Author Topic: Preparing THE MIND; conditioning for hard times  (Read 770 times)

Socrates

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Preparing THE MIND; conditioning for hard times
« on: September 19, 2016, 06:59:21 PM »
I just happened across this Survivorman episode in Papua and there was one thing that really caught my eye:
The people forage CONSTANTLY. Apparently there's just not enough food in the jungle that they can afford to have 'forage times' or something or that they can count on what they grow.
It got me thinking...

We are all so used to walking over to a shop or supermarket WHENEVER THIS IS CONVENIENT FOR US but, obviously, that could all drastically change. And then, will you HATE YOUR LIFE...?


There's psychology and conditioning involved. I will offer a personal experience i had long ago to illustrate:
I was 23 and headed off into Turkey, quite unprepared. I was stuck in the middle-of-nowhere and i had no idea about what i was going to eat. That part KINDA worked itself out, but one of the funny things was how i BALKED at doing my laundry. I was on my own for the first time without mom or laundrymat so i had to get down to the stream and do the hard work. It wasn't that the work was too hard, my biggest problem was that i found it demeaning and a waste of time! I HATED DOING IT! So of course i procrastinated, it made me grumpy and things could have gone a lot better.
I remember this experience to this day (and that was 1987).

I think there will be a lot of other things people could and SHOULD be doing in survival situations that they just aren't up to emotionally, psychologically and habitually. And i think these are things we'd be better off dealing with NOW...

I have more thoughts and examples on the matter if anyone's interested in talking about this subject beyond the comfort zone...
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Socrates

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So you're stuck in a cave for a long time...
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2016, 10:19:20 PM »
@ psychology post here the matter of the importance of comfort foods is briefly discussed. Well, we all see soldiers in Vietnam war movies trading or giving away chocolate... Somebody at the war dept. must've thought that was a good idea, probably based on centuries of warfare...

@ my Sarajevo war survivor post the value of things like soap and toilet paper is discussed.

I myself have considered such matters and even made certain investments to safeguard (my) sanity in case of a protracted stay underground (as many authoritive sources suggest may be necessary). Like:
- i have a pedal-powered generator that can produce up to 220 V power
- multiple musical instruments
- an MP3 player (that can be charged with the aforementioned generator)
- a whole library that also contains numerous novels

Well, let's be honest... We're talking TEOTWAWKI here and there's really no point in being politically correct or anything as far as i'm concerned, so...
I've done my time, spending a year and a half in a GERMAN prison... [yeah, the same fascist mofos that caused both world wars...]. BTW, it was for a victimless crime [yeah, you know what i'm talking about...]
Anywho... I learned a few things from that experience that relate to the matter of being stuck in a confined space with few options.
For one, COMPANY is a big deal. So (like i said before), if you don't have others at least get a dog. (If at all possible [thinking food!], get at least a male and a bitch.) You need someone to talk to; a dog may not answer back in words but it's still another living being [even a fellow mammal].

Brew...
I know, i know... This culture frowns on the consumption of alcohol [it's SO politically correct]. But alcohol is just another fuel for the body [like carbs, fats and proteins] in the end. However, it has the added benefit of offering a buzz... And that is not only a morale booster but it physically helps relieve the stress placed on the adrenals for producing sufficient amounts of hormones to alleviate STRESS. You know, the kinda stress you might be experiencing for living underground and just having seen your hold world go to sh!t...
I make my own brew from honey. It's called mead. Not only is it probably extremely healthy but it offers adrenal relief and nutrition. Could i just eat the honey? Of course i could. Not only that, but honey keeps forever [though be aware that many products sold as 'honey' are actually cut with sugar and sugary liquids].


You'll be needing a few candles.
Hey, there's little point in having novels to read if you have no light with which to read them, eh.
That way, as well, if there are multiple survivors in your cave, one of them might read aloud to the others.
Light, as well, gives moral support.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 10:52:39 PM by Socrates »
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Socrates

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The (acceptable) fallibility of your own mind
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2016, 06:21:29 PM »
JimFarmer posted this interesting article on how the Earth's magnetics influence memory and brain function. I could take it more seriously if it didn't base the argument on the mass Earth hypothesis which in my book is a backward notion (since anybody who has seriously looked into the matter must realize all planets are hollow), but i think there's something to take away from it nonetheless.

We must prepare for the eventuality that our brains are NOT functioning optimally in times of crisis. Just to begin with, the brain works best on carbohydrates for energy and these are the first to go in times of starvation and want; then your body is either burning up fat reserves or muscle tissue. (This is why i have become interested in meat as a survival source of food, for when your diet contains little or no proteins, your body starts cannibalizing it's own. Is pet food a cheap option, you think?)
Burning fat may sound good to anybody who's overweight but you are not in ketosis yet [i.e. the state in which your body has switched to burning fats] and there is a transition period; now that roughly coincides with the time your body runs out of glycogen reserves [the sugars stored in blood and tissues] and need not be too big a problem, but in many cases this is a period of
- physical weakness or irratic energy
- mental unrest, causing sensations of confusion, irratability, doubt, paranoia or depression
- lower physical and mental activity
And those might just be the moments during which you need to respond quickly, judiciously and decisively!

I have kinda spent my whole life testing the limits of diet and circumstance and can tell you from experience that one makes really stupid mistakes that later make one think: How the hell could i have been so stupid?!; and though it may be culturally or politically correct to feel guilt or remorse, there are often causes for stupidity that have nothing to do with character, will power or such things.
The brain is an organ that has specific needs and your body in general, too, has mechanisms that help you cope on a day-to-day basis, mechanisms that can fail; i'm thinking of hormones here, like the ones produced to help one deal with stress. Your body can run out of the building blocks for making (enough) of such hormones (and other necessities), like it's needs for fats for building hormones or for lithium for building the hormones (in the adrenals) for dealing with stress.
(Your body can make all fats out of sugar, but are you getting enough of that in a survival situation...?)

What can you do today?
First of all, you should be real and accept that your judgements and considerations will likely be flawed in a crisis situation. You aren't superhuman and just because you may not be at your best at every moment doesn't mean that you deserve to die or something [or be punished for your sins or what not]. Having accepted that you can't always be in charge of all of your mental faculties, you can then go on to accept the need for PROPER PLANNING AND PREPARATIONS TODAY. In other words, it's not just necessary to plan well to be prepared against shortages and crises, you must also plan to deal with your own likely failings. And that means having rules, principles and guidelines to follow WTSHTF, like:
- already have a location in mind where you will head to
- having people to share this time with, i.e. so you are not alone during this period
- have a stock of not only enough food, specifically carbohydrates, but also comfort foods (specifically for this period)
Keeping busy and at least knowing what to do (i.e. following the plans and guidelines to follow that you set up today) will help steady the mind, heart and spirit (as it will those of others and by extension those of the group you are hopefully a part of).


I think the alternative is that people suddenly go all religious, insipid and suicidal, even when they seem quite competent, level-headed and 'intelligent' today.
Give yourself rules to follow and things to do that you decide today that you will adhere to strictly WTSHTF. That's an important aspect of it, for in times of crises people tend to change the rules; you must not, however, change the rules you yourself have set up for yourself after years of preparation and careful consideration; accept during the crisis that your judgement is likely impaired and trust in the preparations and plans that you make today. Accept today that you will need to accept this in the future.

(Tests have been done with twins to see how their brains work on different diets and it turns out that the twin eating carbohydrates does much better mental work than the other. Carbohydrates offer a quick and easy way for the body to access energy, specifically for the brain. The body can and does turn fats and proteins into glycogen that the brain can burn, but the process is less efficient and takes extra time. In the end it just means that the brain is offered less energy per second, as it were. You still function and you may not be aware that the functioning of your brain is less than optimal but there it is. Best to just accept it and deal with this physical fact of nature accordingly.)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2016, 06:40:58 PM by Socrates »
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