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This Man’s Work Is Incredibly Important But Gets Lost Due To Controversy

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gurdjieffThe book Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff – The Man, The Teaching, His Mission is a work of immense power and love by William Patrick Patterson, a teacher of “the Work,” as Gurdjieff’s teaching is called and the author/ producer of several books and videos on the subject.

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It is over 600 pages long (over 400 narrative with 200 supplementary) and is a painstakingly precise account of two figures little known in the mass media, almost overlooked in popular history, and yet who may have been among the greatest thinkers of their time.

Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (G) appeared in St. Petersburg in 1916; P.D. Uspenskii (as Patterson refers to him) met him shortly thereafter and it later turned out that Gurdjieff had sought him out for his writing ability and notoriety in intellectual circles to help build his following.

Patterson has gone through the personal papers and books of Gurdjieff’s students and G’s own writings to piece together his early years, including his brush with death and his apparent teachers, as well as the society of seekers of which he was a member before he appeared in St. Petersburg. Patterson himself has written extensively about the teaching and some of the material, for example the section on the women who studied with Gurdjieff in Paris (a group called the “Rope”) presumably echoes his earlier work.

Patterson has also pieced together the early life of P.D. Uspenskii, including his own searches for ancient wisdom and personal relationships, and brings the two men together in the strange circumstances that were pre-revolution Russia, circa 1916.

But what is extraordinary is how Patterson describes Gurdjieff’s method, wonderfully echoing Uspenskii’s own description of how he was exposed to the teaching which is the spine of Uspenskii’s great work, In Search of the Miraculous.  Prospective students were introduced mysteriously and led to a strange space with Persian carpets and strange artifacts, where they met a man they each described as unique, powerful, insightful and with the capacity to see right through them.

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Everything was kept secretive and private. You had to know someone who knew someone to meet Gurdjieff and become a follower in St. Petersburg, and also later. It was also made clear that if one did not sieze the opportunity to take advantage of the moment, one might never get another chance.

One who did seize the opportunity was a particularly impressive young man, Paul Dukes, whose encounter Patterson describes in some detail. It is also worth noting that Dukes wrote about the encounter as well in his own biography, “Unending Quest.” As Patterson writes, Dukes was known as the ‘Man of a Hundred Faces.’  He assumed a number of identities and disguises and infiltrated numerous Bolshevik organizations, including the Communist Party, the Comintern and the Cheka, the Soviet security organizations. In 1920, he was knighted by King George V who called him the “greatest of all soldiers.”

He was presumably the first James Bond, spying on the Bolsheviks when he met Gurdjieff in one of his many roles or identities. Another of Patterson’s immense skills is recreating the effect of how Gurdjieff was a completely different personage, and elicited completely different responses, from those he encountered and taught.

For Dukes, for example, Gurdjieff was the strange Prince Ozay who was beguiled by the young Englishman’s sincere search for truth and his work with yoga, breath and the deeper hidden (esoteric) meaning of The Lord’s Prayer.

ASIDE: Another current student of Gurdjieff’s work and author is Dennis Lewis, whose book about breath work, Free Your Breath, Free Your Life: How Conscious Breathing Can Relieve Stress, Increase Vitality, and Help You Live More Fully, was recently reviewed by Michael Jeffreys here on CE, you can read that review by clicking HERE.

Patterson is scrupulously objective in his narrative, but there is magic in the footnotes where he ventures some commentary and speculates about the players’ intentions and real motivations. Here he provides a true taste of the “friction” between students and teacher, and particularly the uncanny allure of Gurdjieff’s magnetic personal style. Here is a sample Footnote from page 7:

“That Ozay plays chess and Gurdjieff once said that playing chess was ‘pouring the empty into the void’ actually supports Gurdjieff being the Prince, as this is a favorite saying of those who have seriously played ‘the Royal game’ and given it up…. “

Patterson describes how taken with Gurdjieff Dukes was, and how he became one of his many followers before the Russian Revolution, along with Uspenskii and other Russian intellectuals and artists. The narrative follows the growth of the groups and Gurdjieff’s methods for ferreting out the insincere by making prospective students jump through many hoops, and the teaching was veiled in secrecy.

Man Is Never The Same

Uspenskii became convinced that Gurdjieff had access to ancient wisdom and wanted it for himself—but Patterson describes how at various turns Gurdjieff “played” with his individualistic personality to try to make him see his own habitual tendency – that is, to live in his head and not his heart.

The Gurdjieff/Uspenskii groups fled the Bolsheviks and survived many hardships, often through luck and more often through Gurdjieff’s cunning understanding of human nature. Eventually Uspenskii could not continue to accept many of Gurdjieff’s methods and peculiarities and broke away, although his wife continued on with Gurdjieff for some time.

Patterson weaves both the history and the psychological studies of these two men together beautifully with a sense of a time that few of us can comprehend; he intersperses the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany as he alludes to the larger forces that influence the various individuals and their struggle to discover their own capacities with this teacher. Later Gurdjieff suggests that he anticipated the rise of Fascism and wanted to see how the world would react before writing his final work, ‘All And Everything.’

Gurdjieff admired  the energy and power of America and also satirized the materialism of the United States, and used his visits to raise capital by “shearing” the wealthy to subsidize the work and the lessons of the less fortunate. Patterson spans decades as he follows Gurdjieff to his Prieure (institute) in Paris and describes his methods of hard work to break the conditioning of students—intelligentsia would clean toilets and garden—and his conversations over meals and in cafes where students would toast themselves as various kinds of “idiots.” Here is a Toast to Compassionate Idiots:

“Everyone an idiot, even God.  But when these idiots see another who is another kind of idiot from themselves, they become angry and curse him.  This is very characteristic of these idiots.  No compassionate means that among this company exist idiots who know that all are idiots together, so that pity all and not become angry.  These are compassionate.  I am unique idiot so I am no more this idiot compassionate.”  (369)

A major part of being an “idiot” is believing in the imaginary concepts of the mind as opposed to what one has gotten for oneself. At one point he hears Gurdjieff’s voice in his head with nothing being said verbally. This is precisely the sort of “miracle” Upsenskii had been seeking and yet he needed to analyze it and could not simply accept it as a clear indication of his position under his teacher and his need to sublimate his own formative mind and the “need to know.”

Was this “real?” Was this telepathy -our scientific term of a phenomenon not proven by conventional science? Perhaps it was hypnotism– suggestion –Mesmerism or some other magical ability? Was it “super” natural or a part of nature that he had learned in Egypt as an initiate, in Tibet, in the Caucasus…  Was this how Gurdjieff understood his “clients” and “sheared” them of funds—and perhaps worked as a secret agent in his own right?

All of these mysterious aspects are hinted at and yet not posited authoritatively by Patterson, the consummate researcher and observer. What is posited is simply that such events occurred –the meaning and interpretation (the knowing) remains a mystery. Finally Uspenskii broke completely with Gurdjieff and founded his own school, first in England during the Second World War and then in the United States.

As Patterson calls the teaching a “sacred science,” what Gurdjieff saw in Uspenskii was the ability to convey his “system” scientifically, due to his great intelligence. This would make it a bridge between East and West and comprehensible in terms of the Renaissance and Enlightenment in the West. Where Uspenskii fell short, apparently, was his own egoism and coldness—he did not seem to manifest Gurdjieff’s own capacity for kindness and compassion. He did not live the Work as much as he seemed to relish the role of revered and admired teacher/ writer.

Gurdjieff, on the other hand, for all of his acerbic nature and generalizations meant to tweak the “corns” of his students, and expose their vanities and conditioning. He did this by living as suggested, with a general manner of a man of courage and “being” towards how one ought to behave.

For example, as Patterson describes Hitler’s rise he also mentions Gurdjieff’s assessment of racial characteristics of Jews; their tendency to remain apart and not “assimilate.” Yet on pg. 406 we learn that in the midst of the Nazi occupation of France– “Gurdjieff tells pupils to hide Jewish pupils who could not escape.” This is testimony to Gurdjieff’s ability to model both aspects of the teaching –knowledge he seemingly alone possessed of the historical context of what is taught –and BEING – and how it could be lived and applied in “organic life.”

gurdjieff pentlandSomehow many of the exchanges between Gurdjieff and students are retold, with the singular acerbic humor that Gurdjieff employed to strip the veneer of conditioned beliefs from his students and expose them to the truths of Life -including their own inevitable deaths and their petty personal prejudices. No one who took themselves seriously in his presence was spared his barbs, not even the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose young wife was a student of Gurdjieff’s.

Patterson follows both Uspenskii and Gurdjieff’s personal journeys and describes the work of many of their followers, some self-appointed or anointed and others viable. One such personage is Lord John Pentland, who studied with both Uspenskii and Gurdjieff and later led the Work in the U.S., becoming the beloved teacher of the author, Dennis Lewis and also Jacob Needleman, all of whom describe him in their respective works.

What is gathered about Lord Pentland was his objective ability to impartially provide conditions for the modern students to grow and see through the conditioning of the time. While Lord Pentland was originally a student of Upsenskii, upon Uspenskii’s death Lord Pentland was sent by his widow to seek out Gurdjieff himself, and he was selected to spread the teaching to America. There is a nice story of Lord Pentland’s daughter Mary, who is asked by Gurdjieff “who is the greatest man she knows,” and when the young girl replies “her daddy,” Gurdjieff roars with approval because he deems the following of the commandment to honor your parents as a sign of great inner “being.”

From Jacob Needleman’s account it is clear the Lord Pentland was a successful businessman who kept his association with the groups private, but in fact lived the tenets of “The Fourth Way” by employing the teaching in his direct contact with both the commerce of “the world” and of course his students. The effects were far reaching.

As you read through the dialogues and studies you can’t help but see the threads of modern New Age thought as well as teachings like Advaita and Nonduality, along with the historical motifs of Theosophy and mysticism that were concurrent with Gurdjieff’s arrival on the scene.

For example Krishnamurti’s teaching galvanized Americans, and Uspenskii is asked about him at one point:

“He says a system cannot awake a man.  Certainly it cannot.  Mathematics cannot build a bridge.   But if a bridge is built without mathematics, it collapses.  If Krishnamurti keeps to this point of view–he will not be alone.   Many people believe in spontaneous awakening, just be realization, and without a system and without following another man!”

ouspensky008aHere we can sense the immensity of Gurdjieff’s contribution in its effect on Uspenskii, a man who wants scientific proof of miracles but has been opened to the limitations of science by his teacher, Gurdjieff, who brought a system of “sacred science” that bridged the heart and formatory (left brain) mind (Ego).

It was no small feat that Gurdjieff attempted to introduce this system in the “Christian” west at a time when conventional religion ran the show. But as Jacob Needleman describes in his book Lost Christianity the ‘real’ teaching that preceded the human teacher that was Jesus was in fact “scientific” and impartial in its original form. True Christianity was a sacred science which attempted to confront life in its full grandeur and immensity from a position of awe. Such an impartially scientific view sees “what is” as what “could not be otherwise (as Eckhart Tolle writes),” and all suffering is simply viewed as the result of the human mind’s inability to accept and surrender to its Greatness.

This is reminiscent of the “neters” of Egypt, where deities represented the organic reality of natural forces like the wind, sun, tide and so on, in which man plays his part naturally and without the urge to “conquer” nature.  (Interested readers might look up Patterson’s DVD, “Gurdjieff in Egypt” which traces the author’s own journey to Cairo and his description of Gurdjieff’s sources and influences.)

For Gurdjieff there is indeed a notion of what is sin, in this pre-Christian context:

“If you acknowledge your sin,” Gurdjieff says, “and feel remorse of conscience for having done wrong, your sin is already forgiven.  If you continue to do wrong, knowing it to be so, you commit a sin that is difficult to forgive.”  (237)

This seems to be at the core of inner transformation –the capacity for some element of choice –paradoxically –within a natural framework sacred determinism shaped by greater energies and higher forces.  Such “right action” of true conscience is always a reflection of being, not knowledge. This is why our modern science can create genetically modified organisms that fight nature in a way that goes against the sacred order of natural Life.

But where Gurdjieff diverges with modern Western religion is in its anthropomorphism and personalization of a “God.”  God and all of the vital life forces exist for Gurdjieff but at a level beyond man’s scientific and logical comprehension. All is impersonal and impartial, even sex.

“It is not necessary to mingle the acts of sex with sentiment.  It is sometimes abnormal to make them coincide.  The sexual act is a function.  One can regard it as external to him, although love is internal.  Love is love.  It has no need of sex.  It can be felt for a person of the same sex, for an animal even, and the sexual function is not mixed up here.  Sometimes it is normal to unite them; this corresponds to one of the aspects of love.  It is easier to love this way.  But, at the same time, it is then difficult to remain impartial as love demands.”   (409 – Gurdjieff answering a Group question).

This goes against much of modern pop culture, psychology, conventional thought and religion and also rubs against parts of our interior conditioning— since we are committed to notions of romantic love. Gurdjieff’s “love” is seemingly an impersonal and objective love of What Is –the Great System that he brings to light and tries to convey to his students both through his lectures and perhaps more importantly, through the drama that was his own Life.

In Patterson’s enormous breadth of research and narration he truly delivers the reader into the full context of the historical period that is no more –before computers and the Internet –where these two men in fact anticipated such scientific wonders and saw the vast intelligence that is inherent in what Gurdjieff referred to as “Great Nature.”

What also comes through is the respective humanity of both Gurdjieff and Uspenskii – how they struggled intellectually and personally with one another and their own demons of alcohol and the need for the company and charms of women. Patterson describes the rift between them which deems to have been the result of Uspenskii’s “chief feature, his need for intellectual validation and recognition, and the author makes it clear that those who saw them together, and to the author himself, the level of being was palpable: Gurdjieff was the teacher and Uspenskii forever would be his most famous student.

Many kinds of reader will profit immeasurably from Patterson’s work. Interested seekers like me, who never fully committed to a “school” but were intrigued by the legend of both men and their system will gain a profound understanding of the meaning and sense of “the Work” including its historical context and the unique individuals who came in and out of the teaching. The tenor of the time is illustrated with wonderful photographs of the surroundings in early 20th Century France, Russia and the United States, and portraits the main players, along with the pithy commentary.

I am sure that direct students of the disciples of Lord Pentland’s line to Uspenskii and Gurdjieff will gain a great deal more in terms of both historical context and insight to the machinations and methodologies of their teachers and fellow students. Again this amazing biography is a work of great tribute and love by a truly devoted student and teacher.

* * *

My Interest in Gurdjieff/Ouspensky
When I was in my twenties I worked in resort areas and one day a friend gave me a copy of The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin by P.D. Ouspensky (same man, different spelling).  I was intrigued by this short novel about a seeker who meets a strange magician whom he beseeches to allow him to go back and change some of his life choices.  The magician says he can send him back but it will all play out the same way—and it does.

The man goes back to his youth and confronts the same pivotal choice with a woman he loves at a train station, determines to alter the course of his life, and ultimately life conspires to make it play out as it always had. Eternal recurrence… Determinism –Fate.

I read Ouspenky’s seminal work shortly thereafter, ‘In Search of the Miraculous’ and was forever changed. In my travels I had long suspected that there were secrets of wisdom and ways to transform my consciousness, and this book told the story of Ouspenky’s own search in ashrams and the far east, only to return to his native Russia (during the days before the revolution where he encountered a strange mystical figure (the magician of Ivan Osokin).

Ouspensky (author of Search for the Miraculous) described G’s teaching and cosmology in a way that completely  sold me.  While I could “understand” only a fraction of the “science,” the main concept of most people behaving as automatons and unaware of their habitual conditioning struck me as truth even then. Gurdjieff also hinted that his teaching came from “Pre-Sand” Egypt –that he had found a map that showed the Sphinx at a time when the Sahara was fertile, and described the birth and death of many civilizations because of humans’ propensity to go insane and destroy each other due to influences that came far beyond Earth –from the galaxy and universe.

I would read ‘In Search for the Miraculous’ as I dealt with the mundane needs of tourists who seemed completely brainwashed and unable to enjoy their vacations unless they played rounds of golf, ate in expensive restaurants or went on expensive shopping sprees.  Meanwhile the “natives” in the resorts, while mostly poverty stricken, were better adjusted and emotionally happier than my clients.

As I read the material it resonated deeply and I had the sense that it was deeply connected to the true sources of ancient wisdom and also comprehended man’s real nature and his relationship to the cosmos, and to Life, in a way modern science and my formal education failed to achieve. When I returned to the States I tried to find an esoteric school of the sort Ouspensky described, and first ran across one in San Francisco. I thought it was an amazing coincidence that I saw a young woman carrying his book at the St. Francis Hotel, and after we talked, I eagerly went to several meetings. But I learned later that there were “scouts” like her with books trolling San Francisco for prospects–and I had a ticket for Hawaii, so I left.

ASIDE: For many the teaching has the flavor of a “cult” and I am sure that many cult leaders have appropriated some of Gurdjieff’s methods and ideas; however my experience is that those with a direct connection with the teaching are sincere in their beliefs and completely private with no need to proselytize. In fact, finding and being accepted in a true “school” is still both arduous and difficult.

Fortunately there is now a great deal of material online, and books by authors like Patterson, Dennis Lewis and Jacob Needleman have made it into the mainstream. Much of my own reading and teaching stayed with me and informed my relationships and personal journey, for better or worse.  When articulated, the ideas of man’s sleep and the conditioned state of most institutions are viewed as unconventional at best and often as subversive.

It is impossible to take in this teaching without coming into conflict and friction with conventional reality and society. One loses interest in much of what many people take for granted as important goals and strivings as one tries to connect with what one senses is a higher intelligence and meaning to life. But the teaching intrigued me and I bought books by Gurdjieff and other students up until recently when I fell in love with the work of Jacob Needleman, who wrote a series of books including ‘Lost Christianity’ – which echoed the teaching and made it more modern. For an introduction I would recommend reading Why Can’t We Be Good (2007) which in many ways triggered my current search for truth.

I eventually met Dr. Needleman and attended some classes and lectures and approached a group in Los Angeles. Even today the teaching is well guarded and kept separate from “ordinary life” so I went my separate way, almost as Uspenskii did with Gurdjieff. But fortunately through the current openness of the Internet much of the teaching (both real and distorted versions) is now available online.

For myself, I see so much of it reflected in my work with Michael Jeffreys, the teaching of Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie (who also calls her material “The Work”) and even the more popular psychologies of Wayne Dyer, along with people like Anthony Robbins, Werner Erhard and Deepak Chopra, among others. What I have discovered is that the teacher is important but it is the openness of the student that is paramount. For example, Gurdjieff suggested that his task was to create “the conditions for growth.”  In his time this was seen as arduous labor and “intentional suffering.” For me, perhaps as a result of rationalization (my “chief feature”?) I believe that deliberate mindfulness and acute self observation need not require construction work and cleaning toilets. However, as Eckhart Tolle suggests, some personal suffering and often hitting rock bottom is most often the stimulus for a new, serious attitude toward life.

Patterson’s immense contribution is crystalizing the many diverse aspects of Gurdjieff’s contribution to humanity’s comprehension of its true nature and station in the cosmos. His stated aim was to understand the “significance and purpose of Organic Life on Earth.” To me there can be no greater goal of wisdom.

Gurdjieff anticipated, among other things, the Hubble telescope’s findings, perhaps black holes, quarks, dark matter and energy and certainly much of modern neuroscience and quantum physics. As I’ve written in previous blogs, the search for the “real self” has evaded those neuroscientists who have searched it in the neurons and synapses – it is apparently a “virtual” entity or entities that exist in the space and energy within complex networks. Perhaps Gurdjieff’s greatest admonition, however, was to accept nothing at face value or on hearsay.

Investigate for yourself. Validate or reject for yourself.  Be the scientist in your own life.  That is the essence of what he brought.

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Health

The Powerful Aspirin Alternative Your Doctor Never Told You About

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo,com where it was originally posted. Published here with permission.

  • Reflect On:

    Given the newly released cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines recommending against daily low-dose aspirin use, natural, safe and effective alternatives are needed now more than ever.

In a previous article titled “The Evidence Against Aspirin and For Natural Alternatives,” we discussed the clear and present danger linked with the use of aspirin as well as several clinically proven alternatives that feature significant side benefits as opposed to aspirin’s many known side effects.

Since writing this article, even more evidence has accumulated indicating that aspirin’s risks outweigh its benefits. Most notably, a 15-year Dutch study published in the journal Heart found that among 27,939 healthy female health professionals (average age 54) randomized to receive either 100 mg of aspirin every day or a placebo the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding outweighed the benefit of the intervention for colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention in those under 65 years of age. Most recently, last month, new cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines submitted jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Associated and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, earlier this year, contradict decades of routine medical advice by explicitly advising against the daily use of low-dose or baby aspirin (75-100 mg) as a preventive health strategy against stroke or heart attack, in most cases.

Of course, aspirin is not alone as far as dangerous side effects are concerned. The entire non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) category of prescription and over-the-counter drugs is fraught with serious danger. Ibuprofen, for instance, is known to kill thousands each year, and is believed no less dangerous than Merck’s COX-2 inhibitor NSAID drug Vioxx which caused between 88,000-140,000 cases of serious heart disease in the five years it was on the market (1999-2004). Tylenol is so profoundly toxic to the liver that contributing writer Dr. Michael Murray recently asked in his Op-Ed piece, “Is it Time for the FDA to Remove Tylenol From the Market?” Just as serious are tylenol’s empathy destroying properties that were only identified four years ago.

Given the dire state of affairs associated with pharmaceutical intervention for chronic pain issues, what can folks do who don’t want to kill themselves along with their pain?

Pine Bark Extract (Pycnogenol) Puts Aspirin To Shame

When it comes to aspirin alternatives, one promising contender is pycnogenol, a powerful antioxidant extracted from French maritime pine bark, backed by over 40 years of research, the most compelling of which we have aggregated on GreenMedInfo.com here: Pycnogenol Research. Amazingly, you will find research indexed there showing it may have value for over 80 health conditions.

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In 1999, a remarkable study published in the journal Thrombotic Research found that pycnogenol was superior (i.e. effective at a lower dosage) to aspirin at inhibiting smoking-induced clotting, without the significant (and potentially life-threatening) increase in bleeding time associated with aspirin use. The abstract is well worth reading in its entirety:

“The effects of a bioflavonoid mixture, Pycnogenol, were assessed on platelet function in humans. Cigarette smoking increased heart rate and blood pressure. These increases were not influenced by oral consumption of Pycnogenol or Aspirin just before smoking. However, increased platelet reactivity yielding aggregation 2 hours after smoking was prevented by 500 mg Aspirin or 100 mg Pycnogenol in 22 German heavy smokers. In a group of 16 American smokers, blood pressure increased after smoking. It was unchanged after intake of 500 mg Aspirin or 125 mg Pycnogenol. In another group of 19 American smokers, increased platelet aggregation was more significantly reduced by 200 than either 150 mg or 100 mg Pycnogenol supplementation. This study showed that a single, high dose, 200 mg Pycnogenol, remained effective for over 6 days against smoking-induced platelet aggregation. Smoking increased platelet aggregation that was prevented after administration of 500 mg Aspirin and 125 mg Pycnogenol. Thus, smoking-induced enhanced platelet aggregation was inhibited by 500 mg Aspirin as well as by a lower range of 100-125 mg Pycnogenol. Aspirin significantly (p<0.001) increased bleeding time from 167 to 236 seconds while Pycnogenol did not. These observations suggest an advantageous risk-benefit ratio for Pycnogenol.” [emphasis added]

As emphasized in bold above, pycnogenol unlike aspirin did not significantly increase bleeding time. This has profound implications, as aspirin’s potent anti-platelet/’blood thinning’ properties can also cause life-threatening hemorrhagic events. If this study is accurate and pycnogenol is more effective at decreasing pathologic platelet aggregation at a lower dose without causing the increased bleeding linked to aspirin, then it is clearly a superior natural alternative worthy of far more attention by the conventional medical establishment and research community than it presently receives.

Not Just A Drug Alternative

Pycnogenol, like so many other natural interventions, has a wide range of side benefits that may confer significant advantage when it comes to reducing cardiovascular disease risk. For instance, pycnogenol is also:

  • Blood Pressure Reducing/Endothelial Function Enhancer: A number of clinical studies indicate that pycnogenol is therapeutic for those suffering with hypertension. Pycnogenol actually addresses a root cause of hypertension and cardiovascular disease in general, namely, endothelial dysfunction (the inability of the inner lining of the blood vessels to function correctly, e.g. fully dilate).[1] It has been shown to prevent damage in microcirculation in hypertensive patients, as well as reducing the dose of blood pressure drugs in hypertensive patients,[2]including hypertensive diabetic patients.[3] It has even been found to reduce intraocular hypertension found in glaucoma patients.[4]
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: There is a growing appreciation among the medical community that inflammation contributes to cardiovascular disease. Several markers, including C-reactive protein are now being fore grounded as being at least as important in determining cardiovascular disease risk as various blood lipids and/or their ratios, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Pycnogenol has been found to reduce C-reactive protein in hypertensive patients.[5] Pycnogenol has been found to rapidly modulate downward (inhibit) both Cox-1 and Cox-2 enzyme activity in human subjects, resulting in reduced expression of these inflammation-promoting enzymes within 30 minutes post-ingestion.[6] Another observed anti-inflammatory effect of pycnogenol is its ability to down-regulate the class of inflammatory enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).[7] Pycnogenol has also been found to significantly inhibit NF-kappaB activation, a key body-wide regulator of inflammation levels whose overexpression and/or dysregulation may result in pathologic cardiovascular manifestations.[8] Finally, pycnogenol has been found to reduce fibrinogen levels, a glycoprotein that contributes to the formation of blood clots; fibrinogen has been identified as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.[9]
  • The Ideal Air Travel Companion: In a previous article entitled, “How Pine Bark Extract Could Save Air Travelers Lives,” we delve into a compelling body of research that indicates pycnogenol may be the perfect preventive remedy for preventing flight-associated thrombosis, edema, and concerns related to radiotoxicity and immune suppression.

Given the evidence for pycnogenol’s pleotrophic cardioprotective properties, we hope that pycnogenol will become more commonly recommended by health care practitioners as the medical paradigm continues to evolve past its reliance on synthetic chemicals, eventually (we hope) returning to natural, increasingly evidence-based interventions. However, it is important that we don’t fall prey to the one-disease-one-pill model, convincing ourselves to focus on popping pills – this time natural ones – as simply countermeasures or ‘insurance’ against the well-known harms associated with the standard American diet, lack of exercise and uncontrolled stress. The ultimate goal is to remove the need for pills altogether, focusing on preventing cardiovascular disease from the ground up and inside out, e.g. letting high quality food, clean water and air, and a healthy attitude nourish and sustain your health and well-being.


References

[1] Ximing Liu, Junping Wei, Fengsen Tan, Shengming Zhou, Gudrun Würthwein, Peter Rohdewald. Pycnogenol, French maritime pine bark extract, improves endothelial function of hypertensive patients. Life Sci. 2004 Jan 2;74(7):855-62. PMID: 14659974

[2] Gianni Belcaro, Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Andrea Ricci, Umberto Cornelli, Peter Rodhewald, Andrea Ledda, Andrea Di Renzo, Stefano Stuard, Marisa Cacchio, Giulia Vinciguerra, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini, Mark Dugall, Filiberto Fano. Control of edema in hypertensive subjects treated with calcium antagonist (nifedipine) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors with Pycnogenol. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. 2006 Oct;12(4):440-4. PMID: 17000888

[3] Sherma Zibadi, Peter J Rohdewald, Danna Park, Ronald Ross Watson. Reduction of cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with type 2 diabetes by Pycnogenol supplementation. Nutr Res. 2008 May;28(5):315-20. PMID: 19083426

[4] Robert D Steigerwalt, Belcaro Gianni, Morazzoni Paolo, Ezio Bombardelli, Carolina Burki, Frank Schönlau. Effects of Mirtogenol on ocular blood flow and intraocular hypertension in asymptomatic subjects. Mol Vis. 2008;14:1288-92. Epub 2008 Jul 10. PMID: 18618008

[5] Maria Rosaria Cesarone, Gianni Belcaro, Stefano Stuard, Frank Schönlau, Andrea Di Renzo, Maria Giovanna Grossi, Mark Dugall, Umberto Cornelli, Marisa Cacchio, Giuseppe Gizzi, Luciano Pellegrini. Kidney flow and function in hypertension: protective effects of pycnogenol in hypertensive participants–a controlled study. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Mar;15(1):41-6. Epub 2010 Jan 22. PMID: 20097689

[6] Angelika Schäfer, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 activity by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of French maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). Biomed Pharmacother. 2006 Jan;60(1):5-9. Epub 2005 Oct 26. PMID: 16330178

[7] Tanja Grimm, Angelika Schäfer, Petra Högger. Antioxidant activity and inhibition of matrix metalloproteinases by metabolites of maritime pine bark extract (pycnogenol). Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2011 Jan;40(1):103-6. PMID: 14990359

[8] Tanja Grimm, Zuzana Chovanová, Jana Muchová, Katarína Sumegová, Anna Liptáková, Zdenka Duracková, Petra Högger. Inhibition of NF-kappaB activation and MMP-9 secretion by plasma of human volunteers after ingestion of maritime pine bark extract (Pycnogenol). J Inflamm (Lond). 2006;3:1. Epub 2006 Jan 27. PMID: 16441890

[9] G Belcaro, M R Cesarone, S Errichi, C Zulli, B M Errichi, G Vinciguerra, A Ledda, A Di Renzo, S Stuard, M Dugall, L Pellegrini, G Gizzi, E Ippolito, A Ricci, M Cacchio, G Cipollone, I Ruffini, F Fano, M Hosoi, P Rohdewald. Variations in C-reactive protein, plasma free radicals and fibrinogen values in patients with osteoarthritis treated with Pycnogenol. Redox Rep. 2008;13(6):271-6. PMID: 19017467

Originally published: 2017-07-23

Article updated: 2019-04-11


Link to original article


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Farmer Gives His Cows To A Sanctuary After Seeing Them “Terrified”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A Cattle farmer turned vegan and gave his whole £50,000 herd to an animal sanctuary because he could no longer bear seeing them 'terrified' on the way to the abattoir.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we subject other living beings to torture, pain, hurt and a terrible life? Why do we not value the life of an animal as much as we do a human?

Billions of animals are raised and killed for slaughter every single year, and that’s in America alone. There is nothing humane about our food industry. It’s quite clear that the majority of animals are tortured, live in extreme fear, anxiety and depression, and constantly have their kids and other family members ripped away from them. Take cows, for example. These majestic, compassionate, empathetic and brilliant beings are basically raped so we can drink their milk.

They are forcefully inseminated, which is odd given the fact that casein, the protein found within the milk of a cow, has been found to increase our risk of cancer and even accelerate the growth rate of cancer . Furthermore, the milk from a cow creates a condition within the body called metabolic acidosis, and as a result the body compensates by leeching calcium from the bones. How ironic is that?

When the cow gives birth, the babies do not get the milk because that’s reserved for humans and big profit. The babies are separated from their mothers and then are either immediately killed or raised for slaughter. This is extremely inhumane, and it represents one of the most heartbreaking genocides in human history. It makes no sense to drink the milk of a cow because it’s meant for cows.

In fact, humans are the only animal that drink the milk of another animal, and we are the only animal to drink milk after weaning. Furthermore, we previously didn’t have the ability to digest the milk of a cow, that’s an ability our bodies eventually developed, given the fact that the milk of a cow is so unnatural to the human body. It makes sense that 65 percent of the planet has some form of lactose intolerance. In some regions of the world it’s an astonishing 90 percent. It makes no sense at all, and it’s quite clear that the big food companies are behind this and have marketed milk as ‘healthy’ simply for the purposes of profit.

The main purpose of this article is to emphasize that all of this is happening because of us. Granted, things have drastically changed over the past decade, and are continuing to change. The profits of the dairy and meat industries are steadily declining, and this is as a result of people waking up to what’s really going on with regards to how these animals are treated as well as the health consequences of human beings over-consuming animal products.

One other thing that seems to be happening is an increase in global compassion. It’s always strange to ask how any human being can be involved in this process. We are talking about living, sentient, emotional, intelligent beings being subjected to extreme pain. How can anybody on the planet be okay with someone else going through such things? The reality is that there are individuals who oppose these industries, and there are those who deem the lives of other animals as insignificant.

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As I said, people are changing, but some people just don’t realize this. Jay and Katja Wilde are the latest examples of how change is spreading.

Pictured above, the 61-year-old farmers just couldn’t take the guilt anymore after spending many years as beef farmers. They recently decided to give their entire herd to an animal sanctuary. It’s interesting because he’s been a vegetarian for thirty years, yet at the same time this was his occupation, and through it he discovered that each individual cow had their own unique personality. They are loving, caring, intelligent and affectionate animals.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, he said:

“I’ve long felt there was a very strong conflict of interest between not eating meat and producing cattle for meat,” he says. “The problem is that when you inherit a farm, it feels like a duty to keep its life continuing into the future. That also means looking after animals, really getting to know them. But then I felt that sending them off was betraying them. I needed to do something differently. Whether they are stubborn, shy, friendly, they’re all different. These traits can pass down generations, too. You can match sons and daughters to their mothers.”

He emphasized how his profession made him much more “acutely aware of taking them to their place of death.” A death that Jay felt sure the cows were fully aware of. “It’s hard to know exactly what they know, but logic suggests everything about that final journey must be terrifying,” he said.

Jay and his wife Katja have now converted their beef farm into an organic vegan one, becoming the first farmers in the UK who are believed to have taken such action.

“The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as now they look upon the murder of humans.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Below is great, heart-warming video.

The Takeaway

Eating meat isn’t healthy. It’s well-established in scientific literature that a meat-free diet, when done correctly, offers tremendous health benefits. Plant-based eating is not only nutritionally sufficient, but helps you avoid chronic illness as well. You can read more information regarding that in the articles linked below.

What we are doing today, raising and slaughtering billions of animals, is not only destroying our health, it’s destroying our environment as well. More importantly, compassion, care, empathy and love must return to our planet, and the food industry is where we need to start showing these qualities that have somehow been made to lay dormant within us. If one suffers, we all suffer.

Related Articles:

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

Studies Show What Happens To Your Heart When You Go Vegan or Vegetarian

Disturbing Aerial Photos Show What Killing Billions of Animals for Meat is Doing To The Environment

Warning: Graphic Images That The Egg Industry Does Not Want You To See

New Study Shows What Vegan Diets Do For Heart Health, Endurance Athletes & Sports Performance

Scientist: Milk From Cows Has “The Most Relevant Carcinogen Ever Identified” & “Turns on Cancer”

Scientist Explains How Cow’s Milk Leeches Calcium From Your Bones & Makes Them Weaker

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In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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Multiple Investigations Reveal Secrets About Where US Tax Dollars Are Really Going

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Multiple investigations and testimony from high ranking sources have discovered that trillions of dollars of our tax dollars are going towards programs that not even the highest ranking people within government know about.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are we made to believe our taxes dollars are going towards necessary services that favour the population? Why do we so easily trust our government and take their word for it when evidence says otherwise.

It’s amazing how much money is scraped off of each paycheque, and how much money multiple small and big businesses pay. We are told that it’s necessary, that this is the money going towards various programs that are responsible for building our schools, employing people for necessary services and infrastructure, among many other things. It’s truly amazing how much money governments rake in from taxes.

It’s an astronomical amount that makes it hard to see how all of the money is allocated to services that are in the people’s favour, instead of the possibility of it going into the pockets of certain politicians and elitists, among other places. Yet we are heavily taxed, and reasons for taxation are constantly brought up and justified, almost as if to imply that there really is no other way of changing things and doing things differently here on planet Earth. Our potential is huge, yet we are convinced that money and taxation are our only ways to operate.

Sure, some of our taxes are going toward various needs and services we deem necessary, but how much off of our paycheques is really required for this? Judging by the amount of money that has been poured into black budget programs, it doesn’t seem like much is needed at all, and this is because trillions upon trillions of our tax dollars are actually going towards projects that the public has absolutely no idea about.

These projects are known as ‘black budget programs,’ which include Special Access Programs (SAPs). Within these we have unacknowledged and waived SAPs. These programs do not exist publicly, but they do indeed exist. They are better known as ‘deep black programs.’ A 1997 US Senate report described them as “so sensitive that they are exempt from standard reporting requirements to the Congress.”

Not many people have investigated the black budget world, but The Washington Post revealed that the “black-budget” documents indicate that a staggering 52.6 billion dollars was set aside for operations in fiscal year 2013.(source) More recent investigations, however, reveal a lot more than that.  The topic was discussed in 2010 by Washington Post journalists Dana Priest and William Arkin. Their investigation lasted approximately two years and concluded that America’s classified world has:

Become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work. (source)

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Recently, Arkin quite NBC/MSNBC  and went public outing them as completely fake government run agencies. You can read more about that hereHere is another article we published that has links within it to documents showing the close relationship between mainstream media, academia, and the CIA.

The most recent investigation was conducted by economist and Michigan State professor Mark Skidmore, alongside some of his graduate students as well as Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development. They discovered trillions of unaccounted for dollars missing from the Department of Housing & Urban Development as well as the Department of Defense. For their research, the team used several government websites and made inquiries to multiple U.S. agencies. Much of the time they received no response and the Office of the Inspector General even disabled links to all key documents that revealed unsupported spending, according to the team.

Given the Army’s $122 billion budget, that meant unsupported adjustments were 54 times spending authorized by Congress. Typically, such adjustments in public budgets are only a small fraction of authorized spending… Skidmore thought Fitts had made a mistake. “Maybe she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion,” he said. “So I found the report myself and sure enough it was $6.5 trillion.” – Michigan State News.

They went on to find documents indicating a total of $20 trillion worth of undocumented adjustments made from 1998 t0 2015. Our tax dollars are going directly into these black budget programs, which often cost far more than our roads and services. If this information was made transparent and public for discovery and use, it would leap all of humanity into the stars and into new discovery and exploration. The implications would be huge, and it would force us to ask more questions.

Here’s a great quote from Paul Hellyer.

It is ironic that the U.S. would begin a devastating war, allegedly in search of weapons of mass destruction when the most worrisome developments in this field are occurring in your own backyard.  It is ironic that the U.S. should be fighting monstrously expensive wars  allegedly to bring democracy to those countries, when it itself can no longer claim to be called a democracy when trillions, and I mean thousands of billions of dollars have been spent on projects which both congress and the commander in chief know nothing about. (source)

What’s even more interesting is that Fitts has been quite outspoken about a secret space program and where this missing money is actually going. She explains how enormous amounts of resources were handed over to covert operations to develop a security system of finance. This then created the CIA and a select group of people who were in charge of UFO technology. “By the time JFK came into office ready to challenge this shadow government and make space program the centrepiece of his administration, the civil war between the Deep State and the public state was in full force.” (source)

Interesting to say the least.

Deeper Black Budget Discussion On CETV

CETV is a platform we created in order to combat censorship and demonetization we have been facing over the past few years. On episode 4 of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, we discussed the Black Budget in much deeper detail. Below is a clip exploring the validity behind missing money from the black budget and special access programs, explaining where the money is going and what exactly it’s being used to do.

You can become a member of CETV, get access to the full show and many others, and support conscious media here.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to really question what’s going on with our tax dollars. Whose pockets is the majority of money going into, and for what purpose? What are we really paying for? Secret space programs? Deep underground and under ocean military bases?  Have we just been made to believe that the way we are taxed is absolutely necessary? What is really going on here and how come nobody is questioning it?

Help Support Collective Evolution

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

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