Eating barbecued iguana

by Jon Sullivan - 2022-10-20 - Jonism

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Your lizard brain tells you you need more food, sex, drugs, attention, thrills/sloth. Just more. Until you get enough to reach comfort.

But your lizard brain only makes you fat and drunk and empty. Because by doing lizard brain stuff you are just pressing a lever over and over to get another drip of endorphin. Another craving satisfied. Even though the previous thousand drips led you in a circle. Desire, do, enjoy, lose interest, desire, do, enjoy, lose interest. Just sitting there. Pressing the lever. Finding a bucket to poop in so you can sit closer to the lever. And thus living in comfort. Press the lever, get comfort. Press the lever, get comfort. Press the lever, get comfort.

And you live in comfort, but also you also live in a sewer. Just you and your lever and your overflowing poop bucket.

I remember so much comfort in my hobbit hole. I remember doing lizard brain stuff. And doing and doing and doing. Alone with all my comforts. Locking out the anxiety and responsibilities and risks and world. But never dealing with the sewer of guilt and self-loathing. I'd let my lizard brain talk me into a comfortable sewer. It was a utopia of emptiness. A mouse utopia. A behavioral sink. Doing and never being.

I don't judge. Others have had battles and scars I can never really know. Sometimes a comfortable sewer is the best you can hope for. I know I'm spoiled and privileged. And for a long time it was where I was stuck, and could be again. I know as an American I'm always a few random choices or events away from homelessness or prison. I don't judge. I know some scars can never heal, some circumstances make food, sex, drugs, attention, thrills....... comfort..... impossible. Or the best one can manage. I don't judge. And like Jesus I don't like hypocrisy, so I'm mindful that it took me decades to see the lizard who was my constant companion for the fucker he is. But I don't judge, I can't.

Now I needed to leave the comfort, because the sewer just overtook it. I dug my hobbit hole so deep I eventually came out the other side. I confronted the guilt and replaced it with forgiveness. I looked deep into the self-loathing and replaced it with understanding. I lost faith in my lizard brain and it's promise of comfort. I replaced comfort with virtue - Courage, wisdom, egalitarianism, moderation. I traded comfort for risk. I traded comfort for joy. I traded comfort for fellowship. I traded comfort for adventure. I traded comfort for a future. I traded comfort for being. I traded comfort for gratitude. I traded comfort for all the wonderful things outside my sewer. I traded comfort for..... a real life, and real being.

The lizard brain still chirps it's siren song. The lever is still packed away somewhere. But there is no poop bucket. Not anymore.

This is the new Jon.

[editor's note - Obviously I spent some time trying to convince Jon to just return this indulgent and slightly troubling whimsy to the bit bin. But apparently it's "an important creative work" which somehow makes it a special flower or something. I was able to pry out the admission that it's just the typical musings that run through his mind when he overthinks things. And it's basically all bullshit. (my words, not his) So don't read too much into it. Let's allow him the occasional mental circle jerk.]

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