Ockham’s Razor

This is about unlearning the unnecessary information that you have accumulated along the way. It is now millstone around your neck.

Ockham’s razor (also spelled Occam’s razor, pronounced AHK-uhmz RAY-zuhr) is the idea that, in trying to understand something, getting unnecessary information out of the way is the fastest way to the truth or to the best explanation. William of Ockham (1285-1349), English theologian and philosopher, spent his life developing a philosophy that reconciled religious belief with demonstrable, generally experienced truth, mainly by separating the two.

Where earlier philosophers attempted to justify God’s existence with rational proof, Ockham declared religious belief to be incapable of such proof and a matter of faith. He rejected the notions preserved from Classical times of the independent existence of qualities such as truth, hardness, and durability and said these ideas had value only as descriptions of particular objects and were really characteristics of human cognition.

Ockham was noted for his insistence on paying close attention to language as a tool for thinking and on observation as a tool for testing reality. His thinking and writing is considered to have laid the groundwork for modern scientific inquiry. Nowhere is this more relevant than in the matter of human health, because no other subject suffers from a greater number of competing theories. Simply stated, here is the essence of his most noteworthy discovery:

Whenever you encounter competing theories on a given question, the simplest one is nearly always correct.

Or, you could just as easily say,

“The more information you bring to a question, the further you get from the answer.”

Living the awesome life you were meant to live—full of energy, vitality, and most important, the ability to interact fully with the world—isn’t a matter of luck or good genes. It starts by applying the simplest strategies that you already know. Sounds easy enough, but it is truly startling how few people actually do this, or even consider it. How about you? Does it sound too simplistic?

There are tremendous implications here in the search for a maximum experience of life (a.k.a., health). Living an exceptional life is much simpler than you have been led to believe. But that simplicity comes with a price: the awareness that we can no longer hide from the actual work of health behind the cloak of complexity; pretending that we don’t yet understand, or debating competing theories, which mostly results in leaving us paralyzed into inaction.

This is about unlearning the unnecessary information that you accumulated along the way. It is now a millstone around your neck.

In the absence of this awareness, we fall inevitably into endless requests for more and more information, all in an attempt to avoid the obvious. This is evidenced by the marketers of health-related products and services as they fall all over themselves in an attempt to satisfy this perceived need by happily supplying virtual mountains of information—scientific and otherwise—in support of their products and claims, whether there is any validity to them or not. It all just turns into noise by the sheer magnitude of it. And it was never necessary to begin with. The average 10-year-old knows things about creating human health that most of us still do not do. Is another scientific study really what we need?

What’s really happening in this scenario is the failure by the individual to apply what they know already, including what their innate wisdom tells them must be done.

So this is not about discrediting science, it is only about pointing out how unnecessary it is to the cause of health. This is about unlearning the unnecessary information that you accumulated along the way. It is now a millstone around your neck. Rather:

Stop the learning and start the application of what you already know: your innate wisdom about health. I’ll guide you through that journey, but every step of the way will be solutions that you yourself will discover and adopt. I will never ask you to simply “trust me”, or tell you that you’re not smart or informed enough to figure this out.

From the moment you realize that your life is worth fighting for, you have an ally in that fight right here.

I will ask you to put down the magazines and the books; stop learning things; stop thinking you need to learn things; even stop thinking you already know things. It is only when you transcend thinking that you will actually apply what has been there all along. Make it a way of life, not a thing you know. When you have so incorporated the knowledge into your life that you fail to even acknowledge that it is anything that you need to know.

Living the awesome life you were meant to live—full of energy, vitality, and most important, the ability to interact fully with the world—isn’t a matter of luck or good genes. It starts by applying the simplest strategies that you already know. You’ll find examples of how this principle is applied to human health right on this site.

This is a message of health, but it’s also a message of life. From the moment you realize that your life is worth fighting for, you have an ally in that fight right here.