Ernährungsberatung Connie Jimbo

Thoughts About “Westernisation”, Global Crises and the Brain


In research, the „Western diet“ is considered to be the cause of many lifestyle diseases. In principle, it is the epitome of an unhealthy diet: a high proportion of highly processed foods, lots of sugar, high content of fat and saturated fatty acids, a high energy density (i.e. many calories per gram) and few nutrients. Individually or in combination, these factors can cause obesity and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases or even cancer. I will take this idea one step further and suggest that our entire „civilised“ Western culture is the fundamental cause of the damage to both our individual health and to global social and ecological systems. This damage is currently becoming increasingly visible. Just as a global industry producing highly refined and processed food products is displacing the original health-promoting food cultures, materialism is displacing our connection to Earth, to our fellow human beings and to our higher selves.

What does "knowledge" even mean?

In the Western world, we often assume that our idea of intelligence, which is predominantly based on analytics and intellect, is normal. We never question it. The idea itself is not wrong. It is questionable though to think this is superior to other understandings or cultures, and that we are in a position to understand the world comprehensively and to be able to „prove“ things. In various Asian cultures, for example, the definition of intelligence has much more to do with empathy than with analytical skills. Much of Western culture is based on the misconception that we exist because we think – as if consciousness is a by-product of brain activity. Anyone who has ever sat on a meditation cushion knows that you can think of nothing and still not cease to exist. In the same way, the materialistic worldview of Western science is just that: a worldview. It has its raison d’être because it is based on the systematisation of human perception. It has a weakness in that we simply assume that we can perceive and recognise everything that exists with our senses, synapses and man-made measuring devices. In this view, what we do not perceive does not exist. But if we look back historically and see how wrong we now think the early scientists and theorists were – how wrong could we be today? How much more could there be that we don’t even realise we need to ask about, simply because our limited senses don’t allow us to perceive it at all?

A discussion about the definition of the concept „knowledge“ would lead too far here. This may well be another full blog entry, as there have been many discussions among theorists, scientists and philosophers, particularly with the rise of modern science in the middle of the twentieth century. For now, I will leave you with this question: what does knowledge mean to you? How do you truly „know“ that you know something?


Why do we make other worldviews "wrong" or "inferior"?

The „ignorance factor” is at least partially recognised in science. Many researchers are aware that research gaps can never be definitively closed. At the very least, it is standard practice to write a remark in the conclusion of a study stating in some way that further research is needed. From another perspective, however, some researchers and especially society and the media assume that science is absolute and must not be questioned. This paradox between the dynamic of science and the static view by the public creates a field of tension. „I’ll only believe it when I see it“ is something you often hear in conversations. In many newspaper articles you read sentences such as „scientists have proven“ or „a study shows“. This is never the case. You can only observe a sample under specific conditions, and that’s it. I’ve delved deeper into this topic in my previous blog entry, the one about how science ignores the female body, where I talk about the limits of the hypothesis. I believe the tendency to completely dismiss ideas that deviate from the mainstream is most damaging in this respect. Looking back at history, breakthroughs were often achieved by people who were declared crazy by their contemporaries. Other world views always have a right to exist. Many of them are based on spiritualism or the intelligence of nature, for example. For me, the central question is: am I harming anyone, directly or indirectly? If not, then any worldview should be fine. However, our current materialistic, capitalist worldview is now doing more harm than good. After having brought certain progress and benefits for some time, its disadvantages now outweigh its advantages. And, starting with colonisation and now globalisation, it has increasingly found its way into almost every country in the world, displacing other worldviews and throwing the world out of balance.

This is where the personal ego comes in