Friday, August 27, 2010

Karma –3

The source of our Karma is Free Will linked to our desires through various emotions that humans possess. All life forms possess it. It is the distinguishing feature of life much more so than ability to reproduce etc. as defined by scientists because after all a sterile person is a life form too. Whenever we exercise our free wills and make a choice or carry out an action based on that choice, it will influence some other life form or some other part of the Universe and most importantly our own soul and it may therefore generate Karma.

The word “may” is used in the last paragraph because karma may not be generated at all. The Universe as a whole has a Will also, but the Universe does not accumulate karma in the exercise of that free will, because it does not influence anyone but itself. We are all parts of the Universe. We may not realize that fully but the universe is never in doubt of that.

It is possible to align one’s free will with that of the Universe in a spirit of service and when we carry out actions based on that we may not accumulate any Karma. The mighty angelic spirits of the Universe do that most times. Therefore, they do not accumulate Karma most times –either good or bad. Good Karma is a reward but it has its limitations. It lasts for a limited duration. When that good karma is exhausted one is at a loss and back to square one. The angels don’t need that. Their needs are met directly by the Universe since they spend their time in sharing the work of the Universal Consciousness. Different Humans do that to different degrees and to that extent do the work of the angels, (gods, devas and the evolved compassionate spirits included) and to that extent the Universe meets their needs directly.

This work of the Universe is different from service for nature and humanity merely in order to be good and not out of compassion, because service is a good deed and generates good karma. The universe does all kinds of things, some that are regarded as bad by beings affected adversely by it such as earthquakes and hurricanes besides sunshine and the music of the birds. How are we to know what the will of the Universe is? That is an altogether different matter and needs a separate discussion some other time.

There are other ways in which significant Karma may not be generated, because the accumulation of Karma depends on the associated intentions, motivations and emotions rather than the action itself. Thus, if you stepped over an insect and killed it unknowingly yesterday while out on a walk, no bad karma is generated for you personally. However if you killed one slowly and derived gleeful pleasure as you watched it writhe in pain, then a similar karma may await you some day. A military man who kills hundreds of enemies in a war on instructions from his superiors for the protection of his country generates no significant bad Karma whereas another who kills a single person out of anger or for gain accumulates bad karma that invites a similar fate for him sometime in the future. It appears that it is not just the action but its impact on our inner self or souls that decides karma. Thus an action committed at the level of thought that impacts deeply on our soul will generate karma whereas another action actually committed unknowingly will produce none.

The universal eye however misses nothing and our record of deeds is written on our souls and the firmament of the Universe. Based on that the Universe will draw out an individual lesson plan for our education, that education is the unfolding of our individual Karma. We could by pass some of that unfolding through self-study such as (meditation, reflection, prayer or service) or by earning extra credits by doing things like forgiving others who have wronged us. Then as a result some of our similar Karma would be forgiven too. However all such karma that needs action by Nature for the evolution of our soul towards knowledge and compassion will be dealt with by nature. In this karmic education there is no canceling of good and bad karma. The results of both have to be experienced separately. One cannot pass the Language exam by getting extra points in Mathematics. However, through advanced spiritual techniques cancellation and dissolution of karma is possible. A placement of the good against the bad is also possible in a manner so as to make things easy by the grace of the Universal consciousness. An example was the life of my mother who was a kind and gentle lady who helped many through her life. Towards her final years she suffered from paralysis in legs so that she could not walk. It was at a time though when there were many from the family and outside to help look after all her needs. The first was her bad karma, the second her good one and their placement in a helpful way the grace of the Lord.

Concluding words:

Karma – 2

The comments to the first post on Karma have raised several issues that need elaboration besides several other aspects that have not been touched upon yet. As Hayden has rightly pointed out the goal of the Karmic principle is not punishment, - how can that be, if the very consciousness that maintains this principle, the Universal Consciousness is compassion and love?

We are born from a portion of this Universe and are therefore the children of the Universe. A loving parent punishes or rewards a child from time to time in order that the child will develop into a better individual and punishment is never so damaging that it causes permanent scars. The goal is progress. The role of the karmic principle is precisely that - To nudge us towards progress into compassion and love.

A way to teach a person a lesson in compassion is to make the person see the other side. Thus a child who hurts others by throwing things may be taught not to do that through explanation. If an explanation does not suffice, he may have to be hurt in a similar way. The principle of Karma works something like that. If we can learn our lessons into compassion in a gentle manner then Nature will teach us that way, but if a harder way of inculcating that learning is required then Nature will do that too. What better way to feel the pain of a poor person, by suffering through an episode of poverty and what better way to feel the headache of another than by suffering a headache oneself. Yet if one is compassionate enough to feel the pain of another without personally undergoing a similar pain then it is not quite necessary to undergo a similar pain. One may like to argue that we are not children any more, but that argument is meaningless when we stand in front of the vast Infinite Intelligence of the universe.

If we have hurt someone and we repent, then it means that it may not be necessary for us to undergo a similar suffering in order not to cause a similar intentional suffering again and we may then be excused a similar reaction. This and other ways that undesirable Karma can be dissolved shall be discussed again in a later post on Karma.

Karma arises from an exercise of our free wills but let us leave that aspect for the third post on Karma. At this stage it is essential to emphasize that the essence of the Karmic principle is love in a Universe where life thrives on the principle of love.

More, Last :

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Karma -1

A series of four notes. Links to subsequent notes is given at the end of each note.

The principle of Karma is a central part of spiritual philosophies. Karma is a Sanskrit word used in eastern philosophies of Hinduism and Buddhism. In Islam and Christianity different words are used to describe the same principle. Basically the principle of Karma implies that everything we do, good or bad is recorded by the Universal Intelligence and causes a reaction similar to our deed. It is the principle of retribution. As you sow so shall you reap!

The main difference between Christianity and Eastern religion as regards this principle is that in prevalent interpretation of mainstream Christianity the actions and reactions take place over two lives (this one and the next) because only a single reincarnation is assumed whereas in eastern philosophy it is something that can be executed over several life times with a soul taking birth repeatedly.

The principle of Karma is applicable even if one does not believe in more than just one life i.e. this one. All it means then is that it would be executed within this life because as such the principle of Karma has nothing to do with the number of lives a person believes in. However, one life may not be sufficient to execute the karma of some such as political leaders who have caused the death and suffering of millions through war.

The principle of Karma extends not only to our actions but also our thoughts. According to this principle nothing escapes the attention of the Universal Eye. Everything is recorded and taken into account. Any person who believes in doing good should have no difficulty in accepting this principle. All it means is that his or her good deeds will be rewarded.

The evildoer who is afraid of the result of his evil would like to deny it vehemently. However he too need not be afraid of this principle because within the principle of Karma are means to wash of that evil.

For those who believe in this principle, its proper understanding can lead to minimizing effort in whatever it is that we have to do with excellent time management. Hayden has been discussing this issue with her readers in her blog and it does seem that most of us suffer from a sense of futility in not being able to achieve all that we wish to do and not being able to manage our time properly. An understanding of this principle will lead to minimising that sense of futility. An understanding of this principle also leads to great contentment with the ensuing happiness.

We shall discuss this principle in more detail in two, three or more posts in small bytes beginning with this one. Putting it down all at once would be too much for a reader who is getting to understand the workings of this principle for the first time.


Monday, August 23, 2010

A Simple Technique for Empowerment – Mindful Breathing

 Music of the Spheres
While various debates on spirituality, life, nature and everything else are enlightening and needed, quite often, there is something else that is needed even more. Most humans in the modern world have to deal with a host of negative influences on a daily basis while trying to get on with their lives. All of us are in need of simple techniques that can empower us to deal with and remove these negativities so that we can do, whatever we have to do, most effectively and joyously.

So here it is, the ancient technique that I have learned from ancient Buddhist sources - interpreted with further information and personal experience. The technique is mindful breathing. It is free of any philosophical baggage and very easy to practice. It is available from many sources on the Internet today with slight variations including an inspiring variation by Trish called the White Tornado (A link to it is in the comments section of the previous post).

Just observe your breathing, the inward breath brings with it life and energy that is carried to every cell of your body, energizing and cleaning every cell. The same blood that carries this breath to every corner of the body from head to toe is like a good friend of the cells. - A friend that comes in with a gift and leaves with the waste to be released into the atmosphere for recycling.

Watch the outward breath as it carries away the waste and the negativiy from your body. While observing the breathing process try not to think of anything at all, just observe, but if you must think of something, think of the empowering role of this inward and outward life force.

After inhalation, stop for a moment, locking the in-drawn air inside to prevent the two roles of breathing from getting confused with each other. After exhalation, stop again for just a moment so that the stale air goes away and is replaced by fresh air for the next inhalation and so that you can identify distinctly the inward and outward portions of the cycle.

Observe the movements of your body as you breathe. If your thoughts tend to wander away as they will, gently bring them back. Your breathing will soon become deeper, slower and more even, increasing the beneficial affect.

Please do ensure that the entire process is gentle and natural. Exert no special strain to control  breathing and stops (inhale-stop-exhale-stop-inhale - - - -)

You may do this mindful breathing exercise at any time of the day as often as you wish. It is best done when you are not doing anything else and the body is still, sitting or lying down in bed. It will change your idle moments with empowering ones and fill your heart with joy.

If you can accept the inward breath in an attitude of gratefulness to nature and the universe that provides this air, the benefits will be greater. And nature too will accept your waste outward breath with thankfulness carrying it to the fields, forest and oceans as gifts for other parts of nature, where it becomes in combination with light, the life force of the green side of life, so that the fields, bushes and trees are lush green and gentle bees and butterflies can play amongst the flowers. You shall then hear the music of the spheres that reverberates through the universe of which we all are an integral part.
"If the only prayer you ever said was, Thank You, that would be enough." Meister Eckhart

That very air is recycled over and over again for all eternity even as our inherent eternal self is.

Our perishable physical part can survive without food for a few weeks, without water for a few days and without air for a few minutes. Mindful consumption of food empowers. Mindful drinking of water empowers more and mindful breathing empowers the most.

UPDATE April 25, 2013: Mindful breathing may be regarded as the original form of what has been described as Pranayama in ancient Sanskrit literature. However the latter word has also been used to describe many modern versions that are not in conformity with the original, therefore the new term is preferred, While mindful breathing and its advantages are described here, it is only a step towards even more advanced spiritual practices. The next step is to combine this breathing with Mantra Jap i.e the repetition of divine words focused on the Universal Consciousness or the Supreme Being. The present post is too brief to include that here. The text on Yoga by Patanjali is the recommended reference for associated details by advanced seekers since it is a difficult text not easily understood by most readers, or for those who would like to hear about it through stories look for my book - The Babaji Affair - at amazon or elsewhere.

Also see: Mindful breathing by Patanjali

UPDATE, MARCH 2014 : Here is a new and useful summary form the Harvard Medical school about this topic and associated practices

UPDATE December 2014: For mindful breathing technique by Patanjali, Father of Yoga see 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

From Birds to Telepathy

Sparrow by  Laitche

The house that I live in presently was built in stages  beginning in 1991 during  vacations and sabbaticals in my career. By 1995, the ground floor of the house was more or less complete except for some finishing that continued later. In the center of the roof of the living room was a hole meant for a center light. To hide the protruding wires a small round plastic sheet covered it with another circular hole in the center of it for the light. A similar one existed in the front porch of the house.

I lived in the house through most of 1995 with frequent visits of three or four days to Delhi. At this time a pair of house sparrows occupied the porch roof cavity and made it their home. There were no complaints about that since it was not intended to fix a light there in a hurry. Sparrows are cute little birds anyway and I often leave seeds out for them in the garden.

Sometime later the female of the pair moved into the living room cavity and began nesting there. Perhaps she felt that it would be a safer place to breed. She had noted my timings. Every morning I got up at around seven in the morning and moved outdoors with a cup of tea. This was the time it would follow me and move outdoors too. In the evening I would come out into the front garden again from the front door and it was at that time the sparrow would return to its nest in the living room seeing that the front door was open.

Some mornings, I was late in getting up. The sparrow had scouted the home and found how to reach the bedroom through a turning hallway. It would sit on the bedroom curtain rod, patiently wait for me to get up and let it out. If it was especially late for getting up on some days, it would beat with its beak on the metal rod and wake me up. It was a wonderful morning alarm of bird knock that prevented me from getting up very late every morning.

One evening as I was sitting in the front porch with the front door closed. A neighbor dropped in and we began to chat. One forgets the topic of conversation but it must have been an engaging one because soon it was beginning to get dark. The poor sparrow must have been waiting patiently somewhere in the front garden for the front door to open and for her to return to her room in the living room roof. When we failed to notice her and continued to chat, she suddenly flew over my head ruffling my hair. I immediately realized her need and responded “ Hang on, I will just open the door”

Later I wondered about this episode and it had seemed to me that the bird had actually spoken to me, “ Come on, open the door, I am late”. But, the sparrow had not made any sound and I wondered if the sparrow had communicated telepathically and I had become receptive to that communication. As our relationship progressed my worry was about my forthcoming visit to Delhi. I usually departed in the morning and decided to ensure that I do not leave the bird locked indoors while away for a few days. The bag for the visit was packed early in the evening and then I went outdoors waiting for the sparrow to enter inside for the night. To my surprise it refused to come indoors on that day. Therefore next morning I left for Delhi, secure in the knowledge that the bird was not locked in. After my return the bird returned to her older practice of moving outdoors in the morning and returning in the evening. How did the sparrow know about the visit? Did she read my mind? I believe the answer is yes.

My later experiences, too numerous to describe here, improved my communications with birds, ants and dogs and a variety of animals (Patanjali, the father of yoga too suggests that when such abilities are awakened they get awakened for any life form ones attention is directed to). My experience is that bird communications consist of brief sentences (that they can repeat near endlessly like a small human child) and sometimes paragraphs of two or three brief sentences. Perhaps birds have no need for long paragraphs like humans. Perhaps this new found power was a blessing from the ancient King Solomon the Wise whose works I read frequently with utmost respect. He was known to have this ability as well and it has been mentioned in ancient spiritual texts that one tends to acquire the powers of one’s spiritual teachers if the devotion is strong enough. Since then I have read carefully the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali and he too has explained how this power may be acquired by some through certain yogic practices. This and another magical effect of another yogic exercise described by Patanjali, the ability to cross great distances on foot at great speed without tiredness (something that ants do all the time) have helped to affirm my belief in ancient yogic practices and their validity even in the modern scientific world. But it must be admitted that at first although I read the yog sutras with respect, there was disbelief in the stated words until this personal experience.  Some of these effects are included in a recent novel (nude besides the lake, available at amazon) although one has to say that the effect is  rare and with me occured only on rare occasions. I did ensure that both these experiences were no trick of the mind through whatever method that were available to me. But then I have not been steadfast in my practice. Perhaps if I repeated the intense practice they can be made to reoccur but there is no desire for that being reminded by a story of an ancient Sage Shankracharya - when he met another sage who had practiced for dog years in the Himalayas and then learnt to fly as a bird - Shankracharya remarked, " what a pity, had you devoted as much effort to your liberation you would have achieved Nirvana." There is another older post in this blog that explains why such powers are not common among humans and that explanation has been included in the novel just mentioned too.

The following year, I returned to Delhi to a busy professional appointment in a very crowded city. During the first few months of my visit, when the realization dawned that I could read the minds of my professional colleagues realizing what they had to say, before they had said it. Not just face to face but also on phone. Apparently the telepathic ability is not limited by distance. Gradually though, the ability faded as I continued to live on in Delhi for nearly four years. It seems that the existence of the ability requires serene, lonely surroundings for it to function. Much interaction with other humans and life in a busy city causes the ability to vanish, at least for me. Since that time the ability has come and gone several times according to my life style that has varied.

My experience with birds is that they communicate with sounds and even gestures but this is the least part of their communications. Most of it takes place by telepathy. That is the reason members of a bird family can locate each other even when they fly apart in dense cities and dense forests. In comparison, human children are lost easily in a crowd.

I have now realized that it is not just animals that can communicate telepathically. Another life form perhaps does it much more often because it has more need of it. That is trees, bushes and plants of all kinds. The rose bush in my garden communicates with the bee and the tree with me when it needs water. One of the visitors to this blog had pointed out that plants do not have a brain therefore they cannot feel pain. My response was that the brain is not required for feeling pain but consciousness is required for it and all life possesses that and it is the consciousness that communicates telepathically. In fact it is precisely the reason why most humans cannot communicate telepathically because they suppress their sixth sense through much use of the brain.

PS: This note was updated recently in 2012 to include reference to novel and Yog Sutras by Patanjali

UPDATE: JUNE 2014; Communication with ants is mentioned in the article and my recent experiences further confirms that both ants and bees are highly receptive to loving telepathic communications ( even though one speaks the words but they appear to catch the thought). Ants are even kind enough to move out of a space you do not wish them to enter just as long as one is kind to them, request them about it,, and take care not to hurt them. It seems that both bees and ants will readily sting a person they are angry with but are most gentle and affectionate to those who have been kind to them. Truly life is wonderful and it is the same consciousness that runs through all life.

UPDATE JULY 2015:  With greater experience there is more to do where non-verbal communication is concerned than telepathy. Although one may interpret it as telepathy, a communication or connection seems to take place at the level of consciousness that is difficult to explain precisely in words, because being experiences out of the ordinary, words do not exist for it.  Just wrote a post on my experience with black ants here:


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Heaven, Scientifically Speaking

In an earlier post the hypothesis of Pansmeria (Pansmeria is this author's version of the widely discussed theory of Panspermia, discussed in greater detail in another blog of author was mentioned briefly. It is a theory that more and more scientists, including Stephen Hawking, have come to accept as the mechanism for creation of life on earth. It is not possible to go into the details of this hypothesis here. The interested reader may refer to for a scientific explanation of it.

Here, we will touch on a few of the aspects of this theory. According to it, life evolved on earth due to the genetic code that arrived from other parts of the universe. It takes many millions of year for advanced life forms to develop while this code is installed in small steps. I almost wrote advanced life like humans but then checked myself. Widely prevalent beliefs, human ego and the fact that human life is the most advanced one intellectually on our planet has led to the widespread perception that humans are the most advanced life forms in the universe. This can hardly be so given that life has been evolving for millions of years on our planet and there is absolutely no justification or evidence for the belief that it will not evolve further into more advanced species. The appearance of humans is relatively recent on our planet. To believe that humans are the most advanced form of life in the universe is like an ape or chimp thinking (if they are capable of thinking that far) that they are the most advanced beings at a time when they were around, but humans had not yet to appeared on earth. One of the corollaries of Pansmeria (or panspermia) is that species atleast as advanced as humans must exist in the universe and probably more advanced species exist.

By an advanced being is implied a being that is not only more advanced then humans spiritually and intellectually (i.e. with higher average E.Q. and I.Q.) but also perhaps in certain physical aspects. We know that humans excel on earth as far as some of the abilities of their limbs and vocal chords are concerned. To guess what other physical abilities may be possessed by species more advanced then humans, we may look at other life forms on earth. There are species that excel in one ability or other, indicating that genes for such availability exist in the physical universe. Birds can fly and ants can lift enormous weights as well as climb enormous heights at great speed (in proportion to their size). There are insects with several limbs. Thus it is possible to imagine that there might be beings with more than two hands, wings etc. along with intellectual, spiritual (i.e. emotional ) and vocal abilities that are superior to humans.

I wonder sometimes what a human-like being with wings would use for clothes or furniture since wings would get in the way. Nevertheless, the question that is more relevant is that except for its fantasy and entertainment value what use it is to even think about such beings, since planets in the universe are situated too far apart for any feasible interaction with such advanced beings ? The laws of physics make travel between habitable planets more or less impossible for all life except bacteria that can hibernate inside a frozen comet.

Communication, especially telepathic one is more feasible than actual physical travel. Further, if all beings possess a non-material spirit or consciousness (it is my belief they do) then travel as spirit may be possible by advanced beings that have greater control over their spirits.

If we accept for a moment that consciousness or spirits can travel through the universe (more or less instantaneously) then many advanced spirits (whom we may term as angelic) probably do travel to earth from their planets. We may term these latter planets as heavenly planets. Such angels in spirit form would not have the physical abilities to move an object but they could create such impressions in the mind of a receptive subject by acting on their thoughts and senses. Perhaps one could develop association with such advanced beings in the interest of one’s own spiritual development. Such an association may explain the prevalence of belief in gods, devas and angels amongst many humans.

A type of physical travel is however possible, if a spirit could occupy another body on earth. But it is not likely that the ethical code of advanced beings would permit taking over the body of another being without their full understanding and explicit acceptance for the act. A simpler and ethical route would be to be born as a new human on earth. That is provided an angelic being gains control over the process, grows up and lives amongst humans for a while possibly as a missionary who has ventured abroad for universal good, while not forgetting its heavenly origin or heavenly parents - Father and Mother in heaven. He may continue to maintain contact with his father in Heaven through telepathic communication (prayer)

Paul Brunton, a renowned Journalist, author and Mystic of the last century believed that Jesus was one such being and that he had identified the star system from whence Jesus came to earth to harvest souls from amongst the Jews, at least initially, for his planet after physical death of the earthly body and rebirth of converted souls on the heavenly planet. One cannot enter heaven unless one leaves this body and is born again. How can a spirit enter a mother's womb unless the older body is relenquished first and how will humans who do not even know where the next wind will flow from understand this in all its details.

Now about Hell here: 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mother and Father

Both my father and mother are no more. When I was young my mother was the world to me. She was a gentle and loving mother as good as any and if any mother has something of the divine in her, something of the mother Goddess, she had it. As I grew older I continued to love her and be loved by her until she breathed her last some ten years ago.

Something else happened, as I grew older. I learnt that there is another mother, a more permanent one that was the mother of my mother as well and the mother of everyone else too. She is Mother Earth because all of us are born from her womb. Every part of our body is made from some part of her flesh and blood. And, this more eternal mother is incredibly beautiful too. Her vast forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands and oceans never cease to delight us and charm us with their grandeur. She provides us with unlimited bounties day after day as long as we live and long after that to the rest of her children.

Like a gentle mother, who allows her offspring to play and mess about in the yard, even trample down her precious beds of painfully nurtured flowers. Mother Earth too allows her children that freedom. It is because of that we have the filthy oil spills, scarred and strip mined patches of land, Mercilessly logged forests, spills of chemical wastes from our factories, the filthy slum habitations of Latin America, European Gypsy camps, Slums of India and Indonesia and the rape and hunger infested refugee camps of Africa. These ugly scars and spots on mother Earth do not for a moment mean that Mother Earth is ugly. It is just a temporary thing like the flowerbed trampled upon by unruly children. When the play is over and the children back in bed or school mother would come around and fix those flower beds and forests again.

Like every good mother, Mother Earth is stern as well from time to time, and when she gets angry she shakes her bosoms like an earthquake, roars like a hurricane or thunders like the floods drowning her children into the corner stool as a temporary punishment.

Now something about my father – just as every cell of my body comes from the flesh and blood of my mother, I know I have something deeper too. It is my soul and that is manifest in my consciousness and feelings of pain, pleasure, love, hate and so on. Most of the times my consciousness is so engaged with my physical brain that I do not even realize that these are two distinct parts within me. Just as my Mother Earth has given the cells of my body to me temporarily, the components of my consciousness have been given temporarily by my father whose immense consciousness pervades the universe.

There are times when through ancient practices explained by ancient sages, I still my thoughts and sense the soul in its purer form as a part of the universal whole and it is a feeling of super sensuous joy inherent in the close companionship of the eternal father.

My Eternal father and mother are so united in thought, consciousness and existence that they are in fact two sides of the same eternal reality. Every time I do something in an attempt to improve something on earth it is like a gift of love for my mother and every time I do something to lift the soul of another of her children, to a wipe a tear or give a smile, to a child or a bird, It is a gift for both my mother and my father.

I know that the body is like clothing for the soul and like every piece of clothing it gets a bit dirtier and worn out every day. One day it will be unfit for use and then mother Earth under Instructions from Father Universe shall ordain that it be taken off and given to the shredders for recycling. How much pain I suffer when the dress is being taken off - all depends on how attached I have become to my old dress and the stuff I have stored in its pockets. I shall also be apprehensive if I doubt that I shall be provided with a new dress or left naked like the winds and nothingness. Fortunately I do not doubt that I shall have new dress just as I have had it several times before.

I will be delighted because of the prospects of a dress change, but also apprehensive about the new dress that I shall be given in its place. Appearances are so very important, and then clothing must be sturdy and comfortable allowing ease of movement. I think father and mother shall decide, perhaps they will include a bit of my preferences, perhaps not. I do not know. The type of my new dress, My new body, the place I shall be born shall be decided by my parents and I do not doubt for a moment that it will be the correct and just choice because I do not for an instant doubt the infinite intelligence of my father or the infinite versatility of my mother in sewing just the right dress for the right occasion. I hope they give me a large spacious room with a view and a flow of breeze to live, but if they do not, I know that I have not yet deserved it.

It shall in the main depend upon my habits and my deeds. If I have been a rough player no doubt the dress shall be a sturdy one. Perhaps rough and ugly looking, not as fine as silk but sturdy like a pair of good jeans. And, if I am in the habit of messing around I shall be given a room at the back away from the lush and beautiful gardens of Mother Earth.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You are what you eat, and drink

Consume an ounce of whiskey and you will notice the change in mood and behavior immediately. However, it is not just whiskey everything we drink, even the quality of water, or anything we eat has some subtle or significant influence on our behavior. Consumed over a period, not just the weekend binge, the type of food we consume literally shapes our personality prompting ancient thinkers like Hippocrates to remark, “You are what you eat”.

Some question this by saying that it is our experiences and habits that shape our personality but the two are linked because it is our habits that shape our tastes and food choices. In another post in this blog it was  mentioned that a human personality is shaped by memory and experiences and one might ask which of the two is more significant - food or experiences?. My understanding is that humans gravitate towards the foods and actions that agree with their inner inclinations and personality and so in the end both causes are two sides of the same horse.

Not just individuals it seems that entire geographical regions, people and civilizations are influenced by the food and water of the region. An ancient Indian, highly revered Saint, Kabir had noted during his travels that people who had sweet water to drink spoke sweetly and those who drank salted or foul tasting water often had harsh or foul speech. Similarly he noted that those who consumed highly pure food had pure thoughts and personality as compared to others whose food was not of similar quality.

It appears that entire civilizations are shaped by food and that the excellence of European and Japanese civilization is tied in with the food the majority consumes. The consumption of wine, cheese, vine vinegar, freshly baked breads and cakes, olive oil, olives, nuts, fruit berries of various kinds are historically quite unique to the European culture just as the consumption of seafood, tea and rice is historically unique to the Japanese culture. Individual geographical variations exist and the uniquely harsh mechanical character of the Germans in Europe as compared to the French may be linked to their consumption of hard breads, bitter beer, Sauer kraut and massive sausages just as the easy going character of the Italians and Spaniards in comparison may have something to do with olives and tomatoes besides the heat and the type of vegetables that grow in that heat. I do not mean to generalize the behavior of regions. What I refer to here is the behavior of a significant majority and average traits that do vary. Individual behavior varies, so does individual food preferences and at the present time there are very many vegans as well amongst the Germans. In my experience they are gentler in behaviour. Here too there are notable exceptions, Hitler being one.

In India people living in Delhi have been historically known to be more energetic and disciplined as compared to others of nearby regions and that is in spite of the heavy pollution of the city. Just across the river from Delhi are the districts of Ghaziabad and Meerut that have been recognized as the crime, decay and filth capitals of the country. The food consumed by both the areas is similar but there is a significant difference in the quality of water. In the latter districts it is foul tasting, impure and saline. Recently however the crime scene has been moving into Delhi as has the water from further north because of increasing population.

The human body is virtually a chemical factory and it manufactures very many chemicals that the body needs for its functioning. Therefore often if an essential component is missing in food it can manufacture it if the component elements are available in the food.. This is especially true when a person is young and the body processes functioning at their peak. As one ages though the various factories of the bodies slow down and aging persons (those who have crossed forty and especially those who have crossed fifty or sixty) can benefit greatly by introducing a new supplement in their diet. Here are some I have found effective in my own experience recently,

1. Increasing intake of iodine and potassium slightly is likely to be helpful in diet and the easiest source for it is modified table salts that contain these additives.

2. Adding a Mallic acid and magnesium supplement may be considered in consultation with a doctor

3. Consume a bit of apple cider or wine vinegar in a salad, soup or water.

4. Switching to Green tea from the roasted black variety. Do not add milk to the tea but you may add one or more of the herbs –ginseng, ashwagandha, holy Basil leaves (dried if fresh are not around), dried white mulberry leaves. Replace more than half your sugar with honey if natural honey is available and a bit of stevia extract. There is a post about Stevia in this blog.

5. Five freshly shelled and soaked almonds consumed daily as well as a couple of freshly shelled walnuts may help keep Alzheimer and Dementia at bay, and introducing other nuts and foods from trees help restore missing elements not found abundantly in modern vegetables.

6. Include at least one raw food item (as in salads) daily for the live enzymes to help digestion. If nothing else, let the raw vegetable be mung bean or alpha alpha sprouts that can be made easily at home.

7. Include a green leafy vegetable four or five times a week in diet, spinach being the most common and useful.

8. Do not get onto a low carbohydrate diet if you are underweight or normal weight but do go for it if overweight or obese.

9 Although it is good to look for foods that you deduce as healthy and avoiding those that are deduced as unhealthy, it does seem like a good idea not do this fanatically. Try for a variety from the amazingly diverse bounty of nature. Personally I do avoid meat to the extent possible but if a rare occasion serves it, I enjoy it. On the other hand, I try and tell vegans that milk products and eggs are some of the best foods around and instead try a lovegan diet (described elsewhere in this blog)

10. It is best to make your meals out of basic and natural (produced by mother nature without industrial intervention) ingredients you can see and feel. There are other posts in this blog with reports of not just horses, cats and dogs in processed food but also poop and pee. One should detest eating all that  especially if one believes in - you are what you eat - LOL :)

Watch your own body chemistry to see the effect each change has by adding these changes one at a time. You do not necessarily have to believe in anything suggested here or elsewhere even if it comes from a good source because each body chemistry is unique. What is good for one person may be poison for another. You may have heard that brown bread is better than white but white bread may in fact be far better for a person with a laxative stomach and all bread can spell doom for a person with Gluten allergy. I have had the great fortune of saving some persons here from severe perpetual asthma by getting them off wheat.

Do ensure purity of foods and avoid or minimize processed foods that contain chemicals or have used chemicals during the processing. If you find organic vegetables too expensive at least soak the vegetables you eat in clean water for an hour or so before consumption to leach out some harmful pesticides and fertilizers.

Even more important is the fact that if you find a good thing that works for you do not overdo it. Too much of a good thing can be poison. An example is Brazil nut. One or two a day will do magical wonders for a person deficient in selenium which unfortunately many persons in the modern world are but ten a day will probably kill you because just as selenium is a necessary chemical for a human body it kills if in excess. Why modern foods are deficient can be found from an excellent article by Dr. Dawson here :
Just to quote briefly from him here
The alarming fact is that foods (fruits, vegetables and grains) now being raised on millions of acres of land, that no longer contain enough of certain minerals, are starving us - no matter how much of them we eat
 Ascertain the dose of great potent foods carefully through your own research, experience and consultation. Besides switch to wine and beer from whiskey and rum in case you are fond of an alcoholic drink and do not consume alcoholic drinks for a period exceeding an hour during a twenty-four hour period. That gives the impacted brain cells a chance to reset. Sometimes with age they do not and lead to Alzheimer/ Dementia in the best case or psychosis in the worst. Avoid tobacco altogether especially the smoking kind as in cigarettes. Incase you have been doing this do not worry but make the change even now and in time the body will recover.

NOTE: This post was updated slightly in May 2013