a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Archive for October, 2007

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Rudolf Steiner: A Path To Higher Knowledge, by Greg Gillette

Everyone has the potential for grasping the fruits of spiritual knowledge. Everyone has access to the answers to the mysteries of the universe, but for most folks, that kernel of spiritual knowledge lies dormant and has not yet been fully opened.
What is our ultimate purpose? What is our connection to the cosmos? What is our connection to each other? What is life like before being born into a body on Earth? And what is life like after shedding the body and entering the spiritual world? Are we truly free beings? What about free will? Reincarnation? Karma?

According to the work and life of Dr. Rudolf Steiner, these questions and many more can be known through Anthroposophy, the spiritual science developed by Dr. Steiner that unites the divine in mankind with the divine in the cosmos. Many folks know of Steiner through the Waldorf Schools or Biodynamic Agriculture, but his main objective was to show a true path to spiritual knowledge. He brought forth new directions and initiatives fused with spiritual knowledge into all aspects of society: education, arts, medicine, economics, agriculture, politics, etc. His vision and clairvoyance laid a path for new ways of thinking, feeling, willing and living.

Anthroposophy is not a new religion, but a new way of spiritual living that can be taking up by anyone of any religious background. It contains no dogma, no creed. “It is an experimental method in the sphere of the universally human, through which real, spiritual experiences can be had.” (Smit, page 49) Thousands of pages could be written about Steiner and his works, but I will keep it short and focus on Steiner’s aspect of meditation. Meditation was the source (foundation) of everything that he accomplished.

Through meditation, the higher faculties of thinking, feeling and willing will come into fruition and you will experience more balance and peace, have a better understanding of yourself and others, remain in the present moment longer, have better control of your thoughts, strive to see the positive in everything, maintain an open mind to everything, and be able to interject more of an objective way of living; the art of observing, listening and thinking, critically.

According to Steiner, thinking is the highest faculty we possess that enables us to grasp the knowledge of the higher worlds. Of course, Dr. Steiner is referring to spiritual thinking; thinking that is alive. “Thinking is the heart and blood of what distinguishes Steiner’s approach to spiritual work. The thinking that he is talking about, however, is not our ordinary thinking by which we rearrange existing (past, dead) thoughts. By thinking Steiner means “living” thinking, the dynamic process-state before thinking becomes thoughts.

Meditation means to think, ponder, reflect upon and revolve in ones’ mind. “True meditation is engagement in focused thinking, and the sense of detachment that accompanies meditation should not be an attitude of insouciance (lighthearted unconcern), but of objectivity.” (Cowen, page 87) True healing and freedom come about when we think on a higher level: in a careful, balanced and objective manner, when we experience the full gamut of our feelings and emotions while remaining objective with all that happens to us and around us.

Greg Gillette, Nutrition Specialist, can be reached at 828-252-9874 or at

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Monday, October 15th, 2007

Excerpt from Pronoia Is The Antidote For Paranoia, by Rob Brezsny:

“Pronia means that even if we can’t see and don’t know, primal benefactors are plotting to emancipate us. The winds and tides are on our side. The fire and rain are scheming to steal our pain. The sun and moon know our real names, and the animals pray for us while we are dreaming.

As we stand on this brink, as we dance on this verge, we can’t let the ruling fools of the dying world sustain their curses. We have to rise up and fight their insane logic; defy, resist, and prevent their tragic magic; unleash our sacred rage and supercharge it.

It’s a perfect moment for many reasons, but especially because you and I are waking up from our sleepwalking, thumb-sucking, dumb-clucking collusion with the masters of illusion and destruction. Thanks to them, from whom the painful blessings flow, we are waking up.

As heaven and earth come together, as the dreamtime and daytime merge, we register the shockingly exhilarating fact that we are in charge of creating a brand new world. Not in some distant time or faraway place, but right here and right now.”

Rob Brezsny shares his Free Will Astrology across the globe. He has convinced me “How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You With Blessings.”

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 271 user reviews.

Monday, October 15th, 2007

It just came to my attention that all recent comments from my much-loved readers have not made it to the site due to technical problems. I apologize for this – all is up and running now and I will reply to all comments soon. Thanks for sharing and keep talking! Tao

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 252 user reviews.

Friday, October 12th, 2007

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

We have a way to go before plastic and styrofoam, paper tableware and “to go” containers become a thing of the past, but better late than never, I suppose. The “inconvenient truth” is that, as we learned in high school economics, the push has to come from consumers.

Make restaurants in your community aware that you would like to see a switch to compostables and/or incentives for customers to bring their own containers. Don’t patronize restaurants that use styrofoam or other toxic materials to package food. Ask them about recycling. The same can apply to parties and potluck meals – offer to bring your own eat ware so they don’t have to buy (and discard) the plastic stuff.

Now you can have your tableware and bring it with you, too. I do this with some used camping supplies I found, but was recently wowed by Orikaso’s picnic/potluck/to go-friendly plates, bowls and cups that FOLD FLAT – perfect to keep in your backpack, handbag or briefcase. I know what you are thinking, but this stuff, made from a “magic polymer”, gets stronger the more you fold it. Affordable and forever useful (and convenient!) at $15/set.

Where did I see this? In a publication called, Good, “for people who give a damn – an entertaining magazine about things that matter.” Now in their second year of publication, it covers a wide range of topics on politics, business, health, tchnology, science, art and design, media, environment and living. Good read about good stuff. Check it out at

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Thursday, October 11th, 2007

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Reduce – everything you think you need or want, but really don’t.

Restore – everything you might throw out and replace.

Reuse – everything you think is disposable.

Rebuild – everything old can become new.

Recycle – everything that can’t be applied to the above.

Rethink – everything you use, buy, say or eat.

Reveal – everything that is true.

Re-establish – everything that made life more simple.

Reinvent – everything we thought we did right the first time.

Reject – everything anyone tells you that denies your instincts.

Rejoice – in everything that can be healed – by doing the above – in your life and on the planet!

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Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

I admit it, I’m hooked on BYOB – no, not the bottle, but on the many ways I go out into the world prepared to consume less. I bring my own grocery bag, water bottle, coffee mug, napkin and bandana. I also bring my own plate and utensils to potluck meals. You might have to try it to believe me, but this is FUN in a “Sock it to You” kind of way. Bring Your Own makes a statement.

So, when I saw this guy walk in the coffee shop with a ceramic mug with flames on it, I had to ask him about it (ok, he was cute, too). As it turns out, Aydin made this mug himself – in 5th grade. I was impressed enough to ask for this picture.

Moral of the story: Women Love Men Who BYOB.

ps. I know you may be wondering what’s up with the bandana, so here’s 7 uses:

To replace a paper napkin or towel

To put your bicycle chain back on

To dab the bit of sweat you produced on said bicycle

To make a fashion statement

To wrap up a leftover sandwich

To hide a bad hair day

To drop – in hopes that a beautiful stranger will return it to you

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Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

By Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

By theory, shopping is considered addictive and some people use it like they use alcohol or drugs. But, like many things, a little can be good while a lot is lethal. Our culture has made it possible for most of us to get our “fix” often by providing a lot of stuff for very little. We get used to “low low prices”, and think of it as normal. It’s not – but places like Wal-mart and other chain stores want us to think otherwise. I know people who pursue lower prices like predators pursue prey, driving an extra 10 miles or more to save a few dollars or even cents on something they probably don’t need. “It’s on sale!!” is their war-cry. Most often they forego quality for quantity and, in the process, “feed the monster” of unsustainable consumerism while keeping the earth toxic and the practice of slave labor alive..

If something is really cheap – then someone along the way is getting screwed and it’s usually impoverished people doing really hard labor in horrible conditions. Of course, cheap, easily obtained supplies are needed to complete the equation and this means suffering for the environment as well. I’m continually amazed at the number of middle-class people who won’t buy organic food, not because they are unconvinced it is better for them, but because it “costs” too much. Yet, those daily $4.00 latte, video rental or the monthly manicure fit right into the budget.

Nothing that costs little actually costs little. Knowing this makes it easy for me to shop locally and logically and yes, to pay more in some cases. It’s helps to know I’m accruing a long-term benefit for people and the planet but the immediate reward is simply that it feels good – like I’m participating in something truthful rather than constantly trying to beat an already crooked system. I don’t notice a change in my expenses since I automatically buy less stuff.

Only when we begin to measure our lives in values, health and justice rather than in dollars, will we really be rich.

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Monday, October 8th, 2007

I was happy and relieved when I learned that fat is food, too. I began enjoying many versions of it back then – in the form of flax oil, coconut oil, avocados and nuts. What I learned more recently is that we can enhance the nutritional value of good fats by eating them raw, too, including those in dairy products and even meat. I was an easy convert as long as I could get these foods from a local and organic farmer.

My friend and Nutrition Specialist, Greg, has been coaching me along the way and I’ve never felt better. This is an article he has written on the subject – enjoy. Tao

The Healing Properties of Raw Fat by Greg Gillette

There are many studies and controversies over fat. How much do we need? What are the best sources? Is saturated fat healthy? What about animal fats?
My intention is to shed some light in the fat direction based on my research from various studies and other practitioners and based on working with myself and with clients.

You will not get fat from eating the right types of fat! I say this because so many people still believe that fat makes them fat. Some people think that all fat is bad and others think only saturated fat is bad. Many practitioners and dieticians still call saturated fat, the bad fat. This is simply not true. Granted, there are bad fats, including some saturated fats, and you are probably aware of them: hydrogenated fats, pasteurized and homogenized dairy products, fried foods, refined vegetable oils, good oils heated too high, etc.

Do you truly know what good fat does for our bodies? Some of the benefits that fats provide include: provides warmth, enhances circulation, strengthens and nourishes all the glands and organs, including the heart and the brain; aids in the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates; used in the production of many hormones, including the sex hormones, cell membranes, and tissue production. Fat is a great source of stored energy. It enhances fluid metabolism and it regulates the passage of nutrients in and out of cells.

What about saturated fat? The good saturated fats strengthen our immune system and are needed for the proper functioning of the heart, lungs, and the brain. In addition, these fats boost metabolism and aid with weight loss.

A few other benefits that fats provide are their ability to lubricate the body, the organs and the skin, decrease dryness in the body and increase moisture, decrease feelings of tiredness and sluggishness and increase feelings of vitality and energy, and finally, their ability to keep us hydrated.

The following fats are of the utmost importance, starting with the least healing to the most healing.
1) Cold pressed oils (olive, sesame, flax, cod liver, coconut)
2) Raw coconuts and coconut cream
3) Raw avocados
4) Raw eggs
5) Raw unsalted butter

I recommend that all these fats be organic and the butter from cows that are grass fed.
Raw fat is the most valuable and utilized nutrient in our toxic modern world. It has the awesome ability to aid in the production of white blood cells, relax and comfort the body, protect the organs, glands, and cells and provide the most efficient, strongest, and most powerful energy for the body. Ultimately, raw fats dissolve and remove all sorts of toxins and toxic substances from the body; and we all have plenty of toxins from living in this world.

Raw eggs are one of the best compact and nutritious foods available. On the cellular level, they aid in regeneration and maintenance. In addition, they are a great source of protein and fat and healthy cholesterol. Raw cholesterol is totally different than cooked cholesterol. I have been consuming raw eggs for several years, with nothing but great health results. Please refer to the Great Egg Panic by Emily Green, LA Times, January 4, 2000, to get a better understanding of the propaganda behind the salmonella-poisoning scare due to raw eggs.

Raw unsalted butter is a tremendous healing food for our modern times. It soothes and lubricates nerves, muscles, and mucous membranes, cleanses and strengthens all the organs and glands, heals intestinal lesions, dissolves hardened plaque from eating bad fats, binds with and helps remove toxins and waste products from the body, lubricates bones and joints, cleanses, fuels, lubricates, protects, and rejuvenates cells and aids in new cellular growth.

I hope I got you thinking in a new light about raw fat and how important it is to consume.

Greg Gillette, Nutrition Specialist, offers individual nutrition consultations and comprehensive metabolic testing to get to the real causes behind your health challenges. Greg can be reached at 828-252-9874 or

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