Author, health food pioneer and cultural change agent, Gregory Sams' first book 'Uncommon Sense, the State is Out of Date', took chaos theory into a socio-political context.
Now, he brings you 'Sun of God', the culmination of 7 years of focus on the subject of solar sentience and its relevance to you, me and everything in creation.
Enjoying a healthy IQ, Gregory Sams grew up in France and London, where, in a senior class of 130 students, he became president of the National Honour Society, was one of two National Merit semi-finalists, one of three National Honor Society semi-finalists, and was voted by his fellow students to be the school’s most intelligent guy. In the American Legion Essay competition, 1965, Gregory’s entry won first place. He read it out to the Ambassador and audience at the London embassy, and received a trophy and a congratulatory letter from the President. So far, so straight.
Greg’s father, Kenneth Sams, advised him to “never follow the beaten-track,” inspiring the young man to study Lao Tsu and be open to ‘out there’ ideas from an early age – ideas such as natural foods, meditation and yoga. When in the progressive St Mary’s Town and Country School from the age of 5-8, Gregory’s childhood girlfriend was Vicky Huxley, niece Aldous Huxley, icon of the ‘60’s counterculture and whose works he avidly read.
Gregory went to The University of California, Berkeley campus, in the autumn of 1966, during the free speech protests and build-up to the Summer of Love. At the time, Timothy Leary was exhorting the youth of America to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Gregorycovered the first two bases, tuning straight into the hippie ethic, then (not whilst turned on)managed to drop out of a tree on New Year’s Eve, aged 18. He broke his back, injured hisspine, and has been operating from a wheelchair ever since.
At 19 and along with his brother Craig (who in 1991 co-founded Green & Black’s chocolate and is today the President of Green & Black’s and until recently the Chair of The Soil Association), Gregory opened and ran Seed Restaurant, watering hole to the sixties hippie community, from John and Yoko to those who needed the free meal always on offer. People wanted to buy what they ate there, so a year later, he opened Ceres Grain Shop, the UK’s first natural food outlet, selling weird stuff like organic brown rice, sesame seeds, chick peas, miso and seaweed.
There was no simple and easy-toget information out there, so Greg published and partly penned three issues of HARMONY magazine. One article would explain how to cook brown rice and cut carrots, and another how the yang diet of the Viet Cong would lead them to victory over their ice-cream eating American foes. Printing on the Roneo duplicator in his bedroom, he distributed 700 copies to outlets in London, and beyond. John Lennon liked it so much he dedicated an 8-frame cartoon to its support.
Gregory and Craig together set up Harmony Foods in 1970, the nation’s first importer and wholesaler of natural and organic foodstuffs. The Sams brothers catered the first Glastonbury Festival, the Plumpton Jazz Festival, the Isle of Wight Festival and other seminal events of the era, turning more and more Britons onto the power and good sense of eating good food. Later under the name Whole Earth Foods they continued to water the first shoots of green consumer consciousness.
Between 1971 – 1976 Gregory was a monthly contributor and occasional editor to pioneering magazine SEED – the Journal of organic living, in concert with his father Ken, and brother Craig. Seed’s monthly coverage was not limited to food, as it explored alternative medicine, our oneness with the world and other off-thebeaten- track stuff. Many people received their first taste of green consciousness from Seed magazine.
In 1982 Gregory Sams made a clean break from Harmony Foods/Whole Earth in order to produce and promote a new culture-changing product. It was the original VegeBurger, a trademarked name he created for the product he’d spent months formulating. He set up a ‘virtual company,’ run from his spare bedroom, with contractors doing the mixing, packing, storing and shifting.
The virtual company enabled him to devote himself to crafting product leaflets, press releases, letters to retailers and correspondence with product fans. Every year his Realeat Company commissioned Gallup to survey attitudes to meat eating. Greg analysed, wrote-up and presented the data to an eager press. He had a lot of fun, free of staff or fixed overheads, selling over 250,000 of his burgers every week. VegeBurger did very well, and Gregory sold the company in 1988, at the age of 39, when it looked like he’d have to start reading balance sheets and wearing neckties. He decided to have some fun instead, travelling with his wife Sandy and dabbling in some inspired ideas.
The two-year advance on his retirement came to an end and a beginning when he discovered the scientific idea of chaos theory. Chaos theory changed Gregory’s life. It didn’t so much turn things around, as tie them all into one fantastic interlinked cable. Here was another great concept that few people had ever heard about, and Greg made it his mission to make chaos theory public. The implications of knowing that, throughout the Universe, things appear to be self-organizing along similar principles could not be confined to the corridors of academe.
A retail shop was called for, so in 1990 Greg opened Strange Attractions off the Portobello Rd, the only shop on the planet ever dedicated to chaos theory. Once again, there were plenty of leaflets, flyers, a few magazine articles and press releases to write, but most of Greg’s time was spent creating fractal designs to adorn the company’s products (from posters to T-shirts to in 2009.
With a market established for fractals and digital art, Gregory stopped self-publishing, in order to successfully license his work to others. Hundreds of thousands of imprints were produced and Greg was later informed that he had, albeit unwittingly, pried open the doors of the commercial art world to computer imagery.
Through the Science Photo Library, his fractal images were further reproduced by the millions in major magazines, books, newspapers and all manner of printed products. He was thrilled when one of his fractals was used for the cover of Fritjof Capra’s The Web of Life. It was good money-making fun, but this was not why he had opened Strange Attractions, and it became clear to Gregory that the important message of chaos theory would be better served with words. He now took on the more daunting task of writing his first book.
In 1998, after four years of writing and distilling, he was ready to publish Uncommon Sense - the State is Out of Date. Within it he explored the vitally important lessons that chaos theory has for how we govern our society, through allowing it to create its own order. Sold everywhere from raves and music festivals to ‘alternative’ shops, the book became an instant counter-culture success. A few years later Gregory decided to put the whole of Uncommon Sense online for free, along with a gallery of his fractal images and other published writing. His website www.chaos-works.com now receives over a million hits a year, and thousands of visitors have downloaded the full PDF file of Uncommon Sense.
Gregory Sams’ new book, Sun of gOd, has been seven years in the making. Bringing together a lifetime of experience, he introduces us to the implications of a new, yet once innate, understanding; that of the Sun as a conscious celestial being.
Winner 8th grade Science Fair, with exhibit explaining the solar system
Top scholastic awards throughout grade and high school. National Merit Finalist, National Honour Society + +
Winner American Legion Essay competition 1965. Letter from President Johnson and reading at London Embassy.
Dropped out of University of California, Berkeley after 3 months – 1 Jan 1967.
1968 – 1981: Working with brother Craig, set out to change the diet of a nation. Opened and ran a string of seat-of-the-pants companies in catering, retailing, publishing about, manufacturing, importing, packing and distributing the UK’s first natural and organic foods. The idea caught on.
1982: Launched the world’s first challenge to the fast food industry with the all-natural VegeBurger – it took off and opened the market for vege-foods, adding the word vegeburger and the adjective “vege/veggie” to the language.
1991: Set out to introduce the general public to the social relevance of new science “chaos theory.” Opened world’s first shop ever dedicated to the new science selling all things related. Publishes and licenses hundreds of fractal designs over millions of impressions worldwide – posters, cards, clothes, ceramics, knitwear, flyers, and in magazines, newspapers, book covers, etc.
1998: Self-published Uncommon Sense – the State is Out of Date. Sold 3500 well shared copies but never went beyond cult status. Put it online a few years later. It changed a lot of lives and still does so today.
2009: Sun of gOd, published by Red Wheel/Weiser Press in English speaking world.
A few recent Press & Radio shows: http://www.avantoure.com/latestissue.html---http://www.coasttocoastam.com/guest/sams-gregory---http://www.stevenobel-interviews.com/DownloadMP3Squeeze.aspx?ID=92