Thursday, 30 June 2016

Imagination can enrich your life

       Hotel’s booked, passport’s in order, cases are packed and you’ve checked in for the flight. Surely there’s nothing more exciting than the run-up to a holiday - unless you’re a worrier like me!
        Not for me the thrilled anticipation of sun, sea and sangria. I’m one of those unfortunate glass-half-empty sort of folk who lie awake at night imagining every conceivable disaster - from lost tickets and forgotten toothbrushes to terrorist attacks and plane crashes! ‘What if? What if? What if?’
       Which goes to show that while imagination is a wonderful gift it does have a downside. We all have one, of course - even the most practical people need to think ahead if only to plan their trek to the bus stop – so maybe it’s worth considering how to avoid the pitfalls of overthinking and make the best possible use of our minds.

What is imagination?

       According to one dictionary, it is “the ability to form pictures or ideas in your mind of things that are new and exciting, or things that you have not experienced.” You don’t have to be an artist or writer to possess this ability; we use imagination every day.

Negative uses of imagination

       Living in a dream world. There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming.* It can be both pleasant and beneficial, as well as an excellent way to pass the time when waiting for that bus. But there are times when you need to remain firmly in the here and now. Attending vital lecture or work briefings, driving a car and caring for children are all activities that demand one’s full attention. And what we imagine can also be harmful - romantic fantasies, for example, will eventually cause heartache if you or the person concerned is already spoken for. Dreaming of a future with someone else’s spouse may eventually lead to immoral realities.
       Believing wealth or fame bring happiness. Money and material possessions are necessary, of course, but imagining they’re the be-all-and-end-all would be a big mistake. ‘Things’ simply cannot bring happiness or security, however much you acquire. Just ask someone who’s lost everything in wars or natural disasters; survivors are only too glad to escape with their lives! As for fame, many well-known people have come to regret their loss of privacy and often face real problems as a result.  Seeing yourself as a celebrity may seem attractive, yet the reality is very different.+
       Imagining the worst. I’m certainly not alone in worrying about things which may never happen. Not only is it a complete waste of time, but it uses far too much energy, leads to anxiety, stress and discouragement, and can cause illness such as heart disease or depression. By overthinking negative scenarios, you effectively become your own jailer, afraid to do anything, go anywhere, meet anyone or enjoy new experiences. So stop it!

Positive uses of imagination

       Foreseeing problems and avoiding them. Travel, social events, sports, work, entertainment…..whatever your plans, it’s always wise to think about potential snags or dangers and take steps to avoid them. Going on holiday is an obvious example. I tend to worry about losing documents, so make it a habit to keep passport, insurance and driving licence details somewhere safe, just in case. If going out for the evening, it’s wise to organise transport well in advance in order to get home safely. Okay, axe-wielding maniacs may not be roaming the streets every night, but it pays to be cautious! Use your imagination, do whatever it takes to protect yourself and you’ve less need to worry.+
       Planning how to resolve disputes. It could be a friend or relative with a grievance, a difficult work colleague or a dispute with your boss. At various points in your life you have to deal with awkward situations. The worst way to handle them would be to dive in, all guns blazing, on the spur of the moment. The best way would be to think about the situation, try to see the other person’s point of view and list your arguments accordingly. Write down what you need to say. Then edit it, removing any slights, slurs, curses, lame excuses, accusations and over-emotional outbursts. Rehearse your speech and sound down the main points, try to imagine any objections your protagonist may come up with and how you will answer them. In this way, you’ll be calm, cool and well-prepared.
       Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. One of the wisest rules ever written was: “All things that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.” If everyone in the world followed this advice, we’d have far fewer problems – but it requires a very special quality: Empathy, the ability to feel another person’s pain in our heart. How can we cultivate this wonderful virtue? Simply by using our imagination, putting ourselves in someone else’s place and asking ourselves how we would feel. Doing so will help us know how to treat others in the most compassionate way, developing good relationships with everyone around us. 
       Yes indeed, imagination is a wonderful gift. Use it wisely and it will enrich your life!




Monday, 13 June 2016

Will there ever be a meat-free world?

       I must confess, I do like bacon - and the odd chicken dinner. Not as enthusiastically as some, I might add, and I’m rapidly fancying that rack of spare ribs a lot less than I used to, but I've certainly eaten my share.
So the following statement is not a pious, self-righteous attack on carnivores but an honest presentation of the facts:
       Humans are not designed to eat meat.  
       If, like me, you believe in creation you also have to believe God's words to Adam in Genesis chapter 1:29*. "Here I have given to you every seed-bearing plant that is on the earth and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. Let them serve as food for you."
       It doesn't end there. According to Genesis 1:30, even animals were vegetarian: "And to every wild animal of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving on the earth in which there is life, I have given all green vegetation for food."
       Of course, we all know this idyll didn't last. Adam and Eve turned away from God and were turfed out of Eden to eat bread in the sweat of their faces until they returned to the ground (Genesis 3:19). The treacherous twosome lost their wonderful privilege of filling the earth with their perfect children, caring for the animals and turning the rest of the earth into a paradise.
       Even so, meat was not on the menu until after the flood^ when God gave Noah and his descendants permission to eat flesh. (Genesis 9:3,4) No doubt in consideration of the animals, he instilled in them a fear of humans instead of the trust they had enjoyed originally. (Genesis 9:2)
      The good news for animal lovers is that meat eating will one day be abolished. When the catastrophic results of Adam's rebellion are reversed, all living things will return to their original diet of seed-bearing fruit and vegetables. Isaiah chapter 11 promises: "The cow and the bear will feed together, and their young will lie down together. The lion will eat straw like the bull." (Isaiah 11:6-9)

* New World Translation
^ "Was there really a global flood?"

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Does Bio-Resonance really work?

       A few years ago, a friend of mine - let’s call her Stella* – had severe digestive problems and was diagnosed with Candida, which causes the naturally occurring yeast in the intestinal tract to proliferate. It then leeches into the bloodstream and attacks other organs, emitting more than 70 toxins at the same time. Symptoms include joint pain, headaches, migraines, dizziness, extreme tiredness and an insatiable craving for carbohydrates and anything sweet (For more details see web-link below)
       Despite a drastic change of diet and assorted natural remedies, including colonic irrigation, Stella’s health continued to worsen as her weight dropped, her energy levels plummeted and her self-esteem virtually disappeared. Eventually, a friend put her in touch with David*, a specialist in Bio-Resonance who, after one 2-hour session, identified her problems.
       She did not, as previously thought, have Candida at all. All her symptoms were apparently down to flukes (worms or parasites) which had been feeding off her gut for several years. Using a machine that locates bacteria through electro-magnetic impulses, David sent her home with the order to “eat and drink whatever she liked.” Within a couple of weeks, her eyes were bright and she’d put on a much needed couple of stone. She was cured.
       Faced with that result, it’s no wonder then, that, when beset by inexplicable joint pain, tiredness, persistent headaches and a little nudge from my friend Stella, I decided to visit David and try this ‘miracle’ treatment for myself.
       This is where I need to explain something about the history of bio-resonance. It first came to light some 80 years ago when pioneering practitioner Dr Royal Rife discovered that magnetic and electrical waves could effectively treat many kinds of disease. In 1934, 16 terminal cancer patients were sent by the USC Medical Centre to receive bio-resonance from Rife. All 16 were cured. After USC doctors verified these results, the therapy continued to achieve astonishing success, featuring in many books, papers and articles of the time.  Unfortunately, much of Rife’s original research has since disappeared; whether it’s just been forgotten or maliciously destroyed and suppressed is open to debate. It’s worth noting, however, that Dr Rife and several of his team died under mysterious circumstances while in the process of curing thousands of terminal illnesses. (See website link below). Small wonder David and other practitioners try to stay beneath the radar, as attempts have already been made by certain organisations to ban the rapidly growing use of bio-resonance.  
       Another issue for bona fide practitioners is its adoption by New Age healers, leading prospective clients to believe - mistakenly - that bio-resonance is due to mystic powers rather than proven, easily explained and, according to David, entirely natural science.  
       David is a handsome, well-built man in his late forties who, on the day I met him, had a hint of tiredness around his eyes. He'd just got back from Dusseldorf after attending a conference for private health practitioners from all over the world. Apparently, bio-resonance is widely accepted by Germany’s medical profession, although it's not yet available mainstream.
       David sits on one side of a table on which rests the bio-resonance machine, a device that looks similar to a medium-sized office printer. On the other side is a comfortable chair where the client sits, holding a steel rod in each hand. These rods conduct information from the body’s electrical frequency to the machine.
       For the first visit, a client is given a full diagnosis followed by treatment over a 2-hour session. Once the machine is operative, David holds a wooden handle with a light steel whip-like attachment which begins to swing languidly from side to side. David is surprised by its lack of oomph and wonders why this ‘wand’ is not rotating rapidly as it normally does. He puts its lacklustre performance down to my non-existent energy levels, an indication that my blood pressure is extremely low.
       The procedure takes time, so David explains the latest advances in bio-resonance. Apparently, there’s a new, high-tech machine being introduced that’s a lot more complex than the one he is using for my first visit. Stella, who has come to hold my hand, is thinking of setting up a similar practice herself, but for basic treatment rather than the diagnostic side of things. I think she’d be excellent, as she’s really well up on nutrition and various conditions such as....
       “Candida!” says David. “It’s very wide-spread - gone right through your body.” I gasp. Surely not. What does that mean?” I ask tremulously. Actually, I already have a pretty good idea because of what Stella went through. “No sugar, no flour, no dairy products, no wine and definitely no yeast for 5 weeks,” says David. “That should get it under control. Then we’ll zap it during your next treatment session.” Why not now? “Because there’s so much of it," David replies. "There are roughly 20 different types of candida and you have them all. Zapping the lot in one go would make you feel very, very ill, so do your best to starve it beforehand and it’ll be a lot easier to get rid of.”
       “Five whole weeks!” I exclaim.
       “You’ve got off lightly there,” says Stella. “I was struggling for two years when I thought I had it.”
       “No sugar!” I wail. “For five whole weeks!” What about wine?
       “Oh, no wine,” says David. “Besides, when there’s as much yeast in the system as you have, it ferments and makes you feel drunk anyway.” Somehow, getting merry on a yeast infection doesn’t have quite the same allure as a nice soft Merlot! Stella is as sympathetic as is possible to be with someone as wimpish as me. And hey...there are worse things in life.
       In my case, following the recommended diet did the trick but usually, once a diagnosis has been made, treatment is through electro-magnetic waves set at precise frequencies according to the nature and extent of the disease. Both diagnosis and treatment are entirely painless.
       Bio-resonance has been claimed to cure many illnesses – even cancer, as mentioned above. In fact, according to David, it was the remarkable results of bio-resonance in treating his own cancer which convinced him of this therapy’s amazing powers and made him determined to help others.^

^ Since writing this article, two people I know have been treated successfully  for stomach and breast cancer, which can be caused by parastites or viruses. Both individuals - one in her early twenties, the other in her eighties - also sought traditional medical advice.

*Not their real names