Life is not like a box of chocolates. Life is more like a PEZ dispenser of dopamine and you know what you’re gonna get when you do what you do.
That’s what I gathered reading dopamine nation by Anna, Lembke, MD.
From her website:
This book is about pleasure. It’s also about pain. Most important, it’s about how to find the delicate balance between the two, and why now more than ever finding balance is essential. We’re living in a time of unprecedented access to high-reward, high-dopamine stimuli: drugs, food, news, gambling, shopping, gaming, texting, sexting, Facebooking, Instagramming, YouTubing, tweeting . . . The increased numbers, variety, and potency is staggering. The smartphone is the modern-day hypodermic needle, delivering digital dopamine 24/7 for a wired generation. As such we’ve all become vulnerable to compulsive overconsumption.
In her best-selling book, Lembke provides client counseling anecdotes under such chapter titles as “Our Masturbation Machines”, “Running from Pain”, “Dopamine Fasting”, and “Radical Honesty”. As mentioned in the blurb above, the premise of this book is about finding balance. She offers Lessons in Balance:
- The relentless pursuit of pleasure (and avoidance of pain) leads to pain.
- Recovery begins with abstinence.
- Abstinence resets the brain’s reward pathway and with it our capacity to take joy in simpler pleasures.
- Self-binding creates literal and metacognitive space between desire and consumption, a modern necessity in our dopamine-overloaded world.
- Medications can restore homeostasis, but consider what we lose by medicating away our pain.
- Pressing on the pain side resets our balance to the side of pleasure.
- Beware of getting addicted to pain.
- Radical honesty promotes awareness, enhances intimacy, and fosters a plenty mindset.
- Prosocial shame affirms that we belong to the human tribe.
- Instead of running away from the world, we can find escape by immersing in it.
Read Download Dopamine Nation PDF – PDF Download (bibleandbookcenter.com)
It is no secret that the world around us promotes seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. But we may not have noticed that pleasure and pain operate like a seesaw, as Lembke illustrates in her book. The consumer of pleasure tips the pleasure side of the seesaw to the ground. The pain side goes up in the air. But, as the familiar saying goes, what goes up must come down.
Pleasure and pain work like a balance. Our systems seek to restore balance or “physiologic equilibrium”. (See Pleasure and Pain Are Co-located, p. 50, dopamine nation).
Looking for balance? Per Lembke, “Abstinence is necessary to restore homeostasis”. Stopping and standing apart from that which is used to obtain pleasure helps us see the cause and effect of choices.
Does self-promotion, virtue signaling, and even advocacy tip the seesaw to the pleasure side? It would seem so based on the amount of self-aggrandizement that occurs in the media – social and otherwise. Radio personalities, from Howard Stern to Dennis Prager, are in the business of self-promotion for profit (and ego and, dopamine?)
And could it be, based on what we learn about dopamine, that when we give, pray, forgive, and fast in ostentatious ways that we are immediately rewarded with not only someone else knowing our act of devotion but also with dopamine? Could it be that we reward ourselves in the moment at the expense of a future reward secured in our relationship with the Lord?
When you are practicing your piety, mind you don’t do it with an eye on the audience! Otherwise, you won’t have any reward from your father in heaven (Matt. 6:1).
Jesus’ treasure on earth vs. treasure in heaven warning is heard a bit later in his kingdom of God discourse on the mount (Matt. 6:19-21). It follows his cautions about how we go about our devotion to God. We are admonished to let go of the desire to play-act and to promote ourselves and to let God recompense:
When you give . . .
. . . to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet in front of you. That’s what people do when they are play-acting, in the synagogues and the streets. They do it so people will be impressed by them . . . they’ve received their reward in full (Matt. 6:2).
When you pray . . .
. . . you mustn’t be like the play-actors . . . shut the door and pray to your father in secret who is there in secret (Matt 6:5-6).
. . . don’t pile up a jumbled heap of words reckoning the more you say the more likely you will be heard (Matt. 6:7).
. . . here’s how you should pray . . . Our father in heaven . . . (Matt. 6:9-13).
If you forgive . . .
. . . people the wrong they have done, your heavenly father will forgive you as well. (If not, then no forgiveness for you) (Matt. 6:14-15).
Forgiveness is included in these cautions. Forgiveness is a letting go of the wrong and the bitterness born out of it. Forgiveness seeks reconciliation just as God has sought with us with His forgiveness.
An unwillingness to forgive and hold on to the wrong is the willingness to hold something over another at the cost of that relationship and at the cost of one’s own mental and spiritual health. One may find pleasure in giving another relational pain but the seesaw will tip the other way.
Forgiveness is not saying “nothing happened”. It is saying that what happened has no power over me. And, more importantly, it admits “I’m in no position not to forgive”:
“If we believe rightly in Jesus Christ who unconditionally embraced us, the godless perpetrators, our hearts will be open to see from their perspective. In Letters and Papers from Prison Dietrich Bonhoeffer suggested that faith enables us to take “distance” from our own immediacy and take into ourselves the tension filled polyphony of life, instead of pressing life into a “single dimension.Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation, Miroslav Volf, 1996, Abingdon Press, Nashville, p. 215
When you fast . . .
. . . don’t be gloomy like the play-actors. They make faces quite unrecognizable, so that everyone can see they’re fasting. I’m telling you the truth: they have received their reward in full. (Matt. 6: 16).
This lent, consider who you are in relationship with. Those in relationship with themselves and the world desire to trumpet their doings. They gain followers on social media and “likes” for the advocacy that promotes them to the world. But the followers are a fickle bunch who need more and more stroking to bring them pleasure.
Those who follow the Lord have given up trumpeting what they do. They live in an intimate relationship with the Lord (Jn. 5:15). They know that the Lord knows what they do (Matt 6:4, Jn. 10:27). And that’s all that matters. Play-acting doesn’t work with God. God is not impressed with outward earnestness or public shows of it, because . . .
“God is in secret, and He sees us from a secret place; He does not see us as other people see us, or as we see ourselves. When we live in the secret place it become impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him of than anything else.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Put another way, Christians are like musicians in a symphony orchestra giving a concert of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. They follow a maestro – not of this world – and they keep his rhythm in their soul and not with their feet.
LEnT go of play-acting, of self-aggrandizement, of being drama queens, of grudges and bitterness.
The ordinary Christian life remains ordinary by every measure except heaven’s.
LEnT go of that which brings disorder and non-function to your life and to those around you. We were endowed with the imago dei so that we would bring order and function to the world.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”
― Jim Elliot, one of five people killed during Operation Auca, an attempt to bring the gospel to the Huaorani people of Ecuador.
Note: I write these things not because I have mastered self-denial. On the contrary. I write these things to spur myself to take courage and to have faith to do what is necessary day in and day out. I write to encourage and grow faith for myself and for others.
“. . . without faith it’s impossible to please God; for those who come to worship God must believe that he really does exist, and that he rewards those who seek him. – Hebrews 11:6
Listen to these videos>>>>
“Nobody should be taking anything. That’s my professional opinion.” -Sasha Latypova
“Here we have an implemented model of fascism.”-Sasha Latypova
“What were they doing? They were play-acting.” Sasha Latypova
Listen to the very end . . .
Sasha Latypova – COVID-19 Countermeasures: Evidence of the Intent to Harm (rumble.com)
The WHO is a military arm of the One World Gov’t.
Bring control back to the states!
Next, start @ 6:40 for Katherine Watt and the Kill Box:
Katherine Watt: In Her Own Words – YouTube
Bailiwick News | Katherine Watt | Substack
Ed Dowd: “Millennial age group, 25 to 44 experienced an 84% increase in excess mortality” (substack.com)
You think birthrates are low now? One OBGYN says thanks to the jab, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet [VIDEO]… – Revolver News
Newsweek Follows National File’s Lead, Reports Fauci Funded Wuhan Coronavirus Research – National File
Three Years Late, the Lancet Recognizes Natural Immunity – WSJ
The poor of the world cannot be made rich by redistribution of wealth. Poverty can’t be eliminated by punishing people who’ve escaped poverty, taking their money and giving it as a reward to people who have failed to escape. Economic leveling doesn’t work. Whether we call it Marxism, Progressive Reform, or Clintonomics, the result is the same slide into the stygian pit. Communists worship satan; socialists think perdition is a good system run by bad men; and liberals want us to go to hell because it’s warm there in the winter. -P.J. O’Rourke
[VIDEO] El Salvador President tosses 2000 MS-13 and other gang members into his new gigantic state-of-the-art prison… – Revolver News
Things to give up for always:
-Give up notions that the U.S. government is altruistic and “for the people”. Like with our southern border, our government has been invaded by opportunists who don’t give a damn about our country except for what they can take from it.
-WEF, WHO & UN
-Dept. of Education
-War. The U.S. should NOT be involved in Ukraine and provoking WWIII. NO MORE taxpayer money to Ukraine.
and give up Coca-Cola