The compound CBD (Cannabidiol) is derived from the marijuana or hemp plant and is currently the newest rage and being touted as the latest ‘cure-all’ in the health and wellbeing industry. The claims made by its proponents cover a broad spectrum of supposed benefits, ranging from a reversal of depression, halting of psychosis and healing PTSD to curing cancer. (1)
In fact, here is a more comprehensive list of claimed benefits now coming from the myriad of companies that are touting CBD as a multi-pronged solution for literally dozens of mental, emotional and physical ailments, including the abilities to: slow Parkinson’s disease, curb anger, prevent anxiety, relieve menstrual cramps, lessen arthritis pain, treat Crohn’s disease, lower blood sugar, rejuvenate skin, heal brain injury, cure insomnia, speed recovery from workouts, calm dogs and stop epilepsy.
Of that entire list, only the limiting of seizures as experienced by people with two rare forms of epilepsy has been medically proven to be somewhat alleviated with the use of CBD oil. (2)
CBD oil is being marketed and sold inside products as far ranging as hamburgers and shampoo to gummy bears in a way to capitalize on a form of created ‘normalcy’ by the companies selling these products, when in fact there are many questions about its legality and efficacy.
Although I feel that it’s everyone’s choice as to what products they use to support the health and wellness of their bodies, the current groundswell of companies and distributors popping up at almost every street corner selling CBD in a way that promises the consumer that it can cure such vastly different illnesses and diseases without any scientific evidence or even FDA approval and oversight is at the very least alarming and is taking advantage of people’s medical needs in a deceiving way, capitalising on this with massive financial gains at their customers’ expense, whether it works for them or not.
“CBD is being produced without any regulation, resulting in products that vary widely in quality”, said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “It really is the Wild West,” Bonn-Miller said. “Joe Bob who starts up a CBD company could say whatever the hell he wants on a label and sell it to people.” (2)
The method by which CBD affects our body’s internal mechanisms is via what is known as the Endocannabinoid System, which is a complex cell-signalling system that is responsible for maintaining a state of homeostasis within the body by producing endogenous cannabinoids (AEA & 2AG) that are molecules which attach to endocannabinoid receptors found in the central nervous system (CB1) and the peripheral nervous system (CB2) within the immune system and on various organs like the kidneys and liver, thus modulating their function in various ways not fully understood by science. After the endocannabinoids AEA & 2AG carry out their functions they are broken down by two different enzymes produced by the body. (3)
The physiological effects of this natural system found within the human body are quite vast and include those that control and modulate chronic pain, stress, sleep, emotional moods, learning, memory, metabolism, inflammation/immune system, the cardiovascular system, liver and kidney function, appetite, skin & nerve function, reproduction/fertility, bone growth and motor control. (3)
By now the above extensive list of innate benefits of the body’s harmonious endocannabinoid system may appear very familiar to you, as it mirrors those claimed by the advocates of CBD oil as listed in the first segment of this piece. Even though CBD oil, (which, by the way, still contains at the very least trace amounts of the psychoactive drug Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and without proper FDA oversight cannot be truly determined or controlled), can be received by the body through its own natural receptors to produce its effects on various physiological systems, it does not mean that it is safe or required for our health and wellbeing. We have opioid receptors for heroin, but does that mean we should inject it into our veins to help with chronic pain and stress, or to help us go to sleep? Obviously not.
There is evidence to suggest that the scientific and medical field has a tendency to extrapolate meanings and connections based on theories of what they want to be true without necessarily confirming anything with repeatable evidence, all in the name of funding, profit and prestige. (4)
For instance, even calling this system of homeostatic control the ‘Endocannabinoid System’ just because it contains receptors for cannabinoid containing compounds like THC can then cause a situation where people more easily justify smoking marijuana, even though it clearly causes a disharmony in the body and mind, taking us away from any true state of homeostasis that the body’s natural systems maintain. This pseudo-science then paves the way for other fad products like CBD oil to be seen as the next ‘saviour’ for our current state of poor health and wellbeing.
The current market environment selling CBD oil is a literal free-for-all, with a lot of companies making huge profits while seemingly taking advantage of people’s desperation to feel better in their lives. The rates of illness, disease and unsettlement continually rise within a society that does not appear to want to deal with the underlying causes of these physical, mental and emotional issues, but instead would prefer the ‘quick fix’ or cure rather than do the work to truly create a lasting healing, perhaps because this would require a level of honesty that would expose their lack of responsibility for not taking care and loving themselves enough to avoid these issues in the first place.
Perhaps the fact that our bodies already have a perfectly good system in place (the Endocannabinoid System) to control and maintain a homeostatic state of wellbeing is showing us that we have let ourselves be fooled by the appearance of yet another ‘snake oil’, this time called CBD, which only distracts us from what is needed for true healing, a trust and connection with the body that will show us not only how we have been treating it, but how to proceed forth when we reconnect to a more honest and self-loving way that does not look outside of it any more for answers or temporary fixes, but looks deep within to the cause of our problems and the source of our healing.
Society tends to hold a position that only those with the kinds of academic credentials that include the letters PhD are worthy of listening to when it comes to investigating and explaining Life and the Universe we live in.
But what if all we truly needed to gain a better understanding of ourselves, others and the world we live in was to simply nurture that innate curiosity we engendered as a child, and begin to use the interrogative word WHY to bring a deeper understanding to the true nature of our reality?
All too often we are content to assume that all the discontentment, struggle, ill-ness and turmoil we see around us can be explained away with flippant comments such as “that’s just the way it is” . . . when in fact, everything happens because something has made it so, and we could instead be asking the deeper questions of why these things are still so prevalent in our society when we claim that we are an advanced and intelligent civilisation.
Ever since I was a young boy, and continuing to this day, I have been fascinated with why things are the way they are and have been very much determined to go deeper than the typical explanation given to me, whether it was from teachers, parents, friends or adults. Now this tendency is very common with young children, as they search to understand the world they have entered, and they know straight away when they are given an answer that is meant to actually avoid a more profound or philosophical exploration. It’s usually only later on, after a pattern of either dismissal or unwillingness to ‘go there’ by the adults around them, that they resign themselves to drop their wonderment of the world and join the ranks of those who concede that they were probably wrong to question things using the powerful ‘why’, and that this is just the way the world will always be, so why ask why?
This approach feels to me to be one of almost ‘putting one’s head in the sand’ like an ostrich, not wanting to ask the big questions that might unravel the massive knot that is our current disconnected and dis-eased world, as if by hiding or ignoring the situation it will all magically go away. We then tend to go into all kinds of self-negating behaviours (such as overeating, drug/ alcohol abuse and using other stimulants) to suppress and numb the feeling of letting go of what we know to be the Truth all along.
A great example of this unfolded when I ended up getting into a playful philosophical conversation with a wise little boy at a friend’s wedding reception years ago, in which he would ask me various questions about things like, “Why can’t we see air, but we can feel it?” to which I would give my best scientific explanation, only to be immediately followed up with another “But WHY?” This went on and on for some time, as we traversed the inner world of wonderment that flowed so effortlessly from this beautiful child, and after many strings of ‘answers’ that I gave him, we inevitably came to a point at which the only reply that I could come up with was ‘Well, geez, actually I don’t know why, it just is, I guess.’
I walked away from this enlightening encounter with a greater appreciation of both this boy’s and my own natural curiosity and willingness to gain a deeper understanding for the foundation of natural phenomena and human behaviour. This interaction left a lasting impression on me, in that it not only spurred on my own inquisitive way of being, but also reminded me that there comes a point in our questions of life where we reach a limit on our current state of awareness and have to come to terms with the answer being taken care of by a Divine power that is providing the order and coordinating the outplay that we see before us on Earth and beyond.
Now, has this realisation stopped me from continuing to ask the many ‘Why?’ questions of life? … Nope! Because I feel that by continuing to ask the big questions about the causes of why things are the way they are in the world, it opens up the space and opportunity to reach the next level of understanding that is there for all of us to be aware of, and to gain the insight into why we make the choices that we do. There is a ‘call and response’ relationship that develops from this approach, where we are provided with the next marker of evolutionary awareness from our Soul/God when we are ready and willing to ask for and accept the truths that are there to step into and live by.
So there is a real irony to explore here, in that the very sought after initials PhD, which denote a certain level of mastery in one’s scientific field of expertise, actually stand for Doctorate in Philosophy, yet somehow we have let go of the philosophical component that delves into the why aspect of Life, in favour of focussing on identifying the mechanisms or what conditions are out there in the physically observable Universe and how do they relate to each other, which is the foundation for modern science.
At a 2005 scientific conference at City College of New York, a student in the audience rose to ask the panellists an unexpected question: “Can you be a good scientist and believe in God?” Reaction from one of the panellists – all Nobel laureates – was quick and sharp. “No!” declared Herbert A. Hauptman, who shared the chemistry prize in 1985 for his work on the structure of crystals. “Belief in the supernatural, especially belief in God, is not only incompatible with good science”, Dr. Hauptman declared, “this kind of belief is damaging to the wellbeing of the human race.”
This statement highlights for me the way that science and scientists ‘lose the forest for the trees’ by focussing so much on dissecting the world into little pieces and zooming in on them in a myopic way that limits their ability to see that what they were really observing all along was the expression and body of God.
An alternative view to the previous example – and one that I find very pertinent to the subject and value of asking ‘Why?’ in life – is one from UK science writer and editor of the science journal Nature, Philip Ball, where he is commenting on how quantum physicists have shown that the manner of observing an experiment seems to have a physical influence on the results or outcomes and states that:
Now that is quite fascinating; that perhaps the very act of asking certain particular questions opens up a door of awareness that was previously unavailable to us, as has been inferred in quantum mechanical experiments.
Another thing to consider here is that when people go about their lives believing that everything that occurs in the Universe is subject to some completely random and meaningless arrangement of particles and people, they can then dismiss the value in adopting a deeper inquiry into why things manifest themselves, and this may even lead to giving up on life in general. Because if we feel that all that we see is the result of a disorderly combination of energies, then how can we feel empowered to take responsibility for all our actions, or even feel the purpose of taking any action at all, if disorder could easily follow without any reason?
But this is most certainly NOT the way our Universe and our life on Earth operates, for how could it possibly all be a result of a haphazard combination of things when we see so many examples of a consistent Divine expression in Nature, from the Fibonacci spirals of a nautilus shell to the exact same geometric ratios being observed in magnificent spiral galaxies. Everything, yes, everything that we see and experience has happened for a reason because something has made it happen, and is a result of either Love being its foundation, which will bring an order and harmony to the situation, or the lack of Love, which will inevitably have disorder, disharmony, complication and emotion being its inherent outplay. When we see life in this way, everything in life becomes a reflection, showing us what is and what is not Love.
Once we accept that there is indeed a Divine Order and meaning to all that is expressed for us to learn and evolve by in Life, it benefits us all to begin to ask the deeper ‘Why?’ questions so we can not only get to the bottom of what energy impulses our choices – Love or not-love – but also begin to grasp the vast Grandness that we all come from when we reach that gorgeous point of wonderment at not having the answers right now, knowing in our hearts that they are held in God’s hands for us to one day hold in our own.
I’m pretty sure most people would consider food to be all the usual things we buy at our local grocery store such as your typical meats, fruits, vegetables, grains and the like. But what I have come to realise and feel so much more is how our whole body acts like a giant receptor for the energy that comes into it through all of our senses, not merely via the mouth into our stomachs. And by ‘all our senses’ I am including our most very important ‘sixth sense’ – you know, the one that tells you someone is feeling depressed before they even utter a word to confirm it, or the one that smells something ‘fishy’ when a lawmaker is making a promise, but you get the sense that he is not being genuine.
This antenna of truth we colloquially refer to as the ‘sixth sense’ could actually be considered to be our most important, as the energy that enters it provides us the feedback that we then feel in the form of various sensations, telling us if they jive or not with what we know to be true. A still and more settled body therefore provides us with a more sensitive ‘receptor’ to distinguish whether or not an outside energy disturbs it or not, and this is more difficult to fool than our five other main bodily senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Anyone can say or sing something that may be appealing to the ear for another person, but that doesn’t mean that what they are delivering is truthful or beneficial for our bodies.
And this leads to the next aspect of this sharing, which is that there have been many times when, after having a challenging or stressful day at work, I used to find myself listening to music that I had not heard for years – music which interestingly matched the melancholy mood I was in, or evoked a feeling of being ‘taken away’ in an attempt to escape from something that was emotionally coming up for me to deal with via the events of the day, but which I was avoiding by listening to that type of music. The vibration of the music was therefore synonymous with ‘eating’ any other type of food, as it was going into my body and having a direct effect on the quality of my consciousness and state of being.
Emoto’s work has even been further validated in that water holds energetic memories by experiments done at the Aerospace Institute of the University of Stuttgart. At this research centre they took microscopic images of water droplets placed by various people and amazingly each person’s droplets displayed a unique energetic pattern that was different from the others’, even though they were pulled from the same source of water! When different flowers were placed in the water and microscopically imaged afterwards, each flower left its unique pattern in the water droplets, even after the flower was removed, and these patterns were consistently displayed in all the samples from that flower (2). The implications of this research are quite staggering as it is showing us how our state of consciousness, in fact our every thought, creates an energetic imprint that directly affects our world around us, and especially our own physiology.
I’m sure most people can relate to how they feel in their bodies after watching some grotesque, bloody and violent horror film compared to watching something like a BBC nature documentary on the Amazonian rainforest. But what we don’t always take into account is that these visual stimuli are just as much a form of nourishment (or not, in the case of the horror film) as eating a fresh homemade salad. When we bombard our eyes with visual stimulation in the form of violence and disregard for the human body, one can’t help but understand how these things become accepted as social norms, as if to say “Well, that’s just the way it is in the world.” Although these things are indeed unfortunately prevalent, it is most certainly not ‘normal’. It’s not just the violence that can have a lasting effect either. I know that when I have caught myself mentally checking out on YouTube videos under the guise of ‘doing research’, it has left me feeling disconnected from my body, as if I had really neglected it. It also affects our body posture while we are zoning out on those things, which leads to a contraction in us that lets in an energy that sometimes does not feel like it belongs (hence the zombie-like state many people are seen in while watching TV for long periods of time).
Moving on to our olfactory senses, I can definitely attest to how yucky I have felt in the past after not wearing proper respiratory protection while using toxic chemicals at work, and also how calming the smell of lavender flowers are, or how the aroma of an Indian curry dish calls me into the kitchen. All these smells have a direct effect on our state of mind and how we feel in general. This is the basis of modalities like aromatherapy, using essential oils as a form of healing. Like the difference between a tender caress of one’s fingers through their partner’s hair compared to a harsh slap on the back between mates, the quality of these different movements can also have profoundly different results on our bodies, just as those of various scents. In fact, moving our body in a gentle and rhythmic way, focusing on touching and moving objects in this manner, can act like the best medicine for our body, cascading it in this gentleness as opposed to the hardness that can enter it via the manipulation of things with harshness.
If we consider all these sensory forms of ‘intake’, and hold the view of our whole body as a unified, delicate instrument that receives energy in all its forms, it really can change the way we approach our day and inspire us to only expose it to a quality that will enable it to stay settled, still, and open to expressing and receiving more love in our lives.
So perhaps it would be true to say that ‘food for thought’ could just as easily be converted into ‘thought for food’, as all the energies that our six senses receive can change our thoughts in a way that either supports us or takes us further away from our true harmonious and loving way of being. Those deviating thoughts can then continue this downward cycle by encouraging us to ‘eat’ things, via food and our other senses, that further numb or de-sensitise us in an attempt to not feel how we have been disconnected from ourselves or to avoid feeling the pain of a past emotional hurt. It all comes down to a choice; to feed ourselves with sensory inputs and experiences that either dull and mask who we truly are, or inspire us to express from our true essence, claiming our Divine origins.
You calmly reach into your jacket or maybe even the glove box of your car for your wallet, only to find it mysteriously missing, even though you could swear that you put it in that exact spot after the last time you used it. “No big deal, it must be in my other jeans inside the house,” you say to yourself, albeit in a self-convincing manner that already feels to be one that is losing confidence… rapidly. Before you know it, you are desperately looking in every nook and cranny of the house, ripping through drawers, cabinets and closets until the whole place looks like it has just been through an FBI drug raid!
I imagine I am not the only one who has gone through at least a semblance of the above scenario, whether it be via lost keys, credit card or even sunglasses, but after recently experiencing similar situations with both a seemingly lost passport and credit card, I decided to open up my own little investigation (minus the FBI tactics) to get to the bottom of why this has been a recurrent theme throughout my adult life. My amateur detective hunch was that it had something to do with presence (not the birthday type, either).
Earlier this year, in anticipation of an upcoming business trip to Europe, I offered to retrieve passports that I had packed away during our family’s recent move to our new home. “No problem, this should be easy” I thought, only to find myself hours later frantically rummaging through every box in the attic after all of our passports were not in the box I originally thought I placed them in a year ago. My anxiety level was going up every minute that went by without successfully locating them. I noticed during this whole process that my mind began to come up with all kinds of crazy scenarios that would explain their disappearance, such as “the box they were in was never loaded by the moving company” or “maybe I never even packed them in the first place.” I was beginning to believe they had fallen into another dimension, really!
After not being able to locate the passport and indeed having to pay that huge fee for an expedited one, a number of months went by and I found myself back up in our loft area looking for a storage bin. As I opened the closet door and looked down at the bins, I could almost feel what was barely hidden right before my eyes. At the bottom of the stacked bins lay a number of small items neatly packed away, among them being all of our passports!!! “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I exclaimed out loud, in somewhat of a self-berating tone. But right after that I had to laugh at the crazy emotional rollercoaster that I had just put myself through, when they had been lying under my nose all along, as I had actually looked at those very same bins during my initial search at least three or four times. It was in this moment that, only upon reflection later, I would realise the biggest clue to this mystery had then been revealed to me. Neither did I know that I was about to get the clincher a few weeks later.
The readers of this blog might think this is a fabricated story just for dramatic effect, but the truth is that about a quarter of the way into the writing of this piece, I actually ‘lost’ my wallet! Other than later providing the obvious title to this writing, it brought me to a point in my understanding of this pattern of losing and finding things that I had never had before. You see, even after the last episode with the passports, I dropped into that old pattern of scrambling around the house looking for it, calling the last store I used it at, assuming that someone stole it out of my car, etc. etc., even though no money had been taken out of any of my accounts. But this time, in the midst of my panic about the ramifications of losing my wallet and having no success in locating it, I simply called off the search, laid down on the couch, and surrendered. Not in the sense of giving up, but with the intention of saying no to the nervous energy that I had let drive me up to that point and to allow myself the space to feel all that was coming up for me in that moment.
There exists a myriad of ways that we avoid this natural stillness within us – eating sugary foods, drinking caffeinated beverages, intense exercise, over-working, creating dramas in our lives, etc. – but what became so obvious to me in this last episode of misplacing my wallet was that there was an underlying pattern here in which every time that I thought I had lost something, I inevitably ended up finding it right under my nose! I can’t tell you how many times this has occurred at my work, where I couldn’t find a certain tool, searched all over the airplane and hangar, thinking the worst, only to find it patiently sitting right inside my tool bag, as if to say: “Are you finished playing games and looking outside yourself for all the answers? I was waiting here all along!”
It was with this realisation that I had come to the underlying message that these experiences were offering me: that in life we have many times been taught to look for recognition, acceptance, approval, and ultimately love from an external source, without first connecting to and feeling that we have all that we need right here inside our inner hearts.
The idea that life in the Universe and all the particles that have cohesively and repetitively united in a coordinated, energetic and physical form could be the result of some unguided and accidental alignment seems not only to be almost statistically impossible, but also one that spawns a nihilistic viewpoint, where life has no meaning and purpose.
It is difficult for one to include a Divinely purpose-full God in a Universe that is supposedly the by-product of randomly un-guided movements and formulations of energy and matter. The ramifications of a purpose-less and God-less Universe hold the potential to create in society not only a ‘given-up’ attitude towards life, but one in which self-indulgence and gratification at the expense of others and one’s own body are the norm.
If there is no divine order, meaning and purpose to the way the Universe is working, then it is easy to see how people would resort to this view of life. One can almost hear these people say “What’s the point, anyway? I might as well live it up, have fun, and party ‘till I drop!” In addition, because of this atheistic and nihilistic philosophy held by most of our scientific and academic community, the standpoint that there does not exist an after-life or reincarnation further supports the people who look to these so-called experts to let go of any responsibility to see how they live their lives as critical to the evolution of humankind, but instead adopt a more self-centred and care-less way of existence. For if everything is random and meaningless anyways, how can one truly make a difference?
If everything that manifests is the result of the random combinations of quantum and molecular particles, how could the human body (which is comprised of approximately 7 billion, billion, billion atoms) consistently develop from the combination of a single sperm and egg into a complex organism with literally trillions of differentiated cells (with a myriad of intra-cellular organelles), that are all working behind the scenes to coordinate every single metabolic function, and on some level know which one will be, for example, a liver, blood, brain or kidney cell as each cell dies and is regenerated, some in a few days and others in a number of years? In essence, it’s as if we get a whole new body during this period of cellular rejuvenation.
When one considers how all the plant and animal organisms on the planet are displaying this same kind of consistent order in the way they develop and control all the chemical and physical functions of their bodies, it’s easy to appreciate how there may exist some kind of energetic template that coordinates it all to work with such precision and consistency. Observing how there are so many relationships found in Nature that work harmoniously and many times symbiotically with other organisms in their living environments – on both a micro and global scale – the probability of this all occurring by chance seems staggeringly implausible.
Another marvel in Nature that is typically chalked up to coincidence by the scientific community is the way that the size of the Moon and the ratio of its distance both to the Earth and to the Sun make it perfectly align to provide us with the amazing astronomical phenomenon we know as a total solar eclipse. Although solar eclipses occur on other planets in the solar system, due to their greater distance from the sun and larger moons, none parallel the almost statistically impossible alignment as witnessed from Earth. “This happens because although the moon’s diameter is about 400 times smaller than the sun’s, it’s also about 400 times closer. That makes the sun and moon effectively appear to be the same size in the sky”, thus creating an alignment during a solar eclipse where both heavenly bodies magically constellate, perhaps showing us another example of the Divine order of the Universe.
There seems to be a real irony here in that the same scientists that so adamantly utilise statistics and probability equations to determine whether a given observation or experiment is proven to be valid, somehow fail to apply these same basic principles to the above-mentioned phenomenon. It seems like there is possibly a deeper reluctance to see the potential truth that there is indeed a Divine Order to our lives, because to do so would disprove the now long held view in science that separates God from Science, even though it would in fact provide the bridge of understanding that explains so much about what we observe in our lives to be from a meaningful and coordinated intelligence.
In any event it is showing us how we are super-connected, and that in that connection lives a network of energetic communication that is always pulling us up to the next stage of our evolution, unfolding back to the soulful way of being that is our true, innermost nature. Perhaps it is this interconnected, energetic web – that allows us to feel how a friend across the globe is needing our assistance – that we are attempting to emulate with the World Wide Web we now commonly refer to as the ‘internet’.
When we look at the spiral shapes that follow a very specific mathematical equation of expansion known as the Fibonacci sequence, and are found throughout Nature from objects like Nautilus shells and unfolding ferns to pinecones and even spiral galaxies like our own Milky Way, it is extremely difficult to possibly imagine that this pattern repeats itself all over the Universe by some random act of ‘luck’ or by accident.