Thursday, 1 November 2018


From childhood the Sugar Demon has been my close familiar.

Kinesiology demonstrated clearly to me that sugar was responsible for adversely affecting my adrenals.

As a person, I am flimsy and quiet, somewhat like a net curtain in a breeze, loose and vague. Well, sometimes. I can also be like a blowtorch, if focus and attention are required.

All my life, I used sugar to override the exhaustion of my energy. When people frightened or upset me, I used sugar to regroup. For all adrenal challenges — fear, discouragement, weariness, timidity, shock, threat — I used sugar. 

Our the last few years, by a combination of skilful means, I have addressed this. I rarely eat sugar now. The axe that finally broke the link was frankincense, which dealt with sugar's addictive power. It arrested the Sugar Demon. I was very grateful.

In the process, I uncovered an absolute morass of buried emotions stuck in the tissues of my body. Little by little I have been releasing them into the wild. As a result I am calmer and more effective.

But once the Sugar Demon was laid to rest, I discovered something that both did and didn't surprise me. The Buying Demon and the Sugar Demon are close relatives. Well, you knew this and so did I. We read of "retail therapy" and "compulsive spending" and "consumer society"; but knowing something intellectually and hypothetically is entirely different from looking it in the face inside your own soul so that you can delineate its features and read the look in its eyes.

I began to be able to intercept myself trying to patch an inner pain by purchasing something nice. The Sugar Demon makes that worse, of course. Because the Sugar Demon doesn't say, "Eat sugar now"; it says, "Ooh, wouldn't it be fun to have a party?" or "Gosh, it's ages since we went out for afternoon tea!" It represents its desires as fun or relational or happy. It keeps quiet about the crash and the tiredness and the gradually ebbing of energy until bed is the only option, chronically.

So if the Sugar Demon has its wicked way, whooshing a person along on its roller-coaster rides, purchases are often part of the reckless and headlong careering.

I have found that, like the voracious seagulls that queue behind the crows to steal their food, the Buying Demon stands invisibly behind the Sugar Demon. It is what Taoists call the Second Mountain. You see a mountain in the distance that is your mountain to climb. You set out on your journey, and you climb the mountain. Only when you have conquered the ascent and stand at the summit do you see the second mountain, hidden by the first. And that's the mountain you have to climb.

The pursuit of simplicity is a walk through many hills.


Rapunzel said...

Hi Pen,
Sugar lights up the happy parts of the brain. We are hardwired to like sweet foods because breast milk and fruits are sweet and very nutritious.

Hunter-gather activity also lights up the happy parts of the brain and basically that is what shopping is. It's part of caring for our tribe and being prepared for expected needs and for the unexpected ones that tend to crop up. It feels very satisfying.

So when you eat a sweet or stroll through the shops or peruse online sellers you're taking control of your own brain chemistry in a very instinctive way.

Humans never do anything without a reason, but sometimes the reasons are not obvious ; )

Pen Wilcock said...

That certainly makes sense! Our primitive selves may still be unprepared for the modern world — like whats-her-name in "I am 16 going on 17" (Totally unprepared am I, for a world of white sugar and mass-production) x

Pen Wilcock said...

Er — as in The Sound of Music in case you re bewildered.

Sandra Ann said...

The video made me smile thanks for sharing!

Pen Wilcock said...

Heheh — yes — memories!!

Rapunzel said...

I knew who you meant without even checking the link, that's how American Musical obsessed my family is.
When the kids were little and we'd all gone to bed,(and they thought I was asleep) James would whisper to Rebekah in the next room "Hey Beck, are you awake?" and she would be. She would slither, rolled in her blankets, into his room and settle herself on the floor by his bed, snug as a bug in a rug. Then they would start singing, starting with children's church songs usually, and proceeding on to every song from every musical they ever saw until finally they would fall asleep singing.
It was magic.

So back to the subject....yeah, our brains haven't quite kept up with "progress", the hunt is much easier and the food much sweeter than it once was, so easier to overindulge foodwise, but also with the getting of objects since half the pleasure is in the hunt, rather than the having.
It's a puzzlement.

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh my goodness, I can just imagine those kiddies singing all their songs — what a perfect way to end the day, what a brilliant way to go into your dreams! I love it!

Buzzfloyd said...

Rapunzel said what I was thinking.

I've found that if I get the urge to eat something sweet or to buy something, I need to stop and consider why I have this urge and whether it will be OK to act on it or will lead to a problem. With the sugar, it's usually because I don't have the wherewithal to do what the day is asking of me and I'm trying to boost myself to be able to cope. I usually will have a small sweet thing to give me the energy to get together food that will be more nourishing so that then I will be able to manage.

With the buying urge, it's more complicated. Sometimes it's obsessive behaviour, and I've learned to walk away and see if that thing still seems quite so must-have after a period of time when I'm no longer in the obsession zone. Things sit on my Amazon wish list for years before I decide to buy them. And sometimes I really would have liked them during the window of time I consider them, but then they cease to be relevant anyway.

Sometimes it's actually because I have energy for once and my brain is looking for what I might do with it. So I usually try to do some housework or something creative, because it means my brain is capable of doing busy thinking at that time. There can be other reasons, but those two are the big ones.

Suzan said...

I love the story of the children singing themselves to sleep. My girls are into musicals and now the participate in them for fun. We used to have shows on a regular basis but I don't remember them singing to sleep.

I am a sugar addict. I am fine until I eat carbs and away I go.

Pen Wilcock said...

Buzzfloyd — that sounds like you have worked out a really sensible, self-aware, thought-through strategic set of responses!

Suzan — Yes, I love that story, too x

Anonymous said...

This post is very topical for me! ;)
Thanks Pen x

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello! May you be peaceful. May you be well. x

Rebecca said...

Is that last sentence an original? (Brilliant, no matter which!)

Pen Wilcock said...

Did it just come wandering out of my head unprompted, you mean? Why, yes. x

Julie B. said...

May I ask more about the Frankincense? How many capsules do you take? Have you noticed a reduction in blood sugar numbers? (I looked at the link). Or just a departure of cravings? Tell us a bit more when you can... xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello my friend.

My whole way of looking after my health is in every respect different from the mainstream methods, so numbers don't come into any of it really. Right from when I first started having frankincense, it was like cutting the addictive thread. I now only have any added sugar at all if I go to someone's birthday party or there's a special meal at church or something — and in the past, that would always be a kind of falling off the wagon, after which it would take me two months to stop eating sugar daily. But now, I can make those occasional exceptions and that's all they are. If you're interested about my health journey, which relies heavily on nutrition, I'll email you. x