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MACROBIOTIC INTRODUTION

Since our galaxy was formed by whirlpool motion in the infinite space of the ocean of the universe, and our solar system began to form within the galaxy, an unknown time has elapsed. While the earth developed to nearly its present condition, more than four billion years have passed. Biological life has existed on this planet for more three billion years, and our mankind has had its progressive development for probably over 20 million years.

Although it is uncertain how the ancestors of our human species were living and adapting to their environment, during our recent development as Homo-sapiens, especially within the span of recorded history, we have seen more than 20 major civilizations rise and fall.
Since our galaxy was formed by whirlpool motion in the infinite space of the ocean of the universe, and our solar system began to form within the galaxy, an unknown time has elapsed. While the earth developed to nearly its present condition, more than four billion years have passed. Biological life has existed on this planet for more three billion years, and our mankind has had its progressive development for probably over 20 million years. Although it is uncertain how the ancestors of our human species were living and adapting to their environment, during our recent development as Homo-sapiens, especially within the span of recorded history, we have seen more than 20 major civilizations rise and fall.

During these constant vicissitudes, we, mankind, have experienced health and sickness, chaos and stability, war and peace, poverty and prosperity, happiness and unhappiness, as if we have been riding upon waves. Our present civilization and this modern age are not exempt from these fluctuations.

Our modern civilization has been offering material wealth and technological conveniences to the majority of the world's populations, together with ample information and varieties of knowledge. At present, we are seeing the blossoming of such benefits: worldwide distribution of food for everyone's survival; transportation which enables us to be on the opposite sides of the globe within the same day; communication systems through which we can know instantaneously what has happened on other continents; well-organized religious and educational programs; universal control of governmental administration; and an impressive degree of scientific and technological development. It is no longer only a daydream that we may colonize other planets. To the far depths of the ocean, to the far reaches of space, to the far ends of the polar regions-our explorations are penetrating everywhere. From the microscope world of atoms and pre-atomic particles, to the macro-scope world of galaxies and constellations, our understanding is expending. It appears that we are approaching the realization of the Golden Age.

However, when we examine our surroundings more carefully, we find that everywhere there is sickness instead of health, chaos instead of stability, war instead of peace, poverty instead of prosperity, unhappiness instead of happiness. The huge expenditures of major governmental and public programs are not being applied for the creative development of human potential, but rather, are being used up simply in defensive measures against various negative factors.

Although living in the worldwide prosperous society, most of modern mankind is full of fear and anxiety, wandering in vain, seeking happiness and fulfillment through sensual pleasures or mysterious illusions. What mistake has we made in the process of constructing this modern civilization?

It is the direct result of a lack of understanding of what humanity is together a confused view of life, nature, and especially the order or law of the universe. Therefore, instead of being on the road toward real happiness, we have been taking the wrong, or not say opposite way.

In anyhow, it is clear that we all are facing the greatest crisis in the history of the human race, regardless of our sex, age, nationality, social regime, religion or cultural background. This crisis is the biological, psychological, and spiritual degeneration of mankind, which may lead either to the gradual extinction of Homo-sapiens by increasing disorder in our physical and mental conditions such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, neurasthenia, or to instantaneous extinction by world destruction through nuclear warfare. Everyone in the modem world is in the middle of a biological Flood of Noah. Where can we find the Ark to save our lives?

In the ancient, geological, Flood of Noah, salvation was achieved by building the Ark; but in this biological crisis, salvation lies within our own physical, mental, and spiritual constitutions. We need deep self-reflection to discover what mistakes we are making, and we need a biological revolution so that we may change our own constitutions. This is not accomplished by the work of the government; it is not the mission of the religious institutions; and it is not the duty of the school. This is our own personal effort for changing our quality of blood and body fluid, improving everyone of the billions of cells in our body and brain, and developing our physical health, mental clarity and spiritual awareness.

This self-revolution to re-establish our physiological, psychological and spiritual constitution begins with two bases:

(1) The understanding of what man is, what life is - our origin, and our future - and as a whole, the understanding of the law of the nature or the order of this infinite universe.

(2) The biological, psychological, spiritual, and social application of the order of the universe, commencing with proper dietary practices, according to the environmental conditions.

This revolution is the peaceful and effective way. Through it, we are able to save ourselves from the vast current of degeneration; we are even able to turn the general trend of modern civilization to a more healthy, constructive direction; and, ultimately, we are able to open the door toward the unlimited happiness of all mankind.

Is this a rationalistic concept or an empty theory? It is a practical way of life called MACROBIOTICS, which was promoted by Professor GEORGE OHSAWA (SAKURAZAWA NYOICHl) since the first half of the 20th century.

According to Pr. Ohsawa, the human life in all its dimensions is nothing but the result of the interrelationship between food and the surrounding environment. The natural environment includes the multitude of factors which make up the universal background of life, such as cosmic influences, celestial radiation, galactic and solar forces, planetary movements -including those of the Earth, and atmospheric conditions which vary according to altitude, season, and geographical location. Also included are the various influences on our thinking and behavior, which are created by our human environment, civilization. Similarly, food includes all of the factors that we consume or take in from the environment both in the form of vibrational forces such as light, sound, and electromagnetic radiation, together with the biological, biochemical, and chemical factors that we eat, drink, and breathe.

Because we are able to exercise control over what we eat and drink, physical food is the most important environmental influence in determining our individual health and happiness. Our ability to control the other environmental factors that we take in is much more limited in comparison to the freedom that we exercise in regard to our daily food. Control over our daily dietary practice is the key to solving all physical, mental and social problems.

The differences in dietary practice among people, together with variations in their natural and social environments, cause some to develop and suffer from physical or psychological ailments and other to remain free of disorders. These differences also produce the tremendous variation in cultural patterns and ways of thinking which exist throughout the world.

After healing himself from tuberculosis and stomach cancer, in adolescence, Pr. Ohsawa began a serious study of the philosophies and medicines of both the Orient and the Occident. As a part of this study, he examined many of the current scientific theories regarding the cause of diseases, and the therapies of modern medicine. Eventually, he discovered that all diseases are the result of a daily diet and way of life, which are not in harmony with surrounding environment. Practically speaking, the incidences of diseases have continued to increase as people have shifted from the more balanced traditional dietary pattern based around whole cereal grains, organically grown fresh vegetables and fruits, beans and sea vegetables, and other regional products toward the modern dietary pattern based on an increased consumption ofmeat and dairy products, fatty and oily foods, and overly refined, chemicalized, industrialized, and artificial food items. The increase in physical and psychological degeneration, which we are experiencing, is due primarily to the changing dietary patterns of modern civilization.

Pr. Ohsawa found the solution for this problem in the modification of a way of life in which the daily diet is brought into a more moderate balance. He classified human constitutions and foods into two categories, which have antagonistic and complemental characteristics, yin and yang. The term’s yin and yang do not represent certain phenomena, nor are they pronouns of certain things. They exist in everything and are showing relative tendencies compared dynamically and therefore to understood comprehensively. If yin and yang in our physical and mental constitutions are in balance or harmony each other, we are healthy and happy. On the contrary they are unbalanced, we become sick and unhappy. The Standard Macrobiotic Diet is based on these principles and consists of the following food groups.

1. 50% -60% whole cereal grains and their products;

2. 5% -10% (one or two cups or small bowls) of soup, with land and sea vegetables as the main ingredients;

3. 20% -30% locally available vegetables, the majority of which are cooked;

4. 5% -10% beans and sea vegetables, as sources of high quality protein and minerals.

5. Natural sea salt, vegetable oils (sesame oil, corn oil, etc.), roasted seaweed power, and soy sauces (shoyu, miso, tamari), for condiment and seasoning.

6. Grain and herbal beverages such as whole rice tea, roasted bean tea, three - year tea (bancha), lotus-root tea, etc.

In addition, these foods may be occasionally supplemented, if desired, with fish and seafood, locally available fruits in season.

Recommendation of a standard diet is not limited to the above example. A few hundred of varieties of meals can be created from the standard suggestions. Following the above general combinations of food varieties, similar combinations can be produced including variations of the percentage of food categories. Furthermore, meals should vary in volume, in quality, in preparation and in the manner of eating, depending upon change of environment, age, sex difference, traditional background, climate, and season, as well as social and personal need. The practice of intuitive judgment in those aspects is essentially important for everyone's health and happiness. Therefore, we need to apply the understanding of natural order in terms of a balance between antagonistic and complemental, factors, yin and yang.

Over the last fifty years, numerous people from allover the world have turned their physical, mental and spiritual unhappiness to health and freedom through the macrobiotic approach. Meanwhile, in the United States of America, Canada, Europe and in other countries, the number of doctor, nurses, nutritionists, researchers, and other health professionals who have adopted macrobiotics is considerably increasing. Many thousands of natural food stores, macrobiotic restaurants, organic farms, holistic clinics, macrobiotic re- search and educational institutes have been blossomed; pilot programs based natural way of life with complete foods have been established in some schools, hospitals and other institutions. A change toward an more biological and more natural agro-alimentary system has had effects in large on all aspect of modern life, which have influenced energy, economics, environment projection, reduction of poverty and hunger on this planet.

In Europe, Unite States of America, Canada, India, Soviet Union (Russia), Middle East, Southeast Asia, Japan and other countries are yearly organized macrobiotic congresses in which delegates of many nations and states reunite and discuss about practical means of promoting peace and security in this planet through everyone's health.

In the United Nations Organization was created an international macrobiotic society in 1984, and even at the first year it reunited 150 members of delegation and personages. Its founder, Katsuhide Kitatami, director of development of UNO programs for the Southeast Asia. He healed himself from stomach cancer through macrobiotic diet. Other macrobiotic experiences have started to extent to the general staff headquarters of UNESCO in Paris and the Word Health Organization in Geneva. Members of these two groups have begun to develop programs based on macrobiotic principles.

Also, many of artists, writers, scientists, educators and other reputed leaders in different fields have used their talent and experiences to make progress global teaching and comprehension of macrobiotics.

Known or not, young or old, strong or weak, every one can contribute, with certain manners, to a constitution of one healthy, peaceful and happy world. The macrobiotics offers a key to restore our health and vitality, a viewpoint to regenerate our confused spirit, a model to construct a social life of well being, a compas to guide us toward our ultimate end.

This dream of establishing a healthy and peaceful society through a more natural and macrobiotic way of life is now being shared by some millions of people throughout the world. Further information about macrobiotics can be obtained from The Macrobiotic Center and Ohsawa House of Vietnam, 390 Dien Bien Phu Street, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Information can also be obtained from some hundreds of macrobiotic centers or associations throughout North America, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Australia and the Far East.

A.M NGO THANH NHAN

Saigon, Vietnam

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