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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The difficulty of Belief Changing

If we never change our Beliefs, we imply our own un-educability. And even to state a Belief, to declare that we have over-reached the facts and hang by an unsupported limb, is to pronounce the fact that we are inclined to be un-educable. Now, is there any difficulty among men and women greater than the prospect of changing their Beliefs? I have seen people face starvation, death and pestilence, heroically, and with ingenuity. Yet, when face-to-face with the FACT that a central long-held Belief is not true, a Believer will die before changing that Belief.

After a Holiday feast, I was thinking about tryptophan -- the "drowsy Turkey" amino acid humans use as an essential building block in protein biosynthesis, and as a precursor for compounding Serotonin, Niacin, and apoptotically, Auxin (a phytohormone which we share with plants, and which plants use to convert stems into flowers(!).) It is true that the Tryptophan uptake across the blood-brain barrier may increase, and once inside the central nervous system, tryptophan is converted into serotonin which is further metabolized into melatonin, the circadian mother of sleep, in the pineal gland under normal enzymatic pathways. Still, is there a tryptophan trigger? The pineal is not the only source of melatonin. For example, peripheral cells such as bone marrow, and skin produce it, and it can even be ingested directly.

I convinced myself that the marginal tryptophan in the turkey was not likely to be a significant Cause of drowiness, in spite of my Belief that it might be. And after eating the Turkey, there I was nodding off. Was my pineal gland, the size of a grain of rice, triggered into melatonin manufacturing mode? Or was I getting drowzy because I had the naked, unsupported Belief, that turkey would induce drowziness? Sleep slipped into my quandary.
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