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The 31st Pacific Macrobiotic Conference
Oakland, California
September 21-24, 1995.

We held the conference at the home of Joyce Guthrie where 23 of us gathered for the proceedings. The weather was calm and warm, with the usual Pacific Ocean fog billowing in every morning and dispersing around noon every day to reveal clear, balmy skies. We met for dinner on Thursday evening and after dinner we introduced ourselves and set the agenda. This was an especially calm, warm- hearted and stimulating conference and this time it was decided to publish in the report the names and addresses of every one who was at the meeting. As you can see the conference participants were largely from the Bay Area and we also were fortunate to have people coming from as far afield as Australia and Arizona. During the wrap - up session on Sunday morning we evaluate the conference and some of the comments included that people very much appreciated the informal, shared participation by everyone. With the extent of macrobiotic experience at this conference being one person whose experience was essentially coming to the conference to people who had been practicing a macrobiotic life for nearly thirty years, participants appreciated the wide range of diverse experience and knowledge in evidence. We enjoyed making new friends and meeting old ones, appreciated very much the lack of hierarchy, the great food cooked mainly by Anka Sayre with Joyce cooking on Thursday. The meeting is held in a circular arrangement and the comment was made that this is a more organic form which allows for a wonderful interaction and sharing which was truly educational. Two comments made was the beginner to macrobiotic practice said her experience coming to the conference was she felt like she was "stepping up nervously to the plate and that rather than making it barely sliding into first base, I felt like I hit a home run" to another comment was a person gaining the insight that macrobiotic life is " an art, a science and a religious way of life.".



Friday, September 22, 1995.

Morning Session.
1. Macrobiotic Community.
2. Parasites.
3. Blue - green Algae.
Afternoon Session.
1. Education.
2. Making Balance in everyday life.
3. Health Insurance/Certification.

Saturday, September 23, 1995.
Morning Session.
1. Water and Food Quality.
2. Kushi Macrobiotics.
3. Salt.
4. Melatonine.
Afternoon Session.
1. Urine Therapy.
2. Tofu.
3. Violence on Television.
4. Relationships.
5. Scientific Data to validate macrobiotic ideas.


Friday, September 22, 1993.

Morning Session.

Macrobiotic Community.

Patricia Smith opened the discussion by saying she is interested in getting the macrobiotic community in the Bay Area working together. She sees that at present there are groups active in the South Bay centered around the Monday Night Dinner in Menlo Park, there are small areas of activity in San Francisco, there is the East Bay focused around the Macrobiotic Community Center in Oakland, and there is potlucks and other activities in Marin County but there is little cohesiveness among these groups. She would like to see more activities in the form of lectures and workshops and she is particularly interested in bringing Herman and Cornellia and Michio and Aveline to the Bay Area.
Judging by the poll conducted for the San Francisco Chronicle in May of this year there is a large number of people who have tried, know about or are actively practicing a macrobiotic diet in the Bay Area, with 13% of the respondents in the survey saying they had tried macrobiotics in the past year. So she was asking how we begin working more closely together to make macrobiotic information more accessible and widely available. Right now it appears that there is a fragmented macrobiotic community in the Bay Area. It was pointed out that macrobiotic practice is an individualistic practice and is really a unity of individuals practising their own interpretation of macrobiotic practice under a loose framework of ideas and principles.
Pat Murray pointed out that when macrobiotics began in this country some thirty, forty years ago it was a baby and as the practice has become more widespread and more mainstream it has undergone a diversification of practices and this is fine. We must realise not all people are not going to understand the principles of the dietary practice to the same degree and each individual can only practice it to the degree of understanding of which they are capable.
The main idea to emerge from the session is to establish a means of communication in the form of a newsletter or journal and some means of achieving this put forward included asking Macrobiotics Today to have a couple of pages in the magazine to give information of regional activities in Northern California but this idea was squashed as not being feasible either editorially, economically or in terms of time. Also the new form of macrobiotic community that we should be developing is to get away from the dominant social paradigm of the last three thousand years of the masculine, hierarchical, leader-follower modus operandi and encourage grass-roots, shared gathering and networking of individuals practicing macrobiotics, both regionally and geographically across the continent of North America and world-wide.
To this end, Meryl Kolevzon, who puts out a monthly newsletter called Macro Times, suggested it could be used to list names and addresses and telephone numbers of people practising macrobiotics in the Bay Area as well as events and classes that are taking place every month.
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Parasites.

This was a discussion on how macrobiotic thinking views parasites since a popular book out, "A Cure for All Cancer", suggests that parasites are the cause of cancer and recommends an anti-parasite remedy as the cure, made from a concoction of different herbs. In the macrobiotic theory of disease, which views disease in a seven stage process, the stage before cancer is one in which parasitical infestations of a chronic nature develop, so it is hardly surprising parasites would be in evidence in a person who develops cancer. However, the parasites are not regarded as the cause of the cancer, or of any of the diseases which are attributed to the wide variety of parasites found in nature. On the contrary, it is felt that the human organism is made into an environment which is suitable for the proliferation of parasites in the body by making the organism toxic through dietary and other life style habits. Thus, to treat parasites it is necessary to create a healthy organism which is an inhospitable environment for parasites. This is done by eating a macrobiotic diet.
It is also wise to assume any one transitioning to a macrobiotic diet does in fact harbour parasites of one kind or another and recommend an anti-parasite remedy. A popular one in macrobiotic practice is roasting 3 cups of short grain brown rice, 2 cups of aduki beans and one cup of brown unhulled sesame seeds in a cast iron skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the brown rice turns brown. Let it cool and store in a glass jar. For five days as breakfast chew a quarter cup of this very thoroughly and follow with a cup of half kukicha, half mugwort tea. Eat a normal macrobiotic lunch and dinner. Repeat two more times at an interval of two weeks between treatments. Also, ginger compresses on the intestines are critical in order to remove the toxic mucous stagnation in the tissue of the intestines that harbour many parasites.
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Blue-Green Algae.

This topic came up as a result of Patrick McCarty's article in Macrobiotics Today which suggested the macrobiotic dietary practice is not enough on its own to help people heal themselves and they need additional supplementation to help them including blue -green algae. However, the consensus was that this is not necessary and that if people are getting proper macrobiotic advice and follow this advice consistently, the experience of the participants was that this is what helps people heal. And since blue-green algae is an extreme food, if taken for any length of time will induce imbalances in people's condition of an extreme yin nature, both physiologically and psychologically. It is definitely not part of a sensible macrobiotic dietary practice.
David Jackson played Devil's Advocate and said that perhaps it could be used as temporary natural symptomatic remedy as a way to seduce people to adopting a macrobiotic diet and then weaning them off the drug as soon as possible.
Kaare Bursell said that in his experience of working with people it is extremely yin and it has addictive, narcotic qualities which make it difficult for people to wean themselves off, especially if they have been taking it for several months. He saw a person recently, who he originally counselled seven years ago and has been eating macrobiotically since then, who had been taking blue-green algae for two years and had developed glaucoma as a result. After getting off the drug and doing the sympomatic remedy for glaucoma, her glaucoma has gone in a matter of six weeks. In his opinion, anyone who claims to be a macrobiotic counsellor and takes and/or recommends blue-green algae is deficient in their understanding of macrobiotic principles and are operating under false pretences. This "New Macrobiotics" that Patrick talks about is simply a telling indication of his confusion.
Patricia Murray told us about Patrick and Meredith McCarty asking her to try blue-green algae and she did and it did give her an energy boost. However, she decide not to take it because she feels that at her age it is natural for her to feel a drop in energy at around three in the afternoon and it is perfectly natural and healthy for her to take a nap then if she feels like it. She feels it is an extreme food and that it really does color people psychologically in a negative way.
It was reported by Bruce Pond, who worked at Vega for a couple of years, that Herman Aihara thinks it is probably cancer causing and weakens the immune system, in the long run. It was also pointed out that the main attraction of blue-green algae is the multi-level marketing scheme under which it is sold, where if a person becomes a distributor, they get a cut of every bottle sold, and furthermore, if they sign on other people to be distributors, they get a cut of every bottle sold by the distributors. In this way, if one signs up several people to be distributors, then in five or six months one can be earning $4000-$5000 a month. So, really all the talk of its so-called miracle properties is just subterfuge to conceal good old-fashioned greed for the good life.
The feeling is that all these people in macrobiotics who are recommending blue-green algae are creating an illness that comes from depending on the blue-green algae- that of dependency and slavery. The real issue here is that many teachers and counsellors in macrobiotics have failed to understand and practice macrobiotic principles and are attacking and criticising macrobiotics, and justifying the use of various supplements, as a way of covering up their own deficiencies of understanding and weakness of spirit. Macrobiotic practice is not a medicine or a supplement, or an alternative to anything. The fact of the matter is the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we reap what we sow.
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Afternoon Session.

Education.

Patricia Murray introduce this topic by recounting how she got started in her macrobiotic practice in the mid-sixties by attending a lecture given by Michio Kushi in New York. The main idea she got from this lecture was the connectedness of all aspects of life - biologically and psychologically and that this knowledge allows us to evolve naturally and consciously to develop freedom from parasites, disease, bosses and institutions and the freedom to manifest the order of the universe; "the Will of Heaven on Earth". She feels that new people coming into macrobiotics are getting all kinds of information which have nothing to do with macrobiotics.
She has been teaching macrobiotic education for a long time and would like to see an education center develop in the Bay Area. Of course the are many ways to do education and there are a number of people in the Bay Area who give cooking classes on a regular basis and lectures here and there. The real problem with setting up an education center is the logistical and monetary resources that are necessary to establishing one and none of us have the economic resources to do one.
There is going to be a macrobiotic center starting in San Francisco in 18 months. This is in the plannning stages at present, with Rodney Thomas being the main person involved in setting it up. He and Kaare are having discussions and meetings about how to set it up and what kind of direction and purpose it will have and this will develop over the course of 1996 with the opening of the cafe, bookstore, grocery store, bakery and education facilities tentatively slated to open on March 1st 1997.
Edith McKinnon announced she is opening a Macrobiotic Information Center in Marin which will function mainly as a place where people will be able to get information on all the activities going on in the Bay Area as well as information about macrobiotics in general. This is slated to be in Fairfax.
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Macrobiotic Balance in Daily Life.

Iona Singleton introduced this topic by saying that for a long time in her life, well before she started with macrobiotics she had been fixated on food and that the emphasis on diet in macrobiotic practice is more likely to increase this fixation rather than decrease it. However, the longer she has been practicing the more she is realising that there is more to creating daily balance than eating appropriately. This elicited a wide ranging discussion and some of the comments included thatsharing what we know through our macrobiotic experience is very significant in our continued growth and evolution macrobiotically, that how we are spiritually ia a function not only of what we put into our bodies and take in psychologically, but also of what we put out and how we put it out. Also, we need to take into account in our daily lives of how we go about the practical aspects of living, such as allowing time to rest, to meditate, to exercise. Setting our lives up in a rhythmical fashion is very important, so there is an order and a pattern to our day to day living. Also, having order and cleanliness in our homes helps to keep us in balance. And, as we usually say all the time, chewing our food thoroughly is very important.
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Macrobiotic Health Insurance.

Patricia Smith introduced this topic by saying she had met a couple at the Natural Foods Expo who have set up a health insurance program for people who are in the natural foods field and they wanted to have macrobiotic counselling made available in their insurance program. So Patricia began to make enquiries into this idea with various people in the macrobiotic community. It must be pointed out at the beginning that these people require some kind of a certificate to say a person is a macrobiotic counsellor which the can present to their insurance carrier.
Of course, this opens up a whole can of worms which we have been over many times throughout the years of Pacific Macrobiotic Conferences, which include, who decides who is a macrobiotic counsellor, how do you define a macrobiotic counsellor etc. There is currently no certification program as one has been tried and found wanting. Fundamentally, at the root of the whole practice of macrobiotic living, is the inference that the real reason for doing it is to change the present self-destructing course of world history to a course which is based on human beings consciously living in harmony with nature and the universe. And that a culture founded on this idea would necessarily include changing the ways we conduct the affairs of the culture from those that are currently being carried out, the latter being a reflection of the diseased and insecure culture we presently have.
Therefore, with regard to certification, rather than imitating what the lawyers, doctors etc., do, we have said that the way we are certified, once we have done our training in macrobiotic practice and philosophy and principles, that the community we are working in certifies us by asking for our services. The idea being that it is the community we are living in who decides if we are doing good work or not, and if we are we will be supported by the community continuing to ask for our services. This is an idea which would probably not appeal to an insurance carrier.
Then there is the philosophical problem of having health insurance made available so that people can have their insurance company pay for their macrobiotic counselling, cooking classes etc. The fundamental backbone of macrobiotic practice is that we take personal responsibility for our health and this implies that we pay for our counselling because paying for it is the first step in taking personal responsibility. Thus, having insurance made available gives people the wrong idea about their macrobiotic practice from the outset. Essentially, any insurance program is a subsidy for whatever is being insured and it is very important that people realise there is no subsidy for personal health other than personal commitment. So we essentially decided that the idea was not a sound one.
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Saturday, September 23rd, 1995.

Morning Session.

Water Quality and Quantity.

Richard Erganian brought this topic up by saying he is concerned with all as-ects of water, mainly focusing on filtration sytems and also the amount of water. He had up until about a month ago gone along with the macrobiotic idea that if we are eating macrobiotically we do not need as much water intake as is conventionally recommended because we cook all our food in water and because we do not eat animal protein, which contains a lot of salt, we do not need to drink a lot of water. However, he has read this book by a non-conventional doctor named Bhatma Ghandi entitled "Your body's many cries for water"; the overall theme of the book is that many of the degenerative conditions like arthritis, cancer, etc. are the consequences of long term gradual dehydration. He also is dismayed that people tell him he can't drink the beautiful water in Yosemite because it has Ghirardia, a parasite, in it. Then he sees the water purification system that Joyce has downstairs, in her case Multi-pure, and then there is this new one called 'Microwater' and he heard that Herman has it and he got the brochure and it is $1500.00. It is based on acid/alkaline and the idea is the regular water is filtered through a charcoal filter and then through some kind of electrolysis process where the mainly acid elements of the water are separated out from the mainly alkaline elements and these come out of two pipes. The principle is that for human consumption the alkaline water should be used, and the acid water is used for washing the dishes etc. And Richard's feeling after using it for about a month that it will be used for two or three months and then he will put it on the shelf and forget about it.
Kaare said that there is obviously a water problem in the world and according to The Worldwatch Institute next year there will be a world wide water crisis in terms of water shortages. However, with regard to water quality it is clear that every household need some kind of water purification system to at least get the chlorine and fluoride's and various bacteria out of the water for drinking and cooking purposes. He uses a simple carbon block filter made by Teledyne called the 'Quik-Pik', which is cheap and easy and effective. The key to this whole problem of contaminated water is not only having filtered water but also the physical condition of the body. If we have cleaned out our system through our macrobiotic practice as well as having done our ginger compresses on the abdomen, then the mucuc epithelial lining of our intestinal tract acts as a selective assimilation process in that, working subconsciously, our physiology selects for what our body needs from what we are eating at any particular time and screens out what the physiology determines is not needed by the body, including, necessarily, toxins.
Now, it is also obvious that we have a toxic environment, and that this is only going to get worse, simply because we, as a culture, apparently do not have the will, inclination or foresight to give up our heavily industrialised culture, which is the cause of all the pollution of the water, ground and air. Thus, it is a premium that we live and eat in the balanced macrobiotic way so that our body can recover its dynamically harmonious and vital functioning so that it can screen out the toxins and poisons we may be inhaling or drinking. Of course cooking itself is important in this process because heat also has a purifying effect on the food by, among other effects, killing any parasites that may be in the food.
The other point is that if we are eating brown rice, miso, umeboshi plums, sesame salt, seasalt and seaweed on a regular basis, then these all have the property of actively detoxifying the blood and body fluids of any toxins. Of course, this is all predicated on us taking in poisons on the order of parts per million. If we ingest a tablespoon of arsenic, obviously we are going to die!
Then we talked about flowforms which are simple forms developed out of studying nature's forms of water and making ceramic or wooden sculptures through which water is allowed to flow and in the flowing the water becomes more vital and enlivened. These have largely been developed for landscape gardening or farming, and they are currently going to make sizes available for household use. These have come out of the anthroposophical community.
As for the quantity problem, the amount of liquid we need to drink is determined by the condition of our kidneys; if we have been eating a diet based on animal protein and sugar etc., then our kidneys become clogged and damage occurs to the capillaries and the glomeruli in the kidneys and they become weakened and we tend to start urinating more and more frequently and then we start to need more liquid. When we start eating macrobiotically, our kidneys begin to function better and eventually we only urinate three to five times a day, and never at night after we go to bed. The whole problem of water intake is thus solved and what we are seeing today is people consuming more and more liquid-it is a common sight seeing people walking around carrying their everpresent bottle of spring water- which is a sign that people's kidneys are getting weaker. And as we know from our macrobiotic studies, kidney weakness shows up psychologically as fear and anxiety and lack of confidence. The fact that people sweat a lot is indicating that too much liquid is being consumed and this not only damaging the kidneys but also the the heart. A major cause of constipation is also too much liquid intake. Sports injuries are also a major consequence of too much liquid intake and if any one follows sports you know that the frequency of sports injuries in professional sports has increased dramatically over the past ten years.
David said that eating noodles also increases the amount of liquid intake because they absorb so much liquid in the cooking process so he does not recommend eating noodles more than once a week. Also the kidneys rule the bones and thus as the kidneys become weak, then the bones become weak so that is also a cause of osteoporosis and fragile skeletal tissues.
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Kushi Macrobiotics.

The topic is the new corporation started by Michio Kushi to set up a line of macrobiotic fast foods. Apparently, what Kaare heard from Patricia Smith, who is not here today, is that he got five hundred thousand dollars and hired a guy from ITT and another guy from the Slimfast Corporation. They have the company's stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange and are wanting to raise 5 million dollars to get the company up and running. David said from his job as a sales representative for Mountain Peoples he knows the natural foods industry is increasing 20% per year. It is experiencing phenomenal growth and a lot of the natural food companies like Whole Foods and Wild Oats are going public. Michio is recognising this is and is attempting to tap into it for what David thinks is primarily monetary reasons and secondarily because Michio has a problem with power and his name recognition. But a third one is that we can give people better quality food than is presently available and it is going to have the name macrobiotics on the product and although we think this fast food line is not really in the spirit of macrobiotics and is therefore misrepresenting macrobiotics, it may stimulate more interest in real macrobiotic practice.
David is of two minds about this trend; one is that it may have a positive effect for macrobiotics and on the other it may not. It may dilute what real macrobiotics is about and people will think that heating up prepackaged macrobiotic foods is what macrobiotics is about. The marketplace is ripe for it and we will have to wait and see if it takes off or not. Some comments included the ideal of macrobiotic practice of cooking for oneself as an integral part of the healing and self-transformation is left out of this packaging of macrobiotics and people will tend to get the wrong impression about macrobiotic practice. It encourages people who already are not the least interested in cooking to be fooled into thinking that heating up these so-called macrobiotic pre-packaged foods is knowing how to find your balance and regain your health. Perhaps this line of pre-packaged macrobiotic foods is healthier than eating at the fast food chains but it will hardly help people getting healthier in anything but a most superficial level.
People are still ingrained in the mind set that if they can take something that is healthier then they are going to get healthier, which is actually not going to happen. And the fact is the largest department in the natural food stores is the vitamin and supplement one, where the mark-up is 40-50%, and is the fastest growing section of the natural foods industry. The more skeptical comments observe the success of Whole Foods and say they are nothing but a Safeway with less chemicals. So you could argue that the introduction of a pre-packaged macrobiotic foods is a capitulation to the observed reality that people generally are not going to accept macrobiotic practice and principles in there radical form, so why not make a buck out of the lack of conscientiousness of people generally. So, we see this as a double-edged sword and personally, David does not trust Michio's judgement. He uses people on a personal level and he does not have any close friends or associates that have been with him throughout his whole life of macrobiotic activities. We will have to wait and see how it all plays out.
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Seasalt.

Patricia Smith wanted this subject discussed and David Jackson, as the purveyor of Si-salt opened the discussion. The chi of salt is very important and there are various salts available in the marketplace. David got into it when his friend in Mexico who is also a macrobiotic counsellor, Ignacio Beamonte, told him that he has a cousin who works at the traditional salt flats in Mexico which is the largest producer of seasalt in the world. With this personal access to the facility he and Ignacio can personally select the quality of seasalt they want and then, after they have purchased it, the seasalt is stoneground to maintain the integrity the crystal structure of the seasalt. David got interested in all this after he had studied with Sensei Muramoto in San Marcos ten years ago when he had his center in San Diego. After studying with Muramoto, who he felt used to much science in his preparation of the salt and which he felt was too expensive.
Lima seasalt he has a problem with because it is hammermilled. Then we had a discussion of the Grey seasalt that Jacques de Langre had been actively promoting up until his death and Kaare related the story of Patricia Meehan, who he had counselled emphatically to stop using the grey seasalt because she had very poor kidneys when he saw her; then two years later he met a friend of Patricia's and found out she was on dialysis and then died a few months later. She had not stopped using the grey seasalt because she had a personal loyalty to Jacques who was the sole distributor of the salt in this country. He now actively dissuades people from using it and it is not out of the question that the grey seasalt contributed to Jacques death by heart failure. It may be okay for salt baths and daikon baths, but not for internal use.
The problem with Jacques was he was scientific in his approach to understanding the seasalt and the problem with science is that no-one can gain any understanding of life through science, it cannot be done. So Jacques extolled the virtues of this seasalt because it was high in magnesium, and magnesium is very yang. For Kaare, the reason he recommends the Si-salt is because of the milling process. The most important aspect of macrobiotic thinking is to understand that the visible, tangible world is the result of the activities of spiritual forces and among these spiritual forces is what we call chi or etheric force. Now, when we hammermill the salt crystals we are pulverising the chi out of them; it is similar to what happens when we mill flour - after 24 hours the chi has dispersed and we have a dead food on our hands in contrast to the whole grain. The same thing occurs with regard to hammermilled seasalt but stoneground seasalt, at least in regard to the way the Si-salt is stoneground, with the mills have spiral grooves cut into them so the crystals fall into them before they can be totally pulverised.
As for quantity, everybody has to find out for themselves what is the amount that is suitable for them as time goes on and this will change according as our condition improves. Seasalt quality and quantity is the most important single ingredient in the dietary intake; if we use too little then the body cannot heal; if we use too much then we run into problems of becoming overly contracted and constricted.
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Melatonine.

David Jackson introduced this subject. Melatonine is a supplement which duplicates a substance, a hormone produced by the brain, which our body naturally produces which is now being used to assist going to sleep at night and also is allegedly supposed to reverse the aging process. It is very hot right now in the 'natural foods' supplement industry. David thinks this substance is much more dangerous than vitamin and mineral supplements because it is replacing what the body naturally produces. This artificial product thus will have the tendency to have a robotic effect in the psyche of the people who take it.
If it is taken in high doses then it has been shown to cause depression. The slowing the aging process it allegedly does is a strong pull for people these days. Kaare said this is the typical hucksterism that goes on in the natural foods industry.
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Afternoon Session.

Urine Therapy.

Richard Erganian is Armenian and in their folk remedies they use the urine of a young girl to give to someone who is in a state of extreme fright. Francine Levien said she was at Vega and Herman Aihara said it is good for people who have cancer although he did not give an explanation of why it would be good for someone who has cancer to drink their own urine. She also said her ex-husband, a doctor, is heavily involved in using urine therapy for AIDS patients and they are the only ones who are doing well and he is writing a book about it. He says the urine contains everything the body needs to fight any kind of disease, it is totally sterile ann it has been used for thousands of years. You are supposed to use the first urination of the day and opinions vary as to how much to use- from a few drops, which is homeopathic, to as much as you want. Francine says her ex-husband is injecting it into patients, which she thinks is totally crazy. She was asked if she had noticed any perceptible difference in her condition and how long has she been doing it. She has been doing it for a couple of months but she has also being doing macrobiotics for four months; it tastes like the sea. She feels totally fine, she has breast cancer. It is believed that according to the Bible that it is the fountain of youth, it is what God gave us to drink to keep us young and healthy.
Kaare said he belives urine to be a waste product; the kidneys filter out of the blood the metabolic waste products of tissue catabolism. We have to remember the macrobiotic understand if disease is that the symptoms of disease indicate the body is attempting to heal itself under living conditions of long-term, extreme imbalance, so that whether it is cancer, arthritis, epilepsy, colds or flu, these are all symptoms of the body healing itself. Thus, in macrobiotic practice the emphasis is on cchanging the long-term, extremely imbalanced living conditions of a person to a balanced one, using diet as the foundation. Thus, he believes the use of urine therapy is symptomatic in that if it "works", it is doing what all symptomatic treatments do, which is suppress the body's attempts to heal itself.
It was conjectured the basis for urine therapy may be homeopathic, where if a person has a disease syndrome, the active factors cuasing the disease syndrome are present in the urine by virtue of the kidney filtering them out of the blood, and when ingested in the urine, it acts homeopathically. However, this is still symptomatic. David Jackson basically reiterated the whole point of macrobiotic practice is to align ourselves through our daily living and eating practices with the the harmonies of the earth and the cosmos; that in so doing we undergo a process of natural healing in which no supplements or artificial treatments are used, for in the very process of this natural healing we get stronger and more flexible and more vital. Rodney Thomas said, well, so what if it works, are we not supposed to realign ourselves with earth harmonies, should we not take care of the environment and become husbands and nurturers of the earth?
We concluded that we are skeptical of any claims of any subsatnce being a cure for any condition. That we would keep an open mind and check out urine therapy so that when we meet again we can have more information about it for further discussion.
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Tofu.

Bill Neall brought this topic up for discussion. Tofu is made from soybeans which is the fattiest and most yin of the beans. To make tofu the soybeans are cooked up with three to four times water for about two or three hours and by this time it is a mush. It is then squeezed through cheesecloth so that what remains in the cheesecloth is the skin and all the fibrous elements, with the more yin fleshy part being squeezed out. Then the fleshy part is put into moulds and traditionally nigari is poured over then to harden them. Nigari is made by having large sacks of seasalt hanging in sacks from a pole and water is poured on them to soak through the seasalt and the drippings are collected as nigari. This serves as the hardening agent. Today they use magnesium sulphate. From this description it is clear this is a very yin product. Kaare tells people it is like eating refined white flour so it has an expanding, dissipating and ballooning effect in the intestines.
Of course it is in the news now as being good for women because it contains oestrogen, because it is good against certain cancers and becasue it lowers the cholesterol in the blood. Being more yin and contains a lot of protein and is a great growth promoter for cancer cells. The fact is tofu is not a good food to eat on any kind of a regular basis; maybe once or twice a year as a garnish or for making some special dish or other, but that's about it.
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Violence on Television.

This is a familiar subject on the news and in the media generally but we haven't discussed it at the PMC. The usual analysis, as Richard Erganian put it, is the violence depicted artificially on TV has escalated recently to the point where it is much more graphic than in the past and there is much more of it. The feeling is that people, especially children, who are watching this become more callous and hardened toward any violence they may see happening in the world, either seen on the news or read about in the paper , andtoward any violence they may witness being done in their own lives. Thus violence on TV is seen as condoning violence in reality; that is okay to carry a gun and start using it on people you don't like or people you think have crossed you up one way or another. Richard also said he thinks this is related to the food people it because it is his observation that people who eat meat are more aggressive and jittery than people who are vegetarian, who tend to be more passive and calm.
Kaare asked the question, is what is on TV a reflection of what is going on in society or is it a cause of what is happening in society? He thinks that TV acts as a mirror to what is going on in the culture and that since we live in a violent, negative, cynical and self-destructive culture, that is what is seen on TV. Kaare used to think that TV was a mover and shaker of what is going on in society, but his experiences of being on TV have shown him that it is not; it simply picks up on what is the most obvious trends in society and then amplifies that, dresses it up for dramatic effect and shows it. TV is about making money, so they are going to try to increase their viewing audience by tailoring what they present to the sensibilities and moral values of the culture; and the people watch this stuff because it does reflect back to them their own sensibilities and moral values. The idea that you can shut down graphic violence and sex on TV and expect the culture to start behaving peacefully and compassionately is complete idiocy. Of course, Kaare doesn't condone violence on TV but he doesn't think censorship is healthy either; we can look at what is on TV as a reflection of our condition and respond accordingly, which means we take the steps to changing our condition, and eating macrobiotically is the first, necessary step in doing so.
Bruce Boreham said the most violent show on TV is the news which actually only shows those events which are violent and prurient. Kaare said the problem is that people have not developed in themselves a rich inner spiritual life so that when they passively watch the content on TV, those images actually get into their psyche without any conscious filtering going on. So, if people are already violent because of what they are eating as well as because of the encouraging and educating of people with the society's mores of a competitive, dog eat dog greedy acquisition of material wealth, then the violent, prurient content of TV actually feeds this. Rodney Thomas said he thinks it is not merely that TV reflects the violent nature of society it actually exploits it. For example, when football is being played on Sundays, the switchboards around the country light up with women calling for help because they are being beaten up by their husbands.
We concluded the discussion by saying violence on TV is like a food, the content of it is poisonous and it is better not to watch it and it is also is a reflection of the violent nature of the society we live in.
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Relationships.
Iona Singleton brought up this topic by saying she is wondering if there is any insight through yin and yang about how relationships work, how they can be strengthened and how they can self-destruct. Kaare gave a long account of his experience with his first marriage, which, boiled down to its essence, is that if two people, man and woman, are living together then it is important for them to be both eating macrobiotically. Relationships are not easy, placing a lot of responsibility on both partners to make it work. If one of them is eating macrobiotically and the other is not, then the differences between them are likely to be made more acute and strenuous and difficult to cope with. Whereas if they are both eating macrobiotically and are committed to learning and understanding macrobiotic principles, then the relationship is going to be easier to manage, even though, as in any relationship, there are going to be ups and downs. The main strengths of a relationship in which both partners are eating macrobiotically is they tend to have the same perspective on how to live aand their thinking and feeling tend to be more often than not in accord when dealing with whatever problems arise. The relationship tends to me more evn handed and the atmosphere in the household generally is calm and relaxed.
David Jackson said relationships are really a test for making balance. In macrobiotic living we first are making balance within ourselves and then when and if we develop a relationship, making balance with our partner. Relationships are very important in developing ourselves spiritually and psychologically, as they are the first, kindergarten school, in developing egolessness. And the dynamic of making balance with one's partner is very important, because when we live with another person of the opposite sex, we are encountering a person with an entirely opposite dynamic of physicality, emotions, thinking, attitudes and disposition, another world entirely. So this other person brings to you a whole series and levels of being that are very important to learn from and understand.
Iona said she would like to see more women in positions of lecturing and teaching and more men teaching cooking classes at events like the Fall Health Classic. Actually there are many more women in macrobiotics doing teaching and counseling than there were ten years ago. At the PMC over the years we have always encouraged women to just go ahead and do it, if they want to lecture and counsel. One important point is that macrobiotic counsellors do not qualify as macrobiotic counsellors unless they also give cooking classes along with their counseling.
David said the most important dynamic of a relationship is the man and the woman share the same dream together.
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Acid and Alkaline/Use of scientific data to validate macrobiotics.

Edith McKinnon brought this subject up. Kaare opened the discussion by describing the technique whereby the acidity or alkalinity of a substance is determined. It is placed in a sealed retort, from which is expelled all the air; then a measured amount of pure oxygen is allowed to flow into the vacuum sealed retort. The substance in question is then burned by igniting it and then the remaining ashes are tested to see if they are acid or alkaline. This is called oxidation and is presumed to be what goes on in the human digestive system when we eat food - oxidation. Kaare does not think this what is going in human digestion, because what goes on in the human digestion is when we chew our food we mix it with saliva which is very yang energetically, and is the most alkaline substance produced by the human organism, it then moves into the stomach and there attracts yin in the form of hydrochloric acid and so the process of digestion occurs.
The problem with this acid/ alkaline is the human organism is not the product of physical and chemical laws. No chemistry or physics goes on in the human body; there is no way anyone can justify the existence of the human organism by means of the laws and principles of physics or chemistry; in other words, you can apply all the laws of physics and chemistry together to the world of matter, the material world, and never be able to come up with any life form- plant, animal or human. The way data is gathered today about the human organism is that a fluid or tissue is extracted from the body and placed under a microscope or in a retort in or from which chemical analysis is done. That is perfectly valid as long as it is clearly understood that what we discover by doing those techniques tells absolutely nothing about the human being or the human organism.
The skin of the body is a boundary enclosing the mysteries of the internal cosmology of the human organism. The only time the human body is subject to the laws of physics and chemistry is when the human body is placed in the ground, after the etheric body and the astral body or soul have separated of from the physical body. Then what happens is the physical body returns to dust, it reverts back to matter. The problem with using the paradigms of acid and alkaline and materialistic, scientific technology is that it is invalid for any life forms, including the human being. If we were to talk about the one grotesque error that has been made in human history that is fundamentally the cause of all the problems that are happening in the world today, it is we have confused the study of the world of matter, which is dead, with the study of life. This error in our thinking is also one of the causes of illness of the human being; when we have a mechanical world view, a mechanical way of thinking, that makes our body's chi stagnated; we have to realise that spiritually speaking our thoughts are real and they take on different spiritual forms depending on the nature of the thought. Materialistic scientific thought forms are destructive in the spiritual world; Rudolf Steiner describes these particular thought forms(if we open our spiritual organs of perception we can see the spiritual worlds, and the effects thoughts of human beings are one of the aspects of the spiritual worlds we can investigate) as having the activity of a "hammer" and he said in 1918 or round about then, that if humanity continues to seek for the explanations for the mysteries of existence through materialistic thinking, those thought forms will bring about a destruction of the very atmosphere in which we live. And we know this is happening today.
Kaare also thinks that this materialistic thinking is also a cause of cancer, because cancer is a stagnation. The problem we have in macrobiotics, and Kaare feels this very strongly, is one of the things we are attempting to do is to break out of the materialistic scientific thinking and the world view that goes along with it. But we are dealing with people who think that way and we are living in a world which inundates us with materialistic scientific thinking. Why are people persuaded to take blue-green algae, multi-vitamins and trace elements? Because people thinks we are machines and we need the right fuels, this enzyme and that trace element and it is fine to get these in chemical form in a pill or potion. The problem is that as people continue to think mechanically, they will actually become machines, literally- cyborgs.
Kaare does not like to see what is going on, what is being attempted to be done, which is to prove that macrobiotics works scientifically. This has been going on for years and the latest attempt is the NIH grant to the University of Minnesota to get all this case history data of people who have used a macrobiotic approach to heal themselves of cancer. Macrobiotics is not a cure for any disease.
In the case of the human organism there is a self-regulating dynamic balancing process going on which we frame in terms of yin and yang. If we become too yin then we are tending to be more acid; if we become too yang we tend to be more alkaline. We are not simply the passive recipients and mechanical reactors to what we put in our body. Thus, depending on how well we chew and on the condition of our body, we will have a different response to what we ingest in terms of acid and alkaline. Thus, if a person whose physical condition is dynamically harmonious and vital eats a raw apple then they will not become too acid; whereas if a person who is in poor physical condition eats an apple they will become more acid.
Modern mechanical science is both irrelevant and impertinent, in that it does not pertain to the human organism. Bruce Boreham( It will be of interest to readers of this report to know that Bruce holds the chair of professor of physics at an Australian University and is here with his wife Maria while on a year long teaching sabbatical doing research at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory) said that is also true with respect to modern medicine. The western scientific method was developed for the physical sciences and can't validate or invalidate modern medicine because the studies done in a laboratory are necessarily limited to relatively simple models with only very few paramaters all of which were controllable in which you always knew the context. Now, what has happened is because this paradigm has had some success in physics and chemistry, it is being used in other disciplines, starting with life sciences and moving to disciplines where it is even less relevant and pertinent, like social sciences and medicine and biology. Every study that people do in science outside of physics and chemistry today is flawed because there are so many parameters that are uncontrollable. Bruce said that at a higher level you can make the argument that macrobiotics is a actually lot more scientific than a lot of western science. But when it comes down to using the methodology of western physical science in macrobiotics Bruce thinks that the only comment that can be made is that it is inappropriate.
Kaare said that therefore it is misleading. The whole dynamic of macrobiotic thinking is being undermined by people who are being seduced by the power of modern science into thinking that unless modern science says it is valid then it is not valid. So what we are doing, as David said, is to try to deprogram ourselves of this technological stranglehold. Linda Mathe said that a third of the worlds cultures have been using yin and yang and the concept of chi for thousands of years and to consider that it is not scientific is simply arrogance on the part of western science.
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