That all oxen thrive on grass and all lions eat flesh, "while one man's meat is another man's poison," is an illustration of the influence of the group spirit as contrasted with that of the human Ego, which latter makes the requirements of each human being differ more or less from those of others as regards kind and proportions of food.
From an esoteric standpoint it is desirable for the Ego to live as long as possible in each dense body, particularly after a start has been made toward living a spiritual life, and to retain as long as possible a body that has become to some extent amenable to the spirit's promptings.
It is highly important that we partake only of such food and drink as will deposit the least amount of earthy substance in our tissues, also such as require the minimum of energy to assimilate, but which at the same time will keep the body in normal condition. It is 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 and that the arterial blood contains more earthy matter than the venous blood. This is highly important, for it shows that in every cycle the blood deposits earthy substances. It is, therefore, this common carrier which brings the material that chokes up the system. But its supply of earthy matter must be replenished, otherwise it could not continue to do this. The food and drink which nourish the body must thus be the primary source of the earthy matter which is deposited by the blood all through the system, causing decrepitude and finally death.
To sustain physical life it is necessary that we eat and drink, but as there are many kinds of food and drink, it behooves the esoteric student in the light of the above facts to ascertain what kinds contain the smallest proportion of obstructive elements. As each human being is at a different stage of development, there can be no absolute rules given, the matter of diet being an individual one. In The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception is printed a table of food values which will aid the aspirant in selecting the foods suited to his individual needs. Modern science has discovered that the so-called vitamins are of tremendous importance in maintaining health and vitality. The vitamins are contained mainly in whole grain, leafy vegetables, fruit, and milk.
The matter of chemical combinations is a complicated one, and one on which expert opinion differs widely. In general, it is necessary and best to experiment and study the matter out individually, using due discrimination.
The aspirant to the higher life should entirely avoid using flesh food if possible. No one who kills, or causes another to kill for him, can go very far along the path of holiness. Certain food products from animals, however, such as milk, cheese, and butter may be used. Milk is a very important food for the esoteric student. It contains very little earthy matter and has an influence upon the body possessed by no other food. Buttermilk is valuable both as a food and a solvent of obstructive matter in the tissues.
Fresh fruit contains water of the purest and best kind. Unfermented grape juice is a particularly wonderful solvent. It thins and stimulates the blood, opening the way into capillaries which are dried and choked up. Its use materially defers old age, that is, if the crystallizing process has not gone too far. The aspirant should use only soft or distilled water internally. Boiling does not remove the carbonate and other compounds of lime from water. Water used both internally and externally is a great solvent of the crystallized earthy substances in the body.
Protein is the essential builder of cellular tissue but contains some earthy matter. Carbohydrates, including sugars, are the principal power producers. Fats are the producers of heat and the storehouse of reserve force. Of vegetables we digest about 83 percent of the protein, 90 percent of the fat, and 95 percent of the carbohydrates. Of fruits we assimilate about 85 percent of the proteins, 90 per cent of the fat, and 90 percent of the carbohydrates.
The brain is built of the same substances as are all other parts of the body, with the addition of a much larger amount of phosphorus than is found elsewhere in the body. The logical conclusion is that phosphorus is the particular element by which the Ego is able to create and express thought and thereby influence the dense body. It is therefore important that the aspirant who is to use his body for mental and spiritual work should supply his brain with the special substance necessary for that purpose. Most vegetables and fruits contain a certain amount of phosphorus, but the greater proportion is found in the leaves. It is found in considerable quantities in grapes, onions, sage, beans, cloves, pineapples, in the leaves and stalks of many vegetables, and in sugar-cane juice, but not in refined sugar.
Temporary abstinence of food if kept within certain definite limits and not overdone, is of great value in clearing the system of the accumulated debris which may be choking it and interfering with the functions of the various organs. At the first sign of any disorder the omission of one or two meals is highly advisable. A fast of twenty-four hours occasionally is an excellent thing for almost anybody, provided it is taken at a time when one is not doing severe mental or manual work which requires a great deal of energy. Longer fasts may be taken under the direction of a competent health adviser. People who are physically negative should avoid much fasting, for it tends to increase their negativity.
Overeating, in the final analysis, is probably the cause of two-thirds of all human ailments. The majority of people at the present time could with much profit reduce by one-third the amount of food eaten each day. Greater mental and physical efficiency and keenness would certainly result from it; also added years of life. The excessive use of starchy foods is to be particularly avoided. People past fifty years of age can in a vast number of cases live on two meals a day to much better advantage than on three.
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1. Why is long life desirable for the aspirant to the higher life?
2. How do the tissues of the body become choked up, and what is the result? How may this condition be overcome?
3. Of what should the diet of the esoteric student consist?
4. What substance is of particular aid to the Ego in brain work, and from what articles may it be obtained?
5. Why is limited fasting beneficial, and how should it be regulated?
6. What are the facts about overeating?