I have no special talents – I am only passionately curious. ~ Albert Einstein
Nutrition…what we choose to eat and drink…has a major bearing on our entire lives, on who we are and who we become. Food is the basis of your physical health, your mental health and, what you need to know that you may not, good nutrition is the foundation of Spirituality.
Society…the whole world of 2019…has accepted the religion of Hedonism. Immediate gratification, seeking only pleasure in all things in life. Those disciples have no compunction with imprisonment, abuse and bleeding to death billions of sentient creatures in supplicance. No shame as our environment degrades. Unbounded missionary zeal in recruiting everyone, especially kids, into eating and drinking tasty concocted stuff that looks like food, but dulls, injures, sickens and kills.
Our lifespans are getting shorter, even as medical miracles make news every week. We beg money for cures for diseases we get only through food and drink choice. We will do anything to avoid the personal responsibility of choosing the right foods. This and a thousand other irrationalities are all part of the syndrome known as addictive denial. Where Hedonism has been allowed to corrupt the proper role of food in our lives.
THE CONUNDRUM OF EVOLUTION
Part 1: Do you Believe in Evolution?
See, that means there is no answer. Think about it. A choice? For heaven’s sake, a point in science, an indisputable fact, does not have a qualifier like “do you believe?” If this remains a question, then who is qualified to answer?
Evolution is an absolute. I am a geologist and have seen the ever-greater complexity and diversity in plant and animal life forms represented in the fossil records over incomprehensibly long time scales.
Evolution is highly doubtful. It does not explain my eye. I look into the mirror and can see my eyes. A matched pair. Look at the depiction. Follow the process of taking reflected light from the sun and creating a picture in our brain. And with depth perception!
A three-dimensional picture in our brain. Yet we don’t even know…we cannot know… how the picture is developed in our consciousness. Or even what our consciousness is. When did this capability develop? How? Why? What good is a cornea without the rest?
Picture a squirrel jumping from one tree to another. Messing with that squirrel’s programming would almost always screw him up…what are the odds where changing DNA instruction in his kids would cause them to jump faster and farther…or be smarter in finding nuts or eluding hawks and owls. Put this in a personal context. Do you want to randomly alter the DNA of your next child, just to see what happens?
My doubts are strengthened when I contemplate issues like, when was there ever a competitive advantage in half an eye? Our eyes, our sex organs…most of our vital parts are irreducibly complex.
Irreducibly Complex. I can imagine a light sensitive cell and cells collectively offering some sensitivity to heat and cold and cells becoming sensitive to sound vibrations. Yet all those cells joining into a mutually beneficial commune would have to have begun from one cell…a single life form.
That was supposedly 3.5 billion years ago. Wow. And only one event ever in all of time. Imagine what one cell looks like…it is impossibly complex. A helix that can forever self-replicate. This was just a random happenchance? Why has our “simple” one cell creation never been repeated and still impossible for our brilliant scientists of today. Let alone, create all the components of an eye or ear.
I can’t agree with Intelligent Design either. You would think an Infinite Intelligence with an unlimited budget could do better than a 99.9% failure rate, having to throw almost everybody in Satan’s trash can.
Or, as Mark Twain speculates, He or She was more or less bored and set all this in motion as a diversion and would allow failure as easily as success. In any case, the experiment is finite and according to today’s astronomers and preachers, the world is coming to an end.
Well, maybe not. As you will see in another part of this, I propose that can live forever if we can figure out how to transfer our consciousness into a computer. By that time, we should have learned to create or clone a human body from a cell or two, perhaps with a 3-D printer. Then we could send space ships to every solar system that has planets and hope we can land and then start the cloning process and then shift our consciousness into that clone. And, shazam, we start ourselves anew!
That will work until the solar system somehow runs out of energy, or elastically reverses back into a single ball or whatever would end everything we know or sense this day. But, by that time, we can probably work around those future issues as well.
Do I believe in evolution or creation? Yes. Curiously that is the answer of about 80% of the human races. (This includes Intelligent Design, Theist Evolution and Progressive Evolution.) Most everyone senses the presence of a Creator and yet believes in the evolutionary process. And most believe that we have soul which gives us the unique privilege (or curse) of living forever. Every other life form ceases to exist except us. (And, ironically, almost all of us will burn in hell for eternity, but this is for another part of this book.)
All well and good, except the concepts of evolution and a uniquely everlasting soul are mutually exclusive. At what point was this soul installed during the continuum of incremental improvements? There would have to be one special day when an infant had a soul its parents did not. The only way that would happen is if our Creator actually set that date. Which, then, makes Creationism or Intelligent Design, or something like that the only choice. And that explains our eyes. No need for half an eye, or a third of an eye. Do I believe in evolution or creation… Yes…for sure.
Do I have a wish for which one was right…well, given the likelihood that one of those two choices means I am going to be damned for eternity, yes, I have a bias. And, who knows, there may be a third option yet to be discovered…the real truth.
Part 2: The Evolution Conundrum
Anyone can know, the trick is to understand. ~Albert Einstein
As predicted, when you begin to write your story, to put your thoughts, your experiences, your interpretations into a text to pass down through future generations, there is an emergence of connections that results in newer knowledge you had not considered. I restructured my draft after writing Part 1. I moved things around and added Part 2. And then created Part 3 when our current president, Trump, fed the Clemson football champs fast food. Same thing happened as I researched Hedonism. Very rewarding, but almost unwelcome in the sense I would like to finish this!
Back to Shallow Thinking. We now know casomorphins in pizza (cheese) could be a significant contributor our Opioid Epidemic which killed over 70,000 of us last year, mostly young people. You would think this would put a damper on pizza parties.
We will still have pizza parties. It turns out pizza is, in itself, addictive. The rush of opioids and white flour and oil becomes impossible to resist. Even when we know this intellectually, we deny negative consequences could actually happen to us. This is changing our trajectory into the future, but we are powerless to intervene.
The Only Permanence is Change
If we believe in evolution, then the only permanence is change. Look at your fingers. They are improvements over a former model…. beginning even before fins. This means that living beings in the future with some of your genetic code will look different, if they exist at all. Neanderthals left us only a trace, but they were smarter and better looking than their progenitors beneath them on their evolutionary ladder… continual trial and successes for competitive advantage. If you think photos of your great grandparents are funny, stilted, dated, archaic…wait till your family album is viewed 10,000 or 100,000 years from now!
Just think…granny spent her life’s energy planning kids, having kids, raising kids, raising grandkids….and for what? Just as there was a bipedal man replaced by Sapiens, if you believe in evolution, we are also a transitory form of life.
We all have a common black box (the same operating system) on our shoulders today, the same brain that runs interchangeable parts…hearts, livers, skin. Let’s put tags on 200 infants from the poorest peasant community in China and transport 100 to a Western country and immerse them in that culture. Wait 40 years and measure the average outcomes. We have done this in generalities already and the transplants are very much like ourselves. Great analogy for understanding how much our black boxes are alike and how much societal constructs and amenities shape individuals.
Society, the coming together for mutual success, creates societal paradigms to add boundaries, values, and behaviors that separate us from our most recent life forms. These rule-bases allow us to create world-wide cooperation for mutual benefits in moving ever upward. Upward in material aspects…advancements in technology, labor saving devices, increased knowledge.
This would seem to be evolutionary. But only partly. Evolution is within the organism. A nuclear bomb is just an advancement from the same basic black box that created a spear and a bow.
There were brilliant men and women who sincerely believed the Third Reich would last 1000 years. There were people with our same brains who thought Egyptian pyramids were absolutely necessary, that the Great Wall of China was the answer for preserving that culture forever. We all want to live forever…a common thread for 100,000 years. We use wishful, magical, shallow and non-thinking to avoid even discussing what Nature teaches.
None of those millions of historical examples of misplaced beliefs and loyalties have to do with evolution…they are products within a stage of evolution. Somehow, we have this advanced consciousness that allows us to look inward. An elk can look outward and find food, find water, a mate, a threat. We can do this as well, and we can look inward and contemplate on many, many intangibles. As in, who are we and where did we come from….
Most of us don’t take full advantage of this unique (evolutionary?) intellectual capability. This becomes most apparent when we fall into societal trends of the moment…fads which have never been and will never be sustained in perpetuity…the Roman Empire, the British Colonial Era, ancient Egypt, Meso-America accomplishments…yet the dwellers in those societies sacrificed even their lives seeking preservation. Willing to die for King, for Country, for God…Willing to kill even family to support causes. The Hindus, according to Harari, teach this is a virtue.
It is the same black box above your shoulders, had you been a knight of the round table, would have caused you to most sincerely fall for the illusion the Holy Land needed freed. With the same passion and willingness to die as the caliph’s son who did not want to give it up. From this transitory paradigm, both men look ridiculous. All paradigms are transitory.
Fads…Paleo diets, Keto diets…Nature does not teach us these things. We have always eaten what was available. We lived or died from what we ate as we evolved, but we did not have clear instruction…all trial and error. Luckily, we are more adaptable than most mammals, but the lessons are clear…elk eat elk food, Scarlett’s champion sheep eat sheep’s food. We are best suited to eat a WFPB regimen…and just now we have statistical support for this revelation. It is what I know that you don’t, at least at this moment. I hope this will go without saying in our near future.
Spirituality is another common element of our black boxes…but it is more or less optional. It first must be discovered and then nurtured to life changing fullness. This is very lonely journey and not readily available to most humans after the Agricultural Revolution. Men and women were individually close to Nature and could engage Nature in ways the archetypical serf in the middle ages, or the galley slave or the pyramid builder or the Aztec miner could not. After the Ag Rev, almost every one of us was born, worn to death and disposed of by a ruling class. I suppose there may have been a little surge of awe when their first-born arrived…hard not to feel a spiritual connection at this moment, but for the most part, the Ag Rev created an elite class who focused on maintaining superiority, and relegating the rest of us into noncompetitive roles, just barely getting by until a time of death…a life lived well below potential.
Even the “religious” were mostly power brokers. So, whatever the religion of the day caught the imagination of the masses, there were controllers to take the helm and, beginning about 6000 years ago, create written rules that were purportedly by the hand of the current deity or deities. All the way from the Pope selling tickets to heaven (indulgences) to human sacrifice…tearing out beating hearts…to running sheep down and throwing them in a fire, expecting God to be pleased with the smell of burning hair.
And the rule bases can change, so cleverly that it passes as still the work or direction of a deity. In my society in my lifetime, we have gone from accepting the word of God directing us to kill homosexuals to celebrating their marriages (in His church!) The exception may remain with Muslims who want to overlay Sharia Law within western societies. All this, too, will pass.
A Doorway Back in Time
This is complicated for me. We have just recently been able to prove the physical, mental and spiritual advantages of WFPB. This opens a new doorway back in time. The Foragers, the Earthlings, evolved in world without processed foods. They became more and more successful in their Natural World. Natural Selection favored physical health and mental acuity…and those traits were enhanced with a natural diet, conceptually WFPB. As Sapiens expanded around the world, they adapted to available foods. And what a potpourri!
As we moved away from center, our upward progressions became extremely variable. Certainly, many pioneers died, societies went extinct…even today we see great disparity in Sapiens status and success in what is a very homogenous physical form.
We Changed our Course
We did not just veer. We changed direction. The Agricultural Revolution ushered in a Food paradigm consisting of processed, manufactured, industrial food stuffs and without complete nutrition. We have naturally selected a genetic group who can best tolerate this…but we may be misfits and ne’er-do-wells that would have been eliminated as inferior in the good old days on the Serengeti. The Pelosis who cannot become altruistic leaders. The Trumps who shame our sense of decency.
Or we could be the strongest…perhaps we will triumph over sorry foods and drinks and develop clean atomic bombs.
Genetic Aberration with Alcohol
When we add alcohol to the equation, when we see what mass quantities of alcohol does to societies or demographics which have never seen alcohol, we also witness a significant weeding process that favors the lucky ones who can tolerate alcohol and avoid the life-destroying consequences of unbridled access. This caused the Natural Selection process to bias toward alcohol tolerance and ignore many other survival improvements that would or should be a part of Nature’s continual-improvement Natural Selection process.
The Black Death of the Middle Ages was the same. Trump’s lineage survived (obviously), but were they the best of the Sapiens at that time? Natural Selection is not survival of the fittest in the grand scheme that fittest is better. This works when the playing field is unchanged. But the rule book is thrown out when we add pizza and pop. The people who survive the junk food era with the most kids are not necessarily our best specimen of this day. Natural Selection is not as pure as you may have thought. Processed food and drink have changed our course.
See how complicated it is when we try to jump off the floating sheet of plywood and explore the depths of our existence in terms of what Nature shows. Shallow thinking borders on and often includes magical thinking. So much information and evidence hiding in plain sight, yet going unseen.
Part 3: Trump
Eat what YOU want! – from an antacid commercial
We are very shallow thinkers…the easy way out…a product of our black box programming for Efficiency which employs the concept of seeking pleasure and avoiding pain. This is perfectly described in “The Pleasure Trap” by Dr. Doug Lisle. Shallow thinking allows us laugh or just wince as Trump feeds our stellar athletes (Clemson football champions) junk food. His food choice was a desecration to the perfection of our human forms. It was a crime, a sin against Nature. Those men and women were diminished. The doorway Trump opened leads downhill for all. The Clemson winners became Losers. And an antacid will fix the upsets.
When We Eat Like Trump – We Think Like Trump
We do the same as Trump every day. We export our latest versions of junk and fast foods around the world, slowly, measurably sickening and killing those innocent customers. Trump says it’s American and we don’t need to care about them, which makes it acceptable. It is just another manifestation of Addictive Denial, lying to ourselves and believing the lie. And now we have the greatest liar of all backing what we know intuitively are questionable food choices.
Even worse, we have lost Nature’s protection we call “bait-shy”. When rats see another eat or drink something which harms, none of them will ever touch it again. Yet, we and our buddy Trump watch others die from junk foods, animal foods, processed foods…and line up for more. Export it over the earth.
This is how we create irrational justifications to feed chicken nuggets to our kids. Knowingly diminish their entire life’s potential! Chicken nuggets: the epitome of Hedonistic allegiance. By not impeaching Trump for poisoning the world’s best college football players, we have made him the de facto High Priest of Hedonism. Now we can use his example to wink as we feed our kids Happy Meals. We have someone who sins even worse than us….and of all people, he should know better…he is our leader.
Trump Wants To Save Our Sick Children
Trump has profound insight into our collective psyche. He is offering to provide some astronomical sum for medical research to end childhood cancer. This is what he conjured up for his State of Our Union Message. Everyone in Congress stood and clapped and cheered… What is the major cause of childhood cancer…Trump’s American Food.
Nature’s Natural Selection process may be failing us…More about this in Book Five, Mass Shooting.
My Major Concern
Here’s the problem: the Agricultural Revolution exposed our soft underbellies for a multitude of addictions. Our black box, the Reptilian Brain, was programmed before Junk Food. There was no way to prepare for an alternative future. What would you do to your genes today to create a more successful grandkid 500 years from now? Alcohol, refined grains, narcotics, oils, dairy…the list goes on and on…including sedentary work and life styles….all these unanticipated adjuncts in the timelessness of evolution (or at the Finger Snap, if you believe we have a soul that will go up or down at death) have been exploited by our fellow man for profit. Phillip Morris, General Foods, Coors, McDonalds, Pepsi…all killers of our children…have hacked our survival programming to the extent we may be seeing the end of the world.
All this gives pause to how to live as an individual…My approach is to protect and enhance myself, my health, my intellect and the health and intellects of all of mankind that I can reach. Nature teaches survival of the fittest. I think about this. She has my respect.
How will this Evolutionary Conundrum End?
Justly. This is the way of Nature…Justice for all. And that justice is not what most of us realize. We are all just a stage in Evolution. Look to Nature…every life form that has ever been or ever will be has a birth and death cycle. Individuals and species. What we do today sets the stage for the next rulers of our earth….and it may not be a sapiens.
For example, mamma dinosaurs laid eggs and protected them with fierce oversight. But she had to leave their nests to eat and drink…allowing little mammals a window of opportunity and bypass her impenetrable armor…a free lunch, fuel for the road to mammalian success. You are the current apex…at this moment as you read this.
Or maybe not. Myles King says we are the ultimate invasive species, encroaching on and diminishing every place on earth. Perhaps this puts us in our proper place.
You and your kind will be replaced in time. How, when and by whom is a lottery. Look to Nature. It is about adaptions to climates…ice ages, coal ages…. unanticipated randomness. We have evolved to having the capability of destroying the world the Earthlings knew. We can contaminate it with nuclear waste, with body waste, with spiritually dead copies of Trump…all of which will shape those newer life forms. And we can eliminate ourselves as we tumble into Hedonism.
There will Always be a Progression of World Rulers
This is my conclusion at the moment. Once this evolutionary explosion began 3.5 billion years ago (I still lack the intellect to wrap my arms around this) there will always be a top to the food chain, the most resilient and adaptable plants and animals. Which mutation in which plant and animal will best match the transitory environment on earth at the time. Homo Sapiens are transitory, the current model, one of many before and replaced by versions to follow. Perhaps we will defile earth to make it uninhabitable. Extinction is assured…ask the dinosaurs. Look at the accelerating extinction rates we are causing. Look at our rapidly declining fertility measurements.
We are seeing a little of the process of Natural Selection today. Mammals become lactose intolerant after weaning, except for sapiens, who are selectively adding that capability, and this is happening selectively as well. Societies that have been inundated with this unnatural food source, as in Europeans, have a larger population that can now digest lactose than those of African descent. But at what cost? A totally altered sense of satiation? More cancer? Type 2 diabetes? Narcotic addiction? Can we adjust one knob without affecting something else? What about our microbiota…can they deal with cheese? What is down side for them?
These same things are happening to our genomes as a result of our radical change from foraging to cultivation and our radically increasing consumption of processed, chemically altered, junk foods, fattened animal foods, fried foods…We observe stunting, both physically and mentally, in western populations. Poorest populations fare worse than the affluent, and very much a factor of food choices. Obesity has replaced starvation as the most serious consequence nutritional deficiency.
Our sense of satiation is defeated by deep fried processed starches. Potato chips, corn chips, breading on chicken nuggets, bait shrimp…we can eat and eat. We know when to quit eating apples. But French Fries, our new #1 kids food, a Class One carcinogen, defeats all those natural safe guards.
Obesity, disease, dullness, ignorance. How can a bacon cheeseburger with fries create even better world stewards? Pizza leads to opioid addiction. What a viscous cycle.
There is ample evidence that the pre-Pizzaro societies in South American were tall, healthy and long living. They were generally free of many of today’s food borne diseases. We don’t seem to think of those first humans in the Americas as beings with deep insights and respect for life and Nature, with religious beliefs. But this had to be the case…they are us. We are simply erasing or replacing their genes with alcohol tolerance, for example. Same with lactose tolerance. As we mutate to adapt, to survive what we are doing to Nature and ourselves? What is in our future as sapiens? Who will we become?
The Best News of the Day
When we look at all the outcomes…now that we can measure and confirm causality, we know that a lot of bad things are happening to the basic model of sapiens. We can safely assume it will just get worse. Get worse in tandem with our failure as world stewards. Your distant grandkids will not know the paradise we know today. They will not have the same genetics.
However, you do know the enormity of our privilege to be right here right now. And, for the first time ever, you know how to continually improve your lot and the immediate futures for your charges. Take care of yourself and set an example for those around you. Learn to know and love yourself. Cultivate spirituality. Give back in humble gratitude. Give in any way you can.
ADDICTION: THE WAY IN AND THE WAY OUT
I stand at my grandkid’s door preparing to enter. Love all of them…love all kids for that matter. But for the first time in all of time, we grandfathers have a new responsibility. That gives pause before I knock.
We already know smoking, for example, presents health risks today and tomorrow. Everyone knows this. We have societal blessing as we lead by voice and example to discourage smoking. That was not the case when I was a kid. My mom and dad smoked from before I was born. I smoked for 28 years. I am compromised for it.
Medical researchers discovered a multitude of harms related to cigarette smoking (including even being in the same room with smokers), and our societal paradigm changed within a decade. My kids were cautioned and protected from birth. My parents, their grandparents, supported our smoke-free lifestyle.
As I raise my hand to knock, I know there will be no discussions on smoking. It is settled law.
The problem, the reason I pause, is that science has revealed an equal or worse addiction. This revelation happened in the last ten or so years. My parents thought smoking was not so bad, even allowing me and my sister to smoke. As young parents, Linda and I thought we were doing the right thing when we lived and taught Hedonism. We lived in a world where food was for pleasure of our tongues. Whatever we wanted to eat and drink was given equal status. As our world became wealthier, the options for foods and drinks expanded and increasingly toward convenient, manufactured, processed hyperpalatables. We drank the Kool Aide, happy and ignorant as clams.
Now medical science shows that we were as wrong about food choice as my parents were about smoking.
I continue to be incensed, chagrined about how my life was compromised by tobacco. By the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel. At least I protected my children. I remember every day what my father said on his last day. “If I had known it would be like this, I could have quit.”
Unnatural death…cancer, stroke, dementia….is horrifying…terrifying. These personal catastrophes also take a part of the family with them. But we shield this from our kids. Today’s society expects me to go inside and participate in whatever activity the household supports. Share in bacon cheeseburgers, mac and cheese, pepperoni pizzas, even as we know what epidemiologists know…this stuff is equal to smoking in compromises to lifespan and healthspan. It is worse than Vaping!
I also know that Hedonism kills our souls. Food is a sacrament, a celebration of family, of life itself, not something to scarf down in front of a screen, selected only by our taste buds. We can feed our physical bodies anything. Our minds and spirits are more particular.
It gives me pause then, because, should I go inside, I have to become who I am not. I remember the Bible and turn and go away… “So whomever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
Why We Do What We Do
We are deeply programmed. We love looking at the uneven heat from fires, fireplaces, stoves and the smell of wood smoke. We can discern between wood species with one whiff. We use mesmerizing and flickering flames of fires, candles and lanterns in all sorts of ceremonies to create ambience. We will even watch the image of a “yule log burning” on a TV channel.
Is that logical? Does it make sense? It is actually embedded in our genes. And until just recently, inextinguishable.
We visually appreciate higher ground. We are programmed to seek gravitational advantage, and according to Dr. Doug Lisle in The Pleasure Trap, this is why we climb mountains. We find golf courses extremely visually satisfying (reminiscent of the African plains) and we enjoy looking at the highest undulations, not the troughs. We have been this way for a long time. This is who we still are.
We can quench thirst by drinking an unmeasured quantity of water…our black box tells us when we have had enough and rewards us with a feeling of fullness and relief long before the water has actually rehydrated us. What a miraculous system! Think about how difficult it would be to design from scratch! Think how beer defeats this safeguard.
If you accept the theory of Evolution, then you know it includes certainties, such as genes change within an individual between birth and death, and there are a few random tweaks which occur in the ontology of every progeny. These tweaks are apparently happenchance, some good, some not so good, but necessary to create a newer version to compete in Natural Selection. A wonderfully heartless process. Some genetic variations get passed on, some not. Some help, others detract. The main thing to reckon with is that there are no periods of stasis in the linear process. Over the Pre-Agricultural millennia, those tweaks and trends favored a lifestyle of living from and with Nature.
We lived lightly on the land during those millions of years, made minimal impacts, leaving only the sparsest of records of granny and grandpa. We talk about the Stone Age only because the stones were all we left behind. We used more wood and fiber and skin and gut than stone.
We became ever better, more creative, more resourceful. We began to collect in larger communities and cooperate in tasks; this brought about a 90-degree turn in our upward course towards future versions of such Foragers. Think about how our basic programming developed over hundreds of thousands of years, exclusively for assuring survival as hunter gatherers, as “Earthlings.”
You can begin to see a looming conflict. We were the fleetest, the smartest, the most resourceful living beings on earth. We had adapted to near perfection to many topographies and climates. But these adaptations were fine-tuned to dodge a rattler strike, to endure two weeks of starvation, to catch the elusive jackrabbit.
This programming was (is) sort of like the chips running our most sophisticated diesel engines; chips predicated almost exclusively on fuels of certain types and consistent quality. Change the fuel significantly and we have to change the chip…or suffer a myriad of possible negative outcomes.
Changing our Chips
On the first day of the Agricultural Revolution, the day when we laid down our spears and began looking at the backsides of oxen pulling a plow, we began a new paradigm for sourcing and preparing food and drink (fuel). We began changing our chips. I compare it to taking a soccer team and converting them to chess players. Imagine how many issues would arise. A few would become masters, but the majority would be misfits (the broadest of definitions).
The Ag Rev permanently altered the trajectory of evolution. Even more extreme, today we are giving preference in our gene pool to couch potatoes and corn-dog-eating-champions. To serfdom and mindless subservience. We no longer need distance runners, problem solvers and skin chewers.
The Rule of Law
We talk of societal paradigms and the order they bring. These arbitrary rule bases merge myth and reality to guide our behavior as individuals and as contributing members to our family, clan, city, state, nation, our world and our universe. We can be satisfied knowing thunder and lightning are the voices of angry gods, and we can feel just as satisfied today with higher levels of science and knowledge. We don’t actually understand either, but, regardless, we feel empowered.
On the one hand, we can seek ways to placate those gods who are so obviously upset. This provides a challenge and a mission. This was a common belief from the beginning of Consciousness. We still innately fear the flashes and cracks and there are many people who can believe in the ‘angry god’ myth. Even when science says you are perfectly safe in your car, many of us become agitated. It all comes down to our programming. The same parts of the black box responsible for creating the “fight or flight” response when startled does not de-program based on new information.
The point I am building is that the innate programming which protects us paradoxically limits us beyond what we probably understand. We operate under an illusion of personal freedom and personal choice. We have chips encoded in our Reptilian Brain written and improved over a time span of millions of years. Our Intellectual Brain can see this, we can become educated to understand a little of this, but we are powerless to change it.
Our chips encourage us to participate in spiritually numbing, life-threatening lifestyles, and we are powerless to intercede. Even with today’s new information, we just stare out our window.
The Good News: There Is a Way Out
I am willing to give up who I am to become who I can be ~ Einstein
You can circumvent any addiction and I can provide some guidelines, tricks and workarounds. Let’s discuss what addiction is, as best we know in 2019. In order to even begin to understand my revelations here, we have to agree on definitions. Most important of those is ADDICTION. What is unique in this book is I combine Addictions with Paradigms. Our paradigms expanded to support addictions.
PARADIGMS. We do what we do as a result of artificial constructs called paradigms. We go to school five days a week. Why not six? This is the way we have always done it. A paradigm.
Paradigms are a fact of life and critical to societal success. Get on your magic carpet and head up to the Space Station. Look down and see how little freedom you see in the overview. Schedules, obligations, cooperations – our daily lives are so predictable, so controlled. This is neither good nor bad. Paradigms are just how our lives are governed.
You cannot fully understand addiction until you read the new book, Before You Know It, by Yale Professor John Bargh. Additionally, Dr. David Streem of the Cleveland Clinic presents parallel findings in recent discussions about his work in devising cures for substance addiction.
Both doctors define addiction as an aberrant state of being, an altered state of consciousness. Addictions become embedded in the same protoreptilian brain center which controls and sustains your life (when to breathe, eat, drink, sleep, go to the bathroom), everything keeping you alive. All those actions, and ancillary addictions like alcohol and drugs, have (counter-intuitively) gained equal status programming in our primitive brain.
These added priorities become critical to life itself. We then adjust everything to allow or engage. Addictions can become so strong in certain individuals, that it creates a feeling or message within: if you don’t continue this activity, you could even die.
This is why we cannot use simple logic nor statistical certainties to reason with addicts.
This is the reason Ronald McDonald freely roams in our kids’ worlds… schools, play grounds, dining rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms.
How my Dad Died
Addiction measurably and permanently alters brain functions. When we are not a part of an addiction, we can better recognize it. We are, thus, averse to going into those black holes. Non-smokers easily avoid and condemn smoking. I smoked for 28 years. It was easy to tell my Mom and Dad after I had quit, they should quit also. I became frustrated with them. Linda nor I would allow smoking in our house or in confined areas with Andrew and Colby. By that time, we knew there was increased health risks related to second hand smoke. (We did not find out until much later how the risks with the junk food we were feeding them were much higher.)
Dad’s last four years were in torment. His lungs were seizing up. Felt like drowning or waterboarding torture. During our last week together, he told me if he had known it was going to be like this, he could have quit. Not a day goes by this does not haunt me. Should I have done more?
As I relate to you in other areas in this book, sapiens cannot see into the future, thus heeding health warnings is genetically limited. If it feels good, what could possibly be the harm? Dad’s end of life realization was too late. His message ahead to others addicted to smoking will go unheeded. Addiction becomes who you think you are. While others around you succumb, you are invincible. Addicts cannot imagine that my Dad’s revelation at his death will become their reality. You cannot imagine those statistics for junk food disease and death apply to you. It feels so right!
We know smoking is addictive, however, we under-appreciate the intractability of Food Addiction …refined, calorie-dense, processed stuff which looks like food can equate to Dad’s cigarette addiction. Our Earthling predecessors were never exposed to these hyperpalatables. We were blindsided. And it is getting worse all over the world.
What I Care About
When have I not said enough….when have I said too much…. ~ GB
Practically all our causes of premature death in 2019 are food/drink related. You also know premature death begins with compromises earlier in life. It includes dullness, lower immunity, reduced sexual capacity, etc.
However, my mission is our lost spirituality. We throttle this part of us to some degree even before conception. Food Addiction, as per new research from Yale University, is as intractable as alcohol or drugs, and is as blinding and demanding. Our state of denial is intense to the point you will most likely be insulted by the allegation that you are a part of the problem. We can’t admit the harm done to kids and chickens by chicken nuggets. We would have to face our own addiction.
Servicing addiction becomes part of your paradigm for a complete life. If you smoke, then you include the necessities for periodic inhalation into all your planning. It becomes part of you. If you are going camping, you include a canteen with a planned amount of water and a pocket full of just enough cigarettes, each with the same critical thought process – they are equally important. If you are going to the job, you think nothing of driving 20 minutes on job time to pick up enough smokes to get you through the shift. You don’t think, you just automatically do it; it’s the nature of addiction.
If you don’t smoke, you can’t “feel” what the smoker does. The closest you can come to understand your commonality with him or her is when you are thirsty. All humans experience about the same sensations when it is time to rehydrate. The smoker or drinker or doper gets a benign “feeling” when it is time to restore and reinforce the chemistry balance of whatever they are hooked on. As with thirst, the urgency increases with time, reaching a crescendo of panic.
Alcohol and drug addiction outperform nicotine in modification of mental perceptions and physical limitations. Drug users and alcoholics are known to steal from close family, even prostitute themselves to fund their habits. Yet we often overlook health and lost time costs of nicotine. Ever witness a professional athlete smoke?
Food choice is the least understood and appreciated of addictions. And, as with all addictions, it changes who you are.
The Battle in your Brain
As Dr. Bargh demonstrates, addiction cannot be defeated with logic directed from the Intellectual Brain. Just as you can’t talk yourself out of being thirsty. When shown illustrations of black, cancerous lungs, a smoker will smoke more in the next hours than if he or she had not seen the photos. The Primitive Brain does not have the capability to reason – it senses only stimuli, and anything to do with smoking triggers awareness and then need.
Same with all addictions. A complex process with commonalities (everything is actually impossibly complex – we can only observe outcomes and then empirically re-create and attempt to predict future outcomes). We have not realized until now that food addiction is as powerful in most people as alcohol, drugs and nicotine. Yale University research added to this understanding.
Yale Food Addiction Scale
Yale researchers, led by Dr. Ashley Gearhardt, developed a Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to gauge whether a person shows addictive behaviors.
High concentrations of sugar, refined carbohydrates (bread, white rice, pasta made with white flour), fats (butter, lard, margarine, vegan butter), salt, and caffeine are addictive substances and the foods containing these ingredients may be consumed in a manner consistent with addictive behavior. Just like drugs of abuse, these food substances may not be addictive until they are processed, extracted, highly refined and concentrated by modern industrial processes. Meanwhile, combinations of these look-like-food substances may greatly enhance their addictive qualities towards the highly processed and/or refined foods.
This text box helps explain how foods fit with Dr. Bargh’s findings. All addictions have a common source in the brain. This is why junk food commercials are so effective, especially on our addicted kids. Especially effective because we have made addicts of all of today’s kids. This addiction is why Ronald McDonald is still a free clown. If we were to prosecute him for child abuse, we would have to admit that bacon cheeseburgers and Happy Meals are not as good as broccoli and beans. Addicts can’t demonize themselves. Try to get a smoker to quit.
World Wide Tragedy
During a 2019 visit to Lima, Peru, Linda and I visited a Holiday Inn restaurant. The Kid’s Menu had the standard items: 1. Fried hot dog with fries; 2. Chicken nuggets and fries; 3. Mac and cheese with fries. In Puerto Madryn, Patagonia, Argentina, the nicest restaurant in town featured a kid’s menu: Chicken nuggets with cheesy mashed potatoes or fries or a gooey pasta with cheese and fries. Sound familiar? It makes me sick to my stomach. Only addicts would even think of allowing children to ingest this stuff. Only addicts would know in their heads this is bad for kids and still feed it to them…same with teasing them with beer and wine, so they will grow up to drink with you, assuming you live long enough. Make sure they eat junk food with you as well.
Our friends who have ties in the Philippines report they see tremendous increases in obesity with each annual visit…and an increase in U. S. branded Fast Food outlets. Just as we saw in Trinidad.
“Unhealthy food marketing aimed at youth under age 18 is a significant contributor to poor diets and diet-related diseases. Purposeful greater marketing to Hispanic and Black children and teens, both in the media and in their communities, likely contributes to diet-related health disparities affecting communities of color, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” ~ Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA, Director of Marketing Initiatives and Associate Professor, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, University of Connecticut, Jan, 2019
Another Underappreciated Yale Contribution
When I look at a herd of elk or zebras who live by Natural Law and contrast those specimens with the Walmart crowd, I better understand the devastating effect the 2019 overly-processed food (pizza, burgers, pasta, chips, soda, energy drink) paradigm has on us and our future generations.
This is not news to some. Another Yale researcher, Russell Chittenden, professor of physiological chemistry, switched a group of outstanding Yale athletes from a flesh-eating diet to a plant-based one and after 5 months, measured an average 35% increase in performance. Although he was highly regarded in his Department and in his professional associations, he was ridiculed for suggesting plant-sourced protein was superior to animal. Dr. Chittenden lived 100 years ago. The dichotomy he exposed in otherwise smart people continues without reprieve.
Here is my view: my standards are high. I imagine I am His Image. I want my table to be ready for His visit. I will be able to explain how everything on my table got there and why it is there.
“It’s the Economy, Stupid”
Our “Economy Stupid” world cannot admit to the problem nor support cleaning it up. It is too late for us, there is no one to do it. The inmates are running the asylum.
“We have met the enemy and it is us” (Pogo).
We are no longer Earthlings – just pretenders, “Body Snatchers,” stewards who cannot take care of our sacred legacy. We commit acts of partial suicide each day to our wonderful bodies, this gift of life, every day. Self-inflicted death!
We wring our hands, render our clothing over “global warming.” All a sham, addictive denial. We create illogical taxes, we buy “cleaner” cars, we legislate against plastic straws – all the while the single greatest contributor is our CAFO system (35% of the problem). Destroying those horror chambers would help end our environmental crisis; returning back to our WFPB paradigm would double the available food for the world.
“The reasons behind this mass extinction are manifold, but all stem from human activity. Humans are “the ultimate invasive species” having spread from Africa to every corner of the planet (and beyond) in 100,000 years. In doing so, we have removed the habitats of other species, or affected them by moving other invasive species around, causing pollution and driving climate change. We do so at our peril, because humans depend on nature utterly for our survival.” ~ Myles King
Trying to explain the depth and power of Addictive Denial is why this book has taken so long to write. Addictive denial is a force stronger than the truth. I am looking for the ray-gun powerful enough to shatter the thick glass between you and this higher truth. But words that have this power continue to escape me. How do I get you to understand that some of the things you do (everyone does) go beyond abstract constructs within societal paradigms? They are embedded in our brains! Protection and expansion of Food Addiction became inseparably enmeshed within those paradigms – in our personal and societal safety nets that were meant to keep us and our kids safe, productive, healthy and happy.
The Arrogance of Addiction
Arrogance comes to mind when I read anything about Dominance over the Earth. Earthlings felt as a part of the universe, including the tangible earth and the unseen spiritual domain. Tengrists planted trees as a sacrament. Native Americans thanked the game they harvested. Body Snatchers are without shame – we are unaware that we cannot see the truth. The earth is only a playground.
Burger King sold millions of Halloween Nightmare Burgers. They enlisted a reputable sleep clinic to verify disruptive sleep patterns in those who ate them. We are not smart enough to see how dumb this is…are you getting an idea of how our minds have been corrupted? Only an addict would allow their children to participate.
The Agricultural Revolution and attendant changes in food sourcing and processing resulted in a new way of life, including new addictions which changed our behaviors, even our forms of religion. When you feel superior, you can plow our Creator’s level playing field, believe you are responsible for a seed germinating, for giving life as a calf is born.
Instead of planting trees, we cut the most handsome young tree in the forest, adorn it with frivolous, adolescent trinkets and, when it fails to amuse us, throw it in the dump, aka the “Christmas Tree” arrogance. By contrast, Earthlings used boughs as a form of respect.
Earthlings had an Animist respect for life and returned it through humility and sustainable practices. Body Snatchers contend we are born in sin, we are no damn good…perhaps compensation for the guilt for feeling superior in Nature? And they say almost all of us will reside forever in Hell. Why not break the arrogance cycle, and begin to respect Nature and its creatures again?
Truman, Roosevelt and Lincoln Got It Wrong
“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves…self-discipline with all of them came first.” ~ Harry S. Truman
“With self-discipline, almost anything is possible.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
What has been missed in our past is the knowledge and appreciation of the extent that addiction reprograms our survival brains. Thus these quotes resonate well with folks not addicted to a particular drug, food or habit; however, for those addicted, the concept of error and subsequent harm resulting from their choices is foreign. There is no motivation to change behaviors…no “feeling” they are doing harm to themselves and the people they love.
This amounts to the concept that addicts don’t know they don’t know. They cannot internalize their habit is a problem…the survival brain says they need to persist, even when the intellectual brain can see this is not good, that their body shape is wrong, they are losing jobs, losing families, Thus there is a disconnect between reality and action that Dr. Bargh of Yale explains today and that Lincoln, Roosevelt and Truman could not have known back then. Things we know our parents could not.
These kinds of quotes simply frustrate an addict. They can’t see the problem with eating a chicken nugget nor feeding a garbage pizza to a kid. I know we love and cherish our children. We can’t do otherwise….. it’s encoded in our genes. But this food addiction syndrome coupled with the emergence of our Agricultural Revolution has us blinded to the fact that feeding kids stuff like ramen and garbage pizzas limits every potential in their lives. Worse than smoking. We are making them walk the plank of failure.
“A bad diet is worse than drugs, alcohol and tobacco combined.” ~ Sophie Morlin-Yron, CNN, September 29, 2016
Putting Kids through Airport X-ray Tunnels
A friend says he gets great behavioral compliance when traveling with his kids by putting them in a tray and running them on the belt through the X-ray tunnel. He also feeds them chicken nuggets. Which do you think is worse?
We can be super careful buckling our kids in our cars, even create laws demanding this practice, and yet drive them to a fast food restaurant for chicken nuggets, fries and caffeine/sugar cola. We can rationalize spending an enormous amount of time and energy on an act which provides only the slightest margin of safety, yet, in the same series of motions, guarantee them a life-long unhealthy relationship with themselves and their food choices. We cause our kids to get sick and die before their Creator’s appointed time.
Think about it: chicken nugget addiction is infinitely more detrimental to physical and mental health than a trip through the X-ray machine. Our new chicken nugget paradigm is more harmful than vaping. It is equal to smoking in life long compromises.
Now for the Good News!
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” ~ N. Mandela
So far, this is really negative, but I needed your attention. Bad news is more engrossing than good. The first step is recognition. We know there is a problem. My cardiologist, Dr. Jami Delaney, thinks there are two kinds of cardiologists, those who are Plant-Based and those who have not read the literature!
Let’s read the literature and see how much more we know in 2019 about nutrition and its profound consequences on every aspect of our beings. Then simply design a daily regimen around new information. Treat your human body as you would a temple. Treat yourself with the respect you deserve. You will be amazed by the domino effect! Soon, very soon, the cravings for junk food and drinks (fried, fatty, processed, caffeinated and/or sugary) will fade away.
I know this to be true. It becomes deeply satisfying to see food as a sacrament, as a communion with higher powers and not hedonistic diversion. Selecting, preparing, eating wholesome foods and drinks become ever more rewarding. A day free of alcohol cravings and fog….a day free of poisonous smoke, foul looking swollen lip. Precious.
As you journey toward higher self-respect, the way gets easier. Your body, mind and microbiome will reward you with a renewed sense of peace, clarity, purpose and compassion. The result: a new spiritual awareness! The zone, the goal.
Meditation is also powerful for some of us. It calms the mind and can treat stress-related psychoses. Emerging research is also showing amazing results with therapeutic treatment with psychedelics in defeating addiction and achieving higher levels of spirituality. Watch what happens in the next five years.
In the 1950’s, about half the people smoked, and, more importantly, so did many authority figures. The majority of our medical doctors smoked. Thus, our societal paradigm for tobacco behaviors evolved in acceptance and tolerance. There was the doctrine of “smoker’s rights.” People could smoke whenever and wherever. Kids were discouraged, but it was commonplace, especially for the poorer kids with less parental oversight to roll their own or chew or dip. We began with smoking corn silks rolled in newspaper, all the kids at any age did it. I began sneaking cigarettes at about age 12.
Epidemiologists know today what my parents could not have known: each cigarette costs 10 minutes of life. My Dad died from smoking. He said if he had known how painful it was to die this way, he could have quit.
We also know we have to plan ahead to die early. Premature death does not happen at a peak of health and happiness with a sudden fall off some unseen cliff. Killing ourselves with cigarettes, alcohol and junk/CAFO foods means we have to die a little extra each day.
We are diminished every day we abuse our bodies and our brains. And spirituality is the first to suffer.
Today, society has brought back our original, non-smoking paradigm. People are capable of changing paradigms: we are down from 45% to 15% participation with unbalanced distribution toward the lower income demographic (and people in movies). We pay money to discourage smoking, but we still cannot prohibit it, even when we know it burdens our health care systems and reduces our workplace productivity. Protection of “freedom of choice” was purposely co-opted by the tobacco industry, an industry too big to fail.
“I don’t care much about cigarettes and the 10 minutes”
Even if you smoke, you will be able to procreate and continue our genome. Even if society allows you to smoke up your nursery at home, your kids who are not stillborn will likely hit 2.2 prodigy before they get too sick from poison gas to participate in life. There is always someone around to take care of grandkids.
What I want to accomplish is for you to be able to stack chairs high enough to look over my fence and into the green meadow and watch the elk. Look with me and understand that Nature is reality. Feel the freedom from Addiction. Feel Spirituality.
The New Age of Addiction:
The most addictive substances on earth are processed foods (Check the Yale Food Addiction Charts to see which of your favorites are the highest ranked). While we are programmed to sense or feel hunger, our programming evolved in the absence of today’s artificial food additives and chemistries. Our amoral food scientists are creating an ever-expanding suite of Industrial Foods – hyperpalatables – stuff selected for “cravability” that looks like food and sneaks between the cracks of our natural proclivities and protections. Our national health profiles are plummeting. Our life spans are getting shorter…our addictions are becoming more intractable.
Our natural protections are being compromised – our innate fear of heights, caves, strangers, speed, the unknown, etc. Our fear that creates awareness and caution has left us. We have become missionaries for our new Hedonistic food paradigm. Which is the best pizza? The new Smash Burger is fantastic! Who makes the best corn dog? Chicken nugget? Spread the gospel. Gain converts. Validate your mistake.
The Agricultural Revolution:
The Introduction of Food Processing and our Downfall
If we would have had the opportunity 10,000 years ago to evaluate the consequences of plant cultivation, animal husbandry, grinding grains…had we understood how radically life on earth would be altered, we may not have allowed our Agricultural Revolution. You have to give pause and realize that global population explosions, wars, pollutions, new diseases, and even global warming are all a result of Earthling societies creating the Ag Rev. We may not last much longer on this earth. We may have lived in balanced harmony forever had we continued as we did in the previous million years.
With the human ‘cleverness’ to manipulate nature and create unnatural foods (larger carrots, redder tomatoes, higher crop yields) and to process, reconstitute, heat, freeze (based only on presentation and palatability), we no longer have a clue as to what our evolutionary diets really were.
Neither do our microbiota. We become addicted to food and drink and without recognition for the detrimental consequences to our entire life’s potential. Food has become an entertainment, a diversion…our Creator be damned. No gratitude, no respect; we are as heartless, as uncaring as the drug addict who steals from his parents, as callous as the drug pusher in grade school. We celebrate His gift of life with a pizza party with double cheese and pepperoni.
As heartless as a drug addict because we are one. Only addicts can selectively ignore how much we are limiting our potentials and our lives…and those of our kids.
Only addicts would condemn billions of animals to a hellish existence in CAFOs to feed our addictions, and in the process, desecrate our fertile lands, spoil our precious environment. This is oppressive for me. There is nothing I can do about it, except to not participate, to complain and to write a book. You can get a perspective of the consequences of our total immersion into food addiction in graphic form later in this book. My hope is your brain will kick in some early morning and say to you, “Yes, I understand.”
Ronald McDonald deserves both the gas chamber and the electric chair. I want you to understand the complicities in our government that supports these atrocities. Government departments provide money and marketing support to the fast food industries. They impose criminal penalties if you try to intercede on behalf of the tormented animals in CAFOs. Real jail time. Denial of flight privileges. Can’t possess a gun.
I hope you can one day see the elk as I do, and the Nature they represent.
We do not need to know what are “perfect foods.” We desperately need to know that the historic role of food was sustenance, and not today’s paradigm of Hedonistic, addictive imbalances for instant gratification.
Our original form, as with all mammals, had innate checks and balances on when we ate, what we ate, and how much we ate (and drank). We have convoluted that programming to where it is unrecognizable and nonexistent. As a result, humans are the only mammal who can become obese (and the domesticated ones we feed unnatural foods). We have developed unique diet-induced diseases. Think about it: ever see an elk in the emergency room for high blood pressure?
“It is insanity that in this modern day that we have to talk about eating fruits and vegetables.” ~ Dr. Kenneth Cusi
Our Holy Trinity
The bottom line for you: this book begins with the premise that the healthiest, longest-lasting physical body requires evolutionarily-balanced nutrition (mostly plants). This also facilitates our healthiest mental status and therefore, the deepest spirituality. This is a holy trinity. Impoverishment in any area and we operate in a reduced state of being.
Before the Agricultural Revolution, we held a universal respect for life. Now we condone torturing pigs, imprisoning cows, genetically mutilating chickens… Our spiritual connections with Nature are all but faded. Our respect for Sustainability is lost.
My commentaries on Spirituality can be understood only after you understand and adopt the proper role of food as a communion of respect to our Creator. Food addicts typically are consumed, as was I, with finding the best diversions, the best pizza, the best ribs…immersed in our Hedonistic paradigm of immediate gratification. Mindless eating in front of a screen.
What is in our Future?
On the other hand, perhaps our current course is necessary, that the next version of Sapiens will be even better. Hardship and physical challenge bring out the best?
What do you think?
“While perfection is not possible, its pursuit is a lifelong obligation.” ~ GB (and others)
Mankind and all life forms are products of their environments. Darwinian Natural Selection favors those species who adapt best. Pretty simple in a general sense. The results of 3.5 billion years of this process are presented to us in everything we see, smell, hear, touch…you are surrounded and immersed in this reality even as you are reading this. This theory of adaptation is equally valid if we believe in some measure of Divine Intervention or agree with Charles Darwin.
What has changed today…and for the first time in those 3.5 billion years…is that we have a small window through which to peek into the science behind this marvelous and magical process of evolution and selection (particularly if you doubt Divine Intervention).
What is not so simple is actually quantifying, making sense, and making use of what we see! We have had the curiosity but have never had the information nor the ability to assemble and interpret that knowledge…until today…this moment. We are able to identify the components of our food and drink and unravel their complex chemistries. We can then relate those properties to the physical and mental states of our being. This is a powerful new way to see ourselves in our natural world.
We can roughly measure outcomes for choices and habits in nutrition, sleep, exercise, hygiene, and social behavior and gain understanding and quantification. We can evaluate our present status and improve future outcomes in so many aspects of our lives…longevity, healthspan, spirituality, appearance, disease, intelligence, athleticism, stamina…
Overlaying what we know about nutrition with what we can now do with genetic manipulation, we could create a Super Race.
Perfect Nutrition is not even worth talking about. Our human bodies, our mental and physical beings, are all unique in many ways. We are Images of God…and were fueled for hundreds of thousands of years with whole foods…raw, fresh and unprocessed. In just a few generations, our primary foods have been grossly modified and often corrupted beyond description. Even our broccoli has been messed with.
It is beyond a matter of life and death – it is a matter of personal performance. High-performance engines do poorly on sub-optimum fuel. As do humans. Life behaviors, including food choices, are major factors in immunity, healthspan, intelligence, wisdom, athletics and more.
Nutrition is inseparable from the other facets of our lives. We are a sum of the parts of all we do. While the quality of Nutrition will define our lives more than any other factor, it alone is not the end game. It is, however, the foundation.
Nutrition is dictated by paradigms. What I most desperately what to tell you is that our current paradigms have been corrupted and to your detriment. You are not as good as you could be. Most of us are in a state of food addiction, a state so deep that we can’t see the constraints…we eat Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) junk in an Addictive Trance (See Hedonism Section).
Our Addictive Trance
Most of us are languishing under a common Oppressive addiction…as intractable as opioids, alcohol or nicotine. We can see our kids’ live spans measurably shorten, our academic achievement scores continue to decline, our body weights continue upwards.
We can see this and agree that it is bad for others and society as a whole, but not bad for ourselves. Common to all addictions is denial. Whatever it is, if it feels good to me, it can’t be that bad, certainly not worth the effort of doing better or without.
Addictive denial is a state common to all addictive behaviors where we lie to ourselves. On the one hand, we know that steamed vegetables are generally a better meal than a bacon cheeseburger. What we don’t know is, through both innocent and purposeful manipulations, our newly wealthy society has drifted toward accepting eating a few bacon cheeseburgers can’t be all that bad. In fact, their hyper-palatability leads to full-blown addiction. (Food does not taste good or bad, it is cultural thing, learned behavior.) We justify it – everyone is eating them, so how bad can they be?
Science, however, shows with Statistical Certainty that the people on a steady diet of CAFO animal parts, animal effluents, added sugar, and refined grains will not live as long nor as well as people who eat mostly whole plant foods. Top that off with all the ultra-processed foods that surround us, and the penalties are worse. Statically worse than smoking.
Our bodies can handle an orange or apple. Our systems and our microbiota are tuned to deal with every molecule. It is the newly introduced chemical-laden imitations of food that tax our bodies and our minds. All those chemicals accumulate in a multitude of expressions, and with increasingly negative consequences as we age.
Spirituality in this Context
Spirituality: where food is a sacrament and everything you put into your body is a symbol of gratitude to our Creator and His Works. When the physical body is aligned with His natural foods (our original whole-food-plant-based philosophy), your inner Spirit will be liberated, a wonderous feeling I cannot describe to you in words. A feeling impossible to imagine while in the trance-like state of addiction to foods that diminish us every day.
Impure foods diminish us and our children. As with an aborted child, we will never see what could have been.
Worse is Still Better
Worse than Perfect is still Better. Better than Worst is still Bad. Here is your challenge: don’t just try to do better. Aim for perfection, and your life will begin to change! It will take you to new heights in health, immunity, well-being and Spirituality. Here is a picture of this way of thinking:
Why Bother Cheating?!
“Everything we eat has an opportunity cost. Every time we put a less healthy food in our mouths, it’s a lost opportunity to put something even healthier in our mouth.” ~ Dr. Michael Greger
There are no legitimate Cheat Days, just as there are no Lying Days, Infidelity Days or Poaching Days. This becomes an obvious understanding as you journey toward Perfect. Don’t cheat ourselves and our kids with food and drink that diminishes our spirits. Don’t glorify junk foods by using them to lure, entice, or bribe others for love, favors, conformance or for discipline.
“One thing that humbles me deeply is to see that human genius has its limits while human stupidity does not.” ~ Alexandre Dumas
Beginning in the late 1800’s and up to World War II, there was a movement to use selective breeding to direct human evolution. In 1906, the American Breeding Association was formed to “investigate and report on heredity in the human race, and to emphasize the value of superior blood and the menace to society of inferior blood.” This movement was funded in America by Carnegie, Rockefeller, Kellogg and many more prestigious people and organizations. Their primary conclusion was those who were most unfit came from economically and socially poor backgrounds.
Eugenics was taught by almost all universities. The curricula included guidelines suggesting only the top 10% of Blacks should be allowed to breed, in hopes of improving the moral character of that race. The Nazis were complimented on their Eugenics program. By 1940, they had castrated, sterilized or just outright killed 400,000 people.
The Real Truth About Eugenics
But do you know the real truth? Who would endorse this practice today?
The answer is disappointing. Devastating. It is still going on. Look at the photo. One animal must be nurtured and protected under penalty of our laws. Another can be beaten, stabbed, kicked, tormented for a lifetime and then maliciously killed, quartered and eaten. We are thrown in prison if we even photograph these atrocities.
We set an hierarchy in nature where there is none. Just as the el stupidos continued to penalize within our own species, it is the same thing when we sentence any animal to a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. It is only your addictive trance that keeps you from understanding this and that keeps you feeding children chicken nuggets.
I see a connection between castrating an undernourished kid for being stupid and taking your child to McDonalds to eat, given the knowledge we have today. It is all part of that paradigm of Arrogance, where we are better than any other thing in the universe. We can laugh at those old Eugenics missionaries but not at ourselves. Each of us sits on the jury for life or death of sentient beings. Don’t kid yourself or lie to your kids.
“A picture is worth ten thousand words” (F. R. Barnard)
The key is to remain an abstract observer! When you join a society (or just return to your reality and your paradigms), you will better appreciate the lack of choices you actually have every day to follow these simple guidelines. Do not conform to societal pressures…changing our paradigms is not the easiest task but it is the most rewarding!
The Horrors of the Kids’ Menu
With parent, government and society blessings, we feed our kids, we bribe our kids, we control our kids with stuff made with hyperpalatable chemistries. If you want to make your own, here is a list for stocking your cupboards:
High fructose corn syrup, Agave nectar, Barbados sugar, Barley malt, Barley malt syrup, Beet sugar, Brown sugar, Buttered syrup, Cane Juice crystals, Cane sugar, Caramel, Carob syrup, Castor sugar, Coconut Palm sugar, Coconut sugar, Confectioners’ sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids, Date sugar, Dehydrated cane juice, Demerara sugar, Dextrin, Dextrose, Evaporated cane juice, Free-flowing brown sugars, Fructose, Fruit juice, Glucose, Glucose solids, Golden Sugar, Golden syrup, Grape sugar, Honey, Invert sugar, Lactose, Malt syrup, Maltodextrin, Maltose, Maple syrup, Palm sugar, Powdered sugar, Raw sugar, Saccharose, Refiner’s syrup, Sorghum syrup, Sucrose, Sugar (granulated), Sweet sorghum and Yellow sugar…
Our foods are made even more ‘appealing’ with Iodized salt, Celery salt, Garlic salt, Sodium caseinate, MSG, Autolyzed yeast, Autolyzed vegetable protein, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, Yeast extract, Degermed wheat…
We use Processed white flours, Processed Rice flours, White breads, Aspartame, Cyclamate, Saccharin, Stevia, Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Lead acetate, Mogrosides…
We then add even more chemicals not found in nature….1400 Registered pesticides! Azodicarbonamide, Glyphosate, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Propylgallate, Polychlorinated biphenyls, Dioxins, Polybrominated diphenyl ethers…
Don’t forget about the Anti-foaming agents, Bulking agents, Food coloring, Color retention agents, Emulsifiers, Flavors, Flavor enhancers, Flour treatment agents, Formaldehyde, Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Nitrate, Glazing agents, Humectants, Tracer gas, Preservatives, Stabilizers, Thickeners, Caffeine…
How about the antibiotics from the dead and preserved animals we torture and eat: Brambermycin, Lasalocid, Monensin, Salinomycin, Virginiamycin, Bacitracin, Carbadox, Laidlomycin, Lincomycin, Neomycin, Oxytetracyclinee, Penicillin, Roxarsone, Tylosin, even Arsenic. We are feeding this to our kids!
Horrors for Kids, Part 2
It is common knowledge drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and nicotine abuse can negatively affect a fetus. Giving a 2 year old opioids, alcohol or cigarettes will statistically compromise their future potential as adults as well. A reason for these books is to ask why nutritional deficiency is not lumped together with these commonly accepted no-no’s? Kids living on sugar and bad fats…processed foods, animal byproducts and sugar supplemented stuff…. cannot and will not be as healthy as kids eating evolutionary WFPB food and drink. Science has proved this. We also know these compromises begin before birth.
Cigarette smoking was appropriately villainized when those big trucks dumped thousands research proofs in our driveways. We just did not know how bad it was until we had the statistical evidence, thus were guiltless in perpetuating our evil industry. We thought they were the good guys for sending Camels to soldiers.
In the cold world of science, Joe Camel and Ronald McDonald are the same people. Charlatans. Pied Pipers leading our children out of reality, away from Nature. Unholy compromise.
I don’t care what you eat. My beef is we know it is unfair to flood a fetus with alcohol, dope, nicotine and junk food. It is a wrong life message to elicit affection or behavioral conformance from children with addictive, zero-nutrient junk food and drink. We could do the right thing and support to their future health and happiness by introducing and supporting them in living in our beautiful, healthy Plant Based world.
Feeding Sheep and Children
Speaking of sheep, I asked Scarlett about feeding her prized sheep. She said she fed it special sheep food on a strict schedule. She says this is an important part of creating a champion for someone to kill and eat. I asked about feeding her sheep from Hunter’s goat food bin. She said it would make her sheep sick.
Lachlan enlisted Uncle Jimmy to feed his Spiny Leaf Eater for a week. Both the routine and food choice were critical to survival of that unique creature.
Not sure why these examples cannot be expanded to humans. Why is the concept of feeding each living being its evolutionary food difficult to understand? Why is this message impossible to convey? Why does it take a whole book?! We should feed mankind as dutifully as we do a sheep… it is patently obvious! Nature is showing us the folly of choosing food only on the basis of entertainment at the moment. Walk into Walmart and understand this is the first stop on the way to the hospital…
I appreciate Einstein’s ability to reduce very complex issues into simple equations. The equation defining for declining world health simplifies to: Feeding Our Sheep Goat’s Food.
There is a second part to this parable with sheep. Sheep never get obese or skinny, no matter how much feed they have…as long as it is sheep food. Nature is amazing… We are blessed with miraculous systems embedded in all our brains to regulate our bodies. When we feed humans with human food, we stay healthy, slim, great skin and live longer. When we treat what we put into our bodies as a sacrament, only allowing those items that improve us, we thrive. Better physique, skin, attentiveness and achievement.
On the other hand, when we choose fatty, salty, sugary, industrialized concoctions not typically available in Nature, then the problems begin…very much like feeding ourselves goat’s food.
Food as Medicine
“Lifestyle changes are often more effective than any other medical intervention in preventing heart disease, hypertension, heart failure, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and premature death. The best-kept secret in medicine is that, given the right conditions, the body heals itself.” ~ Dr. Michael Greger
The Best Kept Secret.
And now you know it! A way to give back and create a sea of peace, happiness, gratitude, charity and love.
The good news is that our GSI family/employees are now generally healthier and happier in many ways. We work safer, better and smarter.
My sister recovered from a horrific collision and walked better and sooner, through my assistance with implementing our latest research findings in the world of nutrition. What is that worth, compared to tradeoffs and compromises of our S.A.D., to deny the nutritional truth and to remain a Hedonist.
I rejected conformity and encourage you do the same. I chose “if you are walking on the right direction, then there is reward and fulfillment in the path itself” (Giovanni Dienstmann).
There is compelling evidence for a looming disaster in our reproductive capability. Our sperm counts are now half of what they were in 1970, and going down 1% each year. We have a new genetic trend where the distance between the anal opening and genitals (ANG) in males is getting less. Males with this syndrome have remarkably lower sperm quality, to the point of infertility.
Note: in the graphs that the Green Line represents “Retangularization,” the concept that disease is not normal in mammals, that the “perfect death” is to just wear out and keel over…or get caught and eaten! This concept also includes a premise that most all suffering and disease is wholly or partially related to food and drink choice. My parents could not know this. You can.
Our kids will not be allowed to live or to die as per their genetic programming. We are compromised, beginning before birth. S.A.D. is truly sad. A compulsive, Hedonistic way of life so pervasive, we cannot see it.
Sin: Does it Start with our Kids’ Menus?
Extreme food paradigms, quasi-organic materials processed beyond any concept of origin…up to 28 chemical additives in every bite. Most of which are unfamiliar…ingredients we cannot even pronounce…we eat these things disguised as food. Elk don’t do this.
Elk don’t ask their calves what they want to eat. Humans do, now that we have so many choices. We allow, even encourage, our kids to languish in spiritual dullness with the “Kid’s Menu” of super addictive, calorie-dense, inflammatory choices.
We know intellectually through recent research that atherosclerosis begins in childhood with the foods on the kid’s menus. The child is not given the choice of celebrating the health that God offers in abundance to every creature. It is only Man who can undo God’s intention.
Look at Nature – watch the elk, the deer, the zebra, the squirrel…they don’t have pizza parties.
When we celebrate the foods from CAFOs, we are committing sins against every sacred charge we have on this earth. No matter how we each define those charges, there are no justifications for both the extreme cruelty we impart on those animals nor for the harm it does to our environment, and to our physical bodies, and to our spirits… the very essence of who we are.
The role of prayer
Prayer is how we take our minds up and away from our physical world, what separates us from the elk. It is an expression of gratitude for all of life, for everything, everyone, everywhere. The ritual of eating food is an affirmation of our gratitude for our opportunity to have self-awareness. I asked a small group (gathered to meditate together) if they prayed and to whom. They seemed surprised with the “to whom” aspect. They were intuitively Tengrists…and without even thinking about it…just as our ancestors from the beginning of consciousness (or creation).
Just as trying to explain that the Great Spirit is not an entity, we are at a loss to verbalize the divine presence within us. I open my prayers with, “To whom it may concern, Thank you for this life, this universe, this moment, my family and my world.”
I address all possibilities. Except the proposition my Creator delivered me in sin. That serves no purpose in Nature.
Food and Drink chosen for nutritional merit is our most satisfying sacrament. This goes way back…“Let food by thy medicine and medicine thy food.”
If you do want to get closer to Nature, to our Creator, then you must feed your body, the vessel for your soul, with the greatest respect. Life is more than a drive-up chicken nugget affair.
My messages, my discoveries, often go unheeded in 2019. I hope this is different in your lifetime.
Food is for our Spiritual Self
Having you review your relationship with food is one of the major reasons I am sending this message ahead. Today’s first world societies are cascading into a black hole of Hedonism where everything we eat or drink has to stimulate our pleasure zones. I hope this has been rectified in your time…and if not, my message is for you to revisit and realign your priorities.
Of course, we need food as fuel. That is a base line for survival. Up until recently, food was limited to what was locally available and affordable. We had developed a reverence for food through its scarcity and unreliability. It was easy then to appreciate food as a blessing, to not take it for granted. Providers were held in high esteem.
I remember the genuine gratitude from my mom when I brought home my first squirrel. It was at the end of an era, the paradigm of self-reliance for food sources. I wonder what reward a kid would receive today for presenting a dead squirrel to his parents?
As we go forward with sophistication in our food supply systems, we gain more and more assurance that we will not want. We found that we could industrialize our food supply, creating an unlimited array of stuff that would more or less digest in our alimentary systems. This evolved (or devolved) into a suite of hyperpalatables that are addictive and deadly. Deadly in terms of physical health and spiritual awareness. It is an ever-degrading progression in shopping carts, our cabinets, our kitchens…our cars reek with unnatural smells. Stuff that cuts ten years off our lives…stuff that diminishes us every day until premature death.
Here is my message to you: Our highest state of grace is stillness of our minds. That is achieved by merging our minds with our bodies. We exist above the elk in an invisible world of thoughts. Our brain is the center of thoughts, but to this day, we don’t know how it generates thoughts, up to 60,000 each day. What we know is physical health is paramount in generating our highest states of intelligence and cosmic awareness in those thoughts. As simple as it may be to you in my future, it is not at all understood nor appreciated in my time.
“Not all who wander are lost” ~ Tolkien
“The spiritual journey is always tragic, for it is a lonely path for individuals…” ~ Harari
“The Name that can be Named is not the Eternal Name.” ~ Dao De Jing
“The beginning and end are the same for everyone” ~ GrandBob
I believe in people. I believe that whatever religion they may choose is equally valid as any I intuit from my life experience. I am writing this for me. It is something that my parents and mentors would not or could not do…Perhaps I will not be this passionate forever…might as well get it on paper while it is of self-interest. You are welcome to look over my shoulder into my beliefs….and mostly, my ambivalence. I keep expecting that this search, this continuing challenge to my heart’s intelligence, will lead to ever deeper truths. To higher communion with Nature. I encourage you to forever seek deeper truth, deeper meanings in your spiritual life. It begins with re-discovering the proper role of food. The role of food in our Spirituality before the Agricultural Revolution.
Spiritual Rediscovery: A Serendipitous Reward
This is an autobiographical retrospection…musings from the new freedoms within my mind, intuitions rekindled with energy of clearer thinking. Whereas my Clinical Discussion on Food Choice has some basis in science, each of us has to determine for ourselves answers for those perpetual questions of who we are, why we are here and what happens to us in the end.
Henry Ford said, “Men easily live what they really believe – they can’t do anything else.” I want my future grandkids…all kids…to know this. We have the option to honor our passions, to develop our values and follow our beliefs.
The other path is to just accept what we are told. This is how we departed from a deeper truth and subdivided into Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Mormons, Taoists, Jews…etc. Nutrition plays a part in our willingness to be controlled with stupefying cultural, racial, and religious dogmas.
It took a while for me to sort this out. As I write this, my visions become clearer, my soul is more fulfilled…I can transcend at least some of the societal impositions on my freedoms of thought and choice. I can see the commonalities in human thought and behavior across all societies in all of recorded history. These are guideposts for me to better understand myself.
Merging Myth with Reality
“Religion is a deal with God… Spirituality is a communion” ~ Harari
“The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike” ~ Delos McKown
Myth has a place in how our minds understand and deal with reality. Myths that seem disparate and isolated actually have common threads, commonalities proving all of mankind is one, from Genghis Khan to Mother Theresa. Just as we have universal needs for food and drink for our physical bodies, we have universal mental processes that control our behavior…. commonality in our basic instincts for Survival, Procreation and Efficiency. (Dr. Doug Lisle, “The Pleasure Trap”)
This journey began when I read about Tityus and his eternal punishment for messing around with Zeus’ consort…strapped down on a mountain top with buzzards eating his liver every day for eternity…a liver that regenerates every night. I guess he is still there. Made me think again of my grandfather, K. Z. Browning. More about him later.
I submit that Religion is Reality and Imagination at once. Reality is what we experience and interpret with our 5 senses in present tense. Reality is everything around us. It is our consciousness of the moment and everything that we see or construe as tangible. But we only have 5 senses…there are countless more realities we can’t even imagine. UV and IR light for example…sounds outside our range, an infinite number of smells…so much more…dark matter, black holes…
In our Imaginations, nothing is unreal. Imagination is a magical zone setting us apart from our fellow mammals. It’s a much broader landscape of fact and fantasy, independent of time and place. Intuition, the wisdom of our hearts and the cornerstone of our Spirituality, is honed by journeys into those imaginary worlds…. The boundless worlds of what if…
Logic and Reason are stumbling blocks to the core principles of Religion. Religion requires unquestionable Faith…a component of Imagination. Logic requires reproduceable fact.
I relate well with Elaine Pagels. She is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton. Professor Pagels contends rituals bind and bond societies. These are critical to human happiness and health, and the more emotional, the more engrossing, the better. She participates in services for all religions. She has meditated with the Trappist Monks in Aspen, close to where her husband died in a climbing accident. She believes and teaches the mind of man has intrinsic commonalties; all the great religions have close commonalities as well.
The Power of Ritual
This is why all societies have versions of formal weddings, funerals, graduations, awards, ribbon cuttings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, numerous holidays…the list is enormous, seemingly different at first in various cultures, but then the same in abstraction.
I was captivated by the Native American who dressed in full costume and face paint and addressed the committee evaluating the Alberta pipeline to Kitimat. He was opposed to it crossing their sacred grounds. He used a solemn ancient chant, translated in English, that said he and his spirit were one, in deep love with the Ocean, connected to all life there, especially the Killer Whale. He then expressed fears for the inevitable tanker spill and brought in his many grandchildren to stand with him. He ended his chant with “thi qwum”. Have Pity. One of the panelists cried openly.
This ritual format had evolved over many generations….and some are surprisingly effective in changing and/or reinforcing viewpoints. Most finally have a goal of happiness.
Our Quest for Happiness
True happiness…a part of religion… is feeling good, feeling pleasure at the moment…avoiding pain…It is not the quantity of our deeds, our encounters, our gifts, but the quality we assign to them. We, therefore, can make ourselves happy… simply enjoy the moment. Look around and smile. Be grateful, appreciative, reach out, participate. Watching a butterfly land on a flower can be as happy, as rewarding, as a new boat. Sing a song in church with feeling. Make a point to feel the energy, the union of those souls singing with you. That will make you happy.
Happiness is a state of pleasure achieved at higher and deeper states through spirituality than through Hedonistic materialism. Spirituality is fragile and our first sacrifice to Hedonism.
Food and Drink are our Greatest Sacraments
Emerson and Romanticists and Transcendentalists and Deists (more or less) contend that virtue and morality are our greatest tributes we can return to our Creator. Therefore, it follows that “Doing the Right Thing” is the hallmark of virtue. That love, compassion, charity and inclusiveness would be taught to our youth, not great fears of indescribable, unimaginable and infinite burning of flesh and spirit. Eternal damnation for practically every human soul ever created or ever will be created…becomes incredible.
It also follows that honoring God would include honoring His marvelously complex machinery we use to transport our minds…our spirits…our souls…with foods and drinks God provided during all of our evolution (or at our Creation). Our development as a distinct division of mammals revolved around high fiber plant foods (100-150 grams each day) and simple water drinks. And this natural menu fostered the co-evolutionary emergence of our microbiota.
It has been demonstrated through rigorous scientific research natural foods and plain drinks provide the highest levels of health and healthspan. The understated part of this is, more recently, research shows both lifelong sexual capacity and end of life mental acuity and stability are associated with food choice as well. This will be particularly important when science offers you opportunities to reach 130 years old!
Spirituality is at its highest when our bodies are at our healthiest. When we are at our healthiest, we are much more capable of resisting the constant onslaught of temptations to eat and drink addictive contaminants. Just as a former smoker becomes offended by the smell of tobacco smoke, the gases from scorched meat become equally offensive to those who come to love God’s provisions. Respect for His animals becomes intuitive. CAFOs would no longer exist were man’s mind where it could be…where it should be.
Willing to Die for Religion
There are at least two anomalies within our survival programming which can lead to self-sacrifice: religious belief and substance addiction. Our survival mechanisms are so innately controlling that abstract debate is nearly impossible. We persist in error well beyond logical limits. It is difficult to talk a fanatic down.
You can see every day in the news those we call radicals who would sacrifice their lives in the process of convincing/coercing society to change paradigms. People who would fly an airplane into a famous landmark in order to make a statement. Human beings who are convinced their act of ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their god or cause will eventually cause a change in societal attitude and behavior. People will pour petrol on themselves and light a match expecting they will make the difference in death unattainable in life.
(My intuition tells me The Name Whose Name Cannot be the Eternal Name would not need much assistance with anything. Tengrists say that nothing is whispered in one ear that all cannot hear.)
Those zealots typically become convinced by others that there is only one True Way. My grandfather, K. Z. Browning, was in that camp. He became a Born Again Christian and created his own world…his version of purity in thought and action. He thought and taught God was angry, jealous and vindictive and the path to His Side is straight and narrow, shown only by his Son. Only a few of His innumerable creations in His Likeness would join with Him in eternity. K. Z. disassociated himself from his father as a statement of his deep belief. A death of sorts for both.
Willing to Die for Food
Food choice equates in many ways with our proclivities for religious belief. Almost everyone will defend cultural norms even when they discover that our recently acquired food/drink paradigms are known precursors for heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Yet changing our lifestyle…or even discussion…is not an option. We would rather die. And take our kids with us. My grief over this is one of the major reasons for sending these messages ahead. We are diminishing ourselves when WFPB is a happier, better course! Our survival programming is killing us.
Dr. Steve Foster of University College London created a new term to measure one’s ability to recognize when we are wrong… “metacognition.” Politics and food fall in to categories where we cannot differentiate fact from feelings. We tend to overestimate our certainty…and we often have no basis in fact. We simply cannot see the error in our logic. If we have been conditioned to think (feel) we have to kill a pig for protein, we kill the pig (or have a surrogate do it for us). We cannot internalize plant protein is better, even when science shows this with absolute certainty.
Why? The problem or answer is we fail to utilize our Intellectual Brain to challenge our belief system. What we “feel” is part of our Reptilian Brain, a storehouse incapable of reason. Thus, the property of metacognition is amazingly limiting. This is why I don’t expect broad based understanding of this book, much less compliance!
(Writing a tome such as this is also somehow necessary in Sapiens programming. It represents a lasting purpose for our lives. I know our society, our kind, will not persist into perpetuity; however, if I can improve even one life beyond me, this is at least something, even if something is finally nothing.)
Religion vs. Spirituality
The founder of McDonald’s is an international hero. He made his fortune through government supported CAFOs. Think how wrong this is… think about what this says about the reasoning ability of the human mind. Dr. Foster makes his point…there are areas of judgement where we cannot see our errors. We buckle up our kids to prevent a very unlikely injury and drive them to a fast food joint, guaranteeing them bodily and mental harm. We are dying prematurely for this version of “food.”
We export McDonald’s food and kill unsuspecting, trusting kids throughout rest of the world. We are defiling our environment. Planet earth is their birthright as well. Now I can tell you we are also compromising our Spirituality.
My parents could not know this. Recent discoveries in nutrition…realities that have been in our faces since the beginning of time…show that food/drink choices influence fetal development, childhood intelligence and performance, and, ultimately our quests in all aspects of our lives. Yet we eat bacon cheeseburgers at Hardys. Nightmare Burgers at Burger King. We stock pantries with sugar, processed foods, and salt. We celebrate dairy. How is this different than flying a plane into the World Trade Center….it paradoxically emanates from the same intractable survival mechanisms…thus different only in degree. We kill ourselves and our kids either way.
There is no objective introspection with either religious or food fanaticism. We see an Elk, but we don’t see Nature…our overarching guide to life. We see an Elk do Elk things in their share of our world, but we continually defile our share. We pander for love from our kids by feeding them known carcinogens. We use cheap tricks with junk foods to elicit behavioral compliance. Even with this new information on the relationships between diet and health, we set them on a course for heart disease and diabetes, even reduced fertility.
So many factors conspire to diminish our abilities to recognize the presence of omnipotent God. Too much bad food and we enter an Addictive Trance. Too little nutritious food and we can only think of food. Look at this nutritionally deprived child. The last thing on his mind is the Second Coming.
Lack of Nutrition is the major defining factor in what we call the “Third World”. Too much processed food and drink and we become immersed in the addictive First World filled with dullness, obesity and disease. Perhaps on a par with this kid…unable to reach our inner soul…unable to communicate with Nature.
Every diminution in our physical selves is a subtraction in our ability to sense, to feel, and to embrace our Spirituality…to serve the underserved…to serve our Creator (GB). We are the first generation to know this.
How Addiction is Related to Religion and Spirituality
Substance abuse creates permanent changes in our neural pathways. Beginning with the advent of agriculture and husbandry and the related redirection of our evolutionary ascension, we discovered a few special drugs and foods which produce overstimulation in our brains and excessive release of dopamine (that big wow!). Our brains counter this by downregulating the dopamine reward response. We have to ingest more and more and more often seeking to achieve that initial rush. The term on the street for heroin users is “chasing the dragon,” a quest for the amazing first experience I’m told is never quite fulfilled. These special chemicals really mess with our minds…and permanently.
(This is close enough to fact to allow us to build to an understanding. Einstein quipped that we should make it simple, but not too simple and my friend Dr. Dick Bell of Oregon State was noted for his quote, “For every complex issue there is a simple answer that is always wrong.”)
We have two problems here. Curiously not with addiction at first. It has to do with who we are and how we got here. Some follow the strict Darwinian process of Natural Selection. This includes a more or less steady state of change on par with the long-denied theory of Continental Drift.
What’s the problem? Think about it. An evolutionary biologist at Oxford, Dr. Richard Dawkins, says this all began as a single cell 3.5 billion years ago, from which some 30 billion forms of life have existed at some point in time. While I only recently saw those incomprehensible numbers, I have been contemplating this concept for years.
First from the sea, then on legs, then on two legs, then with a folded brain. We leaped ahead and beyond all life forms on earth…we hold their lives in our hands…we can kill anything and everything on planet earth.
So, the first problem has to do with the concept of an everlasting consciousness and its relationship with spirituality…when were we endowed with this? When we had webbed feet? Prehensile tails? It’s certainly a conundrum. It is easy to intuit…to “feel”…there has to be some form of Divine Intervention. I feel that there should be more to life…but I also feel more in the vein of the ancients and their Tengrist relationship with all of Nature…we are unique, yet only in terms that everything else is equally unique in themselves. We are just one more part of the perfect, beautiful universe, endless in time and infinite in space.
We have a spiritual nature, but without a universal definition of what that means. The first problem for me is how to discover and then nurture this cherished gift. I “feel” spirituality is important. I know with focus and intent we can enhance this quality. It begins with purposeful focus on Nutrition.
We are the body snatchers
The second of my problems with the relationships between addiction and spirituality is an even greater conundrum. One that was revealed to me only after I had gotten this far with this recording of my journeys into spirituality. Join me in this flight of imagination…see if you can find a fatal flaw in this logic path. Here it goes…
We began somehow from a single cell, a lone spark maybe 3.5 billion years ago. That alone seems to be preposterously assumptive on our part. I can’t conceive of that vast time frame, nor an arithmetical construct that would project back with accuracy to a point of beginning.
If we agree we gradually achieved our current stature and intelligence in the last two or three hundred thousand years – we agree we were given the capacity for religion and to bury our dead with tools for an afterlife perhaps a hundred thousand years ago.
This continued success happened in a favorable environment and with an abundance of natural foods. We moved around to find even better environments and, obviously, to escape deteriorating conditions. Our long-lost buddies, the Neandertals, moved out and went north way before we did. (Not much is known about those cousins, except we enjoy a small amount of their genes due to interbreeding.)
Both our physical capability and mental capacity for reason, religion and spirituality matured within lifestyles which included foods of nature, foods of opportunity. Hard to argue against this. Our foods were the building blocks for our amazing physical strength and stamina.
When we learned to farm, to domesticate animals, we dramatically changed our food/drink protocols. We reorganized our societal paradigms…we now need lawyers…we departed from the blessed evolutionary trajectory of equality and assumed world domination. We sidetracked onto a path never imagined in Nature.
We know our new, unnatural foods and drinks alter our perceptions. Our true spirituality, therefore, must also be compromised. That’s a problem. Programming given to us or that evolved over hundreds of thousands of years with life-saving preferences for sugar, salt, fat and crunch which guided Homo Sapiens to greater and greater success has been increasingly corrupted…we just crossed the threshold into today’s paradigm that glorifies Ronald McDonald, a killer of our lives and our souls and our kids. We are a ship adrift without a compass.
Now we can Measure
In the last 30 years meat consumption has gone up significantly and projections show an upward trend. A trend in parallel with the upward graphs for sickness and early deaths, global warming…deserved rewards for our disrespect for our world. The average BMI will soon reach 30…obesity. Unbelievable.
I can’t tell you how much of a 90 degree turn this is for mankind. Our magnificent, marvelously innocent images of God have turned into zombies…in addictive trances lined up at the fast food drive-ups, totally unware of the terrible loss of spirituality. Turning blind eyes to CAFOs to get a cheaper fix, falling for obvious nutritional delusions of pringles and ramen and slim jims that our amoral marketers troll before us.
The Paradox of Altruistic Achievement
“If you want to be a Saint, forget about being an Angel.” ~ Jim Holt
I think it could be a dead end for spirituality. Our abject states of addiction will not allow us to even recognize what we lost. And just as Body Snatchers shriek and point when they see a normal person, I am sometime treated in this fashion when I offer our new research findings in hopes of bringing awareness and reprioritization. It is the Saint vs Angel conundrum.
“Health is the Greatest Wealth”… said Virgil a long time ago….and our healthspans are getting shorter. A point to ponder: when migrants from other food paradigms arrive in the U. S. and Canada, their health profiles often dramatically deteriorate. Same thing happens as we export our addictive food paradigm around the world. Unused to such sorry, inflammatory foods and without our miracle drugs, they get even sicker than they have ever been. It’s even worse for their kids.
Making respectful food and drinks choices, especially now that He has allowed us the miracle to measure outcomes of those different choices, are how we honor our Creator. We are in His Image…our bodies are HIS Temples. And we extend that honor by inviting others to join in communions of sharing wholesome food and drink. When we treat ourselves as we treat our prized horses and sheep. When we lead our children on the path of righteousness, virtue and the quest for truth. They will be of proper weight and have optimum appearance and maximum opportunity in everything that matters.
Proper weight and appearance. Look at the animal world…there are no misshapen creatures in natural environments eating programmed foods…our internal regulatory systems keep us fit and trim…until we override with addictive, calorie-dense, inflammatory food and drink. Stacy Abrams blamed her loss to be Democrat governor of Georgia on “the Republican System”. She is morbidly obese…first impressions are critical in how we evaluate people. Employers will tell you that they are off put by morbidly obese applicants. People do not see it as a disability….it is viewed as a choice. She had a shoo-in against the image of Trump and fumbled…she fumbled; those devious Republicans did not strip the ball.
And she gave it up for the worst of reasons…addictive animal and processed foods. She is, statistically, giving up health and life expectancy as well.
I have reached a level where good food tastes best. Our bodies and our minds eventually reward us in many ways for feeding them properly…rewards for responsible management of His/Her Image.
One of the most important messages that Quakers have to offer is that religion, or belief, is experiential. It is not just a matter of accepting words or practices but of experiencing God for oneself. The fact that God is always present means that the whole of a person’s life is sacramental. ~ Ted Hoare, Australian Religious Society of Friends
Work like you don’t need the money.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody’s watching.
Sing like nobody’s listening.
Live like it’s Heaven on Earth. ~ (Mark Twain [paraphrase])
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large — I contain multitudes.” ~ Walt Whitman
Don’t get me started. I have so many ambivalences and misconceptions that I bore myself. I am a fashionable cynic of no import.
The source of my cynicism is a basic mistrust for those in authority. I have great respect for our Constitution and the Heroes who framed it; however, I find most people attracted to politics in these easy times either end or start in ethical compromise.
I am a fiscal conservative and value a political structure where self-reliance and individual initiative are rewarded.
I am becoming a fierce environmentalist more each day and believe we are here as stewards of planet earth. All of Nature’s organic and mineral matter deserve Respect.
This philosophy has been coopted by liberals, thus a source of my ambivalence. Their disingenuous support for the poor and oppressed is sickening. Gandhi can wear that crown. Those liberal leaders are mostly phony limousine riders and private jet setters. They use feigned empathy to control our oppressed masses.
Defining Respect is a frustratingly moving target, ruled by the Laws of Unintended Consequence. Nevertheless, we do the best we can, which is not very much and typically half-hearted. But we do pay lip service. This is at least something.
I am a Pragmatic Vegan, more recently termed Plant Based. My single greatest source of psychological grief and pain are Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. While I am tending to refrain from eating any animal product, I can still tolerate subsistence killing. On the other hand, our surrogates running our CAFO world are the penultimate of corrupted ethics and morality.
To my great mental anguish, this CAFO paradigm has our world in a death grip. It controls every aspect of our lives from birth to end of life. It is the number one driver of world economy and our number one cause of pollution, disease and death.
I can’t get either major party’s attention to end this travesty. I formed a non-profit foundation and offer to pay people to not eat meat. Pathetically ineffective, but I am actually doing something. I hope by the time you read this the world has come to its senses. Or perhaps society has collapsed. Either way, CAFOs would be gone. I would support a meteor strike as a last resort.
“The Treadmill of Self Gratification.” ~ GB
“Eat, Drink and be Merry, For Tomorrow We Die.” ~ Aristippus of Cyrene
Cyrenaics sought immediate gratification, believing that even fleeting desires should be indulged, for fear the opportunity would be forever lost. Cyrenaics had little concern with the future. They were among the first of what we call Hedonists. Their abandonment of forbearance would not work well if they were given today’s hyperpalatable, industrialized Food and Drink paradigm. Without our intense medical support, they would very soon succumb to our new diseases. Die like flies. As some of our less wealthy societies are doing this day.
Hedonism: where our life’s priorities are focused on pleasure for the moment…and where we choose pleasure over pain, as in “if it feels good, do it!” We are programmed to prefer this choice (this is explained in “The Pleasure Trap” by Dr. Doug Lisle).
With today’s amazing wealth and conveniences, we would make ole Aristippus proud of us. We take instant gratification to extremes. Hot dog eating contests, alcohol drinking games, spending inordinate amounts of time dwelling on food, drink and vanity. Instant gratification begets instant gratification. We create an illusion of happiness at the expense of our physical bodies and our spiritual souls.
Earthlings had no need for programming that limited fat, sugar and salt intake. These were always in short supply, as were most of today’s “pleasures.” We as a species never had luxuries in food variety nor convenience. Climate control used to be finding a shade tree or building a fire. Labor saving devices were a house full of kids. We used to have to struggle every day and we adapted physically and mentally to that struggle. Those with physical superiority had more kids than slackers.
Our innate predilection for Efficiency causes us to value all these new luxuries. Value them so much that kitchen appliances became indispensable. These propensities have been guiding our evolutionary progression for eons, until, wham, everything reversed overnight, thanks to our Agricultural Revolution. Our entire food and drink paradigm shifted toward processed foods. And it continues on an accelerated course.
We are innately both defensive and vigilant with our food sources. Most animals are. We watch what happens to others when any new food or drink is introduced. When we discover or are given a food that tastes good and does not make us ill, we have this compulsion to recruit others into joining us. It used to be a way to add to the success of the clan…ever more options, thus increasing chances for survival.
That was a good thing then, before the Ag Rev. Today it is not so good. We have recently created a cornucopia of hyperpalatable foods and drinks. These kill us, but unfortunately not soon enough to trigger our instinctive bait-shy survival mechanism. These foods are so addictive that by the time we see people sick and dying, we deny to ourselves the same fates await us.
To obscure the likely detrimental consequences for these Epicurean indulgences, society celebrates this lapse in logic. We “buy the first round” of drinks. We take family and friends to elaborate dinners that include CAFO victims. Create all-day eating and drinking events. Coopt our kids into Hedonistic servitude with Happy Meals.
It seems to Get Worse Each Day
Large pizza billboard in Trinidad, “Don’t Eat Boring. Eat Fun!” That is pure recruitment, just as religions do with appeals to our empathy. We have people (I was one of them) who become disciples and celebrate food taste and quantity…supersize me… Missionaries for Hedonism.
And industry has capitalized. We are unimaginably wealthy in terms of my parent’s world…Grandman and Mother Anne were never courted and enticed as we are today. It is worse for our kids. There is no mercy in the 24/7 onslaughts from Big Industry (Ag, Pharm, Med, Govt) to lure us into Hedonism. Get it now…get lots…where is our protective Government…it is all about the Economy, Stupid! There are no ombudsmen.
I recently attended a conference where an elite contingent of road builders had convened to celebrate another great year of contributions to our world of Transportation. We could have talked about how far our evolving technologies have taken us, new developments on the horizon, how to better employ sustainable concepts to extend our depleting resources. Guess What…the whole event was set up around a night of unlimited alcohol and “gourmet” (actually inflammatory) foods. It lasted until daylight. This photo shows how I was greeted on entry.
Trinidad for Example
The average age for men in Trinidad/Tobago is 66 years. In Japan it is 80. The TT Health Department has a poster that says Trinidad is the third fattest country in the world.
In dining with many professional people there in 2018, I was shocked… appalled…at how little they understood nutrition. It was never discussed. They consume more sugar in drinks, pastries, sauces and candies in one day than most of us eat in a month. Thousands of roadside stands sell flavored sugar lumps (warm weather snow cones!). KFC has huge outlets with signs visible for half a mile…even rice is soaked in butter (so is their naan), all the bread is white. Rolls are full of shortening. Totally Hedonistic addiction, created and sustained by amoral marketing and manufacturing interests. What they are feeding their kids has degraded to U.S. levels.
The point here, future grandkids, is that you really do need to look out for yourselves. Food Choice controls your very soul, your spirituality. Food Choice should include selections that celebrate communion with your Creator. Hedonism is successful first in that its converts can easily have 2.2 offspring. Second, hyperpalatable food choices without immediate visible consequence is an easy sell. Easy to manipulate kids into joining our addictions with Happy Meals, pizza parties, candy, ice cream, hot chocolate etc.
Today’s Young Girls
Almost 80% of our adolescent girls are unhappy with their bodies. That brings me to tears. The most beautiful of ages, the age of innocence and promise. And we feed them foods which make them unbalanced, make them feel bad and fat and ruin their skin and hair. So lovely and we feed them chicken nuggets.
Kids. It is indeed hard to set them onto a Path Most Right. Responsible parenting has always been a challenge…but we have to consider that by feeding them a Happy Meal, we are setting them up for disease and an agonizing early death. Imagine what you would serve Jesus, were he visiting tomorrow evening. Would you feed him chicken nuggets? I could not look Him in His Eye and explain what I did to His chickens in order to serve those disgusting globs covered in red sugar. I would be ashamed of what I am doing to the futures of His precious children.
Once you accept you are addicted and then accept your responsibility and the discipline to enter into this higher paradigm, you will gain a new respect for yourself. You will be happier and prettier/more handsome, and I will make more sense. Hedonism is a deep and black hole.
Hedonism is an Easy Sell
Our missionaries have an easy sell – these new foods are super addictive. We have bred, refined, cultivated…redefined all of Nature…seeking perfection in addictive properties, even created a new euphemism for hooking kids… “cravability.” Taste, feel, appearance, drugs, chemicals…and without concern for the welfare of our children. Only if it entertains us at the moment. And we are getting better at this every year. We are entering a new age with our food paradigm. Just look at the center aisles of any grocery store. At our fast food joints, our “gas stations,” on our kid’s plates. Our foods are becoming more industrialized as we speak. Just in my lifetime. We are losing health, longevity, intelligence and spirituality. And reproductive capability and success.
We are so deeply into Hedonism we can’t even see it. Ole Aristippus is exonerated. He is the High Priest. Almost everyone on earth is a follower.
It would bring you joy to stack up enough chairs to look over my fence and watch the elk in the meadow. Hedonists cannot see this rightful place for Man in Nature. The Agricultural Revolution provided a new paradigm of calorie dense foods that ended our upward progression. As with all addictions, our priorities are reorganized. Communion with our Creator has fallen to last place…His food is reduced to entertainment.
Conclusion: Hedonism Defeated Animism
Animism is perhaps a construct of Man, however, it emerged everywhere man traveled.
Animism as the prevalent religious dogma ended with the Agricultural Revolution. We changed our diets; we switched from WFPB to hyperpalatables, intoxicants, and calorie dense commodities. And we began to abuse animals for our tongues’ pleasure.
This cataclysmic departure in direction of our evolution also changed our perception of religion. We became Hedonists. I was mesmerized by the cogent presentations in the books by Harari. He explained what I felt but could not verbalize. I knew evolution basically precludes a soul, I saw how our recent constructs for religion forsake the world of animism and converted to polytheism… But, why?
Harari says when we domesticated animals (I say “took them hostage”) and controlled plants, we also lost our respect for Nature. I think he is right…we have become gods. The rest of Nature is subservient, inferior. Our rivers are conduits for waste, our oceans are dumps. We see ourselves as deserving of the right to kill, to pollute, to revel in Hedonism, to maintain CAFOs. This is why I could shoot song birds with a BB gun. Why we could even think about building a doomsday weapon. Who cares about anything but us and safeguarding our personal reverie of the moment?
Somehow, we have a deep sense of guilt. We celebrated our new pleasures of the flesh and our elusive gods and goddesses became angry, jealous, demanding, vicious and cruel. Religious constructs unrecognizable to an Earthling.
Yes, Hedonism is our new religion…and our missionaries are spreading it all over the world…with Ronald McDonald and The Colonel leading the charge…leading us away from our mission on earth to help our fellow man, to give back for our Miracle of Life.
A FANCIFUL CONSTRUCT OF HELL
“I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible.” ~ Albert Einstein
Dr. Einstein, this is my viewpoint as well. What I can imagine is that Hell is a construct of guilt…compensation for what we are doing to our earth, our fish, our fowl, animals…ourselves. The Earthlings, the Animists, did not intuitively sense negative actions would result in eternal damnation. This paradigm is a Post Agriculture fiction, resulting from our innate sense of wrong that comes with the illusion that we deserve to dominate the universe, that we are immune to prosecution, that we are above the Laws of Nature.
“The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” ~ G. B. Shaw
The promise of future punishment is our way of turning a blind eye to abusive, unethical behavior. CAFOs are wrong. This we know. Just as we do nothing as the Christian villages of Africa are being obliterated in Muslim genocides, we continue to patronize McDonalds, knowing of the suffering of 56 billion sentient creatures for our pleasure and stockholders’ profit. Our excuse for inaction is the perpetrators will get their due if God does not approve. They will most certainly be placed on the left upon their deaths.
Actions or inactions qualifying for everlasting punishment are not universally accepted. We are confused with poorly defined (often transitory and conflicting) rules. Rules from the many Deities and which are sometimes in direct contradiction. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I wish the Catholics had not ended the special where you could purchase indulgences…much easier to just buy your way into heaven.
Nature …Tengri, The Great Spirit, Wakan, The Name whose Name cannot be The Eternal Name, and many more Manifestations of Nature, unseen existences, was respected by our Earthlings. Vestiges of those Animist views are scattered throughout the several religious theories of today. Reality of the moment and participation of spirits were inseparable. Right and Wrong had more to do with what worked and what didn’t in terms of survival.
Same with food choice – life or death was the bottom line for food choice. Luckily or by plan, evolutionary foods suited the lives of those Earthlings. Nature provided food for horses, crabs and vultures as well. Foods specific for the species.
The Agricultural Revolution introduced a new societal paradigm that included a new relationship with food…we felt we were controlling nature. Food came to us…no more struggle. We were in control, dominating our planet. Imagining Hell is our way of apologizing to ourselves.
We are Still Animists
“Research on the notion of being one with Nature, a divine principle, life, the world, other persons (Oneness)….reveals a significantly positive effect on life satisfaction, even rendering the effect of religious affiliations insignificant or negative.” ~ Laura Marie Edinger-Schons, American Psychological Association, 2018
Somewhere deep inside, we are still Animists, folks who believe in Oneness, in awe of our universe and grateful to our creator. As with Darth Vader, there remains a vestige of our old selves. The Bible agrees: “For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since creation of the world.” (Romans 1:20) (Yes, I am guilty of selective use of the Bible to serve my ends.)
We can feel this relationship through sensory (and even paranormal) avenues. There is an unshakable guilt that invades our psyche that we have strayed from Nature. We somehow know that we are not masters of the universe. We know we live and die as does a carp or a mongoose.
A child will purposefully challenge higher authority and finally welcome even corporal punishment for firm guidance. We use all sorts of techniques to instill our paradigms on our young…rewards, flattery, bribes, spanking, scolding, demeaning, denying privileges…..
It is similar with adults. Where we have assumed a higher stature in our universe, we have left the obvious bounds of that natural world. We are not, in fact, better or worse than anything in Nature…we are one with whatever that is. Thus, as we depart from our proper, evolutionary role, our non-verbal intuition (our heart’s intelligence) tries to tell us we are losing our connection…our spirituality.
Before our intellects caught up with this, we had joined the treadmill of Hedonism. And we cannot stop the descent. Therefore, we created or allowed a penance…Hell. As with any addiction, we immerse in Hedonism and say we can “quit anytime we want.” We can quit without penalty to our soul…beg forgiveness on our deathbed.
Our minds are not really going to change later. That’s a reality of Addiction.
Now we know that going back to the Pre-Ag lifestyle of family, community, service, food reverence…the real world for all of us for so long….is what will deliver us from sin…and save us from having to burn ourselves forever in retribution.
Who Needs Lawyers?
As with our children, we are programmed to actually want authority. Thus, as those new societies grew large enough to need formal law, judges and lawyers, we also grew to need religious leaders beyond the Shamans of Nature. We needed authorities to control every aspect of thought and action. And this is easy…there are plenty of humans who will do literally anything to gain control over others. They make up special names. Priests, Priestesses, Ayatollahs, Bishops, Pharisees, Popes, Preachers, Parsons, etc.
Religions control adults with big boogey men…Satan, Beelzebub, Shaytan, Maara and less sophisticated monsters for children. Different only in scale and complexity.
As actually happens in CAFOs, our vision of hell includes herding practically every man, woman and child who ever lived (however long ago we come to have souls) and every one of us today and forever in the future into huge encampments, there to be visited with eternal torture. Much like herding Jews and Gypsies into cattle cars and shipping them to an eternity of Auschwitz.
When you stop and think about it, it is terribly inefficient for an all-powerful God with an unlimited budget to create and maintain a maximum security prison in perpetuity. A place to send 99.99% of His children. Most of which were not bad people, whose only crime was non-respect. Kids for whom only He is responsible for creation. Makes no sense to me….and no hurry on my part to find out!