You be the Philosopher: The Bipolar Question of the Week

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Early Monday morning, I was back at my desk after living three weeks off the grid, camping out with my special someone by streams and on mountains and by the ocean and beneath redwoods throughout the Pacific Northwest. Three or four days into nature, I came to the pleasant realization that I didn’t need a functioning brain to enjoy my time out in the woods. In fact, the less neurons I had firing the more I could become one with my surroundings.

     

    This, of course, is the complete opposite to the crazy world I normally live in.

     

    What was going on? In the totally insane environment I share with six billion other humans, my very survival depends on my ability to whip my brain into shape and keep it fully engaged. If the power is too low or too high - if the settings are even slightly off - I am in no condition to meet my obligations. Not surprisingly, my days revolve around basic brain maintenance, making sure it boots up right and rebooting it if I have to. 

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    Every minute of every day, I am running background systems checks - mood, energy levels, on and on. Calibrate, recalibrate, turn it up, tone it down, wake up, relax, hop to, chill, panic, be happy. Heaven help if I have to face the world with a brain that refuses to cooperate with me.

     

    It doesn’t stop there. There are people to deal with, situations to negotiate. Hopefully, things go right. Otherwise, we find ourselves with plenty of learning opportunities. We adapt, we adopt. Life, basically, is a first draft with a lot of pencilled-in corrections.

     

    So, here I was, out in the woods, by a mountain stream, brain pleasantly idling in neutral. If I had been wearing shoes, it would have taken me thirty minutes to tie the laces. It was time to boot up my neurons. Then the thought - or what passed for a thought in this state of mind - occurred to me: What for?

     

    Really, what was the point?

     

    I could spin this aha! moment into a million different lessons, but I will leave it to you. You be the philosopher. Question:

     

    Your own eye-popping realizations, life lessons, acquired wisdom, a story to share - tell us about it. 

     

    Comments below ...

Published On: August 26, 2012