You can look at the world in two ways: as falling to ruin under war, greed, materialism, and disease, or as awakening to the divine purpose and limitless potential of humanity. If you subscribe to the same old, negative mindset—that we must toil endlessly to reap “just rewards,” or prove our superiority over others—you cannot hope for a better world. But these days, more and more of you are embracing a whole new world of possibility.

With a bit of simple, pure knowledge we can prevent disease, aging, deprivation, loneliness and fear. Is it madness to say such a thing? Let’s take a closer and then decide which perspective is “madness” and which “sanity.” Consider the fact that it is socially acceptable to…

• be chronically depressed and exhausted;

• spend mindless hours in front of the TV;

• rely on the media for all of our knowledge;

• raise children to be addicted to soda, unfit foods, television, and video games;

• seek expensive products and plastic surgery to make up for poor self-care;

• knock back a heap of meds and toxic substances;

• and generally follow a misguided herd.

Is this madness or sanity?

I recently found myself in the cosmetic department of Bergdorf Goodman (for those of you who may not be familiar with this ultra-high-end department store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, it is a hub for hobnobbing socialites and Manolo-heeled debutantes of all ages). As I made my way through the cosmetic aisles, I marveled not over the sea impeccably coiffed and attired women (no, that was expected), but rather that all of their faces appeared so gray and lifeless despite access to the most expensive products, spa treatments, and dermatological expertise.

It was not just the over-forty crowd either: girls in their twenties appeared to be suffering from the same condition. Please note, I’m not saying any of this to be catty. In fact, I want all women of our great sisterhood to glow with sexy youth. But there they are, the most privileged women, day after day, spending, applying, washing, priming, plumping, injecting, and who knows what else—and guess what? They still look tired, sick and lifeless! What’s more, there is not a genuine smile or trace of inner joy to be found among them. And yet, they keep returning to the shiny cosmetic counters, drug stores, and doctor’s offices, shelling out vast quantities of money for the elusive “hope in a bottle” or miracle treatment that will never deliver real results.

This same phenomenon applies to every area of the modern world—whether it’s working ourselves to the bone for decades without pausing to appreciate the finer things in life; or raising a family but sacrificing closeness with our all-consuming focus on paying bills and sticking to a crazy schedule; or getting married merely to play the prescribed roles of husband and wife instead of cultivating deep feelings and unity.

Now, some of us lead a different kind of life: we juice fresh greens daily, eat only foods fit for human consumption, place unity with our higher-selves at the top of our daily agenda, and believe in the unlimited potential of humankind. I am the first to admit that my own commitment to this lifestyle places me well off the beaten track and thus appears “mad” to conventional folks—but I propose that it’s whole new level of sanity.

Going back to the ladies at Bergdorf’s… as I peered at all the ladies, so desperate to leave the store with something that would make them look and feel beautiful at any price, I considered madness driving them. I considered that, without all that I have learned, I too would have been caught up in more of the same madness with each passing year. My heart went out to these women, and to the desperate woman I might easily have become were it not for my own awakening.

We do not need to pile on anti-aging creams, get liposuction, face lifts, and take pharmaceutical drugs. A clean-celled body does not have cellulite or sagging skin, suffer from depression, repressed anger, diabetes, or thyroid problems. To mistreat the body and then, when things go wrong, address the symptoms with more objectionable substances and treatments—that </em>is the madness.

It’s never easy to be a minority voice and say, “Our ideas need to evolve.” Historically, such announcements do not elicit public applause. But, it’s no longer scary or lonely to live this way because hundreds of people around the world are awakening to it and will never turn back. The knowledge is all here for the taking, and with it a whole new world of possibility. Madness or sanity?

Today, I celebrate my 32nd birthday with overflowing delight as I count all of my blessings—my family, teachers, students, friends, and opportunities like this one to share what I have learned. My blessings have all come from what the stagnated “old world” might deem “madness,” but turns out to be the only sane option in a world gone mad.

I cannot think of a better way to celebrate this day than to express my endless gratitude for the magnificent guidance I have been given, and to say that I will walk in truth every moment of every day, whether it is seen as madness or sanity. I hope you will join me!

Your devoted friend,