runner11

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  1. Perspectives on Narcissism

    This is what I've always thought. Narcissism is like a defense mechanism.
  2. You can't convince a skeptic, because even if they did a "scientific study," they would just draw the conclusions that they want. For example, if you showed that running a marathon depletes qi, they would study and see the effects of running a marathon, and conclude that it was caused by the blood glucose and electrolytes being depleted, not something esoteric like qi. It doesn't matter how many cause and effects are studied; qi itself cannot be physically seen under a microscope, so therefore it doesn't exist according to western medicine. The same goes for jing, shen, meridians, etc. Even something like acupuncture points, which have been proven to western medicine to have significance, have been explained to be stimulating different nerves of the body. The question is, if you're going to study this form of medicine that is several thousand years old, and acknowledge that it does offer benefits, why stop short of accepting it for face value. Why do we have to say, "Yea it works but not because of these strange energies that we can't observe or measure. It's simply manipulating nerve endings, and can help with reducing pain." It's not like the ancient Chinese had to resort to esoteric explanations because they lacked understanding of the human body. They had a very thorough understanding of the physical body. They just weren't constrained to having to literally see something to accept that it exists. I know I'm probably on the fringe here, but I think that western medicine has gone so far down the wrong path and has become so corrupted with pharmaceutical money, that I literally don't trust it for anything, except for maybe a few useful technologies like MRIs and Xrays.
  3. Self hacks/Health hacks

    This modern scientific approach to nutrition is very materialistic. We are a society that values what modern science has to say as gospel, and anything not backed by peer reviewed journals is seen as quakery. We have a study that shows that pomegranates contain antioxidants, so therefore pomegranates will make you healthier. We don't look at the whole diet in relation to where you live or the season. We just say, olive oil has omega 3 fatty acids, so that's healthier than butter. Its no surprise that a culture that views the human body as a mechanical series of organs that each perform a job, would also view food as a combination of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that react a certain way to cells of the body. People want to break down food to the point where they're throwing around words like antioxidants and branched chain amino acids, but they're missing the big picture. From a TCM perspective, its the flavors in the food that nourish the various organs, as well as containing the essence of the food. If we eat food that lacks various flavors, just because we think the ingredients are healthy, that's not a healthy diet. I also think that the idea that a supplement could be better than a whole food is a testament to how far removed from nature we have become, and how arrogant we have become as a society. Some might say a perfectly vine ripened tomato is healthy because its sweet and acidic, adds a beautiful color to summer salads, is cool and refreshing, balances the bitterness of greens, etc. Others might say tomatoes are healthy because they contain lycopene, so here's a pill that has lycopene. We have people buying things like pomegranates, olive oil, quinoa, and all kinds of other foods from half way around the world just because some scientific studies tell us that they're healthy. Olive oil is great, if you live in California. Where I live on the east coast, 99% of the olive oil on the store shelves has already gone rancid. Local grass fed butter would be the healthy thing to eat where I live, but good luck convincing people of that. materialistic society materialistic view of the body materialistic view of our food I think what's good for the body and the spirit is eating good food with good people.
  4. Water

    I drink my tap water, which comes from our well which is very deep. We live on top of a mountain, so its very pure. Its very hard water loaded with minerals. It has a unique quality, where you might not think you're thirsty, but you take a sip and then you end up gulping down the whole glass. Not because it tastes amazing, but because of something else. Probably all the minerals act as electrolytes, helping to hydrate you. Kind of like gatorade except natural. If water can have properties according to TCM, this water should be cool in nature since it comes from deep underground. It does seem to have this property. I can't drink it in the winter at room temperature; its too cooling. I feel like it has to be warm or hot to drink in the winter. As far as bottled water, it all tastes like plastic to me, and city water always tastes like chlorine. I like good well water right out of the faucet.
  5. Atheism as a religion

    I absolutely think atheism is a religion. I know most people would disagree with me, but I've given it alot of thought. First of all, its true that most religions try to explain why we're here. Granted, atheism doesn't try to come up with an explanation for this, it just goes to the default, which is that we're here by chance; this all just randomly happened for no particular reason or purpose. Fair enough. However, the other issue religion tries to explain is how we got here. This is something that atheism does dip its feet into heavily, and I have a hard time with a group doing this and then saying they're not a religion. I know what you're thinking. "But that's different! Its science! It's based on actual evidence!" The thing is though, its not. The big bang is a pretty far fetched idea. It doesn't exactly have a wealth of evidence supporting it. If there was a group who had no opinion on the matter, no feeling or intuition, they just based their beliefs about the existence of deities and the creation of the world on evidence, then that would not be a religion. And guess what, we have that group. Its called scientists. Science is not a religion for this reason. Atheism is the belief that no deities exist. When you form a group whose sole purpose is the repudiation of the idea of a God or Gods, something that science cannot prove or disprove, I would consider that a religion. Its a religion that has the belief that God doesn't exist, which is unusual as far as religions go, but a religion nonetheless. If atheism was based on science they would have no opinion on the matter, or maybe go so far as to say there's no evidence for a God, but certainly not say that God does not exist. That's not based on science.
  6. Dangers of acupunture?

    I had one bad experience with it. It started when I accidentally ate some cashews, which I'm severely allergic to. Within minutes I had a rash on my neck so red and dry that I couldn't turn my head or my skin would crack and start bleeding. I went to a doctor who is a chiropractor but also does acupuncture. He admitted that he was contemplating which points to use. He was trying to decide between two sets of points. He said, "this will either make it better or worse." Well it made it worse. My whole neck became inflamed and felt like it was on fire. It started to crack and bleed and continued to get worse after I got home. I went back the next day and he used the other points, and my neck cleared up 80% within 30 seconds of putting the needles in, and was completely better within 20 minutes. I think this is a mistake that a dedicated TCM doctor would not have made. After that I researched and found a TCM doctor who is excellent. My advice would be to stay away from chiropractors who do acupuncture. I personally don't believe in it, but even if you do, chiropractics have nothing whatsoever to do with acupuncture. It's like a dentist who also sets bones on the side.
  7. George Zimmerman boxing match.

    I don't know what happened that day, and neither does anyone else except for Zimmerman. What I do know is that the media tried their hardest to stir up racial tensions, and they succeeded. That whole thing was the final straw for getting rid of my cable subscription.
  8. fermented foods/probiotics

    Traditional cultures ate much more fermented foods than we do today. We still eat some fermented foods, but their not quite the same. A few examples are bread, cheese, yogurt, and sauerkraut. The bread we eat has yeast added, which is not the same as real sourdough, which is fermented with wild yeast from the air. The cheese we eat in the US is fermented, but its mostly made with pasteurized milk, and the bacteria and molds that take over are much more controlled due to things like waxing the rind. Modern/cheap cheese is more a science than an art. Things like sauerkraut and pickles you buy in the store are usually lacto-fermented, but they are pasteurized, and often have vinegar added as well. Sometimes they aren't fermented at all, just brined in vinegar. Traditional American cured meats like ham and bacon used to be cured over a period of months, and sometimes years, hanging in a barn with nothing but salt. Virginia used to produce some of the best ham in the world. Nowadays, we use nitrates to cure it much more quickly. The advantage of this is that the meat is much less likely to go bad, and it cures much faster. The disadvantage is that the flavor doesn't even compare to the traditional way. Cured meats are an artisan food, like wine, and when done the traditional way can go bad very easily, but if it succeeds, the flavor is incomparable. It will have what the French call terroir, meaning that the flavor comes from the place where the food was made. When I buy good local cheese, its one of a kind. There's no other cheese like it. They couldn't make it in France even if they wanted to, because the exact types and ratios of different grasses that the cows eat, as well as the types of wild yeast in the air and the climate is unique to this town that I live in. I think that this way of eating, besides being more healthy, connects us to the place we live and to nature in a way that is missing with our current food system. Unfortunately, there's only a couple of people left in the US who still cure meat the traditional way. One is Mario Batali's father, I think in Seattle, who sells online, but its expensive. I plan to try to ferment my own hot dogs using local beef. If it turns out good, I will make like 5 pound batches and freeze it. Good sourdough bread is also hard to find, which is understandable, because its much more time consuming, difficult, and unpredictable to make. I've found it to be not worth all the effort, but that's just me. As far as fermented vegetables, I make my own. If you can find the real thing in a store, its very expensive because it has to stay refrigerated, or it will continue to ferment and the glass jar will explode. I bought a Harsch fermenting crock from Germany. It works amazing. The way its designed makes the whole process foolproof. Before I got this crock, about half of my ferments went bad and had to be thrown out. Since I got the crock, I haven't had a single ferment go bad. I make dill pickles, sauerkraut, and pickled carrots. Due to the nature of these vegetables, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, and carrots are the easiest to ferment, but there's many others that can be fermented. I plan to try banana peppers in the summer when I can buy a bunch of fresh ones. I wouldn't waste my money of probiotic supplements. It's like comparing a multivitamin to a farmhouse meal. Spend that money on some good pickled veggies instead. Realpickles brand is expensive, but they have the best pickles I've ever tasted. They also have lactofermented hot sauce and other veggies, or buy a crock and start making your own. Its so easy.
  9. Are you currently doing any kind of exercise? I'm probably not as qualified as some others here to give advice, but I would recommend you try running. As others have said, exercise can be grounding, which may benefit you. I know I'm probably biased, being a runner, but I think running is about as grounding as you can get. It also does a great job of getting the energy circulating. If you decide to go for a run a few times a week, please follow these two pieces of advice. First is to run in nature if possible. On a trail is great, or else just a nice calm spot with a lake, or trees, birds chirping, squirrels running around, etc. Second, don't run with music, ever. I really believe this changes the whole experience, and makes it no longer meditative. Its then just exercise. Running is meditation for me. Sometimes my mind is clear, and sometimes I think about things that are bothering me. One thing is for sure, when a run is really difficult, you can't help but think about things, simply to take your mind off the physical suffering you're experiencing. Also, don't overdo it. It can be very draining if you run too much too soon. That goes for any exercise really.
  10. Got Milk?

    I used to get raw grass-fed milk from a local farm. I stopped drinking milk last year due to the damp forming nature of dairy, and I feel much better, but I agree that the real thing can definitely have benefits. In TCM, dairy is extremely damp forming. Bitter foods tend to drain dampness. The Masai tribe have some type of porridge or drink that they make out of a very bitter plant, which I'm sure became a staple of their diet because of how much milk they drink. Also, dairy is incredibly nourishing. Probably the most nourishing food there is. This means its great if you haven't eaten all day, or if your underweight or vegetarian, but if you already get lots of nourishment it can be too much, which I think further contributes to the damp nature. In the west we tend to think of nourishment as "the more the better," but in TCM you can definitely have too much nourishment. Another example is organ meats. Meat is already incredibly nourishing, and organ meats especially. This is why TCM advocates eating very small portions of organ meats at a time. Too much is overwhelming for the spleen to extract chi from, causing the spleen to overwork and weakening the spleen. Anyway, as you said lots of cultures drink milk and are very healthy. You just have to listen to your body, and of course make sure its the real thing. Grass-fed, raw, and not homogenized.
  11. How's Your Intuition?

    A wooden desk with something old and heavy metal near it and something red like a cup or trash can on or next to or under it.
  12. From what I understand, from the perspective of physics time travel into the past is not possible. This is because of the obvious paradox. If you went back in time and killed your parents then you wouldn't be born. Except you were born. Most physicists will say that only time travel into the future is possible. If time travel into the future occurs, its not like everything that you skipped didn't happen. It did happen, you just missed it. You would go into a machine and probably fly at a rate of speed close to the speed of light, and time dilation would occur. The increase in speed will cause spacetime to bend, causing time to slow down for you compared to everyone else on earth. So say for example you get into your time machine, and you travel for 200 years through space, and return back to earth. Lets say you are traveling at such a high rate of speed that from your point of view you were only on the ship for 2 days. It didn't just seem like 2 days, it was 2 days, for you. You slept 1 night, you ate dinner twice, etc. You only aged 2 days. People on earth experienced time differently during those 2 days. Spacetime didn't change for them, so for them it was 200 years. They died, and their children died. Then you came back to earth. When you look at it this way, you see that its not some mystical thing. Its based on hard science, and theoretically is absolutely possible. It is only a matter of time before time travel into the future occurs. Of course, once you travel to the future you can't change your mind and go back. That time already happened, but you were busy flying around in your time machine.
  13. What does your Qi feel like?

    To me I can't really say that I feel a physical sensation with qi. I definitely feel jing, and can feel it when it circulates through my body like a gust of wind. Qi feels like being alive. The more abundant my qi is, the more alive I feel. This is not necessarily my energy level, because I can be energized by getting excited, doing something I love, eating sugar, or any number of ways, but abundant qi is different. I don't know any other way to describe it as just feeling more alive. Like my eyesight is more keen, my sense of smell is more acute. Food tastes better and my mood overall is generally better. Abundant qi makes me feel incredibly strong but also calm at the same time.
  14. Just curious what you folks' opinion is about the ability for dreams to affect the physical body. Last night I had a dream that I was with some friends just hanging out and outside on a nice day, and we were doing handstands on the grass. In my dream I kept doing handstands for what seemed like an hour, having a good time and goofing around. When I woke up, I had a pretty bad stomach ache, which was weird because I didn't eat right before bed and felt fine before bed. I stayed awake for 20 minutes and I started feeling better. I'm sure we've all also had the kind of dream that's just a perfect scene, and it causes you to wake up in a great mood. And of course there's the erotic dreams which can lead to orgasm during the dream, but actually having a stomach ache after dreaming about handstands was really wild to me, and has never happened to me before. Anybody have any similar experiences?
  15. I'm not experienced enough to give you advice about retention, but I'm sure that you would benefit from ANY type of discipline in your life. This could be anything. It could be running, painting, doing pushups and situps, daily stretching to become more flexible, practicing a musical instrument, etc. Whatever your discipline is, it has to be something that you're constantly trying to improve on, and something that you do whether you feel like it that day or not. Without those two elements, its not a disciple, its just a hobby. I think the other ideas of helping people by volunteering with some kind of charity are also great for your spirit, and will help you to not be so hard on yourself. To recognize aspects of yourself that you want to improve is the first step and the hardest step, and you've already accomplished that.