My 85 Hour Fast

“This is the road by which one mounts to the stars: the road of frugality, the road of self-control, the road of courage.” – Sextius

Those of us born with mars in its domicile are said to be spirited in nature. Did a search on those who have a similar natal chart to my own and discovered there are quite a few athletes who share this aspect. Interesting enough there was also a woman who possessed acting skills much like my own but took it all the ways into the limelight. She also feels strong about social justice issues.

The reason for bringing this stuff up is for the purpose of sharing my spiritedness, which would otherwise appear as boasting. By the gods it would be better to give them the glory than take it for myself; knowing their planetary patterns and circular motions to align with environmental and human affairs is a breath of fresh air. Even now as a middle aged man, in the name of Hercules, I am able to do 12 push ups on each arm; one for each of the Olympic Gods. Mythology expands the horizon despite mankind’s lapse into secularism.

By Jove, I completed an 85 hour fast from food – which began last Saturday evening and ended Wednesday morning – with the exception of coffee and vitamins; also hiked snowy trails for 5 hours each day nonstop except for washroom breaks and some light stretching. My four main seasonal fasts happen to be the most arduous compared to my weekly fasts of 36 hours. Click here for an older blog on my shorter fasts titled ‘After a 36 Hour Fast’.

Such a practice is not without its benefits. Self-control, resilience, frugality and mental clarity help to keep my philosophy grounded. Walk the talk sort of thing. Plus it feels great to take the day off from eating food. Not to mention it’s easy on the wallet.

“What is this now? It is too difficult to refrain from the pleasure of food?” And in the words of Seneca you would hear me respond: “These things are hard to bear when one first begins to abstain; later, the longing subsides as the springs of our desire slacken and fail.” As noted above it truly feels awesome to break from working the digestive system.

Each day that passes the appetite becomes less and less, and you shed weight by the pounds depending on your level of physical activity. This time round my body shed about 10 lbs altogether. Fasting can also help one detect the weaknesses within their body. In my case it happens to be my back. In fact, I took an aspirin during my second day of walking which helped to take the edge off the pain and keep me focused on the task at hand.

When it comes to fasting it’s not all about testing the limits of the body but it’s just as much to do with the mind as well. One’s quality of thought becomes enhanced and sharpened. If something is nagging at you, then it’s easier to cut through it and question its source. Concentration is better and you don’t need as much sleep.

As stated in my former blog on fasting in view to caution, “not everyone has the physical constitution or the appropriate environment for fasting, so it may be prudent to consult a health professional if you wish to learn more about regulating your food consumption.”

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Our Natural Right to Die

“It’s the next thing to cowardice when one merely waits in idleness for death to come… For it matters a great deal whether one is prolonging life or prolonging death.” – Seneca

Mary Rose Barrington was a lawyer who advocated for rational suicide. Her work continues to ripple out into the collective conscious through those who possess a compassionate heart and a love for social justice. An article taken from her book ‘Apologia for Suicide’ first hit my eyes several years ago while reading The Ethics of Suicide (2015)—a fascinating collection of writings taken from a large number of influential thinkers throughout history who expressed various perspectives on the nature of taking one’s life. Continue reading

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We’re Drinking & We’re Dancing

“How can I have any tolerance for people, when I don’t have any for alcohol?”

You find yourself in the bowels of a very large ship at sea that happens to be sinking. All the Gov officials and the well to dos are secured away in their life rafts. Whereas the remainder of the crew scurry to the top deck in order to throw themselves into the freezing cold water in hopes of being saved. Those who remain calm are fully aware that hypothermia awaits them. Continue reading

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Winter Recreation — Let the Good Times Roll

“Just as you are a complementary part of a social system, so too your every action should complement a life of social principle. If any action of yours, then, does not have direct or indirect relation to the social end, it pulls your life apart and destroys its unity.” – Marcus Aurelius

Nothing gives a Sagittarius more enjoyment than being in the great outdoors; surrounded by evergreen trees and traversing the lakes and ponds, always lending an ear to the birds and joining in on their song. From experimenting with the benefits of smartwool to keeping an eye out for potential danger, he remains both free as a gypsy rover and duty-bound as the park warden himself. Moreover, in the spirit of Socrates, with the temperance of Plato and the courage of Aristotle, he remains inclined to pass on his philosophy with any who appear receptive. Continue reading

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Virtue Empowers All

“Principles should not be stored away but readily at hand. We need to be frequently thinking about and dwelling on all such beneficial reminders so that we not only know them but also have them available.” – Seneca, Letter 94.26

The beauty of core principles – that being virtue – is that they provide splendour and orientation for all who participate in them. Whether you are religious or secular, virtue shines for all. Whatever noteworthy accomplishment that has been performed throughout history you can rest assured that it was made possible through the application of virtue in full or in part. Even skills that are in the likeness of virtue are often impressive to the masses. Continue reading

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The Wind Cries Mary

“How do you know when a philosopher is hard at work? When he has to duct tape the arm of his chair.”

The picture above was taken last summer at my campsite in the woods. Unseen in this image are a lot of flies, thus my reason for the mosquito mesh. It beats using fly repellent which is not always dependable and can dull one’s sense of smell. When you’re in the forest you need to keep all your senses keen. Fortunately my hearing is highly sensitive which allows me to detect sounds from far away but not so useful when trying to get a full night’s sleep. Continue reading

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As Night & Day Are One

“Constantly observe all that comes about through change, and habituate yourself to the thought that the nature of the whole loves nothing so much as to change one form of existence into another, similar but new.” – Marcus Aurelius

We received about 30 centimetres of snow last weekend. It completely buried my tent, which by some reckoning ought to have been taken down, for there was a snowfall warning in effect that was posted some days in advance. From another frame of reference, I am looking forward to the challenge of excavating it and drying out the contents within. A waste of time says the city-slicker but a practical learning experience for the naturalist. Continue reading

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Back in Black

“Experience cannot be accounted for by simply confining it to a conceptual category. Its ultimate ambiguity is that it is simultaneously knowable and unknowable.” – Stephen Batchelor

My short lived fiesta has brought me fresh realization. The more we venture into solitary activities the greater our need for human contact, and vice versa it seems, for throwing ourselves into the hustle and bustle of human strife brings about a strong desire for being alone. Locating that middle ground between these opposites might be a delicate process but really it’s to each their own. Continue reading

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The Great Gig in the Sky

Jordan Peterson, Elon Musk and Justin Trudeau walk into a holodeck bar on the dark side of the moon. They each order a shot of sobriety and drink it down at once. Then they decide to make alterations to the default settings of the establishment. Jordan Peterson says wouldn’t it be great if we could plant the Tree of Good & Evil in the middle of the dance floor! Your wish is my command says the computer and immediately manifests the changes. Justin Trudeau tears off a leaf from the tree and rolls it into a joint. Elon Musk smokes it and comes up with a way to govern the people of planet earth from afar. He attempts to persuade his comrades by way of speech: Continue reading

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On the True Good

“All those who put pleasure in the highest position judge the good to be an object of the sense. We, on the other hand, who assign the good to the mind, take it to be an object of the understanding.” – Seneca, Letter 124.2

There can be no greater joy than that which stems from wisdom. No sensual pleasure can compare with the liberation of what it means to truly care. No fleeting impulse to adequately contrast the sentience of being fully aware. Neither city nor structure stands firm without excellence of mind. We are a bridge once called mankind. Continue reading

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