Without Self-Realization, no Virtue is Genuine.

nisargadatta_maharaj

Do not pretend that you love others as yourself. Unless you have realized them as one with yourself, you cannot love them. Don’t pretend to be what you are not, don’t refuse to be what you are.  Your love of others is the result of self-knowledge, not its cause.

Without self-realization, no virtue is genuine. Where you know beyond all doubting that the same life flows through all that is and you are that life, you will love all naturally and spontaneously.

When you realize the depth and fullness of your love of yourself, you know that every living being and the entire universe are included in your affection.

But when you look at anything as separate from you, you cannot love it for you are afraid of it. Alienation causes fear and fear deepens alienation. It is a vicious circle. Only self-realization can break it. Go for it resolutely.

— Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Chikungunya Virus becomes International Threat

chikungunya

First identified in 1952, the Chikungunya virus, a mosquito born virus, is known for its crippling and contorting effects on its sufferers.  This virus had mostly isolated to parts of Africa and Asia but has spread widely since it has been monitored.  Now it’s found in North America, Europe, India, and beyond infecting millions.

Peru just reported its first locally acquired case of the virus.

We had previously wrote a blog post titled BBC Article on Herbal Remedies in Antigua that explored an article about some natural remedies for Chikungunya.

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What Does your Pee say about You?

Urine analysis has long been a part of the traditional health systems. Consider this interesting study:

A study on Tailabindu pariksha – An ancient Ayurvedic method of urine examination as a diagnostic and prognostic tool

The text of this study provides a good overview of the subtleties and nuances of Ayurvedic urine analysis.

From the Abstract:

Indian traditional medicine, Ayurveda has a great history. Researchers in India have tried to corroborate ancient wisdom with the modern scientific practices. Tailabindu pariksha is a diagnostic tool of urine examination developed by the medieval Ayurvedic scholars, and also throws a light on the prognosis of the disease condition. This study aims at using this ancient wisdom to diagnose the medical conditions and to study about their prognosis, and studying about how it can be applied to modern medical practice and its limitations. For the purpose of the study, 30 volunteers were divided into 3 groups. Group I consisting of healthy volunteers, group II of those patients who suffer from curable conditions and group III consisting of patients suffering from chronic diseases which can be regarded as incurable. The urine collection, oil drop instillation and evaluation, were all done according to the guidelines laid down in Ayurvedic practices. Upon the evaluation of the color, appearance, consistency and pattern of oil drop spreading in different patients of different groups, it could be seen that the data could be correlated to what has been provided in the literature in majority of the cases. In today’s modern medical practices, there is a plethora of urine diagnostic examinations available. These act as an added financial burden to the patients. In the midst of this, making use of Tailabindu pariksha for urine examination, will not only prove economical, but also is a time-tested and scientifically proven method. More in-depth studies on larger groups of patients, suffering from various diseases need to be done to standardize the procedure and make it scientifically more acceptable.

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New Air Pollution Study: Low-Levels appear to still Increase Mortality

air_pollution

A recently published study in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives has found that even when the air pollution levels were within the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) standards, increases in air pollution levels were associated with higher death rates.

From the study:

Conclusions: Using a mutually adjusted model, we estimated significant acute and chronic effects of PM2.5 exposures below current EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] standards. These findings suggest that improving air quality below current standards may benefit public health.

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Can you Love Someone you are Attached To?

love

If we are very honest with ourselves we will often find our relationships with people, romantic and otherwise, are based on what we get out of it.  We can quickly become attached to people and depend on them for our happiness and feel very distraught were they to be removed from our lives.

It’s easy to say attachment is normal, inevitable, and human.  But the deeper question here is can you really love someone when you’re attached to them?  If you depend on a person for your happiness it will inhibit the possibility of love.

Relationships can become like drugs.  You’re happy when you have those wonderful feelings, sad when you don’t, and you are constantly seeking a repetition of those experiences you enjoyed with the other person.

These questions won’t come up when people are enjoying each other sufficiently or when they are caught up in the strife and conflict that will inevitably surface.  These are difficult things to look at because one might have to face ugly facts like perhaps they have never really loved another without that love being corrupted by fear, dependence, and attachment.

We are human, and it’s not perfection or enlightenment that we are being measured against here.  I am not even proposing non-attachment as an ideal.  But certainly we must face the fact of what we are actually doing.  And thus the title of this post.

Can you have deep closeness with another person without it breeding attachment and dependence? It’s fine to enjoy whatever is in front of you but thought and the mind won’t leave you alone once those things you like are not in front of you.  We are frequently thinking about what we want or remembering past pleasures.  But if we could live so freely in the moment without thought disturbing us, perhaps then we would be closer to being imbued with the quality of love.

He who binds to himself a joy Does the winged life destroy; But he who kisses the joy as it flies Lives in eternity’s sun rise. — William Blake
Jiddu Krishnamurti was one of the first people I encountered who spoke with great depth on the subject of our relationships and attachments and about thought and what it does to us.  These following two quotes give a taste of what he speaks of:

 

Listen carefully. You want to be loved because you do not love; but the moment you love, it is finished, you are no longer inquiring whether or not somebody loves you. As long as you demand to be loved, there is no love in you; and if you feel no love, you are ugly, brutish, so why should you be loved? Without love you are a dead thing; and when the dead thing asks for love, it is still dead. Whereas, if your heart is full of love, then you never ask to be loved, you never put out your begging bowl for someone to fill it. It is only the empty who ask to be filled, and an empty heart can never be filled by running after gurus or seeking love in a hundred other ways.
And:

 

A mind that is seeking is not a passionate mind and to come upon love without seeking it is the only way to find it – to come upon it unknowingly and not as the result of any effort or experience. Such a love, you will find, is not of time; such a love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many. Like a flower that has perfume you can smell it or pass it by. That flower is for everybody and for the one who takes trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it with delight. Whether one is very near in the garden, or very far away, it is the same to the flower because it is full of that perfume and therefore it is sharing with everybody.

Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought. It is only the innocent mind which knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in the world which is not innocent. To find this extraordinary thing which man has sought endlessly through sacrifice, through worship, through relationship, through sex, through every form of pleasure and pain, is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end. Then love has no opposite, then love has no conflict.

You may ask, `If I find such a love, what happens to my wife, my children, my family? They must have security.’ When you put such a question you have never been outside the field of thought, the field of consciousness. When once you have been outside that field you will never ask such a question because then you will know what love is in which there is no thought and therefore no time. You may read this mesmerized and enchanted, but actually to go beyond thought and time – which means going beyond sorrow – is to be aware that there is a different dimension called love.

It’s a great challenge to be close to another but not dependent on them.  It takes constant alertness and a strong dedication to self-observation.  It takes an energy that is uncommon to be given to anything, unless there is immediate and obvious rewards.  But when one starts to see that love and goodness are not possible without this alert watchfulness, it will naturally start to increase.

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Sugar Consumption linked to Fatty Liver Disease

sugar

A recently published study in the Journal of Hepatology has found a link between sugar consumption (in the form of sugar-sweetened beverage) and fatty liver disease.  The same link was not found with diet-soda.

From the study:

In conclusion, we observed that regular sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was associated with greater risk of fatty liver disease, particularly in overweight and obese individuals, whereas diet soda intake was not associated with measures of fatty liver disease.

See:  Ma, J; Fox, CS; Jacques, PF; Speliotes, EK; Hoffmann, U; Smith, CE; Saltzman, E; and McKeown, NM. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage, Diet Soda, and Fatty Liver Disease in the Framingham Study Cohorts. Journal of Hepatology, June 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2015.03.032

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Unexpected: Men with Asthma may have better Prostate Cancer Outcomes

Take these results with caution as no cause and effective or protective factor has been established and this finding is based on an observational study.  But interesting nonetheless: John Hopkins Medicine: Men with Asthma Less Likely to Develop Lethal Prostate Cancer

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Adolescent Obesity linked to increased Bowel Cancer

obesity

A study recently published in the journal Gut, Adolescent body mass index and erythrocyte sedimentation rate in relation to colorectal cancer risk, links adolescent obesity with an increased colorectal cancer risk.  Specifically, a 2.08 and 2.38-fold higher increase was found based on weight levels.

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