Source: "Occult Principles of Health & Healing" by Max Heindel
THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION:
If we begin with the dense vehicle and consider the physical means avail-
able to improve it and make it the best possible instrument for the Spirit
and afterward consider the spiritual means to the same end, we shall be in-
cluding all the other vehicles as well; therefore we shall follow that
The first visible state of a human embryo is a small, globulous, pulpy or
jelly-like substance, similar to albumen, or the white of an egg. In this
pulpy globule various particles of more solid matter appear. These
gradually increase in bulk and density until they come in contact with one
another. The different points of contact are slowly modified into joints or
hinges and thus a distinct framework of solid matter, a skeleton, is
During the formation of this framework the surrounding pulpy matter ac-
cumulates and changes in form until at length that degree of organization
develops which is known as a foetus. This becomes larger, firmer, and more
fully organized up to the time of birth, when the stage of infancy begins.
The same process of consolidation which commenced with the first visible
stage of existence, still continues. The being passes through the different
stages of infancy, childhood, youth, manhood or womanhood, old age, and at
last comes to the change that is called death.
Each of these stages is characterized by an INCREASING DEGREE OF HARDNESS
There is a gradual increase in density and firmness of the bones, ten-
dons, cartilages, ligaments, tissues, membranes, the coverings and even the
very substance of the stomach, liver, lungs, and other organs. The joints
become rigid and dry. They begin to crack and grate when they are moved,
because the synovial fluid, which oils and softens them, is diminished in
quantity and rendered too thick and glutinous to serve that purpose.
The heart, the brain, and the entire muscular system, spinal cord,
nerves, eyes, etc., partake of the same consolidating process, growing more
and more rigid. Millions upon millions of the minute capillary vessels
which ramify and spread like the branches of a tree throughout the entire
body, gradually choke up and change into solid fibre, no longer pervious to
The larger blood vessels, both arteries and veins, indurate, lose their
elasticity, grow smaller, and become incapable of carrying the required
amount of blood. The fluids of the body thicken and become putrid, loaded
with earthy matter. The skin withers and grows wrinkled and dry. The hair
falls out for lack of oil. The teeth decay and drop out for lack of
gelatine. The motor nerves begin to dry up and the movements of the body
become awkward, and slow. The senses fail; the circulation of the blood is
retarded; it stagnates and congeals in the vessels. More and more the body
loses its former powers. Once elastic, healthy, alert, pliable, active, and
sensitive, it becomes rigid, slow, and insensible. Finally, it dies of old
The question now arises, What is the cause of this gradual ossification
of the body, bringing rigidity, decrepitude and death?
From the purely physical standpoint, chemists seem to be unanimous in the
opinion that it is principally an increase of phosphate of lime (bone mat-
ter), carbonate of lime (common chalk), and sulphate of lime (plaster of
paris), with occasionally a little magnesia and an insignificant amount of
other earthy matters.
The only difference between the body of old age and that of childhood is
the greater density, toughness and rigidity, caused by the greater propor-
tion of calcareous, earthy matter entering into the composition of the
former. The bones of a child are composed of three parts of gelatine to one
part of earthy matter. In old age this proportion is reversed. What is the
source of this death-dealing accumulation of solid matter?
It seems to be axiomatic that the entire body is nourished by the blood
and that everything contained in the body, of whatever nature, has first
been in the blood. Analysis shows that the blood holds earthy substances of
the same kind as the solidifying agents--and mark!--the ARTERIAL blood con-
tains more earthy matter than the VENOUS blood.
This is highly important. It shows that in every cycle the blood depos-
its earthy substances. It is therefore the common carrier that chokes up
the system. But its supply of earthy matter must be replenished; otherwise
it could not continue to do this. Where does it renew its deadly load?
There can be but one answer to that question--from the food and drink; there
is absolutely no other source.
The food and drink which nourish the body must be, at the same time, the
primary source of the calcareous, earthy matter which is deposited by the
blood all over the system, causing decrepitude and finally death. To sus-
tain physical life it is necessary that we eat and drink, but as there are
many kinds of food and drink, it behooves us, in the light of the above
facts, to ascertain, if possible, what kinds contain the smallest proportion
of destructive matter. If we can find such food we can lengthen our lives,
and from an occult standpoint, it is desirable to live as long as possible
in each dense body, particularly after a start has been made toward the
path. So many years are required to educate, through childhood and hot
youth, each body inhabited, until the Spirit can at least obtain some con-
trol over it, that the longer we retain a body that has become amenable to
the Spirit's promptings, the better. Therefore it is highly important that
the pupil partake of such food and drink only as will deposit the least
amount of hardening matter and at the same time keep the excretory organs
The skin and the urinary system are the saviors of man from an early
grave. Were it not that by their means, most of the earthy matter taken
from our food is eliminated, no one would live ten years.
It has been estimated that ordinary, undistilled spring water contains
carbonate and other compounds of lime to such an extent that the average
quantity used each day by one person in the form of tea, coffee, soup, etc.,
would in forty years form a block of solid chalk or marble the size of a
man. It is also a significant fact that although phosphate of lime is al-
ways found in the urine of adults, it is not found in the urine of children,
because in them the rapid formation of bone requires that this salt be re-
tained. During the period of gestation there is very little earthy matter
in the urine of the mother, as it is used in the building of the foetus. In
ordinary circumstances, however, earthy matter is very much in evidence in
the urine of adults and to this we owe the feat that physical life reaches
even its present length.
Undistilled water, when taken internally, is man's worst enemy, but used
externally, it becomes his best friend. It keeps the pores of the skin
open, induces circulation of the blood and prevents the stagnation which af-
fords the best opportunity for the depositing of the earthy, death-dealing
phosphate of lime.
Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood, said that health de-
notes a free circulation and disease is the result of an obstructed circula-
tion of the blood.
The bathtub is a great aid in keeping up the health of the body and
should be freely used the aspirant to the higher life. Perspiration, sen-
sible and insensible, carries more earthy matter out of the body than any
As long as fuel is supplied and the fire kept free from ashes, it will
burn. The kidneys are important in carrying away the ashes from the body,
but despite the great amount of earthy matter carried away by urine, enough
remains in many cases to form gravel and stone in the bladder, causing
untold agony and often death.
Let no one be deceived into thinking that water contains less stone be-
cause it has been boiled. The stone that forms on the bottom of the tea-
kettle has been left there by the evaporated water which escaped from the
kettle as steam. If the steam were condensed, we should have distilled wa-
ter, which is an important adjunct in keeping the body young.
There is absolutely no earthy matter in distilled water, nor in rain wa-
ter, snow or hail (except what may be gathered in contact with house-tops,
etc.), but coffee, tea, or soup made with ordinary water, no matter how long
boiled, is not purified of the earthy particles; on the contrary, the longer
they are boiled, the more heavily charged with ash they become. Those suf-
fering from urinary diseases should never drink any but distilled water.
It may be said generally of the solid foods we take into our systems,
that fresh vegetables and ripe fruits contain the greatest proportion of nu-
tritious matter and the least of earthy substances.
Proper food given at the right time and under the right conditions will
not only cure but prevent disease.
It is popularly supposed that sugar or any saccharine substance is inju-
rious to the general health, and particularly to the teeth, causing their
decay and the resulting toothache. Only under certain circumstances is this
true. It is harmful in certain diseases, such as biliousness and dyspepsia,
or if held long in the mouth as candy, but if sparingly used during good
health and the amount gradually increased as the stomach becomes accustomed
to its use, it will be found very nourishing. Horses, cows, and other ani-
mals are all fond of the refuse syrup fed to them. They grow fat in
harvest time, their coats becoming sleek and shining. Horses fed on boiled
carrots for a few weeks will get a coat like silk, owing to the saccharine
juices of that vegetable. Sugar is a nutritious and beneficial article of
diet and contains no ash whatever.
Fruits are an ideal diet. They are in fact evolved by the tree to induce
animal and man to eat them, so that the seed may be disseminated, as flowers
entice bees for a similar purpose.
Fresh fruit contains water of the purest and best kind, capable of per-
meating the system in a marvelous manner. Grapejuice is a particularly won-
derful solvent. It thins and stimulates the blood, opening the way into
capillaries already dried and choked up--if the process has not gone too
far. By a course of unfermented grapejuice treatment, people with sunken
eyes, wrinkled skins and poor complexions become plump, ruddy, and lively.
The increased permeability enables the Spirit to manifest more freely and
with renewed energy.
Considering the body from a purely physical standpoint, it is what we
might call a chemical furnace, the food being the fuel. The more the body
is exercised, the ore fuel it requires. It would be foolish for a man to
change an ordinary diet which for years had adequately nourished him, and
take up a new method without due thought as to which would be the best for
serving his purpose. To simply eliminate meats from the ordinary diet of
meat-eaters would unquestionably undermine the health of most persons. The
only safe way is to experiment and study the matter out first, using due
discrimination. No fixed rules can be given, the matter of diet being as
individual as any other characteristic. All that can be done is to describe
the general influence of each chemical element, allowing the aspirant to
work out his own method.
Neither must we allow the appearance of a person to influence our judg-
ment as to the condition of his health. Certain general ideas of how a
healthy person should look are commonly accepted, but there is no valid rea-
son for so judging. Ruddy cheeks might be an indication of health in one
individual and of disease in another. There is no particular rule by which
good health can be known except the feeling of comfort and well-being which
is enjoyed by the individual himself, irrespective of appearances.
Water is the great solvent.
Nitrogen or protein is the essential builder of flesh, but contains some
Carbohydrates or sugars are the principle power-producers.
Fats are the producers of heat and the storers of reserve force.
Ash is mineral, earthy, and chokes the system. We need have no fear of
not obtaining it in sufficient quantities to build the bones; on the con-
trary, we cannot be too careful to get as little as possible.
The calorie is the simple unit of heat. In a pound of Brazil nuts, for
instance, when bought at the market, 49.6 per cent of the whole is waste
(shells), but the remaining 50.4 per cent contains 1485 calories. That
means that about one-half of what is bought is waste, but the remainder con-
tains the number of calories named. That we may get the nearest amount of
strength from our food we must pay attention to the number of calories it
contains, for from them we obtain the energy required to perform our daily
Chocolate is the most nutritious food we have; also cocoa, in its pow-
dered state, is the most dangerous of all foods, containing three times as
much ash as most of the others, and ten times as much as many. It is a pow-
erful food and also a powerful poison, for it chokes the system more quickly
than any other substance.
Of course, it will require some study at first to secure the best nour-
ishment, but it pays in health and longevity and secures the free use of the
body, making study and application to higher things possible. After a while
one will become so familiar with the subject that he will need to give it no
It must be remembered that not all of the chemical substances contained
in each article of food are available for use in the system, because there
are certain portions which the body refuses to assimilate.
Of vegetables we digest only about 83 per cent of the proteins, 90 per
cent of the fat, and 95 per cent of the carbohydrates.
Of fruits we assimilate about 85 per cent of the proteins, 90 per cent of
the fat, and 90 per cent of the carbohydrates.
Phosphorous is the particular element by means of which the Ego is able
to express thought and influence the dense physical body. It is also a fact
that the proportion and variation of this substance is found to correspond
to the state and stage of intelligence of the individual. Idiots have very
little phosphorus; shrewd thinkers have much; and in the animal world, the
degree of consciousness and intelligence is in proportion to the amount of
phosphorus contained in the brain.
It is therefore of great importance that the aspirant who is to use his
body for mental and spiritual work, should supply his brain with the sub-
stance necessary for that purpose. Most vegetables and fruits contain a
certain amount of phosphorus, but it is a peculiar fat that the greater pro-
portion is contained in the leaves, which are usually thrown away. It is
found in considerable quantities in grapes, onions, sage, beans, cloves,
pineapples, in the leaves and stalks of many vegetables, and also in
sugar-cane juice, but not in refined sugar.
The following table shows the proportions of phosphoric acid in a few
100,000 parts of:
Barley, dry, contains of phosphoric acid.........210 parts
Beans ...........................................292 "
Beets ...........................................167 "
Beets, Leaves of.................................690 "
Carrots, dry.....................................395 "
Carrots, Leaves of...............................963 "
Linseed, Stalks of...............................118 "
Parsnips, Leaves of.............................1784 "
Peas ...........................................190 "
In conclusion, let the aspirant choose such food as is most easily di-
gested, for the more easily the energy in food is extracted, the longer time
will the system have for recuperation before it becomes necessary to replen-
ish the supply. Milk should never be drunk as one may drink a glass of wa-
ter. Taken in that way, it forms in the stomach a large cheese ball, quite
impervious to the action of the gastric juices. It should be sipped for it
will then form many small globules in the stomach, which are easily as-
similated. Citrus fruits are powerful antiseptics, and cereals, par-
ticularly rice, are antitoxins of great efficiency.
Having now explained, from the purely material point of view, what is
necessary for the dense body, we will consider the subject from the occult
side, taking into consideration the effect on the two invisible bodies which
interpenetrate the dense body.
The particular stronghold of the desire body is in the muscles and the
cerebrospinal nervous system, as already shown. The energy displayed by a
person when laboring under great excitement or anger is an example of this.
At such times the whole muscular system is tense and no hard labor is so ex-
hausting as a "fit of temper." It sometimes leaves the body prostrated for
weeks. There can be seen the necessity for improving the desire body by
controlling the temper, thus sparing the dense body the suffering resulting
from the ungoverned action of the desire body.
Looking at the matter from an occult standpoint, all consciousness in the
Physical World is the result of the constant war between the desire and vi-
The tendency of the vital body is to soften and build. Its chief expres-
sion is the blood and the glands, also the sympathetic nervous system,
having obtained ingress into the stronghold of the desire body (the muscular
and the voluntary nervous systems) when it began to develop the heart into a
The tendency of the desire body is to harden, and it in turn has invaded
the realm of the vital body, gaining possession of the spleen and making the
white blood corpuscles, which are not "the policement of the system" as sci-
ence now thinks, but destroyers. It uses the blood to carry these tiny de-
stroyers all over the body. They pass through the walls of arteries and
veins whenever annoyance is felt, and especially in times of great anger.
Then the rush of forces in the desire body makes the arteries and veins
swell and opens the way for the passage of the white corpuscles into the
tissues of the body, where they form bases for the earthy matter which kills
Given the same amount and kind of food, the person of serene and jovial
disposition will live longer, enjoy better health, and be more active than
the person who worries, or loses his temper. The latter will make and dis-
tribute through his body more destructive white corpuscles than the former.
Were a scientist to analyze the bodies of these two men, he would find that
there was considerably less earthy matter in the body of the kindly disposed
man than in that of the scold.
This destruction is constantly going on and it is not possible to keep
all the destroyers out, nor is such the intention. If the vital body had
uninterrupted sway, it would build and build, using all the energy for that
purpose. There would be no consciousness and thought. It is because the
desire body checks and hardens the inner parts that consciousness develops.
There was a time in the far, far past when we set out the concretions,
as do the mollusks, leaving the body soft, flexible, and boneless, but at
that time we had only the dull, glimmering consciousness the mollusks now
have. Before we could advance, it became necessary to retain the concre-
tions and it will be found that the stage of consciousness of any species in
in proportion to the development of the bony framework WITHIN. The Ego must
have the solid bones with the semifluid red marrow, in order to be able to
build the red blood corpuscles for its expression. That is the highest de-
velopment of the dense body.
REASONS FOR A VEGETARIAN DIET:
Most people feel that a meal without meat is incomplete, for from time
immemorial it has been regarded as an axiom that meat is the most strength-
ening food we have. All other foodstuffs have been looked upon as mere ac-
cessories to the one or more kinds of flesh on the menu. Nothing could be
more erroneous; science has proved by experiments that invariable the nour-
ishment obtained from vegetables has a greater sustaining power, and the
reason is easy to see when we look into the matter from the occult side.
The law of assimilation is that "no particle of food may be built into
the body by the forces whose task that is until it has been overcome by the
in-dwelling spirit," because he must be absolute and undisputed ruler in the
body, governing the cell lives as an autocrat, or they would each go their
own way as they do in decay when the Ego has fled.
It is evident that the dimmer the consciousness of a cell is, the easier
it is to overpower it, and the longer it will remain in subjection. The
different kingdoms have different vehicles and consequently a different con-
sciousness. The mineral has only its dense body and a consciousness like
the deepest trance. It would therefore be easiest to subject foods taken
directly from the mineral kingdom. Mineral food would remain with us the
longest, obviating the necessity of Eating so often; but unfortunately we
find that the human organism vibrates so rapidly that it is incapable of as-
similating the inert mineral directly. Salt and like substances are passed
out of the system at once without having been assimilated at all; the air is
full of nitrogen which we need to repair waste, we breathe it into our sys-
tem, yet cannot assimilate it or any other mineral till it has first been
transmuted in Nature's laboratory and built into the plants.
The plants have a dense and a vital body, which enables them to do this
work; their consciousness is as a deep, dreamless sleep. Thus it is easy
for the Ego to overpower the vegetable cells and keep them in subjection for
a long time, hence the great sustaining power of the vegetable.
In animal food the cells have already become more individualized, and as
the animal has a desire body giving it a passional nature, it is easily un-
derstood that when we eat meat it is harder to overcome these cells which
have animal consciousness resembling the dream state, and also that such
particles will not stay long in subjection, hence a meat diet requires
larger quantities and more frequent meals than the vegetable or fruit diet.
If we should go one step farther and eat the flesh of carnivorous animals,
we should find ourselves hungry all the time, for there the cells have be-
come exceedingly individualized and will therefore seek their freedom and
gain it so much the quicker. That this is so, is well illustrated in the
case of the wolf, the vulture, and the cannibal, which have become proverbs
for hunger, and as the human liver is too small to take care of even the or-
dinary meat diet, it is evident that if the cannibal lived solely upon human
flesh instead of using it as an occasional "tidbit," he would soon succumb,
for while too much of the carbohydrates, sugars, starches, and fats do
little if any harm to the system, being exhaled through the lungs as car-
bonic acid gas or passing as water by way of the kidneys and the skin, an
excess of meat is also burned up, but leaves poisonous uric acid and it is
being more and more recognized that the less meat we eat the better for our
It is natural that we should desire the very best of food, but every
animal body has in it the poisons of decay. The venous blood is filled with
carbon dioxide and other noxious products on their way to the kidneys or the
pores of the skin to be expelled as urine or perspiration. These loathsome
substances are in every part of the flesh and when we eat such food we are
filling our own bodies with toxic poisons. Much sickness is due to our use
of flesh foods.
There is plenty of proof that a carnivorous diet fosters ferocity. We
may mention the well-known fierceness of beasts of prey and the cruelty of
the meat-eating American Indian as fair examples. On the other hand, the
prodigious strength and the docile nature of the ox, the elephant, and the
horse show the effects of the herb diet on animals, while the vegetarian and
peaceable nations of the Orient are a proof of the correctness of the argu-
ment against a flesh diet which cannot successfully be gainsaid.
As soon as we adopt the vegetarian diet, we escape one of the most seri-
ous menaces of health, namely the putrefaction of particles of flesh imbed-
ded between the teeth, and this is not one of the least arguments why a veg-
etarian diet should be adopted. Fruits, cereals, and vegetables are from
their very natures SLOW TO DECAY, each particle contains an enormous amount
of ether which keeps it alive and sweet for a long time, whereas the ether
which interpenetrated the flesh and composed the vital body of an animal,
was taken away with the Spirit thereof at the time of death. Thus the dan-
ger from infection through vegetable food is very small in the first place,
but many of them so far from being poisonous, are actually antiseptic in a
very high degree. This applies particularly to the citrus fruits: oranges,
lemons, grapefruit, etc., not to speak of the king of all antiseptics, the
pineapple, which has been used very often with complete success as a cure
for the dreaded diphtheria, which is only another name for a septic sore
throat. Thus instead of poisoning the digestive tract with putrefactive el-
ements as meats do, FRUITS CLEANSE AND PURIFY THE SYSTEM, and the pineapple
is one of the superior to pepsin, and no fiendish cruelty is used to obtain
There are twelve salts in the body; they are very vital and represent the
twelve signs of the zodiac. These salts are required for the building of
the body. They are not mineral salts as generally supposed, but are
vegetable. The mineral has no vital body, and it is only by way of the vi-
tal body that assimilation is accomplished; therefore, we have to obtain
these salts through the vegetable kingdom.
Doctors claim to do this, but they are not aware that fire used in the
process drives out and destroys the vital body of the plant just as crema-
tion treats our body, and leaves only the mineral parts. Therefore, if we
desire to renew the supply of any salt in our body we must obtain it from
the UNCOOKED plant. To the sick this is the way it should be administered.
But we must not jump to the conclusion that everyone should quit eating
meat and live on raw plant life. At our present stage of evolution there
are very few who can do so. We must take care not to raise the vibrations
of our bodies too rapidly, for we, to continue our labor among present con-
ditions, must have a body fitted for the work, but let us keep the thought
always with us.
There is in the skull at the base of the brain a flame. It burns con-
tinually in the medulla oblongata at the head of the spinal cord, and like
the fire on the altar of the tabernacle, is of divine origin. This fire
emits a singing sound like the buzz of a bee, which is the keynote of the
physical body, and is sounded by the archetype. It builds in and cements
together that mass of cells known as "our body."
The fire burns high or low, clear or dim, according to how we feed it.
There is fire in everything in nature EXCEPT THE MINERAL KINGDOM. It has no
vital body and therefore no avenue for the ingress of the Life Spirit, the
fire. We replenish this sacred fire partly from the FORCES FROM THE SUN
entering the vital body through the etheric counterpart of the spleen and
from there to the solar plexus where it is colored and then carried upward
through the blood. We also FEED THE FIRE FROM THE LIVING FIRE WE ABSORB
FROM THE UNCOOKED FOOD WHICH WE EAT AND THUS ASSIMILATE.
Looking at the matter of flesh-eating from the ethical side also, it is
against the higher conception to kill to eat. In olden times man went out
to the chase as any beast of prey, rough and callous; now he does his hunt-
ing in the butcher shop, where none of the nauseating sights of the slaugh-
ter house will sicken him. If each had to go into of of those blood places
where horrors are enacted day after day to be able to satisfy an abnormal
injurious habit which causes more sickness and suffering than even liquor
craving; if each had to wield the bloody knife and plunge it into the quiv-
ering flesh of his victim, how much meat would we eat? Very little. In or-
der to escape doing this nauseating work ourselves on occasion, we force a
fellow being to stand in that bloody pen day after day killing thousands of
animals every day of the wee; we brutalize him to such an extent that the
law will not allow him to sit on a jury in a capital case because he has
ceased to have any regard for life.
The animals which we kill also cry aloud against this murder; there is a
cloud of gloom and hatred over the great slaughter cities. The law protects
cats and dogs against cruelty. We all rejoice to see the little squirrels
in the city parks come and take food from our hands, but as soon as there is
money in the flesh or fur of an animal, man ceases to have regard for its
right to live, and becomes its most dangerous foe, feeding and breeding it
for gain, imposing suffering and hardships upon a fellow being for the sake
of gold. We have a heavy debt to pay to the lower creatures whose mentors
we should be; whose murderers we are, and the good law which works every to
correct abuses will also in time relegate the habit of Eating murdered
animals to the scrapheap of obsolete practices as cannibalism is now.
It is the nature of a beast of prey to eat any animal that comes in its
path, and its organs are such that it must have that kind of a diet to ex-
ist, but EVERYTHING IS IN A STAGE OF BECOMING; it is always changing to
something higher. Man, in his earlier stages of unfoldment, was also like
the beasts of prey in certain respects; however, he is to become God-like
and thus he must cease to destroy at some time in order that he may commence
to create. Flesh food has fostered human ingenuity of a low order in the
past; it has served a purpose in our evolution; but we are now standing on
the threshold of a new age when self-sacrifice and service will bring
spiritual growth to humanity. The evolution of the mind will bring a wisdom
beyond our greatest conception, but before it will be safe to entrust us
with that wisdom, we must become HARMLESS as doves, for otherwise we should
be apt to turn it to such selfish and destructive purposes that it would be
an inconceivable menace to our fellow men. To avoid this the vegetarian
diet must be adopted.
We have been taught that there is no life in the universe but the life of
God; that "in Him we live and move and have our being"; that His life
animates everything that is, and therefore we naturally understand that as
soon as we take LIFE we are destroying FORM built by God for his manifesta-
tion. The lower animals are evolving Spirits and have sensibilities. It is
their desire for experience that causes them to build their various FORMS,
and when we take their forms away from them we deprive them of their oppor-
tunity for gaining experience. We hinder their evolution instead of helping
them, and the day will come when we shall feel a deep disgust at the thought
of making our stomachs the burying ground for the carcasses of murdered
animals. All true Christians will be abstainers from flesh foods out of
pure compassion; they will realize that all life is God's life, and to cause
suffering to any sentient being is wrong.
In a great many places where the Bible speaks of "meat," it is very plain
that flesh food is not meant. The chapter in Genesis where man's food is
first allotted to him says that he should eat of every tree and herb bearing
seed, "and to you it shall be for meat." The most evolved people at all
times have abstained from flesh foods. We see, for instance, Daniel, who
was a holy man and a wise man, beg that he might not be forced to eat meat,
but that he and his companions be given pulse. The children of Israel in
the wilderness are spoken of as "lusting after flesh," and their God is an-
gry with them in consequence.
There is an esoteric meaning to the feeding of the multitude where fish
was used as food, but looking to the purely material aspect we may sum up
the points in our answer by reiterating that we shall some time outgrow
flesh and fish Eating as we have risen above cannibalism. Whatever license
may have been given in the barbaric past will disappear in the altruistic
future, when more refined sensibilities shall have awakened us to a fuller
sense of the horrors involved in the gratification of a carnivorous taste.
NECESSITY FOR AN ATTRACTIVE, BALANCED DIET:
In the most sublime of all prayers, we are taught by the Christ to pray
for our daily bread, but under existing modern conditions, alas, how often
do we get a stone instead.
Because of our complex civilization, of cold storage methods, and other
abominations our food is such that, generally speaking, instead of
nourishing the body as it should, it depletes us and makes us subject to
various diseases; "indigestible" is a very mild arraignment of the food sup-
ply in most places where the public eats.
Even in the home, that which is placed upon the table to nourish and sus-
tain and build the body in health, is often only an apology for food, mas-
querading under various seasonings and dressings as palatable, for we eat
usually to please our palate rather than to nourish our bodies.
On the other hand, there is no denying that some people who profess to
cook along scientific lines and with common sense, who profess to be veg-
etarians and are very strict in their notions of how food should be pre-
pared, seem to lack all appreciation of the fact that food may be made pal-
atable as well as wholesome and nutritious, that there is no incompatibility
between the requirements of proper cooking and the pleasure afforded to the
palate. Indeed it may be said that unless food is so cooked that it is
pleasing to the palate as well as wholesome and nutritious, it falls far
short of its full purpose. The palate has been given to us so that we may
enjoy our food, that we may, as it were, receive it with gladness and wel-
come it into our body, for this furthers assimilation and nutrition, whereas
unpalatable food is obnoxious to the recipient and therefore not so easily
assimilated. This fact should be kept before the mind: It is not how much
we eat that counts, but how much we assimilate.
Some who have been improperly instructed in this most important subject
of nutrition may have been told that the legumes, peas, beans, etc., will
take the place of meat, and they then commenced to devour these vegetables
in great quantities after discarding meat. It is perfectly true that beans
contain more protein than beefsteak, but the protein contained in the bean
is not so readily assimilated. There is heavy waste and also uric acid in
such foods that should be reckoned with, for unless counteracted by plenty
of green vegetables, disastrous results are bound to follow. It is impor-
tant to remember, however, that the green vegetables should not be eaten at
the same meal with the heavy legumes. There are others who, after leaving
the meat diet, start to live on bread, potatoes, and similar starchy foods,
with the result that they become undernourished and anemic. A satisfactory
diet must be properly balanced in every respect, and only in so far as we
study the system of diet required to keep our body in good health can we ex-
pect to obtain the proper results.
Diet, like health, is determined individually, and no general standard
can be set up. At the same time, it may be safely said that the less meat
we can get along with, the better our general health will be. But if we
wish to without it altogether, it is absolutely essential that we should
study a table of food values so that we get the necessary proteins from the
vegetables we eat. No man can go to the ordinary table and get sufficient
nourishment if he eats only the vegetables provided as accessories to the
meat; he must have beans, peas, nuts, and like foods which are rich in
protein to take the place of the discarded flesh, or he will starve.
THE ROLE OF STIMULANTS IN EVOLUTION:
The spirit alcohol, which is fermented OUTSIDE the system, is being su-
perseded by sugar, which ferments WITHIN. In the past a stimulant was in-
dispensable in rousing the human Spirit from the lethargy attendant upon a
meat diet; the bacchanalian orgies in ancient temples, which properly fill
us with horror nowadays, were then of immense value in human development.
As consumption of sugar increases, use of alcohol diminishes and, concur-
rently, the moral standard is gradually elevated. People grow more altruis-
tic and Christlike in proportion to their use of the non-inebriating
stimulant, and therefore the temperance movement is one of the most powerful
factors to hasten the coming of Christ.
It is evident that evolutionary progress is elevating the lower kingdoms
as well as humanity. The animals, particularly the domesticated species,
are nearing individualization, and their withdrawal from manifestation has
already commenced. As a result it will in time be impossible to obtain
flesh food. Then the death knell of "King Alcohol" will have struck, for
only flesh eaters crave liquor.
In the meantime plant life is growing more sentient. The lateral limbs
of trees produce more abundantly than do vertical branches because in
plants, as in us, consciousness results from the antagonistic activities of
the desire and vital currents. Lateral limbs are swept through their entire
length by desire currents which circle our planet and which act so power-
fully in the horizontal animal spines. The desire currents rouse the sleep-
ing plant life in the lateral limbs to a higher degree of consciousness than
is the case with the vertical branches, which are traversed lengthwise by
vital currents radiating from the center of the Earth. Thus, in time, the
plants will also become too sensitive as food and another source must be
Today, we have considerable ability in working with the chemical mineral
substances; we mold them into houses, ships, and all outer things which
evidence our civilization. We are masters of the minerals OUTSIDE our body,
but powerless to assimilate and use them INSIDE our system to build our or-
gans until the plant life has transmuted crystals into crystalloids. Our
work with the minerals in the exterior world is raising their vibration and
paving the way for direct interior use. By spiritual alchemy we shall build
the temple of the Spirit, conquer the dust whence we came, and qualify as
true Master Masons prepared for work in higher spheres.
FASTING AS A MEANS OF HEALING AND A FACTOR IN SOUL GROWTH:
We may readily conceive that there are more people in the West who die
from overeating than from getting too little food. Under certain conditions
fasting for a day or two is undoubtedly beneficial, but just as there are
gourmands and gluttons, so there are others who go to the opposite extreme
and fast to excess. There lies a great danger. The best way is to eat in
moderation and to eat the proper kinds of food; then it will not be neces-
sary to fast at all.
If we study the chemistry of food we shall find that certain foods have
properties of value to the system under conditions of disorder, and taken
properly food is really medicine. All the citrus fruits, for instance, are
splendid antiseptics. THUS THEY PREVENT DISEASE. All the cereals, par-
ticularly rice, are antitoxins; they will kill disease and the germs of pu-
trefaction. Thus, by knowing these medicinal properties of the different
foods, we may very readily secure a supply of that which we need to cure our
ordinary ailments by food instead of by fasting.
Under the ancient dispensations it was required that sacrifices of bulls
and goats should be made as atonement for sin, for man then treasured his
material possessions even higher than today, and felt keenly their loss when
forced to give them up for such a purpose. Upon the altar of sacrifice men
were forced to offer their cherished possessions for every transgression,
God appearing to them as a hard taskmaster whose displeasure it was danger-
ous to incur. But there has always been an esoteric teaching, which is
is being promulgated exoterically today, and this teaching does not accept
the sacrifice of an animal, money, or other possessions, but demands that
each one make a sacrifice of himself. This was taught to the aspirants in
the ancient Mystery School when they were prepared for the mystic rite of
To them were explained the mysteries of the vital body, how it is com-
posed of four ethers, etc. The aspirant was thoroughly instructed in the
functions of the two lower ethers as compared with the two higher. He knew
that all the purely animal functions of the body depended upon the density
of the lower ethers, and that the two upper ethers composed the should body
which was the vehicle of service. He aspired, naturally, to cultivate this
glorious garment by self-abnegation, and by curbing the propensities of the
lower nature, as as we do today.
These facts were kept secret from the masses, as said, or rather they
should have been, but some neophytes who were overzealous to attain, no mat-
ter how, forgot that it is only by service and unselfishness that the Golden
Wedding Garment composed of the two higher ethers is grown. They thought
that the occult maxim:
"Gold in the crucible,
Wrought in the fire;
Light as the winds,
Higher and higher"
meant only that so long as the lower nature, the dross, was expelled, it did
not matter how, and if they could find an easy method, they would have left
only the gold composed of the two higher ethers, the should body, in which
they could enter the invisible world without let or hindrance. They rea-
soned that as the chemical ether is the agent of assimilation, it could be
eliminated from the vital body by starving the physical vehicle.
But the result obtained by these misguided people and their followers was
far from being what was intended by the training in the Mystery School. The
candidate was there taught first and foremost that THE BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF
GOD, and that to defile, destroy, or mutilate it in any manner is a great
sin. Indulgence of the appetite is a sin, a defiling practice which brings
with it certain retribution, but it is no more to be reprehended than the
practice of fasting for soul growth. RIGHT LIVING IS NEITHER FASTING NOR
FEASTING, but giving the body those elements which are necessary to maintain
it in the proper form of health, strength, and efficiency as an instrument
of the Spirit. Therefore fasting for soul growth is a pseudo-method which
has exactly the opposite effect to that which it was designed to accomplish
by its shortsighted originators.
THE HEALTH VALUE OF INDIGESTIBLE FOODS:
It may seem absurd, at the first blush, to say that the more indigestible
our foods are the better the health will be; nevertheless, when the state-
ment is slightly qualified, it is true. Foods which are usually reared as
indigestible because we feel distress after Eating them, really cause
trouble because they have been too thoroughly digested, while other foods
which are nearly totally indigestible, and therefore in a sense not
foods at all, leave us with all the feelings of health and well-being.
Lack of proper appreciation of these essential facts is at the bottom of
the difficulties which many people experience when they adopt what they are
pleased to call a vegetarian diet. They have in most cases suffered from
digestive troubles before ceasing to eat flesh, and have in many cases
adopted a fleshless diet with the expectation that they would work a miracle
in restoring their health. They are therefore often bitterly disappointed
that they feel no better, nay, in a number of cases they may even feel
worse, because they continue their dietetic errors in all other respects, so
that in many cases their reformed diet is from a standpoint of health, a
thousand times worse than the usual mixed diet of the average person, and
goodness knows, that is bad enough. In fact, instead of wondering that the
body breaks down under the strain of dietetic indiscretion, it is really
wonderful that it can stand up as well as it does in spite of the abuse and
ill treatment to which is is subjected.
It happens not infrequently that people who apply to us for healing admit
unblushingly the most atrocious dietetic blunders, perfectly oblivious to
the fact that they are doing wrong. They will eat four to five meals a day,
composed of hot cakes, coffee, eggs, beefsteak, white bread, potatoes, pie,
cheese, etc., etc., and then they honestly wonder why they do not feel well.
This class of people will claim that they have no bad habits. They smoke a
few cigars, drink a few glasses of beer, or perhaps they take a cocktail or
two; they live on what they call a "natural diet," go to bed at ten or
eleven, and pat themselves on the back with the feeling that they are
models. As a rule when it is first brought to their attention that they are
committing serious blunders they stare in utter amazement and incredulity;
they seem to doubt their senses when told that they are killing themselves
with food; actually and in truth digging their graves with their teeth.
Nevertheless, that is absolutely true and it is not so much because their
food is indigestible, either, as because of the lack of indigestible materi-
als to mix among the highly concentrated foods which form the chief elements
of such a diet. But in that respect that class of people are no worse than
people who live on a diet of such concentrated foods as prunes, nuts, rai-
They also eat highly concentrated food; they get both protein from the
nuts and carbohydrates from the raisins, but lack the indispensable though
indigestible cellulose to give the necessary amount of bulk and cause ir-
ritation in the digestive tract which is absolutely essential to induce
peristalsis and secretion of the necessary digestive ferments.
There is no question that whole wheat is much more nutritious, palatable,
and healthful than white flour which is composed only of the starchy por-
tions of the grain, but its health value is not particularly great because
it is more easily digested than white bread, for as a matter of fact it is
not, nor is the great benefit derived from whole wheat bread due to the min-
eral salts necessary to body building which it contains and which are absent
in white bread. For it should be remembered that just as a portion of the
protein contained in meat and the phosphorus contained in fish remain
undigested, so also with the protein and phosphorus which abound in the
whole meal bread. We do not assimilate all the protein and mineral salts
which are contained in the coarsest portions of the whole wheat. But while
the white bread is almost entirely digested and leaves but little ash, pro-
vided of course that it is well made, the coarser particles of the whole
wheat flour pass through the intestinal tract undigested; they massage them,
so to speak, irritate them and induce a flow of blood which keeps the intes-
tines sweet and healthy. They do not pack as closely as the little residue
left from highly concentrated foods, and therefore they take with them in
the air spaces noxious gases, leaving the digestive tract pure and clean.
Compare the action on the bowels of such foods as eggs, and meat and
cheese, which are almost totally assimilated and leave no coarse bulk to
cleanse the bowels after a meal has been digested, with such vegetables as
legumes (used sparingly), turnips, carrots, celery, onions, etc., which con-
tain every element found in flesh and in addition the, to health, indispens-
able bulk composed of coarse fibrous matter which alone can sweep the intes-
tinal tract, clear off all deleterious products of waste and leave the
system in a healthy condition.
The archetype determines the form and figure of a person and this will be
his normal statue in health, but by our dietetic disorder we often change
this, so that the energy of the body is used in the process of eliminating
an enormous amount of food which we cannot assimilate and therefore we grow
thinner. The reverse happens when the eliminative powers are poor; then
surplus flesh, or adipose tissue, is put on because of an unnatural diet.
When a scientifically prepared diet is adopted, the people who have been too
thin because of a previous wrong diet, taken on flesh, and conversely those
who have put on unnatural flesh cease to do so and therefore their weight is
RESULTS OF EATING TOO FREQUENTLY:
Another fruitful cause of digestive disorders is the habit of Eating ev-
ery few hours. People who are in the habit of Eating five or six times a
day frequently assert that they are hungry and must have food or they are
sick. As a matter of fact, the raving is due to a diseased condition of the
stomach, and the relief results from the weight of food which deadens the
We call it criminal to give to a person addicted to the morphine habit
more just because he craves it, and it would give temporary relief from suf-
fering, and we should apply the same logic and philosophy to people who are
poisoned by an excess of food. This is not theory, either, but the result
of investigation which cannot be matched by experiments on animals or human
beings, where the suffering incident to tabulating the results of investiga-
tions causes an unnatural digestive condition. There are no such barriers
to one whose spiritual sight is opened and who can see the peristaltic ac-
tion of the stomach and intestines when the system has been burdened. Then
there exudes from the food a black poisonous gas which is thrown outward
through the periphery of the aura by the man's vital body so long as he is
in good health. But when his vitality becomes enfeebled and the flow of the
solar force through the spleen is not as strong as usual, this poisonous gas
remains around the abdominal region as a broad black band which poisons all
organic activities of the body while it is there. When a person eats three
meals a day there is a slight chance for the dissolution of the poison band
generated by one meal before the next is taken. But where meals are eaten
at intervals of only a few hours there is absolutely no chance for the per-
son to rid himself of this poison cloud, and as a consequence he grows worse
and worse, shortening the span of his natural life in a manner that would be
a shocking surprise to most of these people could they realize it.
For these reasons anyone who wishes to obtain and maintain health should
make it a point to eat only two or three times a day and SPARINGLY, taking
care to secure an abundance of bulk rather than nutriment, for it is an ac-
tual fact that many, many more people die of too much nourishment of too
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