THE ALCHEMYCAL PAGES
|Q&A | The Human
Being |Yin & Yang | The
Ginger Compress | Disease of the Month|
Food and You |General
Dietary Recommendations | Resources|Events Calendar|]
To Purchase "The End Of Medicine"
To summarize what we have learned in the previous two columns.
The problem of infectious illnesses, whether the identified
organism is a virus, bacteria or other parasite, is accurately
recognized as being an illness of the host rather than illness
caused by the infectious organism.
In other words, any illness classified as an infectious disease
is not an illness which is primarily the result of the host being
invaded by the parasite. On the contrary, the illness of the host
results in pathogenic conditions developing in various organs
of the host and it is the pathogenic condition of the organs which
then attract the invasion of the organism(virus, bacteria, worm,
spirochete, flagella, amoeba, fungus, etc).
So, the proper questions we need to ask are what is
illness and how do we become ill?
A macrobiotic description of illness is that any illness is
a symptom or a set of symptoms indicating that the person who
is experiencing them has created them due to living a lifestyle
which is "out-of-balance" with respect to the order
of the universe. In other words, our hepatitis C, or cancer, or
AIDS, or diabetes, etc., is not an accident. Rather, it is an
indicator we are, and have been for our whole lives, living a
life which is not consonant with what we, as human beings, actually
Of all the aspects of existence which determine how we live,
the two most significant are our daily eating habits and our daily
habits of thought. This again has been long recognized. The importance
of food in human illness is noted in the Taittiriya of the Upanishads,
a sacred text of Ancient India, where it states, "Out of
Brahman, who is Self, came ether; out of ether, air; out of air,
fire; out of fire, water; out of water, earth; out of earth, vegetation;
out of vegetation, food; out of food, the body of man. The body
of man, composed of the essence of food, is the physical sheath
of the Self. From food are born all creatures which live upon
food and after death return to food. Food is the chief of all
things. It is therefore said to be medicine for all diseases of
In stating that "Food is the chief of all things"
and is "therefore said to be medicine for all diseases of
the body" the case cannot be made any clearer that our daily
dietary intake plays a paramount role in the development of illness
and health. And many sages and sacred texts of many cultures following
the Ancient Indian Culture have stated the same truth, including
The Bible, and The Yellow Emperor's Classic Of Internal Medicine.
The question then presents itself what are we to eat
if we want to be healthy and what do we eat that makes us ill?
Of course, today we are inundated with information about diet
and nutrition. However all this dietary and nutrient information
takes as its starting point the most fundamental error it is possible
to make with regard to the constitution of the universe and the
human organism. The error is that the universe and all that it
contains, including the human organism, is constituted of atoms
and molecules which obey the laws of physics and chemistry. This
is not true and is fundamentally inaccurate, only applying to
a very narrow and limited range of existence, that of the mineral
Macrobiotic understanding, on the other hand, takes as it
starting point the premise that the universe and all that it contains,
including the human organism, and food, is spiritual. The spiritual
constitution of the human being is that we are constituted of
Ego, Astral Body, Etheric Body and Physical Body and the physical
body is also spiritual. (Animals, are distinct from the human
being in that they are constituted of Astral Body, Etheric Body
and Physical Body. Plants are constituted of Etheric Body and
Physical Body and Minerals are constituted of the Physical Body
In other words, the physical body of another human being we
see with our physical eyes is not the actual physical body itself,
which is spiritual and therefore invisible to the physical eye.
The physical body we see with our physical eyes is, in the poetic
description by Rudolf Steiner, " a gesture by the mineral
kingdom we are in the presence of another human being".
The physical body we see is thus the outer appearance of the
spiritual physical body. The activity of the physical body, its
organs and tissues, thus cannot be the result of the activity
of the mineral kingdom, because in the domain of physical existence,
the mineral kingdom is dead, it is the realm of death. Therefore,
there is no possibility that the activity of the human physical
body, its organs and tissues, blood and tissue fluids can be the
result of the laws of physics and chemistry, which properly and
only apply to the mineral kingdom.
The form and dynamic activity of the human organism is given
to it by the etheric body, which is also given the description
of "formative" or "life" body. The word etheric
can also be transposed with the similar concept of the Ancient
Far East, 'chi"(Chinese), 'ki' (Japanese) and 'prana' (India).
Thus we have the concept of the formative, etheric or chi body
which is the spiritual activity which gives shape, size, action
and formation to the spiritual physical body, and the outer appearance
of this is rendered in the physical body we see and diagnose with
our physical eyes.
Unless we have this understanding of how the physical body
makes its appearance to the physical eyes and we make the mistake
of supposing the physical body as presented to the physical sense
organs is the reality of the physical body, we are fundamentally
operating in the realm of delusion.
Modern scientific medicine has been based on this delusion
ever since its inception over 400 years ago and it thus hardly
surprising the problem of degenerative and infectious illnesses
continues and will continue to be an insoluble problem for modern
Macrobiotic understanding takes as its starting point that
what is significant about our daily food intake is its dynamic
in terms of yin and yang. Yin and yang is essentially a descriptive
language for understanding the dynamics of the activity of the
etheric or "chi" body of the human organism and the
plant or animal organism.
The general concept of macrobiotic dietary habits is to harmonize
the dynamics of our daily food intake so as to support the balancing
dynamics of the human etheric body. It is implicit in this understanding
that the etheric body is in always and at all times attempting
to maintain a state of functional homeostasis in the physical
When an analysis is undertaken in terms of yin and yang of
the human organism, generally speaking, the dynamic of the relationship
of yin to yang of the human organism is in a ratio of 7 yin:1
On conducting a similar analysis of the foods available to
the human being we arrive at what is called The Spectrum of Human
Food Groups in terms of yin and yang. Reading from left to right,
with the most extreme yin on the left and the most extreme yang
on the right, the Spectrum is as seen in the Introduction.
All the food groups in the "area of balance' are the
ones used as the basis of a macrobiotic way of eating. The foods
here, when put together appropriately for the individual will
approximate a ratio of 7 yin:1 yang.
Daily macrobiotic eating habits starts with cooked whole grains
as primary food, cooked vegetables as secondary food, beans and
fruit as supplementary foods and foods for pleasure are all the
other food. As an aside here, I must mention that this analysis
is true, generally speaking, for those of us living above the
Arctic and below the Antarctic circle. Also, there is a variation
of this spectrum for those people living in those areas of the
tropics where whole grains are not available.
I mention this since we know that Hepatitis C is the major
world-wide epidemic, with far more individuals experiencing the
illness in less-developed countries than in the developed countries
of the world. Thus, a macrobiotic approach for these people to
heal themselves of this illness(or any illness) is far more economically
and practically feasible than is the one advocated by the WHO
of The United Nations.
Of course, all foods at the extreme yin and extreme yang ends
of the spectrum are totally avoided when we start our conscious
macrobiotic way of living and eating (although sea salt is of
a special nature and is used daily, in small amounts, when cooking
I say 'conscious macrobiotic way of living and eating' because
every human being who has ever lived or is living eats and lives
macrobiotically, it cannot be otherwise. Thus, the whole problem
of illness can only be resolved by individuals choosing to consciously
adopt and learn how to live and eat macrobiotically. When this
arduous undertaking is carried out thoroughly and conscientiously
as a daily way of living, then we are living a live which is creatively
healthy. This means we are living daily creating healthy lives
for ourselves. In other words, we are not living a life which
is designed to prevent illness, rather we are living a life where
the possibility of serious illness is not even a consideration.
However, we first have to heal ourselves and in the next column
I will give further details on how to go about healing ourselves
macrobiotically of illness in general and Hepatitis C in particular.
1041 Kains Avenue
Albany, CA 94706.
The Alchemycal Pages Copyright © Kaare Bursell, 1996