Social Conformity

social conformitySocial conformity is a type of social influence that results in a change of behavior or belief in order to fit in with a group. Normative conformity occurs because of the desire to be liked and accepted.

Conformity is an essential part of our culture. We have to share our world with one another and have developed apparently democratic ways of doing this in the First World. We have given away our freedom to act any way we might want to, in order to be part of a shared culture.

This suppression of our essential selves in deference to society and authority is at the basis of an interesting trend in the West. Our media based ‘celebrity culture’ allows us to moderate these feelings by transferring them to ‘idols’ of various types who succeed in self-expression.

Conformity involves not asking questions or ‘not rocking the boat’, ignoring things, editing reality and ‘sweeping stuff under the carpet’, especially in English culture. Once you are in a job, with a mortgage, maybe a family, the chances are you have to ‘cut-off’ or ignore a part of yourself that might ask difficult questions, and conform.

After a while a part of us is suppressed and we are offered the distractions of a consumer culture as a reward. We tend to use our lives to try and earn a little more, save a little more, earn the respect of our bosses and the envy of our neighbours.

Our culture subordinates our desire for liberty and expression for the illusion of security and material gain. And a little part of us dies.

It was during the 1960’s and partly due to the work of Abraham Maslow that the whole ‘don’t try and change consensual reality, change your own reality’ movement came about. ‘Turn on, tune in and drop out’ is a cop out. Boycotting consensual reality to work on yourself isn’t enough on its own. During the many years since that people have been ‘developing themselves’ the ‘system’ out there has become more entrenched, more stagnant, more inhumane when it comes down to it.

Now we have global corporations and governments virtually dictating how we live, what we eat, what medicines we are allowed, what we see, read, even think.

The economy is in slow free-fall. Total debts in the UK have passed a trillion pounds, that’s about £15000 ($27,000) for every man, woman and child in the UK. The US picture is similar.

It is important to continually adapt (heal) in response to the changing conditions about us. It is a healthy activity to understand ourselves vibrationally and to seek balance and imbalance as we need it. But just ‘working on ourselves’ isn’t enough. There are non-conformist actions we need to take as individuals responsible for the planet we inhabit.

No amount of self-realisation on its own will reverse global warming. Surely we need to refuse to use our cars and fridges and other ozone destroyers and polluters to do this and even so the situation won’t even start stabilise until 2060. Even if every person in the UK stopped creating carbon today – it would take China just three months to make up the difference in global carbon terms.

So will meditation help to save the 23,000 people killed by road traffic accidents every year? I doubt it but using our cars less might help.

What about the 20,000 Indians who die every year as a result of exposure to farm pesticides? Or the 60,000 suicides because they can’t recycle their own seeds? Will vibrating right help them? No, but choosing from where we source our cotton might.

And what about the pharmaceutical industries, can we just raise consciousness enough to stop them getting a profit by pill poisoning children who seem ‘different’? I doubt it – they’ve just walked right in and are taking everybody’s health while we’ve just been ‘working on ourselves’.

What about the banks? In order to feed ourselves we have invented money that is held in banks. As soon as we enter this system we are investors by default in slavery, child prostitution, armaments, pollution, pharmaceutical industries, deforestation, criminality, and so on – everything that money does.

The hypocrisies of being a person with spiritual intent, manifested at a physical level go on and on. We are tied into a system that exploits the very land we live on, the air we breathe the food we consume and the water we drink.

Refusing to own a car, use a fridge or buy certain cotton or even use money – who’s going to do that? Only a very few of us so far. As Oswald Chambers wrote, we may not change our ways “until the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of change”. By then we will be even further down the road of planetary chaos. The forces of conformity stop people from making the changes they know they need to make.

Thomas Berry is quoted in Resurgence magazine:

  • the glory of the human has become the devastation of the earth
  • the devastation of the earth appears to be our destiny
  • all human institutions, programs, activities and practices are to be judged by the ‘great work’ they will have to accomplish towards developing a viable human / earth relationship

If we continue to travel this path as a species there is really nothing we can do to avoid devastation of the planet. It’s happening already even though a few of us are accepting ultimate responsibility for our actions. But presently it seems that generally people won’t look, won’t change, and won’t do enough until its too late. Even if we all just stopped polluting now it would take another 50 years just to see the changes.

Given that we are in a situation that is likely to get worse – what actions can we take as individuals to protect ourselves from the environmental fallout of our species in self-destruction mode?

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

Stress and Anxiety

stress and anxiety
image courtesy of londoncounsellingdirectory.com

A culture motivated by speed and greed has brought more stress and anxiety to life. A dictionary definition of stress is:

A constraining or impelling force, effort or demand upon physical or mental energy”.

According to the Confederation of British Industries (C.B.I.) illness caused by stress has increased by 500% since the mid 1950’s. Current cultural conditions increase our stress, resulting in effects such as:

·    lack of predictability in life
·    lack of control over external events
·    lack of outlets for frustration

But stress is also an essential part of life. If there were no stress there would be no reaching for growth. There is a functional element to stress that helps us to grow and develop as individuals and a society. If we become overwhelmed by stress, without any outlet for the negative energy it can produce, for prolonged periods of time, then illness and disease will result.

Much of our stress in the modern world comes from ‘cognitive dissonance’ – a feeling that something is wrong but we can’t quite put a finger on what it is. It is defined in psychological terms as: the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioural decisions and attitude change. We know something has to change, that our culture has taken a turn that will result in its own demise, but are in denial or seem unable to do anything about it. This state of being creates a basis of anxiety.

It is how we cope with stressors such as this that determine how much they affect us physically. There is no doubt that for many of us the world is becoming a more complex place and this produces stress and its associated toxins which are part of eventual cell insult and disease if we cannot deal with them.

Our daily diet consists of more than what we eat, drink and breathe. We consume many thousands of messages every day from our culture. Images, conversation, music, TV, radio, newspapers, books and so on. Just once in a while it is a good idea to stand back and consider just what messages we are getting. Certainly mainstream media seems to provide a diet of violence and sensationalism and Western ‘news values’ prefer negative stories of drama, crisis and criminality to more positive or healthy views. Just what impact does the media you consume have on your own perception of the world?

For any consumers of ‘fed culture’ – TV, radio, news, magazines etc. the diet is mostly one of negativity, violence, fear, greed, speed and ‘celebrity’ – the state of personal fulfillment to which we are all supposed to aspire. The media exist for only one reason, to deliver us into the hands of advertisers who seek to manipulate our needs.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

Carcinogens and Toxins

toxins and carcinogensA carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes.

A toxin (from Ancient Greek: τοξικόν toxikon) is a poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms; synthetic toxicants created by artificial processes are thus excluded. The term was first used by organic chemist Ludwig Brieger (1849–1919).

Toxicity is said to be ‘at a safe level’ in many of the products of our culture but nobody looks at the total of toxins that we ingest as part of our daily life. Individually experts label them as safe, but nobody really knows the cumulative effects they have. Taken as a whole they weaken our immune systems and make our bodies work harder to stay healthy.

The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that 100% of human adipose tissue samples are laced with chlorinated solvents and heavy metals. That’s everyone, not just some of us.

The E.P.A. found styrene, dichiorobenzene (mothballs, household cleaners and deodorizers), xylene, benzene (found in paints and gasoline) and DDT which has been banned since 1972.

The five most toxic trace metals found in our bodies are lead, mercury, aluminium, cadmium and beryllium. These metals are suspected in at least 50% of all deaths in the US and many of the disabling diseases.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

Water pollution

water and healthModern domestic mains water contains chlorine and other additives put there to kill bacteria. These chemicals cause the formation of large molecular clusters and change the nature of water. Chlorine is a human toxin that has direct links to some serious health problems.

Chlorinated water contains organochlorides, cancer-causing compounds called mutagens. Research shows that drinking chlorinated water can double your risk of developing bladder cancer and more than 50,000 people develop this cancer every year. Other studies have linked mutagens to increased rates of colon and rectal cancer.

The world’s oceans that have coped for so long with the poisons of our culture are changing. Finally they are ‘full’ and our toxins are creating toxic
algal blooms, destroying marine the life that isn’t already fished out, killing coral and devastating marine environments. With the ongoing disaster of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, toxic radioactivity is being added to everything we take from the oceans and the rain they make on the land.

Water is the life-blood of our planet and we too are mostly made of water. Due to the poisoning of the land, all of our ground water is tainted and finding pure water is now a problem everywhere – for those who can find it!

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

Toxic Culture

toxic cultureWestern culture has much to be proud of. Its attainments are without comparison. But we are living on borrowed time because there is a serious flaw at the heart of our philosophy that has opened us all to dangers.

The contradictions implicit in a conspicuous consumer culture are evident to increasing numbers of people. The shortcomings of an economic system that uses its assets (the Earth’s resources) as income, and then messes its own doorstep with pollution, are becoming plainly visible.

Globally at the moment there are problems facing the survival of mankind. Diminishing natural resources and increasing populations who consume mean that we are already fighting over what’s left (ie oil, water, forest) and exporting many of our problems to the environment for our children to sort out. In effect our present global economy is stealing a future from our descendants.

Our investment systems have used the capital assets of our planet as if they were income since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Our whole system of investing for the future is based on extracting and exploiting the capital assets of the earth to create income, without any regard to the future. It is a house built on sand. Any accountant, in fact most four year olds can tell you that if you use finite assets as income, and then spend it, you’re going to end up with nothing. We are putting little back into our planet except for our waste materials. This is utterly exploitative at a deep level and has resulted in an environment and economy full of danger.

The way our culture relates to this planet is not sustainable. Many people have compared our culture to a cancer spreading on the face of the planet, eating away at its resources without replacing, acting only for itself without reference to other species of life. In this context the disease of cancer mirrors a crisis in our culture.

Cancer is a side effect of a culture that values unrestricted growth at any cost. The whole idea of ‘magic bullets’ and ‘a pill for every ill’ are symptomatic of a shallow, high tech, quick fix mentality of a dominator culture expecting the world to be as controllable as a laboratory.

Two hundred years ago 98% of people worked on the land in some way, living in farms and villages. Pretty soon half of the worlds population will be urbanites. The intrusion of humans into remote places, combined with the high speed of global travel combined with high density living in cities creates conditions that are ripe for microbes, viruses, bacteria and parasites to flourish amongst us. Modern conditions make us more susceptible to communicable diseases than we were just 50 years ago.

Biological enhancement of crops, growth hormones in milk and meat, mercury in our mouths, colorants and carcinogens in food are commonplace. The foot and mouth epidemic, B.S.E. in sheep and cattle, bird flu, S.A.R.S., nuclear radiation and the de-naturalisation of our food are examples of how common sense is abandoned to profit. The ‘Precautionary Principle’ is too often being overlooked in the rush of science.

The genetic modification of food for example is still largely untested and many of its results are open to interpretation. Scientific knowledge of the processes involved is still at an early stage.

Little is known about side effects, how gene function is controlled, and gene transfer into other organisms such as bacteria in the human gut. The British Medical Association (BMA) has said that the potential adverse effects have not been sufficiently investigated and strongly recommend caution.

The United Nations’ safety body, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, has warned that the failure to carry out full health checks on GM foods could lead to toxic reactions, allergies and increased resistance to antibiotics. Experience has shown that genetically modified and organic foods cannot exist together because genetically modified crops will cross-pollinate with any others.

Contamination of the whole food chain has already occurred within a few years. Biotechnology companies that are facing opposition in Europe and the US are targeting less well resourced countries in the hope that genetically modified organisms will spread irreversibly before public opinion has time to intervene.

The common Western diet has become one based on convenience foods full of poor quality cholesterol, life-clogging trans-fats and processed sugar. Convenience often outweighs any considerations of nutrition or authenticity.

In addition to dangers lurking in our food supply, there are others waiting in the environment. Daily cocktails of synthetic chemicals, poisons, radiation and other stressors surround us. We find radiation from mobile phones and microwaves or toxic car fumes and aluminium and parabens in antiperspirant, rat poison in toothpaste, the convenience of chemical sprays or heavy metals and chemical effluents in the water and food. Slowly the sheer levels of non-natural substances have built up and now our environment is crammed with toxins we often consume unwittingly.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…