The Cause and Cure of Disease
by John Roland Stahl
Some people have asked me, “What is the use of studying philosophy?” This question surprises me, because it seems obvious to me that an understanding of the abstract principles of philosophy will help us to understand the way the world works. When you understand the Process of Change going on in the world, then you can more effectively act in ways that might make this world a better place.
I don’t want to repeat (yet again) all of my ideas of philosophy, but I can indicate the resources in which most of my ideas are laid out. First, there is the primary text of Hermetic philosophy, for which the rest of my writings may be taken as Commentary: The Emerald Tablet. Next, there is my introduction to Hermetic Alchemy: Hermetic Alchemy. Then there is my main exposition of my ideas in philosophy: Patterns of Illusion and Change. Finally, there are a couple of these short articles here that should be included: The Survival of Life on Earth, and Speculations on Cosmology.
I think those articles, considered all together, represent most of my important ideas in philosophy pretty well. There is no point in reviewing it all again here, but I may just point out a couple of ideas that are important in the context of health. Several times in those articles I refer to the idea that all good things converge at a point at the center, and movement away from that point goes out away from the perfection of God towards error. However, lately I have tried to clarify that the movement away is not just “bad,” nor is the movement in simply “good.” Both directions are two different aspects of God. (Or “two metaphysical principles” — it doesn’t really matter about the words.) The Movement Out is Creative, while the Movement In is Receptive (using the concepts from the I Ching). Think Combinational Chess vs. Positional Chess, for example. But this movement out is only “good” with reference to the center line. As you move away from the center (and this is the God that creates the Universe) you first go into “Novelty,” followed by “Complexity,” then “Confusion,” and finally “Chaos.”
So the Solve and Coagula (movement away from the Center, and movement towards the Center) are only effective means for spiritual growth as long as the Solve returns to Coagula before drifting out into the realms of Confusion and Chaos. Endless Coagula without any Solve is just stagnation; too much Solve without a corresponding Coagula is just like a balloon in which the string is released.
Health is one of the most obvious and important applications of these ideas. When you are in a state of clarity, your health is good. When you are lost into confusion, your health breaks down.
All of this determines the strength of your resistance to disease, but there are situations of a physical nature which can undermine the healthiest lifestyle. The most important and problematic situation is the declining levels of oxygen in our atmosphere.
Everyone knows that the world is running out of Oil. “Peak Oil,” they call it, meaning that all the easy oil has been extracted already, and it is all downhill and diminishing from here.
I use the expression “Peak Tree” to refer to something very similar concerning the trees. All of the easy trees have been taken down, and the remaining stands of trees are too few to be sustainable in any way, so our planet is losing its tree cover in a rapid way that will have a devastating impact upon the health of our planet. It is this idea that has generated my Church of the Living Tree, in which I point out the seriousness of the error, and suggest that without a massive effort to restore tree cover, our planet is doomed to the extinction of life.
Next comes water. The world is running out of water. Ever increasing populations are requiring ever larger amounts of water, and the margin of safety is getting smaller and smaller. This means that whenever there is any kind of drought at all, it can have severe repercussions upon people’s lives.
But there is one more, and this is the one I have recently become stunningly aware of — Oxygen. The world is running out of oxygen! Everyone talks about the rise in the atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, and they wring their hands about the consequence of global warming due to those elevated levels, but no one seems to have taken any notice of a parallel development — the loss of atmospheric oxygen. Many years ago (I don’t know how many, because I don’t have any references here, and I forgot where I learned this) the level of oxygen in the atmosphere was about 38%. Now it has declined to about 19%. And that is an average! In many cities, the levels of oxygen are so low that the air is positively unhealthy. And so, whenever anyone has any poor lifestyle habits, such as smoking, or a poor diet, they are at an increased risk of developing cancer or other disease.
Ever since losing my wife to cancer over twelve years ago, I have made a study of alternative therapies for cancer and other viral diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, etc. What I have learned is that the most important single factor in the onset of disease is an insufficiency of oxygen. The therapy for someone who is sick is to promote a greatly accelerated absorption of oxygen, usually through some administration of ozone. (You can find lots of information about Oxygen Therapy on the internet.)
So, for everyone who is trying to figure out why there is an ever increasing incidence of cancer these days, there is the answer — there just isn’t enough oxygen to go around any more! If you are in a poor oxygen environment (just about any city, or workplace) and you have any lifestyle issues such as smoking, or a poor diet, then you are at a greatly increased risk of getting cancer or some other disease. The single most problematic dietary problem is probably bad oil — especially heated oils, as in deep fried foods — the French fries and the carbonated drink are even more toxic than that burger.
The Indians understood the importance of the breath of life. Proper breathing will fill your body with “prana,” which is simply oxygen, after all. The definition of “prana” has to do with life force, but it is really practically identical with oxygen, to keep it simple.
Now of all of the proposals put forward to ameliorate the problem of increasing levels of carbon dioxide, the simplest and most cost effective is to restore the tree cover over the earth. At the same time as the trees absorb all that carbon, they give off oxygen, so the restoration of the Trees is really of paramount importance. I can think of nothing else that could possibly compare in importance, from the point of view of the survival of life on earth, than an immediate program of tree planting.
One of the “Saints” of the Church of the Living Tree is Richard St. Barbe Baker, who, over the course of his life, and “with a little help from his friends,” planted more than 26 trillion trees. That is 26,000,000,000,000 trees. That is a lot of trees, but that is the scale of what has to be done. We should plant another trillion trees every month.  Our lives and the lives of our children depend upon it.
The Evanescent Press