21 November 2009

The Miracle of Milk

Life Abundantly
Abdul Alim Muhammad MD

The Miracle of Milk

[During the recent Saviour’s Day 2009 the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan engaged me in some lively discussion at the dinner table at the National House about the benefits of raw milk. There were a lot of questions and answers all around and many anecdotes about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and raw milk. How he used to get the milk in big 10 gallon dairy cans, and how he would serve raw milk at every meal, etc. The interest in this topic was so great that the two part workshop at Saviour’s Day entitled, The Miracle of Milk and How to Get It, had over-flow crowds on both days. A recent survey conducted among NOI members revealed that over 50% consume raw milk. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan suggested that I write a newspaper column on the subject, so here it is. I hope to cover as much of this important topic as possible over the next several weeks. Other topics will be taken up on a regular basis under the title Life Abundantly-AAM]

[Part one]

The Miracle of Milk is closely intertwined with the miracle of life. Nothing else in the whole world is fit for food to nourish new life when it is born, nothing else will do at all. When new life is born into the large World from the microcosm of the womb, milk replaces the nourishing blood of mother that was filtered through the placenta directly into the blood of the fetus. The first and most primitive survival instinct of the new born baby is to suckle at the breast of the new mother, to feed upon another filtrate of blood, mother’s milk.
In a general sense, breast milk, sometimes called ‘white blood’ is, in fact, quite similar to the nourishing placental blood, except it contains no red blood cells which are no longer necessary, because the baby is filling its own lungs with air to oxygenate its own red blood cells. Like blood, the flowing milk not only supports life, but, is alive.

Milk is the best and only food at this stage of life. Its perfect proportion of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals makes it perfect to promote rapid growth and development. The milk flow is stimulated by the sucking action of the infant on its mother’s breast. In addition to this vital nutrition, also present in the pure white milk is the active immunity of the mother as a protection to the highly vulnerable life of the baby.

The new born is faced with surviving the onslaught of the swarming micro-organisms present in the big World- viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. The milk contains highly specific anti-bodies to every micro-organism that had ever been encountered by mother and highly lethal immune-effector cells: macrophages, natural killer lymphocytes, and neutrophils. These are the protectors of mother’s life, her personal defense force that is now being deployed on a special mission to safe-guard the delicate life of the newborn flowing into the body of the baby in a stream of milk from the mother’s breast. These same immune factors it should be pointed out were the same ones circulating in the mother’s blood stream that kept her and the contents of her womb safe. Now they are doing the same thing as they flow directly from her body into the body of the baby in her milk. The milk is preparing the new life to survive in a living World full of living things, some of which is anything but friendly. Without milk the new life may perish.

In addition, the digestive enzymes necessary to digest and assimilate the nutrients in the milk are also available in the milk itself since the immature digestive system of the infant may be lacking. Thus, the miracle of life is protected by the miracle of milk.

The baby doesn’t know it yet, but it has been born into a World, a planet, that circles a Star called the Sun at a distance of 93,000,000 miles. The Sun is one of the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy and is located in one of its spiral arms at a distance of 26,000 light-years from the galactic center. The Sun, with the Earth in tow, circles the galactic center once every 220,000 years traveling at a rate of 485,000 miles per hour. The Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light-years in diameter and contains so many stars- maybe 400 billion- that from the Earth, it appears as though the stars are a stream of flowing milk! Even the English word galaxy is derived from the Greek galakt which also means milk! The Universe is composed of billions upon billions of galaxies. We are thus awestruck by the fact that milk is a miracle at every scale of existence- macrocosmic and microcosmic.

And not just in the outer universe, but the inner one as well. For example, in the ancient Puranas of India, an Ocean of Milk is churned by warring gods and demons. This is no less than a metaphor for human consciousness itself and is said to contain 13 treasures, among which is the nectar of life. Shakespeare speaks of “…the milk of human kindness…” as a metaphor for compassion, the greatest of all virtues and the apex of spiritual attainment. Heaven is typically described as a land flowing with “milk and honey”.

The Indo-European word, melg, meaning to wipe or to stroke, gave rise to the modern English term, milk. The action (verb) needed to produce the milk is also its name (noun).

The power of the word milk is so great and so deeply resonates in the human psyche, that commercial food marketers have misappropriated it to mislead consumers. Think of it. Who would ever consider drinking a completely artificial, industrialized product refined from genetically engineered soy beans and blended with toxic chemicals and additives of uncertain origin, unless it is presented as soy milk? Or, how about almond milk, or some other nut milk? Well maybe it is milk for nuts! But of course only milk is milk and nothing else even comes close. There are no substitutes.

Milk is milk and Almighty God Allah made it for his creatures to drink. I used to say that only God knows how to make food. Now we must modify that: God and the Woman He created are the only ones who know how to make food. And the best food of all is pure milk, flowing in the image and likeness of the Universe and the Mind of Man!

Milk is the material manifestation of the immaterial maternal love, the actual substantive flow of connectivity that binds mother and baby together as the unit of tender human love. The image of compassion and divine love is the image of Madonna and Child, Isis and Horus, Mary and Jesus. The act of nursing (verb) is the actual state (noun) of divine peace, love and grace. The flow of milk from Mother to Child is the physical manifestation of the flow of Beneficence and Mercy from the Divine Creator to that which has been created.
[Part two]
The state of Heavenly bliss is at the breast of mother, for in that state, both mother and child are pleased and well pleasing. As such, it is the producer of a template that is deeply embedded in the consciousness of both: the possibility of perfect human love and harmony in a state of grace and satisfaction of all needs, physical, mental and spiritual. It is the imprint of Heaven in the Mind of Man that shows that Heaven is possible on this earth and is worthy to be striven for. This is the necessary psychological well-being of the original social unit and hence is the ultimate super glue that alone can hold society together.

Where breast feeding of infants is weak or out of fashion, the psycho-social bonds of family and society at large are also weak. The physical or biological immunity conferred to the infant by milk, sublimates into the social immunities that protect communities and nations from the forces of disintegration and chaos.

In a very real and potent sense, the future of human civilization is dependent upon the interaction of mother and baby at the interface of the breast during feeding. The dissatisfaction of unsuccessful breast feeding becomes the force of disruption and even revolution in society. A contented satisfied infant at the breast portends a peaceful and happy society in the future. The whining, complaining malcontents of society are the grown-up infants who never fed satisfactorily at mother’s breast. They become those who can never find satisfaction in life and play a destructive and disruptive role in society. So, Mothers, please feed the babies as they should be fed: from yourself and yourself alone. That way you are producing a good pleasant society that will in due coarse of time take care of you and others in a gentle compassionate way.

The role of the nourishing mother is therefore paramount in the establishment of community and national life. The importance of ensuring that mothers nurse their babies successfully can not be over-estimated. The harm to society from bottle feeding, formula feeding, etc is cataclysmic and leads ultimately to the fall and break down of civilization. That is because individuals in society will be incapable of giving for the benefit of society that which they themselves were deprived of. So the needs of society go lacking producing overwhelming dissatisfaction and failure.

The greatest long-term benefit to society for a viable future is to make women secure within the framework of marriage so that they may become the willing and capable nourishers of their babies. Men must secure and maintain their wives for this purpose. The unprotected insecure woman can never fulfill her true role as the nurturer of civilization. Women must be healthy, well-nourished, stress-free and happy in order to fulfill their infinitely important role as mother to an individual as well as mother of civilization itself. To the degree that a culture or society is unfriendly to the nursing of babies, to that same degree that society or culture is dooming itself. Where women are elevated and honored and respected and well taken care of, there is a society that will flourish and prosper and endure.

It is not only milk that flows during the feeding of an infant or child at the breast. It is also the culture and wisdom of the society in which the women lives that also flows to the young life suckling at her breast. If she sings lovingly to her baby, or speaks soft words of encouragement and calmness, she is inculcating the values and cultural principles of her society into the baby. If she recounts the history and legends of her people then she is extending national life, the life of her people and creating one who will pick up the baton and continue the dramatic historical action of her people in their struggle to survive. If the baby can find sustenance enough to thrive and survive with abundance in the first stages of life at its mother’s breast then that becomes the first chapter of a life that will be characterized by vibrant health, happy optimism, keen intelligence, personal power, psychological security and boundless success.

The enemy of God must discourage and distract the woman from performing her primary duty to her child. The enemy will engage in lying propaganda that will cause the woman to feel a mixture of shame and disgust at the prospect of being a mother, to make her feel that motherhood is a second or third class activity that should be ranked second or third to career and other pursuits. Feminist views will cause her to seek competitive roles with men, instead of finding the high ground of true feminine power: the creation and nurturing of new human life in the image and likeness of God.

The enemy will construct society in such a way, that the woman will find no place for her maternal instincts and needs. She will find no nursing station in public spaces, or any support for her special maternity needs and post partum needs as a nursing mother. In fact, she is liable to be abused both at home and abroad and made to feel that she needs to “…get back into the swing of things…” as fast as possible. Just like in slavery days, this modern working woman is back on the ‘plantation’ almost immediately, the baby dropped off for care and feeding from strangers, while she focuses her time and attention on more important things.

Often times, even when the mother is willing to breast feed, the ambient stress of modern life is so overwhelming that the delicate bio-feedback mechanisms upon which successful breast feeding depends are disrupted and breast feeding must be abandoned prematurely. This forces the unnatural and harmful advancement of the baby’s diet that sets the stage for all manner of medical and psychological/behavioral problems, such as eczema, asthma, allergies, rickets, weak immunity with frequent colds, fevers and infections, not to mention social maladaptation, insecurity, resentment, hatred and distrust.

The consequent gap that develops between mother and child can never after that be closed and becomes the stark cold alienation so commonly noted in today’s society especially among youth. They experience problems in forming and maintaining relationships. Deprived of the primary source of love and affection themselves, they haven’t got a clue about how to show it to others. Hence, a life characterized by the wreckage of troubled and disastrous relationships of all sorts including the sky-rocketing rate of divorce, the root cause of which seems mysterious and unaccounted for. There is the pervasive feeling that something is missing, but just what it is- the individual hasn’t got a clue. That is because it isn’t something that was done to the child, but what never took place that is beyond the knowing of the child. The child does not realize what should have happened and can only attempt to understand what did occur. This nagging sense of ‘something wrong’ often leads to depression and a sense of despair that can have very evil consequences. Or it can simply lead to a life that seems pointless and going no where. The search for the missing essence can lead to alcoholism, drugs and all kinds of unsavory and even anti-social behaviors in vain attempts to compensate. As the song goes,” Looking for love in all the wrong places..”

Listed above are pretty much the ills of current society. These ills can be directly traced to the diminution of the role of women as home makers and mothers who breast fed and raised their own children and forced by exceedingly evil forces to become cogs in the corporate wheels of commerce. The majority of women today have become wage slaves just like the men. In this degraded state things fall apart. The miracle of milk, the milk that flows from the breast of a healthy loving mother is the panacea that can literally save our world.

[more to come]


Vegan Earth Mother said...

Salaam Alaikum Dr. Alim,

As a mother, childbirth educator, and Birth Advocate, I appreciate the wisdom you shared! Do you mind me sharing this with my clients!

Alim said...

Oh, please! Share it with the world! The truth is ours today.