This is great. But what I’m grasping at is an idea about a subtler goal. This thinking owes a lot to conversations with Manjula Waldron of Ohio State University, an engineering professor who also happens to be a hospital chaplain. This feels embarrassingly Zen-ish for me to spout, being a short, hypomanic guy with a Brooklyn accent, but here goes: Maybe the goal isn’t to maximize the contrast between a low baseline and a high level of activation. Maybe the idea is to have both simultaneously. Huh? Maybe the goal would be for your baseline to be something more than the mere absence of activation, a mere default, but to instead be an energized calm, a proactive choice. And for the ceiling to consist of some sort of equilibrium and equanimity threading through the crazed arousal. I have felt this a few times playing soccer, inept as I am at it, where there’s a moment when, successful outcome or not, every physiological system is going like mad, and my body does something that my mind didn’t even dream of, and the two seconds when that happened seemed to take a lot longer than it should have. But this business about the calm amid the arousal isn’t just another way of talking about “good stress” (a stimulating challenge, as opposed to a threat). Even when the stressor is bad and your heart is racing in crisis, the goal should be to somehow make the fraction of a second between each heartbeat into an instant that expands in time and allows you to regroup. There, I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I think there might be something important lurking there. Enough said.