Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Beard war intensifies, as official punished for not smoking (The Funny Side)
An atheist friend got in my car the other day and I snapped him into prayer mode with a single line: "Put on your seat belt, I want to try something." Heh heh heh.
 
Religion is on my mind after seeing a news report from China.
 
Recently, communist party officials were shocked to hear that one of their members had failed to be sufficiently disrespectful during a meeting with a group of religious citizens.
 
Local party secretary Jelil Matniyaz did not smoke a single cigarette at a meeting with Uyghurs in Xinjiang province, despite knowing that clean-living spiritual groups disliked such practices, the Global Times reported. 
 
"A dutiful party member would choose to smoke in front of religious believers in order to demonstrate his or her commitment to secularism," an official said. Insulting clean-living faith groups is mandatory. He and other disapproving colleagues stripped Jelil of his duties and demoted him, Agence France Presse reported.
 
Your columnist was forwarded this report by an old China hand who follows Beijing's war on spirituality. His report reminded me of the time Chinese communist party officials got rid of a divinely chosen leader from Tibet and replaced him with their own divinely chosen leader. People on both sides asked how a strictly atheist group could have such advanced knowledge of divine choices. Flustered officials, having no answer, made it illegal to ask the question.
 
In 2011, party bosses were alarmed to notice that members became less materialistic and more spiritual as they aged. They issued a regulation extending severe restrictions on what party members can believe in the period between retirement and death. "There are clear rules that retired cadres and party members cannot believe in religion," an official told the BBC.
 
In 2014, party members in Xinjiang started offering cash handouts to citizens who reported that their neighbours were growing beards. The logic was that beard equals spiritual person equals dangerous weirdo. This is surely wrong. I'm sure it is scientifically possible to be a bearded man and not be a dangerous weirdo, and it is pure coincidence that that two-word phrase is a perfect description of pretty much all my friends who have large amounts of facial hair. 
 
The no-beards rule was copied by China's neighbour, Tajikistan, where police in 2015 boasted of having shaved 13,000 men, many of whom they had just snatched off the street for that purpose. 
 
The curious thing is that big beards are the height of hipster fashion in the West, so it's likely that baffled American tourists are being snatched for committing facial hair crimes against society. This may actually be an appropriate response.
 
The most recent twist in this story is intriguing. The Chinese government has become alarmed at the lack of morality in society and leader Xi Jinping has launched a campaign to revive traditional beliefs and values. "These are the same traditional values that the party spent 60 years trying to destroy," the Economist magazine noted.
 
Life is weird. There's really nothing quite like it.
 
Here endeth the sermon. Amen.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Hayath MS

6 months ago

Atheist society will be immoral and violent place because to destroy religion all its teaching needs to be destroyed and all religions have plenty of such good guidance and teachings and supporting assumption of punishment and rewarding articles .

Make preventive healthcare a priority to lead a wholesome life
Health plays a crucial role in building your self-confidence, living a longer life, having more energy, being less stressed and feeling emotionally happier. People should adopt preventive healthcare measures at an early age in order to keep rising lifestyle disorders at bay.
 
However, the "Wellness in India Survey 2017" conducted by drug company Himalaya and market research firm IMRB revealed that 68 per cent of urban citizens do not practice preventive healthcare measures. 
 
The survey involving 896 urban and semi-urban people belonging to the age group of 20-55 years assessed awareness of wellness and lifestyle issues affecting their overall well-being.
 
The survey -- conducted in three cities, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru -- also showed that the lack of self-motivation as well as time constraints were the key barriers to adopting preventive measures.
 
So there is a need for a shift in our lifestyle to add preventive healthcare measures such as eating healthy in our daily life, the key benefits of which are:
 
Helps in reducing the lifestyle disorders: Constantly suffering from lifestyle problems can affect our overall well-being. According to the Himalaya Wellness in India survey, 65 per cent of those who practiced preventive healthcare measures took them up with the hope of dealing with regular spells of fatigue, abnormal blood pressure, weight management issues, etc. One can combat these problems by opting for herbal products rich in "Amalaki" (Indian gooseberry) and "Guduchi" (Tinospora cordifolia, commonly known as heart-leaved moonseed), which help in building a stronger immune system. 
 
Elevates general mood: A healthy body and mind are co-dependent. Research has proven that a person who maintains his health faces fewer mood swings and has better emotional stability. Regular intake of herbs like "Ashwagandha" (Withania somnifera) help in rejuvenating your mind and body.
 
Increases mental efficiency: An unhealthy body also affects your mind. The results of the Himalaya Wellness study released in February this year showed that 35 per cent of the respondents faced decreased mental efficiency before they switched to preventive healthcare measures. A healthy body helps in maintaining mental stability and concentrating on your work more efficiently. Make a habit of consuming herbs like "Brahmi" (Bacopa monnieri), which helps improve alertness and focus better. 
 
Helps achieves overall beauty: People generally associate beauty with external aspects. They tend to forget the essential elements of looking good, which include clean and clear skin, nourished hair, and glowing face. These can be attained when your body is healthy from within. In the Himalaya Wellness study, 49 per cent of the respondents who adopted preventive healthcare measures said these measures had helped them look good from within. The consumption of herbs like Neem helps purify the body in a natural way.
 
Improves self-confidence: Most of the time, your health affects your self-esteem and confidence as well. Leading a healthy lifestyle goes a long way in improving your self-confidence. A sound preventive healthcare regime can help you to achieve the confidence you want.
 
Do not wait for an illness to start caring about your health. Be proactive and practice preventive healthcare in order to achieve overall well-being. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Prakash Bhate

6 months ago

You can take tablespoons of Brahmi and Ashwagandha and Guduchi and what have you, but if you don't do your 30-45 min walk or bicycle or jogging or yogasans or simple stretching and warm-ups at least 3-4 times a week AND eat a fresh fruit every day AND eat at least two generous helpings of mildly (not oily) cooked or raw vegetables AND cut down on pickle/papad/samosa etc you will not move even an inch toward preventive health care. How boring and serious!!

Ramesh Poapt

6 months ago

Good!...but Himalaya branch promotion?!

Take Heart, Mind the Mind
“Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but my greatest friend is truth.” — Isaac Newton
 
The prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, published a good study on the heart status of aboriginals living in the Amazon forests in Bolivian territory. The aboriginals are the Tsaimane (pronounced chee-mah-nay). As in all our reductionist studies, did they measure the coronary calcium level as a surrogate marker of coronary artery disease (CAD) which, too, is not a true measure of CAD? Be that as it may, the Tsaimane tribe lived away from what we call civilisation and led a hunter-gatherer egalitarian life, untouched by the modern monetary economy with its accompanying Wall Street greed. These people are not supposed to get precocious heart attacks and premature death. Both inferences are, at the moment, only presumptions. 
 
The study’s authors claim that the Tsaimane eat hunter-gatherers’ diet of fruits, cereals, like rice and maize, and also fish, with occasional meat of monkeys, piranha and the large rodents they hunt. They walk a lot to get their food daily, the average being about 17,000 steps, in contrast to the Western prescription of 10,000 steps. They live together in large communes without the ‘I’ (illness concept) and, instead, live as ‘we’ (wellness concept). They do not have banks and money in circulation. They share what they get, with due consideration for everyone in the commune. In short, they have no negative thoughts of greed, pride, jealousy and one-upmanship; instead, they live as one large family.
 
As usual, in our reductionist cross-sectional research, we seem to miss the wood for the trees. See how the conventional pundits reacted to the findings. Tim Chico, consultant cardiologist and reader in cardiovascular medicine at the University of Sheffield, told The Independent that we shouldn’t “romanticise the Tsaimane existence,” adding that “two thirds of them suffer intestinal worms and they have a very hard life, without fresh water, sewerage or electricity.” We think it is a hard life; but the Tsaimane are very happy, indeed. Intestinal worms are supposed to increase immune strength. Another comment is still more romantic: “Surely, somewhere in the middle is the place to be. It’s up to each of us to find that healthy balance.” As I said above, we have missed the wood for the trees. The woods are beautiful, dark and deep and we shall miss the wood in this study.
 
Our evolution, and even our diseases, is environmental; they are not genetic or due to minor things like what we eat, how we eat it, where we live, our abdominal girth, weight, blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and what have you. The so-called risk factors in our venerated risk factor hypothesis, in reality, do not have much effect on our illness or wellness. Non-availability of fresh water, sewerage and electricity are not risk factors either. These are all important in the 18th-century science of the Newtonian worldview which is reductionist. As the common saying goes, ‘it is not what you eat that kills as long as you do not overeat; it is what eats you that kills you’ i.e., your negative thoughts.
 
In the 21st-century quantum worldview, matter is made out of energy. In that context, the human body is just the holographic projection of our mind, the consciousness. Our mind is the canvas on which our thoughts are projected. Mind is not inside the brain. The real environment of our body is our mind. Therefore, it is the mind that determines why one is healthy at a given time or is ill at some other time. While food, exercise and water, etc, are important for good health, the kingpin in the game of our health and disease is our mind. If the Tsaimane tribe is healthier than us and has no heart disease, it is basically because the environment of their body (their mind) is happy, contented, and has no negative feelings. That hidden truth was missed by the researchers as they went in search of inconsequential details about their living.
 
An old study (published in 1987) of the Innu community, living in the islands off the coast of a Labrador town in Canada, titled “The Failure of Scientific Medicine: Davis Inlet as an Example of Socio-political Morbidity”,   graphically showed how the Innus, an aboriginal race that lived with no knowledge of the so-called civilisation and the monetary economy of mainland Canada, lived an egalitarian hunter-gatherer existence without sewerage, electricity and clean water, but with profound happiness, caring and sharing what they hunted and gained. They lived happily like a large single family. Their records on stone and leaves showed that their only causes of death were old age and predation. 
 
They were not heir to any illness that the civilised world suffered from, up until 1732 when, for the first time, a barter company from mainland Canada, The Hudson’s Bay Company, set up a shop in Innu land, starting the barter economy, which soon led to the monetary economy. And, in course of time, Innus became citizens of mainland Canada. Now, Innus are heir to every disease that Caucasian Canadians are heir to—from the common cold to cancer 10 years earlier compared to Caucasian—Canadians. What changed for the Innus was the introduction of the monetary economy with all its attendant ills. William Wordsworth was right in 1802 when he wrote:
 
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
 
The essence of the wisdom in these two studies, somewhat similar in character, is the same. When you sell your soul to the Devil, you get heart attacks more frequently. 
 
The Tsaimanes and Innus had their hearts with them and they had not sold their hearts to the Devil of the monetary economy. It is not what they ate or what they did that mattered as much as what ate them (their negative thoughts resulting from monetary greed). Our Western medical science can only answer ‘how’ one gets a disease. Our positive sciences cannot answer the question why one gets a disease, at a given time. So spake Nobel Laureate Charles Sherrington, in 1895, at the age of 38, in his acceptance speech after he was appointed professor of physiology at Liverpool University.
 
Let us not get lost in the Newtonian worldview of the 18th century. The quantum worldview allows us to comprehend much more than what we can grasp with our five senses. It helps us understand that the real environment of disease is the human mind. If we can mind our mind, we can mend most diseases without outside intervention. Healing, finally, is due to our own in-built immune system. Long live mankind on this planet! Note that knowledge advances not by repeating known things (as was done by the researchers in this Bolivian study), but by refuting false dogmas. Reductionist science in human affairs must give place to holistic science.
 

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COMMENTS

Anbalagan Veerappan

6 months ago

Meditation or Dhyanam is the brain exercise for better Mind!

S.S.A.Zaidi

6 months ago

What an article! Very informative indeed

Rahul Pande

6 months ago

Old is gold.Our vedic thoughts and practises need to be reintroduced .

Bharath Kumar Ramesh

6 months ago

Wonderful Article sir. ' ve listened to the TED talk as well. Current generation is focussed on I,me,myself so more illness

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