CHAPTER VII - Diet and Health
KEY TO HEALTH
“ If wholesome diet will re-cure a man
What need of physic or physician?”
In commencing to
lead a spiritual life, the greatest of the practical difficulties is
found to lie in the attempt to improve and control the vehicles. Until
to some extent this has been done it is not possible to make much
progress on the Path.
The most easy
to work on of the three vehicles, and therefore the first to be taken in hand, is the physical
foundation for a spiritual life lies in a wholesome and controlled body. The simplest way
to obtain such a vehicle is by living on foods that do not contain
devitalized organisms of lower forms of life, such as flesh. In his
efforts to alter habits of the body as regards food and drink, the Ego
gains control and asserts mastership over the vehicle, refining it at
the same time.
By derivation the
word Vegetarian means “ one who thrives,” but it is usually
misunderstood to mean “ one who lives on cabbage” or similar
uninteresting foods. The word Fruitarian is equally unsatisfactory. In
using either of these terms, Vegetarian or Fruitarian, one refers to a
person who will have nothing to do with food obtained by slaughter. He
is one who lives on the thousand and one things provided by Nature,
which maybe summed up as “ the kindly fruits of the earth.”
This is no ascetic
plan of semi-starvation, but very much the reverse. All who have tried a
vegetarian cuisine agree that the dishes are palatable and can be made
suitable for all tastes.
The only reason
why educated people are not vegetarians is that they have never studied
or thought about the food question. In our schools practically nothing
is taught on the subject of food values and the effect of various foods
on the human body. It is most unfortunate for the health of the nation
that until recently the medical profession has overlooked this most
important factor of health. Dietetics and the
chemistry of food
do not receive anything like the attention they should, being
practically omitted from the curriculum of our medical schools. Happily
more and more medical men are now taking up the scientific study of
food, and it is noticeable that these physicians, instead of advocating
methods of surgical operation and drugs, cure their patients by
treatment and diet, and teach them how to live so as to avoid disease
The reasons why a
meatless diet is so superior are very numerous, and may be divided under the headings
of the vehicles affected, the physical, astral, and mental, of which I will
take the latter first, as it is the most important.
objection to the use of flesh as food exists in consideration of the
fact that the business of providing such food causes great degradation
to a very large number of men, women, and young people, who by the
pressure of the necessity of earning wages, are forced into the
disgusting trade of slaughter and its attendant horrors. Statistics show
that crime is more frequent and bloodshed more common amongst this class
of the civilization of to-day than in any other, a result which is quite natural, for you
cannot expect those whose lives are spent from morning to night in an
atmosphere of bloodshed and cruelty, to become anything but debased and
cruel, for by their environment their finer feelings must in time become
deadened. The women who, though they do not actually assist the
slaughterers in the slaughter-house, carry out much of the extremely revolting
work in connexion with what may be called the by-products of the animals
- these are sometimes called “ gut girls” - live a life that does not
tend to refinement, and they and their children suffer accordingly. In
some countries boys are actually employed in the slaughter-house to kill
small animals, to carry about buckets of blood, and is it to be wondered
at that children engaged in
such work become indifferent to bloodshed and cruelty, and their moral
nature is stunted? The whole
of this army, which numbers hundreds of thousands in Europe and America,
feel very strongly the temptation to drink. It is not surprising that
many in this way seek to dull their senses and thus further debase
As regards the
portion of the group soul that inhabits the physical form of an animal,
it is extremely bad for it to be driven out in a state of terror and
anger. It is man's privilege to give all the help he can to animal evolution, but when he takes
advantage of his higher powers, illtreats
and cruelly slaughters (for killing can never be kind), he fails in
his duty and
reduces himself to the level of the carnivora, who have the excuse that they belong to a lower
order of creation, in which the mental body is not as yet evolved. They
therefore merely obey influences which impel them to seize, tear in
pieces, and devour other creatures. One often hears it said that “
Nature is red in claw and fang,” a statement that is only partly true,
for it applies only to the least developed of animals, the scavenger and
carnivorous creatures. For with very few exceptions the higher animals,
as the horse, camel, reindeer, elephant, etc., who possess advanced
qualities such as usefulness, good temper and intelligence, are
and “ red in claw and fang” animals are not suitable as examples for
Man, who belongs to a higher evolution, many aeons beyond their stage,
and who should recoil from slaughter.
It will also be
remembered that Man's higher vehicles grow by the thoughts encouraged
and permitted; if then, in order to allow the physical vehicle the
fancied pleasures of a diet of flesh, the most important considerations
concerning the degradation of the slaughterer and his assistants, and
the great cruelty to animals are thrust aside, the food of the body
becomes a stumbling-block and cause of injury to the higher vehicles.
It is also
necessary to consider honestly the whole question of sport and
vivisection; for if it is wrong to kill sub-human creatures for food, it
is doubly wrong to hunt and slay for amusement, money-making, or gain of
any sort, advancement in spirituality being well nigh impossible whilst these habits of selfishness
and wanton cruelty persist.
By continuing to
eat meat one assists in the perpetration of the terrible cruelties
carried out in the slaughter of animals for food. This lack of mercy and
want of sympathy for the lower creation causes great harm to the
individual's emotional vehicle.
The weapon most
commonly used in England for slaughter is the poleaxe, which kills at
one blow if the animal is held motionless, if the slaughterer is strong,
if he is skilful, and if he is sober; four conditions, one or all of
which are frequently absent. For killing calves, sheep and pigs the
knife is used, a sickening operation.
But of the
cruelties and horrors of the slaughterhouse I will not write, because
each reader, if a meat eater, should personally visit these iniquitous
places, and should not be ashamed or shrink from investigating and
seeing the whole process before the flesh disguised
under the names
of beef, mutton, pork, bacon, veal, etc., appears on the dinner-table,
and then may eat if he or she finds appetite to make it possible.
Some people say
they are so sensitive that they cannot bear to think of these horrors,
yet these delicate and refined people (according to their own account)
eat without compunction dishes obtained by these very horrors. Could
anything be more illogical?
In the transport
of animals on shore there is undreamt-of cruelty, especially in
countries where distances are great, as in the United States, where from
official statistics it is estimated that every year about 110,000 cattle
are taken from the cattle trucks dead or mutilated on arrival at their
destination. At sea the motion of a ship must be as disquieting to an
animal as an earthquake is to us; then add seasickness, and broken
limbs from being thrown about, terror and thirst, for it is impossible
to go amongst the cargo of cattle in rough weather; the insanitary
conditions, the dead or injured. Words fail to describe the infernal
conditions, the fortunate ones being those who die soonest and pass out
of their misery; the matter being passed over in the newspapers with the
remark that S.S. Cattleboat arrived after a stormy passage with the loss
of so many hundred head of cattle.
returns give the following numbers for one year:14,000
thrown overboard, 1,240 landed dead, 455 had to be slaughtered on landing.
especially in out of the way places, are accustomed to employ very cruel
methods in driving cattle. And again on the approach to the
slaughterhouse many cattle (being sentient creatures) sense what is
coming and the one-sided
struggle for life begins.
meat-eater who eats meat because he was brought up from childhood to do
so, and has never considered these points for himself, deplores the
cruelty but shuts his eyes to it, or stifles his conscience by saying
that everything is as well arranged as is possible in this far from
perfect world, and, anyway, he did not make the arrangement. Both of
which statements are untrue, for flesh food is neither natural nor
necessary. And if he partakes of flesh he associates himself with,
becomes responsible, and thus creates Karma connected with it. The
damping of kindly feelings by false reasoning is extremely bad for the
emotional body, since callousness, selfishness and condonation of
cruelty are about as bad qualities as are possible to build into it,
producing a dulling of all good qualities.
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We now come to the
physical vehicle, and it is very easy to show that the flesh-eating
habit is unnatural, unnecessary, harmful, less nourishing and more
expensive than other foods.
First, to show
that it is unnatural, we have in England large numbers of people whose
bodies are not working well, since they are full of diseases and ill-health. The cause of this
must either be that the Almighty made a mistake in designing the human body,
and few will have the colossal impudence to make that suggestion,
or the reason of the failure must lie with the users of the instrument -
the body. Let us examine the machinery and see what foods Nature
intended man to eat. It is well known that animals living in a wild
state will only eat the food suitable for them, and if that is not
available they starve. If, then, we can find some wild animal similar in
construction to man, we shall, by noticing the food it eats, obtain the
information we require.
Compare the human
teeth with the teeth of carnivorous animals (lions, tigers, jackals,
vultures, dogs, etc.) it is found that they are totally unlike. Next
take herbivorous animals (cows, sheep, deer, etc.), again it is found
that the teeth are totally unlike. But when we compare with frugivorous
animals (the ape species), it is found that in number, shape and
position the teeth are virtually similar.
Now compare the
digestive apparatus of mankind with that of the carnivorous and
herbivorous animals, it is seen to be totally dissimilar; but on
comparing it with the frugivorous it is found to be identical in all its
classifies Man as belonging to the highest family of living creatures -
the Primates - frugivorous animals, whose food consists of the fruits of
the earth. I do not see how Nature could have answered our question more
plainly, that Man, by the structure of his body, is neither carnivorous
nor herbivorous; but having mental power he can, without violating the
principles of frugivorous feeding, cultivate and prepare an infinite
variety of foods; each habitable country having its own particular sorts
which science is now discovering contain the nutriment most suitable for
Man in that particular climate. Nature thus co-operating to provide Man
with a plentiful supply of food she has constructed him to assimilate, and
on which he thrives.
The physical body
is extremely adaptable and can in time be made to accommodate itself to
almost any conditions; this is what has been done in flesh eating
countries, children being forced to eat meat until the natural
repugnance is overcome, the natural taste vitiated, and the
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established. Example: If you put meat and an apple before a young child, it will always choose the
apple. The body frequently rebels against the unnatural conditions
forced on it, our medical men being hardly able to find names to attach
to the diseases which multiply from day to day.
I will now ask the
reader to take a common-sense view. Is it likely that eating dead, and
not only dead but decomposing, bodies will conduce to health.
Decomposition commences the moment life leaves an animal, and the
rapidity with which it proceeds depends chiefly on temperature. The
interior of the human body is always at tropical heat (98.4°
F.) therefore if food be not digested it will decompose. In carnivorous
animals this difficulty is allowed for, their digestive apparatus being
so constructed that food remains but a short time in their bodies; in
human beings it is otherwise, hence the danger.
Why do we keep
meat hanging for several days after the animal is killed before it can
be eaten? The answer, in plain English, is that meat is too tough until it commences to
decompose! Is it likely that eating such stuff will promote health? How very common
it is to hear that so and so is unwell because the fish was a little
unfresh - decomposition again. What numbers die of ptomaine poisoning -
the same thing - decomposition. Cooking is not a complete protection,
for though the outer parts may be heated sufficiently to destroy harmful
germs, the interior portions of the meat seldom become hot enough to
It is a most
unpalatable fact that England is full of disease. We have sanitation, science and upwards of
30,000 doctors, yet the population is unhealthy.
In 1912 the Chief
Medical Officer of the Board of Education reported that 6,000,000
children attending elementary schools in England and Wales had been
examined, and it was found that 3,600,000 were diseased, suffering from
defective vision, defective hearing, decayed teeth, tuberculosis, etc.
The standard of
physical fitness in recruiting for the Navy is high, so naturally only
those who think they are fit present themselves, yet about 50% have to
be rejected as medically unfit. In recruiting for the Army, where the standard is lower, matters
are even worse.
In England and
Wales it is estimated that 30,000 people die every year of consumption.
Doctors tell us that one man in every twelve, and one woman in every
eight, is doomed to die of cancer. Operations for
etc., seem to become more and more frequent. This state of affairs
cannot be wondered at when it is known that it is almost impossible to
find a domestic animal, that is one of the species used as food, that is
in perfect health. Examinations show that swine, cattle, sheep, etc.,
bred and kept under the unnatural conditions of captivity, suffer from
most loathsome diseases in addition to cancer, consumption, and a host
of minor ailments. Cancer is known to be very common in cattle, and many
a butcher, finding a cancerous part, cuts it out, and sells the
remainder of the carcass, being under the impression that he has removed
the danger. But science tells us that if one part of an animal is
cancerous, the whole body is dangerous, and any one who eats such food
is liable to the disease.
that consumption is so common in cattle that over half of them are
tuberculous, which means that if eaten they may produce consumption in
the eater; this gives force to the statement that if all tuberculous
cattle were destroyed it would practically mean the extinction of the
herds of Great Britain.
It is noticeable
that in this country disease and epidemics of all sorts are most frequent during the winter
months, when the animals bred for food are under more than usually
insanitary conditions, crowded in sheds and getting less fresh air,
fresh food, or exercise than during the summer.
One would like a
straightforward answer to the question “ What becomes of sick animals?”
We have in England millions of animals bred for food. Obviously very
large numbers of these must occasionally be unwell. How is it that one
never comes across the funeral of an animal? How are diseased animals
disposed of? To bury the carcass of a cow, sheep, or pig is no easy
matter, and cannot easily be hidden, yet one never meets a party of men
so engaged. It is disgusting to think that many diseased animal corpses
are buried in the bodies of living people. Man indeed makes of his
stomach a cemetery.
This, of course,
is a money matter. When it is noticed that an animal is sick, instead of
separating the creature for treatment, and at death burning or burying
the carcass, it is most common to fatten the beast on oil cakes and
hasten the still sick animal to the butcher - before it is too late -
so that money may not be
lost. The meat eater, therefore, who may often be heard congratulating
himself that he eats good English meat - “ None of your foreign
rubbish,” he would say - very frequently feeds on diseased flesh (for
most disease cannot be discovered without a
examination of each piece of meat), with the result that the standard of
health in England falls lower and lower until ill-health has become so
prevalent as to be looked on as something quite natural, unavoidable and
On the other hand
there are an increasing number of English men, women and children, who
avoiding the dangers of flesh foods, find they are remarkably immune
from cancer, consumption, and appendicitis, and the host of uric acid
diseases, such as rheumatism, gout, dyspepsia, indigestion, headache,
epilepsy, skin diseases, etc., etc., and many who formerly were ill have
been cured by giving up flesh foods and adopting a scientific diet.
In looking back on
the history of the world, we find innumerable millions who, though
celebrated for strength, vigour and athletic prowess, were
non-flesh-eaters. We have the ancient Britons, who lived on berries,
acorns and water, whom Plutarch tells us began to grow old at 120 years.
The athletes of ancient Greece, the Spartans, and the gladiators, who
made physical perfection a speciality, were vegetarians. In the present
day old people in the country tell us that in their young days (before
steam had made cattle-ships and the trade in frozen meat possible),
there were no butchers' shops and meat was very scarce, and under these
conditions the agricultural labourer was stronger and less diseased. The
vast majority of the “ toilers,” the so-called working classes of the
world, whose capital in life is health and muscle, are nonflesh-eaters.
In Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Italy, Turkey, the Balkan States,
Russia, and other parts of Europe multitudes thrive on such simple foods
as potatoes, porridge, wholemeal or black bread, mealies, macaroni,
cheese, porridge of chestnut flour, olives, oil, vegetables and fruits.
One sees whole countries in which the national food is a non-flesh one,
for example; Arabia, dates and milk; Egypt, coarse bread of wheat, millet or
maize, dates, beans, lentils, melons and other fruits; India and China, rice
and fruits; Manchuria, rice and beans. A good example of the physical
fitness of vegetarians was seen at the time of the relief of the Peking
Legations during the Boxer troubles, when the Japanese out-marched the
soldiers of all other nations. Again in their war with Russia, these
people showed the world the extraordinary physical fitness of their
meatless navy and army; the general health of the Japanese nation being
a standing reproach to the flesh-eaters of Europe.
I do not say that
you cannot be strong on flesh food. What I maintain is that without it
you can be just as strong and in much better health. My point is that
flesh food is unnecessary.
At the present
moment it is estimated roughly that from half to threequarters of the
total population of the world are non-flesh-eaters. As regards brain
power, amongst those who have lived in the past are found some of the
noblest and most intellectual of humanity, as may be seen from the
following short list:- Zoroaster, Pythagoras, Buddha, Isaiah, Daniel,
Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, John Wesley, Franklin, Goldsmith, Ray, Paley,
Byron, Hypatia, Diogenes, Ovid, Plutarch, Seneca, Appolonius, Asoka, the
Apostles Matthew, James, James the Less, Peter, the Christian fathers
Clement, Basil, Tertullian, Marcion, Origen, Chrysostom, Jerome, etc.,
food is three or four times more nourishing than flesh food is shown by
chemical analysis, which gives the total nutriment contained in grains
and cereals as 8o to 86 per cent.; in various nuts, from 8o to 94 per cent.; in
lentils, peas, beans, etc., 82 to 84 per cent.
numbers with the percentage of nutriment contained in flesh foods. The
numbers are mutton, 28 per cent.; beef, 28 per cent.; veal, 37 per cent.; poultry, 26 per
cent.; fish, 22 per cent.
It is recognized
that fat is an absolute necessity to well-being, and one would naturally
ask, “ Is it not better to take this element into our system in a pure
form rather than the animal substance plus its contained poisons?” The
percentage of fat, weight for weight, is three times exceeded in nuts as
compared to meat.
It will be seen
that in purchasing vegetarian foods, not only are the materials cheaper, but you get a
greater quantity of nutriment.
Fruits contain a
small amount of nutriment, but owing to their acids and salts have very
great medicinal value. Another great advantage which is most important
for health is that on non-flesh foods you are able to vary your diet
according to climate and occupation. If cooking is inconvenient it may
be dispensed with altogether, for it is easy and very wholesome to live on bread, cheese,
salads, nuts and fruits.
Meat is, in
reality, vegetable second-hand. For the size, strength and fatness of
domestic creatures is derived from the nutritive properties of the food
eaten, which for cattle and sheep are taken from the vegetable kingdom.
Sometimes it is
said: If animals were not eaten they would overcrowd and eat us up! But
exactly the opposite is the case; as soon as meateating ceases,
breeding animals for food will stop, and the land now used for grazing
will be available for more useful purposes.
In food reform is
wrapped up many important social reforms which will automatically come
into effect as soon as sufficient numbers of people break away from the
First. A great
amount of cruelty will be abolished, and the teaching of children that
cruelty is permissible will cease. The nation, becoming humane about
food, will become more humane in other directions. Flesh-eating England
has the disgrace of requiring societies for the prevention of cruelty
not only to animals but also to children. On the other hand vegetarian
Japan, to take one instance of a non-flesh-eating people, is often
described by English writers as “ the children's paradise.”
national temper will improve. It is well known that the greatest cause
of ill temper is indigestion, the result of eating unnatural food. Therefore, to the great
advantage of every one, when the change of diet is made, temper improves!
Third. There will
be much less disease. Many doctors and surgeons agree that on the
scientific non-flesh diet being generally adopted their occupations will
disappear, surgery except for injury become rare, and hospitals be
national curse of drink will diminish, and it follows crime will be reduced, because those who
live on natural foods do not have the craving for alcoholic drink, as
happens with the meat eater. A vegetarian drunkard is practically
unknown. The Salvation Army takes advantage of this fact, and has
permanently cured numbers of the many cases of habitual inebriety it has
dealt with, by the methods of putting the patient on a fruitarian diet.
The craving for
drink is the outcome of a congested system caused by over-stimulation by
a meat diet; the drunkard craves for a stronger stimulant to expel the
Unemployment would be lessened, because instead of a few men now
required to attend cattle, sheep and pigs, very large numbers of workers would be wanted to grow
fruits, cereals and vegetables. Experts tell us this could be done in our
own country, which is one of the most fertile in the world. Instead of
our rural population crowding to the
cities as at
present, those born in cities would move out to the country, they being
required for the wholesome occupation of agriculture. It is calculated
that about £ 150,000,000 is annually spent on
flesh foods by English people. Most of this money goes out of the
country, as it is spent on imported animals (dead or alive). It will
clearly be an advantage when
this vast sum is expended on the products of our own land.
Sixth. There will
be a great improvement in our towns and villages from the gradual disappearance of shops
in which animal bodies are exposed for sale, a disgrace to our boasted
civilization. Instead of the disgusting stench from such shops, we shall
have others full of fruits and vegetables, which, with the
reduction of drink palaces due to the fallingoff
of the demand for alcohol, will be one of the greatest improvements it
is possible to imagine.
In making the
change of diet determined effort is required, some people taking a few
weeks before the habitual craving for flesh foods is overcome, but once
this is done there is no further trouble, and practical advantages begin
to be felt, nearly every one finding some or all of the following
The brain becomes clearer, and one
feels that work can be continued after meals.
No headache and a
great improvement in general health.
No indigestion and
therefore better temper.
The craving for
drink ceases, and it is easy to give up alcohol altogether.
endurance and the capacity of going for a long time without meals
without inconvenience. No ravenous hunger as mealtime approaches.
The house becomes fresher and
cleaner, there is no smell of burning flesh; less flies, there being no
offensive matter to attract them.
No doctor's visits
No use for
medicines. If not quite well, consideration of the mixture of the foods
eaten at the same meal will usually indicate what is wrong, and a slight
change put things right.
The teeth become better, since
vegetarian food does not cause them to decay.
Many find they are no longer liable
to coughs and colds, or if these are caught, the system is strong enough
to throw them off very quickly, and
there is almost entire freedom from
inflammation with consequent rise of temperature.
The cooking is cleanly, economical
There is the assurance of freedom
from the responsibility resultant of slaughter.
The more these
matters are studied the more clearly is it seen that the flesh-eating
habit is cruel, unnecessary, unnatural, harmful, and the cause of many
social evils; the question arises, why not break with so unsatisfactory
a habit, substitute a purer diet, and take the first step towards health
on all planes?
The practical man
in making this change will first have his cook taught the new cookery,
and find out for himself what foods should be taken in lieu of meat, for
it would be extremely foolish to leave off flesh-eating without
considering what to eat instead of it.
The human body is far more
complicated than is popularly imagined, for it really consists of three
separate vehicles which powerfully affect each other, a fact which
science has already grasped in recognizing that many diseases are due to
causes other than physical, and that an unhealthy mental or emotional
body may affect the physical so as to disarrange it and cause discomfort
and ill-health. The physician therefore frequently orders change of
mental occupation as part of his prescription; but it is necessary
to go much further.
immunity from disease are natural and our birthright, but in our present
civilization we have drifted into an unnatural way of living and have temporarily lost
sight of the art of living healthily. The blessings of perfect health
depend on very much more than merely living in accordance with hygienic
physical plane laws, or the food reformers would by practical
demonstrations have long ago proved their case and converted the whole
civilized world, whereas many food reformers are not at all good
specimens of health and strength, the fact being that though food reform
with its non-flesh diet is essential, it deals only with one-third of
the whole body. For a completely healthy body we must also deal with the
one-third composing the emotional vehicle, and the remaining very
important third part, the mental vehicle. All of these must be taught to
live in accord with the spiritual laws, and in harmony with each other,
for the complete body to be healthy.
In considering the
physical body, we know the factors and laws on which its health depends.
You would not expect it to be healthy if exercise were given only to a
few muscles of a hand or arm, and the remainder of the body and its
members were unexercised and entirely neglected. So it is not reasonable
to expect (as many do) that the emotional or mental bodies will be
healthy if only a small portion of them is used. Some exercise only the
devotional part of their emotional vehicle, others one section only of
the mental body and allow the remainder to stagnate, and so they become
unevenly developed, which may
cause ill-health of a particular vehicle, and therefore of the whole.
over-development of the emotional body may be read in history of people
who took a one-sided and narrow view of religion, but, neglecting
mercifulness and tolerance, went to the extreme of torturing and killing
those who did not share the religious views they happened to hold; in a
smaller and less harmful degree this one-sided development may be seen
in people who in these days will not associate or do business with
others whose religious beliefs differ from their own, nor engage
servants or extend their charity to those who are not of exactly the
same faith. Then there are emotional people who, though having a
sympathetic and well-developed astral vehicle, have neglected the mental
qualities that give balance as well as control. They overflow with
emotion out of all proportion to the cause, and are easily taken in by
an appeal to the emotional
aspect of the case, and, though good and kindly, are often by indiscriminate charity
a cause of much harm to others.
fanatic is another instance of one-sided development of the vehicles
perverting his sense of proportion. Then there is the cold religionist,
with quite sound and logical views about things spiritual as far as the
mental body is concerned, but who neglects the emotional body, and
therefore appears to others to be hard and without human feelings, and
to hold a cold-blooded religion that appeals to very few, and obviously
has something incomplete about it, such people being cheerless, depressing, and
unconvincing to listen to.
True religion has
the effect of vivifying and developing the good qualities of all the
vehicles, so that any one who has really grasped spiritual truths
literally exudes happiness, cheerfulness, contentment, kindly feeling,
and good-humour to all around.
For health, every
department of the physical, astral and mental vehicles must receive
attention, and be given suitable food and exercise for growth and
improvement. Also, between these three there must be
perfect harmony as
well as perfect control by the indwelling spirit, the three bodies being
first brought up to a corresponding state of development. For instance, if
physical health has been neglected, an extra amount of time must be spent
in bringing it up to its right tone or vibration, so that all three
vehicles, being at the same level of development, may have no difficulty
in keeping step, as it were, with each other on the march of progress. To
obtain the best results one
vehicle must not be allowed to rush ahead and outstrip the others.
The more nearly the
development of the three vehicles corresponds, the greater will be the
harmony between them and the easier the progress. Then the Divine forces
will be able to penetrate and pass freely through the force centres of
each vehicle, first into the centres of the mental body, vivifying the
mental vehicle, then passing into the corresponding centres of the astral
body, bringing life and activity to it; next flowing into the
corresponding centres of the physical body, flooding it with vitality and
so energizing all the vehicles.
After all is it not
reasonable to expect that a highly developed mental body will work and
harmonize best with highly developed emotional and physical vehicles, but
if the mental is well developed and the others neglected, lunacy may
result. Genius is often said to be akin to madness, which is true if the high development
of the mental body, called genius, is allied to a physical or emotional
vehicle which does not come near enough up to the same standard, or where
control by the Ego of his vehicle is lacking.
The conclusion of
the matter being that for health on all planes we must learn and obey the
law pertaining thereto.