At first glance, becoming raw-vegan or vegetarian seems a logical way of honoring life. Most people do so for their health or for moral reasons. I, for one, applaud anyone who looks for alternatives to the mainstream diet-lifestyle and wants to be part of the solution. But this is not the solution it is thought to be, nor does it exempt anyone from a society that kills animals and wrecks the environment for its food.
The raw-vegan/vegetarian paradigm indeed offers a lot of useful information, but much about it is still misunderstood and misinterpreted. That’s because most people fail to examine it within its full context (e.g., how the plant life is cultivated, what is consumed in the process, etc.).
Mention to a raw-vegan or vegetarian that agriculture is the single most destructive human act against life on this planet and you are likely to be met with either silence or disbelief. In most cases, people who embrace such a diet not only eat that way but identify themselves as “raw-vegans” or “vegetarians”—it’s who they are! Many of them will be stunned to hear about evils of agriculture because it calls their whole identities into question. It’s not a nice experience. This is the same reason that many mainstreamers keep their heads in the sand about the realities of our culture. They can’t face a reality that would shatter everything they know to be true.
I may be the bearer of this difficult experience for many of you, but I know the majority of you would rather know more and face this dilemma than avoid reality. It is vitally important for this topic to come out in conversation, especially when there is so much dietetic judgment being tossed around. Too many people are sporting raw-veganism and vegetarianism as a badge of honor or, worse, as a proxy pulpit for dogmatic self-righteousness.
It is time for all that to end. I hope I can offer this information in a gentle way, in a safe place to look at it, process it, and see where it leads. Ultimately, I hope that this information sparks conscious appreciation of how to nourish the body and enjoy the fruits of the earth in a less destructive way.
Most vegetarians have no idea that commercial farming (organic or otherwise, regardless of species of crop, including grain, corn, and soy) decimates animal habitats, kills animals under plow, eradicates plant species as well as millions of microbes and insects, and permanently destroys critical topsoil to the point of infertility. Commercial farming not only cruelly impacts the habitats in the immediate land that’s specifically cleared and groomed for said crops; it also dams up rivers to irrigate and provide power to these farms (often causing chemicals to leach into the water), thereby killing countless species of local fish and birds.
The common vegan-vegetarian diet, due to modern agricultural methods, is as destructive to life and to the environment as a carnivorous diet is. I hate this fact, but I accept it. In light of this knowledge, we must go further to find a real solution. We cannot just become vegan or vegetarian and stop there. (And no, I’m not suggesting breatharianism. Relax, keep reading!)
I still cringe to think of it: if I’m buying produce in the average market, I may not be buying, cooking, ordering, or otherwise serving up grilled fish, baked chicken, or impala stew to chew through with my little canines, but fish, animals, and poultry are nevertheless casualties of my salad.
I live in a city and buy produce from my local health food and gourmet stores. I enjoy and physically benefit immensely from the delicious plant-based meals I make from those purchases. But I would be gravely mistaken if I thought countless species of animals didn’t suffer and die for that salad (or even for those life-generating veggie juices and blended shakes that we use to detox and neutralize the radiation and positive ions in our environment).
As much as this distresses me, I know in all honesty that my lifestyle is not harmless. I am sullied by the stench of society; no butterfly or blue bird is likely to land on my shoulder like I’m Snow White in the forest. I am party to the destruction of our planet through agriculture. My actions support life-deteriorating acts. That’s a fact. It is some comfort to know that I am trying to do more each day to evolve my life in a life-generating direction. I dream of the day that the production of my shakes, juices, and salads will be as life-generating to the world community as it is to the community of cells in my body.
If we want to lead harmless, life-generating lives, we need to incorporate all the information we can, take the full context of what being raw, vegan, or vegetarian really means: eating small amounts of mainly light, living foods grown and gathered by the most inoffensive, conscious methods possible. We must also be willing to adjust our lives even further, in ways that might require even more sacrifice and dedication of us. Take heart: the degree to which we must change to regain our balance directly reflects the degree to which our culture has veered off course. These are the hard facts we face as children of a grossly misguided generation. Of course, it’s not all our fault: we have inherited the accumulation of so many wrong turns dating back to thousands of years ago. But it is our fault if we do nothing to get ourselves back on course!
Remember, the earth, like our bodies, is an interconnected organism. If a great portion of it is toxic, the whole is toxic. The earth’s blood (i.e., its oceans and rivers) has been compromised, and the poisons are flowing everywhere. Further, manure, the very substance that fertilizes the ground, is comprised of either dead animal flesh, bones, and blood or chemical fertilizer, NPK. By all means, eat vegan (I do, with very few exceptions, and without the label) but be conscious of this wee fact of life!
In the life cycle, the earth effectively consumes animal carcasses to yield food and give rise to more life. In other words, life consumes life to continue living and evolving. The ancients all knew and supported this. They didn’t try to live in avoidance of death. Rather, they lived with awareness of the role of death and venerated all life, especially when life was sacrificed for their continued sustenance!
It would be nice, I agree, if we could avoid encountering death on our way to nourishment, but the very cycle of life requires all bodies to return to the earth. Arguably, the microbes of earth (the soil) are at both the bottom and the top of the food chain!
The beef, poultry, dairy, and fishing industries have been rightly cursed by animal rights activists, but we cannot stop there. Nor should we assume that the consumption of animal flesh is always inappropriate. A native hunter who fully understands and honors the life he himself is taking for his sustenance, and grasps his connectedness with the whole community of life that sustains him, is doing less harm than the average uninformed raw-vegan or vegetarian of today.
Our civilization’s approach to agriculture is just as offensive to ecosystems as it is to topsoil. Agriculture has decimated the land in this country with the clearing of trees and shrubs and all that lived within them—this is in addition to destroying our topsoil. In the 1400s, the topsoil was at least 20 feet deep, and today it can barely boast a measly 2 inches, but those are 2 oh-so-precious inches! That’s not to say we should not be vegans or raw foodists, but that we should understand our dietary lifestyles in the right context.
“So what is the right context?” you might be wondering. The best I can offer at this stage, all things considered, is something that most people won’t be ready to embrace: to live with a very small vegetable garden (“Anastasia style” per Anastasia from the “Ringing Ceders” series by Vladimir Megre), encouraging the renewal of the soil and enabling wild edibles as well as wild non-edibles and the local animal species to regenerate.
In this context, with the understanding that much time and healing will be required, I can envision life returning to this planet. Not surprisingly, the solution hearkens back to a model that worked for humankind for millions of years before the thorough corruption of civilization. Our civilization emerged with agriculture; the two concepts are inseparable.
I am aware of what this would mean for life as we know it. For such a vision to take root, people would have to let go of the old paradigms. If that seems impossible, consider the unprecedented physical and emotional pain that people are suffering nowadays. We are hitting more walls than doctors have diagnoses and medications for; our health workers cannot keep up with the ills of our current way of life. The pain of civilization is closing in on our maximum thresholds of tolerance and becoming physically unbearable. Our greatest hope at this stage is that people, pushed to the brink of survival, will be forced to consider the alternatives.
New realities grow from seeds of consciousness. We have to see a future, have a vision of it, in order to find a way to get there.
It’s funny and ironic really. The only way for the soil to heal, the endangered species to multiply, our bodies to be fed the way they need to be, for all living beings to be honored and given the natural right to thrive (or die out as the case may be) is for life to go back to its wild state. This idea will likely be a stretch for most of you. I couldn’t swallow that reality until relatively recently myself.
Again, I don’t believe this has to happen immediately. What should happen immediately is for us to become conscious of how the food cycle and all natural life cycles work—the basic concepts that we should have learned before we were 5. If you can understand the nuances of the natural world and bring them in to your day-to-day consciousness and thought processes, you will be heading in the right direction.
Allowing both plants and animals to reorder themselves from the industrial chaos will recover (a) the soil, (b) many perennial plant species that are best for us, as opposed to annuals and domesticated hybrid plants that we’ve developed for taste and appearance, (c) many endangered species, and (d) the natural predator-prey relationship. For example, as the mountain lions and wolves come back, the overpopulation of deer on this continent that crowds out and threatens the lives of many bird and land species will be rebalanced.
Of course, for mountain lions and wolves to come back, cities, industries, and deforestation projects would have to be stopped and reversed. That’s a tall order, but just that mean we should avoid it. We can’t just scrap the truth because it’s scary or requires tectonic changes to our civilization. Rather, I believe we should adapt ourselves to the truth of the world in which we find ourselves. This level of change will have to come from a profound shift in worldview, a realization that there is far more value in the thriving of natural life than in material riches and positions of power.
In the meantime, we can at least be as honest and conscious as possible. I’m not quite ready to stop eating the commercially grown, domesticated hybrid we call carrots or stop buying lettuce because a bunny may have been plowed right out of this world for that lettuce to reach me. But I can be conscious of it! Further, I cannot know these things and condemn a meat eater, now can I?
I will hold onto a vision of a time when we’ll all have small gardens of our own that bypass the devastating effects of large-scale agriculture, and thus allow much of more of the earth to grow wild. It’s an evolution that starts with consciousness and may someday result in a world filled with people who have passed through the gauntlet of modern life, gleaned the lessons from it, and then left it behind for the far sweeter, more balanced path of the natural world.
We need not avoid death to practice harmlessness. We need only be conscious of our interconnection and truly love and appreciate the fluid exchange of life and death. Can we live without death? Can the lion lie down with the lamb? I tend to believe we are part of a much bigger, more spiritual vision, but as long as we’re not conscious enough to embrace what’s real in the physical world, we’ll never be ready to expand our awareness to greater parts of our being. We must begin with learning how to be good stewards of the physical world.
This will require our patience and dedication. Nothing will happen overnight. Baby steps, progress—not perfection. When we shift our consciousness, we shift our world. True change comes from within and sends meaningful ripples outward. We need to build a vision for a new world to take form. And that’s the short, easy answer, friends.
This blog is actually coming as a surprise to me and emerging as a result of a recent series of not merely coincidental events. They all happen to circle around the same theme: judgment.
I have always been completely honest with you all–both because I have nothing to hide and because I have always felt that the more we share openly, the more we can help one another heal and become more free. I have openly shared my life’s journey, including the physical, mental, and emotional anguish that fueled my indefatigable search for answers.
As you might imagine, for all the people who are attracted to the wisdom of this work, there are always going to be some people who are offended or threatened by it. Sometimes these people express their criticism to me in highly unconstructive ways (fortunately not that often). I usually consider their comments, appreciate their perspective even if I don’t agree with them, and move on with my day.
Recently, I stumbled upon a litany of really callous remarks on the comment area of a video interview I did last year. My initial reaction was to feel hurt (I’m human), but then I thought about all the judgment and confusion that haunted my childhood and young adult life. And I thought about how painful it was to be under the shadow of all those projected expectations. I don’t have that experience anymore. What’s more, I realize that all the harsh words and criticisms were merely a reflection of these individuals’ wiring–a result of a culture of immature judgment. A knee-jerk sense of entitlement to judge without facts is all too common among people in our cuture–particularly when armed with letters on a keypad and undisciplined opinions behind the anonymity of the internet.
I have learned over the years not to take these comments personally. Their words are like swords that they have pointed at themselves, albeit unconsciously. How can one not feel compassion for that kind of pain if one has suffered it oneself? Such comments serve to remind me of the wide variety of people out there who are observing this work, peeking in to see what we’re up to over here.
On this particular occasion I was criticized by about a hundred viewers for the following reasons: first of all, because my breasts are way too small (assumed to be a result of the detox lifestyle rather than my genetic dice); next, because my chest bones are visible on my décolletage, I am far too thin, and I look unhealthy; because I am a poor public speaker and use my hands too much when I talk; and, finally, one person even commented that I didn’t seem like a happy person. Well, I certainly hope no one is going to them for psychic readings! I resisted reading further.
My first reaction was a deep disappointment. I wanted people to take in the information, not my cup size. But I guess this was naive of me, given our cultural attitudes. The point of these critics’ commentaries was to dismiss the ideas about cleansing by systematically stripping away my credibility based on my on-screen image–in their estimation, not what a healthy woman should look like.
As you have been learning here, most people do not know what a healthy body looks like because they are either overly conditioned to accept the norm of overweight, puffy mainstreamers or they assume that anyone who is of a lean girth is a disordered dieter. We don’t see many truly healthy specimens–male or female–in our culture. Strip away the gas pressure, yeastedness, and water retention and what’s left are tight but healthy, energetic, clean cells. Without those acidic waste by-products, the body will look more contracted. But despite leanness, the skin and eyes should be clear, vibrant, and bright. This is not to discount the day-to-day fluctuations in the body (please refer to my blog on the motion created by living foods: <a href=”/blog-detail.php?ID=90”>A Salad in Motion Remains in Motion</a>), but overall the net result is often (not always, but often) a surprisingly slender physique. Most women don’t complain about this!
I was teased in middle school for having virtually nonexistent boobs. It’s interesting to see that some people are still in the middle school mind-set. Perhaps if I had elected to surgically enhance my breasts, that would have secured their approval? I respect everyone’s right to elective surgery, but that’s just not my beat.
Frankly, I like my boobs. They are small but they fed my two babies who are now thriving children of 7 and 9 years old. My breasts have served their purpose as breadbasket to them, sealing their future health. Moreover, the man I love adores them and has for 18 years. Need I say more? Eating a cheeseburger (as several of the commentators recommend I do) or accumulating gas pressure and bloat will not serve my highest good (though it may make my critics feel better about their choices). And it’s certainly not going to make my boobs grow a cup size.
I’m not here to make the authors of such thoughtless comments feel more comfortable. If I were to strike back, I might suggest that they consider their own body fixations, since they appear to be the ones with the issues. Of course, it is not my place to force anyone to look at their issues. I can only be true to myself and be of service to those who want this service.
I’m grateful for my body. I spent many years being hard on it, and it survived my abuse for eight years from ages 13 to 21. Since then, my body has run on exotic sands, pedaled many hundreds of miles, climbed mountains, borne and nursed children, soaked up sun, and danced all night, many nights. My body also survived a horrible accident when I was a child–I was run over by a bus when I was 4 years old. Both sets of tires crossed and crushed my core, shattering my pelvis and causing internal bleeding that nearly did me in. An entire hospital staff of doctors told my parents that I would never walk again–that was if by some miracle I happened to live. They were also confident that I would never be able to have children. And now there are nearly a hundred comments about my boobs being too small…the irony! On the one hand, it’s comical; on the other, it’s really sad that so many people think and communicate from that space.
The other irony, of course, is that these comments are being made by people who are obviously surfing the web for diet information–not because they are content with their bodies, I can assure you of that.
Our culture is full of people who are ready to dole out judgments but incapable of compassion. Their hearts are wired shut, and perhaps these judgments are their cries for help. This is a group of people who are quick to swallow the advice to be found in eight-second soundbytes spoon-fed to them by their media gods, but slow to take responsibility for the larger context of their personal health. And they are quick to look to the government for social security and Medicare solutions, but slow to realize the impact of their way of life on the next generation.
You or I may never measure up to the standards of these people, who will always find someone to project their own shortcomings onto, but why would we ever aspire to? I do admit, though, that it’s a real disappointment to be confronted with so much ignorance when all you want to do is grow with your community into a more evolved way of life. It’s a very real reminder of what we’re contending with, and that we must maintain a steady course, full speed ahead, even while respecting the fact that others are at different stages of their own journeys. We must remember to honor everyone on their journeys and really mean it.
Those who misinterpret this work and do not understand the context of cellular cleansing have accused me of being anorexic or orthorexic or extreme in some fashion. I understand that this work appears extreme to the uninitiated, but I can assure you that I am not suffering from an eating disorder. My path started with disorder at the tender age of 13. I have been there and know what that is about. I could not in good conscience be a leader in this work if I were still under that influence. I can only be true to myself and in so doing live out my purpose. That is all I can do. Like I said, I understand that this way of living appears extreme to many people. But I caution that it’s the mainstream lifestyle that’s extreme. Reclaiming our natural balance in the face of it only appears extreme from that worldview.
I welcome your questions, and I understand where they are coming from. I will openly and honestly answer any genuine questions you have about me or about this work. My goal is to help illuminate the way, not to shroud it in more confusion or make it seem scary. What I will not do is engage with catty, mean-spirited kindergartners who do not want to understand but only criticize in order to continue courting the old paradigm that feels familiar but not safe, consistent but not liberating.
As you walk this path, I urge you to be thoughtful and discerning rather than self-righteous. We can all be better at this. Whenever we dole out this type of unconstructive criticism, we are usually projecting our own pain, limitations, and self-judgments onto others. We can try to avoid undisciplined commentary, and, when invited, offer constructive, thoughtful reflections. But let’s check our motives and shadows before we judge. If we are to be of any good use, we cannot indulge in dogma, self-righteousness, and lowest-common-denominator criticisms. We do not need to one-up our brothers and sisters. We won’t get anywhere on that merry-go-round. Rather, let’s first look within ourselves for what’s obstructing our ability to see and love one another. Then what we offer can serve the highest good of all.
If you have any questions for me, be they personal or otherwise, I will be happy to answer them. Feel free to post them as comments and I will respond in kind. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in diffusing the unloving judgments that are so common today, particularly in the dietary wars and self-righteous dietary communities. They do not serve anyone’s highest good and they certainly do not make anyone’s blood cleaner (or boobs bigger) 😉
With Love in Unity,
I’m writing this from the brimming-with-life-force Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Ana and I are here with my kids and hubby celebrating his 50th birthday. We’ve been up early every day ripping up the slopes (actually, my husband, Lawrence, kids, and Ana rip it up while I attempt to keep up)! Mostly we’re just really enjoying being here in this powerfully life-generating environment! Last night we had the great privilege of dining on raw and steamed organic veggies, raw goat cheese, a great wine (fresh buffalo meat for the meat-eaters among us) in a tipi on the Snake River in the deep, pristine snow. It reminded me again of how well indigenous Americans once lived and how misguided our common misperceptions are of what their lives were like. The architecture of the tipi’s central woodburning ovens and the hot stones kept us toasty out in the middle of a snowy February night. I had a far greater desire to spend the week in the tipi than to return to the posh hotel, which all five of the children with us vocalized, emphatically! The children (aged 5 to 13) were having the most exciting, fun night of their lives. Video games, movies, and shopping were the last things on their minds, and could never have captivated them as this environment did.
Finally, an announcement: Part Two of Emotional Eating S.O.S. is now up in the exclusive content area of the DetoxCommunity. There are still several parts to come, which I am presently working on, each one addressing issues critical to overcoming emotional eating and all manner of behavioral imbalances. My goal is to decode the causes and solutions and put an empowering, practical toolbox in your hands. The first three parts lay the foundation that you will need in order to make that toolbox work for you. I appreciate your patience, and I hope this information helps to pull you up and out of these painful cycles.
Here’s to your wholeness!
Many of you are noticing that, in my writings, I seem to be coloring further and further outside the lines. Some of you welcome this, while others of you find it unsettling. I can understand both reactions.
As I was walking through the snow-laden paths of Central Park at daybreak this morning, I thought about what has helped me through this transition—from seeing our world through the eyes of a typical girl raised in L.A. to someone who has started to see through its illusions. Let me start by emphasizing that it has not been easy for me; it has taken me more than ten years of rigorous focus, and of feeling my way through the dark.
Having encountered countless teachings and teachers along the way, I can count on only one hand the ones that have been truly useful. One thing they all said in common, in recognition of my busy city life, is that this work is hard to do “in the world.” They emphasized that it is advisable for people who undertake this work to go into isolation for several weeks, months even. As for most of you, that wasn’t an option for me. With a family, my projects, and my husband’s work, I would to have to be creative enough to go through this process in a Midtown Manhattan apartment.
Shifting your perspective this dramatically is a shock to the system. It requires a deep desire to grow—a desire beyond anything else in your life. If it’s not your deepest passion, it’s not going to happen for you. To put it another way, your desire to live has to be so strong it moves the mountains in your way. It also requires a daily dedication to growth. This is not like homework; it’s not merely a matter of forcing yourself to sit down for twenty minutes a day to complete a page of boring exercises. Not at all. This work should be a deep source of joy, something that helps get you out of bed in the morning. It’s that part of your day when you follow whatever lead is working best for you at the time—such as something you’re reading, like the Anastasia, Daniel Quinn, or Derrick Jensen books, or an audio recording that takes you deeper, like the Almine meditations, or simply sitting in contemplation. Devote that time to whatever you respond to best, whatever contributes most effectively to your growth.
If you miss a day, no biggie. If you spend a whole day on it, great. Do what works. No one is watching or judging you. Again, this is not homework! It’s the call of your heart, your blossoming.
Sometimes it won’t feel like you’re blossoming. Sometimes it will feel like you’re confused and stuck. That’s par for the course. You will open up again. Take a break. Read something else. Go clubbing. Whatever. Don’t worry about getting stuck. Trust your heart to lead you toward truth, and you’ll get there sooner or later.
This work is processed in cycles. There are times when you’ll take in new information and process it, and you’ll feel it very intensely. This is the time to cocoon yourself, to try to stay out of the fray. Stay home, keep warm, do those things that keep you feeling cared for. Limit your exposure to stores, crowds, and social events. Then, once you’ve absorbed what you’re capable of absorbing from that cycle and you feel energized by it, you’ll discover that you own the knowledge and no longer feel imbalanced by it. You’ll incorporate it into your worldview and lifestyle and start to really benefit from it. Then, when it’s time to take in more, you’ll go through the learning and processing cycle once again. Recognizing the differences between successive cycles and honoring what they require is essential to a smooth progression.
I used the word “shock” earlier. Shock and trauma are important to understand. They are a disturbance to both the emotional and physical body. We hold our shocks and traumas in the body, and when they are awakened they can make us shake (emotionally and physically) because they ring an incoherent energy pattern through the system, which needs to keep moving through in order to exit. If they don’t find an exit, they become a chronic disturbance.
Ours is a culture of fear—everyone is so afraid. Our fears are primal, and date back from our childhoods. We fear punishment from authorities. We fear stepping out of line, rejection from the community, looking different, being ridiculed, being alone. We fear other people’s anger, and our own. Challenging our culture means challenging the power that holds us under its thumb and wants to keep us there. We are programmed to be very afraid of this shadowy dictator, though we don’t normally think of it as such. Consider how hard it is for people to stand up to their own family members just to be able to eat vegetables instead of burgers and bread. Dietary views are the stuff of kindergarten compared to worldviews. This is why we have to take great care to work through the shifts in our worldviews at a pace we can manage. We must also anticipate the shaking that comes when the fear wells up in us.
As fears well up within us, so will the repressed traumas of the past. It’s the same awaken/release process that we go through when we physically detoxify. Expect to shake—a lot. It will pass, bit by bit. The more you shake, the more that incoherent energy pattern of fear and trauma will leave you, and the more powerful you will become. You will begin to see the world much more clearly. You will become more yourself, an effective and peaceful warrior.
When an animal in the wild has a traumatic experience—say, for example, narrowly escaping the jaws of a predator—that animal will immediately rush to a safe place and shake. It will shake until the energy connected with the trauma has been fully released. Instinctively, it knows to release it. Why? If the incoherent energy is not released, it will cling to the animal’s physical and emotional systems, acidifying its blood, organs, and cells. The animal will be compromised.
Animals that are traumatized in captivity cannot retain the internal communications that would keep its instincts intact in nature. Humans are similarly compromised in a culture that delivers too many blows to our emotional and physical bodies and blocks their means of release. They ring through the body, wrecking its integrity.
How many people have you seen whose repressed internal traumas are evident in their gaits, in the positions of their head and shoulders, in their mannerisms? If you’re at a loss, just hop on the number 6 subway train that runs through the main artery of Manhattan and you’ll see what I’m talking about. But, of course, it’s everywhere, throughout rural and urban communities alike. We should all move like happy, relaxed children—easy in our skins, light and limber. But the traumas of the world cause all living beings to morph into the shapes of our pains.
Along the way, I’ve sometimes questioned myself. I’ve wondered, am I the one that’s crazy? Is there something wrong with me to see this world as a mad place, when everyone else seems to think this is how life ought to be? As crazy as I might sound to the uninitiated, I have finally concluded, no, I am indeed seeing very, very clearly. There is nothing wrong with my vision. I stand in my peace and clarity and see the madness all around me. And I invite you to do the same every time you start to question the sanity of your heart’s deepest desire to find a better way of life.
I’m not trying to scare you with doomsday talk about the conditions of our world, our produce, and our progeny. I’m simply describing the way the natural world is responding to the trauma that our civilization is continually inflicting upon it. Personally, I find the doomsday entertainment and “end of times” dramatizations put forth by some groups and religions reviling. To me, they betray an insensitivity, a mentality of people who have fallen into the cultural trap of perceiving life as cheap and disposable.
By contrast, my purpose is to show you what is really going on—so the problems are neither vague nor overly dramatized. By understanding how the life cycles work in nature, you can see the future all by yourself. In describing the degeneration of seed, soil, and DNA, I am not trying to make you afraid, but to empower you with new vision, to make you ultimately unafraid. I want each one of us to face the truth, not sugar-coat it, so that we can begin to do the necessary work of cultivating life, of reversing the destruction of our bodies and our world before it’s entirely too late.
I realize that I do not always deliver this information in the softest, most palatable way. I hope to become better at this over time. But for now, please know that I offer it in the spirit of love. I want us all to grow together, to help each other grow in knowledge, perception, strength, beauty, and vitality. It is not an easy process, but it is ultimately as deeply joyful and fulfilling as it can sometimes be painful and shocking to the system. I am here to help you through the inevitable shivering and shaking along the way, to help guide you through the dark forest to the great clearing that awaits you.
Shiver and say the words
Of every lie you’ve heard
First I’m gonna make it
Then I’m gonna break it
Till it falls apart
Hating all the faking
And shaking while I’m breaking
Your brittle heart
— Echo & The Bunnymen, from “Bring on the Dancing Horses”
Sometimes I don’t even know where to start. How do you remove the blinders from 10,000 years of programming from people’s eyes? If people are rattled by the idea that milk and meat are killers, not healers, and resist the fact that virtually all behavior common to our world has a destructive effect upon the human body and the planet, how will they ever come to see the deeper problem—the heartless juggernaut that drives a civilization possessed by madness?
The lies of our world are so deep. If we remain blind to them, there’s no way forward. Everywhere we look, there is tremendous suffering—on both a human and a planetary level—and yet the most that people seem to hope for are patchwork solutions for their lives of quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) desperation.
It seems that people today don’t expect much of a life at all: perhaps some relief for their depression, a few pounds lost, the suppression of a few symptoms. Otherwise, they ignore the fact that our culture is largely antithetical to life—human or otherwise—and merely soldier on.
This indicates a very deep programming. I don’t know many people who have truly seen through it. It takes a lot of effort, a deep and abiding desire to live, to see through all the rubbish we’ve been raised to accept without question.
I can’t think of anything more important than shattering the façade of our destructive world. I have such a desire to live—truly live—that I have devoted my life to discovering what’s on the other side, and my greatest ambition is to help you do the same.
It’s probably the ugliest boomerang effect in the history of humankind: a civilization is erected and expanded on the backs of slaves, and with utter disregard to the devastation of living communities the world over—only to come full circle to meet its end by the other side of its own sword.
Our civilization has bullied to death beautiful, vibrant people, cultures, and lands and replaced them with inanimate things. And even now, as it’s all breaking down into pain and chaos beneath the weight of so many missteps, our civilization ignores the truth. Rather than look in the mirror, it clings to glossy images of health and prosperity—all facades, all illusions. The truth is far too ugly to look at. So ugly, in fact, that when we really see it, the mirror will shatter!
My friend asked me yesterday, “So where do you think it’s all going?” This is how I explained it:
We have to observe how life operates. If an organism is cut off from its vital sources—fellow organisms and their shared, interconnected environment—its spirit begins to depart, eventually leaving the shell of the organism for dead. This occurs on a microbial level: the lack of sustaining elements causes the decomposer microbes to break down the organism. The more the good microbes are supplanted with the decomposers, the more this cycle of natural decay accelerates. All living organisms on this planet are thus losing their life force.
Vitality is also leaving the soil, rendering it infertile, unable to conduct the quality of life force into our produce that humans require. This does not mean you should go out and buy a bunch of dietary supplements! It means you change your worldview!
Basically, the planet is dying and the viability of human life is decreasing. This reveals itself multi-generationally: adults today are suffering from low vitality, as our parents and grandparents have, due to industrial living, pollution, smoking, medicines, and mainstream diets of processed foods. The younger generations will have it even worse. The babies to come will suffer even more dramatically degenerated (literally, de-gene-erated) fates. Each new generation is further devitalized, less able to fend off the repeated assaults of modern life on the body. In our civilization, we are not even managing to maintain the status quo; we are passing along ever more de-generation to our offspring.
The days of being able to live in relative physical balance are behind us. Symptoms will increase and the body is going to become a much more difficult place to be. While you may find such statements upsetting and negative, I hasten to remind you that our bodies have been sending out plenty of alarm bells of their own. Ignoring our bodies and repeatedly cutting off communication, generation after generation, has driven society far off course. Pointing out that a train is barreling our way is not being negative. It gives us the chance to jump off the tracks before it flattens us entirely.
Let me repeat, adults today are revealing signs of further degeneration to the human species than generations past. Not only are adults finding it far more difficult to reproduce, but their children are more prone to physical handicaps and mental and emotional imbalances. This will become even more visible and acute in the offspring of the next decade.
The “health authorities” and the media focus so much on obesity and diet, but to little effect. We need to pull out much further and see that it is an entire worldview that is in error, that the obesity problem is just one symptom of a whole life-threatening system.
I went to a fundraiser for autism recently. Normally, I would never attend something like this because it’s mostly a bunch of celebrities and bankers taking on a cause and raising money to give to researchers, which is often useless. It’s just like those breast cancer run-walks and ribbons, which ignore the true causes of cancer (see my 3/2/09 blog, <a href=”/blog-detail.php?ID=63”>Cancer: A Mystery?</a>) and perpetuate the shortsighted work of laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. The kids are the ones who end up paying, while their parents remain in the dark. But I must confess, I attended this event because it was an intimate concert with Bruce Springsteen. Okay, enough said.
Again, if this discussion strikes you as overly negative or threatening, I remind you that it’s never negative to identify a problem in the interest of fixing it. That’s actually a positive thing. This is a time for being proactive, not inactive, apathetic, or delusional—those are the truly negative postures. Simply repeating the mantra of “love and light” will not help.
As long as we’re on the subject, we must recognize that spirituality and materiality fuse together to create the human experience. It seems like people are trying to escape the here and now either by focusing on a better world in the afterlife or by repressing the truth in the name of “love and light.” We can experience neither love nor light until we’ve stripped away the lies of our civilization. Let’s stop pretending to be happy. We will never experience wellness or happiness until we’ve fundamentally changed our worldview. On the other side of the coin are those attempting to escape their pain by going deeper into materiality and carnality.
We need to recognize that humans are spiritual and material. To pursue one at the expense of the other is a death trap. Yet, today more than ever, people are puzzled by the body-spirit union. All life is spirit-infused matter; and matter, as I’ve explained in Raw Food Life Force Energy, is actually light. Therein we have the oneness we seek—so let’s come home to our wholeness, and honor that instead of ripping ourselves apart by choosing sides.
We are what we do, think, and see. We are vessels of our worldview. If we continue to treat the world—and therefore ourselves—as a machine of separate, replaceable parts, nothing will change. Of that we can be sure. We must work to see through our culture of death and reclaim our natural vitality, which predates civilization as we know it, and still exists outside its limits.
In my family, we have two Bengal cats. Of course, they would be more at home in the wild, but their lives are circumscribed by the layout of our apartment. Now, imagine how much their lives would expand and open up if they knew the forest! People of our civilization are likewise limited in their knowledge of life.
Countless beautiful communities once lived in startling and enviable contrast to how we typically live today, but we destroyed most of them in our westward expansion. If you’d like to read more about this, I highly recommend reading all of the works of Derrick Jensen, starting with The Culture of Make Believe and A Language Older Than Words. As long as we fail to understand the alternatives to our current way of life, we’ll be left with a kind of “Sofie’s Choice”—between death and death.
Our bodies and spirits will continue to suffer and degenerate until we wake up and see what’s really going on. Obesity is only one small symptom of a world gone mad. Slavery is another (if you think slavery is a thing of the past, read Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Bales). Child prostitution is another. The decimation of forests is yet another. The list goes on and on and on. As all of these symptoms play out on an ever larger and larger scale, who stands to win?
There is no question that the big engines of our culture are antithetical to life. The good that has survived in our culture—the love, inspiration, creativity, vitality, harmony, and beauty—exist not despite it, not because of it.
The living world is hurtling toward irreversible destruction, and we humans are asleep at the wheel. If you think that you’re somehow above it all, you’ve got a lot of waking up to do. If you think that you’ll be saved by certain social or financial privileges, or by the powers of positive thinking, I repeat, wakey wakey! If you’ve been averting your eyes, it may be the time to have a good face-to-face with your values. Believe me, I was raised on all the wrong values, too, and it took me a lot of re-education and contemplation to change them.
In Detox 4 Women, I explain how the environment has become exponentially more acidifying to the body. Radiation, GMO food, stress, low-vitality air and water, and limited exposure to sunlight in our indoor lifestyles have prevented alkalinity from conducting through the body while these acidifying elements have been pouring in. This has created a full-on devastation to the viability of the organism. Our civilization has wreaked the same kind of devastation on the planet. It extinguishes living organisms and replaces them with shrines to dead things. So the body and the planet are in a state of acidity and low vitality that may be unrecoverable. We have to face that possibility.
If we want to bring vitality back to the planet and to our bodies, we have to give it a reason to stay. For spirit and matter to unite, we have to create viable conditions.
It’s not easy to face all the lies of our world, but it’s much harder to sustain life in the presence of them. We are in the unfortunate—but, I dare say, deserved—position of having to pull ourselves up out of the muck of 10,000 years of greed and abuse of power. Our bodies are not as strong as they should be; the air and water are not the vital resources they should be. At this late stage, we have to call upon the stores of vitality in our hearts and give life a reason to come back to us.
We do this by engaging every part of ourselves: by educating ourselves so our logical minds can see the way; by cleaning our cells and maintaining them so our bodies can recognize true vitality for what it is; by envisioning both what’s wrong and how to fix it, so that we can unite our thoughts and actions in a common, life-affirming mission.
Yours in love and peace after the illusions are shattered,