Empty Deception

I recently saw the Pinterest boards of a woman who I believe is the victim of multiple deceptions.  What ‘s interesting about it is that she, and many others like her, believe sincerely that they are the enlightened ones.  She undoubtedly feels that her acceptance of the “Flat Earth Theory”, “The Law of Attraction”, and her rejection of traditional values make her different and special.  She is one of the few who KNOW.

I feel for her because I’m the type of person who falls for those kinds of things.  I’ve tried a lot of strange health fads and entertained a lot of crazy ideas.  But as I’ve grown older I’ve begun to realize that I’ve come full circle.  I started my spiritual life as a child who had a deep connection to my God, Jehovah.  I had no doubt at all that he is the creator and life giver.  I was not distracted by human philosophy or plagued by any existential crisis.  In my childish wisdom, I just knew with every fiber of my being who God is, who I was, and what I was meant to do in this world.  I realize now that I was right.

I’m sure I’ve always known that deep in my heart.  But over the course of my adult life the surface of the waters of my intellect have been stirred and churned by things that I have heard and read that were in opposition to what I knew as a child.  This has always created a lot of turmoil.  Cognitive dissonance is the psychological term for it, I believe.  But I believe that the kind of cognitive dissonance that we experience when we learn a truth that is opposed to what we had previously believed is different from the type of dissonance that occurs when we encounter a lie that is in opposition to the truth.  The first is uncomfortable but exciting.  The second just makes you feel ill.

I suspect that some of the more astute will immediately point out that the above logic is flawed.  It’s based on subjective emotion rather than evidence and reason.  That’s true.  But I have also examined the hard evidence for what I believe to be true, and the closer I look, the more convinced I become.  That’s why I’ve come full circle.  The rational, skeptical side of me is what caused all the turmoil that I’ve experienced as an adult .  I had doubts.  But the closer I examined those doubts the more I realized that all the evidence was pointed toward one conclusion: there absolutely is a super-intelligent being who is responsible for creating the universe, the Holy Scriptures could not possibly have been the product of men uninfluenced by the supernatural, and the creator of the universe and author of those scriptures loves me very much.  This is not blind faith.  It is faith based on evidence.  My intuition has been right all along.

Some evidence:

https://www.jw.org/en/publications/books/?contentLanguageFilter=en&pubFilter=lf&sortBy=1

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102015083#h=1:0-51:222

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2012482#h=6:0-10:289

https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/science-and-the-bible/

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102015282#h=10:0-13:409

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102005132?q=fulfilled+prophecy&p=par

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2008722?q=fulfilled+prophecy&p=par

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2001121

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/102002403?q=science+and+the+bible&p=par

https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2009808#h=13:74-13:604

-And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So if there’s all this evidence that has been so convincing, how in the world could I have wavered?  Is it really that easy to be set off balance?

I believe that my curiosity goes beyond the level that most people experience.  My mind is constantly probing, questioning.  A favorite maxim of atheists and skeptics is “question everything”.  And I do.  I’m always testing the foundations of my beliefs for soundness.  The problems come when I spend inordinate amounts of time reading human philosophy and forget to spend even more time reading scripture as a counter balance.  The apostle Paul of the bible knew the dangers this would present, for he warned us:

Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ.   -Colossians 2:8

If these things were not convincing, we would not have needed a warning.

A life lived in truth is the best kind of life.  But I think many of us sense that we are surrounded by deception.  This is becoming more and more true.  People are waking up.  But often they are waking up to more lies.  Lies to replace other lies.

Sometimes the truth has been right under our noses all along.  But we cannot learn what we refuse to see.

 

 

 

Not wearing any perfume?

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My raw throat is closing, my heart racing, and my head fuzzy from the fumes emanating from my dear friend.  She knows I’m very sensitive to chemicals.

“I stopped wearing perfume a long time ago after I found out that it makes some people sick,” she says.

What do I say?

What I’m thinking is this:

The fragrance in your laundry products is just as toxic as any perfume you would spray on.  In fact it can be even more problematic because there is no way to control the amount of fragrance that ends up on your clothes and it is very difficult to ever get it to wash out.  All of your clothes and linens are now drenched in it, so there is no way for you to decide to be “fragrance free” for a day so you can come visit me without making me ill.  The companies that sell laundry products have been progressively ramping up the amounts of fragrance in their products because they know that it is not how well the product works that sells it, but how it smells.  As a result, the products we have now are far more toxic and irritating than they were in the past.  But this has gone practically unnoticed by people like you because you have become so accustomed to living in a cloud of chemical fumes that your sense of smell has become dulled.  So you can’t tell that at this very moment your clothes are outgassing enormous amounts of the sick-making fragrance that you think you are not wearing.  And now I’m sick.

What I say is: “Oh well, everything makes me sick now.  Don’t worry about it.”

Because I love my friend.

But the truth is that my friend is putting herself at risk.  Just because she does not have obvious symptoms as soon as she smells laundry detergent or other chemicals does not mean they are not affecting her.  She has chronic health problems that could very well be related to the toxic personal care and cleaning products that she uses, but she will never be able to discern that this is the case unless she purges her home of all toxic chemicals so that she knows how it feels to breathe clean air.

So how loving is it of me to avoid telling the truth?  I avoid it to keep the peace.  But meanwhile my friends suffer and I suffer.  So here it is.  The truth:

Laundry detergent and fabric softener is not harmless.  Neither is anything else that has chemical fragrance added to it.  You may not have sprayed perfume on this morning, but that lotion on your hands is pungent.  And your hairspray even more so.  Your fabric softener-impregnated clothes compete with your lotion and your hairspray to create a toxic soup that makes me choke.   And it’s terrible for you too.  Now you know.

Next comes the inevitable question: then what can I use?   Everything has fragrance.  Well no, not everything.  Most things.  Yes, it’s hard at first to switch to a more natural and non-toxic lifestyle, but it can be done.  And once you’ve got your routine down, it becomes second nature.  Following are some links to guides on how to choose healthier products:

Environmental Working Group’s consumer guides:  consumer guides

Debra Lynn Dadd’s list:  Debra’s list

Wellness Mama’s tips and recipes for a non-toxic home:  Wellness Mama

 

 

 

Linking MCS and Autism

Whenever I hear that a friend is having a new baby, I’m happy for them. But I also cringe, knowing that the baby will probably be exposed to large amounts of toxicants in things like new paint and carpet in the nursery, scented laundry and personal care products, and cleaning chemicals. Here are some good, practical suggestions on how to reduce your baby’s chemical exposures and prevent illness.

John Molot

autism_jigsaw

Young women need to listen to the canaries

I’m in my 60s now, ten years into my second marriage, and my wife and I have six children between us. We are at a stage in life when our children are having babies and our friends and relatives of the same age are also becoming grandparents.  When we hear the exciting news – that we’re expecting a new grandchild – the combined feeling of joy and excitement is hard to describe, which helps to suppress the unspeakable worry; that the baby might be born with less than good health. And we have good reason for concern, because developmental disorders now affect one in six children.

Conditions like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affect almost 2% of children, which is 8 times higher than in the 90’s. Look at the following graph. What’s going on?

Autism-Prevalence-Since-2000

Some people blame the increase in ASD…

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Can We?

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It is a horrible fact that we can read in the daily paper, without interrupting our breakfast, numerical reckonings of death and destruction that ought to break our hearts or scare us out of our wits.  This brings us to an entirely practical question: Can we–and if we can, how can we–make actual in our minds the sometimes urgent things we say we know?  This obviously can not be accomplished by a technological breakthrough, nor can it be accomplished by a big thought.  Perhaps it cannot be accomplished at all. – Wendell Berry, The Jefferson Lecture

So can we?  Who really can wrap their heads around the collective and massive agony of a planet gone mad?  And even if we could, would we be capable of the herculean effort that it would require to correct the situation?  Do we even know how?  And even if we did, how many people would care enough?

And is it even up to us?  The Bible says that it isn’t:

I well know, O Jehovah, that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step. – Jeremiah 10:23

So what does God really expect of us?  Do we just stand by and watch as the world goes up in smoke?

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”+37  He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah* your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul* and with your whole mind.’+ 38  This is the greatest and first commandment. 39  The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’+ 40  On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”+ – Matthew 22: 36-40

So, although God promises to step in and handle the things that we cannot fix on our own, he has always expected people to show love.  Most of what destroys and hurts people and other living beings is behavior that is the opposite of love.  We can, as Gandhi so famously said, “be the change” we wish to see in the world as we wait patiently for God’s intervention.

Why are we unable to stop the destruction?

Will Man Ruin the Earth Beyond Repair?

Simplicity of Wellness

Johann Hari’s Take on Addiction – It’s Not What you May Think

I want to make clear that, although the issue of drug abuse is  highly politicized, I do not mean to take a stance on the drug war by posting this article.  What interests me about it is Mr. Hari’s very interesting opinion on what actually causes addiction.  There seems to be quite a lot of evidence to suggest that it’s not what most of us have been taught to believe it is.  Yes, addictive substances can be dangerous, without a doubt.  But what makes the difference between the strung out addict who has repeatedly overdosed and the user who doesn’t seem to have been harmed, and even seems to be able to quit at will?  It may be as simple as this: connection.

Although I believe that genetics and nutrition also play a large role, I also believe that Johann Hari makes a very good point.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html