Nitty Gritty Existentialism
Montréal, March 26, 2011
Why, why oh why?
One of the first conflicts on I had going on Paleo, after dealing with giving up bread, was with Christians. It could have been with Muslims or Jews, the faith itself is irrelevant. Being a white french québecois I was born and raised a catholic, this is just a fact of life, again irrelevant. But somehow, or actually understandbly Paleo nutrition goes against the grain of believers, and some see it as a personal attack against their faith.
Daddy, why is the sky blue?
Well, that’s exactly the point, why? Why is the earth round? Why is there day and night? Why? Why? Why? Such innocent questions from children that often we brush away with a scientific or a godly answer. But this doesn’t get us any closer to the real question at hand, until you hit Paleo. You see Paleo has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with science. It has nothing to do with faith or believing, and everything to do with facts (at least the ones they are able to back up). The field of nutrition is actually filled with beliefs! Say for example that: you don’t believe in cholesterol as the cause of heart disease! you are there and then accused of heresy for not believing in it. Since when is nutrition based on beliefs??? All I want is the best possible health for this body, not a belief system!
My body, your body, everybody has some body.
This is where it starts and then it cascades on and on and on. You have a body, your body comes from the fusion of one sperm and one egg, and you were in gestation for 9 months in the body of a caretaker you call mother, and she was born from one sperm and one egg, and so was her mother, and so on and on. How far down are you willing to go? Now the believers don’t have so much of a problem with this, they just call it the miracle of life and change the subject, unless you bring up Darwin. You see, Paleo is based on the concept of evolution, that we evolved as any other species, that we developed a niche and became so succesfull we litteraly ate our competition. So far so good, but as a species we came from some unicellular organism about 4 billion years ago on this planet. Yes we are on a planet in the middle of space just hanging out (actually falling at thousands of mph). So from archeology Paleo brings you to cosmology. (in between there is chemistry and physics somewhere).
To be or not to be?
To bed or not to bed? that’s the title of an art installation I exhibited 20 years ago (how time flies). So we live on a planet around an average sun which is dying, and eventually in it’s death throws it’s going to engulf the earth, burn the whole darn thing away to a cinder, before finally imploding into a neutron star. Most scientist concur that we’ll have moved to the suburbs by then. So eventually you’ll reach the Big Bang or the Big Freeze, quantum multiverses and dimensions… The sort of stuff that doesn’t help you commute to work, but kind of gives you an idea of what beingness is all about. Yep, Paleo does have more to do with the substance of reality than subsistance with real food.
Am I going to die?
Of course I am, so are you! Isn’t funny that religions always have stories about where we go after death, but no stories about where we were before we became flesh and blood? I’d love to hear stories about pre-heaven and pre-hell, a kind of prequel to your soul. Were you bad or good even before you were born? But they don’t preach that kind of stuff. So yes you do die, and like the buddhist say, don’t worry about it, you will succeed doing it! Anyway, food for thought here, if you’re so worried about what happens after your death, why aren’t you worried about what happened before your life? Whence you came from? And that’s the issue with Paleo: once you do agree that you did evolve from an unicellular organism, and that your home was created 4,5 billion years ago out of the radioactive waste products of supernovas, then you know you live the same way you die, nothing more nothing less.
Barmaid! Fill my friend’s glass!
I lost a few friends because of my Paleo ways. I wasn’t preaching my ways, but just my beingness was too challenging to their beliefs. I always appreciated Plato’s metaphor of the Cave, where one man turned around and saw that the shadows on the wall were just projections form another reality. Eating Paleo is turning around and admiting that I am but a projection of evolution, that I was born from nowhere, and that my existence will leave no trace whatsoever, either once I’m dead, or when the next ice age, earthquake, solar flare, meteorite (whatever event that first brought evolution into motion or extinction), or the sun’s expansion takes place. Now this is what I call Nitty Gritty Existentialism.
No I won’ t leave you hanging like this, but neither can I give you an answer, I am neither a believer nor a religious leader. I can share with you how I’m taking care of business, and you can tell me how you are doing yourself. Personally, after these first 6 months of a Paleo way of viewing things, I feel I’ve got a good idea where diseases comes from and how to eat to promote a better and sustained health (my recent posts). I’m still exploring eating patterns and Intermittent Fasting (IF), also with a few supplements such as D3 and K2, and I’ve stopped with exercises (but got my bycicle out) until I read more on it’s effects.(this field is also filled with loads of beliefs!) I feel I’ve reached my goal weight and health, so will stop obsessing about it, and I’m definitively giving up these muscleman/ribbed images, I’m interested in health, not the mirror effect.
So let’s just that during my first 50 years of life I was obsessing with belief systems from outside my self. I was acting according to society’s beliefs, looking for recognition, acknowledgment, having to prove myself through my accomplishments. Today I’m in love with my wife, my daughter, my family and friends, and the rest, well the rest is as the sky is blue. The rest simply is.
I am here, now, and these are the best of times.