Every published pundit revels in a scoop. We all love to boast: “You read it here, first.” Fact is, that’s hardly ever true. Sure, there have been plenty of times when this column featured issues and insights years in advance of the mainstream media. But it’s also true that there is nothing new about New Age.
The modern era of New Age could arguably date its renaissance to the decade following the tumultuous 1960s. After an explosion of psychedelics-fueled introspection and inner revelations, (and the realization that all the protests, chanting and activism wasn’t really changing the world like we thought it would,) the youth culture turned to some serious navel-gazing. Some of it was good; some a waste of time. That era spawned what many called New Age.
But looking at it more closely, there is nothing really novel about resurgent interest in historical cultures, spirituality and health. The wisdom of Yoda could be called a rehash of Zen. Herbal therapies that found their way to Walgreens by the year 2000 AD have been in use since before 2000 BC. Jesus was preaching that belief manifests healing far before the power of thought was recognized by modern medicine — or The Secret, for that matter. So, bottom line? At the core, don’t expect to really find anything new in this column. That said, tidbits and bytes often hit my computer screen before mainstream media. So here’s part of the news.
Oprah sighting in Iowa My sources tell me that Oprah was “in the house” last week in Fairfield, Iowa. Her private jet landed at the small regional airport there on Wednesday. She and her entourage were whisked away in a pair of sleek, black Chevy Suburbans, Secret Service-style.
Now what was the powerful media mogul doing in a rural Iowa town with of population of just over 9000? Winfrey, despite hers being the largest private jet seen in Fairfield, is not the first high-flyin’ jet-setting celeb to visit the small one-time farming community. Mike Love of Beach Boys fame, movie director David Lynch, singer Donovan, members of ZZ Top, Deepak Chopra and a host of others have flitted to Fairfield since the late 1970s. What draws them all is the presence of the Maharishi University of Management campus and the surrounding ayurvedically based community.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is the Indian guru who came to the West in the 1950s bringing a method of meditation known as Transcendental Meditation. He founded MUM in 1974 on the former campus of Parsons College. Since then, Fairfield has become ground zero for meditational activity using the TM method. The famous visitors to Fairfield are meditators who come for various programs and to meditate in one of the two Golden Domes that have been built on the campus.
I was told that during Oprah’s visit last week, she was admitted to the exclusive Golden Dome area to meditate with the TM elite. While there, her crew videotaped her sitting on a foam mat and meditating for about 20 minutes. She was reported to have learned TM a few months ago and in a video interview with Facebook, she revealed that she now requires her employees to meditate twice daily.
My Fairfield source said Oprah exclaimed, “How did you keep this quiet for so long? I will no longer keep it quiet.” Presumably that means Miss “O” will be touting the benefit of TM and the Fairfield experience on her television network any day now. The real question is, with all her New Age contacts and interests, how did Oprah miss it?
Sweet Surgeon General Warning? Americans are fat. Americans are getting cancer at phenomenal rates. Americans are getting most of their calories from sugars. Is there a link? And will high fructose corn syrup become the tobacco of the next decade? Researchers and the corn syrup industry disagree on some major points. One thing is certain: Americans eat a lot of the sweet stuff.
Though the industry maintains that HFCS is the same as sugar from other sources like beets or cane, researchers from UCLA have found that cancer cells metabolize fructose sugars differently from glucose and that fructose contributes to faster cancer growth. It’s pretty alarming news so if you practice the standard American diet, it might be of interest.
Sugar in the form of HFCS is ubiquitous. It’s in almost every processed food you can think of. Try a very simple experiment to convince yourself. Walk down the bread aisle of your normal supermarket and pick up various brands. See how far you have to go before you find a loaf that has no added HFCS. Go ahead. Try it. You’ll get the picture pretty fast. Americans are eating more sugars than ever, especially HFCS.
After the bread experiment you may find yourself wondering and looking at other foods spiked with HFCS. At the store you’ll find cereals, crackers, pickles, lunchmeat, pasta sauces, salad dressings and more. The list is seemingly endless. And fast foods? Forget it! They’re laced. Ketchup may be obvious but what about French fries, burger buns, salad croutons, potato salad, Cole slaw, applesauce, peanut butter, pancakes, fried chicken and more?
Americans love sugar and cancer cells do, too. What the scientists found was that pancreatic cancer cells (the type they used for their research,) prefer fructose. The research is pretty sobering.
From the full report: “…data indicate that the contribution of fructose to nucleic acid synthesis is considerably greater than glucose and that cancer cells preferentially use fructose via TKT-mediated metabolism to synthesize additional nucleic acids to facilitate increased proliferative capacity.” And, “…findings provide important insights into recent epidemiologic studies that have identified refined fructose as an independent risk factor for pancreatic cancer.” In English, that means that cancer cells prefer fructose to grow. Fructose is in nearly every processed food you can think of, including your soda pop, and what’s good for cancer cells isn’t so good for you.
Heartland Healing examines various alternative forms of healing. It is provided as a source of information, not as medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Access past columns at www.HeartlandHealing.com