Authors’ Introduction         

To understand the laws of nature that govern human health, happiness, and higher brain functioning (pretty much all of life), we have to know what life itself is from the perspective of science.  And that involves first understanding what is known as entropy. One of the most famous laws of nature (a law of thermodynamics), sometimes called the scientific equivalent of the works of Shakespeare, tells us that anything that is not alive increases in entropy (disorder or decay) over time. Cars and houses fall apart, computers break down, food becomes rotten, and so on. And the same natural tendency towards entropy or decay affects the human body. Life is a continuous battle against toxins, disease, disorder, and decay that eventually will win out in death. However, living organisms, alone, have the ability to grow and evolve and overcome nature’s decaying effect, at least for a time. How we do this tells us what life is according to science, and what we need for health, happiness, and living life to the fullest.

The book, What is Life?, written 75 years ago by Nobel Laureate physicist Erwin Schrodinger, told us that the precious something in food that keeps us alive is not the calories we consume (as many had believed), but what he called the negative entropy in our food. Negative entropy is just another name for orderliness (entropy is disorder so negative entropy is order).  In other words, life requires that we consume the orderliness in food, which helps us maintain inner orderliness.

Moreover, in the past 75 years, we’ve learned that the immune and other self-repair systems of the body naturally enable us to maintain health and stay alive. When functioning properly, our immune system keeps germs out of the body and destroys those that enter; and we naturally manufacture hundreds of chemicals each day to heal wounds, aid sleep, improve digestion, balance our moods, and control bodily functions.  When it is healthy, the body is so unfathomably orderly in its functioning (we call it coherence) that our inner healing and order-maintaining systems do a thousand-fold more to keep us balanced and healthy than any pharmaceuticals.

Life then depends on eating correctly and otherwise maintaining order or coherence in the brain and body, and as we’ll see, the more order or coherence we can generate, the healthier and happier we’ll be. The principle in all of medicine, whether it is allopathic or alternative or complementary, is to overcome disorders by creating coherence or order in the physiology. Health professionals apply the coherence principle in the pharmaceuticals they prescribe to overcome disorders, but the principle needs to be applied to those things that really keep us healthy. These are the basic things that keep us alive—our food, exercise, and the quality of our rest.  Without a good diet, exercise and adequate rest, no medicines can keep us healthy.

Ancient systems of medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, and the Greek medicine of Hippocrates were based on creating balance or order inside the human body (for example, the Yin and Yang of Chinese medicine), as well as a balance of the internal and external environments. And they applied this to what they ate, how much they ate, to finding the foods that were best for particular disorders, and through principles of digestion, herbal remedies, sound or vibration therapies, and meditation.  Maintaining coherence through the daily activities of life has for thousands of years been the cornerstone for health and happiness.

Some of the book’s chapters discuss the science of how a deep inner order or coherence either causes healing or happiness or is a predictor of human development. However, this is not a theoretical or philosophical book. It is primarily a practical guide to specific strategies that have been shown to be effective in developing coherence and the practical benefits that come from it. Measuring inner coherence and its practical benefits is really part of a new direction for science, and as we’ll see, the benefits of coherence are often dramatic. They include reducing stress levels, blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, and other disorders, and ridding the body of toxins from impure foods, poor digestion, and environmental conditions

This isn’t a book full of platitudes advocating the value of all “natural” health strategies, or all forms of meditation, or all diet or exercise programs. They don’t all produce coherence in the mind and body, they don’t all have significant value, and some are vastly better than others. As discussed in Chapter 4, the published reports show that only one meditation technique, the Transcendental Meditation® technique (TM for short), develops the kind of brain coherence we are seeking. If your meditation practice is difficult, and isn’t delivering the benefits you want, you might consider a different technique.

The fact that so many Americans are unhealthy and unhappy (the highest percentage of the population in the past 50 years say they are unhappy) suggests a clear and immediate need to change our lifestyles and develop inner calmness and coherence. And for that, it isn’t just one thing we need–no one magic diet or exercise program.  For the coronavirus, experts like the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommended handwashing and other hygienic measures like social distancing, but also good nutrition, meditation, managing stress, being physically active, and proper sleep. These are the great natural remedies for fighting and preventing all disease and their relationship to coherence is what this book is about. Unfortunately, there are so many diet, nutrition, meditation, stress reduction, and exercise programs, it’s hard to know which are best.

Inner coherence keeps us alive and well. It can be measured scientifically (e.g., brain wave coherence) and should be the yardstick for determining the best natural health strategies. And what is crucial is that stress, toxins, fatigue, and other disordering elements confront us daily.  So, the antidote is a daily coherence routine that includes meditation, good sleep, and coherence-inducing diet and exercise programs, which take into account your body type, age, and the kind of disorders you have.

Our background is that we’ve been practicing Transcendental Meditation and studying different meditation techniques for, collectively, almost 150 years, and we’ve all been involved in teaching or studying Ayurvedic health practices (the oldest and most complete system of natural healthcare) since the mid-1980s. We, therefore, approach this subject from both the perspective of science and long years of personal experience.

Finally, it was suggested that our subtitle might be too long and maybe promised too much. But what we used was actually a truncated version of the subtitle.  If we had more space on the cover, we might have called it “Tapping the Laws of Nature that Govern Health, Happiness, Higher Brain Functioning, Compassion, a Loving Heart, and Higher Values” or something like that. We think you’ll see the importance of strategies that generate a measurable coherence in the brain and body.

 

Robert Keith Wallace, Ph.D., Jay B. Marcus, and  Christopher S. Clark, M.D.

 

 

 

          

 

 

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