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The 31st Pacific Macrobiotic Conference
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.
1. Macrobiotic Community.
3. Blue - green Algae.
2. Making Balance in everyday life.
3. Health Insurance/Certification.
Saturday, September 23, 1995.
1. Water and Food Quality.
2. Kushi Macrobiotics.
1. Urine Therapy.
3. Violence on Television.
5. Scientific Data to validate macrobiotic ideas.
Friday, September 22, 1993.
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
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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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
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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
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
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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.
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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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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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
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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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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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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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
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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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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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