Raw Food Explained: Life Science
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Psychology And Practical Aspects Involved In Making A Change In Lifestyle
Before we explore the psychology of the mind in this lesson, please review Lesson 16: Nutrition, Mind and the Emotions, and refresh your memory on "a sound mind in a sound body."
Other lessons suggested for review are:
Lesson 21 — Symptoms that Occur in Lifestyle Transition
Lesson 38 — Sociological Benefits and Economic Ramifications of the Avoidance of Junk Foods
Lesson 63 — Nutriton and the Hair - The McCarter Extended Detoxification Regimen
Lesson 69 — Nutritional Approach to Overcoming Addictions
The Psychology Of Making A Lifestyle Change
The Psychology of Being
Nutrition and Mental Health
Usually when we think of the word psychology, a vision appears of couches and a “specialist” who collects impressive fees for talking to you about your life. Somehow the Indians in Mexico and fishermen in small Greek seaside villages, all struggling as we do to survive day by day, manage to get by in life without these “counsellors.” In our rush to discover the space age, once again we have overlooked the wisdom of simplicity. Intuition and common sense help us to better understand the realms of our minds, just as they tell us how to care for our bodies.
It is this common sense that tells us not to entrust our minds to a “professional” who includes all manner of drugs (from mood elevators to tranquilizers—all with their negative side effects—to shock treatment) in his treatment of patients. This “expert” seldom considers the obvious link between nutrition and mental health, and will look instead for more esoteric causes for a person’s mental state, all appropriately labelled and tagged with intellectual-sounding psychological terms to create an aura of mystique, terms such as parental upbringing, peer pressure and so on, all of which have their place, but none of which is so basic and all-encompassing as the person’s everyday diet and regime.
Often the same people who run to doctors to ask them what is happening with their own bodies are the same types who run to an “analyst” to ask what is happening in their minds. These people apparently don’t place much trust in their own faculties. We have seen time and time again in our studies of Natural Hygiene that our bodies have incredible self-healing powers, given the proper conditions for healing to take place.
It is the same with the mind. People learn to work out their lives by solving each problem as it arises, so “people on the street” surely know as much about real life as the psychiatrist/psychologist with his framed university degrees. If not more. If ever we feel confused, we’ll do better to look inward and find out why, and see what we can do to change. In some cases talking it out is the best form of help around—we can talk to friends or counsellors who don’t prescribe drugs.
We Are What We Eat, Digest, Assimilate; and Think
Let’s leave the psychology books on the, shelf for the moment and get straight to the point: we are what we digest and assimilate of what we eat, and we are what we think (our thoughts determine our actions and our lives) and these processes are totally interlinked. Health is threefold: physical, mental and of the spirit.
In the words of the poet/philosopher Kahlil Gibran:
- “And tell me, people of Orphalese, what have you in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors?
“Have you peace?
- “Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a master?
Ay, and it becomes a tamer, and makes puppets of your larger desires.
- “And though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron. It lulls you to sleep. Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.”
Collective Consciousness—The Universal Mind
Since infancy most people in this society have been more or less preoccupied with themselves. Now that they have discovered that they should “know themselves,” they are more determined than ever to understand their minds. Where do all their thoughts come from? Sometimes they are self-originated, and others just seem to pop in from “nowhere in particular.”
There is also a universal mind, a collective consciousness, of which we are all a part. In an era where people are becoming increasingly self-aware, they realize that they do not exist completely separate from other human beings—we are all interdependent and part of a huge “aquarium” or microcosm in the sky: our planet earth. What we do and even what we think will leave its imprint someplace. Even if we feel “lonely” at times, we are never really alone.
Like children, we adults often continue to associate eating with gratification/satisfaction (Lesson 16). If ever there’s a twinge of anxiety, whether it stems from this loneliness or general boredom, we tend to think of eating to bring us some form of “relief.” If only we could fill the vague, cloudy, empty areas in our existence with something. Our goal is to find out just what to do with this energy. We create our reality, but just as we’d prefer to blame some mysterious “germs” for illness, rather than see that our lifestyle produces our state of health, we’d rather believe that “things just happen to us at random,” with no control from within. That way we are relieved of any responsibility. Nothing could be further from the actuality.
Our normal, physiological functions take place on the subconscious level, without the conscious attention of the mind. We may or may not be aware of these processes, depending upon our sensitivity. Our conscious thoughts are woven with our subconscious mind in a blend that determines our existence. One may wonder at science fiction that likens our minds to computers—indeed, some do resemble busy information gathering and storage centers that work day and night. Perhaps some minds still resemble rivers, wherein the person can become fluid, relax, and “go with the flow,” yet our compulsion for labels and categories in this day and age seems to grow.
People want labels for disease, labels for their thoughts—they are constantly searching for data. When will they see that life is more than the bits and pieces? It is the whole. Every time people seek to define something, the something will change, as does every other thing on the planet, from instant to instant. Yet we insist on definitions, facts, labels and data, and on externalizing what happens to us as being caused by coincidences or outside influences beyond our control. We’re caught by the whirlwind propaganda of our times: be somebody. How can we be somebody and at the same time not take ourselves too seriously? I guess we have to see that we must drink the water, but our lips don’t have to touch the cup!
Life enjoys setting us up for learning these lessons. The more we learn, the sooner we’ll be surprised at how few things are just happening to us at random.
Sometimes we’ll find that the harder we work at something, the more progress we make in realizing our goal. At other times, mysteriously, it seems to be just the opposite. Sometimes the harder we want something and more attached we are to our particular desire, the less we succeed, and the farther we are from our goal. How can this be? This is especially hard for a work- and goal-oriented society like ours to grasp. At times the conscious mind can interfere with the natural flow of events. When we stay only in the conscious mind and chatter on busily to ourselves, we may be missing intuitive subconscious messages trying to get through, just as it is difficult to listen and speak at the same time.
Let’s look at an example. I once noticed that I often found something I had lost just at the point where I was about to give up looking, i.e., my conscious mind would detach itself from the search for a moment, maybe even just due to a momentary distraction. Somehow at the precise moment the conscious mind ceased to work, the subconscious mind would take over and I’d have an intuition to look under a particular book or in a drawer, and lo and behold, there was the missing object. It took me awhile to realize what principles were at work here: the conscious mind can “block” the subconscious.
Some people are almost completely unaware of their subconscious minds, just as some people are unaware of their body’s innate capacity for self-healing and repair. They define the whole of their existence in terms of their consciousthoughts. This is very limiting, like trying to define the ocean in terms of the contents of a few of its drops of water.
Just as we can’t watch two channels on TV at once, most of us can’t tune in to both our conscious and subconscious minds at the same time. It can be done, just as one can juggle and watch a distant object instead of the balls, but it takes some effort at first. Usually we spend most, if not all, of our waking time in our conscious minds, entertaining ourselves with various fantasies, plans and ideas, or tormenting ourselves with worries and what-if’s, depending upon our moods. Often we don’t slip into our subconscious minds until we are asleep.
Just where is this subconscious mind? Well, most of us can think of instances where we’ve been aware of two types of knowing—we may know something because we were told, or we read it in a book or saw it with our own eyes. Or we may say that we know something “by intuition.” There is a fine line dividing these two types of knowledge, but most of us have had experiences of this “sixth sense.” As evolution of human beings goes forward, more and more people are discovering heightened sensitivity.
Many people consider it an upsurge of “spirituality”—not necessarily in the religious sense (though when some people are awakened they choose to define it as such). No matter what the name, it is clear that peoples’ minds are expanding at an increasing rate to include more and more dimensions. The universal mind also expands and increases with every moment. There are thousands of books and words to fill our minds; we try to sort out the truth. Many things in the universe remain unexplained. We often hear of “paranormal” events or the ability to receive information from the universal mind.
If we are tempted to be skeptical, we should wonder if people a thousand years ago would have laughed at someone who spoke of vehicles that could fly in the air. Before the invention of the microscope, no one would have imagined that there were thousands of tiny living creatures moving around in a piece of fingernail scrapings, but there are. People are notorious for believing “only what they can see,” but obviously a lot exists whether they see it or not. The mind has more potential than we can, at this point in our evolution, know.
Some people receive messages or information from the universal mind when they are dreaming. I myself have dreamed dozens of times of people (some who’d been gone for months), and then seen them that day, enough times to finally realize that I was somehow knowing in my dream and subconscious mind that I would see them—I had no conscious clue that they’d be coming. Many people have these types of dreams. Some see a person in a dream and later find out they died; some have seen houses on fire or other events that later came to pass, or were happening at the time of, or before, the dream.
The only explanation for such occurrences is that there is information accessible to people who can “tap into it,” by whatever means may best suit their consciousness, whether in a waking or a sleeping state. (For some people, whose minds are always busily centered in the conscious when awake, the sleeping state is the time in which they can best “submerge” into their subconscious minds, with no interference from the conscious stream of thoughts usually present.) Dreams also seem to be a type of “re-sorting” of information and events of the day, or the past, and some seem to reflect (or “work out”) our fears or anxieties, so we can’t just classify all dreams into one category.
There are different stages of consciousness even in sleep, because there are varying depths of sleep; so not all dreams are the “precognitive” type mentioned. After awhile you’ll be able to differentiate between your different types of dreams and whether they have any further significance for you. We shouldn’t become unnecessarily preoccupied with our “average” dreams, any more than we would with any other part of our past. But we should learn to recognize any signals or any other information given to us if we feel intuitively that they are being given to us for a reason.
When thinking about knowledge, consider this. If you were to look at the ocean from a boat, you’d see the surface waves, but how would you ever imagine all the millions of fish under the water, and the ocean floor teeming with life, if you’d never been down there or known anyone who had? How would you then describe the sea, in terms of what you could see“! Your description would be a part of the truth, not the whole.
So, when talking about the subconscious mind, let’s imagine a crystal clear pool of water, so clear that you can see the bottom of the pool and even the reflection of yourself and the sky behind you. When the pond is still, you are seeing both sides, the inside and the outside, above and below the surface, into both dimensions. When you stop thinking and mind goes quiet, it becomes clear like the crystal pool, and you perceive more than one dimension, the subconscious as well. But if you drop a stone into the pond, the surface is broken and both images, above and below are distorted. Your thoughts are like the stones.
When the mind is clear and quiet, we may call this a state of meditation. The inner voice can be heard; this is somewhat different from the voice of regular conscious thought, but you can distinguish between the two if you are sensitive enough. Knowledge thus comes from the inside as well as the outside, from a place we cannot see or measure, and yet we know it is there. Inner space is, after all, as infinitely deep as outer space!
We must not forget to look inward in this busy outward world. There is much knowledge to be found there, and we must learn how to “let go” in order to open the channels in the mind. Constant thinking blocks intuition and saps our energy—the mind needs rest just as the body needs rest.
As we go toward a lighter diet of fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, we will notice changes in our thoughts. We may find ourselves going through mental purgation as well as physical cleansing. Soon the mind will settle and become calm with the new healthy lifestyle, but whenever you feel an abundance of scattered thoughts, just let them go on by, don’t repress them. Just as people suppress their cleansing symptoms with drugs and interfere with the body’s natural healing process, so too do they sometimes hold in their real feelings. The result is a parallel to what happens when toxins are held in the body, only this time, wrong thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, etc., are the toxins: mental toxins.
Emotions—Releasing Mental and Emotional Toxins
Ever wonder why some people hold in their emotions? Some men are determined not to cry, for example. Women have traditionally been given more freedom in this area, fortunately for them. Children cry easily until they get the “message” to “grow up.” Stop and ask yourself why we even have tears, tear ducts and emotions, if not for a reason? Some people plaster their pores shut with, underarm deodorants to “stop the wetness,” somehow riot ‘ bothering to realize that the body’s natural eliminative sweat glands are there for a reason in the first place, to refrigerate the area and get toxins out. Who, in the name of wetness or dryness, wants to keep these toxins in their body? Who wants to keep others in their minds?
Those who have reached and kept to a 100% raw food diet say that they have gained health, peace of mind and serenity of soul that are literally indescribable. Our purpose in life is spiritual unfoldment (again, we use the term spiritual in speaking of the spirit, not in the purely “religious” sense). The body is a tool you use to work with, to carry you towards your goals in life. The better nourished the body is, the more clear the mind is, and the more beautiful the character becomes. The purer the body is, the more expansion of consciousness will take place. A livefood diet of our biologically-correct foods will bring spiritual awareness and heightened powers of intellect and sensitivity.
Practical Aspects Involved In A Change In Lifestyle—Part I
Honesty with Ourselves
Why does change come so easily for some people and so slowly for others? It all comes back to truth and honesty. How honest we are with ourselves determines the strength of our willpower. People who see the truth like a shining light and know a natural lifestyle is best for them, lose their false appetite for foodless foods, and change is easy. Other people choose to ignore the truth. Some of us find ourselves somewhere in between the two, and see the truth even though we give in to our temptations at times. We have our excuses, but are we not also choosing to ignore the truth and look the other way?
Obviously the easiest way to lose all the “cravings” is to undergo a lengthy fast, after which a person will desire foods that are good for him instead. Some people say they don’t have time to fast. Everyone has time for short fasts, one day a week, for example. Hopefully everyone has time, if they really look for it, for a longer one! How can they afford not to? We must find time for our health and well-being, for no one else is going to do it for us.
Habits—Breaking the Chain
“Humans are creatures of habits. Habits are conditioned responses—repeated performance of an action creates a mental pattern. We spend many years from infanthood in learning responses to many thousands of situations and circumstances. With set response patterns we don’t have to go through time loss and trouble in solving problems anew every time we face them—once we have solved a problem, we develop a solution as a fixed, automatic response—a habit. When situations occur, we unconsciously use our habit patterns.
We have more “conditioned responses” to carry us through more complexities than any other creatures in existence. However, sometimes these habits lock us into wrong conceptual frameworks, distorted outlooks, unwholesome practices, etc. Fortunately, like computers, we can be reprogrammed for better performance!” (T.C. Fry, How To Reprogram Yourself for Superlative Well-Being.)
Habits are made stronger by repetition, and many habits are self-perpetuating. Like the pendulum that swings to one extreme, the other extreme is the inevitable next swing. Some people live out the path of the pendulum quite literally in their lives, “awakening” in the morning with coffee and “relaxing” in the evening with alcohol. The law of dual effects states that stimulation is always followed by an equal amount of depression, and vice versa. People who are constantly altering their moods are swinging back and forth on the pendulum. Physical and mental balance and harmony must be restored to the body.
The following drugs and habits enervate the body with stimulation/depression cycles. At first the altered state seems “enjoyable”—once it becomes addictive, we crave its repetition more and more often.
amphetamines, barbituates, morphine, heroin, etc.
coffee, tea, tobacco, marijuana, caffeinated carbonated beverages, sugar, chocolate, non-caffeinated carbonated beverages (full of chemicals, etc.), strong spices, vinegar, salt
animal food such as meat, poultry and fish, preserved foods, concentrated sweets and starches.
For example, meats stimulate the body; then a subsequent depression occurs that “requires” further stimulation. We must learn how to recognize and break bad patterns. Food addiction is every bit as overwhelming, potent and destructive of the human organism as a heroin addiction, when you look at its awesome short- and long-term effects.
Yet many people cling to their culinary traditions in the face of all logic and reason, with mounting evidence (Hygienists have already been long-convinced) that many of their “favorite” habits are self-destructive. Why do they allow themselves to become puppets of fleeting desires, ignoring warning signs and playing a sort of Russian roulette with their health? There is an old expression that says “if you want to dance, you have to pay the fiddler.” Some people speak of karma: what goes around comes around. Others say you reap what you sow or you are what you eat.
People have become brainwashed by the media. Commercials show steaming portions of spicy, heavy meals at dinner time, to the tune of “are you hungry?” How often do we see a commercial for fresh, raw fruits or vegetables? Probably never! We must wonder about the mental health of a nation that runs on cereals, milk, meat, sugar, caffeinated beverages, snacks and processed foods, that washes off its natural skin layer with soaps and detergents, smothers itself in creams, lotions, perfumes, and as we said before, won’t even sweat. Some people’s eating habits are even regulated by time: they eat in a hurry and/or always eat at certain times, according to “convenience” rather than true hunger.
Are people truly becoming robots and prisoners of mechanical actions? What are they looking for in food? In Lesson 16, Mike Benton talks of food associations like sentimentality, security, family, rewards, friendships, childhood memories, and so on.
Love Is a Basic Human Need
People seek a sense of nurturing. They also search for shelter, a sense of belonging in a safe, secure and trusted territory, and a sense of purpose. Yet the one most important need they have is for love. People must have love, touch and contact with others. Let’s not underestimate this for a moment.
If you travel to another country you’re likely to notice that Americans (especially those who live in the cities) seem to be, for some reason, less tactile and more concerned with privacy and space than people of many other countries. This may sound like a generalization, but in the last decade here, there has been increased awareness of the need to “reach out,” as evidenced by an upsurge in “encounter groups” and all sorts of “therapies” encouraging people to hug one another and express more of their feelings.
Is it possible that some people’s isolationist tendencies stem from their unnatural birth experiences? Ever since doctors and hospitals took over, childbirth has become less and less natural. The traditional medical birthing ritual routinely separates newborn infants from their mothers and places them alone in cribs in the nursery, and one might ask what emotional price these children have paid. Did they “adapt” and, rather than become bonded in their first intimate relationship with another human being, adjust to their aloneness by becoming “more independent”? One can only wonder. In this society, families are also separated more often as people become increasingly mobile.
It’s not difficult to see that many people make up for that restless, empty space inside by eating. Why isn’t it obvious that we won’t find love and affection in a double banana split? The conscious mind may be reaching for a bag of chips, but the subconscious mind isn’t fooled. The person is no closer to his real desires, and the frustrations left behind because of unfulfillment are merely buried deeper, to be reckoned with at some later date.
Sound familiar? Just as we palliate symptoms of detoxification through drugging, so too do we resort to food for palliation of symptoms such as inertia, boredom, restlessness, thus leaving the mental toxins inside instead of dealing with our true feelings. Some people have difficulty admitting their true feelings to themselves. They may not see that it’s love and contact they’re after, deep down, but the subconscious knows, even if they don’t see it in their conscious minds. The games people play with themselves far outnumber the games they play with others. They must first fool themselves before fooling others.
Some of us “cheat” when “no one’s looking” (including ourselves, presumably) and eat something we’ve been trying to avoid. Trying to fool ourselves! We try to convince ourselves each time that it “doesn’t matter” or that “next time it will be different.” As long as our intentions are good, we are off the hook temporarily. But truth is truth, whether we like it or not. We must see our selves as we really are, not as we should be. Again, our subconscious mind knows what is really going on. If we choose to let our conscious minds rule the subconscious, we will remain captives of our lower selves.
“Stuck here trying to figure out the price of having to go through all these things twice…”
Practical Aspects Involved In Making A Lifestyle Change—Part II
Rule #1: See the truth
The truth is all around you, free for the taking. Open your eyes and you will see that people are destroyed in their prime by wrongful living habits. The more they indulge and consume, the more vital energy is lost and dissipated.
Rule #2: Live by the truth
How many times have we heard the old saying “actions speak louder than words?” Or thought one thing and done another? Once we know the truth, we’re only halfway home. We must teach our sometimes reluctant ego (our smaller self) the true meaning of freedom, that of being as strong as our dreams, that of really being the most evolved, radiant soul possible. Why settle for second best? Why, indeed? For that is what many people, possessing full free will and freedom of choice, end up doing.
The split second between desire and fulfillment of the desire is very crucial. The two can blend together into one before you know it. This is why it’s been said that the best way to deal with temptation is to cast it out before even beginning to think about it, because once you give a thought “an audience” by letting it assert itself, you’ve given your emotional self the go-ahead. You’ll need a will of iron now, for this is where some people give in, sometimes out of sheer frustration or irritation (and usually accompanied by some excuse to their higher selves).
When people have jaded taste buds, it becomes tricky to see the fine line between stimulation and enervation in foods. Some of them are so used to altering their moods that they may not remember
what a “normal” mood is like, what it’s like to be centered.
It all sounds so logical, so why are we tempted? Is it because we’re not really sure whether we should eat something? No, it is because we are sure deep down that we shouldn’t, but we are still arguing with our physical self.
The mental self and the subconscious self have already accepted the truth. Why do we sometimes refuse to listen to our inner voices? Only we ourselves know the answer to this question. We know how far we will go to follow truth. Either we will compromise and bend our principles (knowing full well that nature does not bend hers) or we’ll choose freedom. We all choose our level of awareness and level of being.
Knowledge comes to those who should have it, those that seek it, those that see. Some people put as much energy into not changing by not doing it yet, doing it halfway or thinking of changing, as they could just as easily put into changing, and getting it over with!
I remember a Chinese expression saying “much noise on the stairway, but no one comes through the door.” Somewhere between the dreamers and the cynics are the actual doers. There is a quotation in Composition of Foods that says:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
The truth may not seem easy at first glance, but it is simple. Change is easy when you want it. You have to love yourself enough to change. (No one else will do it for you).
Self-discipline is a positive force. Discipline does not diminish life—it increases it. When we decide to become true to our biological heritage, we are backed up by all the forces of nature and by life itself. We learn how to channel our energy flow and conserve our vital energy.
Those who are undisciplined waste their vital life force and spread themselves too thin. They drain their energy, making life harder for themselves. Life can be easier and the choice is ours.
“He who has a firm will molds the world to himself…”
“People do not lack strength, they lack will…”
Some say that 5% of the people in the world think for themselves and the other 95% don’t.
When you get rid of a bad habit, feel glad. If you kick the drinking habit, don’t think “now I can’t drink anymore.” Think “now I don’t have to drink,” or “now I am a free person.” (Now I am saving money, now I am saving energy, etc.). True freedom is freedom from need. The less you need, the more free you are. You aren’t denying yourself anything. You are giving yourself the greatest gift of all: life and freedom. You have chosen enlightenment.
“When you can control your tastes and appetites, you will be master of your self.”
“You will be a soul in a body, not just a body with a soul.”
Poets, philosophers and seers have written about this lofty state of being for centuries!
When you increase your willpower, you increase your self-confidence. You strengthen yourself to your highest potential.
Don’t just break bad habits—cultivate good ones. Don’t see your life as full of “restrictions.” See that you are gaining all your power and energy, all your beauty and all your strength. You’ll soon find that abstinence is easier than “moderation,” and that it’s easier to give something up than to indulge in it “just this once.” More energy is saved. We should live with nature, not against it.
If we are tempted to “make exceptions,” we must ask ourselves if we want to start the chain of habits again, giving reality anew to all the memories and obsessive compulsions attendant to them. We can’t be on both sides of the fence. Once we give up a habit, its memory and hold will fade with time.
When we truly see that what we eat today walks and talks tomorrow, we may feel that we are one of a “chosen few.” Once upon a time there lived a man who thought that the sun was the center of our solar system and everyone knew he was crazy. They knew that the earth was the center, and it was flat!
In habit and thought you are different from the crowd, but follow your instincts and do what you know to be right.
Rule #3: Visualize the positive
Please read the section on affirmations, Lesson 16, page 381. We must be aware of the subtle messages we may be giving our subconscious minds. Sometimes we don’t realize we are expressing our positive hopes in a negative way:
I hope it won’t rain
I hope we’re not late
Don’t slam the door
I hope it’s a nice day
I hope we’re on time
Close the door quietly
There is a certain power in the written and spoken mind, and there is a certain power in the way we formulate our thoughts. People with a strong will to live and a positive attitude live longer, other conditions being equal.
Smiling and laughing are healthy, both on the giving and on the receiving end.
When we want to encourage the body’s natural healing process when fasting or otherwise, we should not visualize the illness and the symptoms, which are a manifestation of the healing that is taking place. Instead, the body is to be imagined in its healthy state, visualized in the positive light, seen as we want it to be. Some people even speak of visualizing healing white light surrounding the sensitive area, protecting it. The idea is to focus positive energy on the body. This is vastly different from focusing negative energy on it; when we worry about symptoms we literally reinforce our “sick” state by lending strength to it with our thoughts.
A quick glance at the following two ways of life, the negative and the positive, will convince us at once to go with the life force, the positive!
|evil, revenge||good, forgiveness|
|inflexibility||change, fluidity, flexibility|
|apathy, indifference, laziness||vigor, strength|
|gloom, morosity||positive outlook|
|negative conversation, gossip||positive conversation|
|dissipation of energy||focus of energy, centering|
|attachment, envy, jealousy||detachment|
|hatred||love, touch, nurturing|
|anxiety, nervousness, tension||serenity, harmony, balance|
|dishonesty, deception||honesty, truth|
|self-deception, ignorance||vision, insight, wisdom,|
|paranoia||trust, faith, hope|
|loss of powers, death||increasing abilities, life|
“Mirror, mirror on the wall… who’s the fairest of them all?”
The key to rule #3 is the positive image of ourselves that we keep in our minds. When we see this image, we will see that improper, compulsive eating in the past distorted our bodies and our minds and revealed a lack of love for ourselves, as well as an escapist lifestyle. We experience what we believe, so we must believe ourselves to be deserving, attractive, desirable, and lovable. We must create the image of our highest self. If we do, we will then become our highest selves.
If you look at anyone who is “successful,” you will see their absolute faith in their ability to succeed. You must have faith in your inherent powers. You are not just a “victim of fate.” Remember that what passes to the subconscious mind can be translated into action. As we said, negative thoughts build upon themselves. If you entertain thoughts of failure and if you doubt your ability to succeed, you will generate negative energy. Many of your anxieties become self-fulfilling. “As you thinketh, so shall ye be.”
Let’s not think negatively. Instead, let’s cultivate positive thoughts, and create a constant flow of positive energy. We decide what mood will color our thoughts. It is best to choose friends, books, movies and thoughts that nourish our minds and aspirations. When we look at any food or drink and cannot answer the simple question “what good will this do?” then we should let go at once. Old habits and crutches only stand in our way of our liberation. Soon the good, positive lifestyle will be habit, as strong a practice as the lifestyle it replaced.
Rule #4: Eat the optimum diet and live according to your natural mandate
We have discussed the diet of fresh, raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and getting plenty of exercise, fresh air and sunshine, in earlier lessons.
Rule #5: Remember the Simple Joys of Life
Not only are they free, they’re fun. In a positive lifestyle we will find an abundance of joy. Singing, dancing, music, artistic and creative expression of all kinds, gardening—these are but a few of the simple joys of life. When we sing and dance, we join with the universe in its larger song, the eternal fountain of life.
Rule #6: Give of Yourself
In a television documentary on the life of Mother Teresa in India, it was said that she sent new volunteers to work in her homes for the dying, where they received their first dose of reality. One such volunteer came to her, a middle aged man given up to die of a heart condition by his physician. He’d apparently decided to put in some service to mankind before departing, but after working more and more with other people, and forgetting himself, his heart condition changed and he became well. (We know the role of diet in heart conditions, but some literature has also linked heart problems to people obsessed with themselves and with time, both of which will add stress to their lives.)
A person who doesn’t give readily of himself suffers from a sort of poor sluggish disposition too. Giving of oneself is sometimes harder than giving of one’s possessions. Either way, most people usually give to the persons of their choice, who are “worthy” to receive their generosity. We should give with the same readiness to strangers, since they are the same as every living being.
Kahlil Gibran says of giving:
“It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?
There are those who give little of the much which they have—and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours…
You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not so…they give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life—while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.”
Living in Excess of One’s Needs
Wealth—who hasn’t wondered what they’d do with a million dollars? In our search for “security” we should stop and reflect a moment. The easier it becomes for us, the more we should look to see what we can do for others.
Even when we feel the pinch financially, there’s always room to stretch, and there’s always someone with less.
Anyone living in excess of their basic needs is being self-indulgent if s/he doesn’t share. Just as the body with excess food becomes saturated or bloated or toxic, the spirit of a person becomes cloudy when s/he has more than s/he needs to get by. If one has health, happiness comes naturally. Beyond these, what will money buy? It can’t really even buy these, and this has been said in so many different ways by now that it seems we’d take it for granted. Yet we often lose sight of our perspective in the search for security.
Some of the most generous people I met travelling in foreign countries were people who had almost nothing.
If you can learn to be happy with nothing, think what you can do if something comes along!
If you want to keep pace with a world that is moving faster than ever, the best thing to do is relax. The younger generation is instinctively more open-minded and active because it has to keep up with constant change and expansion. We should be as fluid, tolerant and easy-going as possible at all times, and let go of our attachments. We don’t hold our breath if we want to live, and must let go of one breath and flow into the next one. We should be this fluid in our deeper selves. We don’t want our physical body or our minds to be rigid, contained or tied to one idea, rather they should be as changing, evolving and ongoing as life itself.
Negative emotions are only useful insofar as they can trigger us into positive action. A brief moment of anxiety makes us alert to something that needs attention. Adrenalin stimulates the body to action. Or negative emotions may serve as a release of pent-up feelings, a cleansing. Whatever their purpose, whenever they linger on and stretch into minutes and hours, we begin to drain our energy and enervate the body needlessly. The anxiety (or whatever) alone, without action, is futile once its initial purpose, that of “warning,” is fulfilled.
As long as we ignore stress, we are not in a state of mental well-being. Constant pressure injures us by interrupting the natural flow on a physical and mental level. Our brain becomes distracted and enervated. The autonomic nervous system gets out of control. We can feel the grip of stress in our necks, shoulders, facial muscles, feet, hands—we must break its grip.
The fear of failure can feel as threatening to us as an approaching train in whose path we stand. Your body can’t tell the difference—it just feels the stress. In a chronic stress pattern there is sometimes a crisis that arises to break the cycle. For example, illness will force the person to rest, for he’ll have an excuse to stay in bed or do nothing.
If only doing nothing were that easy. Some people are afraid that it means they’re apathetic or lazy. They’ve forgotten that one can creatively do “nothing.” Clearing the mind space and letting the universe inside for a moment can hardly be called nothing! People should remember to relax simply.
The simple repetition of a sound can relax the body and the mind. In meditation, breathing slows. Heart rate diminishes. The sensation is calming and relaxing. Relaxation response is the result. We know that we must change to good dietary habits for health, but it is worth noting that meditation has been seen to effect changes on the physical level as well as the mental level. Studies have shown that it diminishes irregular cardiac contraction, particularly ventricular tachyarrhythmias, and that it can reduce the number and intensity of anxiety attacks. Insomnia, tension and migraine headaches, and certain other kinds of pain may be reduced. Meditation helps lower blood pressure in hypertensive people, and has helped drug, alcohol and cigarette abusers too.
It has been effective in treating speech problems such as stuttering. One study showed a significant reduction in serum cholesterol levels after eleven months of daily meditation. Yogis and serious meditators can learn to control their pulse, brain waves, blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance, muscle tension, peripheral circulation and respiratory pattern and rate.
My purpose in mentioning this is certainly not to suggest that meditation should be a replacement for correction of dietary habits, but through meditation we may learn more about the powers of the mind, and this can help us on any level. We will be well-rewarded if we reach for both physical health and mental growth, for they go hand in hand. Meditation is a wonderful tool to employ in realizing self-knowledge.
Choose a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and get comfortable sitting or lying down. Close your eyes and let your mind drift. Let each thought go and quiet your mind. You’ll be amazed at first how often your conscious mind will insist on asserting itself, accustomed as it is in preoccupying your normal waking state. But continue to let each thought go. Try to do this for fifteen to twenty minutes, twice a day, as a minimum. You may do it as often or as long as you like. With time you will see more and more changes in the quality of your meditative state.
Some people read volumes on “psychic awareness,” but these books can only describe various dimensions of thought and cannot of themselves bring the awareness to a person. Not all people gifted with sensitive minds are book-educated. Some of them are merely wise in their simplicity. Just as a fast (with temporary elimination of food) renews and revitalizes the entire organism, so too does meditation (temporary elimination of conscious thought) refresh the mind and elevate the spirit to new heights.
Pure diet, fresh air, sunshine, warm baths, swimming, dancing, hiking, camping, gardening, exercise, laughter (and crying) and humor are all possible ways of dealing with stress. Mild massage can help. Care should be taken to avoid rigorous massage with extremes of vigorous thumping, molding and probing. This may result in over-stimulation, enervation and possible harm. In mild massage, touch and the human factor are at work. There is something magnetic and caring about another person’s touch that can do wonders. Love is truly healing.
Exercise should include some form of aerobics to get the heart pumping and circulation going. There was an inter-sting note in a book on longevity that said in one area with many old people the men seemed to live about 20 years longer than the women, with all lifestyle factors seemingly equal. Upon closer scrutiny, one difference was found: the women tended to walk around in their homes? on a flat surface, whereas the men climbed up and down the long, steep mountain trails for much of their days. They had well-developed, strong calf muscles which pumped the blood up to their hearts more vigorously—their circulation was better. So even when we walk and do housework and gardening, getting plenty of “old-fashioned” exercise, we must also do something with a bit more spark to it.
When I don’t run or swim, I find dancing at home a good way to get the heart going and get a variety of movements done. It’s my personal opinion that people miss a lot of fun when they reserve dancing just for special events or parties, or just for when they can find a partner.
Rule #8—Take your time
Time does not exist as we define it in our human terms. In fact, it even differs from individual to individual, from a child to a peasant in a field to a businessman checking his watch.
Before we are a year old, we live in an eternal present. At about 2, “today” appears, at 2 1/2, “tomorrow.” “Afternoon” and “yesterday” come at 4 and “days” at 5.
Kahlil Gibran says of time:
“You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable.
Yet the timeless in you is aware of life’s timeless-ness, and knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream. And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.”
Quantum physics says that everything is one and time in not linear. Modern physics sees space and time existing together at once, as if they were a block, without separation in the block. It is we as individuals who divide it arbitrarily into seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years, ad infinitum. While many people become more and more obsessed with and dominated by time, or bemoan their “lack” of it, it seems that children, primitive people, religious and mystical people all live in an eternal, continual present. When time ceases to flow in the fragments created by our words, we are enveloped by the stillness that all the great mystics have spoken about.
When you aren’t living in the now, and you slip into the past or the future, you are alive in a time that is not the real time of the moment. Your focus changes, and you are no longer centered, on balance.
When you think of time, does it seem that the last year has gone faster than the one before it? Do you often rush to get things done and fear that you’ll never have enough time? What is enough time? Be assured that each of us has all the time we need.
If you let your mind jump ahead to the year 3000 you will see in perspective how important it is that the vase be dusted, or whatever. When you watch ants, some will get lost up on a twig for what seems like ages, doing who knows what. We are like these ants at times, distracted off in our corners, filling our time with all sorts of busy activity that seems important to us. We must survive and find our priorities in life. But in our rush to survive, we must not forget to LIVE. Once a day at least (if not more!), remember just to live, only to live, not to do. Stop listening only to your constant stream of thoughts; it’s like looking in a mirror at yourself all day long—certainly most of us wouldn’t consider that a thrill. Get outside yourself and listen to the birds, the wind, the silence, and you will hear other voices speak.
Feel the life force within yourself. Remind yourself to slow down for a moment, long enough to enjoy the miracle, for truly your participation in life in this grand universe is a miracle. Don’t let life trickle through your fingers like the sand in an hourglass, so that once it’s gone, it’s too late and you never realized it. Don’t wait to live. Feel it. Stop wasting your time worrying about time. An 81-year-old friend told me at 31, when I was lamenting about not having enough time: “don’t worry, you’ll have all the time you need when you’re dead.” Likewise, we have all the time we need to live. So, we must live our lives fully, for quality, not quantity.
John Lennon said,
“Life is what happens while we’re busy making other plans.
Using Psychology On Others
Most of us have tried on one occasion or another to “convert” someone to a health regime or to use “reverse” psychology on children, all with varying degrees of success or failure. We all know at least one person so stubborn that we would be better off talking to a wall, too. We will have to know when to persist in hopes of turning a key in their minds, and when to let go of our need to change someone.
Everyone has the same opportunity to see the truth. Those who don’t see it are like someone whose eyes are closed when a shooting star goes by…can they then say that it did not go by because they did not see it?
It is always sad for us when loved ones will not see what we see as true. We all know someone with an illness that we’d like to help if we only could, if they’d only listen, if they’d only understand, if…
It’s hard to know what to say, but if you were to hold up a volume of cherished poetry in front of a person who cannot read and two people who can read, one will see words, one will read words and one will read between the lines of the words as well, beyond to another depth.
It would be difficult to make the book any more than a book to the one who didn’t read at all. It might not be much more than a book to the one who can read, but has less understanding. The third person, the one who sees more deeply, is really talking with the book’s author.
How do you explain your ecstasy after listening to a musical piece to someone who doesn’t feel it? How do you explain that the smell of lilacs is making you delirious with joy to a person suffering from a cold? How would you explain color to a person who is blind? In all of these instances, one can transcend words somewhat and get beyond them to another meaning, but different people will even respond differently to the same stimulus. We cannot expect everyone to see what we see even if they look in the same direction. Even if you hold up the same object, people see it differently.
This is what we must remember when faced with people who see and understand differently, and not become obsessed with changing their minds. We’ve seen parents try to change children, children trying to change parents, husbands and wives who try to change each other, friends who try to change friends, the list is endless. Someone always knows better. They beg and plead, or perhaps if these don’t work, they try trickery, or, finally, give up or become angry.
It is up to us to decide in each individual situation how to handle conversations on lifestyle. After we make the truth known, each person will change only when ready to do so. Some of us have a hard enough time changing ourselves, so we should understand this quite well when we see it in others. Dr Albert Schweitzer said, “Example is not just the best way to teach: It is the only way!” Let us first change ourselves, and let others see for themselves what truth is, manifested in our example. Truth is self-evident. Each person decides whether to live by it. I am reminded of the words in a song of the last decade: “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Certainly true; but let’s hope some of us can do better than that.
The following guidelines will help you in dealing with other people when the issues of diet/lifestyle come up:
Do’s and Don’ts
|relax||don’t get tense|
|speak slowly, calmly||don’t speak rapidly, nervously or argumentatively|
|avoid obvious tender discussion topics at dinner||don’t preach|
|suggest what you would do, mention what you do/or don’t eat||don’t tell others “do this/do that” in a dogmatic way, just because you do it|
|be patient||don’t lose your patience|
|be subtle||don’t be blunt or offensive|
|keep a sense of humor||don’t alienate others with your seriousness|
|do what you believe in||don’t try to prove yourself to others|
|be tolerant and understanding||don’t be too judgmental|
|“catch flies with honey”||don’t turn people off to Natural Hygiene|
|be humble||don’t be self-righteous, know-it-all|
|know your limits||don’t overdo your health “lectures”|
|be aware of others reactions; be sensitive to how much they want to hear. Does this person want your advice? Someone who does is more apt to listen and absorb what you say than someone who obviously isn’t interested.||don’t waste your breath|
|be optimistic and positive||don’t approach a health discussion with a negative “fire and brimstone” attitude|
|be gracious even if antagonized||don’t lose your temper or become angry when someone lacks understanding|
“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”
To what extent are we responsible for spreading the truth? We already spoke of setting a good example. The power of collective thought is barely even recognized, let lone understood, by most of us. We are all busy travelling through space and time, like millions of voyagers on a journey towards the future, a future that waits for us with population growth, extinction of species, computers, robots, space travel, genetic engineering, prosthetic devices and implants, more drugs and the unknown. Where will we fit in? How can the children of nature keep a healthy perspective?
When the first settlers came to America they were full of passion in their beliefs, ready to make it in the next world. The planet is much smaller these days, and there aren’t many new worlds left for us. What we do now affects one another more than ever before.
We might think that we are only responsible for ourselves, but it is this illusion that is responsible for destroying our life source: our planet. We must not let this happen. We are responsible for ourselves and others. The planet needs to be healed, and people need to live in peace.
Weapons have a way of being very unHygienic, even for people who eat raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. While we fret about the price of shoes and who’s ahead in the World Series, or plan our perfect diets, there are people who are busy making decisions for us, very grave decisions. They hold our destiny in the palms of their hands. Those of us who see clearly, see that just as doctors mesmerize the public with verbal slight-of-hand and drugs, our world leaders are trying to convince the masses that more weapons can “prevent” war. This continual addition of more complex and deadly weapons to our weapons arsenal has created such an over-kill potential (the planet can now be destroyed not once, but many times over) that it is like keeping a bottle of arsenic in the medicine cabinet to take to “prevent a cold.”
There is a riddle going around that asks: “if we are in a closed room with a gas leak and have four matches, how many must you light for an explosion?” The answer, obviously is only one. The nuclear freeze advocates have been trying to tell us something.
So, what kind of a lifestyle change shall we make? Shall we give up candy and pat ourselves on the back? Or shall we learn to weave our physical bodies, our minds and our souls into the whole tapestry of life in the most beautiful way we can imagine? We will be our larger selves, linked to one another all over the planet.
Let us reach out to those who need help. The more love that goes out into the world, the more healing that can take place. There is no greater purpose in life than helping others as we would help ourselves.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is so much suffering: having compassion, how can one be at peace?
Do you think you are different from the world? Are you not the world? The world that you have made with your ambition, with your greed, with your economic securities, with your wars—you made it. The torture of animals for your food, the wastage of money on war, the lack of right education—you have built this world, it is part of you. So you are the world and the world is you; there is no division between you and the world. You ask, "How can you have peace when the world suffers?" How can you have peace when you are suffering? This is the question, because you are the world. You can go all over the world, talk to human beings, whether they are clever, famous or illiterate, they are all going through a terrible time—like you. So the question is not, "How can you have peace when the world is suffering?" You are suffering and therefore the world suffers; therefore put an end to your suffering, if you know how to end it. Suffering with its self-pity comes to an end only when there is self-knowing. (J. Krishnamurti)
What else can I do after I change my own lifestyle?
Channel some of your energy into one of the following efforts to save our planet, our home and life source:
- clean up the environment
- solar energy and other alternative energy forms
- help free animals from exploitation, in laboratories and livestock farming
- save seeds, especially open-pollinated seeds
- organic gardening
- plant trees, especially fruit trees, nut trees
- plant flowers
- educate others
- music, dance, beauty, art
- love others
- shelter those who need it
- help others
Raw Food Explained: Life Science
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