Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NeuroScience and Psychology of a Pizza Craving - personal account

Some thoughts on perception of foods, our physical reactions, reactions to memories, our self-created veils, and the anatomy of willpower.

I'm a vegetarian at the moment, and for the last nine months, but haven't always been. I enjoy good pizza now n then and I just saw a TV commercial for Mountain Mike's Pizza (in California, US). It's some really good pizza and I've had quite a few over the years.

I became vegetarian, this time around, when I had an exceptionally expansive spiritual awakening following a Near Death Experience (January 25th, 2014). I felt every soul and looked at our entire interaction of life on Earth. The following day I gave up meat because I truly felt as though I could sense each individual animal (and their thoughts and feelings if I wished to). I recognize this sounds a little "out there" but I will definitely not be eating meat again.

On occasion certain smells, of cooking bacon for example, smell good despite my not wishing to eat meat. I still have the triggers and memories from years of loving bacon.

As I watched the Mountain Mike's Pizza commercial they showed a great looking piece of pepperoni pizza with melted cheese oozing, and my mouth watered! I was surprised so I delved into my feelings, perceptions and memories on the matter.

I saw the pizza with all that oozing cheese and slightly crispy pepperoni and it triggered a memory of eating pizza at the local Mountain Mike's when I was a kid. I remembered the feel then the taste of the cheese, then noticed the pepperoni and remembered the slight crunchiness to it, the smell of the pizza, and then the taste of the pepperoni. I remembered the type of seating and where I sat, followed by the whole scene: wooden benches, friends laughing, music and TV, I felt the emotional state and physical structures of the scene. Once I mentally remembered the taste of the pepperoni it triggered my salivary glands to react and my mouth watered.

I saw the string of attached memories in a fractal-like pattern, with the pizza memories remaining and following a larger, more colorful fractal pattern, and the smaller fractal pattern encompassing the seating, the table, laughing, etc with the physical scene gradually dying out and ceasing to be in active memory.

When I questioned my perceptions I saw a series of four specific, emphasized fractal modules, in order: the cheese (feel, taste, warmth on my tongue, fulfillment), the crunchy pepperoni and my mouth watering (recognition of a memory, feel of crunchiness, taste, warmth), then the veil-like idea that I am a vegetarian as a sheet of color in the path of the fractal thought process, finally, the fractal expansion ceasing after all options were inefficacious. After the thought process passed the self-imposed veil the fractal forms lost color and spherical shape and dissolved into a no-longer-needed thought process; until I asked the question of myself concerning why my mouth watered.

When we can learn to sense our thought patterns and processes we are able to differentiate and assess the various mental happenings individually. A craving is no longer a craving if your willed veil is strong enough to shut the thoughts down before they turn into a desired or undesired action. Our mind will naturally try all options (in the Astral) and deliver the most likely choices to our brain to make the final decision.

You're looking in a donut case and your mind and brain are flooding you with past memories, happiness, sugar high, inexpensive, etc, etc. Some part of you really wants a donut or you wouldn't be standing there in the first place. But maybe you also "don't want" the donut.

To stop your reactive eating due to a craving, you must be able to track your mental behaviors, take notes, think of the reasons you don't want the donut. When your logic and your will decide you don't want donuts anymore you'll find that your will is plenty strong enough to say no.

As a side note: If you're thinking "I don't want a donut because my spouse won't love me as much.". Your brain does not compute - why? because logic and emotions aren't in the same arena.

If you want to stop some behavior track the various possibilities and emotions involved. Recognize that logic and emotions are at opposite places, with the mind being a relay between the two, taking in information from both before sending out a decision. If you put the onus for not eating a donut on your spouse instead of yourself, for example, the most likely result is that you'll feel resentment - resentment for something that didn't even occur. Not eating a donut is your responsibility. Other people may offer support and clarity but the CHOICE and understanding of that choice is yours.

This is an exploration into creating a willful boundary or veil in order to put your choices over your reactions. Act, don't Re-Act. It takes practice and good self understanding.

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