CHAPTER VIII - Some Practical Rules
“ Che va piano, va sano”
vehicle is subject to constant renovation, old particles being replaced
by materials contained, in the blood, which carries and distributes
nourishment to all parts. It is, therefore, most important that the blood be pure, and that it
contains the necessary substances.
New blood is
formed from food and drink by the process called digestion, and
therefore “ good blood” depends on the right sorts of food and on
thorough chewing, which mixes it with the saliva (a chemical necessary
for the process of digestion), and prepares it for the stomach.
In the stomach it
is mixed with another chemical (the gastric juice) and partly digested, that is to say,
some of it is converted and passes into the blood; further on another chemical
(the bile) is provided and digestion, or the conversion of the nutritive
portions, of the food largely into blood, is completed.
Since it is
obvious that pure blood is essential to health, the practical man looks
after the purity of his food and drink. He is careful about his teeth,
bad teeth cannot chew; without chewing good digestion is not possible,
and inferior blood results, which means inferior health. Therefore, if necessary, get false
teeth, eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
Old materials of
the body (worn-out cells) are removed by the blood through the veins,
this impure blood is purified in the lungs by breathing fresh air. The
practical man therefore pays attention to his breathing and to what he
breathes. The correct way to breathe is through the nostrils, which are
constructed for the purpose, keeping the mouth shut.
Practise deep breathing daily to
exercise all parts of the lungs. Breathe fresh air. Live out of doors as
much as possible.
To keep the air
passages in nostrils clear, it is a good plan to practise (daily)
drawing up cold water with a pinch of salt in it into the mouth through
the nose, closing one side with a finger whilst doing so. This practice
also tends to prevent catching colds.
Breathe fresh air at night. You
cannot do this if the windows are tight shut, or, if open, are blocked with
curtains and blinds.
Drink pure drink. The best is the
juice of ripe fruits, the next best liquid is Nature's beverage - pure
Eat pure food in
moderation. Remember that too much coal shovelled on a fire will put it
out. It is a bad plan to eat many different kinds of food at the same
meal; consider the difficulty of digesting such a mixture.
Manufactured food is often
adulterated. Adulterated food is often poison. Impure food is not
economical, and does damage to the system.
If your food and
drink are right there will be no need for drugs. It is wiser to search
the cause of ill health in impure blood, that is, in the materials
introduced as food into the body, than to continue feeding on the cause
of disease and hope by medicines and operations to bring things right.
Get as much sunshine as possible
into yourself. Sunshine contains vitality. Admit lots of sunshine into
muscles daily, especially those that have little use during working
hours, fifteen minutes every morning should be sufficient for this.
Do not permit your body to become
the slave of any habit. Practise selfrestraint
and control of the body; make it obey your orders.
of actions; it is a good plan to determine on a routine in small matters, such as the time of
getting up, for exercise, etc., and make the body carry out the
of speech; think before speaking, and only say what is true, kind and
helpful. Avoid gossiping, and learn to mind your own business.
Do unto others (human and
sub-human) as you would they should do to you.
pleasant tone of voice, especially to your subordinates; there is little
difficulty in speaking pleasantly to one's superiors, or to those from
whom one expects advantage.
Perseverance and thoroughness are
most neccessary. The whole life must be regulated by the highest ideal.
Under all circumstances keep
good-tempered, and cultivate looking good-tempered and cheerful, this is
half-way to being so.
A kindly joke is often more
effective than the most reasonable arguments.
Learn all you can about the physical
world, and practise doing things for yourself.
Prastice observing details and
remembering them; it is easy to invent small exercises for this.
It is a good plan
if you have an important decision to make, say a letter to reply to, to
write your answer to the best of your ability and, if time permits,
delay sending it till next morning, then examine your letter from the
point of view of your correspondent, and see if you cannot improve your
answer; in most cases you will find you can so improve it that you will
When going to sleep it is important
that the last thoughts be good ones.
The astral body is
fed and nourished by the emotions; it is therefore necessary to
cultivate only the very best - such as unselfishness, sympathy,
adaptability, generosity, tact, spirituality, devotion, kindness,
cheerfulness, affection, etc. Besides exercising these, which can be
done every day, it is necessary to have them well under control and to
apply them with strong common sense. Undesirable emotions such as selfishness, envy,
uncharitableness, anger, depression, etc., and all that are not refined must by
disuse be rendered inactive and dislodged from the astral body.
happens tending to produce emotion, the Ego, the master of the vehicles,
must decide whether the astral body is to vibrate with emotion or not;
in this way control is gradually obtained, and under no circumstances
should the astral vehicle be allowed to “ take charge” and make use of the other two
vehicles as its slaves.
Learn to see God in all things. And
look for the highest and best in others. Always attribute the best
motives to others.
Refuse to be depressed (it is most
infectious). Remember all misfortunes are transitory. Refuse to get
angry. Refuse to be irritable.
Cultivate kindly emotions and
actions, with no idea of personal gain or reward.
The nature and
composition of that part of the astral world that interpenetrates the
physical plane depends very largely on the emotions of human and
sub-human beings. It is therefore clear that the emotional activity of
each individual is either improving the astral atmosphere or making it worse. Be
one of those who improve it.
When the astral
plane is full of evil influences, so generated and attracted to the
physical plane, we have wars, misfortunes, and catastrophes of all
sorts. The practical man will therefore do all he can to fill his aura
with good and kindly emotions, for as soon as sufficient numbers of
people do this, war and injustice will become impossible, the brotherhood of nations and of
individuals will become a reality, and both this earth and the astral plane
will be far more pleasant places to live in.
The mental vehicle is nourished and
grows by the thoughts it is fed on. Think, therefore, nothing but good
Practise daily thinking kindly of
your enemy (if you have one) and look at things from his point of view.
Think kindly thoughts daily of your
friends, and for the good of all people.
Always give others credit for
acting under the best motives.
Be very tolerant in all things,
especially the religious opinions of others. Remember that the outer form of
religion is unimportant.
description of the last judgment of all nations (Matt. xxv. 3246) those
on trial were not asked: What religion did you profess? Were you
orthodox? How often did you attend religious services? Did you believe
so and so? Not one of these questions so generally held to be necessary
for salvation was asked.
The questions on
which each individual was tried and sentenced were: Did you feed the
hungry? Did you give drink to the thirsty? Did you clothe the naked? Did
you visit the imprisoned? Did you take care of the sick? Did you lodge
the stranger? All practical questions in matters relating to the
individual’s dealings with others during his life and quite independent
of the creed he may have held.
Study the root of
Religion. That is, the spiritual laws. Apply them to everyday life. In
so doing you will find happiness, no matter what your surroundings may
Do not criticize
others (unless it is your duty to do so). It was Cromwell who said to
his Council: “ I beseech you, my brethren, in the sacred name of Christ to remember that you
may sometimes be mistaken.”
Do not be in a hurry to form
opinions, first obtain full information and look on all sides of the
of your thoughts. Consider frequently what you are thinking about, and
why, and if you disapprove of the subject reject it, and substitute
Do not let the mind get rusty from
disuse. The older you are the greater should be your mental power and
store of useful knowledge.
Read and study some useful subject
daily, and practise doing your own thinking.
Cultivate knowledge, seek lessons,
and trace causes in everything that happens.
The mind is most
efficient when it is calm, and when the physical and astral vehicles are so well under
control as to cause no interference. It is therefore necessary to
practise keeping cool and collected under all circumstances.
irritating events as traps which may be fallen into, unless by control
of the vehicles one is enabled to overcome the irritating condition and
thus avoid the trap.
Apply the test of
common sense to everything. Ask yourself: “ Is it reasonable?” “ Is it
kind?” “ Is it just?” and think and judge for yourself. It is no use
always using the thought of other people; that will not improve your
On waking in the
morning it is a good plan to let the mind run over the events of the
previous day and impersonally judge whether the thoughts, emotions and
actions were unselfish, kindly and the best possible; giving oneself
credit where due, but condemning freely where there was failure to take
the right course; then consider what can now be done to improve matters,
and also what should have been done at the time; so as not to be caught on a
future occasion by a similar experience.
Remember that a
large number of small successes in building character are as valuable as
a great victory, and victory in something big is unlikely unless success in small
matters has been attained.
Think health. That the physical
body, fed on the right amount of pure food and drink, is making pure
blood to nourish all parts. That its organs are doing their work
correctly, being kept active by proper exercise, and therefore the body
must become healthy.
emotional body, fed on pure, kindly and unselfish emotions, is becoming
greatly improved, attracting to itself good influences under the
spiritual law that “ Like attracts like” and is able to absorb more and
more of the Divine life.
That your mental
body, being fed on pure and suitable food in your various work, studies,
and everyday life, is becoming a more powerful instrument owing to the
Divine forces that are attracted and can now flow into it. That the
whole body, instead of fossilizing, is becoming more active, more sensible and more
full of life.
As a gymnast
invents new exercises for the better exercising of his muscles, so it is
easy for each to go on inventing rules to suit his or her
condition for the improvement of the physical, emotional and mental vehicles.
Finally it must be
remembered that though the soul may be exerting itself to lead a sensible,
healthy, and useful life, it is extremely probable that in the past causes
were set going whose Karma will have to be worked out in sickness,
disease, misfortunes, or perhaps imperfection of the vehicles.
The attempt to lead
a healthy life on all planes draws these Karmic results to a head, for
progress on the Path is not possible till the course is cleared of old
fetters and obstructions. So one often finds the awakened individual,
though living a higher and better life than he has ever lived before,
dogged by misfortune, ill-health, loss of fortune or friends - a somewhat
discouraging result. But the annoyance of this must obviously become less
and less as time goes on, provided no new bad Karma is made, for each
misfortune not only works out some old Karmic debt, but if patiently and
philosophically borne, the will power and endurance are greatly
strengthened. The individual is completing the necessary preparations for
very rapid advance on the path of progress and for taking a more active
and useful part in God's great scheme of Evolution.