"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mona Lisa and the Urinal

I read a great book the other day ... a novel ... The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas.

The author writes, in the words of her protagonist: Everything in the known universe is made of quarks and electrons. You're made of the same stuff I'm made of, and the same stuff the snow is made of, and the same stuff this stone is made of. It's just different combinations.

Under a powerful enough microscope, [a] urinal and the Mona Lisa would look identical.

And that is my last post - my last message - for this year we've known as 2008: we are all one ... it's just different combinations.

Monday, December 22, 2008


My solitude has always been of primordial importance to me. Even when I was a little girl, I needed my "alone time". I noticed that when I spent too much time with others without having some space, some time for myself, I would get antsy, stressed, nervous, as though I needed to be alone to recharge my batteries.

Thank God (and my parents) that I had a bedroom for myself and did not have to share.

As I grew older, left home, and eventually got married, I recognized that the tendency, much as I was in love, continued. I needed - no - I craved alone time. I craved solitude on a regular basis, and if I did not get it, or if I had to live in more crowded circumstances sometimes on holidays with the extended family, I immediately noticed that I was missing it.

Sometimes I thought I was a hermit, a loner, but then I would remember how sociable I am, how much I enjoy people, but what became more and more clear to me as time went by, was that I most definitely have a greater need for solitude than many of the people I know.

I began to recognize that what I had erstwhile defined as a recharging of batteries, was, in fact, a need for communion with the innermost self, with my soul, on some level that - even when I had not yet come to define it as such - was not only necessary for my well-being, but was an absolutely vital requisite for my being. Honoring this became important, and I began to understand that much as a plant needs sunshine and water, I needed this solitude in order to thrive.

In the relationships of my life this has continued to hold true, and I have had many a difficult moment in which this needed to be explained on terms that were non-threatening to the other. My solitude is not a lack of love for the other, or a lack of desire to spend time with the other, but a need to nourish the self despite the other. It is something that endures, and that needs to be honored, even when I am in relationship. It came before and it will continue to be after.

And so, as I came across these words from the great Rainer Maria Rilke today, I resonated with them ... he wrote: I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people, that each protects the solitude of the other.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Radio Program "Re-Wiring the Soul" January 2009

Once a month I will be posting the current list of topics for my weekly radio show, live every Wednesday at RE-WIRING THE SOUL at 12 noon European Central Time (6 am Eastern) or click on the BlogTalkRadio Icon on the right side-bar of this blog under the photo of me talking into the mike. Once you are on my show's page of that website, scroll down to the show you are interested in and click there.

Participating in the Show:
If you want to call in during the show, the number (in the USA) is (646) 727-1281. You can also - at the show's website - "click to talk" online, with no need to make a phone call.

This is what the January 2009 schedule looks like:

Jan 14: Interview 4: Brenda Padilla (founder of three blogs: Adopción Por Dentro and Solo Para Madres and Alimentación Familiar): Shedding Your Skin: Creating a New Identity … listen to a fascinating discussion of how this proactive and enterprising young woman is creating a new identity for herself.

Jan 21: Interview 5: Douglas Melloy: (author of The Nature of the Self and the Social Evolution of Humanity and other books)

Jan 28: Who Pushes Your Buttons? Maybe You Should Take A Closer Look At Those People…

See below for equivalent times in other locations.

Ways To Listen:

1) LIVE on the web (check back closer to January 14th for exact details)

3) Listen to over 150 archived audio files on my website (in the past it has always taken some time for me to get new shows up on my website due to logistical problems. Now, with the new program Re-Wiring the Soul, new clips should be up in days, for re-listening or downloading ... more specifics about that later)

Equivalent Times in Other Locations:

(Locally: 12 noon CET: Central European Time) or go to http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html to convert from your time zone

Many changes have taken place at the local studio where I have been broadcasting for the past five years, and they are now closing their doors to the international section of their station.

Hence, although I will continue to broadcast, it will be via another venue and under the name Re-wiring the Soul, and only after a one-month hiatus. In other words, the next show will be January 14th 2009. Watch this blog for more details!

After five years of broadcasting a conventional radio show in Southern Spain about topics in the broad (and frequently eclectic) fields of integral psychotherapy and positive psychology, I wanted to venture further abroad. Thanks to my incredible interlocutor at the station, Brenda Padilla, we managed to produce 150 audio clips from that show and they are all available via my website or blog.

Re-wiring the Soul is the result of my desire for a change. Psychology per se is good, but we need to reach much further in our quest to create the balanced human being. The mission statement for this show might be “using all tools available via nutrition, fitness, psychology, cutting-edge empirical research, holistic therapies, spirituality, neuro-science, etc. to further the growth of the soul.”

This call-in talk show will welcome and interview guests from all walks of life, although occasionally I will be speaking alone. Those of you who have listened to my past programs know that the main message I have always woven through the shows has consisted of the need for becoming aware and then making good choices from this position of awareness. On this show that will be our guiding dictum.


Starting in October 2008 a new section was added to the topic areas that this website has addressed in the past. Several times a month I conduct interviews with key international figures in the fields of nutrition, business, healing, and science. They will be listed under Interviews on the Radio Page and uploaded to the website as the the respective audio clips are made available to me.

Here is a partial list of some upcoming shows (check scheduling each month for exact dates):

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Good News Post 1: Cancer Breakthrough

Starting today, and in order to emphasize that the news we are all watching on our television screens does not have to be all bad, if only they would show us the good stuff too, I will be posting a minimum of once a week an article about something wonderful that is happening in our world.

If we could concentrate more on the good stuff rather than on the bad (the mass media obviously know that it is easier to hook people into watching them 24/7 by continually repeating more of the same), without losing sight of the reality of what is happening, but simultaneously deciding to proactively look for the good, we would create another kind of energy in our lives.

When we gather with our friends, or chat on the phone, or send emails to others, how often do we mention the gloom and doom as opposed to how often we mention something uplifting? Are you with me? So let's start countermanding the heavy weights in the mass media and carry out a silent change of pace ourselves, by searching out the good news in the world ... and there are masses ... in order to do our part to change not only our personal energy, but also contribute to changing the general energy.

Today's post is about a discovery in cancer research that has gone through numerous phases: ridicule, uncertainty, admiration, and now: proof.

Researchers have shown that they can target cancer cells with tiny pieces of gold and destroy the cells by using John Kanzius' (click for much more information on his website) external radio-frequency generator.

The success clears a major hurdle in proving that the Millcreek Township inventor's device can be used to successfully treat cancer in humans.A scientific article about the targeting will be published today on the Web site of the Journal of Experimental Therapeutics and Oncology.

"I was pretty excited when the targeting happened," said Steven Curley, M.D., principal investigator for the Kanzius Project at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "It proves that this has the potential to work, and that it makes sense for us to continue pushing." read entire article here

Another source indicates that "Lead researcher Dr. Steven Curley, a professor of surgical oncology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, rated No. 1 in cancer treatment by U.S. News and World Report for four of the past six years, told supporters in a letter earlier this month that targeting nanoparticles to specific types of cancers has been accomplished.

"This will be the first manuscript that proves that we can target nanoparticles to a specific abnormality on cancer cells, and increase the killing by getting more nanoparticles into the cells," Curley said. " read entire article here

In November 2008, Kanzius was named one of the most important, influential, and promising people in science by Discover Magazine in their article The Amateur Scientists Who Might Cure Cancer—From Their Basements.

60 Minutes aired an interview with Kanzius in July 2008: Watch Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Wealth Does Not Embarrass Me

As this year draws to a close, I contemplate my life. A friend recently wrote to say what an awful year this has been for him, and for so many due to the recession, due to numerous other factors, both global and personal ... but mainly outer factors. The comment stopped me in my tracks, because I feel quite the opposite. It's been a year filled with infinite richness, with growth, insights, joy, happiness, excitement, successes, and fascination. Another friend wrote to say she was sorry I had not had a good year due to some physical mishaps (fractured wrist, badly hurt leg, tendonitis in the other wrist, and inflamed muscles ... not all at the same time, by the way), but my immediate reaction was that it has been an excellent year, notwithstanding the physical mishaps, because of the richness of my inner life that translates itself to the outside, and more specifically, to how I view what is going on on the outside.

I am so rich. Wealthy in ways that at other times of my life might have embarrassed me. At least to talk about it.

I am rich in love. Rich in family. Rich in friends. Rich in inner choices. Rich in horizons, both near and far that keep me in a state of emotional, psychological, and intellectual stimulation. Rich in connection with my innermost self that keeps me in a state of spiritual stimulation.

It is perhaps the latter point that I find the most important one. And it is also that point that, when it is missing, when an individual is not yet paying homage to the self, to the jewel within, to the divine within, causes the greatest amount of disconnection, fear, and lack of happiness and satisfaction with life.

Photo: Giardino di Boboli, Firenze, Italia

Monday, December 15, 2008

Being Fearless ... In Connecting With the Soul

Here (see link below, at the beginning of the last paragraph) is a keynote speech presented by Caroline Myss at a conference during the spring of 2008 at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY. The Omega Institute is known all over the world for the excellent workshops it organizes every year, some also in locations other than Rhinebeck, with an illustrous group of inspirational presenters, speakers, thinkers, healers and more. I list the link to their website here on the right side bar of my blog not only for those magnificent conferences, but also for the freely available resources one can pick up from the website for listening and viewing, and thus I recommend it as one of those websites that can further one's quest in the search for ever good inner energy.

This keynote address is well worth listening to.

(In this instance, I am unable to embed the video into my blog, due to special restrictions. Note that each segment of the 11 segments, runs from 4 - 11 minutes, so the entire address is slightly longer than one hour. All subsequent segments, after this first one, are right there on YouTube.)
Photo: Scotland

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Nothing is Good or Ill

For years I've been collecting quotations that mean something to me, and it has always struck my fancy that great thinkers said exactly the same thing about the concept that can be resumed in these words: you are what you think.

This is so simple, it's been said throughout the millennia, and yet we seem to find it so difficult to adhere to.


At first glance, we might say that we find it difficult because it requires effort, but at second glance I would say that another reason has more to do with the fact that we tend to buy into the mindset that has us believing that our salvation lies outside ourselves, when, of course, as I so often discuss here and in my newsletter and website, our salvation, our inner peace and freedom, lie totally within ourselves.

And hence the difficulty. We look and look and search, going on life-long quests, expecting to find it out there, the god of success will save us, the god of prestige will save us, the god of physical beauty will save us, the god of consumerism will save us, the god of academia and the intellectual life will save us, the god of spirituality and om-ing will save us, the god of ecological awareness will save us, and then, sometimes, if we are lucky, we finally do realize that all those things can make a difference to our lives but since they don't save us, we have to look elsewhere, and only then do we start the inner search.

Some of those collected quotes about the topic are here:

Marcus Aurelius
If you are distressd by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Samuel Butler
Not only is nothing good or ill but thinking makes it so, but nothing is at all, except in so far as thinking has made it so.

Joseph Campbell
That's what known as Hermetic Gnosticism - bodhi in Sanskrit. Change the perspective of your eyes, and you see the whole world before you now is radiant.

We are not troubled by things, but by the opinions we have of things.

A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.

Albert Schweitzer
The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

Richard Bach
Break the chains of your thinking and you will break the chains of your body.

The Buddha
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.

Deepak Chopra
The rishis said that life is built up by your participation in it. Nothing is good or bad, hard or soft, painful or pleasant, except as you live it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

James Allen
As a man thinketh, so is he.

Elizabeth Haich
"...my doubts are weakening me, paralyzing me. But doubt is a thought. So I must conquer my thoughts in order to master doubt."

Jon Kabat-Zinn
If you want the future to be different, it's the quality of this moment that needs tending and attention.

Ruby Nelson
The only person you are responsible for changing is yourself.

Louise L. Hay
It's only a thought and a thought can be changed.

Diane K. Osbon
We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.

Photo: Zakynthos, Greece

Friday, December 12, 2008

Alisa Miller's List of 101 Fascinating Brain Blogs

Keep this one in a handy place to refer to frequently:

Alisa Miller offers an amazing list, sub-divided into useful categories (Psychology, Psychiatry, Technology, Neuroscience, Ethics and Law, Multi-Disciplinary Blogs, Mental Disorders and Abnormal Psychology, Mental Health, and Various Brain Blogs) in this article posted a few days ago on the OEDb (Online Education Database), in itself a fascinating site: 101 Fascinating Brain Blogs

Photo: Orobourus

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sugar Bingeing Similar to Substance Abuse

A new Princeton study demonstrates that sugar can be an addictive substance, wielding its power over the brains of lab animals in a manner similar to many drugs of abuse.
Science Daily brings more news from the world of empirical studies. Researchers studying rats for signs of sugar addiction had already been able to demonstrate two of three elements of addiction.
First there is a behavioral pattern of increased intake and then the same rats showed signs of withdrawal. In the current experiments Professor Bart Hoebel and his team in the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute captured craving and relapse to complete the picture.

"If bingeing on sugar is really a form of addiction, there should be long-lasting effects in the brains of sugar addicts," Hoebel said. "Craving and relapse are critical components of addiction, and we have been able to demonstrate these behaviors in sugar-bingeing rats in a number of ways."
The findings eventually could have implications for the treatment of humans with eating disorders.
Hoebel has shown that rats eating large amounts of sugar when hungry, a phenomenon he describes as sugar-bingeing, undergo neurochemical changes in the brain that appear to mimic those produced by substances of abuse, including cocaine, morphine and nicotine. Sugar induces behavioral changes, too. "In certain models, sugar-bingeing causes long-lasting effects in the brain and increases the inclination to take other drugs of abuse, such as alcohol," Hoebel said.
Photo: Scotland

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mind-Body Interview with Deepak Chopra

An interview from Al Jazeera (from the show Riz Khan: One on One) with Deepak Chopra. It was filmed in 2007, and resumes much of Chopra's current thought.

Part I (12 min)

Part II (10 min)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Keeping Clear Boundaries Over the Holidays

Getting into the holiday spirit (even in a recession) often means that we reach out to others, or that we want to do something beyond what we normally would.

That is wonderful and certainly can create, not only something positive for the recipient of your actions, but also, for yourself, simply because, as we know by now, doing something good for others makes us feel good too.

So why talk about boundaries at this time? Long before certain trend-setting (and trend-watching) travel agents began marketing holiday adventures for those who wish not to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving or Easter with the family, many of us had given some thought to the fact that we tend to get herded together - group mentality style - into a mindset where we believe we must spend those days with our families.

And of course, spending it with your family is a wonderful thing to do - if that is what you want. And - if that actually adds to the joy and flavour of your holidays.

But what if it doesn't? What if those special holidays are always filled with stress, strife, and perhaps even misunderstandings, that may sometimes lead to uncomfortable feelings around the happy family myth for much of the months after? Or what if those special holidays are actually not special for you because you set little value on them?

So what am I saying?

What I'm saying is this: weigh the pros and cons. Think about what it does to you, not only on the outer level, but also on the inner one. Maybe you've tried discussing it in the past and haven't been able to change matters. That's ok. What is probably not ok is that you spend time with people and in ways that are not good for even if it is Christmas, or whatever celebration it is. What's probably not ok is that you feel obliged to do things a certain way because that is the way they have always been done. What is definitely not ok is that you do something that makes your stomach churn just to think about it months in advance, and that crosses your boundaries, making you feel that you are not in a good place inside of you.

Under those circumstances, perhaps you should ask yourself whether it would make more sense to go off on a vacation during this time, and then spend some time with family members on their own - not all together - over the course of the year. Perhaps that would be a way of getting the relationship on another kind of footing. Who knows, it might even progress to a place where you might want to share a Christmas together, without feeling the stress of it...

But listen carefully to your inner self. Is it your ego that wants out? Or are your boundaries being crossed by feeling you must do things this way because this is the way it is expected of you, despite the yearly fiasco?

There is no right and there is no wrong ... all there is, is the place where you ask yourself what is good for you - not in a selfish way, but in the way that promotes well-being - yours - because if you are well, you will promote well-being around you. If you are not, you will not.

See also:

Photo: Kinshasha, Congo

Monday, December 8, 2008

Three Degrees of Separation

Happiness is contagious!

A study published by the British Medical Journal demonstrates that your happiness makes others happy.

In the article I posted yesterday How About Changing? I referred to the ripple effect your own life and attitude and way of being has on others. I referred to geometrical snowballing with regards to the importance of each of us recognizing the effect we can have not only on others, who are in direct contact with us, but on all those that those others are in turn, in contact with.

The above-mentioned study, discussed in an article in US News & World Report, indicates that subjects were followed over a period of 20 years.

""Our own personal happiness spreads beyond people we're directly connected to," said study co-author James Fowler, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego."

"Researchers already know that a person's attitudes affect those of other people, Fowler said. "If I smile, it increases the chances that you'll smile. We know that waiters and waitresses who smile get better tips," he added."

"But what about other people further down the line? As Fowler put it, "Is there a person-to-person effect that can spread to the whole social network?""

"The scientists found that a person's happiness is most likely to boost the happiness levels in people closest to him -- spouses, relatives, neighbors, and friends."

"But, if one person is happy, that increases the chances of happiness in a friend living within a mile by 25 percent. The "cascade" effect, as the researchers put it, continues: a friend of the friend has almost a 10 percent higher likelihood of being happy, and a friend of that friend has a 5.6 percent increased chance."

"In the other words, one person's happiness can spread outward through three degrees of separation. Those at the center of such circles may be people that "you have never met. But their mood can have a profound effect on your own mood," Fowler said." read entire article here

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How About Changing?

We all wish the world could be a better place. We all look at the constant barrage of tragedy and horror served to us with breakfast on our television screens. We see the economic crisis swamp us with worry and stress, spiralling into a recession that has already been acknowledged by major government spokesmen as a fait accompli and no longer something that might be hovering on the horizon.

We hear about the daily global numbers of children dying of hunger, millions of people dying of AIDS, dying of malaria, and we see the constant bloodshed. Ethnic cleansing, suicide bombers - there seems to be no end to it.

We turn off the news, sickened, or disgusted, or heart-broken, and mainly horrified that we seem so helpless to make a difference.

So we turn to our daily lives, and suddenly we face the banality of keeping up with the joneses, we realize we are throwing out perfectly good food in the trash, we realize our SUV guzzles gas, we realize our children are beginning to show inordinate interest in consumerism, we realize we spend more on one meal at a good restaurant than many people have to live on for an entire month or more, we face worrying about the dictates of this season's fashions according to an outrageously expensive glossy magazine, and we recognize that we have the beginnings of a conscience that is not feeling good, a conscience that is telling us we need to do something.

And so to assuage it, to make ourselves feel better, we send a check to one of the charities, or we sponsor a child in a country where our money stretches fifty-fold, or we do some volunteer work, or donate some of our time to a soup kitchen, and then - to further assuage that guilty conscience, we check in on the lives of people outside of our own orbit, who live on a distant edge of the universe as they travel in private jets, luxury yachts, vacation more than they work, and spend $8,000 for an evening bag, or $300,000 for a car and twenty million dollars for a new home.

Let's go back to the initial premise ... a world gone awry ... a world that needs to change to become better ...

So how about this: change yourself. Begin there. That would be the example you can give to those whose lives you touch, and sooner or later some of those will also begin their own process of change, and the ripple effect will continue and snowball geometrically. Just like network marketing or pyramid schemes, except that in this case there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

If all of us do our part, if all of us were to work on becoming better human beings, not just by spending more on charity, or giving more at church, or re-cycling and becoming more ecologically aware, or doing more volunteer work, or helping to raise more funds for yet more sick and hungry children, but by doing more to really work on ourselves so that we, as human beings, recognize that all of us here on this planet are truly one. All the afore-mentioned work is good, but it is simply not enough, and it has never been enough in order to substantially change the order of the world. We can not let another die of hunger, or disease, or bloodshed, nor can we allow that children in countries that are off our immediate horizons are raised without education. If we are truly all one, we have to work on all the parts in ourselves that do not believe that, and that perhaps do not want it to be true.

All of us need to look deep inside ourselves. This world will only change if we all begin that change by changing ourselves.

Gandhi said: You must be the change you want to see in the world.

Related Articles & Posts:

Photo: Chichen Itzá, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Friday, December 5, 2008

Breast Cancer & Deception or Lack of Information

While the report from Natural News that you can access by clicking on the link below is somewhat dramatic, I nevertheless am recommending you read it, not in order that you swallow it whole, but in order that you have another way of looking at the reality of cancer.

There is much information available from many sources about the general topic of alternative cancer care that goes beyond surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, and unfortunately most of us are not aware of it.

As someone who has been through the dark tunnel of cancer (uterine), and who took an active role in treatment, and who continues to take an active role in all that happens to my body, I only want to say this to you: inform yourself, but not only with classical oncologists. Read what others who have had cancer say, read what reports such as this one (and there are countless such reports) have to say. Take the information that resonates with you and only then decide how to proceed.

Breast Cancer Deception

Here are several brief excerpts from the report:

"To state it bluntly, most oncologists are [not particularly intelligent] when it comes to nutrition and vitamin D. Most doctors don't even understand the basics of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and phytonutrients. They're not stupid people, it's just that they've never been taught this information, and they consider it to be too "alternative" to embrace. Doctors have very fragile egos and don't like to be challenged by information they didn't think of first."

"The cancer industry claims to be empowering women with breast cancer screening, but it is actually guiding them towards a particular diagnosis and treatment plan that enriches the pharmaceutical companies. Keeping women ignorant (especially black women) is a key strategy in this plan, for if women were empowered with the real facts about how to easily prevent and reverse breast cancer, the cancer industry would lose millions of customers and billions in profits."

"The more a woman knows about how to prevent her own breast cancer through common foods, herbs, sunlight, exercise and avoidance of cancer causing chemicals, the less control the cancer industry has over her, and the less easily they can exploit her body to create a revenue stream that enriches the [...] drug companies.These tactics by the cancer industry are an affront to women everywhere. Instead of prevention, the industry proposes screening and disease management. Instead of education, the industry censors information and isolates women from real solutions by discrediting all forms of medicine it does not control." (italics mine)

"Even Dr. Ralph W. Moss -- a cancer expert from the world of conventional medicine who -- couldn't resist pointing out the hype surrounding Herceptin. He's published numerous articles questioning the Herceptin hype, and authored his own report called Herceptin - Or Deceptin?.In an article written for New Scientist magazine, Dr. Moss explains that Herceptin is practically useless for most women, and that the drug only prevented breast cancer for 0.6 percent of women in one trial. Yes, that's less than one out of a hundred. And yet Herceptin is widely heralded as a "miracle drug" by ignorant doctors, consumers and politicians."

22 things that PREVENT cancer:
  • Vitamin D and sunshine - see the Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D
  • Anti-cancer foods - see articles about anti-cancer foods
  • Green tea - see articles about green tea
  • Broccoli and cruciferous vegetables - see articles about broccoli
  • Medicinal mushrooms - reishi, shiitake, agaricus blazei, etc.
  • Lycopene and tomatoes
  • Infra-red saunas and sweat lodges - because sweating expels toxins
  • Chlorella - see articles on chlorella, or check out a recommended chlorella product: Rejuvenate! From IntegratedHealth.com
  • Pomegranate seeds - see artiles on pomegranate or http://www.ats.org/news.php?id=32
  • Omega-3 oils / chia seeds - available from GoodCauseWellness.com
  • Rainforest herbs - There are many anti-cancer rainforest herbs, including graviola and Cat's Claw (Una de Gato). Recommended sources is Terry Pezzi of the high-integrity Amazon Herb Company (also helping to preserve the Amazon rainforest) - Another great source of rainforest herbs is Rain Tree with Leslie Taylor
  • Juice detoxification - Read books by Dr. Gabriel Cousens or visit his retreat in Southern Arizona
  • Acupuncture - helps move blood and chi (body's energy)
  • Sprouts - ALL sprouts are anti-cancer. Best sprouting machine is the EasyGreen Automatic Sprouter (use any search engine to find resellers)
  • Red clover - Helps cleanse the blood. Find from any supplement maker.
    Deep breathing / oxygenation / stress reduction - Best product is called Stress Eraser (highly recommended)
  • Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates - These all boost lymph circulation
  • Cacao - (real chocolate) - Good sources are NavitasNaturals.com or Superfoods.com
    Therapeutic massage - helps move lymph, boost circulation
  • Mint - grow your own (the easiest plant to grow)
  • Apricot pits / laetrile / vitamin B17 - View this World Without Cancer video featuring G. Edward Griffin
  • Blackberries - Most berries contain some form of anti-cancer medicine

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Watch Validation. This video (16 minutes) will not only make you smile, but it will make you realize the profound importance of your smile ... not only for you, but also for others. The far-reaching effects of one simple smile...that you can choose to put on your face no matter how you feel.

"Validation" is a fable about the magic of free parking

Starring TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis

Writer/Director/Composer - Kurt Kuenne
  • Winner - Best Narrative Short, Cleveland International Film Festival
  • Winner - Jury Award, Gen Art Chicago Film Festival
  • Winner - Audience Award, Hawaii International Film Festival
  • Winner - Best Short Comedy, Breckenridge Festival of Film
  • Winner - Crystal Heart Award, Best Short Film & Audience Award, Heartland Film Festival
  • Winner - Christopher & Dana Reeve Audience Award, Williamstown Film Festival,
  • Winner - Best Comedy, Dam Short Film Festival
  • Winner - Best Short Film, Sedona International Film Festival

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mithras and the Carryover Effect of the Mithraic Cult on Early Christianity

This subject - that of the Savior Gods in general, and Mithraic influence on Christianity - has long fascinated me, and recently I re-read an old article I had written some 10 years ago. While it is not directly in keeping with the guidelines of this blog, it is germane, nevertheless, in its candid look at the manner in which we all reach - to some degree - the same place at some point in time. If we could but understand this at an earlier point along the line, the world might have been saved much heartache over the millenia.

Although scholars appear not to agree unanimously, there does seem to be a greater consensus that the veneration of the savior-god Mithras (the sun god, the Roman god of light) – also known throughout Europe and Asia by the names Mithra, Mitra, Meitros, Mihr, Mehr, and Meher – began about 4,000 years ago in Persia, spreading east through India to China, and west through the entire length of the Roman frontier – from Scotland to the Sahara Desert, and from Spain to the Black Sea. Indeed, sites of Mithraic worship – in particular the cave-temples – have been found in Britain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Persia, Armenia, Syria, Israel, and North Africa. (MS Encarta, 1994)

“Mithra is perhaps unique in history in that he is one god who has been worshipped in four different religions. He appears in Hinduism and Zoroastrianism because both derive from the Indo-Iranian religion of which Mithra was a part, and in Manichaeism because of the form that religion took in Persia.” (Beaver, Bergman, Langley, et al., p. 88)

Mithra was a scholar god of light who was born in a cave surrounded by animals and shepherds at the Winter Solstice in December (Howard, 1989, p. 23), called “Birthday of the Unconquered Sun” (Smith, 1976, p. 146), (this latter term referring to Mithras), and “Nativity of the Sun” (Frazer, 1922, p. 416) because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning-point of the year. He was said to have been forced out of a rock, wearing the Phrygian cap, holding a dagger and torch in his hands. (Vermaseren, 1963) Others claim that Mithra was the result of an incestuous union between the sun god and his own mother, just as Christ was born of the Mother of God. Still other groups stated that Mithra’s mother was a mortal virgin, and finally, some claimed that Mithra was motherless, having miraculously been born of a female Rock, “the petra genetrix, fertilized by the heavenly Father’s phallic lightning.” (de Riencourt, 1974, p. 135)

Shepherds witnessed Mithra’s birth and Wise Men brought gifts. Furthermore, Mithra performed miracles, raising the dead, healing the sick, making the blind see and the lame walk, as well as casting out devils. (Smith, 1952, p. 129) “His triumph and ascension to heaven were celebrated at the spring equinox (Easter), when the sun rises toward its apogee.” (Walker, 1983, p. 663)

Before returning to Heaven, Mithra celebrated a Last Supper with his twelve disciples, who represented the twelve signs of the zodiac. In memory of this, his worshippers partook of a sacramental meal of bread marked with a cross. (Cumont, 1956, p. 160) This was one of seven Mithraic sacraments, (James, 1960, p. 250) called mizd, Latin missa, English mass. “The cross-shaped symbol was often depicted in ancient art to indicate the cosmic sphere. In fact, one of the most famous examples of this motif is a Mithraic stone carving showing the so-called ‘lion-headed god’, whose image is often found in Mithraic temples, standing on a globe that is marked with the cross representing the two circles of the zodiac and the celestial equator.” (Ulanesy, 1991) Mithra’s image was buried in a rock tomb, the same sacred cave that represented his Mother’s womb. He was withdrawn from it and said to live again. (Smith, 1952, p. 130, 201)
The worshippers of Mithras held strong beliefs in a celestial heaven and an infernal hell. They believed that the benevolent powers of the god would sympathize with their suffering and grant them the final justice of immortality and eternal salvation in the world to come. (MS Encarta, 1994)

“In […] Gnosticism Mithras became the mediator between the cosmic opposites of […] the gods who represented the powers of light and darkness. By understanding the role of Mithras, the Gnostics taught that his human devotees could learn how to reconcile the good and evil aspects of their own nature by realizing that evil was only the shadow image of good and both had to exist in an imperfect world. […]

The candidate for initiation into the Mithraic Mysteries participated in a rite of death and rebirth […]. He was told to lie on the ground and act as if he were dead. The high priest of the cult, then grasped the ‘dead’ initiate by the right hand and raised him up in a symbolic act of rebirth. After the ritual the members of the cult shared a ritual meal of bread and wine. During the symbolic communion they believed they were eating the flesh of the young Sun god and drinking his blood. (Howard, 1989, pp. 23-24)

The most stellar section of hundreds of temple-caves that had served as places of Mithraic worship, often had statues or sometimes paintings that depicted Mithras as overpowering and killing a bull. It is precisely the living flesh of the bull that the ascetics tore and ate in their initiation ceremony, (Graves, 1948, p.143) and according to some authors, as suggested by the pits around Mithraic altars, even ritually bathed themselves in the blood of the bull. (Vermaseren, 1963.) Others (Smart) state that the initiate was baptized in the bull’s blood, partaking of its life-giving properties. Indeed, Mithraic Communion states: “He who will not eat of my body, nor drink of my blood so that he may be one with me and I with him, shall not be saved.” (Vermaseren, 1963.)

An obscure Greek papyrus called “A Mithras Liturgy” described the experience of a Mithraic initiate: “For you will see in that day and in that hour the divine order, the ruling gods ascending to heaven and the others descending; and the path of the visible gods will appear through the disc of the son, my father, the god; similarly also the so-called tube, the origin of the ministering wind. For you will see as it were a tube hanging from the disc of the sun and toward the regions of the west, limitless like an east wind if the other is appointed to blow toward the regions of the west…” (Whitmont, 1982, pp. 7-8)

“The bull is associated with Venus or the Moon, and seen as a symbol of spring; another metaphor for rebirth. […] It was believed that the partaking of the sacrament ensured eternal life, the immediate passing, after death, to the bosom of Mithra, there to tarry in bliss until the judgment day. On the judgment day the Mithraic keys of heaven would unlock the gates of paradise for the reception of the faithful; whereupon all the unbaptized of the living and the dead would be annihilated upon the return of Mithras to earth. It was taught that, when a man died, he went before Mithras for judgment, and that at the end of the world, Mithras would summon all the dead from their graves to face the last judgment. The wicked would be destroyed by fire, and the righteous would reign with Mithras forever. Mithras, after performing his deeds, was said to have ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire, to become the intercessor for the human race among the gods on high.” (Vermaseren, M.J. http://www.dimensional.com/~randl/tarsus.html).

Nevertheless, according to Wolf Liebeschuetz, “the survival of the soul after death is irrelevant for this cult. “The conclusion is unavoidable: the benefits of Mithraic initiation were expected in this life.” (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmer/1995/95.09.10.html)

Since nothing remains that has actually been written by a Mithraist, information about the mystery cult must be culled from archaeology, silent stones and stereotyped inscriptions dedicating a statue or temple. “Mithraic temples were generally small and built to resemble a cave, in imitation of what they thought was the ‘world cave’ which Mithras had created, with the vault of the sky spanning the earth. On each side of a central aisle were benches on which the initiates reclined. At the end opposite the entrance was a main cult relief, “ (Beaver, Berman, Langley, et al., 1982, p. 88), which, as mentioned earlier, was virtually always Mithras slaying a bull.

Believers were divided into seven grades of initiation. Progression through the grades was thought to reflect the spiritual ascent of the soul through the planetary spheres which bind it to the material world. “The highest degree was of Pater, papa (pope) […]. He was Mithras’ earthly representative. Light of heaven embodied, […], carrying a staff symbol of his spiritual office. (Daniels, 1989) The Father was a man of piety and wisdom. The main ritual known today was a feast enjoyed by the members in imitation of a meal shared by Mithras and Sol (the sun) over the body of the slain bull. One inscription refers to Mithras saving the followers by the shedding of eternal blood, so it was he alone who could save them. They shared in this salvation through the meal of bread and wine and through a lifetime’s personal discipline as each person progressed up the spiritual ladder of the seven grades. (Beaver, Berman, Langley, et al., 1982, pp. 88,89)

Unlike the other mystery religions, Mithraism was an ascetic, anti-female religion. Its priesthood consisted of celibate men only. Women were forbidden to enter Mithraic temples. (Ulansey, 1991) Mithras symbolized the courage, success and confidence of the soldier. The ethics of the cult demanded self-control and other virtues necessary to a legionary, and this was one main reason for its spread through the Roman army. Imperial patronage helped too. From the second century AD Roman Emperors assumed the title Invictus. (Smart)

Mithra’s cave-temple on the Vatican Hill was seized by Christians in 376 AD. Christian bishops of Rome pre-empted even the Mithraic high priest’s title of Pater Patrum, which became Papa, or Pope. […] The Mithraic festival of Epiphany, marking the arrival of sun-priests or Magi at the Savior’s birthplace, was adopted by the Christian church only as late as 813 AD” (Walker, 1983, p. 665) “The Mithraic Holy Father wore a red cap and garment and a ring, and carried a shepherd’s staff. […] Mithra’s bishops wore a mithra, or miter, as their badge of office. Christian bishops also adopted miters. Mithraists commemorated the sun-god’s ascension by eating a mizd, a sun-shaped bun embossed with the sword (cross) of Mithra. The hot cross bun and the mass were likewise adapted to Christianity. The Roman Catholic mizd/mass wafer continues to retain its sun-shape, although its Episcopal counterpart does not. All Roman Emperors from Julius Caesar to Gratian had been pontifex maximus, high priest of the Roman gods. When Theodosius refused the title as incompatible with his status as a Christian, the Christian bishop of Rome picked it up.” (Harwood, 1992)

Clearly, the connection between Christianity and Mithraism is palpable: Mithra was born of a virgin in a stable on the winter solstice, frequently December 25 in the Julian calendar, attended by shepherds who brought gifts. Mithra was shown with a halo around his head. Mithra was said to take a last supper with his followers when he returned to his father. He was believed not to have died, but to have ascended to heaven, whence it was believed he would return at the end of time to raise the dead in a physical resurrection for a final judgment, sending the good to heaven and the wicked to hell, after the world had been destroyed by fire. He granted his followers immortal life following baptism. Furthermore, Mithraists followed a leader called a ‘papa’ (pope), who had a temple-cave of worship on the Vatican hill in Rome. They celebrated sacramenta (a consecrated meal of bread and wine), termed a Myazda (corresponding closely to the Catholic Missa (mass), using chanting, bells, candles, incense, and holy water, in remembrance of the last supper of Mithra. (MS Encarta, 1994)Nonetheless, clearly, Mithraism is not the only forerunner of Christianity. Aside from Christ and Mithras, there were plenty of other savior deities (such as Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, Balder, Attis and Dionysus) said to have died and resurrected. Many classical heroic figures, such as Hercules, Perseus, and Theseus, were said to have been born through the union of a virgin mother and divine father. Virtually every pagan religious practice and festivity that couldn’t be suppressed or driven underground was eventually incorporated into the rites of Christianity as it spread across Europe and throughout the world. (MS Encarta, 1994)

This is important, not to prove or disprove anything about Christianity or any of the other belief systems touched upon herein, but in order to gain a greater perspective on the shaping of world religions, and concurrently, perhaps, in order to understand that what is white is not always so and what is black may often be gray or even red. Having said that, the fact that some of Christianity’s most sacred ideas, rituals and customs - which most believers still in this day and age continue to hold as unique to Christendom – are not only not unique and not original to Christianity, but derive from so-called pagan religions - should merely serve to open our eyes to the great mystery that stands before us all and that may form part of the solution to greater world peace and freedom, namely: all paths eventually lead to the same place. Could we dwellers on this planet but believe that, then the Crusaders’ victims would not have had to die, the missionary zeal of the Dominicans in the New World could have spared itself a great many painful scalpings and other tortuous deaths, and Kosovo, notwithstanding the omnipresent CNN, would be an unknown word to most of the world.


Baigent, M., Leigh, Richard, Lincoln, Henry, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. London: Corgi Books, 1982.

Beaver, R.P., Bergman, J., Langley, M.S., Metz, W., Romarheim, A., Walls, A., Withycombe, R., Wootton, C. The World’s Religions. Icknield Way, UK: Lion Publishing, 1982.

Cooper, Jason D. Mithras, Mysteries and Initiation Rediscovered. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1996.

Cumont, Franz. The Mysteries of Mithra. New York: Dover Publications, 1956.

Daniels, Charles M. Mithras and his Temples on Hadrian’s Wall, 1989

de Riencourt, Amaury. Sex and Power in History. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1974.

Fish, Darwin, Pastor, Christmas, A Biblical Perspective, http://www.godswordfellowship.org/christmas.html

Frazer, Sir James G. The Golden Bough. New York: Collier Books, 1922.

Graves, Robert. The White Goddess. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1948.

Harwood, William. Mythology’s Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus. Prometheus Books, 1992

Hinnels, John R. Studies in Mithraism: Papers associated with the Mithraic Panel Organized on the Occasion of the XVIth Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions. Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 1994. (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmer/1995/95.09.10.html)

Howard, Michael. The Occult Conspiracy. Rochester: Destiny Books, 1989.

http://www.dimensional.com/~0randl/tarsus.html (Saul of Tarsus, Mithraic Cults, and Christ’s Blood)
James, E.O. The Ancient Gods. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1960.

Liebeschuetz, Wolf. http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmer/1995/95.09.10.html

Mithraism Microsoft ® Encarta, Copyright © 1994 Microsoft Corporation. Copyright © 1994 Funk & Wagnall’s Corporation.

Noll, Richard, The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung. New York: Random House, 1997.

Pope Challenges Image of God as a Bearded Patriarch. (1999, Jan 15). The London Sunday Times.

Seiglie, M., Christmas Reconsidered, The Good News, Jan. 1996, Vol. 1, #1, © United Church of God

Smart, Ninian. The Religious Experience of Mankind.

Smith, Homer. Man and His Gods. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1952.

Smith, J.H. The Death of Classical Paganism. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976.

Walker, Barbara, G., The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, San Francisco: HarperSan Francisco, 1983.

Walker, Barber, G., The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1988.

Whitmont, Edward, C. Return of the Goddess. Crossroad, NY: The Crossroad Publishing Co., 1982.

Ulansey, David, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries. Oxford University Press, 1991

Vermaseren, M.J., Mithras, The Secret God. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1963

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Second Award For This Blog

Duane Sherry, the owner of Discover and Recover: Resources For Mental Wellness, a blog I view frequently, has kindly included me in his list of Kreativ Bloggers. That makes two awards in 2008 for this humble blog ... I'm grateful and thrilled! Thank you, Duane, for this honor.

The rules of acceptance require listing six reasons to be thankful, and six fellow bloggers to present the award to.

Six Reasons To Be Thankful:
  • my three incredible sons, without whom my life would never have gone down many of the roads I've traveled

  • having the great fortune to be doing what I love

  • being able to walk on the shores of the Mediterranean every morning

  • the richness of my life thus far ... and what still awaits me ...

  • my clients, students, readers, and friends

  • the knowledge that there is no end...ever...

Six Blogs I Have the Pleasure of Passing This Award To:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gray Matter and Genes vs Environment

Watching the PBS Special The Brain Fitness Program

recently about recent discoveries in neuroscience about keeping the brain agile and fit, among the many importants points the show made were:

  • the adult brain can in fact change its structure and function in a significant way, even after the age of 60
  • there are two factors: genetics (or family history), and environment. The relationship between those two: genetics and environment, dictate the degree of gray matter loss. There is not much we can do about the former, but we can be proactive about our brain's environment. We can exercise it. Being active about exercising our brain is just as important for the fitness of our brain, as is being active about exercising our bodies ... see also today's article in Exercise staves off age-related brain changes in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine that states "Regular exercise increases cerebral blood flow and helps to stave off age-related brain changes"

  • the brain is not hard-wired in childhood

  • we are not doomed by our DNA

  • the brain is flexible and plastic (remember the term neuro-plasticity) throughout our lifespan

  • the brain can frequently heal itself (see also Dr. Norman Doidge, in previous posts on this blog)

These and many other questions and issues and new discoveries on the leading edge of neuroscience are grappled with in this fascinating video. Take the time to watch it in its entirety, and not only the ten minutes that I have posted here.