Tao P
  • Tao P
  • Vancouver B.c
  • Canada


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'It is no sign of health to be well adjusted to a sick society' How can we make a healthy society?

There seems to be an ever increasing number of people who are depressed, or have another form of mental 'deficientcy': ADHD bipolar... What is causing this increase and how can we remedy it?
It is my belief that we need to focus our lives around what it means to be human: movement, community and meaningful creative work. Do you agree? What would this new way of life look like to you?

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    Oct 11 2013: The health of a society, to me, is the extent to which all its constituent members are able to develop ad to contribute their special abilities for the greater good.

    If, as I believe, the aim of human life is to be oneself -- to actualize/realize one's potential for the good of all (human and nature) -- we can "make a society healthy" by providing and sustaining the conditions that encourage, support (not to talk of require and reward) people to develop and engage their natural abilities in socially and ecologically significant and beneficial actions.
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    Oct 3 2013: Hi Tao,
    I believe we contribute to a healthy society by starting with our "self". It makes no sense to ask people to do something that we are not doing ourselves, so I think/feel it has to start here. If we are living healthy, we can share our ideas, and serve as role models.

    I think/feel some very basic reasons include a toxic world....our air, water and soil (food sources) are being compromised. I also believe that our society (USA) is WAY over medicated. Too many people have become dependent on drugs (prescription or not), which often adversely affects the body/mind. We need to be AWARE.....and as you say...focus our lives.

    Living healthy is not a "new way of life" for me. I learned as a child to be aware of our environment, so I've been recycling, restoring, renovating, reusing for 60+ years. I have also grown much of my own food for 60+ years, and I don't like putting anything in the body which is not healthy........that being said.......ice cream and cookies are sometimes healthy choices:>) LOL!
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      Tao P

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      Oct 6 2013: Colleen I feel you have a keen sense of observation and a nimble understanding of the workings of the word, aka World. What does your ideal society look like? I use the word 'look' as I want to know what it would look like, what it would be, as opposed to the vagueness of 'less corruption and greed, more equality'.
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        Oct 6 2013: Thank you Tao! I try to be "nimble" as much as possible:>)

        My perception of an ideal society looks like what I experience in the life adventure. I don't like to focus on corruption, greed and inequality either, because I believe focusing on it, gives it energy to exist. We need to REPLACE it with something different. I prefer to see us moving TOWARD something, rather than looking back and complaining.

        Although it is beneficial to be aware of all aspects of the life experience, I prefer to focus on the steps we are taking TOWARD creating a better world. A lot of people still believe that peace, harmony and contentment in our world is not possible. I believe it IS possible with enough people moving TOWARD that goal. It is very possible and TED is facilitating the communications which may help people discover our interconnectedness.

        In my humble perception, we could all address the challenging issues by taking steps in our little tiny part of the world, TOWARD good health, peace and harmony..... personally....which then adds to the global/universal energy. We can encourage the practices of respect and appreciation for each other and be aware of our interconnectedness.

        If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem.
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          Tao P

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          Oct 7 2013: I agree that peace harmony and contentment is possible. Can you reword your statement in concrete terms? Think of yourself as a city planner, rather than a philosopher. I feel strongly that we need to have images of the ideal to get there. We have images of this chaotic World, and we are constantly reminded through television and the news that the World is on fire.

          Perhaps to imagine a new society is too large a task at the moment. What would your neighborhood look like, or a day in your life? Focus on one aspect if that helps.

          For myself: I believe that to improve our society we need more open social places in our cities. In Latin America they seem to use their 'green space' for plazas with benches as opposed to the soccer fields and baseball diamonds that I see so often in North America. I think these plazas are great as they encourage mingling, offer many park benches for socializing and often have some tables with chess boards on top, to encourage people to play. This is one concrete example of something that could be implemented into most every city for the benefit of the citizens with minimal cost involved.
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        Oct 13 2013: Tao,
        I have been involved in state, regional and local planning and permitting processes for about 15 years, so I don't have to think about how it might be:>)

        Your topic and introduction addresses healthy, well adjusted and/or depression/mental deficiencies, what it means to be human, etc.. I do not perceive myself as philosophizing, but rather, simply staying on topic as you present it:>)

        OK...a day in the life of Colleen...as you request...
        I may work/play in the gardens, which is good exercise and provides most of my food.

        People may stop in to visit me or the gardens, and there is an opportunity to help educate about the benefit of gardens to the environment, as well as the benefit of eating fresh, home grown food:>)

        On a sunny day, like today, I may wash and hang laundry out on the line to dry, using the solar "power", rather than running a cloths dryer.....this saves energy AND the smell of sun/wind dried laundry is DELIGHTFUL!!!

        I may, if needed, walk to the post office, local grocery store, hardware store, library, etc., which is GREAT exercise, saves the vehicle and fuel, and provides an opportunity to meet and interact with lots of people in the community:>)
        (These are some of the reasons that our state, regional and local plans encourage densely populated villages/towns/cities....people can get around by walking, or biking)

        I agree with you that open, green spaces, and seating areas are desirable, and that also is encouraged with our state, regional and local plans. Sports events are also good, because it is exercise for the players, and a place where families gather.

        I also agree that these features can be relatively inexpensive to implement into most town/cities, which is what we encourage on the regional planning commission and project review committee which I serve on. Being a member of the regional transportation advisory committee also provides an opportunity to work with others in coordinating traffic, including bike/ped paths and lanes:>)
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          Oct 13 2013: Colleen: That really sounds like a very nice plain for a day in a person's life. Congratulations!
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        Oct 13 2013: It is an enjoyable day Sean...every single day....in my humble perception and experience:>)

        As I said in a previous comment, it is up to us as individuals to make choices which may lead to a more healthy existence....both as an individual and as a society.

        I LOVE the balance of hard labor (gardening, hauling wood for heat in the winter, maintaining my home, etc.), sport activities with friends, quiet time for pondering/contemplating, social activity and visits with friends, volunteer work, etc. etc. etc.

        I can serve on planning boards, and support healthy communities with appropriate, environmentally friendly development, and ultimately, it is people, as individuals, who make decisions regarding their own health and the way they choose to support their own health......or not.
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          Oct 14 2013: Amazing energy, nice balance, clever use of time... Congratulations!!
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    Oct 13 2013: The makings of any healthy society is indeed within us, going up and down, we carry all the ingredients of making the great society that we can all be proud of. Within each of us is the unique gifts and special abilities that should they be given a chance at life, our lives would dramatically improve for the better.

    I have this powerful quote: "within you is the change you want to see, manifest it." via www.personalwealthinc.com
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      Oct 13 2013: Welcome to the TED global community Bongani:>)
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        Oct 13 2013: Thank you for the warm welcome Colleen!
  • Keith W

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    Oct 10 2013: i think Psychiatrists have loose standards in how they diagnose and treat people. if people are increasingly becoming depressed it has to do with the culture of narcissism emerging on this planet. See we are a global society that is loosing its spirituality, gaining wealth and ego, and loosing or humanity living in big cities and developed countries with space age technology. all this with the spoiledness of modern arrangements and an over emphases on "self-Esteem" and superficiality creates an environment which is like a psycho-spiritual labyrinth trapping large numbers of people and keeping them forever lost in the existential plight of finding substance in an often disoriented world
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      Tao P

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      Oct 10 2013: I agree with much of what you have said, so what does a better way look like?

      For me I believe too many have lost touch with what it means to be human. Walking is essential for our health and vitality, it is what separates us from the apes after all. Too many rely on cars and we don't perform this essential function. Exercise is the greatest cure of depression with a side effect of looking good.
      • Oct 10 2013: We need to rediscover the values we lost. Theres a place in our psychological lives for spirituality
        and we need to find that. Religion in its old crude arrangement has been largely and rightfully discarded but we need to reinvigorate that element of our being by which scripture and religion once motivated. we have replaced traditional systems with a sort of ego-driven vanity along with an apathy which exists in part due to an over-emphasis modern thought has on the Absolutes. Every person should be their own mystic seeking a deeper understanding within the confines of their personal experience. we must also dedicated our energy and our intentions to a cause greater and longer lasting then ourselves. Many people are lost because they search for the wrong things in the wrong places. Pleasure and ego are not the end alls of our existence.. we need a new social landscape that encourage the mystic, the scientist, and the entrapeneaur in us all
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    W. Ying

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    Oct 6 2013: .

    Quit all invalid (harmful) happiness!
    Thus, there will be no greed, inequality, depression, .... all evil.
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      Tao P

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      Oct 6 2013: No evil? I think you are saying stop doing anything that prevents human happiness.

      We need to come up with a new narrative on life. Mine was more or less, get an education in something you like so that you can earn a good living and, somewhat enjoy what you do. I was lucky that I was not pushed into being a doctor or lawyer, or following in my fathers footsteps. I had a level of freedom, though it was still dependent on the potential earning power of my career.

      What would a society look like that maximized the health and happiness of it's citizens.
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        Oct 7 2013: .
        Yes. "A society" should "look like that maximized the health and happiness of it's citizens."
        "Health" is for "happiness”,
        "Happiness" is for keeping our DNA alive;
        not for greed (to get invalid happiness) ---- making evil.
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    Oct 5 2013: In My opinion- Society's Health depends on the 'Healthy Mind' of Society Members. Now the question raises, What kind of mind can be define as a healthy mind ? Its very simple to define that one too. A mind which contributes to the society with its healthy thoughts. Since, we already know the things those are not healthy for our society, we can easily figure out what are those healthy thoughts, can't we ?

    Remedy is simple Tao P. Veteran doctors (Healthy minds) must be together to cure the sickness of society. :)
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      Tao P

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      Oct 6 2013: I like the theme of your response. What would it look like in more concrete terms? What does a veteran doctor do with his 'healthy mind'?
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        Oct 6 2013: Thank You Tao P. :)

        I called the 'Doctor' to that person who already has positive thoughts and foresight for the society. A group of well wisher of the society may join together to convince the ill minded person or community.

        To understand this, think of a family (Society) members where Father's job is the only source of income and they hardly managing the monthly expenses. But young boy (ill minded son) do not care about anything and spend too much of money for his entertainment. Now, this boy needs to be cure, right? Father and Mother (Healthy Mind) can make him understand the situation and can convince him to earn his pocket money or reduce expenses.
  • Oct 3 2013: Here's another Krishnamurti quote:

    "If we can really understand the problem, the answer will come out of it, because the answer is not separate from the problem."

    Our habit as humans is to Assume we know and understand the problem very very very quickly and then we begin asking and looking for solutions. We do not stick with problems long enough for the solution to be revealed.
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      Tao P

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      Oct 3 2013: Yes, that is a great point. Without understanding the problem we cannot ask the right question. Without the right question we cannot reach a correct answer.

      To get to a healthy society we need to think about what it means to be a human being; what do we need to thrive: physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, What types of environment encourage the ripening of ones full potential?
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      Oct 3 2013: The problem is that we see ourselves separate from the totality, from the rest of humanity, from the rest of living. In doing so, our separation is perceived by the subconscious as a threat, hence fear. Fear leads to seeking security, and this in turn leads to securing power and money, which is greed and selfisness. It may be a simplistic way of putting it and I encourage others to participate. But as a fact there is no doubt. Together we are immensly powerful, and not a power over other, but a power as empowerment which is freedom. Divided, we fight among ourselves; we are also divided internally, which makes governments control us with ease, since media is brainwashing us daily. The environment begins with the individual and spills out into the world which is an extension of the individual.
      • Oct 3 2013: :-)
        I see that you see. Encouraging.
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          Oct 3 2013: We can change, together, you and I
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        Tao P

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        Oct 6 2013: Johnny I second Scott's reply on your magnificent articulation of one of the fundamental perceptions of life. It seems the mainstream is stuck in the apprehension or either you or me; when in fact, to quote Muhammad Ali, it is

        'Me, We'
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          Oct 6 2013: If not for you, I would not exist.
          The Self, inwardly we call it "I" and outwardly we call it "You".
          I am both "I" and "You" at the same time.
          Yet how different we treat "I" than "You".
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      Oct 7 2013: what makes you think there is only one solution?
      • Oct 7 2013: Just my experience. Do not take my word for it :-)
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          Oct 7 2013: LOL Scott I was kidding you some, I realize you realize there may be and usually are multiple solutions. Thanks for kidding me back :)
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    Oct 2 2013: A healthy society is a society where we live for one another.
    Sharing is the key. Sharing is caring.
    The society we live today is driven by greed.
    Greed makes us cruel. When we give away, we are called philanthropists’.
    Hypocrisy at its best.
    To make a healthy society is to create a healthy individual.
    An individual that lives for the rest of the world, not for ones self.
    • Oct 3 2013: Where does this greed come from?
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        Oct 3 2013: Ego, separation, domination and control, culture; take your pick Scott.....
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        Oct 6 2013: Greed comes from a sense of lack.
        If we realise that life is the experience of life, and that we can influence that experience, then we can develop the experience of having no lack, and therefore greed drops out of the picture indirectly.
        That is why the media/system is always promoting a cultural sense of lack rather than abundance. It locks people psychologically into the greed cycle, into dependency, and therefore into a sense of powerlessness.
  • Oct 11 2013: I think we could make great in roads by better accommodating people with disabilities, including those for mental health. For example, one should not be at the point of crisis in the school system before supports kick in.
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    Oct 11 2013: In response to; Emmanuel Edwards
    "When it comes to decision making in the house of parliament, please I would like to know the process. Are the votings of the various representatives truly what the mass wish for"

    No Emmanuel.

    In Canada currently political parties have a paradigm or rule of thumb about the perspectives they will uphold. Individual representatives will promise the public whatever they believe it will take to get themselves elected. There is NO legal pressure to ensure that politicians KEEP these promises and they seldom do.

    Once in office there is NO legal pressure for them to act on behalf of their constituents wishes. In fact it is far from uncommon for politicians to be pressured to veer from constituents wishes in favor of party wishes, and this is often enforced by the "party whip."

    If/when the public becomes upset enough by their elected official said person is voted out, and another replaces them. (the names change but the game remains the same)

    In brief, I feel that currently .. voting for one party or another is largely just a matter of going through the motions for the fun of it and would not seriously expect any party or politician to be overly attentive to the desires of any but themselves, or their largest benefactors.
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    Oct 10 2013: A few factors play into this false perception of an increase in the number of psychological illnesses. First, our awareness in regard to these conditions has been steadily increasing over time. Second, the population is obviously increasing.

    Another factor to consider is the shifts in society. Generally, a psychological condition that impairs a person's functionality today could have had little or no impact in the past. The changes in society may uncover psychological impairments that did not cause problems in a different environment.

    Creating a more stable society requires that we confront many complex issues. First, we need to have a shared goal. Unfortunately, a shared vision or goal is difficult to create. Until we can shift our focus to progress as a species, not as a nation, gender, race, or sexual preference, we will not move very far.

    We need balance. I know that sounds really silly to some. However, balance is the only state in which we can move forward with little to no resistance.

    A state of balance is a little less complicated than it sounds. Racism, greed, and hate contribute to an unbalanced state. Too much of one thing and not enough of the other. For example, having a government that denies its' people the opportunities to succeed in life creates an unbalanced environment.

    On the other hand, having a government that gives out too much deprives people from gaining the experience necessary for personal growth. Balance is a key concept related to health in general. A balanced diet or a balanced exercise routine will always be the optimal choice.

    The rate of mental illness and depression is not rising. However, we are becoming more aware of these problems. That in itself is a great step forward.
  • Oct 10 2013: it is up to u and Ur community how u can keep Ur environment healthy.Although issues are every where but fulfill ur duty is a first task of yours.
  • Oct 8 2013: There is an old story that a German town had the practice of requiring its council to debate and vote on all measures twice. First, when they are all thoroughly drunk, then when they are all completely sober. Only those measures that passed both votes were enacted. Perhaps this principle might help modern society.
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    Oct 7 2013: www.onlineparty.ca

    A healthy society would be one in which the government acts on the majority will of its people. It would know the will of its people as the people would vote directly on the issues facing government

    As a result of people being directly responsible for creating the rules that govern them, healthy rules would result that they would believe in and support with minimum resistance.

    This would result in a healthy societal mind. As each person would vote for what benefits them directly, the things all persons share in common would become societal supported norms.

    Healthy society mind/healthy individual mind.

    Myself healthy society or unhealthy, god is my center and luckily so because if we are dependent on external forces we're in a tippy canoe on rough waters at best.
    • Oct 8 2013: What if the majority will of the people is "Kill the Jews"?
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        Oct 8 2013: It would be astronomically more likely for a majority government comprised of a HANDFUL of PARTY WHIPPED party members to carry out such a heinous atrocity, than it would be to convince 30 MILLION multiculturally socialized Canadians with a history of peace to do so.

        Those Jewish persons you're speaking about are our neighbors, our friends, our co-workers, our family ..they are a part of "us." Therefore I cannot even in the wildest imaginings see such an irrational possibility.

        In the past "kill the Jews" was brought about by the few who governed the many. It was stopped by the many banding together against the few.

        It's not the majority will of the common people one needs to fear ..it is the will of the elite who care little what it costs the common people.
        • Oct 10 2013: Hi martin.
          When it comes to decision making in the house of parliament, please I would like to know the process. Are the votings of the various representatives truly what the mass wish for
          ., of course as a democratic society?. I know democracy is the government of the people but I dnt really feel as part of it all so also is most people. No motivation
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      Oct 9 2013: Hello Martin,

      The trouble with the idea of governments acting "on the majority will of its people" is that few issues are simply either/or where a clear 51% majority is measurable.

      Where there is a clear either/or choice to be made, what constitutes a majority?
      For example, in the U.K before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, 2 million people marched in protest against the war (1 million in London, 1 million combined in other major U.K cities), the Foreign Secretary (Robin Cook) resigned when the decision to go ahead was announced, and 139 members of parliament of the Prime Minister's own Labour party (about 30% I think) voted against the war.
      Would this conglomerate of protest constitute the "majority will of the people" that the then government should have abided by under your suggestion for a healthy society?
      (As you probably know, Tony Blair went ahead regardless, citing evidence of WMD as "beyond doubt" but that shortly afterwards proved never to have existed).
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        Oct 10 2013: Hello Joshua,

        I looked up what I believe is the population of the UK.
        63,182,000 is that correct?

        If so, then 2 million protesters would clearly not be a majority will of 63 million.

        If as http://www.onlineparty.ca suggests people voted directly on the issues and the majority will of each electoral area as passed on to elected representatives were brought to government, then the collective will would dictate policy.

        The collective will of each electoral district, combined to form a majority will of all electoral districts is NOT the same as the majority will of all combined citizens (although it could be.)

        Even so the responsibility, accountability, popularity of government decisions, long term decisiveness of policy .. all these things would begin stabilizing in the positive rather than the erratic knee-jerk pendulum effect that democracy currently is paralyzed by.

        The average person does not change their mind as often as they change their clothes. Instead the average person seeks to decrease negative stress and improve the wheel and their position in an effort toward continuous improvement ..which translates to progress. "Mistakes are not really mistakes if we learn from them, they are learning experiences." (forget who said that)

        So yes.. Direct Democracy will lead to a more stable, more productive, more responsible, more accountable democracy for all, and social mind. The more stable the society mind, the more stable the individual mind.
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          Oct 10 2013: Hello Martin,
          Thank you for your reply. Yes, pop of 63m sounds about right to me.
          What I forgot to add is that the general apathetic nature of the British public is such that for every person who makes the effort to go out on the street and join a protest march (especially on a rainy day) there are probably ?10-15? others who also had the same view against Britain getting involved in the Iraq war, but didn't put on their wellies and get out there. Of course it's an unknown, but such would have pushed it nearer it the 50% mark.

          In the British psyche, the decision of Tony Blair to go to war in the face of such protests, and opposition from his own party, has gone down in history as not only the main legacy that Tony Blair will be remembered for, but also as the day democracy finally died. People mutter "well if they don't listen to THAT, then what's the point?" Indeed, in the recent Syria crisis Prime Minister David Cameron had to state in relation at the time to possible U.K involvement, "This is not another Iraq",

          Anyway, thank you for the link about direct democracy and how it might work.
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    Oct 7 2013: OK, it seems I should make the example to illustrate my question about how many in % people should live with healthy customs to recognize a society healthy. I have the best example from my own experience.

    I am vegetarian, no alkhogol, never smoking, never drug and don`t like coffee too. I practice yoga and dedicate my life to creation and knowledge. My friends is the same. May be the more persuasive is about alkhogol and smoking, because not too many people refuse it at all. We don`t do it without any external reason but by own decision. Also we are positive thinkers with active position in life.

    And we live in society mostly unhealthy, with many alchogol and smoking dependents, friquently with negative and passive life position.

    Although I and my surrounding is healthy (not more then 0,001%), the society is unhealthy in total.
    So what?..
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      Tao P

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      Oct 7 2013: (Can you please remove 2 of the 3 identical posts you have made?)

      If you and your friend are so healthy I find it hard to believe that such a small % of your environment is sick. The television and news tells us of the World problems, yet in my day to day life I would say that my neighbors are on the whole healthy.

      The society is sick due to War isolation exploitation pollution and fear. Until humans are a boom, and no longer a burden, on the Earth we will be a 'sick' society. Until we understand that we are our environments then we will not be whole. We may be semi-conscious people, but most have lost sight of the totality of being.
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        Oct 7 2013: May be my sentence " Although I and my surrounding is healthy (not more then 0,001%), the society is unhealthy in total." isn`t clear enough. I meant my friends with healthy life is so small group in the ill society then we hardly to influent it to make changes.

        I can imagine a small number of people make their life better, more productive, more healthy in society terms. I hardly believe such group could change the society in total. It needs to change more people. So interrelation between % of people share healthy social culture and people with unhealthy one should be more in order to make changes. It needs a good strategic planing and media influence too, isn`t it?
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    Oct 7 2013: We realize that life is harsh and full of troubles and problems as we grow older. The advancement of technology, science change the way we live. Those advancements have come at the expense of our lives even though they have many advantages. Many working people have concerns about the future and many live under stress. We can't feel secure without having money because we can't live a good life without it and make our dreams come true. Life is very rapid and makes all of us hasty.
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      Tao P

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      Oct 7 2013: This is but an introductory paragraph stating the problems. Where is the heart? Where is the attempted answer to 'how we can make a better World? What would that World look like?'
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    Oct 4 2013: What is the features of healthy society? How many people in % should live healthy life to consider a sosiety healthy?
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      Oct 6 2013: Another way of looking at that questions could be "what percentage of your body should be healthy in order to consider yourself to be healthy?"
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        Oct 7 2013: Great! It`s exactly the same question!
        The reason medicals avoids to make full scan of patient`s body is many organs and systems`d never been as healthy and ideal shaped as in anatomic books. Many deviations more or less unideal, many subsystems covers or adjusts for that deviations. But a person never feel it and never complain. The illness can be resoned by completely another organ which seems the most close to normal.

        Also people has own definition of health. I knew one person with good healthy well shaped body but his mind was as a trash basket. Was he healthy?
        I know one man with infantile paralysis. Noone bone in his body seemed normal. But his personality, full of life, motion, humor, and his social activities is brilliant. Is he healthy or not?

        So your questin is reasonable. In the world where subsystems growth with different speed havind different deviations the definition of health isn`t so clear both for human and society.
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      Oct 7 2013: Anna & Tim !

      You both are mistaking by considering a society as a physical object . According to Wiki - A society consist of 'like-minded' people governed by their own norms and values within a dominant. Tao P is not asking for Physical health of the society, because there isn't physically existence of any society. When Tao P say 'Sick Society', he thinks about the ill custom and tradition driving our society. Society is the collective rules (or say custom) accepted by people having different religion or status to make relations with each other.

      Society exists in the mind and thus its health depends on the healthy mind of society members. An individual Physical body may be ill but not necessarily mind Anna. You must have heard the name of scientist Stephen Hawking, He is almost entirely paralysed and communicates through a speech generating device.

      I think Tao P would be agree what I am trying to say... :)
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        Oct 7 2013: I hoped it was obvious that physical example is just an analogy the same way as term "helthy" belongs to physical objects only was applyed to describe the question about society. Even if we speak about physical state literary it is obviously the more healthy members of a society are, the more healthy such society could be. It is not easy to keep body healthy, and to society the same. It needs to reject many unhelthy but pleasant habits the same way as to society needs to analize what behaviour, customs or laws represents unhealthy way and reject it.

        Sometimes healthy body cure unhealthy mind. Also healthy mind desired a healthy body. The same way it is hard to imagine a society with healthy minds but physically ill in total. Everything depends from many factors in systems. Concern Steven Hawking it is the exception, not the rule, also my example of very kind and smart person I described. And if you have a look to the general case, noone want the same. It is the exceptions how people personally overcomes obstacles. But society is not a person. It will be not exceptions like in human examples.

        According to Wiki the definition seems too much simplyfied. A big society consists from smallest groups, ill customs of one group can be compensate by health customs of another.

        So my question is the same. How much in % of a society should be healthy to recognize the whole society is healthy?
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    Oct 3 2013: Eating only raw vegan food gives you this: health (all of it), clarity of mind at an extremely high level, very frequent feelings of happiness, joy and enthusiasm, a deep feeling of love towards everything. This is what I experienced and also, what I found others experience as well.
    So, my personal opinion is that the cure to all the negative aspects of the society we live in is real health: physical, mental and emotional health (at an individual level, with effects on a global level). I think lifestyle choices have a huge impact on the way people feel and therefore, on the way people act. Real nutrition + physical effort + positive thinking = my solution to all problems on Earth.
    • W T

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      Oct 3 2013: Look who was a vegan:


      Not that I am against a vegetarian diet.....I do feel that you have a point in that positive thinking and physical effort and good nutrition is important.

      But wouldn't you agree that people need some sort of moral code?
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        Oct 3 2013: Look who else was/is a vegetarian/vegan:

        Also, there is a big difference between eating vegetarian/vegan and eating raw vegetarian/raw vegan.

        About moral codes: it is very important for people to know the distinction between what is good and what is bad. As a society, in order to move towards a much better future we should only do good: actions that do not harm. Thank you for the input.
        • W T

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          Oct 4 2013: Wow......thank you for sharing that video.....

          Actually I know someone who eats a raw vegan diet. But not by choice I'm afraid.
          I feel very good each time I have a meal of raw fruits and veggies......my energy level increases.....and I can tell the difference throughout the day.

          And yes, it would be nice if humans did only good.....actions that do not harm.
          Thank you for the exchange.
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      Tao P

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      Oct 3 2013: I agree with you about health: Being healthy on the individual level is important to be able to extend that health to the community and further. I do not agree with the raw vegan aspect of your post. I have tried being a vegetarian and a vegan and neither worked for me. I respect a vegetarians choice but I do not understand the raw aspect. Yes overcooking may 'destroy' certain vitamins, but cooking also releases countless others and makes food more readily digestible. Fire is what makes us human. It is difficult for an active person to acquire enough calories to fuel both body and mind when the digestive system has to work so hard.
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        Oct 4 2013: I hope this will help in understanding the reasoning behind choosing to eat raw vegan foods:

        Raw foods contain digestive enzymes, which help a lot with digestion. Cooked food is harder to digest, because the cooking process destroys these enzymes.

        Brendan Brazier is an active person (he is an endurance athlete) and he is eating raw vegan. Here is a link to a TEDx Talk in which he shares his experience:

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          Tao P

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          Oct 5 2013: Cooking 'pre-digests' our food, allowing for greater absorption of nutrients. As long as you're not burning the food it is easier to digest cooked food. Cooking actually increases the amount of bioavailable nutrients in some foods. It does this as it breaks down the thick cellulose walls allowing nutrients to be better absorbed.

          In the first link the doctor speaks about the superiority of the vegan diet to the standard american diet. I am not advocating for McDonalds and coca-cola. Vegan is better than the terrible american diet but show me a society that was vegan in our evolutionary past. Show me a society that was even vegetarian? They do not exist. He makes claims that all animals eat a raw diet, but many animals are carnivores or omnivores, including our closest relatives monkeys and gorillas.

          Cooking is necessary, and if you think vegan is the answer well, just be sure to watch your B12-vitamin levels. As well, if you truly want to be vegan watch this ted talk and see if it is possible.
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        Oct 5 2013: What the doctor claims is that all animals, as long as they are not domesticated, eat a raw food diet (a raw food diet = a diet in which food is not cooked).

        Here is the same doctor, speaking about vitamin B12:

        I never mentioned anything about products containing animal parts, in this discussion.

        My main point in this discussion is: real nutrition heals. There are a lot of opinions on what real nutrition means, but one can look at facts and see what works and what doesn't.
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          Tao P

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          Oct 5 2013: So he says 300 years ago our large intestines were different. They were capable of making their own b12. I have never heard this before, and I find it hard to believe that we could 'devolve' in such a short amount of time.

          You may have heard this Dr. Clement say that blenders also destroy 85-92% of all nutrition in foods you blend into smoothies. He's something else, the boogeyman of even minimal food processing. I wonder how much nutrition is lost from chewing food.

          When you write about only eating raw vegan as the way to health you are bringing animal parts into the discussion. Animal foods contain vitamin B12. We cannot make it in our bodies and it is vital to health.
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    Oct 3 2013: My own view is that depression is unlikely to be an illness because it has reached pandemic proportions without any tangible pathogen being involved at all - although it must be a reaction to something externally hostile if so many people are suffering and whose numbers are on the increase. If not a pathogen, then what?

    I think the answer to why so many people suffer with depression can only be found in how it reveals itself collectively. (individually is obvously important too, but for different reasons). It begs the question of whether depression is a dysfunctional reaction to something normal, or a normal reaction to something dysfunctional? I think the latter - and if true, it certainly is not an indication of a society fully functional within the traditional sense of what it means to be human.

    Dr Paul Keedwell's book "How Sadness Survived" discusses and questions the subject of where the sickness lies - whether it is in individuals or in society. Excerpts here:


    I think a healthy society is one which embraces the local rather than the global - where faces can be put to names, and where face-to-face contact is the norm rather than the exception. Local people farming local produce for local consumption. Local employment for local people, and restoring the pride in an honest day's work because someone you know down the road is going to benefit from what you've produced - not just some faceless person halfway across the world.

    This sounds like putting society into reverse. Perhaps it is in economic terms, but actually I think it would be a significant leap forward in terms of what it means to be human.
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      Oct 3 2013: Why not embrace both the local and the global, with strong local roots and important global sensitivity and connectedness? Why must it be local rather than global?
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        Oct 4 2013: Hi Fritzie. Global sensitivity is of course important, but my feeling is that 'the global' has taken far too much precedence over what I loosely term as 'the local'.

        As far as mental health is concerned, I think a close, mutually beneficial relationship with one's local community is desirable, if not essential.

        Today's communities may be geographically close, but they consist of people whose socio-economic and political outlook is almost entirely global - which means someone living next door might just as well be someone living in a far-flung place elsewhere in the world. It's all the more difficult to form close bonds without that foundation of symbiosis, and given that we are social animals, globalisation almost runs against the grain of our own evolution.

        'The global' represents progress, and 'the local' seems retrograde in the modern mindset. I question that mindset on the basis of sustainability - economically, socially and psychologically.

        Returning the modern back to the primitive* may sound like a ridiculous thing to suggest, but would it actually be more in keeping with progress in terms of human well-being, than progress based entirely on global economic health?

        *I don't mean primitive in the derogatory sense, but rather: "relating to, denoting, or preserving the character of an early stage in the evolutionary or historical development"
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          Oct 4 2013: Maybe it is what I see and read, but I see many celebrations of and personal investment in the local. I am sure this varies greatly by city and neighborhood. For some people the local may be their church or school community rather than their specific neighbors.

          When I scan opportunities for volunteerism around town, I see people volunteering near where they live rather than even far across town.
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      Oct 4 2013: Allan and Fritzie,
      Dan Buettner, and other researchers, seem to agree that connections with family, friends and the community contribute to better health.

      It seems like it would be difficult to have "global sensitivity" if we did not have local sensitivity....don't you think? How can we genuinely connect on a global level if we ignore the local level? I observe that people who connect, seem to be connected on every level.....balance....what do you think about that?
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        Oct 4 2013: I think some people are isolated and connect mainly via the internet with people who could live anywhere. I have known many such people. It is not that they undervalue local connections but that they are not mobile and not often visited.

        I have known others who are connected only locally and have no personal connection outside a small circle of people who truly matter to them.
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          Oct 4 2013: This is true Fritzie. Our world is full of people with different circumstances, preferences and choices:>)

          I personally like the balance of connections locally and globally, including connections via the internet:>)
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        Oct 4 2013: You and I are lucky to live in neighborhoods where we can easily make and maintain local connections and to be healthy enough just to head on out the door. I am thankful every day for this.
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          Oct 4 2013: Do you think/feel it is only "lucky" Fritzie? I tend to think it is also connected with my choices and preferences regarding my life experience, and how I orchestrate my life.

          For example, I am aware of LOTS of people in my community who choose to watch TV all day, and do not choose to go outside or connect with other people. I know many more, thankfully, who DO connect and participate in community activities.....I perceive it to be a choice on the part of each and every individual.

          I am also thankful every moment Fritzie, and I think that is a HUGE part of feeling healthy and connected.....gratitude....we contribute to a healthy society by "being" as healthy as possible our "self":>)
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        Oct 4 2013: I think some people can pick up and move more easily than others. Many people cannot afford to live where they would really like to, because of cost of living, need to find work, and other ties that bind them. Some of where people land depends on where they started.

        Many who live in small towns dream of being able to move to the city but would need to find work there. Many who live in cities dream of moving out of the city but would need to find work there.

        Of course you are right some people do not take advantage of the opportunities that are readily available and could make a different choice.
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      Oct 7 2013: May be the task to remain humanity in technological world is the challenge to prove real values?
      This is no challenge to be local if people have no choice. Many ortodoxal cultures try to do it and you can see the results. But to keep humanity having all technologes is the way to growth, includes a hard art to restrict wishes of own ego.
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    Oct 3 2013: so add to the list Mary... It is a beginning.... Never meant to be definitive....

    Be a part of the solution.... don't just throw rocks... Mary
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      Oct 3 2013: I wasn't throwing rocks Craig. That is not my style.
      I will have to think deeply on how to word additional root causes of greed.

      But, it is another topic of conversation, and I do not feel comfortable discussing it here.
      Thank you for your reply. I am aware that my comment was on the third tier........and you had no way of replying to me directly.
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    Oct 2 2013: Tao,
    you can point to very small encouraging trends, but no big ones.... planting flowers won't stop the legacies of all the poisons.

    If we were to 'turn' the corner of past ignorance it would have to be grounded in the wisdom, "there is enough for every man's need, but not for every man's GREED" Gandhi

    I see no evidence of that, do you?
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      Tao P

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      Oct 2 2013: Hi Craig, please use the 'reply' button located on the top right of the posts you are responding to. It helps continue the conversation.

      My point of planting flowers was a metaphor. I see many examples of positive things happening in the World. There are many that are presented on TED. The fact that many countries are banning Monsanto and there chemicals is positive. The influx of urban gardens (while having a small impact as far as food goes) have a large impact on a families ecological and psychological health. Car-sharing is spreading, biking for transport is increasing. Check out David Suzuki's 'good news for a change' for some inspiration.
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    Oct 2 2013: I respectfully disagree Pat. Your analysis and solution is simplistic and doesn't begin to get at the core issues.

    The tenor of this question is KEY. What constitutes modern society is very sick and heading toward extinction. Thus anyone who models the status quo becomes the problem... not a solution.

    Read R.D. Laing's, the Politics of experience as a reference point of where we have gone wrong. Hint: it's in our very definitions of 'normal and mental health'. It's in our fouling our collective nest and calling it progress because the only measure that matters is financial. It's about an educational system that educates while focused in the rear view mirror.

    Projected ahead, there is no future that embodies hope, opportunity and responsibility. We have out smarted our ability to survive, and the young know it... Until we turn that around we will continue to fall and fail...

    Your move....
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      Tao P

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      Oct 2 2013: Craig, what would it look like if we projected ahead to a future with hope opportunity and responsibility? We have collectively gone through some amazing times, and we, as a society, are somewhat akin to the child who burns ants learning to use a magnifying glass. It's not right, but it is a learning process. Hopefully we are waking up to the damage we are doing and are going to set our heads straight and plant flowers for the bees as our next step
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    Oct 2 2013: It is really a sick society; the acceptance of sophism is one sign that is so easy to ignore but has fatal consequences on our humanity.
    Someday terrorists, paedophiles and bigots could convince a lot of people with 'clever' arguements on their media platform. We call it 'freedom of speech'; and anything and everything can be said as long as there are enough people to listen to it.

    We should think more about our humanity, our ubuntu; we should be bothered by the hold of selfishness that is making us more cruel to other people. The competition of selfishness is bringing some sort of 21st-century-savvy barbarism out of humanity.

    I agree with you. Humanity is losing focus. We need to re-focus.
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      Oct 3 2013: Are you surprised by all this?
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        Oct 3 2013: No, I'm not. We are all living in the fufilment of prophecies. It is our individual responsibility to make sure that we are on the side of the right and true.
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          Oct 3 2013: Agreed!
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      Tao P

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      Oct 6 2013: I am happy you agree with me. What would a good version of today look like?
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    Oct 2 2013: Life fixes itself. The problem is that depression et.al. is very profitable, the more you convince people they need your snake oil the more you make. This problem could be alleviated if we got the schools out of the mental health business.
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      Tao P

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      Oct 2 2013: To take it one step further lets get the schools out of the education business. Get rid of them altogether.
  • Oct 2 2013: First, make truth the priority.
    Place truth as the authority and not authority as the truth, as it has now been twisted and perverted into.
    Stop telling lies, believing lies and living by lies. In every area of life.
    While I believe that lying is not necessarily immoral or bad, because it is
    somewhat of an instinct that is instigated by self-preservation (not in all cases of course),
    I do believe that lying to young children in their early years is the beginning cause of mental
    illness in the human being. In Amerika, more parents are lying more often, about more things, to their children
    and much of this is for control of their little slaves, which I thought had been abolished.
    A survey in 2009 revealed this and of course the last Comorbidity Replication Survey I read showed that
    mental illness is spreading throughout the U.S. populace, around 50% and growing and it is beginning at age
    eleven. Perhaps that is now lower, I don't know.
    Stop the propaganda-leading to-brainwashing programs that are in action everywhere in Amerika and also
    elsewhere in the world.
    Stop the IMM! The Insane Moral Majority, for it is the leaders whose morals have declined to zero and below.
    They have none, they have no transparency, they are removing freedoms and maintaining their privacy at all costs.
    Only a truly mentally ill and brainwashed populace can fail to see this, admit it and then act upon it.
    Neurosis is believing in things that are basically not true and American'ts are truly neurotic, yet they worship their lies.
    Even some of their movies for kids, such as Rise of the Guardians, very clearly and emphatically proclaim that characters like Santa Claus, Jack Frost, and others, really, really, really do exist! They are driving this point into the consciousness of little children and it is evil to do so. It is part the beginning of lying to children in a very insidious way that ultimately is very damaging, but of course, as those adults say, "It's for the good of the child."
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      Tao P

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      Oct 2 2013: I agree with you that truth is important. Much of what goes on in today's media and politik is a manipulation of truth if it isn't a downright lie. You are capable of telling your children (or your nephews) about how their parents give them christmas gifts and that these are all nice stories like hansel and grettle.

      I have to disagree with you that the moral majority is just that, a majority. I think there are more like minded people around you if you spoke your mind more openly. It is our isolation that robs us of our power. The only thing is people have had enough of the negative, that is why I am asking what positive change would look like.
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        Oct 2 2013: Hi, Tao. Not everyone who describes the United States in TED Conversations or elsewhere actually lives in the United States and observes first hand. Some impressions are gleaned primarily through the media they follow in their countries.

        Impressions of what a Majority of the people in a distant place are like are the most likely, I think, to be skewed among those viewing from a distance.
        • Oct 4 2013: Nice Fritzie
          Try and dismiss any voice that isn't currently in the u.s, with a simple blanket statement that is very misleading and as I said, almost totally dismissive of those voices.
          I don't know where you are located but from a distance, Americans look like lunatics and apparently they are, warring everywhere in the world, taking away their citizens liberties and leading the way for the rest the governments of the world to follow in their footsteps.
          Your country isn't spreading anything other than hate, loathing and imperialism and fascism.
          I know the u.s. very well, better than you think or know, so don't dismiss what I say or the voice and opinions of others simply because they are at a distance.
          You people need to look in the mirror and solve what you see there and stay out of other people's countries, stop pushing everyone else around, then blaming them when they fight back. Let's not leave out: Followed by your war upon them for defending themselves.
  • Oct 2 2013: It does seem contradictory. One hears that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. That short story has a different outcome. So I am not sure this dicussion will give us some good ideas.