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Posts Tagged ‘nitrogen’

NO d’oh

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005

The Earth

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

Last month’s essay (Time for a Change of Heart?) suggested that there may be a single underlying factor at work in the global epidemic of cardiovascular disease (and in many types of cancer and a whole range of modern “syndrome”-type conditions into the bargain). Not only do compounds of nitrogen have a very specific affinity for the cardiovascular system (they’ve been used to treat these conditions for over 100 years), but the patterns, spread and incidence of the disease worldwide correlate very closely to the extent and manner in which humankind has gone about disrupting the global nitrogen cycle. We are presently estimated to be fixingtwice as much nitrogen into material form as can cycle back into the atmosphere again through the normal functioning of the biosphere. That’s a 100% increase on the input side of the equation.

To even imagine we could blithely mess about with the balance of the global ecosystem to this extent without getting into this kind of trouble seems not only childishly naïve but quite hopelessly stupid. Few, if any, complex biofeedback systems that we’ve studied can tolerate that kind of latitude without serious consequences, so it doesn’t take any great genius to extrapolate that to the global level. (D’oh …!)

What we now appear to be getting as a result of our actions – at least 17 million deaths per annum – is exactly what First Nation peoples have been warning us about for a long time now: “If we fail to [address environmental deterioration] then Mother Earth will cleanse herself of the offending organism that is killing her. This is our teachings.” (Mi’kmaq Warrior Chief and Sacred Peace Pipe Carrier Sulian Stone Eagle Herney in his statement to the 1994 public enquiry into the then proposed superquarry at Mount Roineabhal in Harris.)

It seems quite incongruous really. Even ironic. In the wake of any disaster – including natural disasters like the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean – there are invariably knee-jerk calls for massive investment in all manner of early warning systems. Yet here we have an early warning system which is functioning perfectly and who’s klaxons have been blaring up and down the corridors of every doctor’s surgery and hospital across the West for the last 60-odd years. And what are we doing about it? We’ve so inured ourselves to the cacophony that we’ve come to accept it as a “normal” part of everyday death.

Is it that it’s simply too big for our heads to grasp or our hearts to hold? We can experience tidal waves of emotion in the wake of tsunamis which carry off little more than 1% of the annual mortality from cardiovascular disease, while the steady blinking out of all those individual lights, so often prematurely, year in, year out, nearly 2,000 every hour, leaves us largely unaffected. Yet in terms of numbers, it’s the equivalent of a tsunami every 5 days!

Is it a case of burying our heads in the sand and hoping it’ll just go away or that nobody will notice? We don’t much like the idea that we might be responsible for the things that go wrong with us, do we? We shy away from that one. Get quite angry about it even. No! It’s got to be some nasty vicious germ-type thing that’s got it in for us. Nothing to do with us, oh no … What us? Stupid? Impossible!

Or is it that we’ve made this way of death a way of life for too many? Global agricultural practices, agribusiness, food supply, processing, distribution, retailing; the tobacco industry, doctors, nurses, hospitals, care-homes, the pharmaceutical industry, the research community, the health-and-fitness industry, other industries that ride on the back of it all – finance, insurance, legal; the bureaucracy that ties it all up in knots, and many more besides … the global disruption of the nitrogen cycle is big business and there’s a lot invested in keeping it that way. Not the sort of thing you can unwind overnight.

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
Eric Hoffer

Of course you could argue that we’ve all got to die from something some day. And against the background of an unprecedented explosion in human numbers – the global population is estimated to have quadrupled in the last century, having taken the previous nineteen to multiply ten-fold – perhaps it’s just as well something’s keeping us in check. Trying to grasp the enormity of the global nitrogen cycle or the scale of the CVD epidemic might be beyond us, but big though they might be, they’re still only a symptom of something far bigger, far more insidious, far more deeply destructive. What is heart failure on a global scale if not failure of heart on a global scale? A failure of compassion, of empathy, of the understanding necessary to live in harmony with our environment.

And if, in our failure of heart, we are behaving like a cancer in the body of the Earth, no small wonder that so many of us are dying of that as well. As above, so below.

Yet it’s only taken a generation or so for this particular twisted bloom to flower, even if its roots wriggle way back into the seeds of time. Can we nip the rest of the Bush in the bud? As Stone Eagle said, “It is my firm belief that we, of this generation, have no hope in solving the environmental deterioration that is ongoing as we speak. However, I also have firm convictions that we of this generation, may be able to slow down the destruction of our Mother Earth enough so that the next generation that will be replacing our leaders will find the solutions and the cure for Mother Earth.”

Sulian 'Stone Eagle' Herney

“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
James Thurber



Oh NO

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE’S NOW A FULL ARTICLE ON THIS SUBJECT IN THE GENERAL ESSAYS SECTION OF THE SITE.

In the wake of a conversation about housing developments, of all things, I found myself back in Jan Scholten’s matrix of the Periodic Table of Elements. (See previous post.)

In dream symbolism the house is frequently taken as a representation of the self. Of course, that symbolism is no less valid in waking life as well. Our houses are very much an external representation of ourselves. So looking at trends in housing development and the property/real estate markets in various countries can provide quite a nice symbolic illustration of the current generalised state of the national psyche. For instance, in countries where ownership of your home is important and highly valued both psychologically and financially (such as in Britain and the US), then the right to self-ownership, self-determination, is similarly highly valued.

The subject came up in conversation because I was talking to an American friend about the extent to which property values, and particularly land values, have skyrocketed in the area where I live in the last year or so. She mentioned that the same thing was going on her side of the Pond. “Here, they are building like crazy – many are going for new houses, though in these housing developments that are generally ug-ly! Many McMansions. Big houses, way overpriced, poorly made, and way too close together.” Which is exactly the situation here in Britain too. Here “self-build” is all the rage. The use of those words in this context is interesting, because what “self-build” seems to involve in many cases is buying your plot of land and then picking a house out of a catalogue and having someone else build it for you. Perhaps I’m being pedantic here, but that doesn’t quite gel with what “self-build” says to me.

It seems all a bit reminiscent of the whole self-improvement/ self-development arena which has so many on the treadmill of course after course in this, that and the next thing just because everyone else is doing  it. And the lifestyle gurus say it’s “good for you”, so it must be, eh? And of course it’s what all the celebs are into, isn’t it? It’s fashionable. Yet all too often these courses are poorly built, over-priced, lack substance, and involve someone else doing most of it for you. They’re about as much to do with self-build as all these new houses.

And once you’ve got your house, then there’s the question of what you do with it. Wheel in the TV makeover teams. The interior designers, the landscape designers …. And while they’re doing that, why not bring in a wardrobe consultant, a life coach, a hair stylist, a makeup artist and get yourself made over too (possibly in more ways than you imagined). Celebrity! Luxury! Affluence! Abundance! We can’t get enough of it. And if we can’t get it for ourselves then we can get it vicariously through the innumerable TV shows devoted to the subject. There’s at least one a day. (Of course it all looks very nice, but is it you? Isn’t it all just a bit hollow and empty? A sham? Is it any accident that all the winning contestants from Big Brother and its clones seem to have just one quality in common? Authenticity. Whoever they are, they’re genuine, they’re themselves: which is ultimately the one saving grace of these programmes … if we can at least still recognise and appreciate that quality, then there’s hope for the human race.)

What do these photographs all have in common? Read on to find out.

Luxury housing

McMansions

Road rage

Road rage

Obesity

McMansions

Nitrate fertilisers

Chemical fertilisers

Beef production

McMillions

Heart disease

Heart disease

Coming back to the trends in our housing, we then have the tendency to expansion, bloating, over-inflation. An interesting development, occuring as it does alongside a similar over-inflation of ego, of self-centredness. Yet that over-inflation is fragile. It’s disproportionate. It needs protection, padding, insulation. So our houses all huddle together and we pile the fat on our bodies. Our cars – similarly ego extensions – are getting bigger and acquiring more padding and insulation between their inner and outer skins. (Compare today’s Mini Coopers with the originals.) We’re getting more aggressive (particularly in our cars), and more explosive.

Yet despite all this abundance, this over-inflation, this aggression, we’re big on victim mentality. We’re perpetually hard done by. It’s always someone else’s fault. The world is full of abusers. It’s not fair. And on and on. Moaning, complaining (though rarely to the people likely to make any difference).

Anyone familiar with Jan Scholten’s system may be recognising the themes of the two elements coming into view here. Nitrogen and Oxygen.

Nitrogen and Oxygen both belong to the Carbon series which focuses on the individual, the ego, I, self-worth, value, meaning, ethics, body, life, vitality, lust, possessions, the life-stage of the child. The stages they represent are loss and decay, giving the specific elemental themes of:

Nitrogen: assertiveness, expansion, enthusiasm, enjoyment, forgiving/unforgiving, tension and relaxation, hypochondria

Oxygen: egotism, demanding, used/abused, indignation, victim, beggar, debt, decomposition

It’s interesting too to look at the nature of substances that combine these two elements. Take Nitrous oxide. N2O. Laughing gas. Is it any accident that we laugh most frequently at the expense of other’s egos, and that popular humour in recent years has revolved around that to a greater and greater extent? Or that such a substance should also be used to give an enormous power boost to car engines? Or that it has anaesthetic properties? Or confers a high degree of suggestibility?

Then there are the nitrates (NO3) which combine the qualities of these two elements with whatever other element they are conjoined with. Widely used as fertilisers. And in explosives.

And is it at all surprising that we should be this way if, with every breath we take, we’re reinforcing the imprint of those elements? Perhaps not. Yet the atmospheric proportions of nitrogen and oxygen have been pretty constant throughout the existence of the human race. Why should these qualities be on the increase? Could it have anything to do with all the nitrates used as fertilisers? With high protein diets (nitrogen being an essential component of amino acids, the building blocks of protein)?

According to a 1999 report from the World Resources Institute, Critical Consumption Trends and Implications; Degrading Earth’s Ecosystems, “World cereal consumption has more than doubled in the last 30 years, while meat consumption has tripled since 1961 and is increasing at a linear rate. The agricultural success story is that rising demand has been met; more people are now better fed than they were a generation ago. One of the many environmental consequences, only now becoming clear, is significant disruption of the global nitrogen cycle. In the past half century, the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers world-wide has increased more than ninefold, and the number of livestock has more than doubled since 1960. Fertilizers and animal manures have increased and concentrated, respectively, the amount of nitrogen entering soils, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Human activity has actually doubled the natural annual rate of nitrogen fixation, and by far the largest single cause is agriculture.”

The rest of this report is well worth a read. It’s the current Article of the Moment.

If making a connection between the changes in the national psyche over the last few decades and increases in nitrate consumption is valid, we should be able to find equally close correlations between the pathology of the nitrates and the pathology of the nation. The homeopathic remedies prepared from nitrates (the nitricums) should be able to show us very clearly what to expect. The main sphere of pathology of the nitricum remedies is – surprise, surprise – cardiovascular disease. The number one killer * in both the US and UK (and most of the developed world, come to that). The cause of death of one in three of us on average. Arteriosclerosis, angina, claudication, palpitations, arrhythmias, cerebral vascular disease and haemorrhage … cerebral vascular disease? Oh yes, that’s the number two cause of death throughout most of the developed world. Obesity, which is reaching epidemic proportions in the US and rapidly increasing in the UK. The nitricums also have affinity for the skin – red patches, allergies. Congestive conditions. Lung complaints. Tuberculosis. Tiredness. Liver and kidney problems.

Seems we might be paying a very high price for our enjoyment of the good life. Perhaps rather higher than we thought …

[* page 17, table 1339]



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Thanks to the current insanity revolving around homeopathy in this country, in both media and blogosphere, it's become necessary to insult your intelligence by explicitly drawing your attention to the obvious fact that any views or advice in this weblog/website are, unless stated otherwise, the opinions of the author alone and should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you choose to take anything from here that might be construed as advice, you do so entirely under your own recognisance and responsibility.

smeddum.net - Blog: Confessions of a Serial Prover. Weblog on homeopathy, health and related subjects by homeopathic practitioner Wendy Howard