Nuclear Update in Japan

Posted to Subscribers on 12 February 2012


Dear Subscribers,

This post will actually be in two parts, but it has been a while since I posted anything on radiation. Some of you may have different interpretations of what exactly "a while" means, but given the magnitude of the situation, daily updates would hardly be inappropriate. Speaking freely and strictly for myself, I believe that what has happened is that shock was displaced at various rates for people with different thresholds and sensitivity to the crisis. I think this is true for those who lost family and friends in the tsunami as well as those who were immediately relocated and grappled with another layer of loss and grief. However, the ripple effect meant that eventually, the disaster would become a global issue.

Everyone has to consider the increased risks of illness and premature death and those who can keep their panic under control need to consider practical measures for containing the risks. Being an herbalist and healer, my first efforts went into analyzing the specific health risks and trying to find protective measures. I want to weave this into part two of this post. However, to start with, let's begin with the simple to the extraordinary.

The first link is to before and after pictures of clean up, but efficient as the pictures suggest the Japanese have been, there was an immense price to pay. Much of the debris was incinerated. To the extent that the debris might have been contaminated by radioactivity, we can argue that adequate protective measures were not used. Moreover, the story is even a bit worse than it might first seem because the debris was transported all over the country so that areas that were less affected by fallout from Fukushima were put at risk of fallout from incineration. Much as my heart goes out to all the people of Japan, I personally take issue with the decision to manage the rubbish in this manner.

Next, let's take up the controversial issue of mushrooms. To be fair to Paul Stamets, who lives about 45 minutes south of where I am and who I know professionally, he is the king of mushrooms. He is on a first name basis with a few million mushrooms and there is probably no one more knowledgeable than Paul on this subject. I listened to a brilliant lecture he gave at the Bioneers Conference in which he showed how mushrooms could be used to clean up superfunds, including nuclear waste. In the article linked below, he is more measured and cautious.

It is perfectly clear to everyone involved in mycoremediation that some mushrooms and fungi appear to thrive on nuclear waste. Instead of being destroyed, these fungi that are high in melanin become more active. I am fascinated by this because in my connect the dots incarnation, I see hints of some explanations that will ultimately make all this very clear. Meanwhile, it might be noted that unlike some claims to the contrary, Paul is not suggesting that the mushrooms used for remediation are edible. Please listen carefully because this is the opposite of what he and others have said previously. What he is actually saying in this painfully carefully worded essay is that the radiation is concentrated in the mushrooms and that disposal or containment of the mushrooms requires a long-term plan.

Now, we go to the pièce de résistance, and I confess that I have am completely smitten with this man:

He has had quite a bit of press, probably not nearly enough. I can remember my own first reactions to seeing the cows roaming freely in the desolate disaster zone. What first impressed me was the calmness of the animals and then their color. I am totally certain that being black is a great asset under these circumstances and it's incredible that normal calves have been born since the explosion almost a year ago. This said, Matsumura-san has taken on a task that is simply incredible.

There are some videos on and some material on facebook, but they do not shed much light on what makes this man tick. I don't think duty or stubbornness explain his commitment. What motivates this man must come from a deeper place where the fountain of compassion triumphs over self-interest and fear. I would like to support what he is doing in any way possible, but we are not being shown radiation sickness. . . and this ought to make us think.

Part Two

This brings me back to yesterday's post, but I don't want to get bogged down in details. One of my Indian friends from Kerala gave me some gentle flak over some of the statements on Indian history/culture/medicine. I am going to wiggle a bit because everything Indian has a long history and multiple perspectives but I will yield somewhat to her prodding by adding to what I wrote last night.

First, let's try, if we dare, to divide Indians into Dravidians and Aryans and, if you can, try to remove whatever biases you have about words. The moment one tries to tighten the language, we commit some form of error, but let's relax a bit and say that the Subcontinent was originally populated by Dravidians who created a very high civlization in the Indus Valley region (of the Northwest) before migrations of Indo-Aryans pushed the Dravidians southwards. Truly, if you are interested, you can read up on this, but what I accept about A'isha's "corrections" is that Siddha Medicine is an older system of healing than Ayurveda and it is probably more culturally entwined with Ayurveda in the south than in the north.

The word siddha refers to powers that many would consider to be extraordinary. The siddhars were the people who demonstrated mastery of various powers. In short, they were the "accomplished beings" and according to tradition or legend, they lived very long lives. One of the siddhars, Bogarnatha, traveled a great deal, to China and probably also to South America. Another, Nagarjuna, was the founder of what we call alchemical medicine. He was a Buddhist who had a profound influence on Tibetan philosophy and medicine. That explains my personal interest and involvement. He was, however, South Indian, probably from the area now called Andhra Pradesh (near Hyderabad).

What is relevant here is not the history but rather the understanding that can be applied to health and even freedom from the hazards posed by radiation. What we must avoid is a Western view of alchemy that appears to have been based on a desire to convert gross metal into gold. This is the madness that the various pundits tried to prevent by secrecy. However, my studies suggest that while it is possible to transform one substance into another that has more value, what is important is that the alchemical substances are so potent that they bring order to chaos. While it is tempting to draw some analogies to homeopathy, I do not think the alchemical substances are homeopathic. The processing involves much more than heating and grinding because herbs and mantras are used that would seem to produce a kind of cellular samadhi. Just as the goal of meditation can be peace or insight into the divine mind, so the goal of medicine can be health or immortality. It ought to be obvious that the divine is immortal.

The Dots

Most cutting edge anti-aging research is focused on the ravages of free radicals. This problem has much in common with radiation. Though I am not able to prove this at this time, I believe we will eventually realize that just as there are antioxidants that render free radicals harmless, there are similar substances that will perform the same functions for radiation. Because I am absolutely devoted to this subject, it is time for me to disentangle myself from certain aspects of what currently takes up hours of each day. So, while I have said this at various times before, this might be an occasion to ask if there is someone who would like to take over some of what I do now so that I am not spread quite so thinly over the many topics that interest me.

Many blessings,


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2012






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Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2012

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