Summer 2008 issue #14
Mankind has been concerned about health and longevity since time immemorial. Medical systems are in fact a vignette of whatever myth of disease and causation is held at the time. While today’s material science reigns supreme in the populace’s consciousness, including the doctors and the pharmacists, there is occasionally a glimmer of hope for humanity from those who live the longest as to ‘the secret’ of their longevity.
Harry Patch celebrated his 110th birthday on the 17th June 2008. He is the last surviving ‘Tommy’ from the Great War. Having fought in the mud of Flanders at Passcherdaele where 300,000 allied soldiers died, one could say he’s lucky to have seen through the conflict. Mr Patch, who lives in Wells, Somerset, said: “I neither smoke, drink nor gamble. The three sins, leave them alone… I feel about 50. Fresh air, no petrol and no cars, that’s the secret.” 
Are these six things the whole truth? Others centenarians have imbibed and puffed, but one must admit there is something to consider. The gambling is most poignant: his refusal to indulge in this shows his living according to the principle of acceptance of one’s own abilities to create fortune, or the acceptance of what one has.
It’s the fresh air, how can one not agree with this? But no petrol, no cars? I once crossed a continent in a plane and concluded that movement faster than a horse can carry you is contrary to health. The changes caused to the subtle body distort thinking, metabolic and circulatory functions. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is one such result of travelling faster than the horse and cart at about 7 miles per hour. How fast does that aeroplane take you?
Petrol is the modern slave. The Roman civilisation collapsed, it is contended by some, because it ran out of slave labour. Petrol does the work which humans did and can do and will need to do once again. Work is therapeutic. It balances the detrimental effects that thinking has on the body. Work is yoga, unifying one with the universe. Petrol is also a poison. We do not have petrol engines operating in our homes and do not have the exhaust fumes piped into the car because we like the smell.
Certain schools of thought consider that petrochemicals are also the cause of a modern miasm – a taint like Hahnemann’s miasms of Psora, Sycosis and Syphilis  forming new potentials for disease. There are plenty of new diseases emerging. Petroleum products (the entire industrial world is based on petrochemicals) have seeped into everything, inside and around us.
I don’t wish to remove the challenge of living we now face, but is anyone up for an experiment (a rigorous, controlled double-blind trial no less) of clean fresh air, no cars, no petrol, no smoking or drinking, no more trips to William Hill to place your bet?
Cornelis van Dalen
1. London Metro News June 18, 2008
2. Cornelis van Dalen, Chronic Disease – Chronic Miasms ‘The Wages of Sin’, New Physis Newsletter, #5, 2005.
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