Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
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

Chill on transgender issues, but not too chill (The Funny Side)
This columnist's teenage daughter explained the latest politically correct views on "gender identity" to her mother and me.
 
I learned that many young people in Asia are adopting the position promoted by two terrifying extremist groups in the West, a scary US tribe called "Californians" and the UK's even more frightening "Guardian Readers".
 
These groups say you must legally recognise people as whatever they claim to be -- or risk being sued for discrimination.
 
I'm pretty chill on all this. If a man feels he is a woman or a dodgy real estate salesman thinks he is President of the United States, let them.
 
Furthermore, I like the idea that everyone should be legally forced to recognise, for example, that this writer is a handsome, intelligent, good man trapped in the body of a lazy, evil dwarf.
 
But my chill attitude was challenged when a US reporter friend told me about Pablo Gomez Jr, a man recently charged with the murder of a young woman. After his arrest, Gomez announced that he was a girl "inside" and thus needed to be sent to a women's prison. In most countries, police would have slapped him around and told him not to be silly. But this happened in California so law enforcement officers are now legally required to hold doors open for him, comment on his hair and the like.
 
Obama spread the California policy across the country. In most states now, police must ask arrested people "How do you identify" and accept the answer given.
 
"A person with a full beard and complete male 'plumbing' who claims to identify as female will be put in the female cell block," Deputy Sheriff Paul Harding confirmed. "Complaints from female prisoners about the person who looks exactly like a man sleeping and showering with them in their cell block are not valid."
 
A UK reporter told me that British murderer Peter Laing also told cops that he felt like a girl inside. They duly sent him to a women's prison under his chosen name (Ms Paris Green) where he kept having sex with the other inmates. They told him to behave and transferred him to a second women's jail -- where the same thing happened. "He's just trying to manipulate the system," complained a family member of his victim. Police have now risked the wrath of Guardian Readers by putting him in a male jail.
 
A police friend tells me cops in Asia assign arrestees to male or female prisons after a simple visual check of their "undercarriage". In Thailand, this means that many "ladyboys" end up in male prisons and some are delighted, according to a 2013 study by Phuketwan, a Thai news service: "Ladyboys commit crimes, most often petty theft, just so they can return to the jail."
 
I told my kids that laws which force police officers and teachers to let male tricksters into females' safe spaces were a bad thing, but the most important thing was to be kind to everyone, including people of non-standard gender.
 
I also told them that I myself started life as a man trapped in a woman's body. And then, after nine months, I was born.
 
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

SRINIVAS SHENOY

6 months ago

You have supplied information which I was unaware. It is always worthwhile to be knowledgeable.

SRINIVAS SHENOY

6 months ago

You have supplied information which I was unaware. It is always worthwhile to be knowledgeable.

Nitin Karani

6 months ago

Surprised you published this piece of crap.

Nitin Karani

6 months ago

Surprised you published this piece of crap.

Nitin Karani

6 months ago

Surprised you published this piece of crap.

Nitin Karani

6 months ago

Surprised you published this piece of crap.

Parthasarathy Murugesan

6 months ago

Already I lost 2300 rupees by transacting through Bhim. Nearly 3 months gone, amount was not refunded. I am not going to use this forever. Goodbye.

When righting news reports, get it write (The Funny Side)
I just spelled a word so badly that even autocorrect was like, "Sorry, man, I got nothin'".
 
But at least it wasn't as bad as my friend who went on a business trip with a staff member and misspelled a postcard to his wife: "Having a lovely time, wish you were her."
 
The high court in Delhi a few days ago blamed "a typo" after they let a convicted murderer loose. Their judgment sentenced him to "time served" instead of the long stretch of time he should be serving. Police are looking for him, hoping no one will end up with "killed by a typo" as an epitaph.
 
Luckily, in most cases typos (short for "typographical errors") usually just embarrass reporters and amuse readers.
 
Going around the Internet this month was an apology from the Morning Sentinel, an Illinois newspaper which printed an article on a church musician: "We reported that Henninger's band mate Eric Lyday was on drugs. The story should have read that Lyday was on drums." What a difference a letter makes.
 
So does a comma. One of my favourite authors, Ann Patchett, wrote to the editor of the New York Times after it reviewed her book: "The review mentions topics ranging from 'her stabilising second marriage to her beloved dog' without benefit of comma, thus giving the impression that Sparky and I are hitched. While my love for my dog is deep, he married a dog named Maggie at Parnassus Books last summer."
 
Sometimes we journalists mess up so badly that corrections need corrections. In May, 2015, the US broadcast news station NPR printed this: "In a previous correction on this post, we corrected something that was actually correct. So we have corrected that correction."
 
Canada's Toronto Sun once misspelled the word "correction" in a one-word headline over a correction: "CORRERCTION".
 
One type of correction journalists actually like is when complainants demand changes that make them (the complainant) look worse. The Irish Times described a man named Ed Miliano as "a designer and illustrator", but he demanded a correction: "Mr Miliano is an artist."
 
The best errors conjure up interesting images. Like this one from New Yorker magazine which makes a writer seem like an ageless wizard: "Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified the number of years E.B. White wrote for The New Yorker. It was five decades, not centuries."
 
Or this startling word-picture from the Canberra Standard: "They travelled via the Cape on the Queen Mary, with 10,000 troops and 16 officers sharing a two-berth cabin."
 
Asian names often puzzle English-speaking reporters, as shown by this correction in the Auckland Star: "Mai Thai Finn is one of the students in the programme and was in the centre of the photo. We incorrectly listed her name as one of the items on the menu."
 
In our defence, journalists work so fast that errors are inevitable. In December last year, someone at the AP newswire sent out a report on French politics that clearly wasn't ready. "Hollande will/won't seek re-election," the news flash told puzzled readers.
 
Meanwhile, one of my condescending colleagues always points out everyone else's spelling mistakes. And probably wouldn't like me revealing that he checks his own spelling on Google first. Heh heh heh.
 
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

Sanjeev B

6 months ago

The Auckland Star goof up was spectacular! Thanks for the writeup.

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