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25th PACIFIC MACROBIOTIC COMMUNITY CONFERENCE

OAKLAND MACROBIOTIC CENTER.

September 17-20th, 1992.

Twelve of us gathered for the conference, which is the least amount of people that have participated in these meetings in the last ten years. This is an interesting phenomenon and we discuss the possible reasons why during the course of the conference. We first met on Thursday evening for dinner and then we introduced one another, after which we had the agenda setting session. Then we departed to our various abodes to sleep before gathering on Friday morning at 9.00 AM.


Friday, September 18th.

Morning Session.

1. What are we searching for in Macrobiotics?

2. How to draw more people into macrobiotics.

3. Why the lack of interest in the PMC?

4. Chewing.

Afternoon Session.

1. Salt.

2. Fatty Acids.

3. Rebuttal of macrobiotic criticisms.

Saturday, September 19th.

Morning Session.

1. How would we invest $5 million.

2. Contradictions between what we are taught can be achieved in macrobiotics, and what happens in actuality.

3. Macrobiotic Association.

Afternoon Session.

1. National Health Care.

2. How do we relate to the propensity for our society to collapse soon?

3. The coming earth changes in the next five years- how do we respond?


SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS.

FRIDAY.

Morning Session.

What are we searching for in macrobiotics?

David Jackson began the discussion by asking if, based on some criticisms we heard last night about the food, that there was something that people were looking for that we were not providing in our teaching or in the books. David suggested we may get some ideas by asking ourselves what it was we were looking for when we began our macrobiotic practice. Since there were few of us participating every one could share their expereience.

Kaare Bursell started by saying he came across macrobiotics by "accident" in that although he had been searching, it was really in retrospect he realised he had been searching. He recounted how his search really began when he started taking drugs in the late sixties at University. Prior to that his life had been planned out to get his degree in Veterinary Medicine, find a wife and have a family, get a practice and work at that until he went to the grave, because that was all he knew - that was what he was supposed to do. However, going to university and being exposed to drugs, mainly hashish, but also LSD, amphetamines, Psylocibin and opium, was an eye-opening experience.

The class he was in at the veterinary school was utterly different from any of the other classes in the veterinary school in that his classmates, all wore, instead of the obligatory sports jackets and ties and twill trousers, and the ladies in twin sets etc, denims and workmen jackets and scarves and were a motley lot. At the university the drugs were coming on campus and there were a number of bohemian, hippie types showing up so when they went to the coffee bar they'd see them and they looked very interesting. And one of them, a woman, was in his class. She was an artist who was going to veterinary school. And he and his friends who were renting a house together, asked her to get some dope, and they came over to the house, her and her friends who had the drugs, and they smoked dope all night, actually falling asleep where they were lying. This was on June 19th, 1969, and Kaare woke up around 5.00 AM and went outside, since it was dawn, and the world he experienced was utterly different, he saw things he had never noticed before.

Then he began to read two psychedelic underground journals published in London, called 'International Times' and OZ. And in them were articles about all kinds of subjects like Taoism, Buddhism, Ley Lines and Earth energies, The Holy Grail, I Ching, Sufism, hippies and pop-art, to name a few. So, having the drug experiences and reading this literature exposed him to all sorts of realities compared to which the world he had known was utterly drab and dull; he and his friend used to call it the 'grey world' and he didn't want to have any part of it.

He bought books on many of these, Buddhism, Taoism, etc., etc., but he couldn't find anything in them that really grabbed him, so to speak and he got his degree in Veterinary Medicine and was in Ireland where he met a young couple who were eating macrobiotically. But he realised that he was on a quest, which he still on, and then having changed over to macrobiotics, and after undergoing dramatic physical, emotional and spiritual changes and having slowly begun to understand macrobiotic principles, he saw that here was a real, practical tool to change the world and its direction. His particular intent in starting macrobiotics wasn't for health reasons but for reasons of wanting to help change the destructive course of the world. And he thinks that is the main reason for him continuing to practice and teach macrobiotics.

Linda Bermann said she remembers looking out of the window when she was fourteen and saying to herself, "what's the use of living". Her entire history is an experience of constant psychological trauma, which was intensified after marriage. Then she began to feel ill and experienced various gastro-intestinal symptoms which lead her to believe that if she didn't do something it might mean she would lose her job. So she started to go to varies nutritionists and tried various odd, to her, dietary recommendations, which all worked to some degree.

Then she found herself being active in 'Women for Peace' , as she began to be aware of the trouble outside of her own troubles, then came her divorce. She was here by then, but even in New York, she had heard about macrobiotics, but that it was dangerous, people died. Here she went to an acupuncturist MD, who gave her a lot of pain, but Linda told her that she was interested in eating organic food and asked if she knew of any place and the acupuncturist told her about the macrobiotic center. She found it an exciting, interesting place, the people were friendly but as many changes occurred and she found it less congenial and hasn't been here to the center for a long time. She continues to practice and is now looking at the wider aspects of macrobiotics and is looking for her spiritual connection and more community.

Joel Huckins said that he came into macrobiotics searching for love and he is still searching for it. He found his time at Synanon very exciting because there all the dope fiends had a common goal to stay clean and find out what made them. He said that he looked out of the window at some point and wondered what was going on out there and he still thinks that it was mainly looking for family. One thing lead into another, changing your diet, and David asked if macrobiotics solved that problem? Joel said no, it is an ongoing thing, always looking. When you start looking for things in things, you never find them, they are always in yourself. If you start looking for love or satisfaction in things, then you will never find them.

Macrobiotics doesn't have anything that it can give you, it is more a matter of what you put into it, what you make of it and everyone has different ways of doing it, making it personal and warm and individual, or impersonal and cold and nebulous. It really is a path of self-reliance but the search is going on and he is interested in the process. He thinks that it is tough to be inner-directed rather than be outer-directed.

Jean-Baptiste said that when he started he was a ballet dancer being in a very different world than normal people experience. It is a very isolated world, where you are focused on the art, and you grow up very fast, but at some point he began to wonder and also he was experiencing physical problems. Then he heard about macrobiotics from a guy and to him it was like a green light but he wasn't ready, because he knew that when he started his life was going to change, and he wasn't ready. Kaare asked how did he know his life was going to change?

Jean Baptiste said he thinks we all have this ability to 'see', and what he was searching for in the beginning was a recipe for personal health and happiness but he soon learnt that it was deeper than that; that macrobiotics is about difficulty and welcoming it and learning to be flexible and adaptable in the face of all the changes that life is offering everybody.

Julie Brown said she had known for a long time she needed to change her way of eating. She heard about a lot of different diets with everyone purporting to have the answer and she didn't really get involved in any of them and over a period of fifteen years her health deteriorated. So when she discovered macrobiotics she was searching for health. She heard about it through a friend and gradually adopted it and found that it did help her condition improve. She had always been interested in saving the world, but she realised that she had better save herself first, because it was getting to the point where she couldn't do anything, much less save the world.

Cathy Beu said when she got into macrobiotics she was living in an ashram and she wasn't particularly searching for anything. Her entire life was devoted to getting in touch with the inner self and the reason she got into macrobiotics was she was extremely physically ill. She had been ill since she was sixteen and had become worse and worse. When she moved into the ashram, although she was happy and joyous inside, she was physically a wreck. She realised that she wanted to continue to live and at that point someone suggested she go and see a macrobiotic counsellor. This was in Boulder, and she saw Sandy Greenberg. She carried out the dietary recommendations and as she did so she found she was getting stronger. She resolved that no matter what anybody said she was going to continue, telling the people in the ashram that she needed this food in order to be able to carry out her responsibilities in the ashram and to be able to meditate.

On that premise, she was left alone with regard to her eating habits and pretty soon everyone in the ashram was getting into macrobiotics. After that she began to get stronger and she loves macrobiotics. She thinks that what is missing in macrobiotic literature is the lack or discussion and reference to the 'source'; yes, yin and yang is fine, but what about the origin of yin and yang?

Pat Murray said she got into macrobiotics in 1966 and she came in with heart disease and thrombosis. Spiritually, when she listened to Michio for the first time and then again a year later, and in between began to read the books of the person she considers to be her real teacher, George Ohsawa and "The Book of Judgement" was the first book she read. She found there the Unifying Principle which put together all the parts, which she had been looking for. Up until then she had read all the philosophers and all the spiritual seekers, and her favourite up until that point was Pierre Teile de Chardin. Her favourite subject in school was biology and the idea that intrigued her the most was that life adapts, adaptation to the environment.

She found in Ohsawa's book the spiral of materialisation and the path we all travel from God to human and back again and that was enough. She was a mother with two children living in New York and she decided to go and stay in a study house in Boston. Her condition improved and she had thought she was going back to her pacifist activitist life in New York, but she stayed in Boston.

Now, she thinks it is important that people learn to know what to eat and the miracle she thinks had been brought about by Kushi and all the other people that do this work is that there are pockets of people all over the world who have this understanding about life. She thinks we are on the brink of the birth of a new world, and that hopefully some of the people in these pockets of understanding will be there in the new world, the birth of spiritual humanity.

David Jackson said that he wasn't suffering from any illness he was aware of when he got into macrobiotics, although he was intellectually ill. He grew up raised by his mother and he got into drugs at an early age around Venice Beach. He had been searching a great deal although he didn't know what it was; he started to get out of drugs because he saw friends of his dying and he wanted to stay alive. However, drugs did clarify for him that he and people he knew, that life consisted of a series of games and tricks played on one another, and that was frustrating because he couldn't find any real people. And that bothered him. His search was for the true human being. It used to bother him so much, this game playing and superficiality of life in this culture, that he decide he must be the one who is sick. So he decided he needed to heal himself, so he got into psychology and he still found the same games going on there. Then he figured that since we have to eat everyday, maybe it had something to do with food, so he got into vegetarianism, fruit fasts etc.

He used to browse in bookstores looking for health oriented books and he picked up "The Book of Judgement", as well as "Cooking for Life" by Michel Abehsera. He was searching for a different kind of understanding as up until that point he found nothing but superficial game playing going on. He was looking for freedom that he could understand for himself. He went all over town, bought twenty odd macrobiotic books and read them and then he understood that his original feeling that there was something wrong with the world and everyone in it, was accurate. His quest now is to spread the good news to as many people as possible. What he does is to try to givr the impression to people that with macrobiotics anything is possible, there is always hope.

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How to draw more people into macrobiotics.

The discussion moved on to how we may be able to attract more people into macrobiotics. The first item brought up was that those people who are practicing macrobiotics should be examples of what a macrobiotic way of living can effect in a person's life, in our demeanor, our expression, the way we carry ourselves etc. Another point that came up was that if people are coming into macrobiotics expecting to find something, they will be very disappointed because it isn't what is in macrobiotics, it is what you find out about yourself in the practice of macrobiotics. So much of what people complain about 'out there' in the world, whether it be in a macrobiotic center, or another person, or in the world generally is merely a reflection of our own shortcomings. We said that we had actually gotten to the point, many of us early in our macrobiotic practice of not even bothering about trying to attract people. Most of us had the early experience of being very enthusiastic about our macrobiotic practice and trying to convert our family and friends to it, and getting generally negative and even hostile responses. So we just stopped worrying about it; if people are interested we are more than ready to share our experience, but it really is a waste of time and energy to try to convince people.

Pat Murray said that we generally are more mindful and attentive of the way we behave and looking back on what it was like in the 60's in macrobiotics, she thinks we have come a long way. Then people in macrobiotics were very skinny, pale and severe in their demeanor. The history of macrobiotics in America has been one of going from a strictly intellectual expression, because definitely Michio Kushi is very strong in the intellect, to where we are today more ordinary, more comfortable with ourselves, more friendly and more coming from the heart.

David said that if we have a center then one of the qualities it should have is order. Most people when they are coming into macrobiotics are in a state of disorder, so if they come into a center that is disordered, then they feel it as being chaotic, and they can't cope with it, it turns them off.

Kaare said that one of the most baffling aspects of his macrobiotic experience is when he started and began to study the practice of eating he could see that it was so practical, and it was very reasonable economically and it was ecologically sound and there is no doubt that if people were generally eating this way there would be a dramatic fall off in the incidence of degenerative diseases etc., etc. So, what he couldn't understand was, once the word got out, why millions of people weren't changing their dietary habits, and, furthermore, why it wasn't just a matter of mere indifference to macrobiotics, but the outright negativity toward it, the hostility.

In 1982 Kaare had a conversation with Roy Steevensz that gives some indication of why macrobiotics usually gets bad press is Roy had occasion to give counselling to a member of one of the wealthiest families in America. This person told Roy that "We" have known about macrobiotics since the day Michio Kushi set foot on these shores and we have determined that it is not in our interests to allow macrobiotics ready access to the mass media, mainly TV, because 'we' think we have everything under control and we don't want macrobiotics to come in and upset the applecart.

We then discussed advertising and the media and our experience was that advertising doesn't work but sometimes, if we manage to be interviewed on TV, as has happened on infrequent occasions, then we generally find that we get a lot of interest.

Really, we don't think it is a big issue. People are not going to be persuaded of the benefits of macrobiotics until they try it and most people are not going to get into it unless they have a health crisis, and even then many people would rather have chemotherapy and drugs and surgery rather than eat brown rice and vegetables.

Joel said that as far as the center goes, advertising is a waste of money, but that he does put the name of the center in various listings, just to keep people reminded that the place is here and to come on down. It's really a question of getting name recognition and keeping reminding people through the occasional notice in newspapers.

The discussion then turned to what happens with a lot of people after they have started macrobiotics. Cathy Beu said her impression is many people come for counselling or cooking classes and what they really do is just take a 'look see' at macrobiotics and that many of them simply go off to something else. She wonders a lot about what we can do to keep people involved because by its very nature the practice of eating a macrobiotic diet is very isolating. Kaare said it was also his impression many people who get into macrobiotics leave it and that we do need to set up at some point some kind of long term support system. It is his impression that 10-15 years ago people were generally a lot stronger, they had more will and a greater capacity to be self disciplined and committed.

Whereas today, people are not only physically weaker they are also psychologically weaker, and macrobiotic practice being very difficult anyway, means that many people simply find it too difficult to do. It is perhaps that macrobiotics is still very early in its development and that as we mature and grow perhaps we will be able to set up really comprehensive long term care facilities so that people could get extensive training and teaching about the tools so that when they go back to their homes they really have a good grounding in it.

Another idea was to have peoplewho live in close proximity to one another share cooking a meal once a week.

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Why is there a lack of interest in PMC?

Kaare brought this up because he wanted to see what we thought about it. He said that if we look at the history of the PMC, it started off really small back in 1980 when it began as the West Coast Macrobiotic Teacher's Meeting and, in September1984, it changed to the Pacific Macrobiotic Community Conference after which attendance grew to a peak in 108, in Spring 1988, in Seattle. Since then it has gradually dwindled; there were 80+ when we had it at Vega,in Spring '89. However, Vega have declined to hold it anymore, because it cuts into their programmes. Since then it has generally gone down, down, down and this, with fourteen people, is the smallest participation since 1980. The question is, why?

Kaare said everyone knows it is going on, because he sent out three hundred fliers to people all over the Western States, 6 weeks beforehand; everyone who has participated in them before know they take place at the Equinoxes and everyone knows Kaare is the secretary, and is listed as such in the International Macrobiotic Directory, so they can contact him to find out what is happening. Also, it is not as if it were too expensive - 70 dollars for six meals and the opportunity to get together with people to share ideas and concerns, meet people and renew acquaintances, is a bargain. So, what can we do to find out why people do not participate?

Cathy Beu suggested that a questionnaire is sent out asking people. So we decided to ask if 'Macrobiotics Today' would print this in order to ask all those people who have been to the Pacific Macrobiotic Conference in the past why they no longer participate. Of the twelve people in the room, David Jackson has participated in very conference since 1981, Kaare Bursell since 1982, Joel Huckins since 1985, and Pat Murray has been coming since 1984.

Julie Brown suggested maybe people do not come because they feel they already know enough and Jean Baptiste said it is maybe because they know they are going to talk about subjects that have already been discussed before, like salt. Cathy said she had read nearly every macrobiotic book put out over the past twelve years and she feels there is still along way to go before we can exhaust discussion of macrobiotics. Pat Bursell said that perhaps what people want is lectures, they want to be instructed as opposed to engaging in participatory discussions.

It was suggested the recession may have something to do with the lack of attendance. Julie said it has to do with the lack of purpose people have in their lives with respect to developing community. She thinks this is a problem of the culture as a whole, where people over the past few years are tending toward becoming more isolated. Pat Bursell said she thought the isolation was a more yin process, where people are becoming more diffuse and fragmented and as a result are having their attention drawn all over the place and cannot focus on one thing.

Kaare said what about those people that are active in macrobiotics like Patrick and Meredith, and Cecile, the people at Vega? The response was that they have their businesses to take care of and are not interested in spending a social week end away from it. Kaare responded that all of us here today have to some degree to take care of business. So, for instance, many of these more active people don't seem to have any problem going to the Health Classics, or to the various summer camps because they coincide with their business activities, and they have an incentive to go. Whereas, their is no material incentive to come to the PMC.

Cathy said it should be asked of people, why don't you come to the Pacific Macrobiotic Community Conference. Joel feels the conference has never really been a place where the community can get involved because when we have gotten together it is always the stronger personalities, the 'motor mouths', as he called them, that have dominated and we have had several occasions when there has been bickering going on among these personalities, and so the people who come who are not active in making a livelihood in macrobiotic activities, they find all this unseemly and discomfiting and do not come back.

Cathy said it would be helpful if people communicated why they do not come, for whatever reason, whether it be for reason of personality conflicts, or they don't have any reason to come, or they don't have the money, or they are not interested in developing community, whatever. It would be nice if people would be honest in their responses so we could get some ideas of how we might change it.

Pat Bursell suggested that we should ask for ideas of what people would like to see happening at the conferences, what would make them interested in coming. Joel said that when they started there was more a sense of community, it was more cohesive, but that is no longer true, and the Health Classics have popped up, and they have a schedule and people go to the various lectures of their choosing, and they feel involved.

Kaare said that the summer camps offer people ten days where they can go and live together and share meals and go to lectures etc, with their children; the Health Classics offer a more structured, more comfortable environment, which pretty much is a summer camp, but indoors. It doesn't make any sense for the PMC to do what they do. So, maybe what goes on here is simply not attractive. Joel said that all those people who are active in macrobiotics used to come to these up until 1990, and now they don't because they are all scheduled out; they simply do not find it interesting enough to put it in their schedules.

David said personally he only goes to the Health Classic because he is invited and gets paid, but, not meaning offence to anyone, he gets ten times more out of the PMC than the Health Classics. If he wasn't invited to the Health Classic, he wouldn't go, whereas he makes sure he gets to the PMC even if it means he has to make sacrifices. He said all of us who are regular participants keep coming back because we find the meetings valuable and when he looks back at all the people who used to come and no longer do, he asks himself whether they got anything of value and if they did not, is this the fault of the PMC, or is it more their own problem. Is what goes on here threatening to them, was their own stuff on the line because they were challenged by someone who has an idea that may be different from their's. And he is surprised more people don't come to have discussions of macrobiotic ideas, because in his area, the people getting into macrobiotics are very interested in setting up discussion groups. Whether people have felt threatened in the PMC so they haven't been able to put across their ideas, he doesn't think so.

Joel said that people say that we want, we should, or we should do, but when it comes down to it, they don't show up. That always happens. Kaare said what we appear to be coming to is there are many different reasons why people haven't been coming; that we are not in a recession, we are in a semi-permanent depression which will take many years to emerge from, because it is embedded in the condition of the people, it may be that people have become fragmented, it may be that people have become career-oriented and this does not enhance careers, because none of us here are what you might call 'movers and shakers', it may be that people are not comfortable with this face-to-face discussion where it can get heated.

People do not seem to realise that when we are talking about the birth of a new human being and a new culture, that it is going to have to be forged, that sparks are going to fly. Whenever a birth, of any kind, takes place, it always involves pain and struggle. Therefore, if we are going to hash out the concepts, ideas, visions and practices this new culture needs for it to come to birth, it's not going to be easy or comfortable. If we are sincere in our commitment to hammering out the truths, then sparks are going to fly. Now, it is perfectly reasonable to feel discomfited when sparks begin to fly, but if that is a deterrent then it means we are unlikely to have the courage necessary to create the new human being and the new culture.

Joel said that if you look at the TV News and they report all this horrendous stuff, they look at you out of that screen as if to say this is normal, this is fine and no one ever gets up there and says, this is awful or, as Pat Murray said, I feel grief and pain when I report this. Pat Bursell said this guy on channel 7 got upset and emotional about some ghastly incident he was reporting and he was put down. Joel said that the code of silence, there's no passion, they're bloodless.

Kaare remembers a comment he heard from Vega about a year or so ago as to why no one there comes anymore and it was 'well, all they do is sit around and talk.' Kaare's response to that was what Goethe said in another context,"What is more light-giving than the sun?...Human conversation". Words are not just things that fall on the floor and sort of dissipate in the swamp. Words are very strong, and in the kind of culture we are birthing it has elements of an older culture in which words were treated with tremendous respect becuase they were considered to have magical properties. We are having discussions on really significant and important topics and issues and we come to some new level of understanding or insight, that has magical influence.

Joel said people are afraid to use words because they will talk everything away or because they cause you to feel, and people are afraid to feel. Pat Murray said we might then find ourselves being put down and attacked or criticised; and Kaare said it might make us get agitated and our hearts might beat a little faster but that is no reason not to engage in the dialogue.

We finished up by saying this session will be submitted for publication in 'Macrobiotics Today' as the way to ask people what they feel about the PMC, those who have been in the past, and as a way of informing those who have no knowledge of it and to elicit any suggestions for making it a more attractive proposition for people to attend.

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Chewing.

David Jackson shared some thoughts on chewing with us. There is a particular enzyme in our saliva called amylase which breaks down carbohydrates and it is very yang, and alkaline. It prepares the food for the acid secretions of the stomach. Amylase competes with salt which is why salt needs to be cooked and tamari should not be put on top of our food. Tamari in effect does not allow the amylase to do its job, it inhibits the release of amylase because the tamari or uncooked salt repels the amylase because they are both yang. However, cooking the salt or tamari into the food yinnises the salt and it doesn't have the inhibiting effect on the secretion of amylase.

David brought this up because Lino Stanchich has a book out called "The Power Eating Program" and David was talking to someone who stayed with Lino and he said that Lino is into every one having their own timer at the table while they are eating so they can time their chewing. David says that is too yang an approach and is not good for the digestion.

David's method goes as follows:

1. Put down the implement, fork or chopstick, after placing the food into the mouth.

2. Put your hands together.

3. Count, but do not count the chews, count the breathing, up to five.

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Afternoon Session.

Salt.

Terry Tishman brought this subject up because she was at French Meadows and there was much talk about salt and every teacher recommended a different kind of salt. She thought this sent out a mixed message to all the new people in macrobiotics, and this year there were a lot of people new to macrobiotics at the camp. Her concern is with all these different recommendations of salt beginners to macrobiotic practice are going to be confused and it may be enough to frustrate them enough for them to drop out.

She wanted feedback from us about this. Cathy said she thinks this is a fault of the presentation where the emphasis should be on the fact that macrobiotic practice is based on a set of principles which everybody getting into macrobiotics needs to understand so they can apply them to their own particular condition and to alter the parameters of their dietary practice as their condition changes. Thus, the recommendations given to anyone should be accompanied by the remark that these are only temporary guidelines.

Kaare asked what it was that was said at French Meadows. Terry said that Lino said Muramoto's Salt was the best after explaining that it is okay to have the preparation method Muramoto has of buying cheap salt and then boiling it and adding nigari later. She said that Lino's explanation of why that was okay was so convoluted she couldn't even follow it.

David said there is a lot of politics involved because Lino had talked to David about the seasalt David distributes, and Lino said that he was very happy with David's salt but at French Meadows, because of Cornellia's relationship to Muramoto, Lino recommended Muramoto's seasalt. David knows that Lino recommends the salt that he distributes, so although he is surprised that Lino said that, he understands why. Because when David called Vega about carrying the salt he distributes, "Si-salt", Carl Ferre told David about the relationship with Muramoto. In the latest conversation from Vega it turns out that Muramoto may not be making salt anymore and so they bought a large amount of Muramoto's salt so they would have plenty on hand.

Joel said that he visited Muramoto one time and it was clear to him that the quality of salt Muramoto was using was questionable. He said that as far as he is concerned all this is a bunch of baloney, people have to decide for themselves. Terry said she can personally attest to Muramoto's questionable business practices because she worked for a distributor from whom Muramoto bought his rice to make Mochi and he never bought organic rice, because he wanted the cheaper, non-organic rice at 29c a pound, whereas the organic rice cost, at that time, 59c a pound. And yet he sold his mochi as made from organic rice.

Pat Murray said when she was in Boston in 1966 there was a lot of controversy about salt, especially about grey seasalt, which was considered impure because if its color. Anyway, she suggested that to find out about the quality of any salt, the way to do it was to taste it. Put a few grains in your hands, place them in your mouth. If the salt is only NaCl, then it has a very sharp, acrid, biting taste; whereas if it is a seasalt which has a lot of minerals, then it has a softer, gentler taste. She said that if people find they are attract to drinking a lot of liquids or eating a lot of fruit and sweets, then they need to look at the quantity and quality of the salt they are using in their cooking.

David said that he knows salt is a critical factor in the development of strong, vital blood quality, because of the minerals in the seasalt attracting other elements like oxygen. David said that for people who come to macrobiotics from a meat-based diet, they have a lot of this old animal salt in their cells. The problem he finds with the grey seasalt is that it is too heavy in minerals and can lead to the entrapment of the old animal salt in people's cells.

David recounted how the salt is or derived from seawater using the salt flat method, and the salt flats from which "Si-salt" comes are the largest in the world and in fact all the salt in China and Japan comes from this same salt processing facility in Mexico. However, the Japanese and Chinese governments control their salt once they import it and they do all sorts of additional processes on it before it goes into the marketplace.

David explained that the most important consideration that he and Ygnacio Beamonte looked for in the salt was the quality of chi or life force. They have the choice of what salt they want from the harvesting process and they choose the salt which generally other buyers do not want, because it is more mineralised. At the facility all the different grades of salt are scientifically analysed so you can choose which one you want. The salt is then washed in seawater ready for grinding. The cleanliness of the salt requires no extra cleaning. Then it is ground using a slow, stone-grinding process that has spiral grooves cut into the millstones. This allows the salt crystals to find their way after they have been ground down to a certain size to make their way to these grooves and then fall through the hole into the receptacle. This ensures the integrity of the crystals are maintained and therefore no chi is lost or dispersed as in the case where hammer-milling is the method used to break up the large seasalt crystals. All other brands of seasalt use the hammer-milling method because it is faster, and 'time is money'.

Then we talked about how if people have long time animal food then when they start doing a macrobiotic diet that is too salty and too much grains they trap this old salt inside and this old salt holds on to excess yin. Then they begin showing yin symptoms, but don't realise it is because of this old yang. In Kaare's experience it is almost invariable that people who are suffering from too much salt always think their problems are from too much yin. Thus, people need to break up this old salt, using shiitake tea, or by sweating, or cucumber/wakame/orange salad.

David found this problem a lot in Arizona and among the signs he has found they have more yang constitutions, they are more likely to be women, they are thin, and they have skin problems on their hands where the skin is dry and cracked, sometimes the cracks are so deep that they bleed. Also they have a variety of yin symptoms like asthma, or frontal headaches, they tend to be very spaced out in their thinking and their speech is slow and has a choppy quality to it.

David recommends with them that they go on a low grain, high vegetable diet with no or very little salt and do the ginger compresses on the abdomen and use some of the preparations to break up the old salt. Then after the old salt has been broken up and eliminated they can increase grains and the salt they use.

It remains for us to reiterate that the PMC does not endorse any product or person and that these deliberations are for people to use to make up their own minds as to what seasalt they wish to use.

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Fatty Acids.

Cathy Beu said she was interested in this discussion of salt as it has a lot of similarities with the fatty acid picture. Now, in the healing diet a lot of people take the oil out of the diet, use very little gomasio, and then they begin to get very thin and tight. She found herself in this situation, and after a while she found that any time she tried to introduce more oil into her diet her body simply couldn't use it. She started researching it and she now feels that something that is lacking in the diet. Essentially there are three kinds of fatty acids, Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9. The latter two are found in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds. Whereas all three are found in only the last three items mentioned, with flax seeds having by far the richest content of Omega 3. Fish oil is also rich in Omega 3, but Cathy doesn't eat fish.

The actual cell membranes are made up of fatty acids and sulphur-bound proteins, and the macrobiotic diet has very rich sources of these proteins. In her case she started to introduce flax seeds in her diet and all her lingering skin problems and tiredness disappeared.

Cathy thinks this is useful for people on a macrobiotic diet who are having trouble helping the liver heal, or tumor growths are not dissolving. A Dr. Budwig is probably the most knowledgeable person on the topic of oils and fats in nutrition and says that fatty degeneration is the presence of fat material in cells in which they are not normally found. Conditions she enumerates which result from this fatty accumulation in the cells include cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, rheumatism, acne, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, liver cirrhosis and arthritis.

Cathy recommends taking flaxseed in the form of the whole seeds, which she either places in a heated pan with the heat switched off so that the flaxseed merely gets warmed up (if they are actually heated they melt), and then grind them with roasted seasalt like we make sesame salt and use it like gomasio. Flaxseed disperses unhealthy fat accumulations more effectively and rapidly than either sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds. Incidentally, these fatty acids are deemed essential in that the body cannot manufacture them.

It was felt that one of the additional benefits of people who are on a limited macrobiotic diet is the flax seeds will help with digestion and people may not feel the hunger that is common in early stages of eating macrobiotically.

Kaare brought up what he thinks is very necessary to keep reminding ourselves and other people. The human organism is a spiritual organism. we have physical sense organs with which we sense the physical world, and negotiate our way in it. However, if we think that what we weigh and measure and quantify as physical stuff is reality, we are seriously in error. What is actually going on is that beneath the veil of the physical world are active, spiritual forces that are manifesting the physical world.

And that is going on in our physical organism. The skin, if it is opened up reveals cells and tissues, but that is not what is actually there. What occurs when we penetrate and open up the skin is the freezing into an image of what underneath the unopened skin is actually dynamic spiritual activity.

Now, also the plant is the same. When the physical research scientists are describing something they are seeing on a screen or in the electron microscope, what they are seeing is an artifact created by their very measuring instruments. Not to deny the reality of that, Kaare is not saying that what they see doesn't exist, but what it represents, say Vitamin B12, Vitamin C or whatever, fatty acids, are actually manifestations of spiritual activity, spiritual forces. Now, if we are introducing these foods into our body, and the body is healthy - and that is the proviso- then as long as we are getting the basic forces which we call carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, then the internal spiritual activity of the body can alchemically create whatever it is it needs in order to function properly at any particular time.

Now, what we need to do when we are getting into macrobiotic practice is to change our way of thinking from the materialist thinking to spiritual thinking. By that Kaare means that the world of reality is a world of spirit which also manifests, creates the material world. Now, in macrobiotics what is happening is that macrobiotic thinking is becoming chemicalised. A lot of what is happening is that macrobiotics is tending to letting itself be dictated by materialistic thinking. This is why many macrobiotic counsellors recommend and are distributors of blue-green algae, for instance.

Then we had a wide-ranging discussion of counselling and how to relate to people who come for counselling and our experiences.

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Rebuttals of macrobiotic criticisms.

We discussed whether or not we should make rebuttals to distorted and ignorant statements made by various institutions about macrobiotic diets. In the American Institute for Cancer Reasearch Newsletter of Fall 1992, Issue #37, page 8 has a banner headline stating :"Macrobiotic Diet makes Misleading Claims", where, for instance, it states,'But because the diet includes very little fresh fruit, few animal products, and no dairy products, healthy people as well as sick may develop multiple nutrient deficiencies, including vitamins C, A, B12, Calcium and Iron.

Then, from the American Cancer Society, in their computer database, is a section on macrobiotic diets. At the beginning of the abstract, called 'Macrobiotic diets for the treatment on cancer', it states: 'After careful study of the literature and other available information, the American Cancer Society has found no evidence that adherence to any macrobiotic diet results in benefit in the treatment of cancer in human beings. Lacking such evidence, the American Cancer Society would strongly urger individuals with cancer not to participate in treatment with macrobiotic diets.'

Pat Murray said the American Cancer Society has gone from a position, not so many years ago where they were emphatic in denying that diet played any role whatsoever in the development of cancer, to where they have over the ensuing years gradually felt the impact of people recovering from cancer through macrobiotic practice and they have begun to incorporate macrobiotic dietary recommendations year by year, including some small percentage of what was being recommended by Michio in the 50's. They are attempting to appropriate the cure of cancer by diet and eventually that's what they will move into.

In 1982, when she was in Los Angeles, some people from the local chapter of the American Cancer Society came to eat a macrobiotic meal. In the newsletter of the center, published once a month, they printed a photograph of these people from the local chapter of the American Cancer Society eating lunch, and feeling good about it. They received a long letter disclaiming that we or any one else should infer that the American Cancer Society thinks that diet has anything to do with cancer. And look how far they have come; they are recommending the components of the American macrobiotic diet, with the exception of sea vegetables.

Kaare said no-one in macrobiotics seriously thinks that a macrobiotic diet cures cancer. However, while both these institutions are emphatically denying that there is any evidence that any macrobiotic diet is of benefit for cancer treatment, they are in fact recommending a diet that is close to macrobiotics. So, the fact that many nutritionists and doctors brand macrobiotics as being dangerous to a cancer patients is more a function of the political and economic changes they would experience if they were honest about the benefits of a macrobiotic approach to dietary changes. That is, they are protecting their own turf.

Michio used to say that in the late nineties the AMA will invent macrobiotics. We continued to discuss many possible strategies of sending rebuttals to both these institutions and we had a riotous session about it. However, two things came up after the session was over. One is we have the stipulation that the Pacific Macrobiotic Conference does not act as an official, authoritative body and secondly, Kaare came across an early lecture of Michio Kushi's, given on Monday, December 19th, 1966, at Arlington Street Church, Boston. The relevant section states,' ...if we are really macrobiotic, if we have good health and sound judgment, whoever attacks us will be destroyed without our intervention. ...As long as you keep good health and judgment you don't need to fight anyone. Whatever accusation comes against you in the future, accept silently. Don't excuse yourselves; the Order of the Universe will judge. Never be afraid of speaking the truth. We should be like Jesus said, never afraid; we might be crucified, hanged, imprisoned or attacked, but we should never be afraid."

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SATURDAY.

Morning Session.

How would you invest $5 million?

David Jackson said he had occasion to talk to a foundation in Phoenix, the Flint Foundation, who give grants to people for researching the connection between diet and health and he has come to investigate other sources of money and realises the money is there. He has the board of directors of this foundation listening to him, and he has other people coming to him in Phoenix saying, I have money, what should I do.

The premise of this discussion then, was, are we ready for it? Are we ready to be able to put a large some of money to work? The other side of the question is that we should prepare ourselves for the possibility of receiving a large some of money, by having some plan for what we would do if and when we have money handed to us. He found that when he started looking into this that the problem is the lack of people to invest in. What happens if he got a hold of 100 million dollars, what would he do with it? The question was really to get us thinking about what we would do macrobiotically if we received a large some of money; and also that if we develop detailed plans of what we would do if we were given five or ten million, then we would be more likely to attract the money.

Cathy said she would use the money to buy land right in or near a city and turn into a place which would be totally self sufficient in both food and energy and housing. Develop a community of macrobiotic people living in their own homes within the city as a way to be able to transform city life, which is so totally artificial and anti-human. She would also go to Vega and Kushi Institute and Switzerland in order to further her macrobiotic education.

Linda said she would use the money to find away to break the political and medical stranglehold and to open it up and send out the positive and constructive information we can give. She would try to find the people that could get this information through to the American people, and also to educate the medical, political and pharmaceutical establishments as to what macrobiotics could be for the people.

Another idea was to have a major facility as an education center and university with a bio-dynamic farm so that it will be self-sufficient, which will also be a clinic. The model would be for the rehabilitation of the city and the people in the city. There are many possibilities that could be included in the this model including that it also functions as a new way of hospitalising people with serious degenerative illnesses. It could also be a resort facility. And it would be located in a major urban area, like 200 -300 acres to have the land to be able to have the farm, and all the various buildings which would also include a television station.

Susanne Jensen why not go straight to the top and use the money to fund a new presidential candidate for the next election. She is fed up with what the present candidates are saying about the reality of the current state of this country and the world. As far as she can see no-one is seeing the reality who is in a position of power, they are denying it.

David said from what we have said so far we have to realise that we need to get more specific and Linda said we need to dream bigger dreams, and then bring those dreams to concrete reality. We need to have discussions about what would work.

Pat Murray said we need to ask, by prayer and meditation, what it is that is required to be done. Rather than have a plan, she thinks there is a real possibility for us to have a shift, so that rather than saying this is what I want, or I am going to start a hospital, she would surrender to what is being asked of us from the spiritual world, to get direct guidance. She would ask people to meditate and pray. On a practical level her efforts would be toward community and land. She thinks that if we have the ideal and the dream and the intention and then it would materialise. She gave the example of Michio in New York City in 1947, and look what has materialised since then. She would like to see a place with community and residential programs, and a place for people to dedicate themselves to wellness on many differnt levels, including play.

Kaare said he would use the money to start up a TV station which would not censor what is normally censored on TV. For instance, earlier this year there was a big convention in Anaheim on alternative approaches to cancer, and a reporter goes down there and then checks with an MD to find out whether these alternative approaches are any good or not. He said he would have the reporter from this TV station go and do a report and then have the various alternatives critiqued by people who are experienced in the field. Asking an MD to critique macrobiotics is like asking a mechanic to critique the work of a veterinary surgeon.

The fact of the matter is that people are post-literate and are completely taken up with video, and TV and Video is used to reinforce people's conditioning. So, we need to have the means to present interviews, and stories, and classes and works of art that are not mainstream, that challenge people's received notions about life and how to live, etc. To offer opportinities for people to get re-education, to change their values.

David said he would approach someone like Haruo Kushi, who is in the system, and he would use the money to say to Haruo, "I am going to fund a regular hospital that conforms to the current guidelines as put forth by the USDA. The hospital would be run using the new food groups in the dietary programs". When all the other hospitals see this, with the doctors and nurses also eating this food. David thinks that if you could get control of a hospital and had the food program under the administration of macrobiotic teachers then he thinks, using the new food groups as recommended recently by the USDA under the influence of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. This was a compromise, because the committee does not recommend any animal food. The Department of Agriculture's dietary recommendations are 41% Cereals and derivatives(bread, pasta); 18% vegetables;15% fruit;11% Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt; 11% Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts; 3% Fats, Oils and Sweets.

Another idea David has is to set up a fast food franchise just serving rice and beans and vegetables which would be everywhere and offering very reasonable prices. He would call it "Heal America". it would be a non-profit operation offering food at cost. He also said there are currently privately owned prisons, so we could buy a prison and operate the food program there macrobiotically.

We left this topic with the idea we would best serve people if we continued to develop and specify plans for what is needed for the emerging culture while receiving guidance about what to do through prayer and meditation.

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Contradictions between what we are taught can be achieved in macrobiotics and what happens in actuality.

Jean Baptiste brought this topic up which he related as comparing his experience of macrobiotics in the south of France, Saint Gaudens, where he studied with Rene Levy, and what he had learnt and experienced in America. Its not that it is in contradiction, what he has learnt from the two places, but it has made him aware of differences of opinion, about yin and yang and Kushi's approach as compared with Ohsawa's as taught in France. He said he actually got into a vigorous argument with one guy in Paris, and what concerns him is why it is that people think there is only one interpretation of macrobiotics, where someone thinks there is only one way to practice macrobiotics. Cathy Beu said we need to present macrobiotics as a work in progress, where we have found out that it is of great benefit with what we know so far, but we are continually trying to improve it, and there is great deal more to learn.

Kaare said we need to bear in mind that in any field of human endeavour where there is the process of a new impulse coming in to that field, is that the old, tried and conventional way of doing things sees the emergence of the new as a challenge. Thus, a conflict emerges with the new beginning to assert itself and the old trying to maintain the status quo. The key for him is that if, for instance, he says the practice of macrobiotics on the East Coast is so rigid it's pathetic, he still interested in maintaining and continuing to work on a dialogue with macrobiotics on the East Coast.

Thus, the reports that are done by him of these conferences, which are virtually verbatim reports, in that nothing is censored, are sent out to many people back there who have some kind of name recognition. So, Michio gets a copy, and Sandy Pukel, Michael Rossoff, etc. We need them to hear what has been said here, and they do read it. For instance, he got the telephone call from Sandy Pukel after Sandy had read what we had said about the Winter Health Classic, what we thought was constructive criticism. However, even though he was upset, the fact is that a dialogue was established. Kaare said to Jean Baptiste that after he has been slapped against the wall, he should say to the guy, "I still think you're too yang"!

David said that one of the fundamental principles of macrobiotics is that everything is changing, and we tend to make statements about yin and yang which are absolute statements. So when someone says this is yin or yang you reply 'thank you for your opinion'.

The conversation then got around to when we get together or have conversations where we are airing our different perspectives on macrobiotic living, then we are all enriched, because we usually get something from someone that we hadn't heard before, or hadn't looked at or hadn't considered.

Then Joel brought up what had happened at the Winter Health Classic in 1990, when the Ignoramus Club met, how all the people there wanted to have something out of the meeting in the form of a video, or a book or some kind of tangible result of the meeting. They simply could not grasp the value of sitting around and discussing topics. This is probably why people don't come here to these meetings, because nothing of an action-oriented product comes out of it.

Susanne Jensen said that it was very important that we speak the truth of what we know and don't know, and that if we wish to really communicate with one another then we need to understand how to say what we need to say to another person so they can actually hear what we are saying.

Kaare said that in the context of this discussion, which implies that what is written in macrobiotic literature at least infers that if a person eats this way, then you will become physically healthy, emotionally stable, mentally clear, you will become honest, truthful etc., etc. And that is obviously nonsense.

Linda asked of all the teachers, and counsellors who are what are called 'senior teachers', how many of them are free from sickness and are actually honest and joyful. The consensus of opinion of those of us present was, very few. So, Linda asked, how is it that many teacher's who are not disease free are given permission to teach and counsel?

Kaare said, that in his opinion, it was because Michio allowed himself to be put in the position of being the head honcho, because he has his own personal insecurities. So, Linda asked, he is not totally healed either.

Joel said it all comes to the fact that everyone has the wherewithal to make their own decisions. In macrobiotic living, we take the information, process it and digest it and we then make it our own. Then we can figure things out for ourselves. What is a profession, why do we need professions? It's a monopolistic activity designed to keep outsiders out.

Kaare said the problem of macrobiotic literature is it gives the impression that anyone can heal themselves of anything through macrobiotics. However, that is not necessarily so, and in any case there is no guarantee that macrobiotic living will work because it doesn't work for you. You have to make it work for you, you have to get out of it what you're capable of getting out of it. And many people have erroneously assumed that if you eat this food, then Nirvana.

David said he assumes that no-one knows everything, even if they put it out that they are all-knowing. He told the story of how, after two and a half years of practicing and studying, with Roy Steevensz, he was asked by a person for counselling. He was surprised and told this person that Roy did counselling and she said, no, I want you to counsel me. David told her he had better check with Roy and Roy told him that this request indicated that David was ready. Now, it was unheard of that anyone could possibly do macrobiotic counselling after only two and a half years of experience and David heard through the grapevine that Cecil Levine was very upset by this. Luckily, David said, he had the opportunity to meet her, and David already knew that Cecile Levin had no respect for Roy or anybody associated with Roy. He went up to her with his assumptions that this is another person who has their opinion, like anybody else, maybe she hates David, whatever, and they had an exchange. He said the exchange went very well. He feels friendly toward her, and even though he feels her animosity from time to time, it is getting better all the time, and he will always be friends with her.

So, we are going to see the contradictions because not everyone is at the same level of understanding and judgment. We all need to realise that we are working on diminishing our ego, and if people are egotistical, then we are responsible for acknowledging their egotism by putting them on a pedestal.

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Macrobiotic Association.

Susanne Jensen put this topic on the agenda because she misses the regular contact and exchange with other macrobiotic teachers, counsellors and others active in macrobiotics that she had when she was in Boston, as she was involved in the Kushi Institute and lived there for six years. When she moved out here, living in San Francisco and doing her take out service and cooking classes, she finds she has somewhat isolated herself.

She now finds she is looking for more contact with other people who are also involved in some way in macrobiotic activities for exchanges of experiences and information and study. Now, in Boston there was a lot of macrobiotic activity going on. You had the Kushi Institute, the East West Journal, Erewhon, various restaurants, half-a-dozen study houses, and so if you lived there, everyday you had the opportunity to meet people, bump into people and chat, gossip or discuss. In other word there was a very active and committed community there.

So, if we move into a place where that is not happening we have to develop it. Right now, what do we have? Joel said that was what he thinks is wrong with the Kushi Institute having moved to Becket, because once that whole operation moved out of Boston, then the community in Boston no longer had a focal point. In the larger scope, Michio has a responsibility, just like Joel has a responsibility here at the center.

Joel said that when Michio lived in Boston, the attraction was to study in Boston. And with the logistics of the city and the availability of relatively inexpensive lodging, and work, people who did not have a lot of money could support themselves and study. When Michio moved to the country, it meant that a whole slew of people were then discounted, because you need more money to go to Becket and study; there is no infrastructure there like the city where people can get jobs, live in cheap apartments and go to evening classes. So Joel says we need to start a school or something like it that can be a focus for a community to develop around.

Kaare said that what he thinks Susanne is talking about was what Joya Sexton brought up a year ago and also eighteen months ago. She told us she went to a conference organised in New Orleans for bodyworkers. The idea was to invite all expressions of bodywork to come -shiatsu, macrobiotic shiatsu, rolfing, alexander technique, feldenkrais, breema, deep tissue massage, etc., etc. Then each type would be given the opportunity to give a presentation which would be attended by everyone in order for everyone to come a way with an understanding of the particular approaches, why, how, etc., etc, in order to develop a mutual respect between the disciplines so that there would be less criticism and bad mouthing going on in that field.

It was such a wonderful and illuminating experience for her that she thought, well, we have this problem of non-communication and miscommunication and bad mouthing going on in macrobiotics, and a lot of the reason why this goes on is because we do not have talks and discussions with each other. So, we should set a similar conference up and have it on a regular basis, like once every two or three years.

Joel said this is what Sandy Pukel set up starting three years ago, and the first year he paid for every one's travel expenses to Miami, and there were many people there active in teaching and counselling, and some came from Europe, but the second year, when people had to pay their own way, fewer showed up, and even less this year. So it is an economic problem.

Pat Murray said that the teacher's meeting this year was actually pretty good.

Kaare said that to have this happen on a regular basis, where teachers meet and not only teachers, but macrobiotic shiatsu practitioners, and people involved in cooking services, stores, restaurants all get together and have discussions and presentations is necessary but also an economic and logistical problem. This would be something the $5 million could be used to finance.

Kaare said he would like to see happen in the not too distant future where a grand plenary conference took place every four years where all the different streams that are active in the world today who are part of the new emerging culture get together to communicate with one another. The major stumbling block to this new emerging culture ever getting going is that all the streams are ignorant of one another, or have hostile attitudes to one another. It is a major problem of lack of communication.

Sarah Blunt suggested that a group of leadership in macrobiotics get together and come up with a type of business plan for what needs to be done in macrobiotics and then go to sources that are funding projects having to do with the environment, with people being able to sustain themselves on this earth. Then put the money to use, once you have obtained a source of funding, to set up and put into place the plan that had been developed.

So, for now, the Pacific Macrobiotic Conference is the only place where it is possible for people active in macrobiotics to get together and discuss topics and experiences and ideas.

Afternoon Session.

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National Health Care.

Kaare Bursell brought this topic up because it is obviously of major concern to many people and the government. There is currently a lot of energy behind people wanting a national health care system, without anybody questioning the need for it or what the consequences will be if it is put in place. It appears that the major question is how it is going to be paid for. Kaare said that there are both good and not so good aspects to having a national health care program, which essentially means that tax money is used to pay for the treatment of people's illnesses.

Kaare lived in the UK where there has been a national health care program for several decades, and he related the experience where one New Year's eve he had gone to several parties and got inebriated like most people do on that evening and the next day was a Saturday. He had been chosen to play for the English Schoolboy Rugby Team the following week, but this Saturday, like a fool, he had agreed to be a replacement for a player who had dropped out of playing a game that day. He went to play and on the first play of the game he broken his left ankle. (Macrobiotically understood, his drinking heavily the night before had weakened his kidneys, making then extremely yin, and this was the yang stimulation his left kidney attracted!) An ambulance came to pick him up, take him to a hospital, the fracture was set, he was in hospital for three days, the entire left leg put in a cast which he wore for six months, and in that period of time he had several visits to the doctor; it didn't cost him a cent out of his own pocket.

So, in that particular case, where people have accidents, etc., he thinks a national health care program is a good idea. However, in the case of clinical illnesses, what happens is that people go the doctor, get a prescription and go to the pharmacy, get the prescription filled and take the medicine. We know that what happens is the illness may improve in terms of it's symptomology but the underlying imbalance will continue so that the illness itself will progress. If the whole country is doing that then the cost to the country will continue to increase. For example, the disease treatment costs of the US were $185 billion in 1981, and in 1991 they increased to $750 billion. So, if a national health care system is put into place where everything is automatically paid for, the costs would increase because the underlying condition of the people would continue to deteriorate.

Kaare said that his experience is that over the past decade the condition, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual has deteriorated; people are generally physically weaker, they are more confused, afraid, and have less determination and will than they did even ten years ago.

What he would like to see in a national health care program, from a macrobiotic perspective, is that incentives were placed into the program for people, especially the poor, disadvantaged and inner city population, to gain access to learning how to cook and eat macrobiotically.

The problem as Sarah Blunt pointed out is there are many powerful vested interests who will have their interests looked after in a national health care program, like the pharmaceutical industry. However, as Joel pointed out, something definitely needs to be done, as the US, in terms of infant mortality, is in 25th place, having one of the highest rates of the developed countries of the world.

David said insurance is an example of this where people use there insurance and go to doctors etc., etc., where they get the symptomatic nonsence we are used to. National Health Care will make it easier to access this kind of useless health care. So, he thinks it is an insane proposition unless it buys into the different level of health care that is done in macrobiotics.

Joel said that health insurance is a gambler's dream, because you pay into the system and then take your chances and the insurance companies screaming that they are not making any money is a barefaced lie. The consensus of the discussion is that unless the national health care program that is enacted has built-in incentives to encourage people to learn how to take care of themselves in a macrobiotic way, then it will be a fiscal and social disaster.

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How do we relate to the propensity for society to collapse soon?

David Jackson related how people are generally misinformed about how matters stand in the US with regard to the government. The material he related comes from a book called "Free at Last - From the IRS" by Dr. N.A. (Doc) Scott, which is the result of over 40 years research into the US Codes and laws with respect to the US Government. The Federal Government is formed in Washington, DC, and the fifty states are separate from the federal government. This book is a practical "how to" manual for extricating yourself, if you so choose, from the jurisdiction of the federal government.

If you were born in one of the states not under federal jurisdiction, which is most of them excepting Washington DC and some of the newer ones like Puerto Rico, this man has included in this book instructions and forms {the book is available from Dr. N.A. (Doc) Scott, 2649 Vista Way #8-137, Oceanside, CA 92054/TDC, for $43.00 [$39.95+$3.05 S&H] by Postal Order or Cash-NO FEDERAL SYSTEM CHECKS!} whereby if you were born in one of the fifty states, you can legally, lawfully establish yourself as a citizen of the United States of America. As a result you become a foreign citizen to the Federal Reserve System. And legally, as a foreign citizen, you do not have to pay personal income taxes to the IRS, if you choose not to. David said he is in the process of going through with this himself, filling out the forms that are in the book and following the instructions of who this form should be sent to.

It does not apply to state taxes, because it is legal for the state to tax goods and services as it sees fit. You still keep your social security number and your driver's licence, but when you sign any document you put the initials TDC after your name. This applies to signing checks etc. The initials TDC stand for 'threat, duress and coercion'. This means you are stating that you are signing your name under threat, duress and coercion, because everything the Federal System has done with respect to the citizens of the United States of America is illegal, according to constitutional law.

So far, about 50,000 people have done this, and many of them have been challenged by the IRS and they have all defeated the IRS. David said Dr. Scott, after 5 million people have been through this process, will bring a citizen's action lawsuit against the Federal Government. Scott got into this because over 40 years ago he was asked by General MacArthur to investigate and research the constitutional records going back to the beginning of the Republic. After you have been through the procedure as outlined in the book you receive a card from the Federal Government that states you are no longer a citizen of the Federal Reserve. In other words, since all this is done within the statutes and laws of the constitution, when you have completed the procedure, you are not a criminal, and cannot be harassed by the IRS.

The reason, as always in all situations, that the IRS has gained the amount of power over the citizenry is because the citizens have been kept ignorant of the their legal status vis-a-vis the Federal Reserve, and have not bothered to investigate it's true nature. Because we have all been told that the income tax system is a voluntary tax xystem, but no-one, in school or college, has explained in detail what 'a voluntary tax system' actually is, in detail. So, of course, the people who work for the IRS do not realise they are engaging in criminal activity when they harass people for not paying their taxes.

Dr. Scott's intent and attitude is not that of some firebrand left-wing politico, rather his is a positive and constructive way to get the whole system on it's proper legal footing.

Pat said no macrobiotic person should pay taxes to the IRS which pays it to the Federal Reserve Bank, which is a private bank owned by 10 families. And the Federal Reserve Bank funds what are highly questionable activities by the Federal Government, such as nuclear weapons, the Pentagon, the National Security Agency, cancer research etc., etc. Pat has heard that the Federal Reserve Bank intends to foreclose on the National Debt (currently over 4 Trillion dollars which is $4,000,000,000,000.00) which means that certain executive orders can be enacted by the President in any instance where the Federal Government decrees a national emergency.

Apparently, this was set up at the beginning of the Republic, when the beginning Federal Government needed money to fund various projects that needed to be put into place. These ten wealthy families, only one of which is American, agreed to found the Federal Reserve Bank, a privately held bank, in order to provide funds to the emerging Federal Government for what the Federal Government wanted to do.

It remains to be seen whether the national debt will be foreclosed and these executive orders enacted after President Clinton is inaugurated. What it means is that the assets of every citizen in the United States will be taken over, and the population will be managed overtly by the government.

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Coming Earth Changes in the next Five Years.

This is the last topic of discussion for this Pacific Macrobiotic Conference, introduced by Pat Murray. When she was living in Topanga a woman she knows had been to visit the site, Medjugorie, in Yugoslavia where some children there had been receiving communications from the spirit world. She has known since her childhood of similar communications that had occurred at Lourdes and Fatima and that the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, had been suppressing this information. These are appearances by Mother Mary.

When she was in Ireland last year she heard again that many people are being warned about these coming earth changes and the Church is suppressing it. Recently Pat has been reading a book called "Mary's Message to the World", which is written by Annie Kirkwood, black woman who is a nurse. The book is an account of the messages received by Annie as 'interior locutions' by her from Mary. This occurred in Lubbock, Texas.

The main thing Pat is getting from these various messages from various parts of the woorld where these appearances have been made and messages given, is that in the mid-90's, after what we call natural disasters, which according to the book will be earthquakes, tidal waves, etc., etc., is the planet is going to undergo a physical axis shift, flipping to one side. There will be major global ecological disaster, famine, nuclear accidents, and many millions of people will disincarnate.

After the axis shift, there will be pockets of people here and there who will be the inaugurators of the spiritually oriented human culture. The people who take this information seriously are instructed in this book to engage in prayer and meditation on a daily basis, as it is said this is the way to directly communicate with God and receive instruction of where to go, what to do and in short, how to prepare for the coming cataclysmic period.

Pat says that all these predictions are validating macrobiotics and that Kushi has said many of the same things for the last twenty years, talking about axis shifts etc., etc. The increase in natural disasters is occurring right now, and the axis shift is supposed to occur around 1995. This is not the end of anything but what is necessary to occur in order for the new spiritually oriented culture to emerge. Michio prognostications said that this earth axis shift would occur around 2015. The Hopis say that this 4th World is being destroyed and a fifth World will emerge from this.

Joel asked where we should go and Kaare said it doesn't matter. If it is your karma to be one of the people who is going to live through the cataclysmic changes in the physical body, then you will find youself going to the place you need to be to avoid the general destruction. We had a very humorous and light-hearted discussion of what we should do to prepare and we said that we should continue what we are doing, teaching, counselling, learning, praying and meditating.

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