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April 17th, 2018
ANS stands for Autonomic Nervous System
It’s an ancient system embedded deep in all our brains. Before our species had personalities, we had Autonomic Nervous Systems. Personalities, curiosity, ingenuity… all that stuff came later. The ANS controls all the things that keep us alive that we don’t have to think about: heartbeat, respiratory rate, pupillary response, and that massive winding digestion system.
It keeps you alive while you do other things.
It keeps you alive while shit happens.
No matter the difficulties of life – as long as they are not fatal to the body – The ANS keeps you going, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you feel down, blue, in the dumps, and even when you feel like dying.
The ANS was rigged up to ignore you and your sometimes counter-productive thoughts. It’s a system with a built-in faith for who you’ll be tomorrow. Faith in what you might do when the storms of emotion pass, when the torrents of feeling are tamed, when calm and clear thinking begins to trickle back into our consciousness.
Through everything, the ANS is there for you. Making sure that the machine keeps working. Even when you don’t feed that body properly, or exercise it, the ANS does the absolute best it can with what it’s got
While old ways of thinking and being slowly fade, as we slowly build a new perspective, the ANS sustains us. So many religious traditions have settled on this idea of the spirit – an eternal essence of a person that transcends the flesh. If anything, it’s the other way around. As we become better, older, wiser versions of our self, the body sustains us through that – often painful – transition.
Life support, until that part of our brain where our personality rises from is ready again for that first breath of fresh air. That glimpse of a better life.
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