Category: Paradigm Shift
There is something that the Japanese call 'Wabi-Sabi' and which they seem reluctant to define, particularly to 'outsiders' or Gaijin as foreigners are known over there. Wabi-Sabi is a kind of poetic quality, a nebulous feeling, sometimes melancholy, sometimes zen-like and blissful, that -they say- permeates the nature of things.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There's a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in. *
Wabi-sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. 'Wabi' is seen in the lines of a face, the record of a lifetime of laughter or pain; the knarled trunk of a tree. 'Sabi' is literally a translation of the word patina; the polishing (or in some folks 'grinding') effect of time.I think computers can suck the Wabi-Sabi out of almost anything, since by their very nature they only allow entry to the 'expected' way, which is probably why we can't use them for very long periods of time without mental and physical health consequences.
Brian Eno once said that the problem with computers is that there is not enough Africa in them, and that a nerd is a human being without enough Africa in him or her.
Make sure that there is plenty of Africa and Wabi-Sabi in your life.
NINE UNDENIABLE TRUTHS ABOUT THE BLOOD TYPE DIET
by John Ashby, M.D. -Philadelphia PA
1. The Blood Type Diet is a simple piece of organic truth that will someday revolutionize medical thought and practice.
2. Criticism of the Blood Type Diet is inversely proportional to knowledge of it.
3. Wisdom of the cells of the gut is greater than that of all the neurons in the frontal cortex.
4. It is the hidden desire of those who cheat, while on the Blood Type Diet, to have belly pain.
5. Food cravings are the path to an abyss of evil and destruction best avoided by urgent sweat busting exercise.
6. Vegetables are like sex. If you can't remember how long it has been since you have had any, you're not having enough.
7. Adhering to the weekly frequencies for consumption of recommended food groups is the hidden method of enhancing performance on the Blood Type Diet.
8. If producing large bowel movements were an Olympic event, most Blood Type Dieters would be gold medalists at every Olympiad.
9. Informing family and friends that one is one on the Blood Type Diet is similar to informing them that one has a serious sickness for which they hope there is a quick and easy cure.
One way to truly screw up the truth is to subject it to public debate; since our minds want some sort of resolution, but out of inbred nicety we often want consensus as well. Problem is, as Winston Churchill so accurately pinned it, consensus is often “the sum total of everyone’s fears.”
People seem to have a love-hate relationship with genetics, or perhaps more accurately, an “awe-hate” relationship. Ask the average person what genetics means to them, and they will typically respond with a litany of dread, largely courtesy of the news media. Cloning. Stem cells. Genetically modified “Frankenfoods.” Yet ask that same person where they envision science will find the cure for cancer, or aging, or diabetes, and they will probably answer genetic research as well.
There are indeed aspects of genetics that are potentially disturbing. Consider the genetic modification of our foods. To a certain degree we are becoming one big uncontrolled experiment, as biotechnology inserts genes from one species into another, often for supercilious reasons. Do we need pesticide-resistant plants, courtesy of genetic engineering, or do we need more pesticide-free organic gardening?
It is precisely when biotechnology becomes the enabler of our existing bad habits that we lead ourselves into uncharted territory. It is also the time when the counter argument in favor of genetic modification of foods, that “nature does it all the time” rings hollow. “Nature” is a vast, living breathing mega-structure. To me Nature might more likely try to destroy pesticide manufacturers rather than re-engineer everything to be able to withstand their wares. It would certainly be easier.
In addition, we have the problem of the politically correct scientific conclusion. Scientists are human beings just like anyone else (stupider actually, if DNA pioneer James Watson were to be believed) and the pressure to conform or arrive at conclusions that are not socially distasteful (and hence not publicly fundable) is great.
But here’s what should be the goal: Take the gobs of generalized information out there, filter and analyze it, then let it guide our actions through the process of making the sort of useful decisions and actions that can produce positive change in public health. Our goal is not Eugenics (getting rid of genetic undesirables, like what the Nazis tried to do), but rather Yougenics --the science of studying yourself. As long as our fact-finding is based on the results that pertain only to you, the individual reading this blog, we will always remain on a strong, fair and firm ethical base.
I would go so far as to say that the absence of Yougenics is the main problem with nutrition as it is practiced today. All too often we read studies done on large groups of individuals and can only be left wondering if these results apply to us. Since nutrition began its meteoric rise in the public consciousness thirty years ago, we’ve been barraged with studies that have lead to sweeping conclusions and have then seen these same conclusions laid to rest, one after the other.
A lot of this is the result of nutrition being largely disease-based, a legacy of its years of discovery centered on finding the cause of deficiencies. Conventional nutritional wisdom came to define health as the absence of nutritional deficiency. Some of this is probably a ripple effect from the major developments that have taken place in the field of pharmaceutical drugs. But foods work differently than drugs. For example, we don’t make energy out of drugs; they don’t fuel or cellular processes. Foods are functional entities in our bodies, not drugs that prevent deficiencies, and our reactions to food are much more individualized than those we have to drugs.
Since nutritional science has such a rudimentary approach to food, it is not surprising that most nutrition research yields results that typically conflict with other results. And although it will eventually be yanked, no doubt kicking and screaming, into the genomic age, nutritionists still clamor for the next “one size fits all approach”, substituting one fad for another, each with its own army of disciples and detractors, the cycle to be repeated again and again.
An interesting observation on the Autism website points to the possibility that The Blood Type Diets can be helpful in managing kids with autism. We've seen some indication of this in the Clinic, and I've speculated in at least one book (Live Right For Your Type) that lectin avoidance may be the mechanism by which this occurs. Would be nice to see a good independent study on this. We can at least hope!
Just the other day, Martha reconnected via email with an old friend of ours, John Weeks. I first met John back in the mid-1980's when he was the first Development Officer for Bastyr College. I got to know him much better while was serving with him on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) Board of Directors.
John has gone on to carve out a career as the Editor/ Publisher of The Integrator Blog, a website devoted to "a health care system that is multidisciplinary and enhances competence, mutual respect and collaboration across all health care disciplines."
In emailing back and forth with Martha he directed us to a little blurb he had just published on the recent AANP Convention which had mentioned a long forgotten (although not by John) suggestion of mine about creating 'model states' as part of our drive to secure license in all 50 states.
That was interesting enough, but more jostled me out of my typical late morning indolence was a discussion elsewhere about the chronology and authorship of the phrase 'Integrative Medicine'.
In another move undoubtedly destined to make me even more popular with Andrew Weil (who is widely credited with it authorship) I wrote John a quick note that mentioned off-the-cuff that I had used the phrase long ago when I was part of a small committee responsible for formulating the first clinical curriculum at Bastyr College.
Well, after we conducted a see-saw email interview, John wrote a rather nice little blog about it.
I've come back from paradise... or at least Saint Martin.
It was good to get some time out in the sun and swim in the beautiful blue Caribbean. I also rediscovered the pleasure of reading from books, versus all the reading that I do from computer monitors. With proper lighting it is just so much easier on the eyes. Everyone at the hotel was reading different books... except that they were all written by someone named Gresham.
I've never cultivated much of a taste for fiction, since you have to work so hard at populating a mental space to hold all the necessary components; the setting, theme, characters. I find that many people who do like fiction seem to have a type of RAM memory in a certain part of their brains that they can fill with all the plot details, then erase for use with the next novel. I feel sometimes that if I did too much of that it might push some of the other stuff out, so in the midst of all those murder mysteries, there I was with Paul Kennedy's â€˜Freedom From Fear' (a 900 page thriller on US history during the 1930's depression) and Larry Wall's â€˜Programming Perl' (made especially interesting by the fact that none of us took our computers with us).
I'm in the process of completing the SWAMI GenoType software (which is mostly written in Perl) and in a blitz of activity since my return it is now at the point where we can beta test it in the clinic. Pretty cool, if I do say so myself. It takes between 90 and 230 individual client parameters (blood groups, asymmetries, etc) and analyzes 700 individual foods according to 200 nutrient parameters (antioxidants, propensity to foster microbial overgrowth, acetylcholine content, etc.) For all those 12,600,000 individual calculations, the program is quite fast, though I do admit to a perverse pleasure sitting there for about 30 seconds watching it groan under the strain.
One of the mottos of Perl is that â€˜There is more than one way to do it' (TIMTOWTDI, usually pronounced "Tim Toady"). The more that I think about it, there is a lot of Tim Toady in my nutrition research as well.
Probably because at heart I am fundamentally a post-modernist.
Post modernists believe in AND more than OR, whereas modernists tend to give OR precedence in their lives and thoughts. The folks who get all bent out of shape about â€˜the GTD versus the BTD' are probably modernists and think that there is only one path to the truth. There is certainly one truth (or fact, or whatever) but that is not the same as saying that there is only one way to find it.