Return to Nature!

I am frequently amazed to find in older books (100+ years) the exact same concerns and issues than we are dealing with today. It is often possible to literally copy what was written back then and re-publish it. And no one would even suspect that an author from a long time ago wrote this.

One such book I am reading right now is Return to Nature! by Adolf Just. I am just into the introduction for now but it already seems to be an edifying read.

Adolf Just was German naturopath and the book is a translation into English from 1903. In the book he likes to quote a lot from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a well known German writer, whose writings are even much older, going back 200 years ago. Goethe lived from 1749 – 1832.

In the introduction Just quotes this from Goethe:

Man in his misguidance has powerfully interfered with nature. He has devastated the forests, and thereby even changed the atmospheric conditions and the climate. Some species of plants and animals have become entirely extinct through man, although they were essential in the economy of Nature. Everywhere the purity of the air is affected by smoke and the like, and the rivers are defiled. These and other things are serious encroachments upon Nature, which men nowadays entirely overlook but which are of the greatest importance, and at once show their evil effect not only upon plants but upon animals as well, the latter not having the endurance and power of resistance of man.

Goethe

And this from Goethe’s famous poem, Faust:

Thy sense is shut, thy heart ids dead:

Disciple, up! untiring, hasten

To bathe thy breast in morning-red!

Goethe, “Faust”

Goethe was also a close friend of Alexander von Humboldt, the famous nature explorer of his time.

This was written about 200 years ago! It makes me wonder what the state of nature was back then? Was it worse than today? I can imagine that to be the case in Germany where many of the cut down forests of that time have been regrown. I read somewhere that the Black Forest had been cut down up to 80% in Goethe’s time.

And what would our air be like if everyone still heated their houses with coal and wood stoves? With today’s population we may only have a few months to live in that scenario.

Thanks to electronic media these old works are again becoming available to everyone to read and ponder. Let’s hope humanity will soon find a permanent solution to this old problem. With the current technological advances it should be possible, but we have to really want it to happen too.

Earthing and Sleep Observations

Previously I shared a post on Earthing which I have been doing consistently for a few weeks now. I would like to share some initial results on my sleep patterns.

  • I generally have been sleeping better. I wake up less between sleep cycles. Especially during the 2nd half of the night, which is 1-5 am for me, I have seen really good improvements.
  • The quality of my dreams has improved:
    • Immediately after dreaming I am in a more positive mood. I can only conclude that the actual dreams are just more positive.
    • I have had some dreaming episodes where I was at the same time consciously aware of being in a dream. This is really exciting because this is often mentioned in books on meditation as an advanced type of dreaming. After such “conscious dreaming” it is very easy to remember details of the dream for hours or even days after. I have never experienced this before.

To conclude, I cannot say for sure yet which and how much of an effect earthing has had on my sleep. Maybe I am also experiencing a placebo effect here. But something has changed which is worth sharing.

I will continue to earth myself at night of course and share future observations.

Barefoot Bliss

Yesterday I was taking a small hike in a nearby forest when it started to rain hart. To keep the walk an enjoyable experience I decided to complete the hike barefoot. Walking in the rain has its own qualities but going barefoot makes it a blissful experience.

I thought of the following reasons why this is so:

Being in touch with water

Water is the substance of life on earth and we all have, one way or another, a deep relationship with water. The access to clean water is one of the greatest luxuries in life.

But when hiking with shoes, water quickly turns into a nuisance. In rainy weather mud or grass make the shoes quickly wet and dirty and the hike uncomfortable.

Going barefoot flips this to the opposite. The barefoot walker enjoys nothing more than to seeking out the wettest grass, the deepest puddles, the soft wet mud where the feet sink in. Going on moist moss where the water squeezes through the toes is just pure bliss.

This direct contact with the earth, enhanced through fresh rain water is only available to the barefoot walker.

Presence

Jacob Liberman, in his amazing book Luminous Life, defines presence as the eyes and the mind focused on the same thing.

I can guarantee that the eyes and mind will be focusing on the same thing during barefoot walking, namely the immediate ground ahead. The painful experience of walking on a small rock or any pointy object is not so much fun.

The result is that being barefoot is also being Present in the here and now which turns the barefoot walk also into a meditative experience.

being Grounded, Literally

Since very recently I have become a great fan of having a direct connection with the earth as a major health enhancer. In my previous post, Feel Like Being Grounded?, I explain more on my experience with Earthing.

Walking barefoot plus a wet ground is the best way to free up the electron flow from the earth into the body. The barefoot walk should be at least 30 minutes in order for the electrons to come up the middle of the body, 1 hour to get full immersion.

This is a relatively unknown discipline and I recommend to read Clint Ober’s book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! or visit Earthing.com.

Conclusion and Tips

The three reasons above and certainly many others which I have not discovered yet make barefoot walking an blissful experience with no downsides.

The following quick tips help me as well:

  • The feet get quickly used to the ground. The initial pain of walking on small gravel goes quickly away. It is not necessary to become a pro-barefoot walker before enjoyment can set in.
  • I recommend to carry hiking poles. When walking on challenging ground it is easy to become slightly unbalanced when stepping on something uncomfortable or slippery. The poles will be essential to prevent accidental slips or falls.

Feel like being “Grounded”?

For a few days now I have been reading a really interesting book, Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!, by Clint Ober.

The premise of the book is that since the 2nd world war we have become disconnected from the earth by living in insulated environments and wearing non-conductive shoes pretty much all of our time.

As a result we are constantly charged with a few Volts of electricity which causes chronic inflammation. This in turn leads to many of the modern day health issues like arthritis, cancer, heart problems, etc. Those issues were almost non-existent before.

The book has immediately encouraged me to live more “grounded”. So I started going barefoot in the backyard grass for a few minutes in the morning. I will also get some grounding straps to use indoors. The same grounding straps used in the electronics industry for preventing static discharges.

ESD Anti-Static Wrist Strap Components

Until those arrive I have made myself a basic grounding strap with a copperwire which I connect to the ground of the electrical system in my house.

(Oct 10 Update: In the appendix of the book there is an explanation that ESD equipment such as the wrist straps above don’t achieve the same effect than grounding as explained in the book. The reason is that ESD devices have a 1 MOhm resistor which prevents electrons from flowing freely enought. I also found that the metal part of the strap which makes contact with the skin feels uncomfortable on the skin. Perhaps I will be able to use some of the parts to create my own grounding devices. So for now I will stick with my self-made copper device. Please read the book appendix. There is a recommendation to have a 100 KOhm resistor in the grounding devices for safety in case there is any kind of risk of touching a live wire while being grounded!)

Having read through about half of the book so far I am already convinced that this book is a major breakthrough for my health journey and that I will stick for the long term with being grounded (sounds funny, ha ha). I also plan to “ground” my wife when the equipment arrives.

As I will learn more about this and get my own experiences I will post more on this.

How did I find out about this book?

The book’s author was interviewed in one of my favourite podcasts, Inspire Nation by Michael Sandler.

Here is the link to the episode Get Grounded! Feel Better, Sleep Better & Get Less Stress: