Who's Your Guru?
by Dr. James E. Carey, DD, PhD (computer technology), former Director and Executive Trustee of Creative Health Institute
As editor of the chi Living Foods Newsletter, and as one of the volunteers that create, produce and distribute the home study version of the Dr. Ann Wigmore / Creative Health Institute program, I get lots of letters. One of the most common queries I receive is about resolving the conflicting advice of various "raw food gurus." Somehow, I'm expected to have all of the answers. And at a deeper level, people want to know WHY there are so many conflicting opinions and methodologies surrounding raw foods - why can't we all agree on the facts, they ask?
First I bear in mind that the greatest mistake in life we can commit is one-sidedness, when we believe that wear are in possession of the only exclusive truth, and everything and everybody else is wrong. Therefore, I trust little of what I "think" I "know." After all, "everybody knew" that the earth was flat, that ships made out of metal would sink, that the human body was incapable of traveling faster than 35 mph, that Dewey would be elected President over Truman, and that cooking food was healthy.
So I examine what is being said from a critical viewpoint. Is there clinical evidence, unbiased studies, scientific research to back up what the person is saying, or are they merely rendering an opinion? In most cases we're listening to opinions - opinions not necessarily gathered from unbiased personal observations and research.
Then I look at who made the statement and what their reputation is. People like Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Dr. Douglas Graham, Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. Edmund Bordeaux Szekely, Dr. Lorraine Day and Dr. Ann Wigmore, after receiving a through medical education, have made extended, often life-long, scientific and clinical studies of the effects of raw and cooked foods on the body, and back up their opinions with statistics and evidence, not just anecdotal stories.
Others, like Victoria Boutenko, Paul Nison, Hiawatha Cromer, Nomi Shannon and Juliano, have studied raw foods extensively, often for decades, usually with recognized raw living food experts or academies, have devoted years of their lives studying the effects upon themselves, sharing the raw living foods lifestyle with others, and have often participated in studies as well as conducted their own. After accumulating all of this experience, their friends encourage them to speak out publicly about what they've learned.
Both of these groups are eminently respectable, and I trust their advice and opinions.
There is a third group. These are raw fooders that have taken a two-week program somewhere are are now out to save the world. With less than a year of experience they come out with their first book. I applaud those who have purity of motivation, but unfortunately, many have jumped on the bandwagon because they see this as a "good business opportunity." Interest in raw food is up four-fold in the last two years, it's the #2 diet and Hollywood, and it's often "sexy" to the media.
Sometimes there appears to be a new "insight" or "revelation" in the work of these newcomers, but opinions are merely empty words until they are backed up by solid evidence.
I try to read the works and newsletters of all raw fooders, but the more I see blatant self-promotion the more I question their motives and the validity of their writings. So many, many times their "original work" tends to be composed of re-worked material originally developed by the people named above. We have an ironic saying in academia - "stealing from one person is plagiarism, stealing from two or more is research." The point is, true research is more than just rewording the works of others.
Anybody that emails me more than once a month about their "exciting, revolutionary" new book, or video, or discovery, is suspect. Those that email me three times a week tend to be shameless self-promoters, rewriting and reworking the material of others.
If you want to find out if something is true, first ask yourself if it's in harmony with the laws of nature? If yes, there's a one-third probability that it's true. Then ask if it's in harmony with eight thousand years of wisdom, with all the highest teachings of the great spiritual giants, philosophers and scientists. If yes, there's a two-thirds probability that it's true. Then ask yourself if it's in harmony with your inner intuition. This inner intuition is another avenue to truth (see Power vs. Force), and if it's in harmony with your intuition also, then you can be sure that it is true.
"Gray are all the theories, but green is the tree of life." - Goethe