by Steven H. Horne, RH (AHG)
Questions are very important. In fact, I
believe that knowing how to frame a good question is more important than knowing
a lot of answers. That’s because I firmly believe in the A-S-K principle-“Ask
and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find, Knock and it shall be opened
unto you.” In other words, whenever we have a burning question in our minds, we
will always be led to find answers.
problem is that most people don’t ask the right questions. For instance, if what
I’ve said is true, then why hasn’t modern science, with all its searching, found
the answer to the common cold and flu? This question naturally extends to other
diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and so forth, since there are
a lot of people who are asking, “How do I cure X disease?” but haven’t been
coming up with answers.
found the answers to the questions they are asking. Unfortunately, they’re
asking the wrong questions. Let me explain.
We ask questions within our current
context of understanding. What I mean by context is that we have certain
preconceived ideas about the way things are. These come from socialization.
Within any social group from family to church to country, there are certain
beliefs that are accepted as true without question.
As a child, we may have questioned some
of these beliefs, but we quickly learned that questioning these beliefs evoked
social disapproval or even punishment, so we came to accept these assumptions as
Reasoning can only be done from a
beginning premise. And reasoning can take us no further than the parameters
defined by that premise. If this seems a little confusing, be patient. I’ll give
you some concrete examples in a moment that will help you see what I’m talking
First of all, let me give you an
analogy that helps me understand the idea of context or premise. Think of
knowledge as water. You have to have a framework inside your head (a container,
so to speak) that allows you to hold knowledge. That container is your
preconceived ideas about the nature of reality. These preconceived ideas are the
context in which your knowledge is placed. They have been called many things,
including transparent beliefs, assumptions, postulates, prejudices and
paradigms. However, whatever you call them, they form a framework for your
ability to ask questions and to reason.
Most people would never think to
question their own context. So, all their ability to ask questions and reason is
constricted within the container that has already been built inside their head.
But, all the great discoveries of the world happen when people question not only
the content of their knowledge, but also the context. That is, they break free
from the confines of their culturally accepted thought patterns and perceive a
new container or paradigm.
Cultural Beliefs About Colds and
about colds and flu, for example, let me show you some of the culturally held
beliefs that are deeply ingrained in the majority of people in modern society.
These widely held “facts” control the questions people are asking about curing
colds and flu. Here they
to these germs.
to kill germs that cause them.
the germs that got inside you.
a runny nose, congestion, fever, aches, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue and chills.
Curing the disease would eliminate these symptoms.
If we take the above assumptions to be
true, then all the questions we would ask about “curing” colds and au would be
asked within the context of these parameters. We would ask questions such as,
“How do we kill germs more effectively?” And, we would find answers that would
involve ways of killing germs more effectively.
But, what would happen if one or more of
our basic assumptions was incorrect? (There, you see, I just asked a very
interesting question-a context or paradigm busting
Are Colds and Flu Caused by
start with the first assumption, “Colds and au are caused by germs called
viruses.” Is this really true?
Ask just about
anyone the question “Who discovered germs?” and they will answer Louis Pasteur,
the originator of the “germs cause disease” hypothesis. Well, they’d all be
wrong because Pasteur didn’t discover germs. A contemporary of his, Antoine
Beauchamp, was the real discoverer of microbes. Pasteur plagiarized Beauchamp’s
research and claimed it as his own.
Furthermore, the actual discoverer of
germs, Beauchamp hada different theory about the relationship of germs to
disease. His theory was that germs inhabited diseased tissue. In other words,
the tissue became sick and then the germs moved into the sick tissue. This is
called the biological terrain theory of disease. It’s the idea that germs are
not the primary cause of disease, weakened tissue is.
So, the “germ theory” is only that, a theory.
The biological terrain model is another theory. Which one do you believe? That’s
important, because your belief will form a context that will shape the questions
For example, if Pasteur was
wrong and Beauchamp was right, then the assumptions 2-4 above are automatically
invalidated because they are “reasoning” that arises from the context of the
germ theory. If germs don’t cause disease, then you couldn’t “catch” a cold or
au by being exposed to germs and killing germs wouldn’t prevent the spread of
colds or au. Also, trying to kill the germs after you got infected would also be
an ineffective approach.
Why I Believe the Germ Theory is
personally reject the germ theory and believe in the biological terrain theory
of disease. Although I talk about viruses and infection and all that stuff
sometimes, it’s only a way of communicating with people who believe that
paradigm. I really don’t believe that any yeast, bacteria, virus or parasite is
the cause of any disease. They may be involved in a disease process, but they
are not the cause.
Here’s why I believe the biological
First, there are other noted researchers who
accept this theory.
For example, another
contemporary of Pasteur who believed in Pasteur’s theories and researched them
was RudolfVirchow. According to Henry Bieler, M.D., in his book, Food is Your
Best Medicine, Virchow stated on his deathbed, “If I could live my life over
again, I would devote it to proving that germs seek their natural
habitat–diseased tissue-rather than being the cause of disease; e.g. just as
mosquitoes seek stagnant water, but do not cause the water to become stagnant.”
Other authors have claimed that Pasteur
himself made a similar statement at the end of his life, saying that he was
wrong and Beauchamp was right. If this is true, then Pasteur rejected his own
second, and very obvious, reason I believe the germ theory to be incorrect is
that not everyone gets sick when exposed to germs. As a personal example, I can
remember several times when my wife and kids were all sick. During these times
I’d be taking care of everyone else, nursing them back to health, losing sleep,
etc., but I didn’t get sick. That’s because I was taking good care of my own
health. Of course, because I didn’t believe I could “catch” the disease from my
family, I wasn’t afraid to take care of them, either.
A third reason, also personal, is that I
was married for 14 years to a woman who hated housework, and I can honestly tell
you that sometimes, when I was too busy with work to keep up with the cleaning,
our home got down right unsanitary–dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen, dirty
bathrooms, dirty aoors, etc.
spi te of this less than sanitary environment, my kids got sick less often than
kids living in cleaner homes and they recovered faster when they did get sick.
If being exposed to “germs” is the reason we get sick, then my kids should have
been sicker than any other kids in the neighborhood. They weren’t.
I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t clean
our homes. In fact, this is one of several reasons why I’m single now, but what
I am saying is that our obsession with disinfectants, antiseptics, antibiotics
and other “germ-killing” strategies is misplaced effort. It isn’t going to bring
the results we’re seeking.
There are a lot of natural healers who agree
with the biological terrain concept of disease. However, I mentioned a fifth
assumption, which is that the runny nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea,
skin eruptions (as in chicken pox or measles), etc. are caused by the disease.
The day I began to question this assumption and discovered another way to look
at the situation was the day I started being able to find effective remedies for
colds and flu.
This understanding came while reading Samuel
Thomson’s New Guide to Health. Thomson said that he considered the learned
doctors to be wrong in considering fever a disease or an enemy. Heat, he
maintained, was life, and therefore, the fever was a function of the body
fighting the disease, not a function of the disease. He said that bodies get
cold when they die, so heat was an expression of the life process, not the
disease process that leads to death.
When I read this, a question arose in my
head (there are those questions again) and I thought, “Do dead bodies cough, get
runny noses, break out in rashes, throw up, etc.?” Since they don’t, all of
these symptoms must be created by the process of life in the body. In other
words, they are the body’s efforts to heal itself, not part of the sickness.
This was a radical thought for me, and
part of the development of the “furnace analogy” we use in many of our courses.
The bottom line is, that if this assumption is correct, then anythingwe do to
“relieve symptoms” is actually suppressing the life process in the body and
interfering with healing. What we want to do is support the life process instead
of fighting it.
This concept totally
changes the way we select remedies. For instance, a lot of people use
GoldensealJEchinacea for colds. The use of these herbs for colds is born out of
a modern “scientific” understanding of these herbs and a belief in the germ
theory. Traditionally, these herbs would not have been used in this manner and I
don’t find them very effective for colds, either (at least not in the early
Or, for another example, let’s lookat
that drippy, runny nose.
happening? The body is trying to aush an irritant, but because most people think
the runny nose IS the disease, the question in their mind is, “How can I stop
this runny nose?” Their choice of remedies will again be based on how they can
achieve that objective.
one shifts perspective and sees the runny nose is part of the CURE for the cold,
everything changes. Doing anything, natural or otherwise, to try to stop the
runny nose is actually interfering with the cure. This is why modern medicine
can’t cure the cold. Their efforts are to work against the body, not with the
In my own experience, the best
remedies I have found for the drippy, runny nose stage of the cold are pungent
herbs. Hot, spicy foods like capsicum, ginger, horseradish and mustard will
actually make a healthy person’s nose run. So, when I take these herbs when my
sinuses are running, it accelerates what the body is already trying to do to
cure the cold and I recover more quickly.
The Health Hazards of Being
Many Americans have become germ phobic.
They’re obsessed with killing germs. They worry about catching disease and get
obsessed with disinfectants and antiseptics and so forth. But, think about
hospitals for a moment. They use disinfectants everywhere. Yet, a hospital is
one of the places where you’re most likely to get an infection.
One of the reasons this is so is because
disinfectants kill “friendly” microbes as well as the so-called “disease” germs.
In the natural world, there are numerous kinds of microorganisms living side by
side. These microbes keep each other in check through a natural ecological
Most of us are aware of the
problem that antibiotics create by killing friendly aora in the intestines. By
upsetting the natural balance of microbes, people get an overgrowth of yeast and
other microbes that weaken the immune system. But, the same thing happens in our
environment with chemical disinfectants. We’re upsetting the ecological balance.
This happens on the surface of the skin, too.
Furthermore, you’ll never kill all the
microbes in any environment, no matter how much you disinfect things. Instead,
you’ll kill the microbes that are the weakest and the strongest ones will
survive. So, let’s say you kill 99% of the microbes and the 1 % that survive are
the ones most resistant to the antibiotic or disinfectant. You do this again and
again and pretty soon you’ve genetically selected and bred super microbes that
are antibiotic and disinfectant resistant. Where are these super bugs most
likely to be found? In hospitals, of course!
The problems we’ve just
mentioned are well-documented.
off the wall stuff, but I want to take it one step further. Are there really
“good” and “bad” bacteria? You see, I have this sort of naive belief that God
made everything for a good purpose. For example, aies play an important role in
nature-they are scavengers who eat garbage and recycle it in nature. They may be
annoying, but without them, the world would soon be covered in filth.
Microbes, too, have roles to play in
nature. Some make minerals bioavailable to plants, while others take dead
matter, break it down and recycle it. All microbes have a purpose! The so-called
disease germs are scavengers, like aies, which feed off dead tissue. No decaying
tissue, no disease germs.
obsession with disinfectants and antibiotics has another “side” effect. We start
with tissue that became weakened through toxicity or malnutrition. A sort of
internal swamp or garbage pile was created. Scavenger microbes, the kind that
feed on dead and decaying material, settle into the area because it’s a host
environment for them.
The body tries to
aush out both the diseased tissue, microbes and microbial toxins through an
immune response that creates symptoms like fever, runny nose, coughing, etc. We
take toxic drugs to suppress these efforts, thus preventing the body from
eliminating the problem. We then kill the scavenger microbes with antibiotics
and antiseptics that act as chemical poisons.
These further weaken our tissues,
creating more breeding grounds for scavenger microbes and the cycle goes on an
on. Acute disease develops into chronic disease as the body becomes more and
more toxic and the tissues become weaker and weaker.
I’ve been on this cycle, having grown up
with chronic sinus problems and a tendency to “catch” every cold bug that came
around. I was treated with antibiotics and antihistamines and all the other
“miracle drugs” of modern medicine. The result was that I seemed to get weaker
and weaker. I’d get better temporarily, then the next “bug” I’d catch would be
worse than the one before, requiring stronger
Getting the Question
It took a change of thinking to get
well. I came to realize that it wasn’t about treating disease at all. It’s about
building health. The amazing thing is that the body is designed to heal itself.
However, it needs some proper tools to work with, such as positive mental and
emotional attitudes, good nutrition, deep breathing, cycles of rest and exercise
and an avoidance of toxic substances that will interfere with its functions.
In other words, I had to change the
question I was asking from “How do I cure X?” to “How do I become healthy?” As
Samuel Thomson stated, “That same thing which will cure disease will prevent
it.” This is the great secret that most people are missing. It isn’t about
curing anything-it’s about building health.
Perhaps you’ve seen the DVD, The Secret.
If you haven’t, I highly recommend it. It is available through Sound Concepts
(www.naturestools.com). I’ve been familiar with many of the principles in this
DVD since I heard Bob Proctor (one of the people on the program) speak at an NSP
convention in Canada in the late 1980s. I have seen many things change in my
life by applying “the secret.”
secret is that we attract what we think about. So, when you’re asking the
question “How do I cure X disease?” what are you thinking about? Disease! I’ve
already told you, you can’t cure a disease. The symptoms you’re experiencing are
the result of your body trying to struggle to maintain your life in spite of
your poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, stress, exposure to toxins
and crummy attitudes. The more you mess wi th trying to “fix” or “cure” these
symptoms, the sicker you get.
to change the question. Ask, “What can I do to be healthier? To have more
energy? To feel great?” Now, you’ll get the right answer.
So, how do we get healthier, have more
energy, feel good and become vibrantly alive? The answer: get the chemicals out
of your body and, more importantly, out of your life; eat wholesome, natural
foods; heal your unresolved mental and emotional issues, etc. In short, if you
focus on taking care of your health, your body will heal and become resistant to
disease. It won’t matter what the “name” of your disease is, whether it is a
cold or cancer, as the principles of good health remain the same no matter what
“disease” you have.
The funny thing is,
that after every class where I try to teach people the principles of health,
someone invariably comes up to me and asks, “How do I cure X?”
Do yourself a favor. Stop asking this
question and start asking “How can I be healthier?” You’ll get a lot better
answers, if you do.