Tag Archive | well-being

How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul*

How to Resist From a Place of Love: Self-Care for the Long Haul*

By Colin Beavan

There is a heated conversation in some activist circles that goes like this: Should our work draw strength from fear and anger or from a place of love and compassion? I have heard people say that if we stop being angry and start being loving, we would be letting the culprits off the hook. We would be blinding ourselves to the bad things happening and—in indulging our nice feelings—forget to help those endangered.

In workshops I give to help activists and concerned citizens cope, there’s an experiment I use that addresses this. It goes like this:

Conjure up all the fear and anger you have about the world and the politicians from the other side and the scandals and the targeting of those least able to defend themselves. Probably you’ll get a physical sensation. Where is that sensation? For most people it is in the throat and top of the chest. Now, imagine that you are powering your voice from there and that you are shouting at a march or speaking to an elected official. Try speaking from there right now, out loud. How long could you sustain it? Do you get the sense that before long you would go hoarse?

Next, imagine the love you feel for nature and the compassion you feel for those who need help. Now ask yourself where in your body the physical sensation is. For many, the feeling is located just below the naval. Now try to power your voice from that place, speaking out loud again. How long could that energy last?

If you are anything like me, you might get the feeling you could go forever.

And that is the thing about fear and anger versus love. Regardless whether the other side “deserves” anger, we must sustain ourselves for the work ahead. Can we actually go on forever with a blaming mentality, or will our work be better served by love? Our vision for the world is more likely to be achieved if it is grounded in compassion and love.

Recently, because so many people in my community were anxious and exhausted after the election, I held a workshop called “The Long Haul: Wisdom for Activists and Concerned Citizens.” The goal was to search for an attitude that would help us continue to work steadfastly toward a fair, compassionate, just, safe world without burning out.

There were nearly 40 of us. Some were seasoned activists alarmed by the bottom dropping out of all they thought they had achieved. Others were formerly disengaged citizens woken up by the election. Others were just concerned citizens, tired of being isolated behind their computer screens with all that worried them.

Here are three exercises we did.

Witnessing each other’s good work and giving thanks

We walked around the room introducing ourselves to each other, briefly recounting actions we had taken, like visiting elected officials or going on marches. Each of us attempted to really listen, then offered heartfelt thanks and hugged or touched each other’s shoulders or squeezed each other’s hands. This exercise helps change our view of the world from a dangerous, hate-filled place to a loving, hope-filled place. Keeping our focus on the good in the world helps many of us sustain our work.

Owning our complicity in the world’s problems

In groups of four, we each owned aspects of our own personal responsibility for the problems in the world. We talked about how we used fossil fuels even as we condemned the fossil fuel industry. We talked about how we had never bothered to take note of the 3 million to 4 million deportations that happened each year prior to Trump.

Bringing the world’s problems home and owning our part in them allows us to dissolve the imaginary monsters we see in Trump voters and people whose ideas differ from ours. Owning our complicity allows us to see ourselves in and have compassion for those we blame. We get to see that all of us—all of us—get caught up in deluded thinking and actions.

Create a positive vision rather than react to negative events

Next, we took turns in pairs telling each other our visions for the world. We each talked not about what we wanted to resist but about what we wanted to create. We talked about the clean air and water that comes with renewable energy. We talked about the resilient communities that come with racial and economic justice. We talked about the capable children that come with good schools. This provided us with a sense of agency and defined the good things we wanted for the world.

After the workshop, I was heartened to see how the energy in the room had lightened. People seemed inspired to carry on.

“I realize I have been clinging to my anger and my need to make someone else wrong with more energy than I have been trying to figure out how I can do what’s right,” someone said.

The point of this kind of work is simply not to let ourselves sink so deeply into our own despair that we can no longer act to combat the suffering of others. Caring people need to take care. We may have to find ways to put aside our unsustainable anger and fear in favor of our endless reserves of love and compassion.

Source*

Related Topics:

Why do we Hate?

Radical Kindness: Inspiration from a Fearless Rebel*

The False Alien Threat to Be Used to Keep Populations in Fear*

U.S. Students form Protective Wall around Praying Muslim Classmates*

Singing Your own Song – A Source of True Joy and Belonging*

Charlie Chaplin’s Final Speech in the Great Dictator*

As I Began to Love Myself…*

The Delusion ‘I Am Not Responsible’*

This Man Riddled their Mosque With Bullets, now They’re Forgiving Him*

Are You Awake? Or Just Informed*

It’s OK, I Didn’t Know How To Meditate Either*

 

Proper Movements in Muslim Prayer can Reduce Lower Back Pain*

Proper Movements in Muslim Prayer can Reduce Lower Back Pain*

Five times a day, roughly 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, bow, kneel, and place their foreheads to the ground in the direction of the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as part of the Islamic prayer ritual, the Salat. According to research, the complex physical movements of the ritual can reduce lower back pain if performed regularly and properly.

According to research at Binghamton University, State University of New York, the complex physical movements of the Islamic prayer ritual, the Salat, can reduce lower back pain if performed regularly and properly.

Five times a day, roughly 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, bow, kneel, and place their foreheads to the ground in the direction of the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as part of the Islamic prayer ritual, the Salat. The ritual is one of the five obligatory elements of the faith set forth by the holy book, the Qur’an.

According to research at Binghamton University, State University of New York, the complex physical movements of the ritual can reduce lower back pain if performed regularly and properly.

“One way to think about the movements is that they are similar to those of yoga or physical therapy intervention exercises used to treat low back pain,” said Professor and Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Department Chair Mohammad Khasawneh, who is one of the authors of “An ergonomic study of body motions during Muslim prayer using digital human modelling.”

While the research focused specifically on Islamic prayer practices, similar movements are also found in Christian and Jewish prayer rituals along with yoga and physical therapy.

The paper was published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Working with Khasawneh, an interfaith team of Assistant Professor Faisal Aqlan from the Department of Industrial Engineering at Penn State Behrend, Assistant Professor Abdulaziz Ahmed from the Business Department at the University of Minnesota Crookston, and Performance Improvement Consultant Wen Cao from the Department of Operational Performance Improvement at the Peninsula Regional Medical Center were all co-authors of the paper. All three are alumni of the Industrial and Systems Engineering doctoral program at Binghamton University.

“Physical health is influenced by socio-economic, lifestyle and religious factors. Moreover, studies indicate that there is a strong association between prayer and vigilance about maintaining a physically healthy lifestyle,” said Khasawneh.

“Prayer can eliminate physical stress and anxiety, while there is also research that indicates prayer rituals can be considered an effective clinical treatment of neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction.”

Researchers analyzed statistics based on the movements of computer-generated digital human models of healthy Indian, Asian, and American men and women, and models with lower back pain.

The group found that the bowing portion is the most stressful on the lower back, but for individuals with low back pain, using proper knee and back angles during the ritual can reduce pain. The angles are based on individual body shapes.

“The maximum compression forces created during prayer postures is much lower than National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) safety limits, and the movements can be safely considered a clinical treatment for low back pain, as it requires different movements of the human body on a regular basis,” Khasawneh said.

“Based on the pain level, a combination of back and knee angles can be identified.”

For those with back pain, maintaining exact prayer postures may not be possible. According to Islamic traditions and practices, if individuals cannot stand, they are allowed to pray seated or laying. If they are able to stand, they should maintain correct postures as much as they can.

CAIRO, EGYPT – JANUARY 30: People pray in front of army tanks in Tahrir Square on January 30, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. Cairo remained in a state of flux and marchers continued to protest in the streets and defy curfew. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid

“The kneeling posture (sujud) increases the elasticity of joints. It is recommended for these individuals to spend more time in the kneeling posture,” Khasawneh said.

According to the research team, using incorrect angles and movements can increase pain. The team also suggested that further study is needed for physically handicapped individuals, those with more extreme body types and women — especially pregnant women — to find the best movements for these groups. The group plans to further validate the findings with physical experiments using sensors and cameras to track the stresses on the individual body parts during the prayer ritual.

Source*

Related Topics:

When a Prayer is Answered with a Test*

U.S. Students form Protective Wall around Praying Muslim Classmates*

Sunnis ,Shi’as Pray for Unity Week after Bombing*

Night Prayer and the Human Body Clock

Qur’an is Wise to Ancient Satanic Conspiracy*

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

The Healing Power of Fasting*

The Real Reason behind Blessing Food*

The Schumann Resonance Rising and Higher Consciousness*

The Schumann Resonance Rising and Higher Consciousness*

The Schumann resonances are oscillating magnetic frequencies that happen in the Earth’s electromagnetic spectrum. They are said to be generated by electromagnetic changes that happen within the earth’s core, that then affect the earth’s surface, and ionosphere, including the sentient beings living upon it. This resonance has been about the same for hundreds, if not thousands of years, but it seems to be changing. Why?

It has been assumed that the Earth, along with all living things on earth, is surrounded and protected with this natural frequency of pulsation of 7.83 HZ, or the Schumann resonance. The ancient Indian Rishis called this sound, OM. Whether by coincidence or not, it also happens to be a very powerful frequency to use with brainwave entrainment allowing human beings to access their full brains, and heightened consciousness.

Though the Schumann resonance can vary dependent upon the geographic location, it has been hovering around 7.8 cycles per second for years. This resonance is thought to be the ‘heartbeat of the earth,’ an oscillating frequency which we ourselves attune to in order to stay in balance energetically.

Gregg Braden claims to have found evidence that HAARP and other weaponized weather is messing with the Schumann resonance, offering that there is evidence in the Seattle library’s archives, and though this has not been verified, many others have suggested that that the Schumann frequency is not only altered to control us, but that we can also alter it, depending on our own level of consciousness.

In 2014, it was considered anomalous for the Schumann resonance frequency to have risen from its usual 7.83 HZ to somewhere in the 15-25 levels.

It looked like this in 2014

It looked like this in 2014

It looked like this in 2014:

This is what it looks like now: http://imgur.com/a/KUnqq Spike in Schumann Resonance in 2017

This is what it looks like now: http://imgur.com/a/KUnqq Spike in Schumann Resonance in 2017

 

There have been peaks to up to 36 HZ in recent days.

You can also track this in real time using the Space Observing System, here.

As the Heart Math institute’s research has revealed by collecting a continuous stream of data from the earth’s magnetic field, there does seem to be a shift occurring in global consciousness, evidenced by changes in the Schumann frequency. You can look at a spectrogram calendar to see the changes for yourself, here.

Moreover, the research suggests that when many people are in peaceful alignment, the resonance changes to reflect that. In other words, we are changing the magnetosphere of the planet with our thoughts and actions. This ‘coherence’ is likely being supported inter-galactically as well.

As NASA details,

“At any given moment about 2,000 thunderstorms roll over Earth, producing some 50 flashes of lightning every second. Each lightning burst creates electromagnetic waves that begin to circle around Earth captured between Earth’s surface and a boundary about 60 miles up. Some of the waves – if they have just the right wavelength – combine, increasing in strength, to create a repeating atmospheric heartbeat known as Schumann resonance. This resonance provides a useful tool to analyze Earth’s weather, its electric environment, and to even help determine what types of atoms and molecules exist in Earth’s atmosphere.

The waves created by lightning do not look like the up and down waves of the ocean, but they still oscillate with regions of greater energy and lesser energy. These waves remain trapped inside an atmospheric ceiling created by the lower edge of the “ionosphere” – a part of the atmosphere filled with charged particles, which begins about 60 miles up into the sky. In this case, the sweet spot for resonance requires the wave to be as long (or twice, three times as long, etc.) as the circumference of Earth. This is an extremely low frequency wave that can be as low as 8 Hertz (Hz) – some one hundred thousand times lower than the lowest frequency radio waves used to send signals to your AM/FM radio. As this wave flows around Earth, it hits itself again at the perfect spot such that the crests and troughs are aligned. Voila, waves acting in resonance with each other to pump up the original signal.

While they’d been predicted in 1952, Schumann resonances were first measured reliably in the early 1960s. Since then, scientists have discovered that variations in the resonances correspond to changes in the seasons, solar activity, activity in Earth’s magnetic environment, in water aerosols in the atmosphere, and other Earth-bound phenomena.”

What NASA does not detail is how human consciousness can interact with these frequencies to change them. The Heart Math Institute calls this global coherence, but it is also known in hundreds of ancient texts as the ‘awakening.’

Additional scientific findings suggest:

  1. The Schumann Resonances are observed by experiment to emerge at several frequencies related to brainwaves. They range between 6 and 50 cycles per second, specifically 7.8 (alpha), 14 (low beta), 20 (mid beta), 26 (high beta), 33 (high beta), 39 (gamma) and 45Hz (gamma), with a daily variation of about +/- 0.5 Hertz.
  2. 83 is the strongest of the seven resonances, in the alpha brainwave range. If the rise in resonance continues, this primary resonance, the earth pulse, changes from sub band low alpha (7-10Hz) to sub band high alpha (10-12Hz), perhaps influencing our ability to deeply relax, balance and integrate our mind/body connection. It could influence REM sleep and dreaming. If it continues to rise, it will breach the threshold into ‘fast’ beta activity. Low beta (12-15Hz) is associated with lack of focused attention, and low beta can even reflect Attention Deficit Disorder.
  3. The amplitude (i.e. intensity) of the Schumann resonance is not constant, and appears to be extremely dependent upon tropical (and hence global) temperature. Indeed preliminary results seem to indicate that a mere one degree increase in temperature seems to be correlated with a doubling of the SR. This could not be more significant, as it is unknown what psychobiological effect these fluctuations could have on humans.

It seems the ‘awakening’ is happening through us, and to us, from within and via ‘external’ influences. Without doubt though the Schumann resonance is changing significantly, what remains to be seen, are the ramifications of these changes.

Source*

Related Topics:

Schumann Resonance Fluctuating Frequency *

Schumann Frequency Resonance of the Earth Has Doubled*

Schumann Resonance of our Being

The Electro-magnetic Warfare on our Consciousness*

Plasma Waves and Obama’s Executive Order Regarding Space Weather Events*

U.S. Air Force to Alter Atmosphere with Plasma Bombs*

Earth Weakening Defences as Veil of Plasma is Discovered

CERN: Connection between Particles and Influenced Human Consciousness*

Cosmic Rays Evolve Consciousness and Transform DNA*

The aql is not Reason – it’s Consciousness*

In the Beginning was/is Consciousness*

Why Food is Actually INFORMATION*

Why Food is Actually INFORMATION*

By Sayer Ji

Despite being the condition for the possibility of all life itself, food is rarely appreciated for its true power. Far beyond its conventionally defined role as a source of energy and as building blocks for the body-machine, fascinating new discoveries on the frontiers of science reveal that food is also a powerful source of information.

We are all hardwired to be deeply concerned with food when hungry, an interest which rapidly extinguishes the moment we are satiated. But as an object of everyday interest and scientific inquiry, food often makes for a bland topic. Nonetheless, food is one of the most fascinating and existentially important topics there is, and in many ways, until we understand the true nature of food, and how it is still the largely invisible ground for our very consciousness, we will not be able to understand our own nature, or our own destiny.

How We Got Here

Modern Western concepts of food are a byproduct of a centuries old process of intense secularization. Food is now largely conceived in terms of its economic value as a commodity and its nutritional value as a source of physical sustenance. In the latter regard, its value is quantified through the presence and molecular weight of macro- and micronutrients or its “fat-inducing” calories. In the process of reducing food’s value to these strictly quantitative dimensions, it has lost its soul. Food is no longer believed to possess a vital life force, much less a sacred one. But the etymology of sacred, namely, to make holy, and the etymology of holy, which connects to heal, whole, health, implies correctly that food has the ability to “make us whole.”

Food as Nourishment on All Levels

If talk of food as “sacred” and “whole-making” sounds pseudo-scientific, consider how Nature designed our very first experience of nourishment (if we were fortunate enough to not have been given a bottle full of formula): breastmilk taken from the mother’s breast was simultaneously a nutritional, physical, thermic, emotional, genetic, and spiritual form of nourishment. Food, therefore, can and should never truly be reduced to an object of biochemistry.

And so, as we dig deeper, we discover that the topic of food is a highly cerebral one. And this begins with any simple act of eating, albeit in a slightly different way. It’s called the cephalic phase of nutrition, “in your head,” which reflects how you are actually experiencing the food: is it delicious? Are you feeling pleasure? These “subjective” aspects profoundly affect the physiology of digestion and assimilation. My colleague Marc David has dedicated many years to waking people up to this amazing process. Food, therefore, begins in a context that transcends merely physiochemical conditions and concerns. The nocebo and placebo effects, which are powerful forces in the setting of clinical medicine, also apply to the field and experience of nutrition. And therefore, it is hard to ignore how this important layer of nutrition: the first-hand experience, and even our intention and level of gratitude, has been lost in the fixation on the chemistry and reductionism of food science.

But the inquiring mind wants more specific scientific answers to the question: how does food makes us whole? How does its arrangement of atoms possess such extraordinary power to sustain our species? Why can’t we answer the most rudimentary questions that go back to ancient times, such as the still timeless mystery and miracle of how the bread is transmuted into blood and flesh?

Perhaps, it is the information (and intelligence) within food that will help explain some of this mystery. After all, information literally means “to put form into.” This understanding will add much needed depth and nuance to conventional nutritional concepts where food is still conceived as a bunch of essentially dead and uninteresting atoms and molecules.

The Old Story of Food as a Thing:

Our concept of food is still generally constrained to the Newtonian view that all things are comprised of atoms, externally related to one another, and built up from there into molecules, cells, etc. The story goes that when we eat things, digestion breaks them down into their constituent parts and our bodies then take these parts and build them back up. This very mechanical, simplistic view, while valid in limited ways, no longer holds true in light of the new biology and science. Along with this view of food as matter, is the correlate perspective, that food can be “burned” for energy and that like a furnace or a car food provides “fuel” measured by calories to drive its engines along. Of course, this is reinforced by nutrition facts labels which make it appear that not much is going on beyond caloric content and the presence or absence of a relatively small set of essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals, defined by their molecular weight.

This reductionistic view of food I will call, in recognition of Charles Eisenstein’s thinking, “the old story of food,” and this narrative focuses on two primary dimensions.

Food as Matter:

If we are looking at the “material” aspects of food, we are looking at the physically quantifiable or measurable elements. You could not, for instance, objectively “measure” taste, as it differs qualitatively from person to person (so-called “subjective experience). And so, nutritional science focuses on what is presumably “out there” objectively, namely, quantities like the molecular weight of a given substance, e.g. 50 mg of ascorbic acid, 10 grams of carbohydrate, or 200 mg of magnesium. In reality, these objective quantities are influenced by the type of measuring device we use — and so, there really are no ontologically pure (i.e. “really real”) material aspects out there in and of themselves. But for the purposes of clarity, let us assume these material aspects are real, independent of the measuring device or person measuring. These material aspects, while providing information, are not considered to be “informational” in the sense of giving off distinct messages to the DNA in our body, altering expression. They are considered part of the physical world, and therefore while providing building blocks for our body, including its DNA, they are not understood to alter or control the expression of the DNA in a meaningful way. Food, therefore, is considered “dead,” and not biologically meaningful beyond its brick and mortar functions in building up the body-machine.

The other primary dimension in this old view is…

Food as Energy:

Energy is commonly defined as the power derived from the utilization of physical resources, especially to drive machines. In this view, food provides the fuel to power the body-machine. Food energy is conventionally defined in chemical terms. The basic concept is that animals like humans extract energy from their food and molecular oxygen through cellular respiration. That is, the body joins oxygen from the air with molecules of food (aerobic respiration), or without oxygen, through reorganization the molecules (anaerobic respiration). The system used to quantify the energy content of food is based on the “food calorie,” “large calorie,” or kilocalorie, equal to 4.184 kilojoules. 1 food calorie is the amount of heat required at a pressure of one atmosphere to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. The traditional way to ascertain the caloric content of a sample of food is using a calorimeter, which literally burns the food sample to a crisp, measuring the amount of heat given off (its caloric content). In order to account for the varying densities of material within a sample, e.g. fiber, fat, water, a more complex algorithm is used today. (alt definition: an amount of food having an energy-producing value of one large calorie)

Again, in this view, food while providing information (caloric content), is not an informational substance in the biological sense (e.g. DNA), but simply a source of energy which can fuel the body-machine.

The New Story — Food as Information:

The new view of food as replete with biologically important information, is based on a number of relatively new discoveries in various fields of scientific research.

For instance, the discovery that food contains methyl groups (a carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms (CH3)) capable of methylating (silencing) genes, brought into focus the capability of food to profoundly affect disease risk as well phenotypal expression. If folate, B12, or Betaine — 3 common food components — can literally “shut off” gene expression with high specificity, food becomes a powerful informational vector. One which may actually supervene over the DNA within our body by determining which sequences find expression.

This discovery of nutrition’s prime role in epigenetics opened up an entirely new realm of research, including the disciplines of nutrigenomics, which looks at nutrient-gene interactions, and nutritional genomics, which looks at gene-based risks that provide individualization of nutritional recommendations. Suddenly, almost overnight, food became infinitely more interesting to geneticists, biologists, and medical professionals, in that it as an information vector it could affect, and in some cases control the expression of the DNA, biomedicine’s “holy grail.”

Food’s role as a source of methyl group donors capable of epigenetic modulation of DNA expression is a powerful demonstration of its informational properties, but this is not the whole story…

Food also contains classical genetic information vectors, such as non-coding RNAs, which like methyl donors, have the ability to profoundly alter the expression of our DNA. In fact, there are estimated to be ~100,000 different sites in the human genome capable of producing non-coding RNAs, far eclipsing our 20-25,000 protein-coding genes. These RNAs, together, orchestrate the expression of most of the genes in the body. They are, therefore, supervening forces largely responsible for maintaining our genetic and epigenetic integrity.

These RNAs are carried by virus-sized microvessicles called exosomes found in all the food we eat (they are secreted by all plant, animal, and fungal cells), and survive ingestion to significantly alter our gene expression. In 2012, a groundbreaking study titled, “Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA, found that exosomal miRNA’s from rice altered LDL receptors in the livers of Chinese subjects, effectively proving cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA exists, and is occurring on an ongoing basis through the food we eat. Another study, this time in animals, found that exosomes in commonly consumed foods, e.g. grapefruit, orange, affect importnt physiological pathways in the animal’s bodies. Essentially, these food components ‘talk’ to animal cells by regulating gene expression and conferring significant therapeutic effects. The ability of exosomes to mediate the transfer miRNAs across kingdoms redefines our notion of the human species as genetically hermetically sealed off from others within the animal, plant, and fungi kingdoms. In this sense, food borne exosomes are the mechanism through which all living things in the biosphere are intimately interconnected, perhaps even adding a new explanatory layer to how the Gaia hypothesis could be true.

Another important though overlooked mechanism through which food components may carry and transfer energy and information is through so-called prionic conformational states (protein folding patterns). Prions have been primarily looked upon as pathological in configuration and effect. A classical example is the beta sheet formation of brain proteins in Alzheimer’s. These secondary protein conformations act as a template through which certain deleterious folding states are transferred laterally between proteins. But prions are not always pathological. For instance, naturally forming prions are essential for the health of the myelin sheath in the brain, and likely perform many other important though still largely unknown functions. So, when we look at the phenomena neutrally, the fact that the conformational state (folding state) of a protein can hold and transfer laterally information essential to the structure and function of neighboring proteins without needing nucleic acids indicates just how important the morphology of food may be. It is possible, therefore, that food, depending on how it is grown and prepared, will have vastly different protein folding patterns which will carry radically different types of biologically vital information. This is another example where one cannot exhaustively assess the value of food strictly through quantitative methods, e.g. measuring how much protein there is by weight, but need also to account for qualitative dimensions, e.g. the vast amounts of information contained within secondary, tertially and quaternary conformational states of these protens.

The “Microbiome of Food” is Full of Information.

Acknowledging the role the microbiome plays in the food we eat further deepens our understanding of food as information. In fact, the microbiome could be considered food’s most profound informational contribution. When we consider the genetic contribution of all the bacteria, fungi, and viruses, naturally found in food (especially raw and cultured varieties), this represents a vast store of biologically meaningful information. Some of this microbial information can even “jump” laterally from these micro-organisms into our body’s microbiome, conferring to us significant extra-chromosomal “powers,” essentially extending our genetic capabilities by proxy. For instance, a recent study identified a marine bacteria enzyme in the guts of Japanese, presumably a byproduct of having consumed seaweed naturally colonized by it. This marine bacteria enzyme is capable of digesting sulfated polysaccharides — a type of carbohydrate humans are not equippped to digest because it is marine specific. This indicates that the genes provided by these microbes represent a genetic library of sorts, whose contributions may vastly extend the genetic capabilities of our species. Indeed, the human genome only contains genetic templates for 17 enzymes, whereas the gut bacteria contains genetic information capable of producing hundreds of different enzymes. And these are capable of degrading thousands of different carbohydrates! There are actually many other capabilities provided by these “germs,” including the ability to produce vitamins (including vitamin C!) and other essential biocompounds. The microbiome of our food could therefore be considered an information storehouse. To learn more about how this ancient information (even millions of years old) is preserved in raw foods like honey, read my article: Could Eating Honey Be A Form of Microbial Time Travel?

Water as an Information Carrier in Food:

Another extremely important element is the role of water in food.  Not only has water been found to carry energy and information, but water has also been identified an instrument of biosemiosis. The water component of food, therefore, could contribute biologically important information — even genetic and epigenetically meaningfully information — without needing nucleic acids to do so.

To learn more about how water has “memory,” and can store and transmit genetic information, read about the DNA teleportation experiment performed by Nobel laurette Luic Montagnier.

As discussed above, conventional food science starts on a completely dehydrated basis, focusing almost exclusively on the ‘dry’ measurable material aspects of the food, or the amount of energy it contains (which ironically requires burning off the water to obtain measurements). All readily edible food is hydrated. Were it not, it would be “dehydrated food,” which is generally not considered ready to eat. As such, we can not talk about biomolecules without considering their hydration shells as integrally and inseparably bound to the “dry” components, e.g. amino acids, fatty acids, sugars. Water has the capacity to carry information and to determine the structuration and therefore functions of the biochemicals and biopolymers it surrounds. Water, which is capable of taking in free energy from the environment (Pollack’s infrared heat), has its own information and energy. This means, therefore, that food qua water content, has the potential to carry relatively vast amounts of information beyond what is found in its material composition itself.

As science progresses, both the quantitative and qualitative elements of water will increasingly be revealed to be vitally important in understanding food as information.

Powerful Implications for the Future of Food and Medicine:

When food is looked upon as a vital source of biologically important information which can inform the expression of our genome, it is much easier to understand how our ancestors considered its creation, production, harvesting, cooking, and consumption sacred.

We can also understand how the seeming poetical relationships between foods and organs they nourish may have emerged, via informational bridges described above (RNAs, Prions, water), making possible their “soul connection.”

Today, with a wide range of industrial farming technologies changing the quality (and informational component) of our food, it is no longer sufficient to look at only the material aspects of these changes. Irradiation, genetic modification, pesticides, soil quality, processing and a wide range of other factors (intention), may greatly alter the informational state and quality of a good without being reflected in overt changes in grosser qualities like caloric and materially defined dimensions.

No longer can we look at the difference, say, between infant formula and breast milk strictly through the material/energetic lens of conventional nutritional analysis. On an informational level, they are qualitati`vely light years apart, even if they have so many similarities in crude nutritional metrics, e.g. similar carbohydrate and caloric content.

This will be true for all areas of food production, and nutrition, where formerly an essentially dead ontology governed the way we understand and interacted with the things we eat. Once we understand the true implications of food as information, our entire worldview will change.

Source*

Related Topics:

Diet and the Sacrifice of Child Potential!

The Real Reason behind Blessing Food*

Canada’s New Food Labels won’t Include GMO Info.*

Mini, Bio-Intensive Farms Providing Organic Food in the Middle of a Seven Year Drought*

Fifteen Foods to Detox Your Body*

How to Get Free Food (and Other P2P Solutions)*

African Women Organize to Reclaim Food Sovereignty*

After Decades of Living in a Food Desert, Locals are Building a $2mn Co-op They Own*

Mineral Deficiency Linked to Every Disease and Sickness*

 

Tribal Parenting – How to Heal Our Children*

Tribal Parenting – How to Heal Our Children*

By Kelly Brogan, MD

Do you wear your baby?

Nurse your toddler?

Sleep in a family bed?

If you do, chances are you’ve been influenced by an obscure little book penned almost four decades ago.

Many of today’s Attachment Parenting principles were first brought to the attention of Western cultures through a slender volume titled The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost. Its author, the late Jean Liedloff, spent two and a half years living with a Stone Age South American tribe, observing them and recording their way of life.

The Yekuana Indians were unlike any people Liedloff had ever encountered. They seemed universally happy and fulfilled. Their children, especially, were remarkably calm and independent. In the entire time she stayed with them, she witnessed no sibling rivalry, no whining, and almost no crying, fussing or tantrums among their infants and small children. She was amazed to see older children and teens confidently performing difficult tasks and making mature decisions, without the defiance or recalcitrance so common in Western adolescents. In her own words: “Amazingly, the children never fought. They played together all day unsupervised, all ages, from crawling, to walking to adolescence. Not only did they not fight, they never even argued. This is not at all what we have been taught human nature is….”

Liedloff observed that in this culture, as in many other indigenous societies around the globe, children were treated very differently than in Western cultures. She began to develop a theory of human social development based on her observations. According to her, every human being is born with an inborn expectation to undergo certain natural social experiences. These begin with being held immediately after birth, and an extended in-arms phase in early infancy.

Liedloff called her theory the Continuum Concept, because she maintained that these experiences should come sequentially (in a continuum), and are necessary for the sustainable continuation of our species. Missing one or more of them, according to Liedloff, can cause an individual to have trouble integrating properly into society. And by extension, one would assume that a society that does not routinely provide these experiences to its members is likely to, eventually, break down.

You may be familiar with many of these Continuum practices as the basic principles of the Attachment Parenting (AP) movement, which Liedloff’s ideas influenced greatly. Several, like babywearing, extended nursing, and co-sleeping are, if not wholly embraced by Western society, at least becoming better known and more accepted. However, most Western parents who follow these practices agree that their families are still far from experiencing the ideal of human contentedness that Liedloff describes in her book.

Assuming that Liedloff’s observations are accurate, how can we continue to improve upon our parenting practices? In other words, once the honeymoon of infancy is over, what then?

Beyond Infancy

In examining The Continuum Concept (and related materials included on the book’s website) for hints on parenting children ages toddler and beyond, three main principles spring forth as very different from the way most of us were raised, and continue to raise our children:

The first principle is a profound trust in the child.

Caregivers in continuum societies understand that the child is an inherently “good citizen,” with an innate desire to please and an inborn sense of self-preservation.

“Nobody’s born rotten,” writes Liedloff.

“You just don’t have bad kids. There is no such thing. But we can make them bad. Ironically, the reason it’s possible…is because we are so social. Our social nature is such that we tend to meet the expectations of our elders. Whenever this reversal took place and our elders stopped expecting us to be social and expected us to be anti-social, or greedy or selfish or dirty or destructive or self-destructive…that’s when the real fall took place. And we’re paying for it dearly.”

Instead of warning the child to behave and laying out consequences for bad behavior, Liedloff advocates simply modeling the “good” behavior, and expecting the child to follow suit. If the child errs, he should be gently instructed to change his behavior, but he should never be judged negatively as a person because of his mistakes.

The second Continuum concept to keep in mind is that the child should not be the centre of attention.

Neither, however, should he be excluded from adult society. In Yekuana society, Liedloff observed that adults were available to the child as needed, but focused primarily on their own activities, not on their role as parents. This approach lets the child learn by direct observation and to begin participating in adult activities as he is ready, without the pressure of being in the spotlight.

Of course, this does not mean that one should never pay attention to or play with one’s child. It simply, in Liedloff’s words, “reflects an understanding of the child’s role as a learner in society.”

The child needs a mother who is confident and calm…a mother who knows what to do, and doesn’t ask permission from her child. If you’re pleading with her (or asking her to lead), then she’s got the power, and it makes her nervous because it means you’re not sure of yourself, and you’re begging her for acceptance (or direction). Any grown-up lady that pleads with a 4-year-old is not to be relied on.

Rather than following the child’s lead, Liedloff suggests telling her nicely but matter-of-factly what you expect her to do, without asking her permission or regaling her with choices or reasons. In other words, instead of saying, “Let’s go have some lunch now, OK? What would you like to eat?” tell your child “OK, now it’s time for lunch. Can you find the spoons? We’re going to have soup.”

Keep in mind, though, that taking the lead is not the same thing as taking control over your child. The parents Liedloff observed never forced a child to do chores. They simply modeled the behavior, and made sure the tools—like a child-size grater—were available to the child. When a child showed an interest, she was allowed to participate as long as she wanted to. It was simply expected that she would naturally want to learn how to do the tasks she observed the adults doing. By the time they are old enough to be truly helpful, Liedloff noted that continuum-raised children will simply and quietly obey requests for help from adults, reciprocating the respect they had been shown when they were little.

The question for modern parents becomes, “Past infancy, how do we continue to give our children the continuum experiences they need in the context of our own society?”

 

This leads us to the third principle: that a healthy human experience must include interaction between people of many different ages.

It is easy for Stone Age parents to be available to their children without making them the center of attention. After all, they live where they work, and their children spend most of their time freely playing with other children, both younger and older than they are. In fact, every person in their culture is able to model older individuals, and mentor younger individuals in turn. This allows for smooth passage from one stage of life to the next, and reduces or eliminates friction between generations.

In a society which divides its tribes into isolated nuclear families, where adults must often work outside the home, where children are not typically welcomed into the workplace, and where, from preschool to nursing home, our age segregation practices border on the extreme, is it even possible to offer our children—and ourselves—the experiences we apparently need to become truly fulfilled human beings?

Perhaps not to the extent that the Yekuana could. But just as many Western parents have resurrected the practices of babywearing and co-sleeping, why not reclaim the tribal experience as well?

Whether through conscious decisions or instinct, many parents are attempting to do just that—resurrect something of the primal, tribal human experience. In their own ways, they are seeking opportunities to connect with other families in ways that are more natural, organically developing and holistic.

Extended Family

For some families, tribe-building is as simple as staying in place or moving back to live close to extended family. A recent PEW study revealed that 43% of young people ages 18–31 are now living with their parents or other kin. This includes a growing number of families with young children, according to Carmen Wong-Ulrich of Baby Center Financial.

Granted, this is happening primarily as a result of economic pressure, rather than the desire for a more natural social structure. However, many of these families are discovering benefits to this arrangement beyond financial relief. “It was nice to rediscover a relationship with my parents as a parent. I don’t think our vision was ever, oh let’s go live with our parents again when we are older, but you know, it worked out,” commented one young mother who spent a year living with her parents while she and her husband saved up for a home of their own. Other parents report increased feelings of security, carpooling and other shared duties made easier, built-in babysitters, and family bonding as benefits of living with or near family members.

But for the majority of us, living near family is just not an option. What then?

Creating Your Own Tribe

Teresa Pitman’s classic article “Finding Your Tribe” offers one solution. First published in 2000, it has been republished many times since, inspiring parents all over the world to create modern “tribal” relationships with friends and neighbors. It the article, Pitman describes her relationship with her friend Vicki. Starting when their first babies were infants, the two would get together and help each other with household chores or prepare meals for both families to enjoy, while their kids had the benefit of unstructured play time with adults who remained in close proximity, but engaged in their own adult activities. It wasn’t until she read Liedloff’s book that Pitman realized she and Vicki had unconsciously created their own little tribal community.

Pitman points out that tribe-building involves much more than just scheduling regular playdates. You have to spend a lot of time together, and it’s important that it not just be all “visiting time.” Work together. Clean house, work on your car, do projects together, garden, prepare meals, or start a business together. Take care of the children’s needs as they need you; otherwise, let them alone to observe how you’re going about your tasks—or not, as they please.

She also cautions not to be too picky about whom you form your tribe with. Just like family, the people you find available may have some qualities that differ from your ideals. That’s OK; as long as you can respect each other’s choices and beliefs there’s no reason you can’t form a deep and lasting relationship.

Homeschooling

It’s very common for parents of young children to get together frequently, and often these relationships result in lasting bonds between families. However, once the children reach school age, time spent together in this way often diminishes. Homeschooling families have a unique advantage in this regard. They are also better able to respond to children’s natural developmental patterns, and more likely to have the opportunity to interact with children of a larger age range than their schooled counterparts—an important aspect of Continuum ideals. In situations where homeschooling occurs between and around running a home-based business, children also get to observe and learn firsthand how the adult world operates in a way that was once a normal part of growing up, but is now no longer available to the vast majority of modern children.

That said, many homeschoolers still find their lives increasingly dominated by schedules and goals, especially as children grow older. If a tribal experience is truly your ideal, you might find yourself drawn to at least partial unschooling.

The School Conundrum

If homeschooling is not an option for your family’s situation, what then?

If you are brave and resourceful, you might consider organizing your own school or other institution.

This is what Natalie Cronin did. She started her home daycare, Under the Tinker Tree, out of a desire to provide her own children with an experience more closely resembling her ideals than would otherwise be possible. Luckily, her vision resonated with others in her community.

“I share my home with a dozen families a day, and we have a saying that ‘We’re all in it together.’ It was an interesting process…I was very upfront about [all my beliefs about childrearing], and people would come, and they were looking for people like me and I was looking for people like them…. [I’d tell them] we aren’t caring for just the child, we’re here for the whole family, and that’s really what it’s become. Our community has become so close. The parents contact each other after daycare, and we all live within a few blocks of each other—I have six families who live in the same apartment building as I do. So we really do have our own little community and we’re very supportive of each other.”

Pioneering a “tribal” style school for older children is more of a challenge than starting a daycare, but is certainly within the realm of possibility if enough parents in a given community are willing to devote time and resources to making it happen.

Institutional Tribalism?

If starting a school is not an option, you still may be able to integrate some semblances of a tribal existence into the fabric of your family’s life by carefully choosing amongst the schools, churches and other organizations in your area, and/or by advocating for more Continuum-friendly practices within the organizations you already belong to.

Keep in mind that it is extremely difficult to change already existing conventions.

 “If you can’t homeschool, the first thing is to seek out alternative schools that have age mixing and aren’t so set on separating and segregating people,” advises parenting coach Scott Noelle, who corresponded extensively with Liedloff while she was alive, and now operates the Liedloff Continuum Network website.

“You can also look for a school that doesn’t grade children; that’s another way to separate people, by ‘good kids’ and ‘bad kids’ and A students and B students and so forth.”

Noelle adds that there are things you can do to protect your child from the less Continuum-friendly aspects of school life. “I encourage parents to let (their children) know that the school culture is like a game that they play, and there are parts of the game that are good to play, like learning and meeting new friends, but that we’ll have to tolerate other parts of the game that are not as aligned with our true nature, like grading for example. You can assure your children that the grading is just a game and we don’t have to take it too seriously. They do take it seriously—they forget that it’s just a game. So tell them, ‘I’m not too worried about [the game]. If what you’re ready for doesn’t align perfectly with their game then you may get low marks in their game, but I know you’ll blossom in your own time.’”

You may find yourself in the position of wanting to introduce elements of modern tribalism into an existing organization. This is challenging, but not impossible. If you want to do this, it’s usually a good idea to become an active, participating member of the group first, before attempting change. Then, frame your suggestions in a way that helps them meet existing wants and needs. For instance, you might volunteer to set up a program to help your organization’s single-parent families network with and support each other.

Intentional Communities

To some, the ultimate in modern tribe building may well be to start an intentional community based on Continuum and other natural living concepts. However, a quick search reveals very few existing intentional communities that openly base their values on Continuum ideals. (Heart-Culture Farm near Eugene, Oregon, is one.)

Why is this? Surely, there are enough families interested in following an attachment parenting lifestyle to warrant a larger number of communities specifically designed to support it?

Could it be that the very concept of an “intentional” community (at least, as most of us are likely to think of it) is alien to a Continuum worldview? After all, Liedloff herself noted that the Yekuana people were highly reluctant to sway anyone else’s opinion or influence their behavior. Yet most intentional communities are very specific as to what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Noelle recounts a personal intentional community experience which may shed some light on this question:

The Internet was making people more aware, and some people began discussing the idea of having a community of people…where the values were aligned with the Continuum Concept, which all of us were very passionate about.

So I wrote up a long and passionate post to this online community—right around the year 2000—“let’s go for it!” Somehow a lot of people got impassioned about it and we did start organizing. It led to a fairly sizable group of people from all over the world getting together for an organizational meeting.

We accidentally experienced tribe for about two days. We had this gathering in my hometown, Portland, Oregon. People had different travel schedules, and a number of people got there a few days before the big meeting. They camped out in our yard and we kind of had this village we created in our yard, and we were all just waiting and very optimistic. So we actually had this tribal experience, and I can only say it was glorious. It was just wonderful, the feeling of this expanded social circle where everyone is just sort of flowing together. The children had all these choices [of playmates]. They could play with one and when they were done they could play with another and if a child’s mom needed a break there was someone there to attend to the child. And we were living that way for a couple of days while we were waiting for this meeting.”

Then the meeting happened and everyone brought their agendas with them, and their particular attachments that things had to be a certain way, and we started to lose some of that being in the moment with each other. Now it had to be right vs wrong…

We might have weathered that, but I think ultimately a lot of us were recovering our humanity. The thing about community movements, is that people are attracted to communities because they’re failing in some way. I don’t mean that as a criticism. If people are succeeding at the whole separation game in society, they’re succeeding within the rules of that game, and they’re not motivated to change. It’s the ones who are failing who are like, “This doesn’t work for me, so I’m open to trying something new.” And they come across this idea of communitarianism, and they’re willing to try. But then you have a whole bunch of wounded people who are trying to lift each other up. And I could see that in this particular project, including myself and my wife—we definitely lacked the skill set to do that.

Noelle suspects that being well funded could help such a project overcome this issue by allowing participants the security to work out their differences. “When you’re just in survival mode you get defensive, feeling like someone else’s needs may encroach on your own.”

Given this experience and others, it seems that this elusive tribal experience is not something to be sought as a goal, but something experienced naturally when people come together without goals or expectations, simply in the enjoyment of being together.

What about the Internet?

Many people these days are spending increasing amounts of time and energy on the Internet in hopes of connecting to like-minded souls. Without denigrating the very real value many find in their online relationships (this author included), it’s important to note that virtual reality is in many ways antithetical to a Continuum experience.

The Continuum concept is about more than the sequence of human development. It’s about the continuum of humanity across many lifespans, and the play of matter and consciousness amongst and between humans, other species, Mother Earth and the universe itself.

Children, especially, need to experience the world holistically through their senses—the real world with all their senses, not just a pared-down, wired-up virtual semblance with no taste or touch or smell. And believe it or not, we adults need this too. There is no virtual substitute for the connection one feels when one’s eyes meet another’s, or the sensation of a warm slice of homemade bread passing from one hand to another, or the volumes spoken in minute variations in a loved one’s smile.

Seeking Your Own Tribe

Cronin, Noelle and Pitman all offer excellent suggestions for developing the kind of comfort with ourselves and others that appears to be a prerequisite for a Continuum lifestyle.

  • Be honest about your feelings and needs, both to yourself and to others—if your children just aren’t up to participating in a play date on a particular day, it’s better to stay home than to force the issue.
  • Remember to breathe—you won’t connect well with others until you are comfortable and relaxed in your own space.
  • Reconnect with the natural world—even if you live in a city, just going for a walk and passing a tree is connecting and centering.
  • Spend a lot of time together.
  • Choose options that lead to partnership rather than separation and control.
  • Be open to relationships with people who are in different stages of parenthood or life, or whose habits or beliefs differ from yours.
  • Focus more strongly on how you’re connected with people than on how you’re different.
  • Unplug.

Above all, be open about the outcome. Allow your tribe to grow organically, from the inside out. Forget about your goals and focus instead on just the experience of being, right here and right now, with those you happen to be with at the moment. The destination is the journey itself.

Source*

Related Topics:

How the Left has taken Down the Family, Marriage, and the Nation*

An Indigenous Australian Approach to Healing Trauma*

In the Absence of the Village, Mothers Struggle Most*

Traditions and Kinship Ties

Modern Parenting is Preventing Brain Development*

Today’s Parents Are Scared Of Everything*

Beyond Mass Control

Raising Children Off-Grid*

Making Living off the Grid Illegal is about Controlling You and Paying Them

Record Number of Parents Turn to Homeschooling*

The ‘Family’ Loses in the Latest U.N. Agreement*

British Family Courts: Protecting Children from the Baby Snatchers*

Children Need the Outdoors Like Earth Needs Rain!

Schooled in Nature: There’s a way to Teach Children Without Colonizing Their Minds*

 

A Previously Unknown Human Organ has been Classified*

A Previously Unknown Human Organ has been Classified*

By Fiona MacDonald

Researchers have classified a brand-new organ inside our bodies, one that’s been hiding in plain sight in our digestive system this whole time.

Although we now know about the structure of this new organ, its function is still poorly understood, and studying it could be the key to better understanding and treatment of abdominal and digestive disease.

Known as the mesentery, the new organ is found in our digestive systems, and was long thought to be made up of fragmented, separate structures. But recent research has shown that it’s actually one, continuous organ.

The evidence for the organ’s reclassification is now published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

“In the paper, which has been peer reviewed and assessed, we are now saying we have an organ in the body which hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date,” said J Calvin Coffey, a researcher from the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland, who first discovered that the mesentery was an organ.

The anatomic description that had been laid down over 100 years of anatomy was incorrect. This organ is far from fragmented and complex. It is simply one continuous structure.”

Thanks to the new research, as of last year, medical students started being taught that the mesentery is a distinct organ.

The world’s best-known series of medical textbooks, Gray’s Anatomy, has even been updated to include the new definition.

So what is the mesentery? It’s a double fold of peritoneum – the lining of the abdominal cavity – that attaches our intestine to the wall of our abdomen, and keeps everything locked in place.

One of the earliest descriptions of the mesentery was made by Leonardo da Vinci, and for centuries it was generally ignored as a type of insignificant attachment. Over the past century, doctors who studied the mesentery assumed it was a fragmented structure made of separate sections, which made it pretty unimportant.

But in 2012, Coffey and his colleagues showed through detailed microscopic examinations that the mesentery is actually a continuous structure.

Over the past four years, they’ve gathered further evidence that the mesentery should actually be classified as its own distinct organ, and the latest paper makes it official.

You can see the new organ illustrated below:

And while that doesn’t change the structure that’s been inside our bodies all along, with the reclassification comes a whole new field of medical science that could improve our health outcomes.

“When we approach it like every other organ… we can categorise abdominal disease in terms of this organ,” said Coffey.

That means that medical students and researchers will now investigate what role – if any – the mesentery might play on abdominal diseases, and that understanding will hopefully lead to better outcomes for patients.

“Now we have established anatomy and the structure. The next step is the function. If you understand the function you can identify abnormal function, and then you have disease. Put them all together and you have the field of mesenteric science … the basis for a whole new area of science,” said Coffey.

“This is relevant universally as it affects all of us.”

It just goes to show that no matter how advanced science becomes, there’s always more to learn and discover, even within our own bodies.

The research has been published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Source*

Related Topics:

Don’t Have that Appendix Removed It Isn’t a Redundant part of Evolution *

Scientists Discover That Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration and Fights Cancer*

The Microbiome and the Sacredness of the Womb*

Mental Illness and the Gut-Brain Connection*

The Self Control Gland

The Self Control Gland and Why It Matters

Science Finally Agrees our Meridians Exist*

The Science of Sound – Proves You Are a Cosmic Instrument*

Consciousness Science Kept Hidden*

‘Science’ Catches up with the Heart’s Intelligence*

Every Scientific Law We Have Today Will Be Have to Be Rewritten in the Next 50 Years*

The Disappearance of Silence*

The Disappearance of Silence*

Only Allah Knows what tomorrow will bring, but today is yours in the making

By Edward Curtin

Silence is a word pregnant with multiple meanings: for many a threat; for others a nostalgic evocation of a time rendered obsolete by technology; for others a sentence to boredom; and for some, devotees of the ancient arts of contemplation, reading, and writing, a word of profound, even sacred importance.

But silence, like so much else in the present world, including human beings, is on the endangered species list. Another rare bird—let’s call it the holy spirit of true thought—is slowly disappearing from our midst. The poison of noise and busyness is polluting more than we think, but surely our ability to think.

I am sitting on a stone step of a small cabin on an estuary on Cape Cod. All is quiet. Three feet in front of me a baby rabbit nibbles on grass, and that nibbling resounds. A mourning dove moans intermittently. I see the wind ripple the marsh grass and sense its low humming. I feel at home.

I am dwelling in silent stop-time.

It strikes me how rare silence has become; how doing nothing seems so un-American. Noise and busyness have become our elements. While I watch the rushes sway, I wonder why wherever you turn people are rushed and stressed. A frantic anxiety prevails everywhere. Whether you ask the young, the middle-aged, or the retired, they all report stress and lack of time.

“It’s crazy,” you often hear them say. “It” is never defined.

Clearly there are powerful forces that profit from this noisy busyness, this connected way of technological consumption, this contraction of time. Everyone seems to have their reasons why they are in such a state, but few imagine how and why it may be “engineered.” They don’t have the quiet time to do so.

Or they don’t want to.

When I speak of noise I am not thinking primarily of the din we associate with city life—cars, trucks, taxis, horns, sirens, congestion, etc.—a world rushing to get somewhere for unknown reasons. That noise, alas, is hard to avoid, even in small towns or suburbs. If I travel a half mile from where I sit in silence, I will encounter such noise as people speed by in cars on their search for a vacation from it.

Being in a secluded spot on Cape Cod for a few days is a luxury. I realize that. So too is having these minutes to write these words. Yet I know also that I am choosing to do so, and that for me the luxury is also a necessity. How could I live without “doing nothing” in silence? Even the computer I am typing these words on tells me I am wrong: it wants to correct my words “doing nothing” to “doing anything.” I’m surprised it doesn’t tell me that I should be having “fun,” though perhaps doing anything is the equivalent.

The noise of modern life is hard to avoid completely, and, in any case, it is the least disruptive of the silence I have in mind. There is another kind of noise that is self-imposed and whose purpose, consciously or not, is to make sure one is not “caught” by silence. As those who flee from silence know, it can be dangerous to one’s reigning assumptions about self and the world. Noise seems more comforting.

We all know people who go from morning ‘til night, day in and day out, without ever pausing to enter the sounds of slow silence. One doesn’t have to look far for them; technology has made them the rule. They race through their lives in the cocoon of technological noise. They’re informed, in touch, tuned in to everything but their own souls. They drown themselves in the incessant noise of televisions and radios, or the busyness of telephone calls, texting, or trivia “that has to be done.” They are always planning, going, organizing, and scheduling activities. Or talking—endless chatter about the weather or shopping or the latest mainstream media’s blaring headlines.

They choose to fill their lives with distracting noise in order to avoid the silence that might force them to confront issues of self-knowledge that are the stuff of great books, true art, a fully human life; self-knowledge that connects the individual to his social circumstances in his historical period; knowledge that might allow them to grasp the sources of the profound anxiety and despair that induces their franticness. This is what C. Wright Mills called the sociological imagination.

For fifteen years the United States has been living under an official state of national emergency and constant, paralyzing fear—a fear that keeps people moving as fast as they can so they don’t stop and look back and see what has happened to them and why and where they are heading—over the cliff.

A forests reflectionIt is another day now and I am sitting in the shade of a tree looking out on a beautiful harbour filled with sailboats. A seagull swoops and sails before me. A strong wind picks up from the west. This water is the playground of the wealthy. Unlike the poor, they can buy outer silence. They seem to have plenty of time to think deep thoughts, such as where did all their money come from. From corporations that are part of the military-industrial complex? By exploiting others? I suspect they use their “free” time to think of other things.

For some reason the rough water reminds me of all those refugees fleeing war and chaos on the Mediterranean Sea. Desperate people. Why must they die seeking refuge? Why must they flee their homelands? Who drove them to the boats? The sea and silence brings these thoughts to my mind? Silent reverie can do that. It can conjure up disturbing thoughts.

I often write about such matters. Most of what I write is serious stuff, what people refer to as “heavy” writing: wars, assassinations, coups, etc.—a lot of history, social issues, philosophical and theological questioning. And I find that many people find it tough to take. They can’t find the time or silent concentration to read it closely and study to see if my analyses are correct. I think they choose not to take the time to enter the cocoon of silent concentration it demands. They will nod or demur, but not delve any deeper. Deeper means danger.

Those hundreds of thousands of fleeing boat people, for example; who is responsible for their fate? Who started the wars that drove them from their homes? Might we be implicated? Do we bear responsibility? Can we be silently attentive enough to hear their cries and explore the facts? Is the noisy busyness a self-imposed distraction from the truth? Do we live in bad faith?

Can we stop talking, stop moving, and stop doing long enough to contemplate such matters?

Can we shut up long enough to listen to what the silence might reveal?

What are we running away from? Are there truths so deep and so disturbing that they must be “silenced”?

I think so.

Slow silence would allow us to understand how the leaders of the United States are pushing the world toward the ultimate silence of nuclear conflagration by provoking war with Russia. Most people are too “busy” and too distracted—and therefore too ignorant—to notice. So for them it’s not happening. It’s not happening, as Harold Pinter said of all the countless war crimes committed by the United States while the American people were hypnotized into thinking otherwise: “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

We were too busy to notice. All we could hear was noise, propagandistic bedlam.

A society suffering from socially induced attention-deficit disorder is a society in a state of disintegration. Focused on the noisy foreground of conventional thinking fueled by a mass media spewing out endless distractions and pseudo-events, most people are lost in a cacophonous mental chaos.

I’m not sure if there is any point in writing these words.

But I am sure that the art of writing implies the art of reading. The writer creates and the reader recreates; both demand silence, a not-doing, the cessation of all noise that serves to prevent true thought. Can you hear me?

The machines must be turned off. “Our inventions,” Thoreau noted, “are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.”

It is not hard to turn a switch, pull a plug, or press a button; the hard part is wanting to. Harder still, but equally necessary, is the quieting of the mind, the silencing of the incessant internal chatterboxes that accompany us everywhere.

Unless by some miracle we reject the bill of goods of noisy busyness that has been sold to us to sow confusion, we are doomed. That might sound hyperbolic, but it is not. We are being led to the slaughter by crazed elites who are pushing for a world war. We are drowning in lies and more lies, lies compounded by noisy repetition.

“There ain’t nothing more powerful than the odor of mendacity. . . . You can smell it. It smells like death.” That’s what I recently heard Big Daddy say in a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The Trappist monk Thomas Merton once wrote that someday they will sell us the rain; in saying that he implied that any essential, beautiful aspect of life could be destroyed by a society hell-bent on destruction through war and consumerism. Now that they have sold us noise and speed to eliminate slow silence, we are in far deeper trouble. We can’t think straight, if we can think at all. And clear thinking has never been more important.

Gandhi, the revolutionary, put it perfectly,

“In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.”

Source*

Related Topics:

The Freedom of Silence*

Reflections on the Idea of a Common Humanity*

An Elementary School Has Kids Meditate Instead of Punishing Them and the Results are Profound*

Healing your Creativity after Trauma*

The Space In-between: A Journey through Solitude to Spiritual Growth*