Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dental Health Without Dentistry.

My understanding of oral health is holistic and multifactorial, but it is relatively simple to explain. The easiest approach is to look at tooth decay.

If one needs to go to a dentist for mechanical intervention, it implies to me that preventative measures have not been taken. It is wise to look at how to prevent tooth decay, but it feels good as well as being wise to look at how to give your body a really tip top healthy bacterial flora.

Tooth decay, I am led to believe, is caused by bacteria which eat the teeth surface. The mouth being full of bacteria, certain conditions give rise to the bacteria which eat the teeth. The two key conditions are

1. excess acidity ph balance in the mouth, combined with

2. a sucrose base to stimulate growth of the decay bacteria.

Consequently, several conditions suggest themselves. Generally the advice is to cease to eat sweets and sugary tasting foods, but I feel it is easier to phrase this notion in the positive sense: eat wholefoods and avoid all processed foods, and use herbs and spices for taste and for their antiseptic and antibacterial effect. The Italian herbs, and the Indian herbs which are mixed together for curry flavoring, are the commonest antiseptic combinations. Choose to eat garlic every few weeks for a fine overall antibiotic to keep the middle range of bacterias in balance.

Generally, when eating sugar, follow it with lots of liquid to dilute the sugar in the mouth. Water dilutes excess growths of bacteria, levelling the field for more stable diversity of flora.

Generally, the bacterial flora in the gut and skin is out of balance when tooth decay is present. Dry-brushing skin, using neti pots for the nose, and getting a nice cheap tongue cleaner are all ways to help. Fasting is another fantastic and powerful way to cultivate different bacteria in the body.

When you pass through polluted streets, breath through your nose rather than your mouth; your nose is a perfect air filter, cold air warmer, and detoxifier; in addition, the quality of the snot in the nose provides a brilliantly intelligent and ancient early warning signal of bacterial imbalance. All primates including humans are found to eat snot, and it is thought that consuming it might inoculate one against environmental bacteria, but in a smoggy polluted environment this instinct is probably unwise, and it is better to clean the nose and wash your hands while sitting on the toilet. Picking your nose in the toilet has the wonderful benefit of bringing a fresh diversity of bacteria to the nostril, allowing a great new stimulus to the resident flora, and it fits in nicely with the existing hand-washing ritual after using the toilet.

Brushing teeth with bicarb soda, which is strongly alkaline, gets rid of the acidic condition in the mouth that gives rise to the decay bacteria. However, my feeling/intuition is that excessive use of bicarb soda on the mouth creates more rather than less bacterial diversity than is healthy, so I seldom brush with it.

Many herbs and essential oils are beneficial and harmful to different bacteria combinations. Using a diversity of them sensitively and occasionally seems to be optimal, because it feels balanced.

So these are my suggestions of oral health and wellbeing. The single key change to create lifelong oral health is to simply cease to buy anything with sugar (or anything which has a word ending with “–ose” such as fructose or sucrose on the label), and to instead buy grains, beans, herbs, and legumes. Stevia seems like a decent sweetener.

Amazingly, immunologists have discovered in the last few years that the jaw has its own specialised immune system reponsonsible for healing and maintaining the mouth and gums. I don’t floss and I don’t brush with bicarb soda mainly because my gums tend to bleed afterwards and I don’t feel good about it. I especially like how my gums and lips feel when I drink lots and lots of clean purified water: they are soft, cool, and the tissues are not inflamed but relaxed.


Avoid all processed foods with sugar in them, and buy whole foods.

Drink lots of water, especially after eating sugar.

Brush with bicarb soda sometimes to balance acidity/ph balance in the mouth.

Keep the body’s marvellous bacterial flora balanced inside and out by eating natural antiseptic herbs, primarily the Italian and Indian herb combinations.

On the KLF's song America What Time is Love

I’m watching the KLF song: America What Time is love. I'd like to share a few thoughts.

First of all, this song is a part of a remarkably small musical genre: the song is genuine science fiction!

It’s explicitly set 1000 years after the discovery of the Americas, depicting a rediscovery by ectstatic black or perhaps an alternative universe.

That said, and to accurate, this song is a also a wise satire. The ironies are so thick they almost overwhelm the power of the song itself, which is really saying something. A few notably sublime ironies:

- The band, which is British, samples the Chorus of the song “Aquarius”, has the three Fates from Wagner campily gesturing towards the Manifest Destiny of the Americas.

- The song is powerfully revisionist: It is set on a boat where a black man is captaining.

- They set the boats afire like Cortez was said to and wade ashore.

A visit from the piping shrike

Today I woke up with a piping shrike in my kitchen. I soothingly spoke to him and he stopped flitting about. I shut the lounge and bedroom doors so that he wouldn't fly into those, then, hands in pockets, I slowly walked towards him on the window sill.

I was intending to open the window and let him fly free, but being so close to an elusive, intelligent, and ubiquitous shrike excited some primordial part of my psyche. Instead, I grabbed him. He began to scream with terror, his beak wide open as if unable to believe that some soft-spoken primate had grabbed him.

I set him free.

No doubt he knows me. I can't tell shrikes apart; they are regular visitors to my yard. But he will have a wild tale to relate to his flightmates now, and I have touched a shrike with my hands.

Romanticism and Rock

A rock musician who has not read Worthsworth’s preface to Lyrical Ballads, Shelley’s Defense of Poesy, and certain of John Keats letters to his friends and brothers (especially the letter on the power of negative capability), cannot be said to really get what rock music is about.

I have been talking to rock musicians lately about this, and I am appalled at their ignorance of their own tradition. Without these insights from romanticism there is no way a rock musician can reasonably innovate without most likely just ignorantly rehashing a romantic trope.

A rock musician ignorant of romanticism has no way of knowing where she has come from – how can she find a future in herself without knowing the name of the force which possesses her. For the power or force that flows through great rock music is no less than Romanticism itself.

And what is Romanticism? It is the power of daemonic phantasy to adorn, overcome, overpower, or transcend reason.

It is the power of the capital-a Artist.

Is it the daemonism (no not demonism: look the word up you doofae) the daemonism of inspiration past madness.

Romanticism is THE driving force of modernism. The desire to be free of the past that infuses Romanticism – a force which will deny even it’s own point of origin in order to feign a reckless libertinage over the wildly, truly liberating sound of the Rolling Stones and Beatles - is the sole source of avaunt garde rock.

The pretense of canonicism is heavy on rock music. We are a group, rock seem to say, of total individuals. But the result is like the mob in the Monty Python film Life of Brian when Brian tells the crowd to act individual and they all shout back in unision “Yes! We’re all individual.”

To be a really individual rock artist is to pay the price: conform to the reality of the past as a foundation for genuine innovation.

Romanticism is the soul of Rock. Ignore it at your peril.

My favorite sport

What are competitive sports on the social level but pressure valves for the primitive drives? And at work, when folk discuss these sports, what else would they be but primitive ways of guaging the degree of competitive quality in the personality, aiding and abetting office politics.

As a game I once invented the ideal sport. It was non-competitive, based on aesthetic merit, it had music and free movement…

“But that’s ballet…” my friend Ry James interrupted, laughing.

But I continued it would be participatory and constrained by rules too, and have multiple venues of expression at once…

“Oh,” he said, “a rave.”

Yes. Thankyou, Ry. My ideal sport is a rave. And what less competitive and more human zone than a ritualistic shared dance party?

On Arete, the Love of Excellence

Reading the classics infects one with, arete, the love of excellence.

Aurelius, Chapter Two, Paragraph 17:

“In the life of a man, his time is but a moment, his being an incessant flux, his senses a dim rushlight, his body a prey of worms, his soul an unquiet eddy, his fortune dark, and his fame doubtful. In short, all that is of the body is as coursing waters, all that is of the soul as dreams and vapours; life a warfare, a brief sojourning in an alien land; and after repute, oblivion.

Where, then, can man find the power to guide and guard his steps?

In one thing and one thing alone: Philosophy.

To be a philosopher is to keep unsullied and unscathed the divine spirit within him, so that it may transcend all pleasure and all pain, take nothing in hand without purpose and nothing falsely or with dissimulation, depend not upon another’s actions or inactions, accept each and every dispensation as coming from the same Source as itself – and last and chief, wait with a good grace for death, as no more than a simple dissolving of the elements whereof each living thing is composed. If those elements themselves take no harm from their ceaseless forming and re-forming, why look with mistrust upon the change and dissolution of the whole? It is but Nature’s way; and in the ways of nature there is no evil to be found.”

Or try this magnificent statement of faith in a rational universe:

“The whole divine economy is pervaded by Providence”. Paragraph 3.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First post after months away

It's been a number of months since I posted here. A private journal has sufficed. This blog is so full of stuff, sometimes it feels like I have nothing more to add to the junkyard of words present already.

I have a houseguest for two days. It's been one night already and about enough. I find it unpleasant to have someone around - I force myself to maintain the speaking and social parts of my personality just in case I am required to react to the presence of my houseguest... it's akin to low level anxiety, fight or flight. It's only two days, I tell myself. But I don't enjoy it much, nor does the cat; she wanders about indecisively, climbs onto the guest's lap then doesn't like the strange smell of the yucky deodorant he wears and hops off again then repeats.

My mum rang me with news of the family dramas this morning. My sister rang my cousin and unwittingly unleashed a torrent of melodrama from my mother's side of the family. I almost glow with indifference at the shenanigans of the maternal family.

I read the first Gaia book over last night. It's good. Lots of dialogue and ideas, and scant action, but still good. Improveable. The second Gaia book (of three) stands at ten thousand words length, and has considerable more action just in those few pages. I guess I was bored so I departed from the plan a little. I was stalled trying to grok the kind of everyday life the terrorist bad guys lived, until I realized they live like anyone who has free electricity and water and housing - any damn way they wish to live. That kind of radical self-determining liberty is a key aspect of the Gaia worldview: what if an abundant economy, personal liberty, potentially limitless control over nature and human nature all emerge in the future - what kind of world problems and opportunities have we got then?

It's interesting work and I'm plodding a bit. But it's nevertheless interesting


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