The Official Winds eNewsletter
Copyright © June 2002
Watch Out for the One in Your Ear!
How our Appetites Can Be Used to Cover-up What's really Going On....
~written from the common sense perspective of The Winds of the Soul~
by Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.)
|An "appetite" can be many different things for many different people. For some, appetite is solely confined to our desires to eat certain foods. For others, it involves an affinity to indulge in other things such as fame, power, and money, often being a motivator to get gain and advantage. For still others, it's simply a way to be further encouraged to be productive.||
There's a delightful vignette in the movie "Field of Dreams" where Shoeless Joe Jackson during a baseball game advises a distraught an unsettled "rookie" at bat as to what to expect the next pitch to be, after the first two pitches proved to be ones that were aggressively thrown directly at his ear, in response to having "winked" at the pitcher in an unsuccessful and cocky attempt to psych him out. Shoeless Joe reasoned with the "rookie" that the next pitch would likely be low and away, since the pitcher wouldn't want to load the bases, but still cautioned the "rookie" as he nervously took his place at bat again, "but watch our for the one in your ear!" Moral: Be prepared for the unexpected, and don't think that everything is as it appears. So it is with appetites.... They usually remain hidden and undiscovered, and are not always simply what they appear.
Most of us don't think too much about our appetites, believing that they are comfortably confined and reigned without further consideration. But the truth is, most of us don't understand what an "appetite" is and how often they direct our lives. An "appetite" can be many different things for many different people. For some, appetite is solely confined to our desires to eat certain foods. For others, it involves an affinity to indulge in other things such as fame, power, and money, often being a motivator to get gain and advantage. For still others, it's simply a way to be further encouraged to be productive. We can quickly see that many of us don't understand the differences between those appetites that lead us to do good, and those that confuse us and lead us to do harm, either to ourselves or others. There are real differences in appetites and that which goes into making them what they are.
For instance, having an appetite for food can be advantageous as it may be the body's signal to us that we need a certain form of nutrition. It also leads to feeling satisfied and contented once healthily fulfilled. On the other hand, food appetites can become addicting and lead us to over-eat, and eat the wrong types of food, all of which damages us physically and psychologically. Often, eating for the wrong reasons can simply be the means whereby we repress real psychological problems from being resolved. And that's never good.
Copyright © 2002 Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.). All Rights Reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, including but not limited to all forms of media print, audio, electronic and video reproduction, without the prior express and specific written content of the author, except in cases of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
|We can quickly see that certain appetites can help us, whereas others seem to be more destructive. Some of our appetites stem from goodly desires, but others not. How to tell the differences between the good and the bad, not just of food appetites but for all types of appetites that impress us in our daily routines, is something that many of us could get a better handle on.||
We can quickly see that certain appetites can help us, whereas others seem to be more destructive. Some of our appetites stem from goodly desires, but others not. How to tell the differences between the good and the bad, not just of food appetites but for all types of appetites that impress us in our daily routines, is something that many of us could get a better handle on. And it certainly is something that we should teach our children about, as without this understanding, we simply condemn our children to the same confusions that we felt when younger.
So, how do we come to know what appetites are leading us properly and those that are not, what appetites are good and those that are not? Surely, learning how to do this will not only grant us a greater power of discernment in these areas, but inevitably, a greater power within ourselves. To familiarize us with this understanding, we must first examine the phenomenon of "bubbles" in the physical world. You may be asking yourself now, "What on earth does this have to do with our ability to discern between good verses harmful appetites?" I know this may appear strange, but bear with me, the analogy is a good one. I hope to show in part that the physics of bubbles closely resembles some of the attributes and forces of appetite, and knowing this will help us better visualize the abstractions of how appetites work within us psychologically and spiritually.
All of us are familiar with "bubbles," especially soap bubbles. We experience some form of them everyday as we bathe, do the dishes, wash our clothes, and every other form of cleaning we can imagine. We're constantly making bubbles, and generally think they're good things. We're convinced that the more bubbles we see, the better and more powerful the cleansing. And who doesn't like whipped-cream and meringues? All brought to us by the phenomenon of bubbles. Here, bubbles make foods taste better, more interesting and give depths of flavor otherwise impossible for us to experience. It seems that bubbles are constantly a part of our lives.
But there are some bubbles that we speak of metaphorically that are not so good, as in the idea of "living in a bubble" or having our "bubbles popped." This is where bubbles aren't very good for us as they becomes vehicles that isolate us from the real world. As we may know, physical bubbles are the result of some fascinating physics between membranes, surface tensions, and forces of cohesions and attractions. Most simply, bubbles are formed when surface tensions in a liquid are strong enough to hold the space and air whipped up within them. Bubbles exist because of the strength of membranes, and membranes act to separate things from each other. And that's what brings us closer in understanding our appetites.
|When we experience an appetite that is removed from the reality we live in, we should immediately suspect its legitimacy. Appetites that are in a "bubble" or remain in a "bubble," being insulated from reality testing, are generally self-destructive. They act to force a separation between the insides of our world (i.e., the desire of the appetite) and the outside of our world (i.e., the realities of the world around us).||
Appetites generally have a power all their own that defies our immediate understanding. Most of their strength is unseen, in that appetites like bubbles consist of "psychological membranes" whereby their "space of desiring" is kept separate from everything else that we may know. In other words, much like the physics of bubbles and their liquid membranes that act to separate the space within the bubble from the outside world, appetites, too, are kind of like bubbles. They too can be self-insulating and separating, holding their own separate space apart from everything else, wrongly becoming a law unto themselves. And that becomes a grand key for us, helping us to understand the differences between those appetites that are good or healthy and those that are not.
When we experience an appetite that is removed from the reality we live in, we should immediately suspect its legitimacy. Appetites that are in a "bubble" or remain in a "bubble," being insulated from reality testing, are generally self-destructive. They act to force a separation between the insides of our world (i.e., the desire of the appetite) and the outside of our world (i.e., the realities of the world around us). Like physical bubbles, they act to resist anything penetrating from the outside world and work to remain protected and separate from everything around them. But the truth of it is that anything that keeps us from engaging in the bringing of these two worlds (our inner and outer worlds) together is and will be continually harmful. Living in a bubble has never been productive. Thus it is that appetites that are harmful are generally entertained in separate realities all their own, in separate bubbles all their own. They seek to maintain this segregation and are affronted when any incursion is tried.
Unlike unhealthy appetites, healthy appetites in contrast are never separate from anything else. Briefly, they don't have mechanisms to deny the world around us, but seek to become ever more at peace with everything around them. Some examples now given will help make this more clear....
Let's examine some of the appetites of the body again. When food is consumed we should be aware of when we're getting full, paying attention to all the feedback that our body is giving us. Interestingly, when appetite alone is in charge, that's when things get out of balance. That's when we're not listening to the rest of our body, not paying attention to the fact that our stomach is now feeling full and slightly distended, and that our hunger has now abated. That's when we are in the "bubble" of appetite, apart from everything else, continuing to eat for just the pleasure derived. That's when it
|Indeed, there is a parallel and strong correlation between the strength of any pleasurable stimulus and the possibilities of building bubbles around these experiences. When such any appetite is imbalanced and reality-segregating, it can very insulating, destructive, and narcissistic, leading one to look for the satisfaction of pleasurable stimulation alone while disregarding other fundamentals of our psychologies.||
can get dangerous and self-destructive because we've attenuated all other stimuli and have become myopic, concerned only about the pleasure of food itself. See how self-insulating this can become, insulating us from other feelings that we may have, as well as the world around us? This is not a healthy position to be in. Staying too long in this bubble is a means for careless escape to some, emotional avoidance for others.
Indeed, there is a parallel and strong correlation between the strength of any pleasurable stimulus and the possibilities of building bubbles around these experiences. When such any appetite is imbalanced and reality-segregating, it can very insulating, destructive, and narcissistic, leading one to look for the satisfaction of pleasurable stimulation alone while disregarding other fundamentals of our psychologies. In this vein, sex offers the possibility of its own dangerous bubble as well. Sexual attraction can lead to the formation of "lust" only within a self-insulating bubble, denying the realities of everything else around it, including the covenants of marriage, celibacy, and religious beliefs. It can be an appetite that is very alluring and deceitful, promising the fulfillment of things it can never possibly grant. Like all appetites, once sex is allowed to be entertained and exist within a "bubbled-reality," all other realities "outside" are attenuated; their volumes are turned down if not suffocated altogether. This is when adultery becomes painfully possible, when pornography doesn't seem to matter, even when abuse is tolerated. This is when selfishness becomes unleashed and unreigned, as if one is experiencing a break with reality. And, in a sense, they are.... For when inside the bubble, no other reality exists or can be fully experienced. All because the bubble is strong enough to keep every other considerations "outside" its prevue. Moreover, the stronger the potential for pleasure, the stronger the bubble can become.
When within the bubble of "appetite," we become absent from others, building habits of selfishness and egotism which is unlikely in any other personal milieu. If our appetites appear to become self-insulating and narcissistic in this regard, let us beware. If our appetites seem to only comfortably exist when within these bubbles, its best we know that we are being fooled and are living dangerously in such a falsely protected state. These are the hallmarks we should be alerted to. Let us "pop" these bubbles of our own construction to avoid the furthering of their insulation and "test" the appetite with all, not just some, of our faculties. Let us bring our appetites into the full Light of our conscience, lest any possible perversion find foothold within us.
Remember, healthy appetites will stand the light of reason and awareness, and will not want to segregate themselves from other parts of who we are, or from others around us. They should be open to all scrutiny and not resist inquiry from any legitimate quarter.
|Believe it or not, cutoff from the rest of ourselves, cutoff from the fullness of our memory base and past experiences, we may even unwittingly harbor feelings of anxiety, fear, and torment without even recognizing their destructiveness. Indeed, when we are in such "bubbles" we may be so insulated that we cannot call on other important cognitive skills of discernment to understand that the water we're swimming in is polluted, that the appetites we're following are indeed harmful.||
Thus, if an appetite seeks to be hidden from part of us, or to be practiced in seclusion or private, that's when we should become concerned. Apart from a few exceptions (i.e., personal prayer), something's not right to wish to be hidden away from the rest of our eyes, to be protected and encased in such a bubble. Indeed, that's when we should become very suspicious and know that something that may do us harm is afoot.
Because it is the nature of our "psychological bubbles" to be apart and withdrawn from the rest of our worlds, the potential harm that may be inside them may go undetected for long periods of time. Indeed, when we are in such "bubbles" we may be so insulated that we cannot call on other important cognitive skills of discernment to understand that the water we're swimming in is polluted, that the appetites we're following are indeed harmful. In point of fact, if we were more aware, that which we entertain in most of our "appetite bubbles" wouldn't be tolerated for an instant in the real, "un-membraned," "un-bubbled" world where all of our faculties are working. In our "bubbled" world, a lot goes on that we wouldn't protect otherwise. To be sure, a lot that we wouldn't normally want can hide and remains disguised under the cover of appetite and desire. Believe it or not, cutoff from the rest of ourselves, cutoff from the fullness of our memory base and past experiences, we may even unwittingly harbor feelings of anxiety, fear, and torment without even recognizing their destructiveness.
This brings to mind what the Apostle John stated so succinctly. Namely, that "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment" (1Jn 4:18, KJV). Besides the other Principles that he is testifying to, there is great and good psychological instruction here appertaining directly to the topic at hand. Specifically, when appetite is entertained within the insulated confines of a bubble, where realty testing can be assuaged if not suspended, therein "darker things" may become aligned in ways we never knew could be possible, hiding within the "edges" of our ignorance. There is a "fine line" between pleasure and pain, as any physiologist can testify, and within the "edges" of these experiences much can become confused. A little stimulus can be pleasurable, an abundance of same can become painful, yet a feint degree of both can be hard for our perceptual thresholds to understand. If we think about it, and begin to test out our appetites within us, we may find that some of them have an "edge" to them as well, that they are on the edge of becoming "painful" and/or "pleasurable," a gnawing sensation or feeling of need that mirrors hunger but is not so satisfied.
|We needn't put up with it or be persuaded to believe that such borderline feelings are ever a faithful part of us, given to promote our welfare. They are not, but demand that we keep the bubble around them in order that their true realities remain undetected. If we find such a form of appetite within us, with its subtle yet telltale signs of enduring torment and fear masquerading as a goodly desire, let us "pop" this bubble immediately--- for this we can know is wrong, and does not mean us well.||
This feeling can often mimic appetite, or even the desire of something good, being initially experienced as a slight feeling (just a whisper) of anxiety or anxiousness, making us focus on the activity in front of us, demanding more attention from us in the anticipation of its satisfaction. But this kind of anxiousness is not healthy, as it is only a small and almost indiscernible taste of torment and fear—even the beginnings of fear and torment that quietly remain on the darkened edge of our perception, which like a virus, attempts to pass by us undetected. Indeed, a tormenting appetite is the feeling of being in a closed loop from which we cannot escape, being in need of a "fix" every other minute, and never being truly satisfied. This kind of neediness is bullying and naggingly painful. This is what "torment" is all about, namely being possessed by a neediness that can never be fulfilled, perverting the intentions of Heaven for food, sex, productivity, personal welfare and every other appetite to something dark and conspiring. And in this way we can be fooled into believing of a feeling's legitimacy, mindlessly following its compelling directives when in fact it's simply being covertly used by something else.
In all reality, this is the spirit of fear that John spoke about, "because fear hath torment," hiding itself and disguising itself undercover and within these bubbles of appetite, subtly reverberating its odor and influence of ongoing torment, as an appetite that will never be satisfied, driving us unaware to circularly entertain the host appetite again and again, while it silently changes the host appetite to its own malignant design and intention of harm. And in so giving these compounded and confused feelings life and protection, we give the seeds of fear and torment that hide within its folds to rise and grow unabated within us, changing appetites and desires which are normally good and wholesome to things which are perversions of Heaven's original design, continually redirecting our energies to its own commands instead of Heaven's. Now, how deceitful is that?
Knowing this, we should monitor all of our appetites and see if this particular virus has not infected us.... As John reminds us, Goodness has not given us this kind of "torment," of promises that can never be fulfilled or satisfied. Indeed, such "torment" is hated of God. It is not, nor ever has been, of His Spirit, Intention, or of His Psychology. This is good for each of us to know. It's something that we should teach our children so that they may learn to more accurately discern the sweet from the bitter within themselves. Such a feeling of "torment" is deceitful in its activity, starting off small and at first portraying the possibilities of sweetness but is in actuality a portending of bitterness, silently spreading its twisted notion of life throughout us if were not careful, changing the good into the bad, all while hiding under the cover of our bubbles.
Nevertheless, let us not be fooled by the prescriptions of torment, by these deceitful feelings that hide within our appetites, that may arise our wonder and fascination, but promise us little but further destructiveness. Let us not be employed to be their caretakers, or spend the time in fortifying the bubbles that keep them from being openly detected within us. We needn't put up with it or be persuaded to believe that such borderline feelings have ever been a faithful part of us, given to promote our welfare. They are not, but demand that we keep the bubble around them in order that their true realities remain undetected. If we find such a form of appetite within us, with its subtle yet telltale signs of enduring torment and fear masquerading as a goodly desire, let us "pop" this bubble immediately--- for this we can know is wrong, and does not mean us well.
|There was, of course, a time for most of us when these things were known simply and immediately. When we were younger, we knew the differences between appetites that were peaceful and joyful (that had the Spirit of Love associated with them, as per John's admonitions), and those that were laced with feelings of anxiousness and spiritual disturbance. We knew that those things and invitations that carried within them feelings of uncomfortableness were not to be embraced, and instinctually knew to turn away from them.||
We must remember, that that which we entertain in our thoughts, quickly translates into actions, and actions precipitate into habits, and habits solidify into real circumstances. Let us know with assuredness that that which we entertain as "friend" is really a "friend," and not really the spirit of fear and torment who has only come to make us miserable as himself. These feelings and experiences I'm speaking about here are real and can be discerned in everyone of us simply by "popping" the bubbles they appear to be hiding within. Let us test these waters of appetite continuously, exposing them to all of our faculties so that we won't be fooled any further to call "bitter," "sweet," and vice versa. Remember the "fine line." We have been given the power to "pop" any bubble within us. We have been given the power to purge ourselves from the viral activity of fear and torment. That is the first thing we must do in reigning in and controlling any appetite. We are not helpless, but only make ourselves believe that we are....
There was, of course, a time for most of us when all of these things were known simply and immediately. When we were younger, we knew the differences between appetites that were peaceful and joyful (that had the Spirit of Love associated with them, as per John's admonitions), and those that were laced with underlying feelings of anxiousness and spiritual disturbance, those that bordered between pain and pleasure. We knew that those attracting invitations that carried within them the feelings of uncomfortableness were not to be embraced, and instinctually knew to turn away from them.
Even as we grew throughout childhood, we at first shunned the borderline social activities that some openly activated, especially those that carried with them the promises of popularity. It seems that only later in life did we learn to become more myopic, selfish, and self-involved, creating bubbles and walls within walls, to keep the entirety of who we were from knowing of the realities being propagated within us. And only when we had grown used to the bubbles of our making, did we learn to blindly ignore the importance of the rights of others, becoming less sensitive to our conscience and more attuned to the furthering of our own selfish cause. Only under the auspices of the bubbles we created later in life did we learn that "a little danger" could be appealing, exciting, if not enticing. Only then did we learn to turn from blowing bubbles to actually constructing them within ourselves. But all of these things and experiences happened only as we learned to turn away from our hearts and no longer listened to the Spirit as we once did.
We need to remember these simply truths, of how we used to feel and respond to the spirit of torment verses the Spirit of Love back then. Again, these were real feelings and realities for us. We had little trouble in understanding them at that time. We can remember these abilities again. And even if we don't know it now, just look around us----they are real to our children today who have yet to be persuaded to do otherwise. These memories we have of who we used to be, in of themselves, will help us to resensitize ourselves to the perils of the present. Then we will grow to see how we have been fooled into wrongly keeping many appetites self-contained within their own protected bubbles within us----as well as entertaining the viral-like spirit of torment thinking that it was a fundamental part of our appetites and desires when it wasn't.
In this case, knowledge is truly power. And the more we can reexperience these realities, the more powerful our discernments can become, exposing the counterfeits deceitfully presented to us. Lastly, let us remember that we can have these more innocent but astute abilities again by simply regathering those sensitivities through the restoration of those perceptual skills that we had when we were younger. And how do we do this? By following the Winds of the Soul, of course.... and "watch out for the one in your ear!"
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About the Author: Dr. Gregory C.D. Young, Ph.D.(Oxon.) is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuroscientist having been educated abroad where he completed his postgraduate studies at King’s College, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and then graduated and received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He has been in private clinical practice and medical research for over 25 years, being active as an author, popular radio and TV personality, public speaker, and biomedical researcher. An expert in a number of fields including Forensic/Criminal Psychology, Child/Family/Relationship Psychology, and Neuropsychology. He has also served as an expert scientific advisor, product innovator and formulator, and professional consultant to the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries. He is the author of The Winds of the Soul~Heaven’s First Voice To Us, as well as numerous other scholarly papers and works.