Chuck’s Place: The Power of the Purse

Jan and I took my oldest son, Julian, out to a nice restaurant the other night. This was a special treat since we rarely eat out. As I perused the menu I realized how few options there really were. I no longer, in full awareness, can eat fish. I reflected on reality: shrimp from the oiled-filled Gulf; fresh water fish from acid rain polluted rivers and lakes; farm bred, as they say “organic” salmon that are force-fed, among other things, shrimp shells to color their flesh; and, last but not least, ocean fish from the interconnected, radiated sea waters.

I recently spoke with someone who had just returned from a trip to Japan, who discussed the Japanese attitude toward what they believe is the world’s overreaction to their nuclear incident. The Japanese say that they had the first deadly encounter with radiation at Hiroshima, and where is that radiation now? Gone, they say. They also point to all the atomic bomb testing that went on for decades around the world. Again, where is the fallout from all of that? Gone, they say. Well, as I sat and pondered the menu, I simply couldn’t go back to sleep and enter that matrix—no fish for me.

When we drove Julian home later to his abode on the Hudson River, the last striper fishermen were packing up. “Ya know, the stripers are running now. They come from the ocean to spawn… safe to eat,” Julian remarked. Yes, I thought, from the radiated ocean to the PCB infested river—from sea to shining sea!

“Am I really such a radical?” I ask Jan. I know that I am not. The layers of the matrix are so deep and intertwined that the crux of doubt arises as we wonder: could things really be that bad? The incredulous truth is that, yes, things really are that bad.

Yes, we are beings who are going to die, and, hence, we must die of something. However, the fact is, our plant’s health and, consequently, our food supply are completely compromised. Yes, I choose not to eat fish, but in reality every item on the menu is compromised in some way. Our healthiest option becomes choosing the lesser of two evils.

First, we are challenged by our own appetites that have been assaulted and conditioned from birth by hypnotic marketeers seeking profit under the guise of nurturance. Then we have heavily under-regulated corporations that dominate and own the food supply—down to its very seeds. They have created well-ordered factory systems: poultry, meat, and farming industries. These industries rely heavily on chemical control with fertilizers, insecticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, additives, colorings, and flavorings to ensure predictable, high-yield, “good looking” and “good tasting” foods at a price the market can bear.

Our food supply is filled with carcinogens that make us unnecessarily sick. Heart conditions, strokes, cancers, are but a few of the consequences to our bodies from the carcinogens we eat, drink, and breathe. Of course, then we enter the medical and pharmaceutical industries that offer endless procedures and drugs to manage our symptoms and conditions. These industries corner the health care market by demonizing treatments that fall outside their purview and pocketbook. Meanwhile, as don Juan once said to Carlos Castaneda, we are like chickens in a chicken coop, happily allowing ourselves to be feasted upon by the forces of greed: a life of joyful, utter captivity. Is it really so radical to just acknowledge the truth of it?

When I turn to the true culprit behind the matrix we now live in, I can’t help but identify it as unbridled capitalism. “The land of opportunity” has become “the land of greed with impunity.” Less I be accused, quickly put into the box of a socialist, let me state that I actually do believe in capitalism, but nature’s capitalism.

Nature provides the soil to nourish and grow unlimited possibilities, however, the hallmark of nature is limitation. No matter how glorious the summer, summer ultimately acquiesces to fall. There is no such thing as unlimited growth in nature! There must be moderation and balance.

If we apply these principles to our capitalist economy, profit must shift from what the market will bear to a just price. Products and procedures should not be introduced just to make money. They need to be in accord with the healthy needs of humankind, sustainable, and in balance with all of nature. Growth must be limited and in balance with the ecology of the entire planet.

When I read Jeanne’s channeled message this past Monday, I was struck, powerfully, by a cord of resonance to the Jeanne I once walked this planet with. Jeanne, while in this world, insisted on taking a stand through exercising the power of the purse. She was a stickler for fairness and truth in the marketplace, often resulting in some intensely powerful and, frankly, embarrassing confrontations. I reminded Julian the other night of the time she confronted the owner of an Italian restaurant down the street that his advertised “fresh daily sfogliatelle” was, in fact, at least a day old. The confrontation was fierce, the three kids and I wanting to hide under the table. Needless to say, that was the last time we ate at that restaurant.

Exercise the Power of the Purse!

If a store was unfair or deceitful, Jeanne boycotted it, end of story, no compromise. If a food product was not strictly organic, or at least local, she wouldn’t buy it. She believed then, as she counsels now, that individual choices and actions matter. If individuals refuse to buy unhealthy products, industry will provide what is truly needed and wanted. If products are presented at the wrong price and are boycotted, industry will correct to the right price. Jeanne’s answer to “I can’t afford organic” would be: eat less and breathe more. Her favorite phrase in this regard was: Exercise the power of the purse!

The deeper individual challenge is to take full responsibility for our lives: that is the source of real power. Can I stare down my industry-commandeered appetite and choose instead to fulfill my genuine needs? Can I accept limitation—have less but have what’s right? Can I choose to live outside the matrix, perhaps only rarely or never use a cell phone because I know the truth of harmful radiation—my body tells me so? Can I step away from sacrosanct medical routines and follow my own knowing, trusting my self?

The choices outside the matrix are endless—and life outside the matrix is a solitary journey, though filled with many enlightened traveling companions. Can we exercise the power of the purse outside the matrix—like scouts stalking a brave new world?

From outside the matrix,

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3 thoughts on “Chuck’s Place: The Power of the Purse”

  1. I agree completely. One common and very significant example of danger lurking in our food is trans fats. Hopefully everyone is already aware of the danger they pose. They are a serious health risk, yet their elimination from our food supply has met with much resistance. Especially beware of baked goods. Local grocery stores are not required to post nutritional facts labels that tell specifically the trans fat content on bakery items they bake and sell in the store, so you must look for “partially hydrogenated” oil of any kind in the ingredients list. The closer to the top of the list the greater the amount, but any amount of trans fat is bad. I know of at least one local grocery chain store that defends their use of trans fats saying that if replaced with a healthier alternative their products wouldn’t taste as good! Trans fats cause heart disease, diabetes and recently have been linked to depression. They boost bad cholesterol while reducing good cholesterol, elevate triglycerides and cause blood platelets to become “sticky” and clog arteries. They are a convenient solution to many food production challenges at the expense of people’s health. Please help defend your own health by eliminating trans fats from your diet completely.

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