Bernard says more about the importance of food and speaks of the importance of “Realisation in Consciousness” as this is what empowers our Thought Bricks and helps bring them into manifestation.
LESSON FOURTEEN: The Life Force in Food
My dear Student,
Have you made a start yet, and introduced something raw into your diet? Or juices?
If you have not been accustomed to raw foods, you will probably find that your digestion will object to them unless you introduce them gradually. Also, your taste will have to be “educated ” after its long session with “dead” meals This is the way, then, to begin.
As I mentioned, you should start with sandwiches. Cut some thin, firm slices of bread and butter or margarine, and spread with some savoury yeast extract. Or for a change, spread the bread with peanut butter or a nutcream. Then scrub a young carrot or peel an old one, grate it on a suet grater and sprinkle liberally on the bread. Press down firmly.
If you like, you can vary this. Finely chopped onion is a tasty addition (and onions have powerful cleansing properties) or you can add grated swede (which contains some of the valuable vitamins found in oranges). Again, you can introduce a little chopped parsley or mint or thyme or sage; from this step you can pass to watercress, lettuce or finely chopped cabbage-leaf. You can make the sandwich a sweet one by omitting the yeast extract, sprinkling the bread with sugar and adding a few sultanas to the other ingredients. And – for a really original sandwich-you can have a honey-sandwich by adding the the fresh blossoms of primroses, campion or violets. You get the honey where the bee gets it, then!
Once you have begun to have these sandwiches every day you will see what I mean about live foods. A whole day on boiled, mashed, soggy food will leave you with a feeling of “flatness” and “emptiness” – but once you experience the satisfying quality of live food, you will long for the fresh “tang” of it and the feeling of being well-nourished. Another way to introduce raw foods, especially with children, is to add finely chopped parsley, mint, watercress or other green stuff to mashed potato. It will scarcely be noticed, except to give it a more colourful appearance.
From this beginning, you could go on to salads. Choose a large plate and scatter over it finely chopped heart of cabbage. Add grated raw carrot and swede and sliced beetroot, chopped onion, sliced tomatoes and radishes, sliced cucumber, grated cheese or a few chopped nutsall of these ingredients or only three or four, according to the season. Then watch your health and appetite improve! With a salad like this you can have potatoes steamed or baked in their jackets. Or some crisply-toasted bread with butter, margarine or nut-spread. This, with a little fruit or a pudding to follow, will make a sustaining and delicious meal.
If you are one of those who feel the need for a cooked meal and who do not take kindly to raw, try this. Make a salad as I have described; then make a thick, savoury sauce – cheese, onion or parsley, perhaps – and, while the sauce is hot, quickly stir in the salad ingredients. Allow to get heated through, then pile on toast. You will find the salad keeps much of its crispness and flavour while you have the satisfaction of something cooked.
While we are on the subject of foods, we must speak of whole foods. So many things we eat have been “refined”. In the process they have lost much of their value. For instance, “white” bread has been robbed of its valuable bran, which is a laxative. Also it has lost something of its nutritional value. The best bread of all is whole-wheat bread. After this comes wholemeal bread and then the various kinds of “brown”. Sugar too, has been depleted in its refining process. So insist on brown sugar in future Very soon you will detect at once the crude taste of white sugar, even if added to a hot drink. Likewise, black treacle is to be preferred to syrup. It has splendid qualities in it. And while you are making improvements, go easy on vinegar, adding half-water to mint sauce and the like, and using apple or cider vinegar instead, whenever possible. Cut down on salt, too, having as little as possible; it clogs the system, or use celery or vegetable salt instead.
Now – a further improvement. You must get the inside of your body spring-cleaned. Nearly all digestive troubles are caused by faulty elimination. Your body gets clogged up with waste food matter, which turns sour. Is it any wonder that nothing you eat digests properly, but turns sour too? So go to a Health Store and buy some herbal laxative. Be sure it is herbal. Such a laxative contains many of the foods that primitive man ate as a matter of course, so these are not medicines, but really healthful additions to the diet. Ash-leaves, for instance, are laxative. But who wants to go hunting round for them, to wash and prepare them and take the right quantity at the right time? Get a herbal laxative and you have all you need for keeping the system clean.
In the East, wise men say that even an apple makes a nourishing meal provided it is slowly chewed – so thoroughly that it melts away in the mouth of its own accord. So, to get the very best out of your food, chew and chew, mixing the food with saliva and you will find that you are much more quickly satisfied than when you “bolt” your meals. Also it will cure indigestion.
Never eat when worried, hurried or upset. Many people fly to a meal as a consolation, but this is the worst thing you can do. You will not be able to digest it; it will upset your inside and then you will feel worse than ever. To digest our food, we need saliva, which contains digestive juices. So if the thought of even a piece of dry bread makes your mouth water, you can know you are really and healthily hungry. Of course, when you are worried the saliva doesn’t flow – so you get indigestion. Instead of rushing to eat, then, let yourself get “cooled down”. Put your feet up if possible and look at the daily paper or an interesting book. “Lose” yourself in it and you will presently find that life is not nearly such an impossible business after all. Look around at the people with digestive ailments. They are nearly all timid, impatient, fearful, quick-tempered or over-sensitive. Learn a lesson from this and keep calm! Smile, a little – especially at your self, sometimes – and try to be kind always.
Already I have talked of living in the country as so many people long to do. Perhaps this Course will give you some ideas by showing you how to live cheaply and yet be better-nourished than ever before? Imagine a little country cottage with a good-sized garden. You could grow potatoes, cabbages and other greens, and root vegetables, as well as fruit. You could have satisfying meals, drawing from these simple things and the wild foods of the countryside. I’ll tell you more presently.
In this Section of the Course, we are considering the need for a changed outlook, too, are we not?
In the many hundreds of letters that I receive the thought is expressed very often, as you know, that “The Course is wonderful”. Students write that their lives have been absolutely transformed, their whole outlook changed. And that is the core of it all – for if the whole outlook had not been changed, I could have written Lessons until the end of time, however profound, however brilliant they might have appeared to be, and the life of the Student would have remained exactly as it was.
For instance, some of the study-books I have are like magic to me. I take a quick look at them, read a few sentences I have underlined in red, and in a moment my consciousness lifts and “opens” and all that I need for the day comes flowing in to me, whether it be serenity, power, peace or supply. Another time I may open this very book and read these very words and they remain “just words”. I seem to be as unresponsive as a bit of wood! But the fault is not in the book – it’s in me. That’s obvious, isn’t it? That’s when I go on to another book and read the same truth, but written in a different way. Then once more the “door” of my consciousness opens and all is well. So you see, that is what I try to do for you in “Thought Bricks “.
As the Lessons proceed, you will see that it is the same truth but that I open different doors and show you different glimpses of it. When you say “The Course is wonderful” you mean that I have managed to open a door for you and that you have glimpsed the Truth which is always wonderful. You see? Sometimes a door can be opened by just stating the Truth, but at other times a statement of my own finding of Truth opens a door very widely – as some of you have found. That is the kind of door I like best, too – but never forget, my friends, that all Truth is one and unchanging – that it is only in the way it is presented that there is any change. This is a very important Truth which you should master because it will help you to make progress in your search for Truth.
I found this expressed very clearly in a book written by a wonderful Teacher named Ramacharaka, once. He wrote: “To some, realisation comes like a lightning flash the moment the attention is directed towards it, while in other cases it is necessary to follow a rigorous course of training before realisation in consciousness is acquired. To some it comes suddenly, to others it dawns gradually. Man must master himself before he can hope to exert an influence beyond himself. There is no royal road to unfoldment and power – each step must be taken in turn, and each must take the step himself, and by his own effort…. Be not discouraged if your progress be slow. Be not cast down if you slip back a step after having gained it. You will gain two at the next step. Success and realisation will be yours. Mastery is before. You will attain.” To some who read these words may come the thought:
“But does it matter whether or not I have a ‘Realisation in Consciousness’, so long as I know how to visualise and use affirmations and the like?” In reply to this natural question I will quote a sentence from the book, “Pray and Prosper “, by Ernest Holmes. He writes: “The Spirit can only give us what we take; and since the taking is an act of consciousness, we must be actively aware of the presence of our desire. We must know that the gift is made even before we see it. Consciousness must receive the gift.” So you see, don’t you, that realisation in consciousness is very necessary indeed? That is why I am often urging you to read something, however short, from a Truth book every day.
I don’t only recommend you to read my writings, for whereas I may “open a door” for you one time I may not do so the next – no; I ask you to read all kinds of books about Faith and its wonderful results so that door after door is opened for you and your realisation in consciousness will come. Another very important point I want to stress is this. We do not differ as human beings in the amount of power we have – our only difference is in the amount of power we realise that we have.
“Realisation in Consciousness” is none other than coming into conscious union with the “Comforter”, the “Spirit of Truth”. It is all there, it is all promised. Why do we not take advantage of it and use the power that the Christ tells us we have through Him? It is because we are not truly convinced, we have not faith enough in it, but only little flashes or glimpses. It is because we are not fully aware of our God-given powers. Do you not see, then, that we need to have many “doors” opening to us, to give us glimpses of Truth? Perhaps it will come to us in a flash, but to most of us it comes gradually, dawning in increasing brightness like the rising of the sun. Is it not worth while, then, to persevere, to be ready to try, learn and grow, overcome and strive all the way to victory? So shall every “door” into Truth be blest for us until we too reach the dazzling heights of an abundance of realisation.