The artist-philosopher-scientist is, at bottom, a fetishist – his aesthetic admiration of a set of motifs, of a specific array of objects that he develops an attachment to are the prerequisite to his work. The work then happens as a necessity, not by virtue of itself as a process. It is the way to be fed, and to reach new depths and perspectives of the fetishized wonders.
The attachment to a substance such as this is a form of fashion; it is worn on the personality to flavor the individual. It heightens style and colors all the actions that may or may not derive from it. At the same time, it’s a psychospiritual, or religious experience. The panacea(s) of choice become foundations for stability, comfort, and hope in the world of the individual. The network of attachments ground reality unto itself.
“I’d have coffee, sometimes six cups, along with the shake, and I’d have sugar in my coffee. By then I would be pretty jazzed up, and I’d start writing down ideas.”
I have seen several people happily, sometimes wryly, proclaim their acceptance of their caffeine addiction. Since it’s a functional dependency that facilitates productivity, doesn’t cause illness or degeneration, and is so widely used the conception of “addiction” is entirely different than usual.
“If it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.”
Caffeine protects from cancer by reducing tumor growth and promoting destruction of cancer cells through apoptosis (Jang, et al., 2002; Ku, et al., 2010). Caffeine has been shown to have mild protective effects against allergies and anaphylaxis which are separate from its adrenergic properties (Shin, et al., 2000).
Cholinergic abnormalities are involved in depression and neurodegenerative disease (Riley and Renshaw, 2018) and caffeine releases acetylcholine (Carter, et al., 1995) while also inhibiting the enzyme that breaks it down, acetylcholinesterase (Pohanka and Dobes, 2013). This is of possible alarm to anyone wanting to minimize acetylcholine activity, but what’s interesting is that chronic caffeine consumption also reduces the excitatory effects of acetylcholine (Lin and Phillis, 1990), which I suspect are involved in the depressive or dangerous effects of acetylcholine.
The monoamine oxidase inhibiting alkaloids found in coffee are natural antidepressants (Herraiz and Chaparro, 2006), and coffee’s other compounds are neuroprotective against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and ALS, partly by preventing the accumulation of amyloid-plaques and tau proteins in the brain (Mancini et al., 2018). Trigonelline, in the coffee bean, has brain-regenerating properties (Kim and Lee, 2015). Dark roast is the most potent for the purposes and caffeine alone fails to compare, which emphasizes nature’s holistic integrity.
Coffee helps us meet the daily stress of the industrial world, and its ubiquity symbolizes something more important: that knowledge empowers us to harness such simple things for all our benefit, and the possibilities of this principle are limitless if we can parse through them without the interference of misinformation and corrupt forces.
- Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World by Michael Pollan
- Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us by Murray Carpenter
- “The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee” by Honore de Balzac
- Caffeine Caution: Reconsidering the World’s Favorite Plant Drug
- Coffee Part Trois: Cinnamoylquinides, Endorphins, Immunity, Amplification
- Equal Exchange Organic Ground Coffee, Breakfast Blend
- AmazonFresh Organic Fair Trade Sumatra Ground Coffee, Dark Roast
- David Lynch Coffee, Limited Edition House Blend Organic Whole Bean
- Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee, Black Unsweetened