If you’ve been following me on twitter, then you’ve been hearing me rant on and off about health as of late. It’s been my main focus of study for the last few months. The main reason I’ve been on it so much is because, well, I think it’s fascinating to learn so much of what I thought I knew to be true and natural regarding health and the world in general, has been shown and proven to be otherwise.
As I look more into it, and other things taking place in modern times, I notice a common pattern: we’re gradually moving towards the artificial. This realization started while having a conversation with a friend about relationships. She went on to ask me what type of of women I like. I responded with, “all natural.” She then asked me to elaborate, because from her perspective, “ain’t nobody natural any more!”
I told her that amongst all these women with makeup, fake hair, nails, plastic surgery, and other enhancements, I strive to search out some defects. You know, any stretch marks, skin impurities, one boob bigger than the other, that sort of thing. Even still, this is not enough to verify anything for certain.
We then went on to have a long discussion about this. Everywhere you look, nature and what is natural seems to be overshadowed behind man-made structures. How does this happen when nature (the mountains, hills, oceans) is epic? I even recently learned that we have some artificial palm trees over here in Cali. This was news to me.
A number of people that I come across would rather play Madden then go outside and organize a little football game. I never understood it. Yes, it’s a little difficult to get everyone together because of schedules, but still. If you’ve got enough time to sit down and play hours of video games then I’m sure you’ve got time to gear up. Not to mention thanks to the wii, exercise has been taken to a whole new level. and given a new look. Getting up and getting active has to be fun for some people to even consider getting up from in front of the TV any more.
In regards to health, I thought it was pretty simple to point people in the right direction.
Eat all-natural, sun-rich foods. Strive to stay organic. Eat plenty of veggies, nuts, fruits and whole grains. Stay alkaline.
This was the advice that I’d give to people. That was until a friend on facebook had introduced me to Dr. Sebi and his teachings. I found Dr. Sebi and teachings to be significant because, well, he claims to be able to heal what others cannot. Sickle-cell syndrome, diabetes, AIDS, cancer, you name it.
There are no incurable diseases only incurable people….Curing AIDS? That’s the smallest part of what Africa has afforded Sebi. Curing AIDS is the easiest thing.
I strive to at least always consider new information and avenues of thinking. I think you should to be open to all new experiences in life. So when something like this is brought to your attention, some people will flat out reject it as ridiculous, some will also flat out agree and believe it, or, if you’re like me, you take the information and look further into it.
Since I was in the neighborhood, I drove down to his office in LA and picked up Beverly Oliver’s book Seven Days in Usha Villa: A Conversation with Dr. Sebi. As most of his claims, it was a series of assertions contrary to everything I’d heard, here in the states.
In the box wheat is natural. Outside of the box wheat is unnatural. Why? Because it contains starch. Nothing in nature contains starch. And everything that was made by man has to contain starch as a binder. But starch is carbonic acid…Any grain that is made, carrots, corn, wheat, rice, these things are starch. Starch is not food.
These, along with several other claims, earned big “Huh?! WTF is he talking about”points from me. I’ve yet to meet any of his clients-nor have I went out searching for him.
What is true
These people acting like they want the truth. But the appearance of the truth is good enough, they don’t want the proof-Talib Kweli
To a person that takes the elevator from the ground to the highest point of the Empire state building, the change in the view is enormous, but to those taking the stairs, you can witness the gradual progression. Similarly, I shouldn’t have to tell you that everything that is deemed as natural nowadays wasn’t always the case. Everyday, if you can take to really think about it, you can witness the history taking place around you. Remember when breast implants were taboo? Yes? No? Some people can’t even fathom life without our current conveniences.
Given the blue and the red pill, most would rather take the blue at any given time. So if you want to make money, there is money to be made in the artificial industry. Fake hair, fake breasts, fake muscles, fake cures to ailments, fake food, fake trees, fake followers, fake friends, you name it, we have it. It’s here and well stocked.
Nature, which I equate with truth in this post, doesn’t seem to be so important nowadays. If so, it certainly doesn’t seem that popular.
So I ask you, what do you consider natural? How would YOU (personally) even go about verifying such a thing?
Would you say it even matters?
Graham Phoenix says
The problem is understanding what is artificial and what is natural. A woman with silicon implants is artificial? So is a clean-shaven man artificial? They have both changed their appearance from that created by nature. We all wear clothes – artificial? Where do you draw the line.
When you look over the English countryside, for example, everything you see is created by man, hence is artificial, but the countryside is what people seek out as natural.
What is it you really seek? Is it some control over this world around you? What are you rejecting in the artificial? Is that created by mankind? So what is it you want?
Thanks for commenting and joining the discussion.
I’m going to clarify myself a bit here.
First off, to answer your questions, I seek nothing, really. I wrote this, because it interest me, I wanted to know the reader’s thoughts on the topic. I wrote mine already. I’m seeking no control over anything. I don’t reject the artificial but I do strive for balance. This is really no different from someone sitting in front of the computer (or another form of technology) most of their day and saying, “damn, I need to unplug.” It’s no different from someone saying, “I’ve been inside for too long, let me go outside for fresh air.”
Since you’re the second person to assume that I reject the “artificial” and prefer the natural, I’m guess that’s how the message came across. Understand that from my p.o.v. is that I don’t see a balance anymore, rather, it’s skewed more towards the unnatural. Still, that’s not to say I have a problem with this. I’m neutral in most areas. I like both, but in a lot of areas, I no longer see balance.
For this post, my definition of artificial is that which is simulated and which tries to replace the original, natural form for a significant time. So shaving, clothes, not even close. They don’t replace anything that I’m aware of. Natural would be original. So someone trying to be you, would be the artificial you, you the original natural Graham.
In women, it’s my preference and for different reasons I might add. Let’s say, a women has a prosthetic leg, because she got her leg cut off in war. No problem. But let’s say, a woman gets them because she doesn’t like her natural legs. That’s unattractive to me (the mindset). So it’s not even the nature of it that bothers me there.
In exercise, again, a preference. I play video games, but I would like to exercise my body without the aid of technology, as much as I do WITH technology.
Now, with food, yes, I do reject the artificial. Why? They have yet to prove the healing benefits of their natural counterparts. They have not proven to be better health-wise to me, So health is what I’m measuring by here. So when it comes to natural foods vs. artificial ones, yes, I reject them. Even still, I understand that a number of the foods in our supermarkets, like the ever so popular banana that most are familiar with (the seedless variety) are hybrid and not the original “natural” form. Still, I do enjoy some of these, some of them even provide a number of health benefits. But this is just me, because I’m a Health nut :).
So that’s where I stand. Not bashing anything or pushing anything on anyone. I wanted an open forum on the matter at hand to hear the different thoughts and opinions on the matter. That’s it.
Graham Phoenix says
I understand what you mean and, for what it’s worth, I agree with you.
Using the terms ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ is fraught with trouble because people interpret them in different ways. Many makers of foodstuffs add things to processed food and say that nothing artificial has been added, yet, in your definition, there has.
I prefer ‘natural’ food (as you describe it) because the taste is usually better and because I find I am healthier for it. I go more for the kind of food we ate in the wild (original, natural surroundings), I believe that is what we were designed for and what we respond to better.
Joshua Smith says
With regard to food, I would recommend picking up a copy of Sally Fallon’s cookbook/textbook called Nurishing Traditions. It has so much content in it that is contrary to what we’ve been taught. From counting calories, to eating the RIGHT fats in order to burn excess weight. Also…the movie Food Inc is a great starting place for people who are wanting to understand our food sources and change.
There’s a lot of information out there, that is contrary to what we’ve been taught. The more I study and research, the more of this stuff I come across, which is why I wrote this post. Like the stuff Dr. Sebi brought up, I was hesitant to bring up, because if everything we’ve been taught regarding health has been been through a formal education (especially here in the states) then yeah, Dr. Sebi has his facts backwards from our perspective, which we’ve always thought to be true. History, is a great example of this.
The China Study was another that opened my eyes. Thanks for those recommendations and for commenting Joshua. I’ll be sure to check those out!
I meant no offense by that line. When I said “yes, you get hurt doing it” & ““Sure maybe down the line when you’re a lot older,” I was speaking in general and not to you specifically. I have no idea how young or old you are.
I’m still not seeing any clear examples of where I said one was better. I strive towards a natural way of life to counteract the observations that I mention above, to achieve a balance. I could’ve easily written a post, for example, where I state the contrary, that we were losing all of our technological advances and waxed nostalgic about that. In my opinion, it still wouldn’t imply that I’m saying one is better.
“Nature, which I equate with truth in this post…” is not a good example to prove your point. For that to be the case, truth would have to be better than false realities, which some would argue is not always the case. That’s a whole ‘nother debate in itself.
I agree with your point, which is why I wrote this post. The line is very much blurred.
As far as Dr. Sebi goes, I’ll leave you to your opinion. As he states, “Inside the box he’s crazy, outside the box, not so much.” He’s self-taught through both books and most of the wisdom he gained has by being in the field or hands on. He and his Usha Research institute are very much of their own line of thought. I lot of what he states, has not been taught, doesn’t align with what most people are used to hearing and is contrary to anything you hear in the states or even in an eastern school of thought. Still, he has results, that you can’t argue with.
Edward - Entry Level Dilemma says
I’m just getting to the point where my body is starting to decline but my mind isn’t quite ready to accept it. I think that the rougher you are on your body earlier in life, the sooner you start to get old.
You’ve stated that “I strive towards a natural way of life to counteract the observations that I mention above.” That shows that you personally believe that natural is better than artificial. We don’t prefer and strive towards things that we believe to be inferior.
Had you waxed poetic about the virtues of technology, then a reasonable person would infer that you shared the futurist’s viewpoint that we can solve the world’s problems through the proper use of applied technology.
Personally, I don’t just recognize that the line between natural and artificial is blurred and difficult-to-impossible for the average person to make out. I accept and embrace it. I have a certain back-to-nature worldview; one of my life-goals is to own a farm. But, I am no luddite that fails to recognize the power and potential of technological advances. Without any technology, the Earth could support a population of only a few million.
Whether or not Dr. Sebi has produced actual healing, I’m not equipped to examine the veracity of his claims. But I take issue with claims that are clearly contrary to basic facts.
Edward - Entry Level Dilemma says
As far as playing Madden vs getting a pickup game going, have you ever played football? It’s a brutal sport. When you play, expect to be bruised and sore the next day. My friends and I stopped playing when we were still sore 2-3 days later.
And what is wrong with Wii Fit being fun? Fun is a great motivator. Those pickup games of football, do they get played because they are “exercise” or because they are fun? Because they are fun of course. Is Wii Fit really any worse or artificial than going to a gym? Both are indoors where you use man-made machines to exercise. A sports game still uses a man-made ball and man-made rules.
I’m not a big fan of organic. Does it taste better? Sometimes. Celery tastes like celery no matter how it was grown. Never had a celery stalk that tasted different. I’d say the same for lettuce. Organic tomatoes tend to taste better, but that’s probably more a function of being allowed to ripen naturally then being grown organically.
Industrial organic agriculture also isn’t sustainable. It still perpetuates farming practices that degrade the earth – monoculture and multiple tillings to destroy insect eggs are examples of these. Check out the section on industrial organic agriculture in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma for more information.
At the end of the day, writing a blog post and tweeting complaining about people embracing the artificial over the natural is a disingenuous. There is nothing natural about twitter, the blogosphere, the internet, or computers. Its all fueled by fossil fuel energy, plastics, and high-technology.
Better would be to turn off the computer & cell-phone, sell all your possessions, move into a cave and live a hunter & gatherer lifestyle.
Yes, I’ve played and I play football. It’s pretty much the only form of activity besides martial arts that I do both for fun, exercise and multiple other reasons. Yes, you get hurt doing it, but when has that ever stopped anyone from doing something before? Sure maybe down the line when you’re a lot older and your body starts to feel it more, but I’m still young, energetic and vibrant with health. I could care less about the pain.
I agree that fun IS a great motivator. I never said anything was wrong with wii fit being fun. I own a wii myself. In fact, I don’t recall ever saying anything natural was better than the artificial. I did say I prefer “natural women” when given the choice and going outside for a game rather than playing madden.
If I did insinuate the organic was better, it wouldn’t even matter. You’re context is taste, while mine would be a whole different context.
I think you missed the point of the blog post, which was an overall observation. Me, I am a person that strives towards a natural way of life, but that’s my preference, which I don’t think I tried to push on anyone here. I’m actually a minimalist with very few possessions, I don’t spend much time on the computer, don’t watch tv at all. I think it’s far from disingenuous. In these days in times, we’d hard-pressed to find many that didn’t come into contact with the technology and other things we have today.
I apologize to the readers if this came off as a rant or any complaining in advance. I wrote it with the intention to see everyone’s opinion on the matter.
Edward - Entry Level Dilemma says
“Sure maybe down the line when you’re a lot older”
Ouch. I’ve just been elevated from “starting to get a bit older” to being “a lot older.”
You say that you don’t say that natural is better than artificial, that you merely prefer it. Yet the whole post is peppered with comments that clearly show a viewpoint of that. “Nature, which I equate with truth in this post…” is a good example of that.
The point I was trying to make was that the distinction between natural and artificial has been blurred by the entire course of human civilization to the point that most things that we would consider “natural” are actually man-made contrivances – sports, fruit in the winter, agriculture in general.
Oh, and Sebi obviously has no clue what he is talking about. Starch is completely natural, being the primary way that plants store energy. Starch is nothing more than a complex carbohydrate, which, when eaten, is digested into simple glucose molecules to fuel the body. And starch is NOT carbonic acid. Starch is C6H10O5. Carbonic acid is H2CO3. Cabonic acid is the carbonation in soda and the mechanism for transporting carbon dioxide from the blood stream.