From the Editor
Our Summer School this year was again held in Kent.
Our theme was “Holistic Consciousness”, and part of Phiroz’s book of that name was considered. The weather was kind to us, and the Summer School was an extremely happy one.
Our Summer School for 2010 will again be at the same venue, as the plans for rebuilding there have not as yet materialised. The dates will be 21st–26th July, and the cost will probably be held at £50 per day per person, although this will have to be confirmed at a later date.
Would anyone wishing to reserve a place please contact the Editor.
Those who would have right without its correlative, wrong: or good government without its correlative, misrule — they do not apprehend the great principles of the universe nor the conditions to which all creation is subject. One might as well talk of the existence of heaven without that of earth, or of the negative principle (yin) without the positive (yang), which is clearly absurd. Such people, if they do not yield to argument, must be either fools or knaves.
A talk given by Phiroz Mehta at Elmau, Bavaria on 19th September 1975
Now we will start with our subject of Meditation. The question arises, “What do we mean by Meditation?” Meditation is really the same as contemplative prayer, it is the same as what is expressed in the Sanskrit word samādhi. It is what the mystics of the world have called the unio mystica. You will see from this statement that Meditation really is actual communion here and now all through our life. This, as far as I can present it, is the complete meaning of Meditation, which is obviously different from the common meaning which you find in the dictionary of a process of musing, or thinking something out. The state of communion is one where there is no disturbance of man’s thinking process. Therefore you will see that Meditation is that which is the fruition, the culminating point, of what we begin as a technique of thought or a ritual of feeling and states of mind, all of which are partial and temporary expressions, which are only the shadows of the reality which is the state of Meditation, communion, total communion.
Now I am going to say something which perhaps may be a bit surprising. All the world, the whole universe, is actually in the state of communion. It is in the state of complete relationship between every separate, particular item within itself, complete relationship between each and every item as such, and complete relationship between each item and the totality. This is the actual state of the universe, unconsciously. Take the case of a breeze blowing. When the breeze blows, the branches of trees will move, they will sway in the breeze, and the extent and the manner in which they sway is wholly dependent upon the way in which the breeze blows. The elasticity of the living branch offers a certain resistance of the force of the wind, but everything is in exact proportion, nothing goes wrong. The branches of the tree have no choice in the matter. This is how they are, this is the eternal order of things, a process which is a process of natural harmony, an unconscious harmony. All nature observes this. With man there is a difference. The branch of the tree, as far as we know, cannot look inside itself and say, “Ah, the breeze is blowing this way but I will move that way, or, if I like, I will move with the direction of the wind.” It has no choice. Man is the one and only creature who has this power of choice, of saying yes or no to the forces of life which are consciously playing with him. Man is conscious of himself. A dog does not know “I am a dog.” A mosquito does not know “I am a mosquito.” A stone does not know. But you and I know that I am myself, you are yourself, we have a self-consciousness associated with our power of choice. What has gone wrong with the human race, or shall I put it in a better way, what has not yet come to fulfilment and fruition in the human race, is the intelligence to perceive the nature of things, the great order of the universe, and deliberately, consciously, live in harmony with it, giving oneself to it, not being in conflict with the world around and with the world within ourselves, our world of desire and thought and feeling and ambition and so on, but to let a perfect harmony come into being.
This is Meditation, the state of Meditation, the state of actual communion. Now I trust I have said enough to convey some idea, only an idea, of what is meant by communion, by Meditation. Let us now immediately try out a little experiment. Let us just quietly, in our own mind and consciousness, be in communion and observe what happens in the mind, just two or three minutes, no more. You may keep your eyes open or closed, just as you please.
What did you observe happening? Was the brain continuously talking silently? Did you find the mind wandering here and there, becoming so self-conscious that it could no longer really be in tune with everything, over-active? Did you find any bodily tensions and strains interfering with the simple being in communion? Were there mental reactions when, for example, we heard the sound of that motor as it went past? Note carefully, it is the reaction from oneself to the sound, not the pure registration of the sound. The pure registration of the sound, or of a sight or anything, is not a disturbance of the communion, because, remember, in the state of communion the stillness includes all motion and activity. The silence includes all sound. The silence and stillness of Meditation is a state in which there is no self-conscious reaction against or for what you hear or see. Then you are in harmony. If we think of this inward harmony, this silence and stillness as we have called it throughout the centuries, as something static, not to be disturbed, like when you put a notice outside the door, “Busy, not to be disturbed”, then the process of the universe should stop. But it doesn’t, it just goes on. The universal process is the harmony. As I have suggested already, it is our reaction, either against it or for it, which is the disharmony.
You will see that what is involved here is the act of pure attentiveness. Now we must be very clear as to what we mean by this. It is not a deliberate attending to a preconceived object of attention. The object of attention may be as exalted as God, if you like, but pure attentiveness is not an attending to a preconceived object of attention. Take for instance paying attention to the Divine, to Transcendence, to God, to the Master, to Beauty, to Truth and so forth. What am I actually paying attention to? Only my own concept of it. How can I pay attention to the Infinite, to the Total Reality, how can I? I cannot attend to the Infinite, to the Immeasurable as an object of attention. I can only attend to a thought in my mind, “This is God.” Of course my thought is certainly not God, the reality. You see the point. So we deceive ourselves, either when we pray in a church or a temple or when we enter into a contemplative state or when we practise a technique of meditation. We deceive ourselves that this is of the true nature of communion.
Let us come back to what we started with. All the universe is in communion unconsciously, naturally. I, the ordinary man, am not in communion. But if that inside me which spoils the communion was not present, then communion would be my natural condition, natural and spontaneous throughout all my life. So you see, I don’t have to strive, to struggle, to achieve Meditation, communion, perfection. That is the natural state, if you like to put it that way, what was intended in the universal scheme, the original intention in the mind of God, if you like to put it in theistic terms. Therefore my task is to come to know what is there inside me which spoils it. And when I know that and understand that, really understand it, then I have cleaned away that fog, that cloud, that dust inside my own being, which prevents this being from also being in total communion. Is that clear? So in our earlier aspiring and attempting to be in communion, our task is very simply the task of purification, nothing else.
In our little experiment which we tried for just a couple of minutes we saw all sorts of things inside us which prevent that communion. Now we must not make the mistake of saying, “I must get rid of these obstructions.” It is not like sweeping all the little bits of paper, or dust, or whatever there may be in a room, putting it into a dustpan or something and throwing it away, outside into a dustbin, and then the room is clean. The removing of the dirt certainly means that the room is clean, you can’t buy a bottle of cleanness and sprinkle it all round and say, “Now the room is clean”, because the litter is still there. Nor is it in this case, where the mind is concerned, a case of collecting all the dirt and taking it outside. Why? There is no outside. All that which is in my own mind and heart, which prevents communion, is my mind itself. The mind is ill, it is sick. When the body is ill you don’t throw the body away into the dustbin, do you? You have to heal it. In the same way we have to heal the mind. Let the mind get healed, get whole. That is very important. It is not I who do anything, it is the Total Transcendent Reality which just is there waiting to come out in perfection and beauty. The moment we see, really see, what obstructs, then the obstruction is removed, the illness of the mind is healed. Then we are totally in communion, in the state of Meditation.
It is only then that we are truly human, because that is the meaning of the word human, the creature who is the happy creator. The Sanskrit root of the word man, really means to be conscious in such a manner that his mind is the perpetual source of creation. That is the root meaning of the word man. You will see that this meaning really is the meaning of the word God, too. We always call God the Creator, and we say that God is in everlasting bliss. Now in the word human, the hu– part, interchangeable in Sanskrit with su–, means happy, not happy in the sense of being satisfied with a desired result, but happy because its natural creative power simply pours itself out in perfect creation. That is the meaning of the word human, the happy creator, naturally, spontaneously. So the state of communion is the state of the happy creator. You don’t have to produce the evidence of this creation in terms of writing books or writing symphonies or building wonderful buildings, or producing a marvellous new educational system, or a sociological structure or anything, not at all. You, the living person, are the source of continuous creation like Gods … like. It is Divine in quality, in other words, it is pure, it is perfect. This is what we must understand.
Let us just try it again for a minute or two, and bear in mind that, since our task is to heal ourselves of the illnesses of the mind, being able to see these illnesses and recognise them as such is the very means for the realization of Transcendence. If there were not demons inside me, there could be no angels either. I alone can convert those demons inside me, heal them and make them have golden wings instead of terrible horns and red eyes! I myself can do that. That is one’s personal and individual responsibility. That is why no other person can save you. I know this goes quite against the belief of hundreds of millions of people that their teacher, whether it be Jesus or Muhammad or Zarathushtra or anybody, is their Saviour. The Saviour saves vicariously only if we ourselves let it happen. But we must open our own eyes and we have to work in order to let it happen. Is your hunger satisfied if somebody else, your proxy, eats for you? Your hunger is not satisfied, you have to eat yourself. And if you eat yourself, can you ask somebody else to digest on your behalf, do your work for you? You can’t. You have to do it yourself. There is a tremendous self-responsibility. You know how when for instance Jesus performs his healing miracles, the healing takes place because the man has repented of his sin. What does that mean? He see this is ill, he really sees, and he turns right away from it. And then Jesus says, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,” and the man is healed. It is not that he does some wonderful voodoo or magic or something, and the man is healed, not at all. Our part has to come first, and this everlasting grace, this everlasting mystery, this marvel, this wonder of existence functions freely through us.
So let us just observe one or two points in connection with the body, because the body interferes with Meditation a lot. Let the body be at ease, no strains, no tensions in the body. Let it be perfectly comfortable and poised. All strains in the body represent associated strains in the psyche. Psychical, mental disorder or strain is associated with bodily strains also, because this is a psycho-physical organism. It is not just a physical organism, it is psycho-physical organism. So when the body is in poise and at ease, the strains in the psyche also release and there is an increasing peace in the mind, an active peace, active peace. So let the body release all its strains … just feel the different parts of the body where the muscles are tense, especially with the neck. Let the lower jaw release its tensions, and you will find that tensions round the eyes disappear. And when that happens you will find that your thought will be calm and it will flow peacefully. Remain intensely alert in mind, very alert, wide awake and just breathe easily and comfortably … You will find that the movement of the diaphragm will be very gentle and rhythmic as you breathe in and out, very gently Now this gentle rhythm of the breath is your own distinctive life-rhythm, and when it flows so naturally, so comfortably that you do not have to make it flow naturally, then your state of harmony with the life-rhythm of the world around you is established.
A talk given by Phiroz Mehta at Attingham Park on 2nd December 1956. This talk was not recorded
Continued from part 1
Whoso realizes superconsciousness is the embodied Revelation, the fount and source of religion. The attainment of superconsciousness, which is the experience of the Silence, the Void, the Plenum, the Infinite, the Absolute — call it what you will — is the source-experience from which have emerged the teachings embodied in words like Brahman and Ātman, Godhead and God, Eternity and Immortality, the Kingdom of Heaven and Nirvāṇa, soul and spirit, and all other similar words or phrases which are current specie on the counters of theology and philosophy.
In that superconsciousness, all that our sublimest thought and our profoundest intuitions have grasped are as nought. There is no God there, the God of our conceptions, no time, no space. You, by virtue of having become the absolute good, are at one with the ceaseless creativeness of all existence, with the as-it-is-in-itself-ness of all existence. These are realizations by you of real meanings of omnipotence and omniscience. You, the within-the-self Infinite, are one with the Infinite which is the Universal Transcendent. Now you see why the great Creation Hymn of the Ṛg-veda starts with the words, “Then was not non-existent nor existent”, and goes on to say “no sign of the day’s and night’s divider. That one Thing, breathless, breathed by its own nature: apart from it was nothing whatsoever… concealed in darkness, this-All was indiscriminated chaos… void and formless.” Next, listen to the Bṛhadāra ṇyaka Upanishad: “Looking around, and seeing no other than himself, Ātman said ‘I am’.” The Ātman, which is the eternal spirit within man, never speaks human words. But in that superb statement, how divinely asserted is the unitary Self-existence of Eternal Being — for remember that you cannot say “I am” unless there is another, a “you are”, when you look around. Here is the origin of the Single God, non-trinitarian, the origin of Ahura-Mazda, of Yahweh, of Allah.
The next step as you deliberately involve from superconsciousness is represented in the opening words of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light: and there was light.” “In the beginning” — this means that the yogi’s Immortal superconsciousness of eternal existence is changing into the mortal awareness of a space-time world. The time consciousness operates again, and you, becoming conscious of entity, are said to create that entity. In terms of consciousness, there is only creation — at once — just like that in a flash (diectically). Since you in the state of Pure Consciousness (that is, superconsciousness) are God, the instantaneous awareness of entity is described as “God created…” “Earth” means the entity which is to be. As in the Ṛg-veda, so in Genesis, entity was void and formless, till the spirit of God — the female spirit (remember Rucha, feminine; remember the female Shakti of Parabrahman in Hindu teaching, the principle of manifestation and differentiation) — till this spirit of God moves over the face of the deep, that is, over the as yet unbridged gap between the superconscious and the ordinarily conscious states, between the potential and the actual.
The Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa states that “In the beginning this universe was Brahman.” Then Brahman creates Agni, Vāyu and Sūrya, makes them lords of earth, air and sky, and Itself (Brahman) goes beyond. Then Brahman returns again by means of Name and Form, and as far as Name and Form extend, so far does the universe extend. Brahman means the superconsciousness. Rightly have linguists translated Agni, Vāyu and Sūrya as fire, wind and sun, but pitiably have they understood Agni, Vāyu and Sūrya merely as fire, wind and sun, merely as nature gods in the pantheon of a polytheistic people primitively groping after spiritual reality. The great gods of the Vedic hymns in their true meaning stand for the different states of consciousness into which the discipline of yogi and mystic take him. So too, earth, air and sky, as symbols, must be correctly understood. “Brahman goes beyond” — referring to the Transcendence. “Brahman returns as Name and Form, and as far as Name and Form extend, so for does this universe extend.” Name and Form stand for your own psycho-physical constitution — your personal manifested universe — and also for all the manifested universe. That which you yourself are aware of in terms of Name and Form, by means of Name and Form, constitutes your universe. Hence, “as far as Name and Form extend, so far does this universe extend.” “Returning as Name and Form” refers to the process of becoming conscious of all entities, physical and mental. I mentioned earlier that all discrete entity awareness is in terms of Name and Form. In Genesis we have: “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every fowl of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them… and Adam gave names unto them.”
The profound utterances of the Scriptures refer to you and me, to what happens to you and me in the deep states of consciousness. All that we may falteringly talk about, simply, and with deep humility, is about the Immanent in ourselves. That Immanent comes to full glory in superconsciousness — “And now O Father glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was”, as Jesus said. In that superconsciousness, the Immanent and Transcendent have become one consciousness, the manhood has been lifted into unity with the Godhead. Thereafter, the Immanent in us, involving again into the human state, albeit the perfected human, is harassed, crucified, at every turn, for it sheds its vestures of the Divine Splendour in the process. It is sadly reduced to the limitations of body-mind, and to act and speech, to tell of that ineffable light. But this experience of Glorified Being. and this telling of it, for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, is indeed Revelation. And thus Revelation reveals consciousness to us, its unfolding and flowering into superconsciousness and its involving back again into our mortal awareness, and does not concern itself with matter-of-fact world process. But since our vocabularies emerge out of our sense-experience of matter, we inevitably utilize — we are in fact compelled to utilize — an inadequate, almost an improper, tool for communicating the Immortal. How wise the Buddha was to teach us: leave alone the undiscussable, and concern yourself only with the discipline which will lead you to the heart of the Transcendent, Nirvāṇa.
Now it is stated in the Mahā-vagga that after the Enlightenment, the Buddha spent seven days looking at the tree-root where he had sat in meditation. Of course he did not stare with his physical eyes at the root of a physical tree! This tree is the Aśvattha tree of Indian teachings, with roots above and branches below — your own brain and spine and nerves. The utter purification of the heart and mind is a necessary disciplinary measure before realizing superconsciousness, which is the Enlightenment. This purification is the process of re-becoming the child. The human infant unavoidably and helplessly undergoes conditioning in terms of mortality from the beginning, and so the adult’s mind is not wholesome. All this is cleansed. The mind is healed. And he who has by himself cleansed and healed the mind, who has deliberately re-become the child, the Holy Child now, is fit to enter the kingdom of heaven. So the Buddha, after the bliss of superconsciousness, looks at this wonderful new instrument, the utterly pure mind, something not possessed by him who has not realized superconsciousness. In the first stage of the rediscovered kingdom of childhood, one sees all mental relationships truly, one sees the entity world of mental process as it is and how it goes on. The faculty of reason of the discursive mind comes to full flower. After superconsciousness, you see the relationships of your particular mind’s (or any other mind’s) processes to that void plenitude which is the transcendent unitary origin of all differentiated particulars. Henceforth, what in India is called Buddhi comes into operation. Buddhi does not reason analytically. It is a sort of transcendent reason. It is something much profounder and more certain than what we commonly mean by intuition. We intuit in the deeper levels of consciousness. But when the Seer realizes full superconsciousness, intuiting is left behind.
Buddhi, in its deepest sense, is the correspondent on the plane of Divine intelligence (or Mahat) of reason at our levels.
No wonder then that Gotama the Buddha “looks at this tree root for seven days.” A little later, he spends seven days in meditation under the Rājāyatana tree — the royal abode or kingly plane. This is the superconsciousness again. Coming back from this he meditates again under the Ajapāla or Goatherd’s banyan tree, representing the ordinary human world. Thus the Buddhi of the superconsciousness inspires the forms of reasoned speech-thought in which the Buddha’s teaching will be couched.
How does realization in superconsciousness link through into the verbal forms which are acknowledged as Revelation? Obviously, only hints can be given. The Sāṇḍilya Upanishad says: “Samādhi is the union of the soul with the Supreme Spirit, without the threefold state of the knower, the known and the knowing.” And the Paingala Upanishad says: “Samādhi is that state in which the mind becomes of the ‘form’ of the meditated… Then arise the modifications pertaining to Ātman. Such modifications cannot be ‘known’; they can only be ‘inferred’ through ‘memory’ of the samādhi state.” Actually, the words “known” “inferred” and “memory” are hopelessly inadequate in this context. The samādhi or superconscious state is the original home of those flushes of illumination which mark the inspired Seer. Superconsciousness completely transcends the unidirectionality of time of which mortals are conscious. This transcendent dimension of superconsciousness drastically limits its immortal nature as its influence works down through our normal mentation. Thus the speech-thought forms in which the inspiration from superconsciousness will become manifest are the forms which are characteristic of the particular Teacher Himself. And these forms are of course related to the forms which characterize the mental activities of the Teacher’s own race and the traditions of that race. And these forms in their turn are the product of the human experience and science and philosophizing of the times.
Now we can understand how such widely divergent systems as the Vedānta and the Sāṁkhya arise, how the profundities are diversely portrayed in the Great Religions. We can understand how the Vedas and Upanishads, the first and second chapters of Genesis, etc. etc., present statements which are not wholly consistent with each other. The pattern of mind of him who realizes superconsciousness determines the forms in which such realization will be re-presented.
Now you will see why I stated that the experience of superconsciousness is the source-experience by you, here-now, out of which emerge all the teachings embodied in words like God, Eternity, Ātman, Nirvāṇa, etc. The “Truth” which the heart of religion tries to convey is the fact of your realization of superconsciousness. It is not concerned with universal process. The heart of religion is internal to you the person. Please do not fall into the trap of saying “But this is all subjective, etc.” In superconsciousness there is no subjective-objective, greater-lesser, or any of the deluding pairs of opposites.
Men seek answers to their deep questions in a form which will simultaneously satisfy their commonsense, their scientific knowledge of the world and also their sense of the Transcendent. The theologian tries to satisfy this demand. The philosopher, and sometimes the scientist also, tries to do so. The pity of it! You cannot use this worldly tool of speech-thought, which expresses your awareness in the mode of mortality, to represent this transcendent superconsciousness which functions in the mode of immortality, and by which you are truly aware of eternal existence. You might as well try to construct a solid cube by drawing an infinite number of squares on a plane surface.
Thus no speech-thought structure satisfying human reason can adequately represent the structureless Revelation realized in superconsciousness. But the innermost depth of our own mind, which is profounder than discursive mind, and in which discursive mind is wholly subsumed, can grasp by Buddhi this transcendent reality, if we “cross to the other shore” as they said. So it is, that if and when we use words, not to express literally but to stimulate and to inspire, in short, if we use language symbolically and poetically, then we may profitably use thought-speech, simply to affirm the superconscious realization of the Infinite.
I said earlier that Revelation reveals superconsciousness to you in samādhi. The various Words of God, as we call the inspired Scriptures, are poetic affirmations of that revelation. They are symbolic utterances. They constitute the “Truth” which is the heart of religion. What we commonly call the world process is that of which we are conscious in terms of mortality awareness, by the use of our senses and discursive mind. The investigation of the phenomenal nature of such a world process and of what we call the principles underlying the phenomena, or the laws of nature, is the province of science and philosophy and the task of scientist and philosopher.
Put in another form, you, aware of existence in the mode of mortality, and functioning as a finite being using your senses and discursive mind, search, discover and state the truth whose name is science or philosophy, in speech-thought forms. And you, aware of existence in the mode of Immortality, try to affirm the truth whose name is revelation, also in speech-thought forms.
Now because our common medium of communication, speech, belongs to the sphere of mortal awareness, it is adequate for science and philosophy; but it is inadequate for Revelation which is of the sphere of immortal superconsciousness. Understand this, and you wholly resolve the so-called conflict between Revelation and Science, between Faith and Reason.
Therefore scientist and philosopher and theologian, and any human being whatsoever, can legitimately and confidently hold to his Faith in so far as that Faith is what he himself has realized, in so far as he fully bears in mind that the Silent Word of God is a transcendent other than the mortal words of man.
Come, then, into the state of carefree security by treading the path of Holiness. When the Beauty that lies at the heart of all things is revealed before your eyes because the man-made-in-the-image-of-God within you is sculptured to perfection, your heart will be at rest. You will know the peace of God which passes all understanding. Those mighty givers of Revelation of old swung open the portals of Immortality. They went back into the shining sea, not to be lost but to live as the inexhaustible source of divine sustenance to all of us mortals. Once again those portals stand open. Enter freely, for that is our divine heritage from everlasting to everlasting, and the journey through time into eternity is indeed our divine destiny.
By Phiroz Mehta
It is generally agreed that physical health is necessary to us, and at least, helpful to living a spiritual life. For our present purpose let us accept the statement — however, let us not, at this stage, probe into the meaning of the terms “physical health” and “spiritual life”. Instead, let us watch their meaning emerge in the course of our considerations.
Most of us regard man as body and mind, or body and spirit, or body, soul and spirit. The outlook is essentially dualistic. The word “health” is usually associated with the bodily life, and “spiritual” with the life of the soul. These schools of thought — philosophical, mystical or religious — which regarded the body as evil or sinful, or as of no consequence, or an hindrance to “spiritual growth”, generally disregarded bodily health altogether. All others have vaguely had the idea of a sound mind in a sound body as a background either to their spiritual life, or their everyday life in the world of affairs.
It is our habit to identify ourselves with whatever makes us happy, significant, or successful — as for instance our identification with the hero or heroine of a story or historical event. We like to believe the best about us, and hence our proneness to enjoy flattery and our inevitable reaction of thinking well of the flatterer. Most of us prefer to enjoy the delusion that we are fit and well. It is not uncommon to hear a confident, hilarious voice barking about his “eighty years of age and never a day’s illness”, or to see someone beam benignly when falsely complimented with a conventional “How well you are looking!” Actually, however, assuming that some of us do not arrive at the point of acute pain which compels us to acknowledge we are ill, there are rarely grounds for saying that we do not need healing. Heredity, environment, upbringing, the various chances of our lives (such as epidemics, wars, accidents,) our incomplete knowledge and incomplete capacity for harmonious living, are all contributory causes for ill-health. Civilization functions at high tension — too high for the majority of us. The strains and stresses, both within and upon the human organism, are more than it can bear with ease, and consequently there is disease. The nice equilibrium characterizing a normal healthy life is thus violently disturbed and so we become sick and ailing.
Indeed the majority of people need healing, both in body and in soul. Let us first deal with the body. Its primary needs are:
Air is the most important of all our needs. We can dispense with all else for days together, but if we are deprived of air for even five minutes we would die. Free access to fresh air should therefore be available at all times to everyone. Correct breathing is thus seen to be the sine qua non of physical existence. There are a few interesting points about breathing which may be useful to note here.
It is good for the skin to have as much contact as possible with air. A regular air-bath, or one in combination with a sun-bath, tones up the skin, making it function more efficiently, opens the pores, and helps greatly in attuning ourselves to hot or cold weather and winds.
Water is essential for cleansing the digestive tract, the tissues, and the blood-stream. Soft cool water is best for drinking, and it should be taken as often as we feel thirsty, between meals, but not at meals. It is a great oxygen (energy) supplier and is a potent factor in maintaining vigorous health. In temperate climates about four to six tumblers of water per day would prove beneficial. It is better to avoid all stimulating or poisonous drinks, and take soft cool water instead. Fruit juices, in moderation, are also health promoters.
Food is probably the most powerful single physical factor in maintaining health, in producing disease, or in curing disease. The science of dietetics should constitute one of the essential elements in any true education. Hunger is amongst the two or three most powerful causes impelling us to activity, and the importance of all that concerns our daily food should not be underestimated. Hard and fast rules are unwise — for one man’s meat may be another’s poison — but certain general principles prove valuable guiding lines.
Continued in part 2 and part 3
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