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God Prefers “Fools”

Zhu Lan

Continuing his quest to explore and analyze universe and life, Dr. Kazuo Murakami, Japan’s most renowned biological scientist who gave insight into the “Code of Life”, has recently published his new attention-catching book – “God Prefers Fools”.

There are too many smart people in society who are shrewd, opportunistic and calculative. They seek to be among the elite and to achieve personal and social standing.

Dr. Murakami has a vastly different way of thinking. These “successful” people, in the normal sense, might be seen as brilliant and intelligent in the eyes of the world but they are often confined by their own success. These so-called “winners” of the race of life generally have a very high opinion of themselves and often become arrogant, consciously or unconsciously.

They tend to think of their every achievement as a result of their own efforts. In the process, they fail to really open up their minds to see the truth of life and to surpass their own limitations. They are also unable to face the unknown with an open mind. They fall short in their abilities to handle setbacks. Whether in good or bad times, there seems to be a vague sense of hurry, shallowness and disorientation amidst the stark display of brilliance and intelligence.

What about those of us who heap praise and honor on these talents? Living in a modern civilized society, we similarly face the dilemma of “material prosperity and spiritual emptiness”. There are many questions that we are unable to find answers to, much trauma which remains unhealed, and many lost sheep that are unable to find their shepherd.

The food situation in Japan is an example. Only 40% – less than half – of the population are self-sufficient, yet the food is wasted and discarded by people on a daily basis in uncountable quantities! Yet, why is it that such a “smart crowd” and “intelligent society” that are money-savvy could only calculate daily accounts and not be versed in or understand the great survival plan that is inter-connected?

Whether at home or away, from time to time, you will see some people – ordinary and yet hard to come by – who are relaxed and not restless. They do not fight with or seize from others. They are serene and full of warmth. They always maintain their own rhythm, their own way of thinking and their smiles. They do not parrot others and are not concerned about gaining and losing. Not only do they not join the race for fame and wealth, they even hope to realize their wish to “give, give and give again”. Their thoughts, words and behavior seem almost inexplicable to the general people in modern society. For this reason, they are often labelled as bizarre “fools”!

Who exactly does the universe want? These “smart people” who are so admired by our society or the altruistic “fools” who swim against the currents and remain unconcerned about winning and losing?

Since young, Dr. Murakami often heard his grandmother talk about “two banks” – the bank in heaven and the one on earth. She said that the banks on earth might go bankrupt, but definitely not those in heaven; so the most ideal place to keep your pocket money or “yasuiqian” (red packet with money placed under pillow by parents on Chinese New Year’s eve) would naturally be with the banks in heaven.

At that time, the young and ignorant Murakami was often dissatisfied with what his grandmother said. He thought of reminding his grandmother to consider their piggy bank on earth while putting her savings in heaven’s banks. Not just his grandmother but his mother too would often give away things from their home to more needy people even though they themselves were living on a shoestring budget.

His grandmother and mother often sang the same tune, continually “brainwashing” the children that it would truly be the greatest blessings for themselves if they could spend the money in their wallets on others first, as these “money” would be transformed into “merit”.

Subconsciously, this “altruism theory” that seemed silly and bizarre to him in his childhood was imprinted on his “genes”. He had continuously donated 10% of his salary when he taught at the university after completing his doctorate studies. Subsequently, almost all fees from his speaking engagements and royalties were donated to various charities. He donated the entire sum of his pension from university to the “Heart and Gene Institute” to facilitate more research and benefit more people.

Dr. Murakami does not see the opportunities encountered and achievements made in his nearly fifty years of research as incidental. And he certainly does not believe that these results are solely from his own efforts nor is he arrogant about it. On the contrary, he often tells himself with joy that this has to be the interests remitted from the bank in heaven upon maturity of his deposits!

Even from his area of research, Dr. Murakami believes that “altruism” is already inscribed in our genes (DNA). If we could have clarity of self, submerge our self-centeredness and perceive the truth, we would definitely appreciate the unspeakable joy and satisfaction derived from benefitting others. From giving up our seat in the subway to sacrificing ourselves in a disaster, all of these would make us feel joy and fulfilment. In fact, this is everyone’s desire, as having an altruistic heart is innate to all.

Competition and confrontation might give us a momentous thrill of success and victory. It is, however, not only extremely brief but also a distorted illusion. If someone immerses in such fantasy and illusions that are contrary to heaven’s will, how could he possibly experience real lasting happiness and joy?

Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose life journey was full of twists and turns, once delivered a touching speech at Stanford University where he shared profound understanding and cognition of life with three segments of his own life as examples. The ordinary bits and pieces that unfold along life’s journey would fall into place to become incredible clues of life in the future. As long as you believe, as long as you follow courageously, as long as you make appropriate choices, one day, many years later, when you look back on the past, you will come to a sudden realization and be immensely thankful that you had followed your heart.

Certain unspeakably intolerable failures and setbacks, suffered along the way, could actually be incredible gifts. As you unwrap the layers of packaging, you will see the magic of life and the smile of the universe. However, it is only when your heart is not distracted and when you stand by your true self that this surprise and perfection could pay you a visit.

After he turned 17, Steve started asking himself each day: “If today were the last day of my life, would I do what I am about to do today?” He used the inevitable destination of life to constantly remind, evaluate and reflect – to correct his life path and remember the purpose of his real self so as not waste life that is extremely hard to come by.

At the end of his speech, he quoted the farewell message of the final issue of “The Whole Earth Catalogue”: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish! (Always thirst for knowledge instead of becoming complacent. Be determined and diligent rather than speculating). These words were not only advice gifted to those outstanding Stanford graduates, but they were also the source of blessing and hope in his own life.

If we do not allow ourselves to be limited and stereotyped by conventional wisdom and intelligence, if we do not focus on worldly reputation and if we do not forget our hearts’ real desire, even if we have to continually stand by choices that others deem “foolish”, we will be able to discover the real and incomparable intelligence and courage that will fulfil us, realize our lives and complete our journeys.

A monk named Ryokan, during Japan’s Edo period, was crossing a river in a boat when the boatman deliberately and mischievously rocked it from side to side, causing Ryokan to lose his balance and fall into the water. He pulled Ryokan back onto the boat only after ridiculing and laughing at him struggling in the water. Most people, being made fun of like this, would have quarreled or fought once they were on board. But Ryokan didn’t even blame and actually thanked the boatman sincerely for saving his life. Putting aside his own humiliation, Ryokan’s first thought was to forgive and absolve the boatman of his rude ignorance. Ryokan would definitely have been labelled a “fool” by others but what magnanimity he displayed – demonstrating the compassion of the universe.

Dr Murakami’s friend, Dr. Toshio Ogoshi runs a private school in Kobe, Japan, known as Rebirth Academy Shiyujuku. This is a very unique school where the students have “school refusal” syndrome which is one of the increasingly serious social problems in Japan. In 35 years, this academy accepted over 6000 students.

At Rebirth Academy, the focus is not on academic growth and breakthrough. Instead, it seeks to heal the trauma of every student led there by destiny and to cultivate in them a healthy mind and body to live independently despite not having gone through the school system.

Dr. Murakami was often invited to speak at Rebirth Academy. Every time he was there, he saw the students’ cheerfulness and politeness, their laughter and tranquility and he would feel deeply touched and emotional. Every student had “school refusal” syndrome and suffered from anxiety and depression, bore unbearable pain and some were even suicidal or had attempted suicide.

It is not difficult to imagine that a student who leaves the academy healed would be filled with endless gratitude for the academy and Dr. Toshio Ogoshi. He, however, expresses his heartfelt thanks to the students, as he feels that it is every student and employee there who have allowed him to lead a fulfilling and happy life.

Dr. Ogoshi might have started out with the intention of helping these “broken souls” to heal. But in the process, he began to feel that he was the one who was being truly healed. What is even more incredible is that, in his daily work, his own personal troubles were magically resolved as he worked day and night thinking about how to better help the students and employees and found no time to attend to personal problems.

Dr. Toshio Ogoshi shared with Dr. Murakami what he learnt over the long years of experience and how he was deeply moved: “When you shoulder the burden for others, your worries will disappear. When you make profit for others, you are the one who really benefit from it. When you keep giving, what you receive is beyond your imagination.”

Three Nobel Peace Prize laureates attended the autumn 2006 International Peace Conference held in Hiroshima, Japan, Dr. Murakami was the conference chairman and had the opportunity to listen to great life teachings up close. Whether it is the bishop from South Africa, or the Northern Ireland peace activist, the messages everyone gave are the incredibly meaningful reminders to forgive and thank those who did not treat you well and to transcend your accustomed attitude for vengeance.

Moreover, practice tolerance to benefit others and be thankful for the opportunities to hone your practice – such amazing tolerance and broadmindedness as well as clear wisdom and courage. When will this modern society, filled with disputes and unbearable trauma, comprehend the life lessons and be determined to change course?

As a biochemist, Dr. Murakami’s research career has spanned half a century. But even now, whenever he sees the wonderful mysterious essence of double helical DNA, he still feels deep admiration and is extremely moved. This amazing “crystal of life” is not just unique to humans but is also present in all life forms.

The difference in genetic factor between human and gorilla is only 1.2% and the similarity between rice and human is 40%. If this obviously close relation between lives is so hard to imagine and accept, then how can life’s blueprint which is beyond human intellect be realized and demonstrated? We have undertaken 38 million years of earth journey. The blueprints and codes shared by all forms of lives are interconnected. The bits and pieces of the universe are interdependent and indispensable.

When we come to this world, we hold a transient individual life force of the universe. When we leave this world, we have again returned to the life of the universe as a whole. We may reappear as a wisp of breeze, dust on a palm, a piece of wood or a leaf of grass.

In our current transitory life in this three-dimensional space, all the more we need to learn and remember the “rules of the game” of the universe – let go of gains and losses, adjust our focus from ourselves to others, do not put ourselves before others and place priority in benefitting others.

With courage and wisdom, we dedicate every day to understanding others and helping others to attain happiness. As soon as possible, we want to connect with the thinking and lessons of the “fool” and return to the fold. And to reconnect to universal love and our true self. May we realize the long awaited compassion, wisdom and healing.

Elements of Life from the Ocean – An Interview

Zhang Yushan


Dr. Lai continually strives to bring us health and happiness and the universe fulfills her wishes – she always encounters special people, matters and things.

Coincidentally, Dr. Lai read an interview of a farmer, Gerry Amena, in a U.S organic farming magazine.

Gerry mentioned how he was incredibly helped by concentrated sea minerals (pristine, unpolluted and full of nutrients and life force) near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Dr. Lai began to research and experiment that yielded very satisfactory results. She requested Lapis volunteers in Australia to interview this special farmer.

In March 2014, I departed from my home in English Garden at 6am. After driving a few hundred miles along the meandering roads under the 38oC hot sun, I finally arrived at Gerry’s farm. Dr. Lai’s recommendation unintentionally flipped open the thousands of years of wisdom living.

Sea is deep. Sea is blue.

My family lives by the sea.

By the sea, is a salt field.

We have free salt every meal.

This is a song we sang when we were young. I grew up near the Budai Sea where sea salt is produced so sea and salt were a main part of our lives. The salt field was our source of livelihood. Sunning salt was the skill that helped us grow up. To us, natural sea salt was not a precious resource as there were baskets and baskets of shining white salt as well as “bitter dew” * that cannot be evaporated into salt.

Until I saw Gerry the farmer and his research on sea minerals, I realized we used to possess an invaluable life element from the sea.

A Very Special Farmer

Gerry is 81 years old. Not only is he full of energy, his voice is loud and clear. He looks like in his sixties. For two decades, he maintained a certain degree of physical fitness. To him, time seems to be just a parallel partner, working hard with him without interference. Getting older does not seem to trouble him. Every day, he starts working after waking up early, walking barefooted back and forth, on his 170-acre farm. He works from sunrise to sunset, like all hard-working farmers.

Discovering the elements of life from the ocean and conducting research and development of sea minerals all happened naturally for Gerry. Twenty-two years ago, this Dutch immigrant had rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. His condition deteriorated continually.

On top of that, when he first arrived in Australia, he used to work at a building industry, using cement and breathing in large amount of exhaust fumes. He was unable to bend his knees and had mobility problem leading to other complications. He frequently had shortness of breath. For a long time, all the doctor could do was give him some steroids but was unable to improve his condition.

Listen to the Call of the Tomatoes

Australia is one of the oldest lands on earth. Soil in Australia generally lacks zinc and other trace elements. But these shortcomings also inspire the alternative wisdom of Australian farming, the famous permaculture farming method. (Lapis Lazuli Light published the Chinese version of the book, Stone Age Farming by Alanna Moore that portrays unique Australian farming wisdom.)

Irrigating crops with the right amount of seawater concentrate as nutrients was a popular Australian farming method. At that time, Gerry was already growing organic fruits and vegetables for livelihood. He followed the trend and bought some seawater concentrate to spray on his land. Unbelievably, after irrigating with seawater concentrate, the tomatoes harvested were very sweet. Sick Gerry growing tasty tomatoes became a tale relished by the local people.

One day, during his routine round, Gerry heard the tomatoes sighing softly: “Gerry gave us such good food that made us healthy, strong and happy. Why does he look more and more unhappy and become increasingly weak? Is he not eating the same food as us? Why did he not try our food?”

After receiving this message, Gerry felt that it was worth a try. He thought: “The soil of this land lacks sea minerals that even the plants need supplement. I have been eating food from this land so I must also be lacking these minerals. Why not give it a try?”

So, Gerry used the seawater concentrate as a seasoning and drank a teaspoon (diluted with 100cc of warm water) before and after dinner every day. After 3 weeks, when his customers came to buy tomatoes, they exclaimed: “Gerry you look so much better and your movements are livelier!”

He also felt a difference and with growing confidence, continued to drink a teaspoon of the seawater concentrate diluted with 100cc of warm water every day. After twelve months, another X-ray showed that his cartilage had restored to normal. His friends asked for the reason and they all wanted to give it a try.

Subsequently, Gerry began to devote himself to the study of sea minerals.

This is Natural Food

After continuous attempts and modifications, Gerry found that, generally, surface layer of the seawater is used for salt production. Bottom layer of seawater contains more sediment. In contrast, the water in the middle layer (the Mesopelagic Zone) is relatively richer in minerals.

Marine pollution is serious in many seas so not all seawater can be used. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is located in the tropics with abundant coral reefs. The entire body of water is Coral Sea that is renowned in the Southern Hemisphere.

So, Gerry went looking for the ideal shore with spring tide around the Great Barrier Reef. The rising swells bring the water of the mesopelagic zone to the sea surface. Following the tide, the sea water flows into salt evaporation ponds where it goes through wind and solar evaporation and the top layer gradually forms into salt crystal.

Gerry developed a special manufacturing process whereby the salt crystal is removed layer by layer. Some three months later, it is left with “bitter dew” that is thick but not crystallized. The content of sodium is less than 2 percent and it contains nature’s richest trace elements suitable for the body to absorb.

Gerry felt this is natural food, not drugs.

For a long time, “bitter dew” relied on the word of mouth. Gerry also often gave it away for free until seven years ago when Nick appeared, and Sea Minerals began to appear in the market.

Turnaround in Restoring Memory

Nick, 36, is a Bosnian immigrant who exudes a very different energy.

More than 10 years ago, when Nick was in his early twenties, he had a serious car accident leaving him with years of headaches. He had only one third of his memory left and often relied on morphine for pain. Whatever he said five minutes ago, he would forget immediately. So, he had to rely on notes and tape recorders for help.

He was the manager of his family business that had branch offices in every major city in Australia and he travelled frequently. In every city he went, he would either go to the casinos or sleep the whole night by taking medication. He lived decadently for six years and felt that there was no purpose in his life.

During this time, his wife told him that she heard of someone who had a brain tumor and suffered from unbearable headache. Morphine did not alleviate the pain. Later on, this person took a farmer’s sea minerals and cured first the headache and then the brain tumor. Nick was not convinced. He felt that his case was completely different since he was not sick but injured in a car accident. Also, it was just a farmer, not a doctor, so he did not expect a miracle.

Some eight years ago, he was on a business trip flying to Melbourne. After he disembarked from the plane, as usual, he called a cab to send him to the city. Along the way, he noticed the driver frowning with so much sadness that it touched Nick. So, he asked the driver: “You look very sad, are you okay?”

A caring question changed the lives of the driver, his daughter and Nick.

Saving others, You Save Yourself

The driver talked about his 9-year-old daughter who was dying from a brain tumor. “I have been working hard every day, without taking any leave, to earn money for her medical expenses. She cannot be operated on because she is too young. For three years, the brain tumor has been growing and the headache is getting worse. Morphine cannot stop the pain. There is nothing else the doctors can do but watch the spark of life extinguishing.”

A deep compassion arose in Nick’s heart. He remembered his wife mentioning the farmer and his sea minerals and how it cures headaches and brain tumors. In the following two days, Nick took the taxi driver to the Queensland farm to see Gerry. As always, Gerry gave the driver a few bottles of sea minerals – since it is food, there is no harm trying.

In the same year, daily consumption of a small teaspoon of “bitter dew” daily not only healed the dying girl’s brain tumor but also Nick’s headaches and memory. Regaining passion for life and hoping to help more people, Nick offered to be Gerry’s volunteer in operating the sea minerals business. Seven years ago, he successfully marketed sea mineral products to the United States, Germany and Europe.

Nick, a 195-cm tall man who is strong as a giant, tearfully told his own story: “At that time, I was urgently trying hard to find Gerry. I did not think of myself.” He said he realized that the “great compassion” of love saved him while he was saving another.

Praise from Professional Doctors

Four years ago, Dr. Alexander Schauss who lived in Los Angeles was impressed and his eyes lightened up when he first got the sea minerals. He has a cancer clinic and cancer research team. He is an expert in researching the role of minerals in the human body and requested Nick to bring one of his writings, Minerals in Human Health, to Gerry. After reading the book, Gerry found several errors about trace minerals. He called Dr. Alexander Schauss and told him that prescribing calcium to patients with osteoporosis is a very serious mistake.

Gerry said that people with osteoporosis are not lacking in calcium but rather lack magnesium, Vitamin B12, Lithium and fatty acid. This is why they cannot absorb calcium and the calcium will accumulate in the joints, kidney and gallbladder.

Dr. Alexander Schauss was very angry and immediately asked his research team to expand their research. After over a month, Dr. Alexander Schauss called Gerry and said: “Gerry, you’re right! After repeated experiments conducted by the team, the results have proven that you are right.”

Three weeks later, from California, Dr. Alexander Schauss visited the Queensland farm. Dr. Schauss brought along a couple and hired a group of photographers and recorded Gerry’s conversation on nature and health. Dr. Schauss was moved and said: “Gerry, there is no one like you in this world that is able to produce such Sea Minerals.”

“Bitter Dew” Used Daily yet Unaware

After visiting the legendary Gerry Amena, I could not wait to return to southern Taiwan. At the old home by the Budai Sea, my 75-year-old father had suffered from diabetes for two decades. He relied on drugs and mom’s careful control of diet. I gave dad 3 bottles of “bitter dew” as food, taking a teaspoon daily.

It was as if I returned to my childhood. Tasting “bitter dew” revived memories of our childhood, the ups and downs of children of salt-makers. After school, we had to go to the salt flat next to the “bitter dew”, where we squatted and helped fill every cell of the salt field with “bitter dew”. It was really a very hard chore. Sigh. Actually, “bitter dew” had been the village’s cure-all. It was the medicine villagers looked for to heal athlete’s foot, abrasions, bruises and sore throat. “Bitter dew” was something that the people used daily and yet were not aware of its full potential.

At this article’s deadline, my dad has taken this “bitter dew” food that Gerry refined. For three months, my dad would drink a teaspoon everyday. Three months later, a pleasantly surprised voice of my mom came through the phone, exclaiming: “After 2 examinations, the doctor found that the glycaemic index was controlled and within the index of 95 (pre-meal standard).”

From plants to animals to human bodies, the biological effect of sea minerals and trace elements on physiological functions is mind-boggling.

Many people still clearly remember the Indonesian tsunami three years ago. Last year, the Indonesian farmers began to farm the lands that were washed over. Their harvest was remarkably bountiful, many times the usual amount.

Why is Taiwan Black Pearl Wax Apple (jambu) so delicious? The answer is because this species is planted in the salty Pingtung Forest.

Obviously, we are still in the early stages of understanding the mysteries of the ocean and life. Although the Sea Mineral products have been around for seven years, the story of sea minerals seems to be just beginning.

Interview Postscript

Gerry said that the speed of recovery from taking sea minerals depends on age, physical ability and severity of symptoms. Do not be hasty. It is enough to take just a teaspoon every day. Sometimes, people need to change their habits: early to bed and early to rise, abstain from red meat, eat less soy products, especially genetically modified soy beans, and abstain from alcohol. Moreover, do not treat it as a panacea.

According to traditional knowledge in plants, Gerry also found that using organic cultivation to supplement sea minerals is even better. So he began growing organic plants on his farm. He researched and developed low-temperature cold-pressed method, to maintain all traces of organic matter.

He said organic matter is usually destroyed after high temperature or high pressure treatment. Our body is a low-temperature chemical plant. Many enzymes either disappear or cannot be absorbed in the body if the temperature exceeds 45oC. The body is unable to convert inorganic minerals into organic, so in the process of drying or concentrating plants as food, it is best to use low temperature and low pressure. The effect is even better.

Since I am familiar with salt fields in my childhood, I feel very warm whenever I see Sea Minerals. Buying it is also very natural. Every day, I either add one teaspoon to juice or to boiled water. After ten weeks, my right shoulder which frequently dislocated gradually healed. At night, I was able to sleep and not wake up in pain. I also followed the exercises instructed by a therapist. I can now extend my arms and it no longer makes a crackling sound. I am thankful for this special opportunity which has given me this unexpected gift.

*Bitter dew is sea water from which salt has been extracted.