Sunday, October 16, 2005

James Bond: Think Another Day

How slow can you think?


It seems there is a new James Bond on the horizon. A fellow by the name of Daniel Craig. Never heard of him before -- but that might be a good thing.

The last James Bond movie I watched was "Die Another Day" (2002) with Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry. I got the ticket cheap.

Do you remember the movie? Early in the show, he is imprisoned by the North Koreans. Two or three years later, he either escapes or is recovered through a prisoner swap. Unlucky for him, M is convinced he gave information to the Koreans. The British are holding him in a medical facility, and it's clear that M won't be playing nice with him.

In order to escape, while laying still on the hospital bed, he begins to slow his heart down. Flashbacks tell us he put his time in the Korean prison camp to good use by teaching himself how to stop his own heartbeat. After a few minutes, be brings his heart to a stop and the monitoring equipment shows that he is flatlining. This triggers an alarm, so the medical staff come running into the room. When they get close enough to him, he hits the doctor, overpowers everybody in the room, and makes good his escape. Whadidya expect?

When I was a kid, I had heard about yogis would could do things like that. They could stop their hearts, then revive themselves hours or even days later. I always thought that was cool. From the age of 13, I wanted to be able to do that. Several decades later, I still haven't figured out how.

So, you would think that I would have been impressed with James Bond having mastered the art of heart stoppery, wouldn't you?

Except I wasn't.

I did find it funny though.

The first reason I found it funny, was because it seemed to have been ripped off of the Flint movies from the 60's with James Coburn. There were at least two: "Our Man Flint" (1966) and "In Like Flint" (1967). The Flint movies were a spoof of the Bond films. What was kind of funny to me was that Derek Flint, the American answer to Bond, could stop his heart at will. And he had a funky little watch gadget that would somehow help him reactivate his pulse at a pre-determined time. At one point, I think he used it to survive a gas attack. He stopped his heart so he wouldn't breathe poison. So here was Bond ripping off Flint, who was spoofing Bond. That's a little funny.

But what I thought was a *lot* funny was the fact that Bond went to such trouble to make his ECG machine register him flatlining.

I could never figure out why he would need to make his heart stop. I don't know much about medical equipment, but I would have thought he could just reach up and lift the sensor off of his chest -- then eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee -- flatline!!

And, if that wouldn't do the trick, there still must have been a simpler way involving tampering with the equipment.

C'mon, JB. Stopping your heart? Was that really necessary?!

And the third thing that made me laugh was the thought that even the great James Bond overcomplicates things from time to time.

Well, maybe it's a pattern of thinking that just wiggles its way in after all those years of having to escape from so many of Dr. Evil's diabolical and murderous schemes.


Anyway, I didn't learn to stop my heart. Heck, I'm not sure if I can even slow it down a little. (Beyond what I can do by just sitting still, or laying down to sleep.)

What I did learn, however, is to slow down my mind.

That is a good thing. It's not too hard, really.

But it takes practice. It's really a matter of learning to become calm. Learning to let go of things.

My shoulders used to be too tight. I have made many visits to the chiropractor because of tension. I used to be stressed and worried almost all the time.

Now, I try to make a practice of relaxing and slowing down my mind several times a day.

This is something I have been practicing for quite awhile now, and it has helped tremendously.

This is something you can do for yourself. If you haven't already tried it, please do so now.

Learn to slow down...

Your mind.

Slow it down...

Try to make it...



Blogger Kelly said...

I think the best movies are the ones that allow you to slow down your mind a bit, like 80's John Carpenter flicks or anything with Jet Li. Using your mind all the time is for people who want to show off, or people who are insecure about it.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Imperium child said...

He might have had to slow his heart down because the monitoring equipment was outside the room?? It is a high tech installation, I'm not having a go but just offering answers. And does slowing your mind down really help with tension in your shoulders?? I've had terrible pains in my back during exam periods before. I suppose though that slowing my mind down during the exams would be foolish.... hmmm

3:42 AM  
Blogger Phil Plasma said...

i think you already know that i can be especially slow. hopefully i can speed up as an atc. tks for the damus comment.../'

5:08 PM  
Blogger Copernicus Now said...

Now I am wondering if the ECG equipment actually was outside the room. I am going to try to rent the movie sometime soon, just to check.

If that turns out to be true, I will find it very funny. Particularly, in light of my little rant.

I'll be sure to post my findings.

(I'm sorry Mr. Brosnan, sir...I thought I was so smart...)

I don't suppose I can guarantee that slowing down your mind will automatically result in less tense muscles, but I can say with some confidence that it can play a role.

Clearly, there are other issues, like posture, work habits, physical problems, etc., that also play a role.

In my case, I practice mind slowing techniques like following the breath in a more or less meditative way. I also practiced relaxation using biofeedback. And I do some light stretching of the neck and shoulders.

All these things work very well for me.

The mind slowing and relaxation techniques complement each other nicely for me. Doing one usually leads to the other. So if I am having trouble with one, I usually try the other.

8:15 PM  

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