Category Archives: Medicine

The Pointlessness of Medicinal Marijuana

Banning cannabis just makes it even more desirable.

Some say that using cannabis has medicinal benefits.  And that using a little weed never hurt anyone.  All I know is that regularly using cannabis will put you on a slippery slope to misery, degradation, and death.

The US Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), has not approved marijuana for medicinal use, although a large number of doctors and their patients swear by its effectiveness and positive health benefits.  Which is utterly delusional because a placebo is just about as effective as cannabis when it comes to relieving the worst symptoms of most illnesses.   However, people still take medicinal marijuana to obtain relief from the more unpleasant symptoms of their illness ~ and not just to get high.  However, medicinal marijuana will still give you a rush and get you high.

Cannabis in my view is being deliberately oversold as a medication, deliberately so by people whose primary objective is drug legalisation.  Nations should be cautious and should not be seduced by extravagant and unscientific claims by noisy lobbyists.  ~  David Raynes

This inevitable drug rush is because marijuana’s healing properties come from its high cannabidoil (CBD) content and critical levels of medical terpenes, flavonoids, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  CBD, won’t get you high, but THC certainly will.  Actually, there are more than 100 cannabinoids in marijuana ~ doctors and scientists don’t know what effect some of these potent chemicals have on the human brain and body.

Nevertheless, medicinal marijuana does show some slightly positive effects in treating certain psychological problems, and the pain from illness such as degenerative neurological disorders.  Allegedly, medicinal marijuana helps ease pain, nausea and loss of appetite in people with HIV and cancer, and it just might help people with epilepsy or multiple sclerosis.  It’s the CBD and THC that has these beneficial effects.

What THC does is make your brain release dopamine ~ the pleasure chemical, and to be honest, that’s why everyone uses pot, even the people who take it for ‘medicinal’ reasons.  You will get high if you take cannabis for any reason ~ you will feel more relaxed, happier, and probably sleepy.  You may also have hallucinations, delusions, short term memory loss, paranoia ~ and if you have pneumonia or bronchitis those illnesses will suddenly get a lot worse.

Cannabis does more harm than good, even when taken for medical reasons.  New medical guidelines have been issued in Canada, (where cannabis is legal), warning that the negative effects of the weed far outweigh the minor benefits it has for most illnesses.  The Canadian Family Physician journal states that in the few conditions where cannabis is helpful the effects are only marginally better than a placebo.

This Canadian guidance states that there is little evidence that cannabis could help many patients at all, and that the downsides far exceed the potential benefits.

Marijuana very strong stuff, especially the more potent types grown now, and its effects last a very long time.  You will still be suffering from the after-effects of using pot four weeks later.  Pot is addictive, and it’s also a gateway drug to worse things such as cocaine and heroin.

Marijuana is damaging and dangerous.  If you use marijuana a lot you will probably get one or more serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, anxiety and depression, memory problems, have difficulty with coordination, distortions in your sense of time and space, and have suicidal thoughts.  Your work, social life, and interpersonal relationships will suffer.  You will do risky and stupid things.  To top it off, marijuana damages unborn babies too.

The real reason anyone uses cannabis is to experience the instant gratification of a THC / Dopamine rush.  Anyone who craves instant gratification is immature and nowhere near being a balanced, grown up, grounded, and together person.  They care little about the future, themselves, or anyone else.  They have no real life outside of feeding their own wants, needs, and desires.  They are unlikely to ever get well until they first learn to cure their own need for instant pleasures.  This applies to anyone who demonstrates little self-control.

If you really want to turn into a Mr. Hyde, then smoke pot.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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On Offending People.

I you’re not offending someone, you’re not doing your job.

Yesterday evening I started to write a post for today ~ or rather I began 3 different posts, and scrapped all of them.  All three of those posts would have offended some of the people who follow my blog, and some of my close friends, so I junked all of those questionable posts.

I believe in absolute freedom of expression.  Everyone has a right to be offended.  ~  Taslima Nasrin

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you will know that I don’t shy away from offending some people, but the people I’m happy to offend deserve whatever they get, and more.  I have no problem being offensive to Bankers, Politicians, Government Officials ~ and on Monday of this week I was offensive toward the disgusting sex-pests, perverts, paedophiles, and rapists who work for some ‘Big Charities’ such as Oxfam.

I’m not happy to offend the innocent who just happen to do, (or have done), some things I profoundly disagree with. That would be cruel, hurtful,  hypocritical, mendacious, and vicious of me.

I try to practice ‘mindfulness’ every time I encounter a stressful feeling or negative emotion, of I am challenged by my own anger.  Mindfulness grounds me in the present and stops me obsessing about the past.  I can look at my feelings as though I am an uninvolved observer, rather than being at the centre of the maelstrom. That way I can act and react in a balanced and thoughtful way.

So, instead of what I intended to write about, which in each of the three cases would have been stressful, challenging, negative, and emotive ~ I’m going to tell you how I came to the decision that writing about this stuff would have been a bad idea.

These days I try to live a kind, mindful, self-aware, and spiritual existence ~ bringing inner peace and happiness to myself and those around me.  Offending innocent people for no good reason than my own instant gratification is not living an ethical and spiritual existence.

I try to be accepting, understanding, and supportive to those around me.  I do my best to live a mindful life.  I work very hard at walking the warrior’s path to ultimate truth and inner peace.  I profoundly believe  that as I give to the world, so I shall receive in return.

Ergo, publishing a blog which I knew would upset and hurt some people, which would make them think that I was actually attacking them, was not who I am trying to be today.  In any event, I am not perfect within myself.

When you are offended at any person’s fault, turn to yourself and study our own failings.  Then you will forget your anger.  ~  Epictetus

I want to make good changes in my relationships, my behaviours, habits, and routines ~ attacking someone, or a group of people, is neither good nor positive.  So, I decided that I just wasn’t going to do it.

And you know what?  I feel better for not publishing any of those three negative, emotive, and judgmental posts.

The posts I had half written, and then trashed were about Borderline Personality Disorder, casual sex with strangers, and the medicinal use of marijuana.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Rehab

The philosophy of fasting calls on us to know ourselves, to master ourselves, and to discipline ourselves the better to free ourselves.

On Monday of this week I was admitted to the rehabilitation ward of my local hospital.  I was so confused at the time the doctor didn’t give me any choice in the matter.

The problem is I haven’t been eating and I’ve lost a lot of weight.  I’m now just 135 pounds, which is 20 pounds lighter than I was a short while ago.

Not eating does all kinds of bad things to the mind and body, including confusion due lack of potassium in the brain.

Today I was released to return to the garret, with the strongest possible warning that I need to take much better care of myself.

So I am now on a better programme of food, liquid, vitamins, and minerals.

I already feel much better.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

A Mediterranean Diet is Good for You

Is there anything a Mediterranean Diet can’t cure?

Specifically, I wonder if a Mediterranean diet can help to cure this terrible head-cold I’ve suddenly contracted?  Or more likely stop me from catching a cold in the first place? Well yes it could ~ but only if I really upped the amount of raw garlic I eat.

A diet rich in oily fish, fresh vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and nuts protects our bodies and our brains, especially as we get older.  However, to get the most benefit from a Mediterranean diet we also need to cut down on alcohol ~ one drink a day for women, (try not to spill it, and drink red wine, not white), and one or two drinks a day for men.  Lucky for me I don’t drink at all these days.  But, a glass of red wine every day is actually very good for you.

It isn’t only the Mediterranean peoples who ate that type of diet, the Vikings did too, and nobody ever accused a viking of being a sickly wuss.

Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.  ~  Hippocrates

People from the Mediterranean region have longer life expectancies and are generally healthier than people from Northern Europe and the United States of America.  The United Kingdom ranks 19th and the USA 31st in terms of average life expectancy, (out of 183 counties listed).

People from around the sunny Mediterranean have lower risks of suffering; Alzheimer’s disease,  type 2 diabetes, cancers, colitis, depression, heart diseases, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, and strokes.  Trust me, you do not want to get type 2 diabetes, and you really, really, don’t want to have a stroke.

A proper Mediterranean diet isn’t all baguettes, pizza, pasta, and roasted lamb with lots of herbs.  A healthy Mediterranean diet consists of the region’s fruits, vegetables, (especially leafy greens like spinach), seafood, olive oil, cheese, and a couple of glasses of a robust red wine.  These are all anti-inflammatory foods.

But you also need to add a lot of fresh air, sunshine, and lots of physical activity to the mixture to obtain the most benefits.  If you are not already doing so, then you should walk 10,000 steps a day, both to improve your health and help prevent an early death.

Modern scientific evidence suggests that many, (some), of the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet accrue directly from all the good olive oil included in just about every recipe, dish, meal eaten around the Mare Nostrum.

Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fatty acids, (MUFAs), which are supposed to be good for you ~ at least the Mayo Clinic says that MUFAs are good for you.  In fact the well-respected Mayo Clinic says that olive oil is good for you ~ in moderation.

So; your Mediterranean diet should include;

  • The very best extra virgin olive oil you can get.  Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on Earth.  Only ever buy extra virgin olive oil.
  • Fresh fish.  The oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, pilchards, and sardines are full of vitamins D, B, omega 3 fatty acids, and selenium.  Eating oily fish a couple of times a week is said to help prevent; arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, prostate cancer, schizophrenia, and blindness / impaired vision.
  • Green fruits and vegetables.  It seems that eating green plant stuff can reduce the risk of cancer, helps maintain strong bones and good teeth, and promotes the health of your eyesight in your senior years.  Popeye was right all along, spinach is good for you ~ and so are kale and dandelion leaves.
  • Garlic.  Everyone knows that Mediterranean people eat a lot of garlic.  The Ancient Egyptians used garlic as a medicine.  Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed a hell of a lot of garlic.  The health benefits of garlic include; fighting off allergies, keeping bacterial and viral infections at bay, improving your skin, prevents colds and sore throats, reduces the risk of thrombosis, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, helps prevent type 2 diabetes, reduces cancer risks, helps beat anaemia, and improves your sex life, (if she can stand the smell).  If you can manage it, eat raw garlic, especially if you have dental problems.
  • Nuts and seeds.  Walnuts, almonds and other nuts are good for your heart.  It seems nuts and seeds contain lots of unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, fibre, vitamin E, and something called L-arginine.  Allegedly L-arginine does wonders for your sex life.
  • A glass of a robust red wine, (when I was drinking I would always choose an Italian red).  The health benefits of red wine were known as far back as the ancient Egyptians.  It seems a regular glass of red wine boosts heart health, lowers bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of degenerative diseases, helps reduce he risks of type 2 diabetes, stops you being so obese, and may prevent Alzheimer’s

However, some things about the Mediterranean lifestyle are very, very bad for you. Men from the Mediterranean coasts of; Spain, France, Corsica, Italy, Greece, (and less desirable places like Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and Albania), smoke far too much, drive like maniacs in unroadworthy heaps, drive when they’re drunk, and sleep in the afternoons when they’re drunk.  In medieval Hell-Holes like Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt you will just get ripped off and / or assaulted / shot / blown up.

And yet, parts of the Mediterranean are among the most beautiful, most magical, most spiritual places on this Mother Earth.  Guys, take your girl there, soon and often.

I’m glad I am a woman who once danced naked in the Mediterranean Sea at Midnight.  ~  Mercedes McCambridge

A Mediterranean Diet is not only good for you, it has some utterly fabulous, great tasting recipes.  Mix Mediterranean with Paleo and you may well have the perfect diet for your health, fitness, well-being, and gustatory satisfaction.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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How to Stay Healthier and Live Longer

Life is not merely being alive, but being well.

If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only will you feel better, you will also add ten or more years to your life.  But, what is a healthy lifestyle?  Turns out that not smoking, (nor abusing prescription or street drugs), drinking booze only in pretty strict moderation, and keeping to a healthy weight are the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.

Smoking and drinking may look cool, for a short while, but after a short while those pastimes will turn an attractive women into a cackling, wrinkled, old hag.

The reason fat men are good-natured is that they can neither fight nor run.  ~  Theodore Roosevelt.

Personally, I would add another three things we should all do if we want to be fit and healthy well into our senior years; get plenty of good quality sleep, get plenty of appropriate exercise, and eat a good, healthy diet.  Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer a horrible and early death, from this moment on you should;

  1. Stop smoking.  Stop smoking weed too.  Smoking is dirty, disgusting, anti-social, and it will kill you in a selection of particularly nasty ways.
  2. Drink only in moderation.  If you regularly take more than a couple of drinks in an evening, if you empty a bottle of wine in a couple of days, if you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles of spirits ~ then you have a drink problem, and eventually it will make you very ill.
  3. Don’t be fat, don’t be obese.  It is very easy to stuff yourself with burgers, take-outs, canned food, and other unhealthy crap calories.  Type 2 diabetes will make you very ill, and then it will kill you.  There are three foods / ingredients you should never, ever, knowingly have in your diet;  sugar-free / diet soda, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, wheat flour, wheat products.
  4. Get plenty of good quality sleep.  Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy.  Lack of enough proper sleep causes accidents, makes you stupid, kills your sex drive, and puts you at greater risk of; heart disease, heart failure and heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
  5. Take enough appropriate exercise.  Just a daily walk can add 7 years to your life.  You don’t need to join an gym and lift heavy weights.  Both yoga and tai chi have a myriad of health benefits, improving your balance, control, fitness, flexibility, reducing the risks of falls, sprains, and other injuries, easing pain, and reducing the symptoms of depression.
  6. Have a good quality and healthy diet.  And, there are lots of cool diets to choose from; Atkins, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pritikin…  The key is don’t eat junk, have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat slowly and chew your food properly, and don’t stuff yourself at every opportunity.

Americans and the British are much less likely to live long and healthy lives than do the inhabitants of most industrialised western countries, and it has nothing at all to do with the standards of medical care in the USA and the UK.  In fact, the Japanese have the highest average healthy life expectancy in the world ~ and it doesn’t have anything to do with either sushi or rice.

Japanese people give attention to health in all aspects of their daily life.  Professor Kenji Shibuya.

Some things you can do today to work towards that fitter, healthier, happier life in your senior years are;

  • Change your attitude ~ tell yourself, convince yourself, that you will be fitter, healthier, stronger, more capable, filled with self-confidence, and more self-aware.
  • Get your blood pressure checked.
  • Eat a better diet ~ stop eating junk.
  • Stop knocking back the booze in the evenings.  Especially DO NOT drink just before you go to bed.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Start exercising.  There are both mental and physical benefits to regular exercise ~ at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week.  Walk, (at least) 10,000 steps every day.
  • Walk don’t drive.  Learn to drive in a slower, calmer, more relaxed manner.
  • Don’t get stressed.  Practice meditation and mindfulness ~ just relax.
  • Don’t hang out with people who eat junk, smoke, drink, and slob about just watching sports TV all day.  Stay out of pubs, bars, and down-market restaurants. If you can’t do those things you need to get to an AA meeting.
  • And for goodness sake, stay out of hospital.  Hospitals are incredibly unhealthy places to be for very long.

These are all simple lifestyle changes, and each one is pretty easy on it’s own.  Taken together these lifestyle changes will make a massive difference to your health, fitness, and happiness.  As a side effect you will stop throwing huge hunks of change down the drain.

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.  ~  Paul Dudley White.

Being angry, hateful, jealous, negative, stressed…, will all damage your physical, mental, and emotional health.   In fact, just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of an early death by three-quarters.

Mens sana in corpore sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

 

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Coffee Is Good For You

Three cups of coffee a day could extend your life.

Coffee is one of the worlds most commonly consumed drinks, with something like 2.25 billion cups drunk around the world every day.  Coffee contains lots of complex chemical compounds including; caffeine, diterpenes,and antioxidants.

Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as sin.  ~ Talleyrand

It seems coffee is healthy and good for you.  New research, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals,  shows that the antioxidant plant compounds in coffee are highly beneficial in reducing liver disease and liver cancers, help prevent type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of circulatory problems, ward off Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis, and helps to fight diseases of the digestive tract.  As all of those diseases can kill you, drinking moderate amounts of coffee may even prevent you from suffering an early death.

There are lots of good reasons to drink coffee.  Including the fact that coffee may also be good for your sex drive, (particularly a woman’s sex drive).  Drinking coffee increases the plasma levels of the protein sex hormone-binding globulin that controls testosterone and oestrogen.  That may well be why coffee reduces depression and suicide risk.  Who knew that coffee was a female aphrodisiac?

It isn’t the caffeine that does you good, because people who drink decaffeinated coffee accrue most / some of the same benefits.  However, it seems obvious that proper strong fresh-made ground coffee with all the caffeine in it will give you the most benefits.  A typical cup of coffee has more antioxidants than a glass of grape, blackberry, blueberry, and / or orange juices.  A typical American gets more antioxidants from coffee than from anything else.  What you get from a cup of coffee is; improved liver function, reduced inflammation in the body, better glucose control, and coffee also boosts the immune system.

If you are a regular drinker of the falling down water, if you really like your booze, if you sometimes drink a little too much, if you are a practicing alcoholic ~ then you should really drink fresh coffee on a regular basis.  Just one cup of real coffee a day can reduce your chances of suffering cirrhosis of the liver by 20%.  Coffee will also help prevent you from getting fatty liver disease, whether you’re a boozer or not.

Cigarettes and coffee:  an alcoholic’s best friends!  ~  Gerard Way.

Don’t think you can get the same benefits from other caffeinated drinks that you can get from coffee, because you can’t.  For example, coffee generally makes people feel happier, whereas Coca Cola will give you a caffeine high, but Coke will also make you feel depressed.  Especially any diet caffeinated drink will make you feel really depressed.  In general soda is bad for you, and diet sodas are bad for you in spades.  So your very strong Cuba Libre is doing you no good at all.

The way you prepare your coffee has a big impact on how much benefit you get from all the good complex chemicals present in coffee beans.  For example, if you use a regular coffee maker, and you also use filter papers, then you’re missing out on a lot of the good diterpenes because they are absorbed by the paper.  In general the less there is between the ground coffee and your cup the better.  Possibly a cafetiere / French press using a good dark roast will make you the most beneficial cup of coffee, whereas a cheap instant decaffeinated is probably next to useless in terms of health benefits and taste.

Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.  ~  David Lynch

These findings are based European study led by Imperial College, London, and the UN International Agency for Research on Cancer ~ which looked at half-a-million people over the age of 35.  They found that people who drink three cups of coffee a day live longer than non-coffee drinkers.  There is also an US study led by the University of Southern California ~ which looked at 186,000 people.

We cannot say that drinking coffee will prolong your life, but we see an association.  ~ Veronica W. Setiawan, USC

In conclusion, real coffee is good for you, pod coffee is pretty bad, cheap instant coffee is nasty and probably causes cancer, and Coca Cola is very nasty.  Drinking coffee is cool, often sociable, and a nice woman is more likely to have an afternoon cup of coffee with a guy than she is to agree to meet him in a pub.

Coffee and smoking are the last great addictions.  ~  Lara Flynn Boyle

Statistically, women who drink a lot of coffee are also likely to be drinkers of booze and cigarette smokers ~ strange but true.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

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demons I can’t face down

Our very souls may be consumed by shadows.

We each have a complex relationship with ourselves.  If we have ever really suffered through something like; alcoholism, drug addiction, addiction to gambling, sex addiction, too many of the wrong prescription drugs, parental abuse, an abusive relationship, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, serious problems with our diet, mental health problems, failed relationships, job loss, loss of our home…  (or more likely a mixture of all of these problems and more), then we also have a complex relationship with the whole world and everyone in it.

At times we can find ourselves in a very bad place where every voice is critical, malevolent, and negative ~ even our own inner voice.  Our inner voice creates inner demons;  anger, depression, fear of rejection, rejection of others, jealousy, judgementalism, self-doubt, self-hatred, worthlessness…

All the dark, malevolent Passions of the Soul are roused and exerted; its mild and amiable affections are suppressed; and with them virtuous Principles are laid prostrate.  ~  Charles Inglis

Unless you have been there you can have no idea how bad the pain and anguish these inner demons can create.  One will do almost anything to escape the crippling pain; including going back to our addictions, making big geographical moves, shutting down and numbing ourselves, isolating ourselves, psychotherapy, strong prescription drugs, attending 12 step groups, spirituality, retreating further into mental illness, suicide…

It is not just our inner demons.  If we are in that bad place then we are also surrounded by demons.  Everyone we know, everyone we meet, adds to these outer demons with their misplaced concerned advice, criticisms, and rejection.  Many people do not want us to get well, they measure themselves against our struggle and feel superior, they add their negative demons to our own.  When I was at my last rock-bottom I became aware that almost everyone I knew, everyone I met, was feeding off my pain.  Few understand, few want to understand, and fewer still truly want to help.

Some especially gifted, intelligent, and sensitive people believe that there is a third layer of demons, in addition to our inner demons, and the tormenting demons gifted to us by almost everyone we know.   Most spiritual and religious people also believe that there are more demons than the physiological and psychological.  These special people believe in genuine demons, in the spiritual realm, and that some of us may be victims of these demons.  In my mind’s eye I am very aware that in the shadows surrounding my soul lurk the powers of darkness seeking to torment and torture me.

Demons manifest themselves in people in different ways.  For instance, out of nowhere, somebody can become very angry for no reason.  That’s not just an emotion.  That’s a demon.  ~  Stephen Baldwin.

None of the details really matter.  What I do know is that if you have truly suffered, and if you are suffering now, then you are the victim of demons who will feed off your pain, and want nothing more than to destroy you and everything and everyone you care for.

It is our demons that make us believe that our partner is sleeping with other men, that giving into our addiction will solve our problems, and that suicide is painless.

Many of us have tried over the years to face down our inner demons.  Some succeed, many fail.  Many fail because they don’t realise that the main causes of their misery are inner demons which seem to have an intelligence and will of their own.  Many more fail because they never realise that they are also surrounded by malevolent evil demons emanating  from the subconscious psyche of everyone they know.  And, some fail because they are the victims of true demonic possession.

Demons are not your superiors, demons are not even your equals.  All demons have is the ability to make you cause yourself pain and suffering.  Demons can only torment and torture you if you let them, but most of us allow demons to torture us because we are not even aware that they are there.

Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy.  ~  David D. Burns.

Recovery begins with admitting that you have a problem.

I cannot yet face down my demons, but I know they are there, trying to make me torture myself so that they can feed off my pain. (Even your inner demons feed off the pain you cause yourself.)

Now, when I feel myself going down a negative path to my own personal hell, I can tell myself that it’s just my personal demons trying to destroy me, and that I should ignore their oppressive persecution.  That helps me.  A psychological bully can only bully you if you let them.  Your demons have no physical power over you.  Ignore them and your demons will go away.  Eventually I shall be able to face down my demons and tell them to fuck off ~ and that will be a good day.

Demons are to be pitied.  They have nothing but your pain and suffering.  If you do not allow your demons to make you cause yourself pain and suffering, then those demons will eventually die and vanish into nothing.

You can and will get well if you do not allow your demons to torment and torture you.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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Being Overweight

It’s simple, if it jiggles, it’s fat.

These past few weeks, I have been lacking a little in energy and bounce, and I decided that one reason for my lack of ‘get-up-and-go’ was that I’ve been putting on weight.  So, I decided to look into what being overweight really was, and if I was actually overweight, what it was doing to me.  Quite frankly, I was horrified at what I discovered.

I hate overweight, because it implies there is a weight standard I should be adhering to.  ~  Camryn Manheim.

You know what?  There is a weight standard, and we should all be adhering to it.

There are lots of health and fitness problems attached to being overweight ~ and the older you get the worse the health problems of being overweight become.

To begin with, are you overweight?  How does one know the difference between a little curvier and softer than we used to be, and truly overweight?  What is the difference between being overweight, obese, or morbidly obese.  Well, the chances are you’re overweight or obese ~ in the UK 68% of men and 58% of women are overweight or obese.  In the USA more than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese.

One easy way to tell if we’re overweight is to forget the scales and just grab a tape-measure.  Measure you height, and your waist at your belly button, (without sucking in your gut).  Your waist should not be more than half your height.  If your waist measurement is more than half your height you’re overweight with the worst kind of fat ~ visceral fat, (which will kill you).  More scientifically you can calculate your Body Mass Index, (BMI), but that won’t tell you as much about visceral fat as will a tape-measure.

There’s also a cut-off point to assess the overall risks to health just by waist measurement.  In men it’s 40 inches, and in women it’s 35 inches.  So if your waist is bigger than that, you’re officially overweight / obese and in danger of suffering serious health and fitness problems.  Having love handles is another bad sign, presaging heart and liver disease in your future.

Medically defined, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9,  overweight is having a BMI of more than 25, obese is having a BMI of more than 30, while morbidly obese is having a BMI of more than 40, (or 35 if you also have something like diabetes or high blood pressure).  There are plenty of online BMI calculators.

There are a myriad of downsides to being overweight, and even more downsides to being obese.  Some of these are;

We know a great deal more about the causes of physical disease than we do about the causes of physical health.  ~  M. Scott Peck.

The above are the worst of the medical problems.  But look at it another way ~ just how fit are you?  Can you walk up three flights of stairs without getting out of breath?  Can you run for a bus?  Can you walk five miles without collapsing?  Can you easily find clothes that fit, or do you have to buy plus size?  Can you still play sports, or are you limited to gentler activities?  What’s your performance in bed like?  The chances are if you’re overweight, then you’re not happy with your honest answers to any of those questions, because you know you’re not as fit as you would like to be.  Maybe you should take an online test?

It turns out my BMI today, as I write this, is 25.7.  However, according to another set of criteria I’m quite fit ~ much fitter than my chronological age, by 25 years or so.  But do you know what?  I’m going to lose some weight, starting right now.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I can do that yoga position, but I don’t look as good as that.

 

Your Ultimate Truth

There is a warrior’s path to the end of suffering.

In my life I have been lost, often alone, and sometimes in pain.  I have been down and disappointed, I have been beaten by misfortune, I’ve been so tired and despairing I could not eat or sleep, I’ve been crushed by unrequited love, I wanted things that were always out of reach, and I was so lonely I cried bitter tears.  Then I found a guiding star to wish to, and that bright star led me to a good place of freedom from pain and suffering.  Now I can cross broad oceans, climb tall mountains, see the far horizons.

Now I can experience true friendship and real love.

Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards, and leads us from this world to another.  ~  Plato

You too can find your star to wish upon and to follow, if only you are prepared to search both the heavens and deep within yourself.

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a supercomputer reveals that the ultimate answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42.

The answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe, and Everything… Is… Forty-Two.  ~  Deep Thought

This was meant as a joke, 42 was just a random number picked out of thin air by Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  Allegedly.  However it turns out that the number forty-two has symbolism and special meanings in a whole raft of philosophies, religions, and magical convictions.  Forty-two is a highly symbolic number slipped into a work of fiction, seemingly by accident, or coincidence.

However, despite what some may say, there is an answer, a simple answer to Life.

If we are to believe numerology then 42 is an Angel Number, and the energies of this number bring us an inner-wisdom to help us pursue our Life Purpose.  To pursue your Life Purpose, then first you must realise that the true purpose of your life is to live and to grow ~ to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, in health and happiness.  That may be a long, long way from where you find yourself right now.

In order to get to where you want to go, you first have to know two things;

  • Exactly where you are right now.
  • Exactly where it is you want to get to.

You don’t need to know the road in-between, that will become only too apparent on your journey to your ultimate truth.

If you are anything like I used to be, then where you are right now could be unhealthy, unsatisfying, and depressing.  There may be no real joy and happiness in your life.  You may see no way out, even though you have sought relief and escape through religion, inspirational books, motivational speakers, support groups, counsellors, psychologists, doctors, medication, booze, street drugs, gambling, casual sex…

None of those escape routes will work for long, and the consequences of some methods of escape from hard reality just make things much worse.  I know, before I found my own ultimate truth, my own warrior’s path, I tried just about every quick fix there is.

There are more false prophets than there are those inspired by an ultimate truth.

Taking the wrong road through self-destructive behaviour leads to one rock-bottom after another, and each new rock-bottom is worse than the one before.

There are no quick fixes in Life, and nobody can fix you but you.

The Ultimate Truth is this;  Life is Difficult and Painful.

Once you are prepared to recognise that truth, once you are prepared to accept, appreciate, and understand that Life is Difficult and Painful, then you can transcend all pain and suffering.  You can take your first step on the warrior’s path to freedom from desolation and misery.

The first step in any journey is always the hardest.  It will mean uncertainty, leaving your comfort zone, doing things that seem unnatural, and at first it may seem just as painful as the misery you’re trying to leave behind.  But, you have to know this ~ follow the warrior’s path and things will get better.  Your life will become even better than you could ever have imagined it could be.

The first step is to recognise and accept that you are the cause of your own unhappiness.  Whatever the proximate cause of your misery and unhappiness, be it alcoholism, gambling, an abusive relationship, or whatever is your personal purgatory, the ultimate cause of your pain is your own need for instant gratification.  We must to accept that the causes of all our problems and unhappiness are our own cravings, desires, wants, lusts, needs, and our blaming of others when things don’t go the way we want them to.

The path to freedom from suffering and pain is through self-discipline in body, mind and spirit.  This is the ultimate answer to Life, our Psychological Cosmos, and Everything.

Self-discipline is hard, it means not taking that next drink, not having that next cigarette, not overeating, not placing our happiness in the hands of another.  Self-discipline means turning up for work on time, getting enough good quality sleep, getting enough fresh air and exercise.  Self-discipline means not blaming others for our misfortunes, not spending money we don’t have, not allowing ourselves to become infatuated with someone who will never truly return our affections.  Self-discipline is what will free you from pain, misery, and the teachings of false prophets.

You don’t need the hurt anymore, and you don’t need the pain in your life.  I promise you that if you accept and understand that you can’t ever change what happens to you, but you can change what you do, then your shadows will turn into warm sunlight.  Don’t ever allow yourself to give in to your craving for instant gratification, have the patience to appreciate, accept,and understand yourself, trust in yourself and not in others, and your life will get better.  Your whole life will improve very fast, and it will be better than you have ever dreamed possible.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

The Medicinal Rose

Not All Roses Are The Same.

Red_RoseSome say that one should never use garden hybrid roses for medicinal purposes.  And, that there are more than 300 active compounds present in roses, of which only about 100 have been identified.  All I know is that medicinal preparations from any rose can have strong and immediate effects on some people, especially women.

The good witch or experienced herbalist will try to find a true wild rose for medicinal use.  There are many species of wild rose, but they are all easy to identify.  Every wild rose has exactly five petals, and almost all of them are pink shading to white.  They also tend to be leggy and straggling in form, extremely hardy, and likely to thrive on total neglect.  There are also some ‘nearly wild’ roses which are just as good as the true wild rose for the herbalist, but are much more suitable for the average garden.

Here in England the good witch or experienced herbalist will preferentially use the true wild rose, the dog rose, rosa canina, for medicinal purposes.  The thing is, unless you have a huge estate, you’re not going to plant this vigourous thing.  Luckily it does grow wild all over in England, especially in mature hedgerows.

However, if one has a largish garden one can plant the Japanese wild rose, rosa rugosa instead.  This is still a very strong growing shrub, but it’s more manageable than the dog rose, and you still get great hips.

Another great medicinal rose is the aptly named apothecary’s rose, rosa gallica.  This is another wild rose, basically from France.

In North America there are dozens of species of wild rose, all of which have been used by Native American tribes in medicine and magic.  In addition, many other species roses have naturalised into the American landscape, so sometimes it’s difficult to know which is a true American wild rose, and which is an introduction.  It doesn’t really matter.  If a rose has five petals and is pink or shading to white, then it’s a good medicinal plant.

nearly-wildHowever, if you are growing an apothecary’s garden, a herb garden, or a medicine garden, then perhaps the rose nearly wild in whatever variety you can find it would be your best choice.  It’s compact, has a long flowering season, and is close enough to the species wild rose to be ideal as a medicinal plant.  This rose is also readily available from specialist rose nurseries all over the world.

Almost every part of the rose has therapeutic uses.  The petals can be used to make rose petal tea or an unusual scented jam, or rose water hydrosol, or what about a rose, cardamom, and ginger body soak?  The rose hips can be added to organic cider vinegar to make a great salad dressing / tonic, and the leaves make a kind of substitute coffee.  If you dry the leaves you can smoke them ~ and I have no idea what that’s like.

dscf0012The main active effects of rose preparations are; laxative, opthalmic, diuretic, and linthontriptic, (removes kidney stones).   There are many benefits of using the rose as a medicinal plant, and some potential downsides.  Some people feel ill after ingesting rose medicines / tea, and some people feel mild hallucinogenic effects.  As I have already said, there are at least 300 active compounds in the rose and we only know what about 100 of them are, let alone what they actually do ~ weird.

If in doubt of any herbal preparation, then try just a little, in a very diluted form ~ especially if you are a woman.  And if you are either pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, then take specialist advice from your doctor or an expert herbalist before using any herbal / medicinal plant product.

~

dog-roseAphrodite’s Herbalist, jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

aphrodite

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