me this is important. Personal growth, as I see it, is the growth of the conscious, reflecting self at the cost of the mind parasites or rote habits. By habits I don’t only mean outward actions, but habits of thought and even habits of seeing the world in a particular manner.  These are usually programmed into us early in life by family, friends, teachers and the wider culture.

This does not mean that everything we learn is wrong, of course! But in a manner of speaking it does not really become ours until we consciously observe it and reflect on it. A good habit may also exist for many years and we have not really made it a part of ourselves because we don’t see what we are doing.

But often the things we do and think and see are not a conscious expression of ourselves, but the doings of free agents of the mindscape, mind parasites or (if we are lucky) symbiotes, and snippets of brain software that runs on its own, somewhat like the Android programs that don’t close down properly and drain the batteries of your smartphone unless you have Juice Defender installed. They may have been useful at some point in the past but keep running in the background without us being aware of them. Most Windows machines also tend to run gradually slower as all kinds of junk builds up, mostly harmless (although the occasional virus or worm may also be there) but not useful, and not really wanted. We just don’t notice it. So it is no miracle that the brain has the same problem, and probably more so, since some of this junk has built up for generations! “That’s the way we do it around here.”

So sometimes we wake up and find that we live in a corner of our own brain, while most of it is dedicated to things we don’t exactly hate (although that may also happen) but just don’t recognize as us.

Whether we – the person – actually exists? That is a deeper question that I don’t think we should try to answer until we have a thorough understanding of how the rest of our mindscape looks, from a long time of direct observation. I will just briefly mention it: The body may look from outside as if it is mostly “one piece”, but inside it is actually made up of many different organs, and these again are often made of smaller structures, which again are made of tissues of myriad cells. And even the cells again are made up of smaller parts and so on. So does that mean the body does not exist?  That is clearly wrong too, if you mean that there is nothing there. It does not disappear and is not reduced by our knowing. Seen from one perspective the body remains, but seen in another way we see many other things also in its place. It is no surprise if the psyche is similar.

It may seem like a horrible idea to expand the conscious “I”, if we want to get rid of it later. But consider the alternative: Letting the brain fall prey to the mind parasites for as long as we “live” – I cannot even fully use the word live, in the sense of living a human life, if we are run by mind parasites most of the time in most of the ways. So dismantling these is a priority. But then we also have to dismantle our pride and our sense of being the greatest and most important thing in the universe. These things can happen in parallel. But until there is some room in the chaotic mindscape for clarity, we cannot really begin to see ourselves.

I constantly see people who have very little control of themselves, although they may think so. The parasites are in charge. And one of these people has been me. It surely still is, in the many areas where I have still not reflected on myself in an objective way.


“Humans with breasts”

“Men… As long as they see huge breasts, they don’t care who it is?” That is actually true on one level, but far from true on another level.

When I make my way through the city, my peripheral vision just registers people as vaguely humanoid shapes when I don’t look directly at them. But sometimes, and that included today, some of them appear as vaguely humanoid shapes with breasts. That is to say, even though I don’t look at them directly, some kind of breast detection module of my brain still manages to notice, even while I am thinking of something else. And I usually am – I am long past the years where a man would walk through the city thinking about breasts. Well, this kind of man at least. Your man may vary.

So we could say that on this level, which is close to actual instinct and operates automatically, it is true that a man does not care who it is. Important details like breasts and birthing hips are registered by what we may imagine as an separate circuitry of the brain, to use the computer metaphor.

It is a completely different thing to obsess over it. Seriously guys? It is a completely different thing unless you are lacking most of your brain, or it is there making your head heavy but it is not working.

This awareness that some humans have breasts is like level one out of five:

1) Aware

2) Considering

3) Willing

4) Wanting

5) Decided

In order for the species to continue into another generation, at least one of the parents have to reach level 5, and ideally the other should be from 3 upward if we don’t want to have a criminal case on our hands.

So in that regard, being simply aware of the physical differences between the sexes is pretty far from getting it on. It is certainly in itself no threat do my celibacy. Your celibacy may vary, depending on whether you are a complete idiot with bad habits. In which case your celibacy is probably not voluntary. Long may it last anyway.

That said, there certainly are situations already in this life where it would be preferably to simply see the other person as a human, and not as a human with breasts (or with the thing women become aware of, as I am pretty sure they also are aware of the opposite sex).

I am cautiously disagreeing with the Norwegian government when it decided to mandate by law that corporations needed to have at least 40% board members of each sex. (In Norwegian we have the same word for sex and gender, so I am not sure what they do about gay and lesbian directors. Do they qualify as 40% of each?) While I am sure that women have many ideas they can contribute in the boardroom, I am also certain that men are likely to lose some of their ideas, and power of thought in general, in the presence of a multitude of women.

In America I hear they are taking this idea even further, and writing laws that mandate 50% men and 50% women in each marriage. Well, I suppose that is taking things to its logical conclusion. An extreme case of government meddling in people’s affairs. You start in the boardroom and end in the bedroom. Darned leftists can never get enough government!

In Heaven we won’t notice people’s breasts. (Or lack thereof.) Or that’s what the voice in my heart tells me. In that regard, I am in Heaven pretty often. But not yet all the time.


The perfect diet

There is a lot of research about the effects of what goes into our mouth. Today I’ll write about that.

Hopefully you are at least as fed up as I am with minutiae of my calories, so let’s talk about humans in general. This week a new study from NTNU, a Norwegian university, finally revealed what food is best for humans. Well, the moderate number of humans who were tested, at least. And rather than asking the test subjects, these researchers asked the genes: They checked the gene expressions after various types of diets, on the same people as they gradually changed their eating habits.  This way, the test subjects were their own control group.

This test was of the macronutrition, that is to say the main food groups, rather than vitamins, minerals etc. And the genes’ favorite diet turned out to be none of the current big names.

For a couple decades, the low-fat diet got the support of most of the scientific community. After all, the main cause of death was cardiovascular, and there was no doubt that the plaques on the arteries were made up largely from fat. Also the patients with these problems tended to have more cholesterol and triglycerids in their blood, both of these are fats. For good measure, fat people were far more likely to suffer from not only circulatory diseases but also diabetes and even some cancers. The obvious answer was to remove fat from the food. And this also worked, when you took it to the extreme, as with the Ornish diet and lifestyle change, which can actually remove plaque from the arteries and reverse pretty much all the so-called lifestyle diseases.

There is one small problem with this extreme low-fat diet, though: Few people manage to stay on it. The number is said to be less than 5%. You’d think people would do everything in their power to save their life and limb, but that is simply not true. Humans have a hard time resisting their instincts, and the instincts were not amused with eating beans and cauliflower.

Lately the low-carb diet has come into focus instead. It is easier to stick to, since fat really satisfies. It carries most of the flavor, the food stays longer in the stomach, and the brain also feels more fed. Protein is also more satisfying than carbs. And if you eat very little carbs, the body will switch to burning fat instead. Anyway, low-carb and no-carb diets have become gradually more accepted over the last few years.

So what was the message from the genes? None of the above. Of the combinations that were tested, they preferred to get about one third of the calories from each of the three main food groups: Carbohydrates, fat and protein.  (Since fat is twice as energy-dense as the other two, you would need half as much of it in weight to get the same calories.) But in the typical Norwegian diet, some 65% of the energy comes from carbs, in the form of bread, potatoes, pasta and cooked vegetables, sometimes rice.  This caused a mild inflammation-like state in the entire body, as if it was at the beginning of a flu or something. They called it “metabolic inflammation”. In addition, high-carb diet activated genes for cancer, heart disease, dementia and diabetes II. Or so they say.

Another discovery was that many small meals were better than few large, again if you wanted to keep this body-wide inflammation at a minimum. They recommend as much as 6 meals a day,  three main meals and two or three smaller. All of them with the mix of fat, protein and carbs.


Of course, there shouldn’t go too many days before some highly qualified experts find out that a completely different diet is even better for your genes. Or perhaps some other part of you.

If only there was this much research into the diet of the soul!

A day without rain!


I mean it literally, the sun was back today. But if you are looking for the melody by Enya, I have that in my record collection too.

Because of heavy rain, I did not get to take any long walks at all yesterday, and only half an hour the day before. It looks like that was enough for my body to completely fill up my glycogen reserves, if that really is what happens. My pulse was ridiculously low, touching on 60 when sitting in front of my computer at home and even at work. (There is an app for that! Really! Well, on Android at least.)

Of course, pulse is very individual. But even for me, the envy of health personnel for some reason, 60 is usually my resting pulse, when lying flat on my back and not even thinking. Although once or twice I have seen it down to 55. I am a tiny bit more active than that at work, I like to think!

An hour and three quarters of walking fixed that. But it took its sweet time. As soon as I was over the top of the hill, my heart went back to “walking across the kitchen floor” mode. It was kind of funny.  It took about an hour and a half of rapid walking before my body grudgingly admitted that maybe I was being serious. In all those 105 minutes I spent just over 950 calories, so it was pretty relaxed. But it was the best I could do without actually running.

City of Heroes Freedom is out, the free-to-play version of my favorite online game. I may write a little about it in the future, if any. Tried the start of the game and it has become even more user-friendly, I would say.  But I’m just not so into those things now as I used to be.


Just how far away I am from my highest aspiration. Some days it feels like this. Other days I don’t feel it, but it is still true. I want to shine for you, but I find myself down here.

Weariness. I think that is the best word for it. I am not exhausted from walking today at least, for it is raining and raining and raining. Yesterday there was a brief halt in the downpour but it started again ten minutes after I hit the road. Weather generally does not affect me emotionally, as far as I can remember, so that is probably not it. But I am feeling so down, I feel almost human.

A phrase from a song by Leonard Cohen sums it up pretty well: “When you’re not feeling holy, your loneliness says that you’ve sinned.” Actually, loneliness is not the right word, but I guess it was the best he could find (and especially that would rhyme!) But loneliness, as I understand it, is a mental state of wanting to receive companionship. I am not, even now, bothered in that way. It is not my lack of receiving but my lack of giving that tells me that I have sinned, that I may have lost my way or at least failed to walk ahead on it.

I think the closest word I can think of is uselessness. When I’m not feeling holy, my uselessness says that I’ve sinned. That is not exactly it either, but at least it conveys an absence of giving rather than of taking. And it is not something that another person can change for me, somehow convincing me. It is a value judgment by myself and the objective presence in my heart. There is no anger or accusation in that presence, of course. It just bears witness to the fact,  that I am not able to give happiness to others as I wished. When the excessive natural joy that was masking this, fades away; when a day comes where I don’t feel like breaking into song for no reason, then this comes to the surface.

“If you have time to bemoan your ignorance, use it to study” says Ryuho Okawa, and it is hard to disagree with that! In a sense, this is what I am doing. Studying myself, reflecting on myself as if seen from outside, by an objective yet compassionate observer. When the feelings are falling away – whether just for a bit or for a long time, I don’t know – that is an opportunity to see myself as I am in this world, not just as I wish to be. So that is good.

Even so, I shall admit that I took refuge in Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor again. If what I believe is true, then Bach was surely sent from Heaven. If I am wrong, it still has beauty in it, and that can hardly hurt. It is hard to see how you can go wrong with Bach, unless you have something more important to do with your time than refining your soul. For me, right now, I don’t.

That is kind of the point, really. There is no outward way I can think of to bring joy and courage and love to others. So I will do this, and I will share my mind with you. So that you can see that I too have days when I don’t feel like I have just eaten a big chocolate bar all the time. But it does not really change who or what I am. It does not really change my aspiration. And although the compass needle of my mind may waver, I will still turn back to that goal that lies beyond my feelings, my pride and my satisfaction, beyond myself and what is mine.

The terrorists have already won.

By all means take sensible precautions. And then ride off into the sunset.

My younger online friend Bjørn Stærk has a 9/11 article in a Norwegian publication. As usual his words are filled with wisdom. If I were to extract the essence, he says that there happens very much in the world. We should look around and not let random groups of people decide our reality, whether they be terrorists or pundits. They know not what they do. The world is much more than this, and if we keep getting led by the blind, we will be blindsided again and again forever.


Looking at the USA, I think my headline is justified. The fragile safety was shattered, seemingly forever, and panic was made into an institution. Even now, people are being harassed by halfway-police deriving their power from that event.  And while trillions are spent chasing shadows, more people die in a day – possibly in an hour – from TV, couch and fast food, than from all terror attacks in living memory. Where are the trillions for your war on couches? Your war on fast food? Your war on passive TV consumption?

If you have nothing more to learn from 9/11, let it go. Good people are dying every day. One of those days it will be you. Don’t let a day go by without learning something, without seeing something with fresh eyes, without being alive at least for a brief moment, looking around, realizing: “I am here. This is now. I am alive in this world” before the habitual thoughts overwhelm you and sweep you away again.


Raw data

Walking for 45 minutes – 550 calories. (It started raining so I sped up a bit on the way home.)

Walking for 30 minutes later – 300 calories.

Walking for 70 minutes later again – 800 calories.

Total 1650 calories.  Payback for yesterday! Yeah baby!

Cold sore broke out as soon as I came home. The exact timing is probably coincidence. Cold sores for me are a sign of not enough sleep. I have slept about seven hours each night, usually enough. May need more sleep if I walk more, strangely enough.


A big car came and took with it a lot of stuff from upstairs where the couple with the toddler live. Actually, it would seem that they are not going to live there anymore. If I scared them away, it was certainly not my intention. Perhaps they were disturbed by my loud farting? I can’t think I have made much noise apart from the toilet-related, as I am a big fan of headphones when not living on a farm (and actually mostly even then). I have also restrained myself from dancing at night.

In hopefully unrelated news, my front door key is gone. It must have been lost in here somewhere, for I used it to lock myself  in on Friday. When I should go out for my daily one-hour walk, it wasn’t there! I searched for hours, even moving my bed to see if it had fallen down there.  Panic! At this point, I have not yet realized that I can use the back door to the garden and simply walk around the house, and that I could indeed have done this all the time and in effect had my own entrance. Not that I think my using the front door scared away my neighbors, although it did cause me to let out the cat accidentally from time to time.

Tomorrow I will remember the back door. (I know this because this entry is backdated.) Today, I am panicking. I have to go to work, but how will I get back in? Luckily, a window to the garden is low enough that I should be able to get through without breaking anything. As some of you will know, the first thing that appears to me if a door is locked is “Window!” It is slightly narrower than my hips, but I am sure I can get through if I just turn diagonally. After all, the square of the hypotenuse is the sum of the squares of the two, uhm, other sides. I could try it out, I guess.

Or I could go to sleep and remember tomorrow  that there is a door to the  backyard from the tiny food storage room I rarely use.


Car tyres vs strolling: Fight!

If you have hip pillows instead of gut tires, there is no pressing health reason to lose weight. You may still enjoy a stroll in the park though. And so may the people who see you.

“You don’t get rid of the car tires [around your guts] by strolling” wrote a supposed expert at DN.no, the website of the Norwegian business daily that I have followed for many years. The business site has its own health and fitness section, as is good and proper these days.

In Norwegian, we use the word “bilringer” (car tires)  to describe the rings of fat that surround the gut, especially on men. (I believe the phrase “spare tire” is used in English?) It has dawned on people that these adornments of easy life are not good for our health, but what to do?  Strolling in the park is not the answer, says the expert.

I think the expert is mistaken, and probably dangerously mistaken.  Strolling in the park is not only an answer, it may be the best possible answer. If you wake up with spare tires, going on a power exercise spree is potentially dangerous (even life-threatening) without medical supervision. Even if you survive unharmed, you are unlikely to continue for long, due to the unpleasant side effects.  In contrast, taking a walk for half an hour is unlikely to cause more than a mild tiredness and stiffness even for an untrained person, and even that will fade over a few days as the body gets used to being more active.

Now, I don’t have car tires around my midsection myself. In a sense, it would be more motivating if my fat was on the outside instead of around the kidneys, but I assume those with spare tires have those in addition to the kidney fat. Anyway, when I started walking an hour a day (most days) this spring, I burned like 550 calories in an hour. It is safe to say that if I had a couple car tires in addition, I would have burned quite a bit more, since I had to move that extra weight around. So I would probably have started with half an hour, as recommended for Americans, and gradually expanded over the course of the first month.

Of course, the spare tires won’t magically disappear. They will just stop growing, and then very slowly shrink as the months turn into years. But that was how they appeared in the first place, wasn’t it? And anyway, once you get used to strolling, you may want to speed it up a bit, or go a bit longer, depending on how much time you have. Walking is a great way to unwind, after all. If the voices in your head are not friendly, you may want to drown them out with music, which can also be very motivating to move your body (thus the invention of “dance” by our ancestors). Anyway, the point is to keep it enjoyable, or at least not make yourself suffer. If you’re a masochist, save it for the bedroom. Your physical exercise should be pleasant, something you’d miss if you skipped it.

Like a stroll in the park. A long, fast stroll eventually, but still. If you have car tires around your middle, strolling is exactly where you should begin.