There is a Cosmic Life which permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe, being in and through all things. This Life is not merely a vibration, or form of energy; it is a Living Substance. All things are made from it; it is All, and in all.
This Substance thinks, and it assumes the form of that which it thinks about. The thought of a form, in this substance, creates the form; the thought of a motion institutes the motion. The visible universe, with all its forms and motions, exists because it is in the thought of Original Substance.
Man is a form of Original Substance, and can think original thoughts; and within himself, man’s thoughts have controlling or formative power. The thought of a condition produces that condition; the thought of a motion institutes that motion. So long as man thinks of the conditions and motions of disease, so long will the conditions and motions of disease exist within him. If man will think only of perfect health, the Principle of Health within him will maintain normal conditions.
To be well, man must form a conception of perfect health, and hold thoughts harmonious with that conception as regards himself and all things. He must think only of healthy conditions and functioning; he must not permit a thought of unhealthy or abnormal conditions or functioning to find lodgment in his mind at any time.
In order to think only of healthy conditions and functioning, man must perform the voluntary acts of life in a perfectly healthy way. He cannot think perfect health so long as he knows that he is living in a wrong or unhealthy way; or even so long as he has doubts as to whether or not he is living in a healthy way. Man cannot think thoughts of perfect health while his voluntary functions are performed in the manner of one who is sick. The voluntary functions of life are eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping. When man thinks only of healthy conditions and functioning, and performs these externals in a perfectly healthy manner, he must have perfect health.
In eating, man must learn to be guided by his hunger. He must distinguish between hunger and appetite, and between hunger and the cravings of habit; he must NEVER eat unless he feels an EARNED HUNGER. He must learn that genuine hunger is never present after natural sleep, and that the demand for an early morning meal is purely a matter of habit and appetite; and he must not begin his day by eating in violation of natural law. He must wait until he has an Earned Hunger, which, in most cases, will make his first meal come at about the noon hour. No matter what his condition, vocation, or circumstances, he must make it his rule not to eat until he has an EARNED HUNGER; and he may remember that it is far better to fast for several hours after he has become hungry than to eat before he begins to feel hunger. It will not hurt you to go hungry for a few hours, even though you are working hard; but it will hurt you to fill your stomach when you are not hungry, whether you are working or not. If you never eat until you have an Earned Hunger, you may be certain that in so far as the time of eating is concerned, you are proceeding in a perfectly healthy way. This is a self-evident proposition.
As to what he shall eat, man must be guided by that Intelligence which has arranged that the people of any given portion of the earth’s surface must live on the staple products of the zone.
Have faith in God, and ignore “food science” of every kind. Do not pay the slightest attention to the controversies as to the relative merits of cooked and raw foods; of vegetables and meats; or as to your need for carbohydrates and proteins. Eat only when you have an earned hunger, and then take the common foods of the masses of the people in the zone in which you live, and have perfect confidence that the results will be good. They will be. Do not seek for luxuries, or for things imported or fixed up to tempt the taste; stick to the plain solids; and when these do not “taste good,” fast until they do. Do not seek for “light” foods; for easily digestible, or “healthy” foods; eat what the farmers and workingmen eat. Then you will be functioning in a perfectly healthy manner, so far as what to eat is concerned. I repeat, if you have no hunger or taste for the plain foods, do not eat at all; wait until hunger comes. Go without eating until the plainest food tastes good to you; and then begin your meal with what you like best.
In deciding how to eat, man must be guided by reason. We can see that the abnormal states of hurry and worry produced by wrong thinking about business and similar things have led us to form the habit of eating too fast, and chewing too little. Reason tells us that food should be chewed, and that the more thoroughly it is chewed the better it is prepared for the chemistry of digestion. Furthermore, we can see that the man who eats slowly and chews his food to a liquid, keeping his mind on the process and giving it his undivided attention, will enjoy more of the pleasure of taste than he who bolts his food with his mind on something else. To eat in a perfectly healthy manner, man must concentrate his attention on the act, with cheerful enjoyment and confidence; he must taste his food, and he must reduce each mouthful to a liquid before swallowing it. The foregoing instructions, if followed, make the function of eating completely perfect; nothing can be added as to what, when, and how.
In the matter of how much to eat, man must be guided by the same inward intelligence, or Principle of Health, which tells him when food is wanted. He must stop eating in the moment that he feels hunger abating; he must not eat beyond this point to gratify taste. If he ceases to eat in the instant that the inward demand for food ceases, he will never overeat; and the function of supplying the body with food will be performed in a perfectly healthy manner.
The matter of eating naturally is a very simple one; there is nothing in all the foregoing that cannot be easily practiced by any one. This method, put in practice, will infallibly result in perfect digestion and assimilation; and all anxiety and careful thought concerning the matter can at once be dropped from the mind. Whenever you have an earned hunger, eat with thankfulness what is set before you, chewing each mouthful to a liquid, and stopping when you feel the edge taken from your hunger.
The importance of the mental attitude is sufficient to justify an additional word. While you are eating, as at all other times, think only of healthy conditions and normal functioning. Enjoy what you eat; if you carry on a conversation at the table, talk of the goodness of the food, and of the pleasure it is giving you. Never mention that you dislike this or that; speak only of those things which you like. Never discuss the wholesomeness or unwholesomeness of foods; never mention or think of unwholesomeness at all. If there is anything on the table for which you do not care, pass it by in silence, or with a word of commendation; never criticise or object to anything. Eat your food with gladness and with singleness of heart, praising God and giving thanks. Let your watchword be perseverance;
whenever you fall into the old way of hasty eating, or of wrong thought and speech, bring yourself up short and begin again.
It is of the most vital importance to you that you should be a self-controlling and self-directing person; and you can never hope to become so unless you can master yourself in so simple and fundamental a matter as the manner and method of your eating. If you cannot control yourself in this, you cannot control yourself in anything that will be worth while. On the other hand, if you carry out the foregoing instructions, you may rest in the assurance that in so far as right thinking and right eating are concerned you are living in a perfectly scientific way; and you may also be assured that if you practice what is prescribed in the following chapters you will quickly build your body into a condition of perfect health.