The One Thing That Doesn’t Cause Cancer

While driving home from work last month, I was listening to the radio and heard an advertisement for a local television station’s five o’clock news program. Breathlessly a reporter announced that multivitamins may increase the incidence of prostate cancer; the news would have details at five.

As a user of multivitamins, I was a little alarmed. In truth I was a more amused than alarmed. I was not amused because I dismiss cancer warnings with a perfunctory “what doesn’t cause cancer” statement. I don’t. But I also believe our understanding of what causes cancer is very primitive. There is probably too much emphasis on genes, on the environment, and on other factors beyond our control. There is too little emphasis on factors that are under our control, such as our diet and other choices we make daily.

There is one thing I am certain that doesn’t cause cancer. That one thing is Love. Now I don’t mean the love that we are most familiar with. That love is conditional; you do this for me and I’ll do this for you. I’ll love you if I get something I want from you. Couples frequently have very complex deals; and when the deal is broken, they separate. They say they fell out of love. The truth may be they never Loved.

When we truly Love, we behave in a Loving way, not because someone else deserves it and not to preserve a deal we made. Instead, we Love because we choose to allow what Thomas Hora calls the ocean of Love-Intelligence to flow through us.

We did not create the ocean of Love-Intelligence, but we are part of the ocean of Love- Intelligence; it is our natural inheritance. It flows through us automatically, except when we block its flow. How do we block its flow? We block its flow by being caught up in our ego’s thoughts.

In our minds, there are certain universal themes that our ego plays over and over. Many of these themes involve struggling against what is. Why is the traffic so slow today? Why are these drivers such idiots? Why are the people in this town so rude? Why does the checkout clerk work so slowly? Why aren’t my children doing better in school? Why doesn’t my boss appreciate me more? Why don’t my employees take more initiative? Why doesn’t my spouse do more household chores?

The outcome of all these universal ego themes is the same—we feel separated from the people we are judging. Our ego counsels us: we are innocent and they are guilty. Those people are victimizing us, proclaims the ego. In truth, we are all being victimized by our dysfunctional thinking.

Each time we create a story around who is to blame, we squeeze the flow a little more. We rehearse the stories and seek witnesses to our stories. When we are in the grip of our stories, we want to be right. We want to be innocent. Since our stories further constrict us, we pay a high price for being right.

As we struggle with what is, as we judge our life in this moment, we block the ocean of Love-Intelligence from flowing through us. We may go through the motions of doing loving things, but we are not fooling anybody. We are not Loving.

The antidote to blocking Love is pure awareness. Pure awareness is free of judgment. When we can look at our thinking with honesty, which means without judgment or justification, we began the process of releasing our constrictions which squeeze the flow of Love to a trickle.

If everyone is part of this ocean of Love-Intelligence, constricting its flow must affect our happiness and health. And although there are no guarantees, if we are constricting Love, allowing more Love to flow through us may improve our health. We can be sure of one thing—allowing Love to flow through us is the one thing that does not cause cancer.


10 Responses to The One Thing That Doesn’t Cause Cancer

  1. Melissa says:

    I think a lot of people don’t love their significant other. I can think of tons of personal examples of how I’ve treated people I claim to have loved and the opposite – sometimes I think we’re misguided by thinking we “should” be in love with someone, and then it just clouds everything.

    I also like your description of creating stories and finding witnesses. I find that when I accuse someone of something, the longer the explanation goes on, the guiltier they become. A short simple statement usually goes a longer way in conveying innocence.

  2. Barry Brownstein says:


    I like the honesty in your comments. Human beings don’t Love, we instead make the choice to allow Love to flow through us. Many people don’t make that choice to allow Love and thus as you say they really don’t Love their partner. The honesty and humility to see this is really the first condition for meaningful change.

  3. Peter Jaworski says:

    Some time ago I read “Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality” by Anthony de Mello. De Mello was a Jesuit priest who died in 1987. Drawing similarities between Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, he defined the “ocean of awareness” as Love and warns of the myopic effect that identifying with the ego has. Charity, empathy, and love for one’s fellow human being are all natural and will flow out of being in the moment by being honest and without judgment.

  4. Barry Brownstein says:


    Indeed they are “natural” when we get our ego out of the way. The key to get our ego out of the way, is as you say: stop identifying with it.

    In the de Mello book that you mentioned, he tells a great joke which I used in one of my web classes this past semester. The joke goes:

    I heard a story about this gentleman
    who knocks on his son’s door. “Jaime,” he says, “wake up!” Jaime answers,
    “I don’t want to get up, Papa.” The father shouts, “Get up, you have
    to go to school.” Jaime says, “I don’t want to go to school.” “Why not?”
    asks the father. “Three reasons,” says Jaime. First, because it’s
    so dull; second, the kids tease me; and third, I hate school. And the
    father says, “Well, I am going to give you three reasons why you must
    go to school. First, because it is your duty; second, because you are
    forty-five years old, and third, because you are the headmaster.”

  5. Bob Gast says:

    Letting go of our ego so that we can begin to understand how we gradually accumulate illusions in place of reality is not usually begun by a defining moment, per se, but rather through an inner voice that whispers over time about it’s own existence. Once we become aware of it’s existence, we begin the process of replacing illusion with reality in proportion with our ability and willingness to acknowledge it’s existence. I believe that this is the fundamental definition of wisdom.

    In order to fnd wisodm, we must “unlearn” what have been taught by the purveyors of success in our world.

    As Einstein observed about the creation of problems and our ability to solve them, we must always seek a that which is sovreign at a level higher then the plane in which we currently operate.

    This is the basis for the great thought leadership of our times and is being borne out as we destroy older paradigms of organizational structures in work, life and relationships. There is nothing new here (check the ancient writings) as much as it is an undoing of all the illusions that we have come to substitute for eality over the last 200 years.

    Bob G.

  6. Barry Brownstein says:


    And once we hear those “whispers” there is no going back on our journey to, as you say, replace illusions with reality. And because that “reality” already exists in each of us, it is “a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed.”

  7. Bob Gast says:

    To add specificity to my prior post , here are some the Generally Accepted Illusions (GAILs) that I have come to recognize over the course of my career;

    – that order comes from well designed rules promulgated by “great men / women”
    – that success can be taught as a commodity
    – that central planning can conceive of all outcomes
    – that command control hierarchies produce a high degree of accountability and results
    – that we control all facets of our relationships, organizations and our lives
    – that knowledge solves problems ( I have learned that it creates new problems)

    I would be interested in hearing about other GAILs.

    Bob Gast, Jr.

  8. Barry Brownstein says:


    Here is another one, from which all the other illusions flow: we are isolated beings separated from a greater Whole.

  9. Peter Jaworski says:


    I agree. It is a slow and gradual journey that we embark upon to replace illusions with reality. For some, this journey begins gradually and slowly until one day we reflect upon how far we have come. For others, the journey occurs in a flash–an ‘Aha moment’ where everything changes. And yet others never embark upon the journey…

    How far we get doesn’t matter. I think the important thing is that we are on that path at all.



  10. ZOOK says:

    In the bible there are many Loves – Jesus called the love we are talking about AGAPE love – unconditional. It’s even more that Brotherly Love (Phileo)

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