i cleaned this up a bit, and published to substack: https://christophernews.substack.com/p/a-sermon-from-a-realist

Epigenetics, an Evolution of Meeting Physiological Needs

 ... When Health, Religion, and Politics Collide

by Chris Terlizzi, an un-credentialed middle-aged guy that likes to read, think, and write.

Before we get into the meat-n-potatoes, let me begin with a recent conversation that I had with an actual real-life health-care professional:

me: i'm so thankful for some of the things that these surgeons can do these days, if it were a hundred years ago i'd probably go cripple and probably medicate or self-medicate with anything i could get my hands on, and be a grumpy old-timer.

him: i knooow ... there were more amputations back then, too... they'd have you chug some whiskey, strap you down to a table, put a 'biting stick' in your mouth, and get the straight-saw out.

And... it wasn't too long ago that leaches were an acceptable/practiced treatment. You know, 'sit here for a while as the leaches suck away your ailment'.

me: i raised my hand, and said 'i want a second opinion'

him: laughs and says 'so, his cousin--who is the only other doctor for a hundred miles around--says 'yeah, you really need the leaches, buddy'

both of us: laugh

  ... Yeah, i know, he's a pretty funny, and down to earth smart guy -- that's my kind of people right there... OK, onward.

  Let me begin by commenting on a decent article written by Dr Irina Antonova for The Epoch Times (1)... if you can't access the article let me know, and send me your email, and that way i can have E.T. email you a direct-link with a key to access it... anyhow, Irina writes about 'Epigenetics', which encompasses things like genetics, and how nutrition, environment, and life-style can affect our individual genetic pre-dispositions. In Irina's article for E.T., she covers basics that everyone should be aware of, but, it certainly doesn't offer any 'secret to unlocking' anything, as the title suggests. I don't want to be so bold and sloppy as to say that the heart of the essay revolves around meeting our changing physiological requirements/needs, and making smart decisions as we interact with our environment... actually, i will... because, it's pretty much what respectable members of society (hopefully even your parents/mentors have taught you), and it's what health professionals have been preaching for decades, if not centuries, if not millennia.   The article itself is good, and she categorizes important factors in a decent way... here's a simple one sentence quote/abstract that you should consider:

 "While genetics play a role in healthy longevity, our lifestyle and environment, also known as 'epigenetics', may actually be more important."

 When reading through the article, you will find that the author repeats the same common-sense approach to our health that most health professionals continually preach/educate, it's really teaching patients about cause and effect, but for a specific industry (health)-- eat well and practice portion-control, stay hydrated and don't binge drink alcohol, don't smoke regularly, exercise your whole being (body, mind, soul), get enough proper rest/sleep; don't subject yourself to breathing toxic air, practice reasonable stress-reduction/management... decent health and performance requires making smart choices as consistently as you are capable of (providing that you have access to our physiological needs). In the article, the nice doctor will tell you some of the same things that we mostly understand to be true already, that much of our health, longevity, efficiency, and productivity has to do with whether or not we are prone/predisposed to certain genetic-issues, and if we aggravate/exacerbate such genetic imperfections; and, if we mitigate/lessen bad choices, and pro-actively make smart choices and practice self-control doing things that we know are good, and--AGAIN--while minimizing things that we know are bad-- in order to prevent your genetic-predispositions from making life more frustrating/agonizing/miserable... one more time, our health is literally an ongoing exercise of 'cause and effect.'

Genetics play a factor in EVERYTHING... and, so does the environment which we live/operate/work in; and, so does 'in-put' (nutrition and hydration); and, so does 'spirituality' (something that transcends all physical/material understanding, and feeds the soul); and so does exercise, and so does education/mentorship... And, so does meeting all of our physiological needs, warm/dry/safe dwelling/shelter, clean non-toxic air, adequate hydration, adequate nutrition, adequate sleep (which overlaps with a temperate and safe shelter), adequate hygiene and first/self-aide, safe food-prep and storage, etc... We all have ancestral inherited genetics, but, how we interact with our environment, and either assist or stress our unique genetics and body in life-style and nutritional decisions is an education that most people throw out the window as we get busy, and 'older'... as our responsibilities, and the size of the environment that we interact with grows we can throw many smart choices out of the window, especially with limited budgets/resources.

  When you consider a person's whole-being/holistic/entirety then sometimes our particular problems and ailments are hard to figure-out/discern, some ailments/afflictions might not be due to one particular source, many times it's a combination of our genetics, environment, and/or nutrition... especially when you are older, and you recognize many of the poor decisions that we made over our life-time, as our physical bodies begin to break-down. It's hard to figure out some ailments because everything written above plays their unique roles in maintaining/affecting our/human life... in fact, one thing (choice) can trigger another thing (dis-regulation, over-abundance or deficiency), which can trigger other things--such as chronic-health problems/chaos, etc. But, when the holistic/symbiotic relationship of all of those needs are met we start to operate with better health and efficiency, and we are better equipped to function and grow in our individual/unique 'potential', as we interact with our environment more wisely and positively. And, as we identify and practice better priorities we are working at a higher level of function, and we perform better as we exercise/practice resistance by employing self-control, respect for ourselves, respect for our environment, and respect for other people... in fact, those are admirable qualities in any tribe/culture/geography. Dr. Irina doesn't actually say all of that, i just regurgitated information using my non-technical terminology... but, here is another quote from her essay:


"The epigenetic clock is used to quantify the aging processes and measure biological age and rate and pace of aging."


 As a soon-to-be 54 year old, i can speak with first-hand account and experience, and confidently say that our bodies change/deteriorate in various ways after we've peaked, and i'm told that the deterioration can be exponential if our changing/evolving epigenetic/physiological requirements/demands/needs are not met, or, if we don't evolve our diet, routines, and life-style with our aging/changing/evolving needs... if your genetics have negative predispositions, and if you aren't making healthy choices, but rebelliously continue to make un-healthy choices, well, good fvcking luck to you, you've probably been called 'stubborn' or 'foolish' more then once... you know that you are basically adding fuel to the fire, and making your death a slow painful one, and taking the gamble that you'll die from some other causes before your irrational behavior and poor choices caught up with you... hey, i make no apologies for poking the stubborn, but i have no room to talk, i'm writing this from the perspective of a guy whose retirement plan is still hinging on a pipe-dream lottery ticket that i've yet to purchase. So, i don't write any of this as a high-and-mighty superiority type of ego, i write this as someone who still makes plenty of bad decisions, some even before the morning's first cup of coffee... in fact, my biggest challenge is finding something healthy and hydrating to drink in between the coffee (a.m.) and the beer (or wine) (p.m.)--i know, those aren't very healthy drinks by themselves, but the stuff that i drink in between them is typically more beneficial, so i have to challenge myself to limit the coffee and beer, and drink better stuff more often throughout the day... i'm getting older and weaker, and my epigenetic clock can only take so much bull-sh1t/nonsense now-a-days, it seems like i have less margin for error during this stage of life, hopefully i'll continue to make positive epigenetic-altering choices which will help regulate all of my body's systems again to work more healthy and efficient, so i can be a bit more durable and less miserable for the future... that's what folks mean by 'life style' when discussing epigenetics, it's recognizing that we are changing, and making appropriate adjustments, and re-calibrating/evolving to living within our new limitations... if you hate your job, or if it's too stressful and unhealthy for you, then you know you need to change jobs (life-style), that's easier said then done for many folks stuck in routine, or, to a specific geography.

  Even folks that eat well may require dietary changes and/or supplements to help with health and epigenetic matters, too. Folks that are predominantly healthy may develop an over-abundance of certain hormones/proteins, etc., or deficiencies in certain hormones, as we age. There are plenty of doctors, nutritionists, therapists, and meta-physicians that can help you in identifying certain dis-regulation of most things in our lives; and can recommend viable solutions/assistance to get us back to as healthy a state as possible, but that always involves work and commitment on our part, too.  I'm not qualified to tell you anything, so this post should really just encourage folks (preferably as young as possible), in understanding physiological cause and effect, exercising your God-given intelligence and free-will, by making smart choices, based on logical things that most of us are already aware of, this post should just be a reminder for most people that have already finished middle-school. Humans don't need lot's of hacks and hidden-secrets to operate with better efficiency, much of it is simply embracing reality, and exercising our intelligence, and self-control by making smart choices that can positively effect our health, and--by default--our day-to-day performance, which actually effects our future, other people's future, future generations, and the environment-produced resources that we all have to share.

  One important factor in understanding holistic-healh, life, epigenetics, and making better choices is simply understanding 'cause and effect', and that 'every action has a re-action'... basically, our decisions and actions result in better heath, or worse health, because our good and bad decisions have domino-effects, in our lives, and other people's lives too (which we may never consider). But, once we really 'get it', we can interact more loving, wise, and harmoniously with our environment, as well as other people, as well as the God who created our universe (spiritual health), our earth (environment), and us humans... us humans who manage the earth that provides the nutrition that we require. To embrace/consider biology, physiology, and spiritual principles is actually embracing 'reality', they are all very real things, and very important things, so they should all be considered, and as often as possible... they all play significant roles in everyday life, and are vital for a more full, healthy, and holistic life... there is a harmonious relationship between them, therefore, they are all vital for us to consider in order to have a greater ability/chance to maximize more of our unique/individual potential., and to be a more positive impact to those who share the same geography.

 As mentioned above, this is just a reminder for most folks, because you probably know what will happen if you try to live very long on cookies and tea, or mountain-dew and jelly-beans, or noodles and coke, or peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches with cool-aid... go ahead and take your chances, but as you can clearly see (as evident in reading this far), you have plenty of intelligence to exercise, you're not a completely moronic and compulsive being, you have some self-control, and i'm just reminding you of that. I'm basically just encouraging folks to think a bit more about what we consume, how much of it we consume, and how often we consume, because those factors ALL have a huge role to play in our future, our lives, and our health; and, the future and lives of others as well, especially our kids, whom -- for normal people -- we want the best for, and i'm just reminding folks to remember 'cause and effect', and that our individual body's needs change over time... they make multi-vitamins for folks in my age-bracket, they call them 'silver' something or other, they are meant for older folks whose bodies typically require different levels of vitamins and minerals than younger folks... I'm sure I don't have to tell you that our body's, and needs, change over time.

  I'm a fan of Abraham Maslow's observations and classifications (2) with his famous 'pyramid' (also see 'hierarchy of needs' (2a).  Maslow did a great job in categorizing physiological versus psychological needs, and where they may inter-twine... I'm not sure what Maslow would describe my current belief system, which is the highest form of 'self actualization' really is, but i think of the most elevated position in maximizing your potential has more to do with aligning desire and actions with the will of God, that's a bit hard to fit on some writing in a pyramid-diagram though.  With that said, it should be no surprise that i'm also a fan of religious leaders that promote simple principles like the importance of mutual respect, eg., 'The Golden Rule', which is the Christian way of communicating God's logical, redeeming, and sustainable command of treating other people the way that you'd appreciate being treated (mutual respect).  I've grown to appreciate the CTMU's wellness program(3) which addresses body, mind, and soul... they seem to emphasize a 'teleological' holistic health using a meta-religious frame-work in addressing certain 'religious principles' mixed in with the body and mind priorities... it's like Maslow mixed with religion, to some extent.

 Mutual Respect is a simple rule to remember when interacting with people, and our environment (all of God's creation), try to be a blessing (positive) to other people, not a negative, and the same goes for earth, our literal 'environment', show some respect and appreciation for it, when you are good to the earth you are also extending respect to other people who also have to rely on the earth to meet our physiological (nutritional) needs-- some folks think that you actually show some love and appreciation to/for God when you show appreciation for his creation too. So, i appreciate any religious folks from any religion that prioritizes and teaches the logical/sustainable concept of 'practicing mutual respect'... the concept is 'religious' to religious folks, but completely logical as well, because it's 'reality', the importance of mutual-respect, and positively interacting with others and the environment--that we all have to share-- just makes sense... but--in the world that we live in--reality is that many people don't give a crap about other folks, or being nice to others, some folks only tolerate other people so long as they seem useful to them in some way, and the same goes for the way they treat our environment/geology/agriculture, etc.

 Anyhow, back to understanding some of our unhealthy choices and habits/routines, and how they are negatively impacting our lives, our health, and our performance--as well as understanding cause and effect, and the consequences of our actions--and then reconciling any paradox/hypocrisy of 'things that we know to be true' compared to our life-style and decisions and choices.   The more mindful we are of cause and effect, the better we can understand reality (notice some repeated words/phrases, it's because they are important)... We already understand essential physiological requirements, nutritional foundations, and should be mindful to changing our diet, life-style, job when we need to, staying hydrated from good sources, along with portion-control/moderation, physical movement and exercise, education through different sources (families and mentors), and taking on new challenges and exploring new interests should be embraced... those sorts of things all contribute to positive individual and corporate human evolution--i'm sure lot's of other things contribute to that too, but those are certainly some factors.

 My political philosophy is mostly what folks call 'conservative', however, there is a point where i become much more liberal, and that's based on humanity and compassion and looking out for our neighbors. I agree with many of my true liberal friends who would rather see government resources going to actual folks who have difficulty meeting physiological requirements, to maybe help them discover any hidden talents, or give them resources to mentors or education to get useful training to earn some steady income... I love a government that helps it's citizens with things like that.  

 I've struggled in my ability to adequately provide for my family and i over recent years, and some other seasons in the past, too. With that said, i was also a pretty useful income-tax provider to society and for our government for many years. As an only-child to a single mother, i grew up pretty broke, and i learned first-hand what physiological needs are, and what it's like to go without any of them for very long; so/and, i didn't mind my tax-money going to useful and humane things such as helping each other understand the importance of physiological-needs, and how to legally acquire them. Having access to decent health-care and dental was luxurious growing up, too, so i never tried to take them for granted when i could finally afford private health-care for my family and I. Access and opportunity are always factors, and when i got older and more productive and earned more money the only set-backs were insurance-company limitations, and being able to take time off with little-to-no income for as long as recovery required, those were all issues/obstacle that i've stumbled across over the years, and i've actually had decent physical health (in most sense) most of my life. So, my ideal of a utopic government would be one where all her constituents/citizens have all of their physiological needs met, they have access to safe housing, they have minimal health and education costs, and are free to practice their religions of choice so long as they abide by the golden rule. 'Mutual Respect', or 'Treating others the way you'd want to be treated' could be the single most logical principle to live in peace with other people, and our planet/environment.

<> the section above was published to substack already, the section below needs to be second-draft, and heavily edited...

 It's amazing watching gifted people exercise their talents. Everyone has unique talents, capabilities, and access to certain resources; everyone has the capacity of making some positive impact in whatever sized environment that they are individually capable of blessing. Everyone has the capacity to 'self-actualize', and to approach maximizing whatever potential they have given the resources they have access to. I don't mind a government that encourages people to attain education which helps folks try to maximize their potential, understanding people's potential impact on society through their expertise... so, i'm pretty liberal in that respect too. Even as a 'conservative', I don't mind some of the positive impacts that the concept of a student-loan forgiveness could help folks that are engaged in pursuing education for jobs that will actually have a positive impact on our physiological needs, especially those in agriculture/farm, ranchers, fishermen, folks in health-care, skilled trades-men (those who provide actual physiological needs/requirements)... whatever you want to call the folks that help provide essential physiological requirements for a portion of society, those folks that help society in ways that no other jobs could ever possibly offer; well, i like a government that will assist those folks when they need it, and a government that will help teach folks how to provide food, and be as self-sufficient as possible.

 I also like a government that would help people in various stages of their lives, even if they have to change course, to maybe pursue more useful education or training... so, i'm quite liberal in many respects, but also more conservative in other respects (MOST aspects actually) of government... now that i've stated that, let me say that i'm NOT in favor of government paying for special interests, for opportunistic theorists to exploit tax-payer provided government funding, or, for individual states that offer the world to their residents, but can't afford their pipe-dream promises... i like paying for a reasonable military to protect our country's freedoms and safety, and our nation first. Technically-speaking you need some sort of border for our overinflated government to protect with a military, so I'm not in favor of completely irresponsible immigration and border policies, they are completely illogical, especially considering that a government that helps it's citizens is a much better place than the government and resources they find themselves in, situations that they don't know how to change, or don't have the fortitude to change.

 I often blast away at 'liberals', but i appreciate the heart of many of them, and their ideas of how government can positively impact the lives of it's citizens. The logical conservative in me says that people that care to migrate to the USA need to understand that we already have an over-inflated government that is already exploited by too many special-interests, and we already pay for 'helping our neighbor' by trying to help them achieve useful dreams, and we can only fund those helpful benefits for so many people... so kindly wait in line... The USA is a country of laws and constitution, so please respect our customs and laws. We can't afford to help you until we've helped ourselves again. It should be obvious that we don't have a stable enough system of governing that we can't afford to be the world's bank, and the world's 'spare-room'. So, i'm a bit liberal in some respects, i'd rather that my tax-dollars are NOT spent on things like special-interest projects connected to campaign-doners, and the 'friends and family' side-gigs (we see what you Bidens did there) that have perverted and exploited our over-inflated tax-payer funded government for decades, so career politicians can provide for their families for the next ten generations from abusing their positions. Politicians should re-state their oath to our country and constitution everyday, and at the beginning of every meeting/session where they gather. And, if they can't make that declaration, or oath, by swearing to God then they don't belong serving in a government that requires it's inhabitants to live-by, and understand, the Golden Rule.


 The realist (conservative) in me says that my tax-dollars should be used for the benefit of borders and boundaries, and for the legal inhabitants of those borders... so the logical conservative in me says that we have to enforce our borders, so we can provide some humane-based benefits to our citizens. We should offer a way where decent folks should be able to migrate legally, but they might have to wait for a bit... and while they are waiting, they should be doing their best to learn how to speak, read, and write in English, which is pretty important to function in American society, and to be able to read directions and signs, etc... i'm liberal, but conservative... i'm pro government, but not the over-inflated and heavily exploited special interest machine that it's become. I am very pro-American in the sense that i served our country in the military shortly after i graduated high-school, and i did that because i appreciated our country, and was willing to kick some bad-guy's asses if our country needed to be defended... i was seven years old when America celebrated it's bi-centennial in 1976, in many ways it impacted a seven year old, and i became pro-government, and pro-military (and i still am today). At that age i was already playing with little green plastic Army-men, and the rest is history... but--now that i'm a bit older and have considered more things--i'll say that i'm anti-'military industrial complex'... We need some defense-contractors for sure, but the government is too big, and involved in too many shady things, and those are perfect recipes for many things to be exploited. So, i'm pro-military, but it must be a reasonable military, and it doesn't need to fund so many sketchy things for so many special-interests and opportunists that my tax dollar is currently paying for... so i'm pro-military, but reasonable military, not it's own over-inflated government within an over-inflated government that it is, that my tax-dollars are paying for, for special-interests that have exploited our government to pay to for very self-serving shenanigans... man, does that bother me.


 Call me a liberal, or call me a conservative, i don't really care how others define me, i'm something in between, but NO candidate get's any of my support if they don't support religious freedom, and understand the importance of it—lack of that self-evident priority displays the incapable idiocy of a want-to-be leader. We've long-suffered the fruits of the anti-religious/spiritual-idiots and activists that fought to forbid religious principles taught in public schools. America has become a laughing-stock by the foolish things that it prioritizes and currently champions... America doesn't have to insanely stay in it's delusional acid-trip, but thus, it remains so. Many religions/cultures/states/countries already understand that there is some type of God, or some multi-God something-or-other, the USA used to do that too--and we prospered and enjoyed much more freedom back then. And, many of America's laws are based on assumptions that the inhabitants of America would have an acknowledgment of God, and would attempt to please God; which is where the practicing of mutual-respect while exercising your free-will must be understood and adopted by all of our inhabitants of the USA, and throughout the world. America became a laughing stock when spiritually blind activists exploited our legal system to see sure that a country--which was based on religious principles--would no longer tolerate those religious principles to be taught as self-evident common-knowledge in education and public-domain... this is a topic where i differ from many of my liberal family members and friends... and then, i differ from many of my conservative and religious friends and family members when i add that i encourage the teaching of all religions and ideologies that promote logical principles like the ten-commandments, and heavily promote the concept and sustainable principle of mutual-respect, which includes not exploiting people, and helping folks that could use help... many religions prioritize similar and logical principles that basically teach folks to appreciate our Creator, and his Creation-- which includes other people.

  Life wasn't intended to be over-complicated by a zillion rules, despite governments and religions that constantly try to do so... everyone has free-will, unique gifts and capabilities, intelligence, and resources... please exercise your free-will, and abilities/gifts to make logical decisions, considering cause and affect, and living your life within the rules of the two greatest commandments, and maybe considering modeling the qualities that Christians call the 'Fruit of The Spirit'.  Use you freedom of making mindful decisions wisely, for good, not for exploits that will harm yourself, others, or our planet.


 In closing, i would ask the reader to do yourself a favor, do the both of us a favor, in fact... do the world a favor... make good decisions, more then likely you already know what they are, resist the temptation to engage in regular bad-choices (religion certainly helps in this area)... eat well and practice portion-control, stay hydrated and don't binge drink alcohol--allow yourself moderation of treats--so don't smoke regularly, exercise your whole being (body, mind, soul), get enough proper rest, don't subject yourself to foul/toxic air to breath, practice reasonable stress-reduction/management, practice mutual-respect, prioritize some time to meditate and pray... living a long and healthy life requires making smart choices as consistently as possible... be prepared to exercise mindfulness, self-control, and to make adjustments throughout your entire life, as you age and change, because that sort of individual evolution is something that every human must face... be smart, be good to yourself, be good to others, and show God a little appreciation, he might be missing your attention :-)

Thanks for your time and, God bless. -- ct


 1) "Aging Clocks May Unravel the Secrets of Longevity", by Irina Antonova M.S., Ph.D. for The Epoch Times, Jul 28 2023

 2) " A Theory of Human Motivation", by Abraham H. Maslow
 2a) here's a decent overview of Maslow's work,"Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", by By Kendra Cherry, for VeryWellMind.com

 3) "TELEOLOGIC: CTMU Teleologic Living" Substack, Mega Foundation Press

About the author... one of my books in process is basically my 'resume', until it's release know that i'm some guy with a simple and unorthodox writing-style, maybe a bit lazy or undisciplined... i mostly just write as a type of 'self-therapy', so sometimes i'm bitchy and angry, but sometimes with a PSA attached to it... my apologies if this post was a bit long-winded, truth is that i sort of do that on purpose, as well as repeating important words and themes-- as repetition helps slow learners like me remember things a bit quicker... some folks get hung-up on my writing-style, flow, and flaws, and are blind to see the baby in the bath-water, hopefully you can.  --  christopher