Amadon DellErba interviews Brigitte Mars - herbalist, author of 14 books, professor, & natural chef with close to 50 years of experience in her field – to explore health in these times of global pandemic & the body/mind/soul connection to our wellbeing.
Brigitte teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and The School of Health Mastery in Iceland. She has taught at Omega Institute; Esalen; Kripalu; Sivananda Yoga Ashram; Arise, Envision and Unify Festivals; and The Mayo Clinic. She blogs for the Huffington Post and Care2. She is also a member of the American Herbalist Guild.
Brigitte is the author of many books, including The Home Reference to Holistic Health and Healing, The Country Almanac of Home Remedies, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, The Sexual Herbal, Healing Herbal Teas, Rawsome!, and co-author of The HempNut Cookbook. She has also produced several educational DVDs and her latest project is a phone app called iPlant that helps budding herbalists to identify plants in the wild.
Amadon (a member of the board of directors for Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage & Mystic Farms) and Brigitte discuss issues we are facing as a world community taking care of our health in the time of COVID-19. Highlighting positive impacts this pandemic can have on our health consciousness, together they look at how the Coronavirus is revealing some of our unsustainable modern-world habits the need for change.
Hey tribe, Amadon DellErba here. Welcome to “Get Real or Die Trying”
“Nothing You Do Matters Unless What You Do Matters”
On today’s episode I sat down with Brigitte Mars. She’s a world recognized herbalist, teacher, educator, and author. She’s written fourteen books, and another one’s on the way, on herbs, alternative medicine, healing and various subjects around health and well-being. She’s a teacher and I’m really excited to have a conversation with her. I’ve know Brigitte for about 7 years. We’ve spent some time together. She’s been to my home. I’ve been to her home. And so we have a nice candid discussion about philosophies and viewpoints on healing health and wellness.
“Nothing You Do Matters Unless What You Do Matters”
I’m Amadon DellErba and this is “Get Real or Die Trying”
Amadon: I'm super blessed to be here today with my friend, Brigitte Mars. How you doing, Brigitte?
Brigitte: I'm really well, thank you.
Amadon: You guys got to hear all about Brigitte in my intro so you know about her.
She's a very accomplished author and herbalist. And I am lucky to also know her personally. I think we first met, Brigitte, like seven years ago at the Natural Foods Expo? Is that right? In L.A.?
Brigitte: Right, yes.
Amadon: And then I was just being reminded, of course by Facebook, that exactly two years ago today I was with you in Boulder, Colorado cause I was up there speaking at an anti-Monsanto event, and you were kind enough to host me and my friend, Kazarian. We spent some time together and so, two years ago today we were with each other and here we are again with each other.
Brigitte: That was a delight. Yes, and thanks for speaking up at March Against Monsanto.
Amadon: Well, I wanted to have you on my show because I feel like you and I have a similar mindset and approach to healing, and to health. And, of course, you're a URANTIA Book reader and I'm a URANTIA Book reader, and I think our philosophies and our consciousness around the ideas and questions around healing are similar. And of course I respect your years of wisdom and experience as an herbalist and as somebody in the alternative medicine field. And I just wanted to have a conversation and get your insight.
Of course, as we both know, we're in some very interesting times here on the planet with Covid-19 global pandemic. And it's bringing a lot of questions to people's minds and hearts about health and wellbeing, and what really matters I think in a lot of ways too. In some ways, I think it's been a blessing - as hard as it's been - to reprioritize people's thinking and to really place a firmer understanding in their hearts and souls of what's important; what's valuable in their life. And of course, health and our wellbeing is one of the most important things. So I just wanted to throw around some ideas and talk about psycho-spiritual health and how psychology and mental and emotional health, spiritual health, plays such an important role and are complementary to the health of what we eat, what we consume, and the medicine we put in our body.
Brigitte: Well, you know, these are really interesting times and I have long spoken about how our mental condition affects our physical body and our physical condition affects our mental body and how human beings are invaded so many ways. You know, when you're born, people get immunized, if you're fed infant formula, we have fluoride in the water, we have chemicals in the air that we're breathing, we are marketed toxic media constantly that's encouraging people to eat junk food and then “eat this food, take these drugs”, as if that was like a really normal thing. And, you know, it's really pretty overwhelming. And now all of a sudden we have this virus and people are so concerned about their health and, you know, there's a lot of things that do humanity in, and of course, you know, you've all heard the argument like, “Why aren't we doing more about starvation? And heart disease? And, you know, controlling, you know, sugar? Why aren’t we dealing with some of the things that we know cause poor health?” And you know, we see that in the media right now. The big hope is for a vaccine, but I feel that there are many, many things that we can do in our everyday life to take action to have good health. And you know, as you mentioned, that our mental and spiritual well being, having good relationships, being clear with those that we're in contact with, you know, is really important. And every meal that we eat, every food that we bite into, it's either an opportunity for building our health or undermining our health. You know, things that are toxic behaviors, we need to look at that.
So I'm all about, you know, what can we do to build our health? And rather than seeing this as an opportunity for fear, it should be an opportunity to motivate us to be thinking about, you know, what could we be doing every day? Because we're all going to die, you know, that's how it happens on this planet. We don't live in these bodies forever.
But I'm also kind of curious, like, when did people become so fearful of dying? And I really love your talk about like, you know, “die trying” or something like “we're going to do our best”...and you know, I think about, you know, what would Jesus do? Jesus didn't cower and run from the lepers. He, you know, he helped people and he was determined to help people. So I feel like these are really interesting times and people are quarantining themselves, but I do feel that these viruses, there have always been viruses, there always will be, and that we need to be building our health so that they don't take us down. At least not when we're so young. But I really think we need to think about being ready to leave this planet with more grace and ease and live a life that is spiritually, you know, has us ready to move on to the next dimension. And live a life and not be fearful, and live our life knowing that any day could be our last. You know, every time we get in a plane or a car or, you know, stand out under the lightning, it could be the end. So we need to be ready on every level. All the time.
Amadon: Absolutely. I appreciate that insight. You brought up a lot of, a lot of points there. One of the things you mentioned is that people are afraid of dying, and I think people are afraid of the aging process, and it seems, especially in Western culture, there's such an emphasis on not aging, you know, always looking 20 years old and this and that, and it's become so toxic. That actually itself is a toxic thing - this pursuit to try and overcome and defeat and control the aging process and the death process, even...that it really puts someone out of touch with society and, in my personal opinion, when I see people who are, you know, typically what someone would consider elderly and they're trying so hard to be 20 years old, and they're doing a lot of things to their body - they're altering their body - to me, I think, Oh, that's really not a healthy person, like in my personal belief system of what health is, because they're actually in denial of their God-given process in their body and their personality, and they're trying to be something that they no longer are. And of course, the whole subject of what is a healthy person starts, I think, in the consciousness and that spiritual mindset.
So if an individual is really trying to deny their natural process and the evolutionary process of aging, you know...and it's not to say that there are not measures that we can take to take care of our bodies and be healthy at the older ages and stages of our life. But again, just really linking the spiritual consciousness of, to me, what a healthy person is. I've spent time with people who, on paper and technically, would be very healthy people - they eat a hundred percent organic, they're taking every super food they can imagine, they're taking every supplement they can imagine, they exercise all day long and they’ve got a great, fit body - yet their demeanor is self righteous, or judgmental, or they're mean, they don't have love in their hearts, and they're mean spirited, or whatever. So to me, that's a sick person. You know, their physical body may be functioning at a level of supposed health, but if what comes out of their mouth and their actions and how they treat people is basically ungodly, then they're a sick person and they're quite sick and not healthy.
So I think it's, I think it's an interesting concept because a lot of these people who are so supposedly healthy are actually quite sick because they don't conduct themselves with love. It really is the main thing that comes to my mind. You know, being a loving person and treating other people with respect. And that true health, that mental health and that spiritual health then is what really qualifies the whole body. Because for me, when I think of health, I think of the whole body - physical body, the spiritual body, the emotional body - and all three of those bodies have to function and be nourished. And so I can nourish my physical body with organic food and vegetables, which I do every day and am very blessed to do. But if I'm not nourishing my spiritual body with that spiritual food and that spiritual medicine. If I'm not nourishing my emotional body with the intimate connections and that spiritual connection as well, I'm going to be spiritually hungry and malnourished, you know?
And so finding that wholesome, and here in our community, we like to call that soulistic. ‘Cause there's the holistic approach...but calling it soulistic, which was actually a terminology that was created by my father, Gabriel of Urantia - soulistic and really the soulistic approach to healing and health and wellness.
Brigitte: I like that. And I, you know, often remind people, even though I am all about eating healthfully and using herbs, you know, I remember that Jesus said it's more important what comes out of a person's mouth than what goes into it. And so no, we don't want to make...you know, food is part of what nourishes our physical body but it's not the sum total. And, you know, when people are dealing with this Coronavirus, I think they, you know, there's always all these regrets about how, you know, I didn't get to say goodbye or I, you know, I don't have my affairs in order, or I don't know what happens when I die. Or, there's so many things that are incomplete.
And so I think that we always need to live our life knowing that we're just here for a while and to do the best we can and know that it continues on and, you know, not to be afraid of our next adventure. You know, I always think if people knew how awesome the Mansion Worlds were, they probably all would want to go sooner, so I look forward to that adventure.
Amadon: Yeah, absolutely. You mentioned the Coronavirus and I think having a healthy immune system is really an important aspect of that and, of course, having the mental and the spiritual health and those things we talked about. I'm sure...you mentioned to me earlier, when we were talking before our call here, that a lot of people are asking you about immunity and how to build your immune system and different herbs for that. And you know, I personally have my beliefs and I've seen a lot of memes going around the internet. You know, the three best things for your immunity, you know - water, sleep, and you know, fresh air, basically There's different things. And I think it's really been helpful in a way that it's reminded people of their, again, the true values of life and what is healthiness and getting back to, “wow, my immune system is so important.” But what do you think, just as far as some practical advice and immune-boosting herbs and different things that you would suggest people really do to build their immune systems?
Brigitte: Well, you know, there have been many plagues on our planet throughout history and, you know, I certainly honor what you said about, the spiritual component - having good relations, speaking the truth - but I think of practical things we could do would be to avoid allergens and avoid foods that compromise our health, whether it be sugar or, you know, junk food, fried foods, you know, things that don't really bolster your immunity.
I do think since this disease seems to affect the lungs, dark orange vegetables like winter squash and carrots and sweet potatoes are great. All green leafy vegetables are wonderful. You know, kale and, we eat a lot of wild things, things like lambsquarter and purslane and chickweed. And I do think there's a real powerful thing about wild food because the wild plants grow without being planted and they're survivors. And just like viruses constantly mutate, we need to be adaptable. It's not just survival of the fittest. It's survival of those that are the most adaptable. I certainly think of things like garlic and onions especially, you know, eating salad, but garlic, onions, oregano, cinnamon, those are all antimicrobials. Diffusing essential oils when you sleep can be a great way of combating any microorganisms that might be in the air. So, you know, having an aromatherapy diffuser in the room when you sleep with eucalyptus oil, or lavender or pine or tea tree or oregano, might be a good thing to do.
Certainly you hear about good results happening with vitamin C and vitamin D and, of course, vitamin D we get from sunshine. So, you know, only having half a face doesn't really help that aspect of it. So, I mean, I do have a bandana that I wear and I put essential oils if I'm in a store, but I find that I'm preferring to, you know, not interact so much, and to keep my distance, rather than breathing carbon dioxide.
And I do think there's many herbs that are antimicrobial - andrographis, oregano oil or oregano oil capsules, elderberry, echinacea, goldenseal. So, there's many things that could be used and, what I like to say about herbs is herbs have been used by millions of people for thousands of years. So it's not...when someone says, “but they haven't been studied” I mean, how long do you think this new vaccine is going to be studied before it gets pushed onto people? And you know, I also remember reading in The URANTIA Book that when Jesus was a youth he studied the stars and the wild flowers. You know what a noble thing to learn about the names and the history and the properties of the different plants that grace this planet.
Amadon: Absolutely. We're talking about health and wellness during COVID-19 and the immune system. You know, one thing we believe here, and I believe in my life personally, and my father just wrote an article on this too - basically how to stay safe during COVID-19 - is besides all the obvious measures, it's really about purity of one's soul and their spiritual purity, and that kind of karmic reality that we create for ourselves.
I say karmic because I think most people have an understanding of karma and can relate to that simplified teaching of, you know, what goes around, comes around. But also just being pure before you - I really believe in the particle reality and the spiritual shield of protection that can be created by going about my day with purity of thinking.
You know, when I'm not pure and when I have, you know, things that are less than Godly in me, my immune system becomes more vulnerable. And so really having that too, and of course the union and the duality of using the herbs and using the medicine, but using the spiritual thoughts and merging those into the...that's the medicine tonic right there for me.
Brigitte: And you know, during this time of quarantine for many people, like how are we using our time? How do we want the world to look differently and better and evolve from this experience? So where we put our consciousness is so important. What are we choosing to watch as far as movies and media? What kind of literature are we reading? Cause this is an opportunity and we want to come out of this with more skills. I mean, I'm really glad to see more people gardening and taking an interest, even though some States for a while were banning the sale of gardening supplies and seeds. That's crazy because, you know, we hear that food shortages are coming, whether it be because of this or something else, you know - flood, famine, drought, locusts, all that stuff. Like people need to think about being more food independent. And I loved to see what is going on at Avalon Gardens. I mean, I brought home some wild plum seeds that Kazarian gave me and I'm trying to cultivate those, but it's such an opportunity. So where we put our consciousness is going to affect our spiritual and physical health as well. So if we're watching things that are just full of violence and making movies and glorifying criminals and murderers, like that's not evolutionary.
So growing a garden, learning new skills, thinking about being prepared and what we really want to teach our children. I’ve been really glad that while my grandchildren are in quarantine they've been learning to sew and garden and, you know, doing things with bees. So these are things that we're going to need always. And it might even be more useful than, you know, advanced math.
Amadon: Yeah. I want to read a quote from The URANTIA Book that I find very beneficial for me personally about health, sanity, and happiness. And this is from The URANTIA Book:
“All truth --material, philosophic, or spiritual-- is both beautiful and good. All real beauty --material art or spiritual symmetry-- is both true and good. All genuine goodness --whether personal morality, social equity, or divine ministry-- is equally true and beautiful. Health, sanity, and happiness are integrations of truth, beauty, and goodness as they are blended in human experience. Such levels of efficient living come about through the unification of energy systems, idea systems, and spirit systems.”
Brigitte: That truth, beauty, and goodness, that's going to do it all the time. And, you know, another hope I have is that people find a way to think about being more creative. And what do you want to leave behind on this planet?
It's not just about you, but the idea that maybe you've left a garden or you've created things, you've made some art, you've written some music or poetry that lives even longer than you do. So we marvel when we see a beautiful sunset or a beautiful flower, but we also have the opportunity to create truth, beauty, and goodness every day with the choices we make.
Amadon: Yeah. That triad of truth, beauty and goodness and health, sanity, and happiness that they're linking there, is really important. I think, too, what we, especially in America but all over the world, what we consider as beautiful, again, has been distorted, you know, and what true beauty is, and a beautiful human being and a beautiful person - the attributes of being beautiful - have been distorted and there's kind of a constant process I think enlightened, conscious people have to go through of guarding themselves against misinformation, guarding themselves against kind of slipping into what the media, and what mainstream society, and what the pressures of, you know, the culture put upon us and what we think is beautiful. And you know, beauty comes from within and it's the actions, and it's the heart and it's how we conduct ourselves, and it's our value systems. It's how we treat other people. It's how we go about our day, basically, in consciousness. And it's not the physical beauty, and the wellness and the sanity that we strive for is related to the amount of goodness that we do, and the amount of truth that we live in. So that truth, beauty, and goodness, and health and sanity, is all related to kind of all we're talking about here.
And so, I sometimes feel that I want, when I'm in conversations of natural ministry with people or meeting new people and having a conversation and trying to bridge my religious and spiritual thoughts with theirs, that often I feel very compelled to share my truth with them, and that my truth is a medicine for them if they don't have it. But, you know, that's what we all think when we have a belief system that works for us and we're happy, more fulfilled. But that person doesn't know that and it's kind of similar to me to as giving medicine to someone. If someone's saying, “Oh, I feel really sick and this is happening…”, and I know that this medicine is going to heal them and I want to give it to them, that's because I've used the medicine and it's worked for me, but it may not work for them. So what I'm getting at here is like, just as you would prescribe a different set of herbs for a condition, I would tend to prescribe a certain set of truths for a condition. Oh, this person needs to hear this, this person needs to hear that...to heal that wrong thinking and to heal that. And so it's a really kind of interesting thought...like, you know, you have a tremendous knowledge of, lists of medicines that can serve in different ailments of the physical body. And I think as the world ascends, and as we become more God-centered as a humanity in consciousness, the healers and the doctors will have a little set of truths that they'll administer to people to heal them. And that's like the psycho spiritual healing. And when they're sick it's like, “Oh, you need to hear this truth. You need to hear this absolute.”
Brigitte: You know, it's interesting, so much of the language that's used when dealing with sickness is about “We need to fight this. We need to kill viruses.” It's very warlike. And so I'm thinking about how can we, you know, be so strong and be so fortified and so faithful that we're impervious. And if it is our time to leave the planet, that we do that with grace and ease. And, you know when you talk about truth, I love the quote in The URANTIA Book, I don't have it exactly, but that we can have spiritual unity without spiritual uniformity. And even though we may come at different things from a different angle, there's so many things that we do agree on and just to, you know, to work with that and nurture that as a precious gift.
But you know, another thing that you see right now, how divided people are on what is the best way to deal with the virus? You know, like “Stay inside and sanitize! Wear your mask and use lots of, wash your hands constantly…” and I'm saying, “Breathe fresh air. Get enough rest. Heal your relations, plant a garden, eat healthfully, you know, have a prayerful practice.” So it's more harmonious rather than the idea that we're going to, you know, just stay inside. But it is interesting that sometimes when you post something on Facebook or you say something that you believe about, that maybe we're going about this all wrong, like we should wear masks when we're in a car driving by herself, for example. You know, I sometimes remind people, and I did just last week, remember that Jesus was also considered a conspirator and that many great leaders were arrested and prosecuted for doing something that wasn't in congruence with the cultural times. But yet he was speaking the truth and judged for that. And you know, you could say that about Galileo. You could say that about Nicholas Tesla. You could say that about a lot of people were considered, you know, dangerous, subversive. And so sometimes we find out later...
Amadon: No, yeah, you're right on there. That's often how I describe Jesus, my understanding of Jesus, and my love for Jesus as my Creator Son of this universe of Nebadon. You know, when I'm talking to people who maybe grew up in a Catholic or a Christian understanding of Jesus, and now they're really off-put by it, I say, you know, look, Jesus is a cool dude. He was a freedom fighter. He was a revolutionary of his time, and he was assassinated and killed by the powers-that-be because he was a threat to the system. You know, that's a whole different understanding of Jesus. Like, you know, he didn't die necessarily for our sins; he died because of them. It's a big difference. You know, we killed him.
Brigitte: Absolutely. I'm so in agreement with that.
Amadon: And I think helping, as a young person because I think a lot of millennials, which technically I am, have gone away from religious thought and religious belief systems, unfortunately. As a young person, I love to share my love for Jesus. And I call him, you know, the cosmic Christ because it's a lot bigger than the little understanding that people have. And that's, of course, based off The URANTIA Book - The Life and Teachings of Jesus is such a vast part of The URANTIA Book that I just love, and so many URANTIA Book readers, of course, love and really connect with because it's the life and teachings of our Creator Son, you know, our Master. And he came to this earth to teach us and to live a life as an example. A couple of times you said throughout our talk, ‘healing our relations.’ That really stood out to me as an important, important fact because toxicity in our relationships make us sick and they break down our immune system, and they cause stress, and stress makes us sick. And toxicity in our thinking does that too. But I think, too, that, especially in America, Western culture, we've become, it's become so normal to be in toxic relationships. Where we, and I don't just mean sexual partnerships and intimate relationships. I mean just our interactions with our family members or friends; they're toxic. You know, we don't give to each other at the levels that we should. We don't really truly see people. The competition and jealousy and envy that we have as human beings for each other can be really toxic. And I talked about envy and jealousy in one of my podcasts a few weeks ago, but I really feel that when you're jealous of somebody, you're envious and you're acting in these lower human traits, that you're making yourself sick. And that actually, what it does is causes, it causes disease, in the long run, in our bodies.
And hatred and anger. Anger is another thing, I think, that manifests in various disease systems within our body when we walk around angry. And you mentioned movies and media that people are consuming. You know, how are we using our time during this quarantine? And are we watching these violent films that promote revenge and anger and you know, kind of feeding our lower selves instead of our higher selves? And really operating in our base chakras rather than our higher chakras and bringing in the light and the truth.
And all of these things are so important, you know. To us, this is a normal conversation. Like this is what you and I would talk about, and you had this conversation probably with lots of people, but for millions of people, this is like “out there” conversation. I have to remind myself of that because they don't think about this. They don't think, “Oh wow, this movie I'm watching is toxic for my psyche and my soul” or “This energy I'm having is psychically toxic.” You know, it's normal for us, but it's not for millions of people. And that doesn't make us better than them at all. It just makes us in a different place in our ascension process where we've discovered this for ourselves through learning, you know, I think. And how do we, how do we share that with people? How do we, you know, I don't want to say convince cause it's not about convincing. To me, it's about being an example of that and just using my own personal experiences of that to help them and to free them. But, you know, at times I'm amazed at the lack of consciousness on a mass level of people, you know, in this country, and millions of people.
A question I had for you, because you spend a lot of your time educating, you spend a lot of your time going around and teaching people about these different healing modalities and alternative medicine. Have you ever been accused of being self-righteous or you know, how do you teach and not have that? Because I have, and I think that many people in this field have, and it's an interesting thing. You know when we're talking about consciousness planes here, I feel like I'm at a certain level of consciousness that someone else may not be at, and it's not about being better. It's not about being more...whatever. It's just that I have discovered these things, and I would love to share it with this other person to help them to grow. Do you ever find that it's, you know, that you come against...is it difficult to do that or have you been accused of, you know, that?
Brigitte: Well, I think I've learned early on that people are where they are and, you know, to shame them like, “I can't believe you're eating that” or “I can't believe you're drinking that,” you know, I have no agenda that I need to change everybody. But I am, usually when I am in a position, people are asking me for my help, so then I get to administer to them. And you know, The URANTIA Book says that Jesus didn't come out and tell people what to do. He somehow got them to ask him for advice, and I remember that as a really good strategy. You know, people will call me and say, “Will you call my mother-in-law and tell her that, you know, drinking diet soda is what's causing her depression or her migraines?” It's like, no, that's not my place. If she wants to call me and is open, I'd be happy to, you know, have an appointment with her. But I do, I've learned early on to follow Jesus' guidelines on that one and somehow get them to...I might offer, “If you'd ever like some information on that, I would be happy to help you.” So I think early on, I learned to deal with that. And I think that, you know, early on too, it's easy to get into a...you know, make food be...as an opportunity for self righteousness. “I can't believe you're eating that.” I just let go of it and let people do it. But it is interesting, in this time, all of a sudden people are so concerned about a virus when they have been, perhaps, eating junk food or, you know, smoking or drinking too much or any of those things. So all of a sudden we're concerned about our health, but I think it's a lifelong path. And we do it because, you know, what we take into our body affects our consciousness and our psyche. And, you know, animals that are raised in horrible factory farms...we know that hunters used to hunt animals and whoever, you know, killed the animal, had the privilege of eating that part of the animal - whether it be the heart, or the liver, something that was going to give them courage or improve their eyesight, for example - and if people are eating animals that live in a hellacious environment, a factory farm, you know, you're not going to get good health from that. It’s possible that we're taking on that anxiety and depression.
And so, you know, we vote with our dollars and we say, “I'm going to buy the organic apples or the organic peaches.” We are voting for creating a healthier world for our children and the future generations. So everything we do is a vote for the kind of world we want to create.
Amadon: Yeah, absolutely. I wanted to just circle back real quick to the thought about healing our relations, and anger, and these things that I think we as human beings can hold in ourselves that prevent us from getting to the next level of health and really understanding that anger is a poison. It reminds me of The URANTIA Book. I wanted to read a quote on anger is like being a spirit poison, basically.
“Anger is a material manifestation which represents, in a general way, the measure of the failure of the spiritual nature to gain control of the combined intellectual and physical natures. Anger indicates your lack of tolerant brotherly love plus your lack of self-respect and self-control. Anger depletes the health, debases the mind, and handicaps the spirit teacher of man’s soul. Have you not read in the Scriptures that ‘wrath kills the foolish man,’ and that man ‘tears himself in his anger’? That ‘he who is slow of wrath is of great understanding,’ while ‘he who is hasty of temper exalts folly’? You all know that ‘a soft answer turns away wrath,’ and how ‘grievous words stir up anger.’ ‘Discretion defers anger,’ while ‘he who has no control over his own self is like a defenseless city without walls.’ ‘Wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous.’ ‘Angry men stir up strife, while the furious multiply their transgressions.’ ‘Be not hasty in spirit, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.’” Before Jesus ceased speaking, he said further: “Let your hearts be so dominated by love that your spirit guide will have little trouble in delivering you from the tendency to give vent to those outbursts of animal anger which are inconsistent with the status of divine sonship.”
Brigitte: That's beautiful. You know, Amadon, in Asian medicine the emotion of anger is said to be associated with the health of the liver and the gallbladder. So some people who are really quick to anger all the time, and if they have a problem with that, it may be wise to look at what are some of the, you know, physical things that could be agitating that - fried foods, chips, alcohol, too much coffee - you know, things like that. And what might benefit that emotion is - eat more greens, a little bit of sour, like lemon in water or tart apples.
But you know, one of the things I hear from people that maybe are dealing with the Coronavirus or that may go into hospital and may never come out again, is like, we didn't get to say goodbye. And so we want to live our life now knowing that we may not get to say goodbye and to forgive, you know, don't wait until you're on your deathbed to do what we can to heal those relations, or to let it go and maybe we'll work it out on the next world, you know. And that's a possibility too. Maybe not everything can be fixed here, but one of the things I also do is I'm an end-of-life doula. And so not everybody gets three months to plan for their end of life. And so I see this virus as really an opportunity to think about how do you want to live the rest of our life and what can we do to clear our conscious and pave the way so that when it is our time to leave, it is a smooth passage.
Amadon: I really like that. I remember you talking to me about being an end-of-life doula a few years ago when we were spending some time in Boulder. Tell me more about that. It's quite an interesting concept of, I think...for people who aren't familiar, doula is a woman who's like a midwife, right? Who assists with the birth, and brings the child into the world. So an end-of-life doula is helping assist the individual leaving the world.
Brigitte: And you know, many people don't want to talk about death. The idea of like, “Do I want to be buried?” or “Do I want to be cremated?” or “What poetry?” or “What would I, like, read from The URANTIA Book?” or “What songs” or “What would my last wishes be?” So an end-of-life doula is there as an advocate for the patient and the family, but really, especially for the patient who, you know, maybe wants, you want to have their wishes enforced. And so very often at the end of life, if people haven't made plans, you have relatives arguing, “No, plug them in, keep them alive!” And then someone else says, “No, mom wouldn't want that. She would, she would want to leave. She wouldn't want to be a burden. She wouldn't want to live, you know as a, not without quality of life.” And just like one prepares for a home birth. Like if you want to have a home birth, maybe you're going to eat healthfully and take prenatal vitamins and do prenatal yoga and drink raspberry leaf tea. And if you don't, you may end up having whatever kind of birth the hospital determines is best - and sometimes we don't have any choice - but I also think that we need to prepare to leave our body, as well. So that we can choose to have a peaceful death that was without regrets, and that leaves our loved ones feeling complete; that we were able to take care of it while we were here as best we could.
Amadon: Yeah. Beautiful, yeah. Thanks for sharing that. I know that...I'm part of an organization that has Soulistic Hospice, too, and one of the most rewarding things that I've heard from people who work in the hospice (which I don't personally) but is the spiritual chaplains who go and minister to these people in their homes when they're on their deathbed, essentially, and they're dying. And just that connection, and that process has been a huge blessing, not just for the person who's passing on, but really for the person who's, who's ministering to them, as well. They're learning so much and, and are actually spiritually fulfilled from that, too. And it's a special time. And I think, when someone's in that process, they're going through such a vulnerable stage in their life that they're more open and more receptive, and I think vulnerability is a really important element to healing. I think a human being has to be willing to be vulnerable to heal. And that's in any type of process, whether it's a physical wound, a spiritual wound, healing the relations. And I think in our culture and this world. in patriarchal thinking and chauvinistic thinking, it's a huge problem that men don't feel like they can be vulnerable, and men don't feel like they can act in vulnerability, and they see that as a weakness, and that prevents their own healing. And you talked about anger and Chinese medicine, and it affecting the liver and the kidney...and I think of men and alcoholism, and especially in how there's a suppression of their true emotions through the numbing of alcohol and drugs, or whatever it may be, because they're not taught and they're not encouraged, and they actually don't even know how, to be vulnerable and to heal and to go into the wounds of their soul and the heart and mind...and to look at that and to look in the mirror and see those ugly things, and be willing to admit them and overcome them.
And so if I see a thought pattern and I see a way of treating someone as the equivalent of drinking too much alcohol and poisoning myself, I'm more absolute in not doing it, you know? We let ourselves get away with a lot of wrong thinking and wrong thought patterns because no one else sees them. No one else hears them, and they're not as dramatic as shooting heroin in our veins or taking drugs or getting drunk, you know, that have physical, tangible ramifications and results. But the thoughts, the same things happen, just in the particle reality, and the spiritual, in the heart and mind and soul. The sickness takes place.
Brigitte: And, you know, during this quarantine time, like, this is an opportunity to clean up your act and pay attention. Creativity is also said to be one of the ways that we can help to heal anger. So, getting it out of us in a peaceful way, whether it be, you know, writing a song, a poem, a letter, so that we're not holding it in us. And, you know, one of the things I wanted to say that is so wonderful about The URANTIA Book is that it gives us faith that, when we leave this planet, that the adventure continues and we have the possibility of seeing our loved ones and being connected to our loved ones again. That it's not like, “I'll never see them again.” And it's this big tragedy. It's like, “Yeah, I want to go meet the Spornagia.”
Amadon: Spornagia, yeah, exactly. TC: 48:05
Brigitte: Yeah, these pets that we get that like love to garden and help us with our chores and are very beautiful and affectionate. That sounds great.
Amadon: Oh I know I was just joking with someone the other day that I really could use some of those around the house to help with the maintenance of the physical realm - cleaning, laundry, cooking. It can be difficult to keep up.
What are your thoughts on, as someone who is a practitioner of many different modalities of health, and basically a preacher of health - that's the way I think of you and just wellness in general and being so versed - do you think there's a time that's appropriate where you're, when someone is so like they need to save themselves basically, and they're so lost and they're so, just not hearing. Of course, you can't lead a horse to water...that whole saying we were talking about, you know, people have to want their own healing and they have to be ready for that. But, is there a point for strong correction of one's wrong thinking in your personal understanding of healing? When is it that someone needs to be told that they're, that they're hurting themselves and that they're wrong? I mean, I know the answer for myself personally, but what do you feel? Like, you know, do you, when someone comes to you for help, do you get absolute in saying, “What you're doing is absolutely toxic”? Or do you have to...do you let them discover that? Are you ever more confrontive of the wrong way of living?
Brigitte: Well, by the time they come to see me, they usually want some help. So I feel like there's usually some receptivity. It's not just some, you know, friend that has a problem. They don't want advice. They just want me to listen. So I find myself in that position that they're here, please help me. But one thing that I sometimes offer in reflection, and give ideas for them to think about is, you know, “What do you think this is trying to tell you?” So rather than saying like, you know, boy, this is really terrible. I have this problem. I have arthritis, I have, you know, shingles or something. And so to get them to reflect, “What do you think this is trying to tell you?” And these are things that I learned from one of my teachers, Susun Weed. So it's...the next question is, “How can this be your ally?” So, rather than, you know, blaming God or blaming the disease, or blaming the culture or your boss or whatever, it's like this could be an opportunity for you to drink less coffee, to get with an exercise program, to go to bed earlier, to lay off of, you know, food allergens. So by doing that, everything might improve - your body, mind and spirit might improve - because you are liberating yourself from something that is undermining you. And, you know, it might also be good to look at, “What does this prevent you from having to do?” So sometimes we're sick because it keeps us from having to engage with others, or to have intimacy, or to succeed in our life goals, our mission. So I like to get people to reflect.
There are certainly many times I feel that there is a spiritual hunger with people. And, you know, I talk about The URANTIA Book a lot to my students. I kind of introduced it into my early class - The History of Herbal Medicine. I love to, you know, put that in there.
Amadon: The URANTIA Book has been such a blessing in my life. I just wanted to ask you what your thoughts - as a very long-time reader of The URANTIA Book - and how do you share that love for it? And what do you...if you could tell anyone about The URANTIA Book that’s has never heard about it...How does that spiritual food and medicine serve you in your life?
Brigitte: Well, I started reading The URANTIA Book when I was 19, and I had a lot of resistance in the beginning. I had a Catholic mother and a Jewish father, and the last thing I wanted to hear about was like, “Don't tell me about Jesus.” Um, I read the book by kerosene lantern while living in a teepee.
Amadon: That's pretty cool.
Brigitte: And I, you know, I still was reading it and like questioning, like, “How do I know I wouldn't have joined the Lucifer Rebellion had I been, you know, one of the 100.” It took me a while for my heart to really open to it. But then it did, I just kept reading. A friend of mine had said, “This book is the answer to what you're looking for.” And I feel that there's something for everybody in the book. And, for me, it was really the history of Urantia that I was like, “Wow, this is so amazing.” But you know, like many of us looking up at the stars, you wonder, you know, “Who am I? Why am I here? Is there life on other worlds? What happens when we die? Will I ever know the answer?” And, you know, when I found the book, I said, it's here - everything I wanted to know. And I think a real clincher for me was, I asked a friend I said, “I wonder what happened to the dinosaurs?” And my friend said, “Anything you want to know it's in that book.” And so, yeah, I love it.
One of the reasons I came to Boulder is I heard there were a lot of URANTIA Book readers here. So there are study groups and, you know, I'm so glad. I do read the book with my grandchildren. Right now we're reading it on Zoom. But my grandson, when he was six, he said he wanted to be a Jedi. And I thought, “Well, that's great in!” He taught himself to read when he was four, so he started reading the book when he was six.
Amadon: Awesome. Me, too.
Brigitte: And so we have study group and I, you know...whether he continues to read it...I hope that he will; that all of my grandchildren will, but what an amazing opportunity for learning about public speaking and he history. You know, I always say, “It can't hurt to have Jesus on your hard drive.” You know, there's so many things that are going on the hard drive right now. And, you know, his mother asked him something and he actually said, you know, “Mom, what would Jesus do?” And that was his answer, and I'm just so grateful. He's 15 now. So, I think it's great. It's a gift and people are searching, searching, searching. You know, people will go and sit at the feet of this guru and that guru, they'll spend thousands and thousands of dollars to take this workshop. I mean, I know a lot of spiritually-aware Boulder people, they have like little statues of Hanuman and Ganesha around their neck. And I think that's their way of trying to be spiritual, but it's like, “What do you really know about Ganesha or Hanuman?” It's like, not to diss any of that - I really like to have respect for all the world's religions - but it's like, boy, there's something that could really feed your soul here.
Amadon: Yeah. Well, speaking of The URANTIA Book, I know I've shared a few quotes. I wanted to read one more about...a section in The URANTIA Book that I find is very digestible for people from all walks of life - faith or no faith or anything - is Rodan of Alexandria, who was a Greek philosopher. You know, The URANTIA Book can be pretty “out there” for some people who've never gotten that cosmic in their spiritual studies and understanding. But Rodan's always a really... is an easy one, I think, for anybody to digest, so to speak. It's milk and not the steak, you know.
Rodan of Alexandria, the philosopher, he said:
“The essentials of the temporal life, as I see them, are:
Even the physical problems of bodily health and efficiency are best solved when they are viewed from the religious standpoint of our Master’s teaching [referring to Jesus]: That the body and mind of man are the dwelling place of the gift of the Gods, the spirit of God becoming the spirit of man. The mind of man thus becomes the mediator between material things and spiritual realities.”
I really, really love that, you know, that passage there from Rodan. One of the six things of, you know, health is the ability to withstand defeat. That's always really stood out to me as like an essential, you know, because life can throw some serious curve balls at us. We were talking about this earlier and just, you know, circumstances that are bummers in our lives. But defeat and self pity is also toxic for our health and our immune systems and our wellbeing.
And I think a lot of people struggle in the world with a sense of hopelessness, and a sense of despair, and a sense of incompleteness. And, you know, they're stuck in jobs that they hate, and their bosses that they hate, and they're not fulfilled. And they're basically trapped in these lives, essentially modern day slaves to a circumstance that is not optimal for their health, and they don't know how to break free from that. And just going to bed every night with a sense of defeat and failure, in itself is what leads to the addictions and leads to the unhealthiness. And, just how happiness and blessedness is so important.
And so I was going to ask you, because you've been around for so long, and you've probably seen the digital age and the smartphones, have you seen an increase in that unhealthiness of people? And that general unhealthiness and disconnectedness, and things like anxiety and depression, and just these things rise because of the digital age?
Brigitte: Well, depression according to Asian medicine is also liver-centered. And so I think some of the things that can contribute to anxiety - too much caffeine, too much sugar - we know that people are more prone to anxiety when their blood sugar’s low. But even things like really fast music - music that is faster than our heartbeat - can overtake our bodies and make our hearts beat faster, poor oxygen metabolizing. So when we're not breathing deeply and fully, I love to remind people that the word spirit is connected to a respiration, an inspiration - to be filled with spirit. And, you know, like if people are wearing a mask and they've got sunglasses on and they're listening to fast music in their phones...yeah, there's so many things that are promoting anxiety and people think that a movie or a novel that their reading is “out there,” but those images are going to be affecting our dreams, our meditation. They come at us from many different ways that we find ourselves thinking about them. So, you know, where we put our consciousness is so important and to take breaks from media. I'm really big on encouraging people to do handcrafts; rather than just listen to music - to play music. To, you know, learn to do something with your hands to create things of beauty. I think we would have a lot less addiction if people, you know, were doing things. A hundred years ago, people would say “Idle fingers are the devil's playground.” And now we have young people that are just using remote control and, you know, digital video games. And yet, do they know how to sew a button on? Do they know how to, you know, hem their jeans? Do they know how to knit? So, I'm really big on like, you know, handcrafts are really a great thing. And unfortunately a lot of schools have decreased their art programs, but you know, then it's just something that the parents and friends really should engage in. So I love it, when my friends come over they often bring their crafts and we work on them, and work on them while we chat and hang out.
Amadon: Yeah. The whole concept of that holistic lifestyle and being more versed. I think we become disconnected. You know, young people are disconnected from use of their hands, and the touch and sensory perception of building things and playing with things because it all becomes digital. And I think it's really a sad thing, especially for little toddlers and kids today, I see, are just stuck on their iPads, you know, staring at the screen. You know, I think it really affects the imagination. I think we're creating a future generation of imagine-less, not fully imagine-less but, you know, even when I was a kid it was different, and I'm only 30 years old. But you know, just the sense of free play and imagination and playing in nature and having that creativity is really...I think it's affecting kids today, you know - technology is.
Brigitte: Even Einstein was said to have been daydreaming, that he was flying through space. And, you use the word imagination…it comes from the same... genius comes from the same root word as imagine - genius and the magi, all come, and the genie - like it all comes from the same root word of, you know, possibilities.
Amadon: Very cool. Well, it's been really wonderful talking to you, Brigitte. We covered a lot of ground, a lot of great topics here...
Brigitte: Amadon, I love what you're doing. I love what's going on at Avalon. I love that we're connected and I hope our paths cross again.
Amadon: Oh, they will for sure. We'll probably have you on again,
Brigitte: Love to your family and loving light to all of you.
Amadon: You too. Thank you so much, Brigitte. We'll speak soon and I'm looking forward to getting this out to the world. Thanks for coming on my show.
Brigitte: Blessings. Thank you.
Hey tribe, thank you so much for taking the time to listen to my podcast with Brigitte Mars. Please share it, like it, spread the word. Do what you gotta do. Get real.