|Editorial Issue 142|
The notion that the individual, i.e. you or I, can make a difference to the world, has become familiar, yet sacred within the spiritual as well as the broader mainstream world. This is what we are taught as children, within our families and schools, this is what the media inculcates to us through numerous charity appeals: cancer patients raising money, families raising money for crusades against miscarriages of justice, or closure of hospitals, or aid to developing impoverished countries. The strength of the individual is the foundation of charities, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and organizations too numerous to list.
In a parallel world to that of the power of the individual exists the influence of the powerful, the wealthy and the mighty – the multinational corporations, governments corrupt, repressive, even democratic, military forces, world organizations and courts, including the UN, EU, World Bank, organizations such as CODEX. In this world of the groups, elites, cabals, the individual may feel powerless, even worthless and disposable.
I have certainly felt the truth of both the above parallel worlds and have dived wholeheartedly into both realities during various stages and campaigns during my life. I have sincerely committed to many spiritual and philosophical tenets of the individual, and practised meditation, affirmations, and participated in numerous personal development and psychotherapeutic courses over long periods.
I have also felt utterly powerless and despondent in the face of injustices, ignorant and horrendous acts of military actions, torture and genocides undertaken throughout the world, by numerous governments and armies that don’t pay attention to my beliefs and wishes. Professionally, I feel that despite the massive amount of research and clinical evidence which has been published internationally and in publications including PH, the medical profession and research establishment ignores much of the evidence pertaining to Integrated Medicine and also to Nutrition and Cancer.
The latest Edition of World Cancer Research Fund, all 537 pages, certainly confirms much about healthy diet that those in the Natural Foods and Complementary Medicine communities have known for decades, namely that excessive sugar, fat, processed meats, alcohol and tobacco are significant factors in cancer. It has been known for decades that a healthy diet could prevent 30% of cancers. Although I am still wading through this massive tome, I do despair that the media’s draconian presentation of the conclusions, namely that people give up eating meat, don’t drink alcohol or sugary drinks, become and stay thin, are unrealistic for the majority of people in our culture who eat mainly processed foods, and thus the findings will be dismissed as yet another food scare.
Which of the above is the reality of our world? Is it the powerful individual or the mighty organizations?
In my heart I feel that even a single individual can make a huge contribution to many lives; witness individuals including Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Kings, Queens, great artists, playwrights, scientists and architects and their impact upon ancient and modern civilizations. Another part of me, the common-sense, cynical and analytical part, reckons that the powers that be don’t give a damn for the individual. And thus the various parts of me have their own opinions, as they are so entitled.
Recently I have received notification that one excellent, long-standing publication – Green Files – has ceased publication due to the Editor’s retirement and her partner’s illness, and that another long-standing publication – Breathe Magazine – will only produce 3 more issues funded by the Publisher in the hope of increasing the advertising and subscriptions revenue to enable it to continue publishing.
The articles in this issue are testament to the enormous potential of the individual in all areas of endeavour, whether in the emotion, psychotherapeutic, naturopathic, nutritional or bodywork spheres of natural medicine. Without the individual, there is nothing.
So I guess the answer to my internal dialogue is to follow our heart, keep our objectives strong and not to be consumed by the greed and horror of outside forces.
Sadly, Christopher Pilkington, wife of Pat Pilkington, co-founder of Bristol Cancer Help Centre, now Penny Brohn Cancer Care has died aged 84. Please see the Obituary page 45.
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