So what does a country boy see out there in the “REAL” world? What are the “world problems” that I think might affect myself, my family and my life here in rural flyover country, what gets on the radar?
I am thinking about peace and conflict, and how I choose to drink at springs of peace or springs of conflict. After yesterday’s outburst of emotion, about observed events which I chose to observe and judge, courtesy of lots of folks with nothing to do but emote and “create content”.
“Wind of the Western Sea” Bill Douglas, from the album “Songs of Earth and Sky”, (1998)
Am I one of those “emoticons in suits”? Well, maybe an emoticon in Levis, and pretty thread bare Levis at that. No suits around here any more – that was all in a previous life, long, long ago. Don’t even have a tie anymore.
It’s 06:55 and the sun is coming up on a cool dawn. With quiet time for second thought, the truth is, there are not really any problems anywhere which directly affect my immediate life … my “real” world is full of beauty, and peace, waiting for room in my soul … if I make the time and make the room to just let it in, if I don’t fill it up with other stuff.
So, I pray for “Purity of Heart”, that purity that goes beyond simple passions and pleasures. Speaking of purity here I am intending to evoke the purity which not only implies an absence of sin but goes much further to invoke the absence of all earthly affections.
I think that is the scriptural sense of “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5,8), and with this Purity of heart, this directing of my entire capacity for affection and attachment towards God alone I may achieve clearer vision of my ultimate goal.
I get glimpses of the target but they are frequently obscured by the up-welling of my passions and self-love and I frequently loose sight of the path, and the world struggles mightily to re-establish dominance in my soul … and I fall … again …
“O Lord, give me right sentiments about You and grant that I may seek You with a simplicity of heart. My heart says to You, ‘I will seek Your face.’ When my heart seeks You, O Lord, it is Your presence it is seeking. Your home is where You dwell, and where do You dwell, if not in Your temple? My heart is Your temple: teach me how to welcome You there. You are a spirit, and I must adore You in spirit and in truth. Come into my heart, and all the idols shall fall.”
“Now I shall listen to Your voice and learn to long for You and to prepare myself to see You. Blessed are all who see You! And if they do see You, it is not because, while they were on earth, they were poor in spirit, or because they were meek or merciful, or because they mourned or hungered and thirsted after justice, but because they were clean of heart. Humility is good for attaining the kingdom of heaven; meekness is good for possessing the land; tears are good for receiving consolation; hunger and thirst after justice, for being filled; mercy is good for obtaining mercy; but only purity of heart permits us to see You.”
“My desire is to see You; what I desire is great, but it is You who tell me to wish for it. Help me to purify my heart, because what I desire to see is pure but my means of seeing it, impure. Come to me, O God, and purify me by Your grace; purify my heart with Your aid and strength. If I receive You into my heart during this present life, after my death You will admit me into Your presence.” (St. Augustine)
“Come, Holy Spirit, speak to my heart; or at least, if You wish to remain silent, may Your very silence speak to me, because without You I am always in danger of following my own errors and confusing them with Your teachings” (St. Bernard)
早春賦, William W. Spearman IV, from the album “Beautiful Japanese Songs” (2006)
So, fasting, how are things going? So far I have been following a 1 meal a day regimen and allowing myself a 4 hour window between 6 and 10 PM for eating and snacking. Blood sugars are testing at 5.0 to 7.5 international (the conversion factor is 18 for those who want to see that in American units , eg. 7×18=126, at least that is how I think it converts) and I think that is getting close to normal, or at least a close to normal as you can measure with meter technology that is + or – 20% accurate. Resting blood pressure is 110/60 today and weight is 234 Lbs. (or 106 Kg). I am in trace keytosis and I feel great.
(If you haven’t read my previous posts on this topic here , and here, and here, and here, and here, then let it be known that when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 7 years ago I was 270 Lbs., blood sugars were in the high teens, and blood pressure was in the 140 over 90 range. I felt like crap! And for most of the last 7 years I have struggled with pills, diet, and exercise, mostly with little long term success.
In January of this year I was testing blood sugars of 16.0 to 17.0 while taking 4 Metformin and a Gliclazide daily. We were talking about starting on Insulin injections. Things were not getting better and the prognosis was not good. I started fasting in January as part of a spiritual exercise. Then good things started happening to my body. My first reaction was “What the heck is happening?” then I started digging and found Jason Fung. The rest I have blogged about.)
So back to the here and now. I have been watching a lot of videos on YouTube and some TED talks about weight loss, aging, diabetes and how to treat it and am observing that they fall into two broad categories. The first category holds the vast majority of these presenters – who are basically using existing research (not their own) to debunk all the currently accepted or even medically recommended methods for dealing with weight loss and with “type 2 diabetes”.
This category contains all the specialists, gurus, consultants, program deliverers, diet preachers, experts, who are trying to turn sick folks away from the generally accepted practices of the medical community so that they can convert them to their “specialist” path to health.
They do not see generally accepted practices as wrong because of the bad assumptions made about causes but rather as wrong because they do not deliver results. For example, this doctor makes a pretty good presentation before he eventually sets his outrageous hook, and he uses “medical research” from the 1920’s as his starting point.
I believe Dr. McDougall is a legitimate medical practitioner who just happens to still be living in the old “Blood Sugar is the cause” paradigm.
These Gurus without exception do not see the medically accepted practices and the people who deliver these practices as “wrong” because they have misdiagnosed the disease or misidentified the root causes but rather they see them as competitors in a marketplace.
They are pushing “Their Special Solution” as “The” only right answer, and they really want the sick folks to buy their product, or their method, or their “diet”.
The first flag that should go up when watching this category of practitioners is when you start feeling that they are spending an awful lot of time going into great depth and detail about what is wrong with everybody else’s solutions and you start wondering what their “special” solution is.
Inevitably, after they spend 3/4th of their presentation running down their competition and dangling the bait of a miracle solution they then set the hook by presenting “their program” or “their product” and telling where you can sign up for only $19.99 U.S. per week or buy the product for “only” $49.95 or $99.95 or whatever.
A few years ago I coined a phrase “The Howler Jungle” to describe the outrageous behavior of all the raging tribes of Howler Monkeys found on Facebook. Now I have coined the new metaphor “The Snake Oil Opera” to encapsulate the legion of salesmen out there, with sometimes dubious professional credentials (because Dr. does not a doctor make).
This class of professional FUD salesmen are working their collective asses off to sell their “secret” solution to the legions of sick suckers who are always looking for an easy fix for the results of their own behavior, and who are currently mindlessly following the prevailing medical mantra about obesity and diabetes.
This FUD salesmen crowd is stuck in the same old tired, deadly, “blood sugar is the cause” paradigm that is killing fat diabetics by their thousands every year. What they are upset about is not about patients dieing, but rather it is all about who is making the money from these legions of fat diabetics. They want a slice of the pie.
“Yamanakabushi” performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal & Yuzuko Horigome, from the album “Yamanakabushi: Japanese Melodies”, Vol. 3, (1982)
Then there is a much smaller category made up of medical and scientific researchers and practitioners who are not being funded by the Drug Companies or Big Agriculture, or Big Government and they have no special “secret Gnostic jewel” they are trying to sell to get their slice of the pie.
Dr. Jason Fung completed medical school and internal medicine at the University of Toronto before finishing his nephrology fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles at the Cedars-Sinai hospital.
He now has a practice in Ontario, Canada where he uses his Intensive Dietary Management program to help all sorts of patients, but especially those suffering from the two big epidemics of modern times: obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Fung uses innovative solutions to these problems, realizing that conventional treatments are not that effective in helping people.
Another researcher deserving notice (IMHO) is Dr. Valter Longo . Dr. Valter Longo is the Edna M. Jones Professor of Gerontology and Biological Sciences, and Director of the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California – Davis School of Gerontology, Los Angeles.
His laboratory also described both dietary and genetic interventions that protect cells and improve the treatment and prevention of cancer and other diseases in mammals.
He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997, and his postdoctoral training in the Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer’s Diseases at USC. He started his independent career in 2000 at the University of Southern California, School of Gerontology.
Another doctor I believe is on the right track is Dr. Bert Herring. Originally destined for the surgical suite, Bert’s experiences in the Marine Corps changed his outlook on medicine and the realities of global problems. After working at the National Institute of Health with a focus on cancer treatments, Bert found time to study global obesity.
The outcome of this research sparked the Fast-5 weight-loss tool, which has helped thousands of people overcome obesity. It’s a way of eating that is consistent with a lifestyle emphasizing simplicity and value—two virtues that are conspicuously absent in America’s booming weight-loss industry.
With a diverse range of experience, from the no-nonsense world of the US Marines infantry to cutting-edge cancer research at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bert maintains a strong sense of practicality and respect for real life.
“Life is for the living,” he says. “The way you eat has to be compatible with a life of spontaneity, fun and variety. Losing fat is almost impossible if you’re working against your body, rather than with it.”
Simplicity and value … that is really what it is all about. One unexpected benefit of our family diet is the dramatic reduction in food costs and the equally dramatic reduction in the time spent planing, shopping, preparing, cooking, eating, and cleanup. The savings are in the order of several hundred dollars a month in food costs and several hours per day which we no longer have to spend on the whole eating thing.
Lastly, why have over 300 medical practitioners in Canada now signed on to a petition to health Canada to change the Canada Food Guide. These are highly intelligent, highly trained, highly professional medical practitioners. Why would they be willing to put their careers on the line to push government regulators to change the guidelines.
Is it really likely that they have all entered into some delusional episode brought on by eating too much fat and not enough carbs, or is it more likely that they are onto something important and are willing to push the truth at the risk of their professional careers.
Seriously, ask yourself what you could do with $500 to $800 a month in food and drug savings and an extra 4 or 5 hours in your day? Seriously!
Think about it! $9000.00 dollars a year and 1500 hours a year. Couple that with vastly improved health, including complete cures for obesity, and type 2 diabetes,dramatic improvements in cardio vascular disease incidents and outcomes and cancer incidence and outcomes. Isn’t something like that worth investigating.
Why do people insist on continuing to believe and do things and live lifestyles which have demonstrably bad outcomes every time?