THE SPIRIT OF ONENESS
“ The basic mood of the future might well be one of confidence in the continuing revelation that takes place in and through the Earth. If the dynamics of the Universe from the beginning shaped the course of the heavens, lighted the sun, and formed the Earth, if this same dynamism brought forth the continents and the seas and atmosphere, if it awakened life in the primordial cell and then brought into being the unnumbered variety of living beings, and finally brought us into being and guided us safely through the turbulent centuries, there is reason to believe that this same guiding process is precisely what has awakened in us our present understanding of ourselves and our relation to this stupendous process. Sensitized to such guidance from the very structure and functioning of the Universe, we can have confidence in the future that awaits the human venture.’’
~ Thomas Berry “The New Story, The Dream of the Earth“
Scientists from over the world have made important discoveries in recent years regarding our oneness with nature. Thanks to the emerging science of epigenetics * and of the human micro-biome**, we are now becoming more aware of what the ancients and native communities all around the world already knew. It is about our interconnection with the natural world upon which we depend. It is about the interdependence of our human cells and reality within the super-organism that is our home, meaning our physical body, planet and universe. Our health, well-being and future depends on the recognition of this intimate age-old evolving relationship, the understanding and heeding the language of nature, the interconnection between the evolution of original seeds, food and plants as medicine, the micro-biotic system of the living soil and our human micro-biome.
Have we lost our way along our modern evolution? I was recently watching ‘’Cosmos’’ from the late physician Carl Sagan. It reminded me that Aristotle the ancient Greek philosopher of 400 years B.C., already knew of not only the circumference of the earth, but observed and recorded the movements of the planets in their orbits and the positions of stars within their constellations.
In the same way, Hippocrates the ancient Greek philosopher, doctor and considered the father of Medicine, knew that our body has the astounding ability to heal itself, that food is medicine, and that all diseases start from the gut. We are just starting to understand the value of those profound statements, as if we were waking up to open our eyes and finally see and understand that we are in an intricate relationship with the world in which live. In fact, our organism has evolved under the programming of our universe in constant communication with each of its components. When we look at the complexity of life, we open up to this concept: “As above, so below’’, everything is a reflection of everything else, and we start to see its expression in everything we put our eyes on.
Thomas Berry, cosmologist, cultural historian, author and provocative thinker ( 1914-2009), in his book ‘’The New Earth’’, explains that we have forgotten who we are, the intimate interconnection with the Earth and the whole Universe. That the ancient people and indigenous people all over the planet knew how to relate to the deities of nature, cultivating an extraordinary intimacy with the natural world. They understood and related to the four elements: earth, water, air and fire (light), upon which every expression of life depends. Not only have we lost our connection to the natural world but we forgot who we are. Also, according to Berry we have lost what they called the ‘’Wisdom of Women’’. It is the nurturing, intuitive and sensitive part of our being that knows how to relate with our surroundings and care for all life on the planet. Feminine wisdom is distinguished by an emphasis on non-duality, intuition, introspection and subjectivity, and is also the source of visions and dreams. More than ever, we need a vital change of consciousness, culture and transformation of the ways we actually live with one another and in relation to the ultimate sources of life, its renewal and to the cosmos. We need to move away from the concept of one superior culture, patriarchal dominance and the psychology and mechanistic views that entertain gender and cultural separation, disconnection of the mind and emotions from the body and of our physical nature from the Universe.
Berry brings our attention to the bare truth: since the 1980s, we humans have stopped replenishing our resources that we are engineering, corrupting and destroying all over. We continue to use our natural world as material commodity as if irresponsible, immature and unconscious children. The truth is that nature can not renew itself as quickly as it is destroyed and, as he reminds us: ” Human health is a subsystem of the Earth’s health. You cannot have well humans on a sick plane
As Plato wisely said: “The part can never be well unless the whole is well.”
I invite you to take your vision here on earth to the limitless and creative expressions of nature, particularly the vegetal world of food and plants, where everything is coded to be potentially Medicine or Medicinal.
This body that we live in is a truly astonishing computer that recognizes the signals of its environment. It is in a constant mode of operation over which we have no control, except for choosing to support or not its infinite functions. Think of our digestive system. Our digestion starts with the brain’s sensory experience of seeing food, smelling it and anticipating it. Already, the computer sends signals to our endocrine system to start releasing saliva and enzymes in preparation for digestion. Now, lets introduce into our mouth a black peppercorn. At that moment, because of the peppercorn’s medicinal properties, and because our food and body have evolved together for millions of years as one organism, the brain recognizes its code and sends a signal to the parietal cells of the stomach to release hydrochloric acid which is necessary for the food absorption and digestion. All of this happens completely unconsciously because we live in this astounding organism that has more complexity than we will ever be able to imagine. Our sacred temple is performing these extraordinary tasks that we take for granted for our well being, completely at our service, without us having to ever worry about having to breathe, pump the heart or assimilate nutrients, water and oxygen. And that in complete inter relationship with the Super-Organism that provides the naturally coded seeds, food, nutrients, air, water, and light necessary for us to thrive.
Furthermore, there is no life on earth without the light of the sun. We are the children of the sun. All our seven systems: nervous, endocrine, cardiovascular, digestive, immune, musculoskeletal and reproductive are wired to interact and depend on the natural light of the day, and to the different cycles of time throughout day and night. For example, the adrenals start their functions at 4:00 am and slow down twelve hours later. This explains the old saying : ” early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. The pituitary gland is stimulated by the morning light which in turns affects the pineal gland and the adrenals for immunity and survival . We also have monthly moon cycles and cycles similar to the changing seasons, like life growth hormones etc…In the same way that our life depends on natural food so does our food depend on the sun light and other rhythms of seasons and of the universe.
Someone said: ‘’ Know yourself and you will understand the universe…’’ When we start to realize that we have so much more to understand about the beauty and perfection of our body, the world and ultimately of the Universe we live in, we start to trust in its magnificence and wisdom. We then realize the sacredness of our ecosystem and the necessity to protect our sacred seeds, food, natural environment and to develop a mutually enhancing human presence upon the Earth. We need to create a New Story!
“ Ultimately, the entire universe has to be understood as a single, undivided whole,
in which analysis into separately and independently, existent parts has no fundamental status.”
~ David Bohm, physicist
*Epigenetic: genes are turned on and off, not by the genes themselves, but through external, environmental stimuli.
**Microbiome: the totality of microorganisms and their collective genetic material present in or on the human body.
HEALTH TIP OF THE MONTH
“Each one of us is an ecosystem with an estimated trillion other microscopic organisms living in and on us at any given time.
And these organisms, collectively known as our microbiome,
contain about 300 times the number of genes that our own genomes express”
~ Microbiologist Susan Perkins
”Hold on to what is good,even if it is a handful of earth” says an Hopi Prayer. I realized only recently, the importance of these words, much wiser than I had anticipated.
As soil is abound with thousands of species of micro-organisms so do our guts harbour a rich variety of organisms. Likewise in our guts as in our soils, toxins produced by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria can lead to many diseases that can affect future generations.
Mother Nature in her Wisdom has developed ways to protect us. As an example, fermented foods are potent chelators, meaning that they detoxify while providing large amounts of friendly probiotics. Organic cabbages grown without the use of chemical or artificial fertilizers or insecticides are naturally covered with lacto-fermented bacterias. When the salt is added to the chopped cabbage, it stops putrefactive bacteria from multiplying. As the lactobacillus start multiplying, they produce lactic acid which as a natural powerful antiseptic, will be preserving the sauerkraut from pathogenic microbes for up to five to six years when covered by its own juice.
‘‘ Understanding the simplicity, complexity and perfection of cultivating
a chemical free and thriving agricultural environment
comes from listening to the true teachers:
the soil, the plants, and the incredible biodiversity living within.’
~ Vandana Shiva
HOMEMADE KIM CHI
Every traditional culture used to ferment its food. The Inuit themselves had a fermented cod liver oil called misirak that they used to serve as a condiment and it was to them a very precious part of their diet. Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish. You only need one or two teaspoons a day to replenish your bacterial flora.
Kimchi can be used as a condiment for soups, salads, pastas, etc., or can be eaten by itself for breakfast alongside eggs. This recipe requires whey (preferably homemade. See recipe below). If you can’t make whey or can’t get it, you can substitute a little extra salt.
Making your own Kim Chi may sound intimidating. Nevertheless, I invite you to be curious and to try it for a first time. It is true that this is not much more difficult than to prepare a simple salad. Soon, you will start enjoying making your own healthy ferment.
This facto-fermented recipe makes about 2 quarts of fresh Kimchi.
• One Napa cabbage, cored and shredded
• A bunch of green onions, chopped
• 1 cup carrots, shredded
• 1/2 cup daikon radish, grated (optional)
• 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
• 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
• 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes (optional)
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 4 tablespoons whey (or, if not available, you may use the juice of already fermented sauerkraut or kim chi for an inoculate or simply add another tablespoon of salt)
Place vegetables, ginger, garlic, chile flakes, sea salt, and whey in a bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with a pounder or meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.
Number of Servings: 10
To Make Whey
It couldn’t be easier: Put plain organic yogurt in a dish towel or cheese cloth and let the whey drip out overnight. Tie your dish towel together with rubber bands, and suspended it from a cabinet knob over a pitcher. Once the cream cheese and whey are separated, just save the whey in a glass mason jar, or similar. Refrigerated whey will last for months. In the images, I used goat milk yogurt. Cow milk yogurt will work fine.
Yield 2 cups whey and 2 cups cream cheese from 2 quarts, whole-milk buttermilk, yogurt, kefir or raw milk.
If you are using whole-milk buttermilk, let stand at room temperature 1-2 days until the milk visibly separates into white curds and yellowish whey. If you are using yoghurt, no advance preparation is required. You may use homemade yoghurt or good quality commercial plain yoghurt. If you are using raw milk, place the milk in a clean glass container and allow it to stand at room temperature 1-4 days until it separates. For the raw milk to separate into curds and whey properly the air must be around 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a large strainer set over a bowl with cheesecloth or a clean dish towel. Pour in the yogurt or separated milk, cover and let stand at room temperature for several hours (longer for yogurt). The whey will run into the bowl and the milk solids will stay in the strainer. Tie up the towel with the milk solids inside, being careful not to squeeze. Tie this little sack to a wooden spoon placed across the top of a container so that more whey can drip out. When the bag stops dripping, the cheese is ready.
Store whey in a mason jar and cream cheese in a covered glass container. Refrigerated, the cream cheese keeps for about 1 month and the whey for up to 6 months.
Exerted and adapted from Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”. If you are interested in learning how to make your own whey, yogurts, creams, etc….check her out!
For more on the health benefits of fermented food check: http://drdeniserochon.com/the-spirit-of-goodness/
“Bacteria made the oxygen we breathe, the soils we till, the food webs that support our oceans.
Slowly, inexorably, through trial and error across the deepness of time,
they invented the complex and robust feedback systems that to this day support all life on earth.”
~ Dr. Martin J. Blaser in Missing Microbes
INSPIRATION OF THE MONTH
In the Spirit of Oneness, to continue to be inspired on our relationship to health, our earth and universe, here is a short interview of three minutes with Thomas Berry in his latest days. All his life. he advocated deep ecology, “eco-spirituality”, and I would add eco-responsibility. He is famous for proposing that a deep understanding of the history and functioning of the evolving universe is a necessary inspiration and guide for our own effective functioning as individuals and as a species.
I am excited to share my passion about this very empowering subject that is the Spirit of Oneness which is going to revolutionize our way of living, growing food, treating animals and caring for each other and for our environment. As we become more aware of these new opportunities, it is going to change not only the way we see our world but our relationship to it, moving us all toward the New Earth that we are yearning for. It is all very exciting!
In Gratitude, Love, Health and Happiness,
‘Let the seeds be exhaustless,
let it never get exhausted,
let it bring forth seed next year’’
~ Old Peasant’s Prayer. India.