Issue 19 Editorial

It is Biophile’s 3rd birthday and we are celebrating and giving thanks. From the beginning, Biophile has had a life of it own and we just go with the flow, doing our best to avoid the rocks and stay in our boat, as we sail down the river. It has been such a magnificent vehicle for my personal growth, and I know Steve feels the same, and it has opened up so many wonderful and amazing avenues for us. So… thank you Biophile, and Happy Birthday!

The festive season is upon us and while this is mostly a joyful time with friends and family it is also a time to rest and to reflect. How many of us really do rest and reflect and what are we reflecting about? It often seems that most people are so caught up in the social whirl that after they get back from ‘holiday’…, that is actually obviously meant to be ‘holy day’, they need a rest!

Usually it has been a time of extreme excess. Excess alcohol, food, and spending… nothing holy about these, and please don’t think that I have not been down this road, as I have, and I did it as well as anybody else! Quite a few years ago however, I decided that I no longer wanted to drink alcohol. I never felt good the next day and it interfered with my spiritual work and my philosophy of ‘harmlessness’. How can I possibly embrace harmlessness, if I am harming my body, the planet and often other people as it opens the doors to aggression and abuse?

Giving up drinking has been one of the most liberating things I have done, I just LOVE being a non-drinker. It has put me totally off going to social events, which are frequented by ‘the drinkers’, as they just don’t get it. I am a strange phenomenon! “Aw …come on” …they say, often in their drunken slur, “Just one”! As I said before, I have done my fair share of drinking so I can speak from experience, but the thought of putting that poison into my precious body now, is ludicrous. What on earth for? And what is so amazing it that I have MUCH more fun now and laugh much more than any time during my drinking career, and I wake up feeling happy, connected and healthy.

What is so extraordinary is that our western culture has made the whole alcohol story ‘acceptable’! You very rarely go to the movies or read a magazine without being told that it is…. cool, sexy, will help you become attractive to the opposite sex, will enhance your chances of success in most areas of your life, and all the other lies and nonsense out there about alcohol.

Many of our beautiful mountains and low-lying areas here in the Western Cape are covered with vines, and it is considered an exciting outing to go look at the ‘rows and rows of the same’, that were once as nature made it and teeming with life! Some poor people even devote their entire working lives investing in the old or rare stuff or studying it and they spend many hours tasting it to tell whether is it dry, sweet, fruity, woody or whatever else and whether it will go with a dead little lamb, a wild buck or a fancy sweet dish etc.

I think we have lost the plot. I sometimes feel so incensed and helpless as I see the vines creeping higher and higher up the mountain as it is cleared of its beautiful natural fynbos, home to so many animals, birds and insects only for more and more monoculture growing of grapes, that will be sprayed and fed with poisons for the sake of greed, and do nothing other than distract people from their inner life, often causing so much violence and harm and poisoning our bodies at the same time!

According to The Lancet Medical Journal, March 2007, drawn up by a team of highly respected experts led by Professor David Nutt, from the University of Bristol, and Professor Colin Blakemore, chief executive of the Medical Research Council, “Alcohol is ranked much more harmful than the Class A drug ecstasy in a controversial new classification system proposed by a team of leading scientists”!

So why do we do it? I can remember a few reasons why I did! Firstly, because every one else was doing it and it used to make me feel more ‘normal’ in the pack, and secondly, it often put me in a space that I could talk more freely and behave in ways that I would not have done if I had been thinking and caring about myself and others. I had not really thought about it on any deep level and nobody had told me that it was actually really poisonous.

So maybe this is extreme, and you could say the odd whiskey or beer or glass of wine will do no harm, and it may not, but it may. It may be come a habit and it will certainly affect your liver as it is a poison and all poisons have to be eliminated, but it may lead to something much worse. But much more important is why do we feel the need to drink alcohol or take any mind altering substance at all?

My feeling on this is that we are really not connected to our inner world. We are escaping from the work that has to be done to reach that state of bliss and connection to the divine inside and outside ourselves, as it is hard work and requires discipline and dedication 24/7. There are no short cuts, and the actual living of it every minute and second, conscious of what we think, say, how we say it, shop, eat, heal ourselves and so on, is the key to happiness and that state of bliss we are all seeking, although some of us don’t know it yet.

The list is all and everything. The wonderful thing I find is that the more I practice being kind considerate the more this reflects back in my life. There are literally millions of books out there that can help people on their path, but the TV needs to go off and other distractions forgotten and the work needs to be done, the self study started and the ways adopted minute by minute until they are what we are … fully ensconced and unmovable. What a wonderful thought!

We at Biophile sincerely wish all our readers a happy, healthy, connected and peaceful 2008.