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Why An Alkaline Approach Can Successfully Treat Cancer

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This article was written by Nancy Elizabeth Shaw from Greenmedinfo.com and reprinted here with permission. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here

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In the 1930’s, an interesting natural cancer treatment was proposed as a simple, effective answer to cancer – almost any cancer.  This treatment approach is not well known because it is considered alternative or experimental – or even dangerous[i] – by the medical and scientific community and hence has been referenced primarily in obscure publications outside the mainstream press.

This treatment approach is called alkaline therapy or pH therapy, and is based in part on observations of cultures without significant incidence of cancer[ii] and in part on scientific observations of and experimentation with cellular metabolism.[iii]

The principles of pH therapy are very simple.  The metabolism of cancer cells has a very narrow pH tolerance for cellular proliferation (mitosis), which is between 6.5 and 7.5.  As such, if you can interfere with cancer cell metabolism by either lowering or raising the internal cancer cell pH, you can theoretically stop cancer progression.[iv]

While lowering cancer cell pH (increasing acidity) is effective against cancer cell mitosis in the lab, increasing acid levels in the live body of a cancer patient puts stress on normal cells and causes a lot of pain.  So the proposed alkaline therapy for people is a “high pH therapy” and has been developed to normalize the intracellular pH of the cancer patient’s body through elimination of latent acidosis, while increasing the pH of cancer cells to a range above 7.5.  According to published research, it is at that pH they revert to a normal cellular apoptosis cycle (programed cell death).[v]

Ideally, this approach begins with an alkaline diet.  There is general agreement amongst natural healers and medical professionals alike, that changing a cancer patient’s diet is extremely helpful when someone is confronted with a cancer diagnosis.  In a previous article, I outlined the six steps that every cancer patient should take to provide the best chance to heal from and prevent future recurrences of cancer using alkaline diet principles.[vi]

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The alkaline diet, which is primarily plant-based and avoids sugar, dairy, wheat and other high-gluten grains as well as an excess consumption of fruits, while emphasizing fresh vegetables and vegetable juices along with cruciferous vegetables and greens, changes the body’s intracellular pH to come close to the ideal blood pH of 7.3/7.41  – a key metabolic accomplishment on the path to longevity whether you have cancer or not!  An alkaline diet based on vegetables and fruits creates a less-than-optimal environment for cancer proliferation, while at the same time strengthens the immune function and supports healthy cells in the body through improved nutrition.

The second step is to use some nutritional mechanism to move the internal cancer cell pH from the optimal mitosis range of pH 6.5 to 7.5, to above 8, which shortens the life of the cancer cell.  As described by its proponents, alkaline therapy neutralizes the acid waste of the cancer which causes so much pain, interferes with the anaerobic fermentation of glucose that starts the self-feeding acidic cancer wasting cycle called cachexia and in time, can induce remission.  If this theory of alkaline therapy holds true, it should be possible to address cancer without chemotherapy, radiation or surgery and use alkaline therapy as a primary cancer treatment.

This bold statement comes from a somewhat abstruse body of research.  In the 1880’s, Louis Pasteur published his work on cellular aerobic respiration and glycolysis.  In 1931, Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for his work on the metabolism of tumors and the respiration of cells, which was later summarized in his 1956 paper, On the Origin of Cancer Cells.  His work on cancer expanded upon Pasteur’s findings and described respiratory insufficiency and a cellular metabolism of glucose fermentation as the primary trigger for cancer progression[vii].

Warburg’s conclusions on cancer were much discussed in scientific circles, as they are academically elegant, but were not accepted by most members of the scientific community engaged in cancer research.  Most cancer researchers in the late 1950’s believed that the anaerobic metabolism of cancer cells and their accompanying output of lactic acid was a side effect or an adjunct effect of cancer, not a cause.  Cancer research since the 1960’s has focused primarily on genetic aberrations as causative for cancer, and has ignored the body of research on cancer pH and its implications for therapeutic approaches.[viii]

Warburg’s work was a catalyst for yet another research effort on the nature of cancer cells, beginning in the 1930’s.  A. Keith Brewer, PhD (physicist) performed experiments on the relationship between energized, oxygenated cell membrane and elemental uptake, vs. cellular membranes in an unenergized state such as cancer cells exhibit.  He wrote a number of papers discussing the cellular mechanisms of cancer cells and the changes in metabolism induced or indicated by the lack of or presence of oxygen in combination with other elements, particularly potassium and calcium.   He noted that cancer cells share one characteristic no matter what type of cancer:  they have lost their pH control mechanism.

Brewer’s summary conclusion regarding cancer was that by changing the pH of cancer cells to alkaline (above 7.5), they will cease to function as they need an acidic, anaerobic environment to thrive.  In other words, he proposed that cancer cells will die if they can be pushed into an alkaline, oxygenated state.[ix]

Brewer’s work cites areas in the world where cancer incidents are very low.  These areas contain concentrations of alkalizing minerals in the soil and water, which are greater than in other parts of the world.  For example, the Hunza of northern Pakistan and the Hopi Indians of the American West share both similar soil and water conditions and diet.  The alkaline elemental minerals of cesium chloride, germanium and rubidium are heavily present in the soil and water.  Ingestion of these elements is correspondingly high.  These peoples also live in similar high, dry climates and grow apricot orchards, traditionally eating the fresh or dried fruit and the seeds each day.

It should be noted that apricot seeds are the source of the controversial cancer treatment Laetrile or B-17/Amygdalin.[x]   Apricot seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, which has long been identified as a potential chemotherapeutic agent against cancer proliferation.[xi]   Other similarities in the diet include a low consumption of dairy products, meat and wheat, as these foodstuffs are difficult to farm in high, arid climates and a correspondingly greater consumption of millet, buckwheat, nuts, dried fruits and berries in their traditional diets, all of which contain a similar enhanced (though sill minute) concentration of cyanide.

This is all very interesting, but what does it really mean for cancer patients who wish to avoid the pain of cancer and the typical course of treatment using surgery, chemotherapy and radiation?  What are the conditions that will force cancer cells to change their pH?

Conventional chemotherapeutic agents such as Cytoxan usually cause more damage to normal cells than to cancer cells, because cancer cells have a very thick, unenergized cellular membrane that essentially protects them from absorbing many drugs.  Normal cells have no such protection.

Conversely, cancer cells have no way to normalize their internal pH, where normal cells are relatively unaffected by high concentrations of alkalizing minerals.  However cancer cells take up primarily two elements:  glucose and potassium.

In practical application, then, it is necessary to find a way to guide alkalizing elements – such as cesium, germanium or rubidium – into cancer cells, without impacting normal cells.  It turns out this can be done using a transport agent that penetrates the bone/blood barriers, then relying on the normal uptake of alkalizing elements that follow the potassium pathway.  Cancer cells appear to have preferential uptake of cesium chloride in particular, but also take up germanium, rubidium, selenium, etc. all through the potassium pathway.

There is a compound that is frequently applied to the skin by arthritis sufferers for relief of inflammation, used in brain surgery to relieve intracranial pressure and topically used in sports medicine and veterinary medicine,[xii] also for reducing inflammation.  This compound is called DMSO and it is formed in the slurry created from soaking wood chips in water that is a bi-product of the paper making industry.

Folklore has it that workers in the paper making industry were observed to have their hands in water continuously, but they never developed arthritis and had rapidly healing skin and strong nails.  Experimentation with DMSO as a medical treatment began in the 1800’s and continues to the present day.  DMSO is medically approved in the United States only for the treatment of interstitial cystitis, a type of inflammation of the bladder.[xiii]

The reason DMSO is so interesting to cancer patients is that, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a “carrier agent.”  It penetrates the brain/blood barrier and carries with it whatever drug or mineral is mixed with.

There is now some interest in the cancer industry in potentially using DMSO to carry chemotherapeutic agents into cancer cells and get beyond their protective membrane.  However, for the purposes of changing the alkalinity of cancer cells using cesium chloride, germanium, rubidium and other alkalizing minerals, DMSO and its ingestible form, MSM, are an effective medium.  Essentially these agents carry the minerals into all areas of the body including the brain, organs and bone marrow, where they can be used with other nutrients in ordinary cellular metabolism.

Using topically applied and ingested alkaline minerals to change cancer cell pH is not a new idea.  Controlled experiments and the personal use of this method have been ongoing since the mid-1900s.   However, it is important to note that the only FDA approved clinical trial did not have outstanding results.[xiv]  About 50% of the participants died – though if you read the study results in detail you will discover that they had been pronounced terminal before the trial began and some of them never even took one treatment.  Others had side effects ranging from leg cramps to heart arrhythmia.  A careful read will lead you to believe that perhaps they were given too strong a dose in too short a period of time.[xv]

From this research and subsequent studies, it is now understood that alkaline minerals look to normal cells and to cancer cells like potassium.  All cells require potassium to function.  The reason cancer cells take up these alkaline minerals is their resemblance to potassium.

Functionally, however, these minerals cannot take the place of potassium in cellular metabolism.  While substituting alkaline minerals for potassium creates exactly the desired result in cancer cells – increased alkalinity – when normal cells replace potassium with other minerals over the long term the consequences can be quite serious as it causes electrolyte imbalance, manifested as heart arrhythmia and leg cramps.[xvi]

The remedy to this condition of electrolyte imbalance, caused by replacement of potassium in healthy cells with other alkaline minerals during pH therapy, is simple in practical application.  Alkaline minerals are ingested or applied to the skin only during the day.  Then before sleep, the user must take potassium chloride supplementation along with other electrolytes such as magnesium and calcium if needed.  Monitoring of potassium blood levels every two weeks by a doctor is critical if a cancer patient decides to incorporate alkaline therapy into their cancer regime.

When properly balanced, the side effects of using alkaline minerals are greatly if not completely remediated by electrolyte rebalancing.  Despite the “fear, fire, foe” tone of Mssrs. Wiens et al in the article cited above[xvii] there is no risk of dying of a heart attack (or leg cramp), unless the patient ignores the proper method using alkaline minerals and is not working in consultation with an experienced specialist.  A caution: electrolyte rebalancing cannot be properly implemented by casual methods such as drinking sports drinks, particularly since commercial products are generally full of sugar and artificial substances.  Electrolyte rebalancing must be carefully applied using specific doses of supplements, based on your personal blood composition, in consultation with a nutrition expert or endocrinologist.

My personal experience with pH therapy has been nothing short of spectacular.  I have seen stage four, terminal cancer patients recover using alkalizing minerals.  There are patients who report untreatable cancers, such as nasal or fully metastasized breast cancers, which after a very persistent course of tiny doses over several years, eventually disappeared altogether.  Patients who have never had chemotherapy or radiation often experience rapid remission after changing to an alkaline diet and incorporating the use of alkaline minerals into their regime.

However pH therapy using alkaline minerals requires quite a bit of knowledge (do your homework!) and is greatly enhanced with the support of a mineral provider or cancer coach who has the experience to guide you through the process.  Many mineral providers sell minerals, but do not have the ability to assist the users.  Therefore, it is critical to seek a mineral provider who can provide references to extensive information and is available to help you work through the rough spots – and there will be some!

It is my direct personal experience that cancer can be controlled using alkaline minerals.  There are thousands of people who have had similar positive experiences.  Does it work for everyone?  No.  However if high pH therapy is properly applied, it works for a very respectable percentage of cancer sufferers – estimated at upwards of an 80% response rate by providers.  Significant when compared to traditional therapies.

This finding is why I started The Cancer Alternative Foundation – to help cancer patients feel comfortable using effective, natural therapies like pH therapy as part of their overall treatment strategy.  The Foundation simply researches and vets the claims of various alternative offerings for cancer – and there are more than 400!  To date, we have concluded that high pH therapy is one of the most effective alternatives, particularly for later stage cancers.

However alkaline therapy outcomes (as well as those for other sound alternatives) have yet to be documented in a systematic way, such that the medical community could reliably understand the positive impact that incorporating it into cancer treatment could make to hundreds of thousands of cancer sufferers.   Collecting outcomes is a current project at The Cancer Alternative Foundation and should prove invaluable to cancer patients and their doctors and care givers alike.[xviii]

If nothing else, it is my contention that alkaline therapy could be used in a supporting role to conventional treatment, which will only improve the long-term outcome for patients.  It is my hope that this promising and effective natural approach to cancer becomes more accepted by mainstream cancer care providers – as well as those enlightened individuals seeking a natural alternative, who are willing to close their eyes and jump.

An alkaline approach to cancer can only help them to enjoy their future – as in having one!

Nancy Elizabeth Shaw is a strategist, meta-analyst and Founder of The Cancer Alternative Foundation.  Contact information: www.thecanceralternative.org/contact_us.


[i] Cassileth, Barrie R. et al, Herb-Drug Interaction in Oncology, pp. 158-159; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, People’s Medical Publishing House, Shelton, CT  2010

[ii] Clark, J., Hunza in the Himalayas, National Geographic, 72, 38-45; 1963

[iii] Brewer, A. Keith and Passwater, R.   Physics of the Cell Membrane V. Mechanisms involved in cancer; American Lab, 1975,-
8, 37-45

[iv] Brewer, A. Keith PhD, Cancer, Its Nature and a Proposed Treatment, 1997; Brewer Science Library; http://www.mwt.net/~drbrewer/brew_art.htm

[v] Ibid, p. 15.

[vi] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/nutrition-information-every-cancer-patient-should-know

[vii] Warburg, Otto, On the Origin of Cancer Cells, Science, February 1956, Vol. 123, No. 3191

[viii] Witting, Rainer and Coy, Johannes, The Role of Glucose Metabolism and Glucose-Associated Signaling in Cancer; Perspectives in Medicinal Chemistry, 2007; 1:64-82. Pp. 2; cited PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754915

[ix] Cancer: The Mechanism Involved and a High pH Therapy, 1978 papers of A. Keith Brewer, Ph.D. & co-authors, Copyright A. Keith Brewer Foundation, 325 N. Central Ave., Richland Center, Wis, 53581.

[x] Griffin, G. Edward, World Without Cancer:  The Story of Vitamin B17, American Media, Westlake, CA 1974

[xi] Fatma Akinci Yildirim and M. Atilla Askin: Variability of amygdalin content in seeds of sweet and bitter apricot cultivars in Turkey. African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 9(39), pp. 6522-6524, 27 September, 2010; Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJB; DOI: 10.5897/AJB10.884; 600 mg. of bitter apricot seeds contain up to 1.8 mg of cyanide, where the sweet kernels contain up to .9 mg. of cyanide.

[xii]http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/ComplianceManuals/CompliancePolicyGuidanceManual/ucm074679.htm.

[xiii]http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/pharmacologicalandbiologicaltreatment/dmso; When used for this condition, a 50% solution of DMSO is instilled into the bladder through a catheter and left there for about 15 minutes to relieve the inflammation

[xiv]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6522427

[xv] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19746253

[xvi] Weins, Matthew et al; Cesium chloride-induced torsades de pointes, Can J Cardiol. 2009 September; 25(9): e329–e331; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2780897

[xvii] Ibid.

[xviii] To donate to The Cancer Alternative Foundation‘s Alternative Outcomes Database, see the website:  http://www.thecanceralternative.org/donate_to_the_cancer_alternative_foundation

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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Box Top$ For Education Is Not Supporting Education (Here’s Why)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Box Top$ For Education program has kicked off yet again with messaging to suggest it helps schools across the country. However, when you go beyond the surface it's far from what it seems and promotes itself as.

  • Reflect On:

    What labels and initiatives do you let impact your behavior as a consumer?

National Box Tops for Education Week kicks off coast-to-coast fundraising.  For over 20 years, the Box Tops for Education program has provided families a way to help raise money for their school. The program was created to “help support education and benefit American schools” by providing a small amount of money from each item purchased. Does this program truly benefit education and support learning?

Who’s Really Benefitting?

General Mills, Inc., an American multi-billion-dollar multinational manufacturer, and marketer of branded consumer food is genuinely the benefactor. Giving a school 10 cents for every item bought is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money General Mills earns at the expense of our health. At first glance, it appears this company has been extremely generous, donating $719,000,000 in the last 20 years. If you do the math and divide each year’s totals by the 80,000 plus schools in the United States, it equates to a whopping $449 per school. As one can see, General Mills has done a fantastic marketing job, encouraging our kids to eat their garbage. Sure, we can buy school supplies, Kleenex tissues, and a few toxic cleaning products on the list, but what’s the fun in that.

Crappy, Overly-Processed “Food-Like” Products Do Not Support Learning

Diet and nutrition deeply affect a child’s learning ability. Sadly the qualifying products on the Box Top list including Hamburger Helper, Lucky Charms, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Fruit Roll-Ups, and alike do not achieve this.

Did You Know? The ingredient list for strawberry fruit roll-ups doesn’t include strawberries!

Instead, it contains genetically modified corn syrup and dextrose (refined sugar derived from GM corn, and artificial food dyes – red 40, yellow 5&6, blue 1 (derived from coal tar and petroleum).

Nutrient-rich homemade meals are being replaced with boxed, frozen, and canned foods due to higher prices of healthy food, our hectic lifestyles, and brainwashing tactics, such TV ads and campaigns such as the Box Top program.

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The Truth

Processed food lacks essential whole food nutrients the brain needs to function correctly. They contain ingredients such as genetically modified corn syrup, refined sugar, synthetic salt, unhealthy fats, artificial colors and flavors, chemical preservatives, and unrevealed heavy metals and pesticides. All of these ingredients work against a child’s ability to learn. 

Pesticides and antibiotics found in food today are detrimental to our healthy gut microbiota which are essential to brain function and development. Both are designed to kill bugs. So, we are destroying our gut bugs that help regulate and keep our immune systems strong and healthy to support our brain.

Studies have also shown that the high sugar content of processed foods may contribute to diabetes, which can affect a student’s learning in many ways. Blood sugar levels can affect cognitive functioning and school performance. According to many scientific journals and newsletters from prestigious universities like Harvard Medical School, processed food consumption are also linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, sleep problems, hyperactivity, attention; and mood symptoms including depression and anxiety.

Boxed foods are also linked to other severe health issues like obesity and high blood pressure. Two extensive European studies published by BMJ in May 2019 links processed foods with a range of health risks, including cardiovascular death. Another scientific study conducted by scientists from Yale University in the U.S. and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany indicated that “excess refined salt used in fast-food restaurants and the over-consumption of sodium from other processed foods may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases.”  Processed foods can also trigger cancer.  The researchers warn that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods “may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades.”

Don’t Be A Victim To The Marketing Ploy

We are poisoning ourselves, and the consequences are starting to show with the incredible rise of neurodevelopmental, mental illness, and diseases like cancer, asthma, diabetes, and many autoimmune disorders. So, let’s forgo the Box Top’s and find healthier and more productive ways to raise money for our schools. These big ag companies have no interest in changing current practices no matter how sick they’re making all of us. Or how many medications we are all dependent on. These companies are generating trillions of dollars of their products, and creating customers for life. General Mills and most food companies are owned by Monsanto/Bayer. They are adhering to FDA guidelines and are not violating any federal laws because they fund the FDA (Industry User Fees).

Fighting big lobbyist groups can seem like an impossibility for most of us, so we need to take our power back by voting with our dollar. We must refuse to purchase products with barcodes that are making 10 cents for our schools. And choose healthy instead.


Looking to help your family overcome ADHD, autism, anxiety and more without medication? Get access to download my FREE eBook ‘Every Parent’s Starter Kit to a Healthy Family’ by signing up HERE.

 

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Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?

The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.

The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.

If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.

You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.

One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.

It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.

More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”

It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.

Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”

The Takeaway

Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.

The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.

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Health

Parables For The New Conversation (Chapter 4: The Island)

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The following is a chapter from my book ‘Parables For The New Conversation.’ One chapter will be published every Sunday for 36 weeks here on Collective Evolution. (I would recommend you start with Chapter 1 if you haven’t already read it.) I hope my words are a source of enjoyment and inspiration for you, the reader. If perchance you would like to purchase a signed paperback copy of the book, you can do so on my production company website Pandora’s Box Office.

From the back cover: “Imagine a conversation that centers around possibility—the possibility that we can be more accepting of our own judgments, that we can find unity through our diversity, that we can shed the light of our love on the things we fear most. Imagine a conversation where our greatest polarities are coming together, a meeting place of East and West, of spirituality and materialism, of religion and science, where the stage is being set for a collective leap in consciousness more magnificent than any we have known in our history.

Now imagine that this conversation honors your uniqueness and frees you to speak from your heart, helping you to navigate your way more deliberately along your distinct path. Imagine that this conversation puts you squarely into the seat of creator—of your fortunes, your relationships, your life—thereby putting the fulfillment of your deepest personal desires well within your grasp.

‘Parables for the New Conversation’ is a spellbinding odyssey through metaphor and prose, personal sagas and historic events, where together author and reader explore the proposal that at its most profound level, life is about learning to consciously manifest the experiences we desire–and thus having fun. The conversation touches on many diverse themes but always circles back to who we are and how our purposes are intertwined, for it is only when we see that our personal desires are perfectly aligned with the destiny of humanity as a whole that we will give ourselves full permission to enjoy the most exquisite experiences life has to offer.”

4. The Island

The island of Allandon was born of a fiery volcanic eruption that came out of the ocean. At first the island was nothing more than a mass of molten lava which was cooled by the air and the ocean tides into hard rock formations. As more time passed, life began to spring up through the cracks and crevices, until one day Allandon was an island of great character and beauty. As if gradually awakening from a long sleep, the island eventually recognized itself as an island, separate from the ocean. During noontide of his first day of self-awareness, the island noticed the ocean’s waters rushing upon him and then receding back. So he spoke to the ocean thusly:

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“Would you please stop splashing onto the rocks on my shore?”

 “It is the way of the universe,” she replied. “You were born of me and this is how I care for you, softening the rocks on your shore until they become tiny crystals of sand.”

“Why do you do that?”

“So that creatures that walk upon your beach can feel how gently the infinite and the temporal can meet.”

“Will you then leave me alone?” asked the island.

“I can never leave you alone, not until you have melted back into me and we are one.”

The island was outraged. “No! I may have been born of you, but I will not die at your hands!”

“Death is an illusion,” she said.

“Quiet!” he retorted. “You will stop what you are doing immediately!”

“I have no choice in the matter.”

“Well I have a choice,” said the island of Allandon. “I will resist you to the end!”

“Yes, you have that choice,” the ocean replied. “What would be my delight in you otherwise?”

An essential concept that we will come back to many times throughout the course of this book is that of duality. Our conversation itself would not be possible if there were not a duality: you and I. A listener and a speaker. Without a listener, speaking would be pointless. Without a speaker, listening would be impossible.

But it goes even deeper than that. This world, indeed existence itself, requires duality. What something ‘is’ can only be determined when it is measured against something that it ‘is not’. The shadow only ‘exists’ in the presence of light, or that which it is not. The root Latin word ‘exsto’ meant ‘to stand out or stand forth, to project; to be visible’. Existence itself as we know it is only possible where there is duality. While we can truly understand the ‘being’ of darkness only in its relation to light, light as well only exists when cast against a background of darkness. There would be no ‘good’ without ‘bad’, no male without female, and so on.

Duality is what makes it possible to be conscious. We are conscious when we distinguish subject from object, ourselves as perceivers from what we perceive. The day that the island sees itself separate from the ocean and distinguishes the ‘I’ (the island itself) from the ‘you’ (the ocean), that is the day that the island becomes conscious. And being conscious, the island and the ocean are able to talk to each other, just as we are. As we continue to speak about the evolution of consciousness, both on the personal level and the global level, the importance of the concept of duality will become ever more clear.

There is no better or more profound elaboration on the concept of duality and its role in the world than the Chinese symbol of yin and yang, which represents the two basic forces in the universe. Consider them polar opposites, like the positive and negative ends of a battery. Just as electricity is made possible by the dynamic between opposing charges, all movement in the world, all change, is made possible by the interplay of yin and yang.

In figure 1 black and white represent these two opposing forces. White is the cosmic force of yang, the masculine force, sign of the Sun, aggression, light, heat, growth and movement. In contrast the black is yin, the feminine force, sign of the Moon, passivity, darkness, cold, senescence and inactivity.

Figure 1

The small black and white spots signify the precise interrelationship between Yin and Yang: the seed of one is always contained in the other, such that all movement in the universe is the growth of one force out of the other. You can see in the diagram how the polarities literally turn into each other, like night into day and day into night. Our planet’s entire ecology depends on this complementary pattern, where everything that grows eventually decays, giving rise to new growth.

In the new conversation the subject of change is always in the forefront. We seek out support from each other in dealing with and making changes in our lives, because we all have some resistance to change. Change can be difficult. Change can be threatening. But in the back of our minds we know change is inevitable. We see the sun rise and fall, we see the seasons come and go. We know that we are always growing older and one day will die. And even knowing this, we often live as though the circumstances of our life are frozen in time and will stay the same forever.

Of course they never do. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted that in the world ‘the only constant is change.’ And we should all be grateful for that. Imagine if the world around us actually did stay the same and every day was just like the next, if the weather never changed and plants and trees didn’t grow. Imagine if we didn’t age and our children never grew up. Imagine if there was never anything new. It wouldn’t be very much fun and we know it. Despite our resistance there is a part of us deep inside that wants change. That part of us wants us to grow, to evolve, to experience new things. We also want to make our relationships better and more fulfilling. We want to be more powerful in our working life and create more abundance. We want to finally climb the mountain of our dreams and enjoy the breathtaking view from on high.

Fine. But this all doesn’t happen until we are willing to make a first step, and start declaring our aspirations out into the world. If we at least shared our dreams with someone else, and expressed our disappointment that our lives were not moving towards anything worthwhile, we would likely find that we are not alone. Sometimes the friction of mutual discontent is enough to spark us into action. Or we might turn right around and stop talking about it. Our fear of the unknown can be so strong sometimes that we will shy away from the very conversations that we suspect will encourage us to actively make changes.

Now if we decide to keep sitting back and waiting, life will eventually make changes happen to us, and they are not likely to be the ones we are looking for. When we just hang on to our relationships, life will make them slowly slip away. If we endure a job that we don’t like, work will become ever less satisfying and we may even get fired. And if we don’t keep lighting the torch of our greatest hopes, they will fizzle out into oblivion. When that happens, the only way we are able to console ourselves is by rationalizing that our dreams were never possible to begin with, if in fact we still remembered what they were.

In Chinese philosophy change is likened to a constantly flowing river. All the forces of nature move with the current downstream, in a perfectly balanced and synchronized manner. The real exception to this is human beings. We have made for ourselves a raft on this river, symbol of our self-consciousness, our awareness of ourselves as self-determining creatures. This gives us the power of choice. At any moment in our lives we can choose to embrace change and travel downstream or we can fight against the flow. While we may appear to be staying in the same place for periods in our lives, the forces of change are always at work. If we try to stay in the same place for too long, we are actually expending a lot of energy fighting our own evolution, and we are basically allowing life to pass us by. Eventually, the force will be too much and we will be carried a little ways down the river. In these moments we experience letting go, and when we let go we see that the changes we have been avoiding are not so bad after all.

In the transformation of yin and yang in figure 1, all change is contained by the outer circle which, as you can see, is the only part of the diagram that remains the same throughout. This circle represents the source of all change and all things in the universe. It is called the Dao (also written ‘Tao’), which can roughly be understood as the All or the One. In other spiritual traditions the Dao has been called Brahman, God, Allah, Supreme Being, the Unchanging, the Almighty to name a few. The name itself does not really matter. As Lao-Tzu reflects in Dao De Jing,

The Dao is too great to be described by the name ‘Dao’. If it could be named so simply, it would not be the eternal Dao.

Because the Dao (or whatever else we call it) is the unchanging All, then it is necessarily beyond all duality, and therefore beyond description. There is nothing it is not, and so we can never know the Dao. However, we can still experience ourselves as part of the Dao. By definition all things in the universe, including ourselves, are part of the Dao.  Since the Dao is the source of all change in the world, the part of us that feels a connection with the Dao is where our own desire for change comes from. I would like to call this part of us our Dao Self. If it was up to our Dao Self, we would always follow nature in moving with the current of the river.

But there is another part of ourselves, the part which does not recognize our connection to the Dao. It is the part that enables us to function in the world as individuals, to experience ourselves as apart from one another. This part of us I would like to call our Ego Self. The Ego Self  is programmed to survive at all costs and to maintain control over our lives. It is resistant to change because change threatens to destroy a part of the identity we have created for ourselves as distinct entities. It is worried that change will cause our entire being to fall apart. And so our Ego Self wants us to work our way upstream, so that we stay in the same place and remain as stable as possible.

This gives us pause to think about what it means to be human. Are we a part of the universe or apart from it? Is our real self the Dao Self or the Ego Self? While we may live our life predominantly from the perspective of one or the other of our two selves at any given time, they are always both with us throughout our life. Our basic nature is comprised of this duality, and being human means living with the paradox of this double identity. Our Ego Self is connected to our senses, and keeps us focused in the physical or ‘material’ world, the temporal world of matter. It’s voice is the voice of reason. Our Dao Self transcends sensory experience and calls us to look inside, to an invisible world that holds us to be part of the whole, the infinite world of spirit. Our Dao Self speaks with the voice of our intuition.

When we start to accept ourselves as having this dual nature, it is much easier to understand our conflicting desires: we resist change in our lives and yet we deeply desire change. When we live from the perspective of the Ego Self, change becomes associated with pain, suffering and loss. However, as we learn to live life more from our Dao Self it is easier to embrace change and let go of resistance because change is no longer associated with loss. We don’t experience loss because we feel connected to the wealth of the universe.

When John Donne said that ‘no man is an island,’ he was speaking about this interconnectedness that we have with our world and with each other. All of the great spiritual traditions of the past have been saying this in their own way. They all call us to a greater awareness of our union with the source of being, the One of many names which I am calling the Dao.

Like the island ultimately returning into the ocean from whence it came, we too are on a course for a union with the Dao. But like the island we fight against this. When our Ego Self is in charge we worry that if we do not struggle to hold on to our identity we will lose ourselves completely. We become protective of the welfare of our individual selves because we cannot see our greater connection to the whole. This is the paradox of our existence, source of both our profoundest miseries and our greatest delights. And we would not have it any other way.

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