Body Shaker

It is easy, though incredibly naive, to reduce the effects of alcohol to the intellectual plane. It is clear as day that drinking affects the way that we think. Our inhibitions are lowered; our capacity for reason is retarded; all at the same time, our ideas become unreasonably clear and inextricably confused. Alcohol’s greatest virtue and greatest danger is its ability to affect our mental processes.

But we recognize the effects of alcohol most markedly in their physical manifestations. Our cheeks flush. We stagger. We slur our words. Our physical coordination fails us. Even as alcohol robs the mind of its greatest power (reason), it robs the body of it’s purely animal capabilities.

Descartes wrote “I think, therefore I am.” But by reducing existence to the intellectual plane, he initiated an entire line of thought dedicated to the idea that physical existence is completely ancillary to “real” existence. Humans, however, are both corporeal and spiritual. Recognition of this essential duality is evident in Plato’s scheme to educate leaders both physically and intellectually in The Republic. It is also evident in Homer’s casting of Odysseus as both athletic and cunning.

Because man’s greatness stems from both intellect and physique, the “beer gut” is all the greater shame. Moderate consumption of alcohol may have beneficial effects, both physical and psychological. But excess is dangerous in both directions.

Bone Shaker

Beer of the week: Bone Shaker Brown Ale – This New Hampshire brew from Moat Mountain is orange-brown with a quickly fading head. The aroma is somewhat musty and is a bit reminiscent of Triscuit crackers. The flavor carries on with the cracker notes from the smell. The body of this ale is fairly thin. I don’t think that this is a great beer, but I will certainly drink it again.

Reading of the week: Iliad by Homer, Book XXIII, 653-749 – At the funeral games for Patroclus, “Odysseus of many wiles, he of guileful mind” wrestled to a draw with Ajax, the strongest of the Greeks (except for Achilles.)

Question of the week: To what extent is alcohol consumed for its physical, rather than its psychological effects? Can the two even be distinguished?

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One Comment on “Body Shaker”

  1. mom says:

    A ten-year study conducted at Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that the typical alcoholic for years after recovery experiences symptoms of depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoia and psychosis. Understandably the relapse rates are extremely high. Worse, among treated alcoholics, one of every four deaths is a suicide. This information is found in the July 2016 issue of Well Being Journal which contains an article linking hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) to alcoholism and highlights a recovery system which uses nutrients to feed the brain and ward off the above-referenced negative “feelings” . So the answer is that heavy drinking, anyway, appears to be physiological which I guess means that you can not separate the body from the brain. Anyway, a tool in the recovery arsenal is coconut oil! It’s being used to help Alzheimer patients as well. Apparently, the medium chain fatty acids contained in coconut oil provides brain cells with a quick and easy source of energy without the need for insulin. Cheers


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