Archive for December, 2013

My view on Buddhist Doctrine

These days, my existential beliefs are more in line with Buddhism, and to some degree, to the less crazy/commercial parts of New Age. Kabbalah, which I loathed for years as an atheist, is also one of my favorite sources for knowledge nowadays too. However, I don’t follow dogmas and doctrines blindly. Everything goes through the logic analyzer in my own head before I accept it as possible Truth. It’s in my nature to question everything. These are the things I have trouble believing in:

1. Re-incarnation

I do believe in re-incarnation, just not in the way Buddhism and other religions explain it. I have trouble believing that “me”, Eugenia, re-incarnates again as the “same soul” in another body. Sure, I accept that parts of the Source (“God”/Universe consciousness) re-incarnate constantly, but not that the SAME soul part is re-incarnating “as is” to another body. In other words, I believe in RECYCLING of consciousness, not in re-incarnation. This just makes logical sense to me if I try to visual it and understand it in terms of a computer program. For example, if you had some memory reserved for a 3D-generated human, let’s say, 25 MBs of data, and then you dump that data from memory (i.e. the person dies), that data then is lost (ego-loss). Then, the memory is freed and joins the rest of free memory (becomes One with the All). Then, it’s time to use some memory again, for another part of the 3D environment. You grab 35 MB of memory to depict a 3D elephant, or 2 MB of memory to depict a 3D insect. So, if you use that same memory range that previously the 3D human was occupying, it means that he either added 10 MBs to his “soul” to become an elephant, or he lost 23 MBs to become an insect. Which means, that the re-incarnated version of the human is not the same as before anymore. It makes no sense to use that memory range to depict humans only, because that’s a very gross way of optimizing things (plus, humans didn’t always exist). So, from this I conclude that the person that died earlier, is NOT the same soul-part as the one that get re-incarnated. So a more accurate description of the process would be “recycling”, and not “re-incarnation”. When you die, your soul doesn’t come back as another person. It gets recycled, and it can become a gazillion pieces, recycled to various things (inanimate things too, since these are made of “God” too). Everything is in as-needed basis.

But you see, this is an unpopular belief (I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere before). No one would follow Buddhism if the doctrine would be all about “you die, but PARTS of you come back as some random things in the universe”. It’s depressing to think of yourself re-incarnated as a bunch of rocks or bacteria, for example. But the described system of recycling makes more sense to me than the little fairy tales of hope that various religions have been indoctrinating to people for eons. I think it’s time to grow up, and understand that when we die, we lose our ego/identity, our “soul” temporarily becomes One with the All, and then it gets recycled into whatever is needed by the system, which is NOT necessarily “another human”. The chances of coming back with the exact same “soul” as a sentient being, is astronomically small in my view.

Now, having said that, I do believe that consciousness evolves, just like the physical universe, its planets and its life on them evolves. When we get recycled, we go through the Morphic field, as Dr Rupert Sheldrake has described it. We get information from it regarding the species we get recycled to (“instinct”), but we also contribute back to it by simply living as one of these species. The Morphic field is possibly ordered by species, with new subfields emerging when new species are getting emerged between neighboring species. There’s no real distinction between species or even inanimate things in reality, they’re just ordered arrays. When seeing the whole thing, it contains the consciousness of the universe, not just that of a specific species. So living as a particular species, it contributes consciousness back to the field, just like when our body dies it becomes food for plants (compost). Everything gets recycled. Everything is energy anyway, so it can’t be destroyed, it can only be transformed.

Regarding past lives, it’s possible that the information gathered during hypnosis is real, but that doesn’t mean that they’re “your” lives. They could be anyone’s, since in reality, you’re Everyone and Everything, and you’re “reading” these past lives info from the morphic field.

2. Karma

If my… calculations above are correct, this means that there’s no such thing as karma. After death, Hitler never got punished for anything either. Everything simply is. The Universe simply strives for novelty, and wants to experience itself any way possible. Including ways we humans perceive as “evil”. There’s no judgement after death, this is accepted nowadays among mystics. I’d go one level further and say that there’s no karma either. It’s impossible to think of a memory range being punished by reusing it in a way that makes it feel pain. It’s not logical to make a memory range have a negative recycling, because that would mean that the whole program would become unstable. All memory is equal, no matter what they were selected to depict. It’s stupid to think otherwise. You’re important to the system, but you’re not more or less special than everything else. Not even special enough to get in trouble to give you a negative experience if you were “bad” in your previous life. Therefore, I think karma is hogwash.

Please note that I don’t accept that these views are nihilism. I simply see them as logical interpretations of mystical beliefs: in how such a system/consciousness would work to manifest a holographic universe and to also loan its intellect to “power” conscious beings while at it. It makes no sense to create whole rules and laws of “this” soul and “that” soul etc. That’s redundant crap in the grand scheme of things. All it matters is going forward with the system.

Also, please note that I don’t equate our Universe & life with a dry computer program. But that doesn’t mean that this is not how the whole thing roughly works. It’s simply a way to visualize it in order to make sense of things. Besides, as above, so below. So whose to say that they’re not all too similar in function?

3. Nirvana

We established above there’s only recycling and constant growth for the Universe, for its quest for novelty and “experience”. And there you have a bunch of monks, who say “fuck this, I don’t want to get recycled again”. The way I see this, is like going against the program. They make their memory range unavailable by opting out of the program. Now, let me say that this isn’t a holy thing, neither it’s a sin. It’s simply a state of Being, a choice. A choice that I’m not even sure if it actually works (it’s possible that Buddha thought that if he reaches Nirvana he doesn’t get re-incarnated again, only to find himself recycled yet again after his death). But if it does work, well, that’s cool too. There are those “evil” people who want to thrive in separation, and the “holy” ones, who take the way out of the equation (or so they think). Either way is acceptable by the One, because all the One wants to do is experience “different things”. Life is an illusory game after all.

And this brings me to one point where I do agree with Buddhism in a big way: “The Middle Way”. The middle way is simply living a life as a normal person. Not a monk, and not a gangster either. But rather, a life proper to the species you got recycled in. Just live your life to your highest enjoyment, and experience life as lucidly as you can, and you have already fulfilled your role. You don’t need to “do” anything special, unless such instruction was given to you during the recycling (e.g. “find the cure for cancer”). But for most people, it’s not more complicated than the Universe telling them: “let me experience through your eyes, not much else you must do, just fucking live”.

I’ll have to reiterate once more on this blog: the meaning of life is life itself.

At the end, as many psychedelic users have been shown on their trips, and Buddhism also says, everything is as it should be. Everything is perfect. When you die, you’d know that for sure.

Update: I should add here that I find very beneficial for people to meditate or take the right entheogens in order to discover their true selves. The I AM. That part is indeed very useful since it ceases existential problems for most. Some call that “enlightenment”. But after your session of remembering of who you really are, you come back down, and you live your life the best you can.

The solution of Lite-Paleo

Not everyone has to go full Paleo or very low carb to get health benefits. Some people might not need such extreme solutions as much if they’re relatively healthy, or if they can’t afford it as much, or if simply they don’t want it as much. If I had to suggest just a 5 bullet-point version for a Lite Paleo diet, that is less restrictive but it still has major health benefits, it’d be this:

1. No gluten, ever. This is the only no-no, persisting even in the Lite version of Paleo. So, don’t consume anything made out of wheat, rye, and barley. Unfortunately, most oat cultivars are also problematic. Read all labels, use gluten-free “tamari” soy sauce, and avoid beer, and fries fried on oil that flour’ed food was previously fried in it (as in most restaurants).

2. At home, never use vegetable seed oils or margarine. Cook or fry with coconut oil, grass-fed butter or animal fat, and use extra virgin olive oil for salads. Don’t be afraid of the right fats!

3. Limit sugar/carbs & processed foods. This means, avoid (even if gluten-free): cereals, pizza, bread, pasta, cakes, processed GMO soy (e.g. soy milk, tofu etc), high fructose corn syrup, candy etc. Particularly avoid these during the first few months of your diet (healing time), but it’s not necessary to cut them down completely afterwards. Sometimes, indulge on the gluten-free versions of these foods if you must, but in moderation, and rarely. However, completely avoid industrially-prepared trans-fats.

4. Give priority to wild, oily fish (e.g. Alaskan salmon), shellfish (especially oysters), and seaweed (multiple varieties) over meat. Have some type of seafood almost everyday, even if in small quantity.

5. ADD the following to your diet: kefir (home-made is way more potent), bone marrow broth (cook with it often), offal (especially liver & heart), and unpasteurized sauerkraut/kimchi. Soak your beans/lentils for 24 hours before cooking. Eat a lot of veggies (2/3s of weight compared to protein in each meal must be veggies), some raw. Also, fruits, tubers, nuts & seeds, dairy, pastured eggs, seafood & meat, raw & local honey, are all ok to consume freely! Rice, non-GMO whole corn, and quinoa are ok too, but not as often.

That’s it, really. Basically, it’s just about removing or limiting 3 types of high-inflammation foods from your diet, and adding back foods we evolved with. Here are some recipe ideas!

Bonus! Try to drink plenty of water, but with no added fluoride in it (check with your county to see if they add any). If they do add fluoride, move to natural spring water. If they don’t add any, tap water is ok, but filter it anyway to remove its chlorine. Also, move to a fluoride-free toothpaste. Avoid all sodas and drink very little alcohol.

Bonus 2! Go out in the sun (with some exposed skin) for at least 15 minutes a day. Also beneficial: walk barefoot among vegetation! Maybe even meditate!

Eggs and Paleo

One thing that bugs me with Paleo eaters is that they often accept dogmatic views and they don’t use common sense. So you’ll often see heaps of eggs on the breakfast pictures of Paleo eaters. Often, as many as 8 eggs for a frittata, but usually, at least 2-3 eggs daily are consumed!

Now, think of the following: a tribe of 100 people. To find eggs or tubers or meat, they usually walk as much as 15-20 miles per day in the periphery of their village. Given the amount of people scourging the surroundings for food, it’s unlikely that a gatherer among them will find more than 2-3 eggs per week. And that’s to feed themselves, their children and their elderly. So from my point of view, eggs, just like most food in the Paleolithic times, were not that easy to find.

Note that I’m not suggesting that people should consume just 1 egg per week. Just because the Paleolithic people didn’t have access to a lot of them doesn’t mean that eating more than they did is bad for us. Neither I’m on the side of the people who say that eggs elevate cholesterol levels. What I’m suggesting is that 1-2 eggs per day might be more balanced in terms of nutrition, rather than heaps of it, or too little of it. I find it to be a quantity that makes sense to me.

I just wanted to share that out, and also say that this is true for red meat as well. Use more veggies, more wild fish, shellfish, and less animal meat. It’s how we evolved.

Dr Jack Kruse’s Epi-Paleo Protocol Explained

Dr Jack Kruse is a controversial Paleo neurosurgeon doctor. Not only because his suggestions go many steps beyond normal Paleo, but also because few understand what the heck he’s actually writing on his blog (I don’t understand absolutely everything that he says either). His belief is that while Paleo can make asymptomatic or prevent many diseases, his Epi-Paleo regiment can also reverse some diseases and have a higher degree of success than plain Paleo. He believes that going fully natural is the way to heal our bodies, and that food is simply just one part of the whole picture (maybe 30%-50% of what you’re supposed to be doing to fix your health). He explains his opinions in terms of not only biology, but also quantum physics: how this machine called “human body” works. This article is a gross generalization of what he preaches, in plain English.

Step 1: Epi-Paleo-ketogenic seasonal diet

This means that you follow the Paleo diet as described here, but with these added modifications:
– No more than 50 gr of net carbs per day on winter (ketogenic). Up to 75-100 gr of net carbs per day on summer as organic fruits and starchy veggies become available naturally in season (plain low carb). You slowly add more carbs on Spring, and you slowly wind down from them in Autumn.
– Way more seafood than meat. This means that some form of WILD seafood must be eaten DAILY. Oysters must be eaten very regularly (I buy them canned from Trader Joes, since that brand comes with olive oil instead of PUFA oils). Shellfish are on the top of his pyramid, then it’s wild fish. For the few days that would be eating meats and offal (preferably grass-fed), have sea vegetables on the side. For poultry, eat them rarely, and prefer duck or wild fowls instead of industrialized chickens (even free range chickens are badly grown).
– Dairy is ok for those who are low in inflammation, but only if it’s from a casein A2 animal (goat/sheep/buffalo), and if it’s fermented. Consider home-made goat kefir, fermented for 24 hours.
– No nightshades (e.g. tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, potatoes) or dairy IF you have high inflammation. This can only be known if you make lab tests, and he highly suggests you do so before you start this regiment, in order to know how to individually modify some of these aspects. Info on lab tests here.
– No sweeteners, not even stevia. A bit of raw, local honey on summer is ok, I guess.
– You never miss breakfast, and your breakfast must be high in fat and protein. No snacking in the first few months between meals (in order to reset the leptin hormone).
– Eat lots of raw cilantro, because it can remove a number of heavy metals that you might have been developing all these years. If you can afford it, do a heavy metal hair analysis as you start this regiment.
– Do NOT practice IF (Intermediate Fasting) unless your ailments have being made asymptomatic and you’ve become a fat burner. IF can be very bad for you if you’re still sick.

Step 2: Fluoride-free water, and lots of it

You must learn to drink lots of water. For example, if you’re drinking 2 liters a day, up them by half to a liter a day (this all depends on the individual’s age, sex, exercise, height etc). Water is the catalyst that will make your cells work in this regiment, so you will need lots of it daily. The catch is that you will have to drink and cook with fluoride-free water. If your county adds fluoride on your tap water, you’ll need to buy bottled water (do a google search about which companies sell such water). Plain filters won’t remove fluoride (you’ll need a reverse osmosis machine to remove fluoride from tap water, not cheap). Also, make sure you buy a fluoride-free toothpaste (or make your own) and your beauty products/shampoos are SLS- and gluten-free.

Step 3: Supplementation

Especially in the beginning, as you’re still sick and you can’t absorb much real food, you might need to supplement. Don’t replenish these boxes after you’re done with them (except maybe for Magnesium and CoQ10, depending on the person’s needs). His suggestions are:
– DHA/EPA or krill oil
– Iodine + Selenium for best thyroid function (I buy this)
– D3 1000 IU (with breakfast)
– CoQ10 Ubiquinol (not Ubiquinone)
– High absorption magnesium (30 mins before sleep)
– K2 Mk-4 (not Mk-7)
– B-complex with folate (instead of folic acid)
– Progesterone cream IF you have adrenal issues (e.g. chronic fatigue)

Step 4: Circadian rhythms and Sleep

None of the above will work if you don’t live the life of our ancestors. This means that you go to sleep at night, and you wake up with the first light. You must sleep at night because that’s when all the healing is happening! You’re supposed to turn off the lights at night, and use candlelight or any other type of non-blue light (because these simulate sunlight and won’t let you sleep). Harvard University suggests:
– Use dim red lights for night lights. Red light has the least power to shift circadian rhythm and suppress melatonin.
– Avoid looking at bright screens beginning two to three hours before bed (ed: forget your laptops, tablets and cells at night, read a book or do art).
– If you work a night shift or use a lot of electronic devices at night, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses.
– Expose yourself to lots of bright light in the AM (7 to 10 AM). and during the day, which will boost your ability to sleep at night, as well as your mood and alertness during daylight.

When you get up the next day, have breakfast almost immediately after you wake up. Then, you go out in the first sun with little clothing and NO shoes, in order to get its UV rays (open your mouth to it too, the place under your tongue can get most of the UV rays) and to connect with Earth’s magnetic field. Wear something if it’s cold after that, meditate a bit outdoors, then maybe have some light exercise (e.g. yoga, have your sprinting outbursts exercise before dinner instead). Then have a shower (with hot and cold changes as the water’s temperature) and go about your day. And yes, all this means that you sleep more in the winter than in summer. Also, don’t forget to walk among vegetation/trees, they release substances that your body reacts to positively.

Step 5: Cold Thermogenesis

CT allows you to reduce inflammation and heal bone and muscle problems — among other things. Bathing in the sea or salt lakes is the best from all the types of CT. Dr Kruse has a HOW-TO about this here, and there are many other places online to find CT info. If you find all these ice baths too much, consider to at least start with a warm shower for a few seconds, gradually turn it into a completely cold shower, and at the end have a minute of warm shower again (just enough to take care of your hair with warm water).

Step 6: No non-native EMF

Of all his suggestions, this is the most difficult thing to implement in our modern life, because it’s almost unavoidable for people who live in big cities (which are by definition unnatural, btw). Non-native EMF means that you minimize to absolute minimum usage of cellphones, no wifi, computers, tablets, microwaves etc. You’re allowed close to such machines for the absolute minimum required to function as a modern person (e.g. to quickly answer your email, or file your taxes electronically, or to read the news quickly, or to watch TV no more than 2-3 hours a week). You should also not live close to cell or electrical towers, or freeways, or airline trails. Additionally, if you can afford it, you should consider a magnetic bed sheet. What all this means is that you can’t have a job in computers or live on an apartment with a gazillion wifi routers around you. What it REALLY means is that for optimal results you must move away to the country, buy a house there with a garden (and work on your vegetable garden barefoot), find a non-electronic-based job there, and live a very “ancestral” kind of life. I know that this last step might be over the top for you, since you might like your city life, but the truth of the matter is, you’re zombiefying and sickening yourself under these conditions, as time goes by. On his blog, Dr Kruse explains in terms of physics how EMF is destroying your body.At the end of the day, it’s your choice. But maybe you could minimize the damage of EMF by taking some precautions (e.g. minimizing electronics usage, blue lights, walk barefoot on soil sometimes etc), even if you eventually decide to live in a city.

Paleo foods missing from the Greek market

I wasn’t able to find the following products when I was in Greece earlier this year. It will be a challenge going back there to live without being able to purchase them, since I need them for my health.

– Sea vegetables (mixed varieties)
– Wild salmon (it’s all farmed, no matter where you look)
– Other Pacific or Atlantic wild fish (you can either find small Mediterranean wild fish directly from fishermen, or farmed)
– Gluten-free “tamari” soy sauce (only glutenous soy sauce is available)
– Coconut oil (very expensive in Europe, completely missing in Greece)
– Kefir grains (difficult to locate them, few have them or share them)
– Antibiotic/hormone-free red meat (by law, every animal gets inoculated)
– Duck or other game meat (unless you go hunting yourself)
– Raw or at least unsweetened cocoa
– Northern European veggies (turnips, parsnips, kohlrabi, kale, rutabaga, endives etc)
– Exotic fruits (except bananas or pineapple, you’re mostly out of luck)
– Mushrooms (only 2 common kinds are sold)
– Berries (only strawberries are easy to find in the market)
– Oysters (I can find mussels, but not oysters, not even canned!)
– Some ready-made products, e.g. almond butter, oriental spices etc.
– Specific vitamins & supplements (e.g. Ubiquinol)

What Greece has while the US doesn’t have as easily:
– Greek Mountain Tea (most healthy herbal tea)
– Lots of offal options
– Lots of wild, green veggies (about 6-7 kinds)
– Lots of garden-grown veggies & fruits offered by neighbors
– Real olive oil
– Wild sardines and other small fish (when bought directly from fishermen)
– Real goat/sheep yogurt
– Real eggs (especially my aunt’s, nobody has ever topped her quality, not even her neighbors)
– No GMO crap (at least this is what we’re told)

Overall, Greece fairs well if you’re careful of what you’re eating, and you can certainly follow Paleo successfully. However, I personally want to be eating things that don’t exist in Greece. I hope that by the time I move back for good, these products exist there too.