70. Occult Training, Meat Diet, Vegetable Diet

The efforts of occult and other schools to reform our way of living, have a highly commendable aim which, when attained, will mean a new epoch in the development of
the human race. The time will surely come when this most desirable end will be arrived at.

The efforts in that direction now being made are a part of the fermentation characteristic of the present time.

Whereas on the other hand the leaders of occult schools work in an absolutely wrong direction, simply clearing the road for the Dark Powers and exposing mankind to danger from the invisible world, the other Reformers have in pursuit of their praiseworthy aim gone much too far considering the necessities of the present day; the work of all these pioneers (reformers' schools), must be readjusted.

To begin with, if psychic exercises are to elevate the soul they must be on a far higher standing and on quite a different level to what is now common. Another road must be taken, for the present one leads to the low planes, the swampy districts of the ethereal world where the greater number of investigators are ensnared by the Powers of Darkness and immersed. The right road must lead in the upward direction from the very first, must not lose itself on inferior planes or indeed linger on those of its own level.

These two roads have nothing in common, being fundamentally different.

The right way elevates the soul from the very start, it rises from the very beginning taking no heed of the invisible matter surrounding it on its own level, much less communing with that of lower, inferior planes. To do so is quite unnecessary, for the normal impulse is to rise upward from the earth. Therefore, be prewarned and avoid acrobatic psychic practices!

During its life on earth the human spirit needs a perfectly healthy, vigorous physical body to fit it to fulfil the purpose for which it is here. If this normal condition is in any way disturbed, it disturbs the necessary harmony between the body and its spirit and only where such harmony exists can the soul develop in strength and become immune against morbid irregularities.

When healthy and untrammelled, the body will, of its own accord, always be in harmony with the spirit and provide it with a solid foundation in the material world, thus helping it to develop and promote Creation.

Everybody sends forth its own individual rays, and these are essential for the work of the spirit in matter, the mysterious generative power, quite distinct from sexual instinct, taking the first place. If the harmony between the body and the spirit be disturbed, this penetrating and illuminating energy will be diverted into other channels and thus weakened for its proper work. The activity of the spirit in matter is thus hindered and paralysed, hence its normal development is prevented with the result that on some later step of its upward climb it will sink back exhausted and will be obliged to go through the process of development a second time. If work that should be done on the dense material plane is left undone, the break or discontinuity cannot be made good on the higher lighter plane owing to the absence of the dense rays emanating from the physical body. The spirit must return to fill the gap.

In this process also perfect consistency and simple common sense is again strikingly evident even to a child if it has rightly grasped the law on which all things depend. It will require yet a series of lectures to interpret the mighty purport and bearing of Creation and bring it near enough to man's understanding to enable him to survey all happenings and note the inferences to be drawn from them, considering them both forwards from cause to effect as backwards from effect to cause; the whole glorious and matchless consistency in the whole complexity spread out before him!

There are many ways in which this generative power so necessary for spiritual work in matter can be diverted, first through overindulgence in sexual intercourse or provocation of the sexual desire, then by occult training, by their culpable and mistaken psychic exercises by which the spirit violently appropriates to itself this power, belonging to the physical body of a mature man, to waste it in this pernicious and useless activity. In both cases it is put to a wrong use, which must end in weakening the physical body. The enfeebled body can no longer send forth the strong emanations the spirit actually needs. Consequently both suffer and this partiality and wrong distribution is highly detrimental to the purpose aimed at, to the object in view. I will not here speak of other by-paths, such as reading foolish books which present a totally false picture of the world to the imagination, etc. These absorb too much sexual power and diverting it into wrong channels, leave the spirit too little energy for the main purpose. In all these cases the ethereal body (in which the spirit is clothed) is weak and immature when it enters the ethereal world on the death of its physical body.

These sins trespass upon and interfere so trenchantly in the whole being of a man that they must be rigorously atoned for in manifold ways. The loss, caused by such wrong doing on earth, clings to man like a burden which becomes heavier and heavier, till, as said above, he comes to a stand-still on his upward journey after which he can no longer advance and from where he sinks back to that point where he branched off from the right road.

The strength or power a spirit acquires by occult practices at the cost of the body is but apparent.
That spirit is not strong, it is like a hot- house plant that can hardly stand a wind, much less a storm. It is in an unhealthy condition and not an advanced one. Its state resembles that of artificially produced fever. At times the fever-patient has considerable strength at his command which he must then make up for by relapsing into a state of still greater weakness. In the case of the fever- patient this lasts for seconds and minutes, but in spiritual cases it lasts for decades or even centuries. The moment comes when all must be repaid and made good.

And here again, I utter a warning cry:

Harmony is the right thing in every case. And harmony is only to be found on the middle way. The beauty and power of harmony have so often been extolled; why should it not be in the right place here?

The teaching of all occult schools is at present erroneous although their aim is lofty and what they would accomplish necessary.

The case is quite different with the leaders and adherents of the reformed method of living, they are on the right road, but, as what they want to introduce and establish
today, will only be suitable to future generations it is no less dangerous. The necessary transition is still wanting. The time to begin is at hand, but one must not jump into new conditions with both feet at once, man must be gradually led to accept them. Decades will not suffice to do this. The method pursued today weakens the body, however thriving it appears to be under the treatment, it will assuredly suffer by a sudden transition never to regain its pristine vigour.

Vegetarianism! It is quite true that vegetarianism refines the physical body, strengthens and heals it, and at the same time refines the spirit. But all this is not to be exacted forthwith from the man of the present day. A circumspect leader is wanting in this pioneer-work to hold back the extremists and keep the struggling reformers within the bounds of wise moderation. The physical body of man today must on no account be suddenly subjected to a vegetarian diet, it will not and does not suffice though often tried. Vegetarian diet is useful in curing certain disorders and sometimes partially assists to recruit bodily vigour, indeed the process of healing may even make it necessary for the patient to keep to it for more than a year, but this must not be lasting and the patient must gradually return to the customary mixed diet if the body is to retain its full vigour; apparent well-being is deceptive. If healthy people will occasionally take to vegetarianism, they will find it very beneficial for a short time, their bodies will become lighter and their souls will soar upwards. This is the result of the change; all change refreshes both the body and the soul. But if they keep to this one-sided diet their bodies will get weaker without their noticing it and will in some respects become more sensitive. Generally speaking, composure and equanimity in most cases do not indicate strength but a certain sort of weakness, physically agreeable and not dejecting, because it is not caused by illness.

This composure resembles the equanimity of healthy
old age (where the body only is physically weaker) much nearer than it resembles weakness resulting from illness. The body suddenly deprived of the nourishment it has been accustomed to for thousands of years, cannot produce the generative power that the soul needs to accomplish its mission in physical matter.

Many confirmed vegetarians noticing an abatement of the sexual instinct, joyfully acclaim this as progress. But this by no means indicates that vegetarian diet has ennobled their souls, only that their generative power has been lowered and consequently their capacity to soar upwards in the material world has been lessened.

Certainly, if by ennobling the soul, the abnormal keenness to satisfy sexual desire, characteristic of the present time, should abate, it would be great and praiseworthy progress. It is also true that meat-diet encourages and aggravates the desire to satisfy the sexual instinct. But we must not judge by the man of today, for in his case his sexual instinct has been artificially, unnaturally and morbidly developed by different causes and not by meat diet alone. There where sexual instinct is dulled, it does not follow that there is less generative power, the former does not depend on the latter, on the contrary, generative power is able to advance man and to liberate him from the thraldom of the coarse animal instinct, and is indeed the best means to do so.

The leaders of the present reforming movements are the pioneers of the coming epoch, of the next great step forward in man's development. This will come about under all circumstances and they will then march forward victoriously, however fiercely and desperately the upholders of old customs will fight against them. These pioneers must learn to be circumspect leaders. A wise leader must not heedlessly overlook the time and circumstances now actually existing and he must look to the future and consider what is above and beyond dense physical matter. He will then perceive that there must always have been a gap, a defect in our present system which continues to make itself felt and will surely end in a break-down however ingeniously the system was built up. The bridge is yet missing to enable the physical bodies of present- day mankind to cross over to the new conditions without detriment to their spiritual activity.

The first step towards reformed life would be to keep to white meat only, such as poultry, veal, lamb, and so on, together with an increased amount of vegetable food. Only thus, quite slowly, step by step, should man proceed, until the body is so trained that it can retain its full vigour, in spite of vegetarian diet.

“Have care for your body, do not neglect it!” I would call out as a warning to the one party and “Do not forget that you are of the spirit!” I would call out to the other party. Then a right system will grow out of the confusion of the present conflicting opinions.

I will not enter here into an argument with those who say: no animal should be slain (for the plant also has a soul). It is only the ignorant and backward who think so. It shows that they have not penetrated into the secrets of Creation that have been hitherto revealed.