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The Secret of the Blood

FOOD REGIMENS, DIETS,
AND SPIRITUAL LIFE
 

   ALL OF THE MAJOR monotheistic religions advocated periods of more or less strict abstinence in order to obtain a spiritual goal. The Christians have their period of Lent, the Muslims hold Ramadan, and the Jews hold Yom Kippur.

In ancient times the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Greeks, and the Romans practiced fasting for religious reasons as well. In Egypt, the participants engaging in the mysteries of Isis and Osiris prepared themselves through fasting that could last between 7 and 42 days.

Short-term periods of abstinence were recommended in preparation for particular events, but the different religions oftentimes gave instructions concerning long-term food regimens also. Indeed, if a short period of abstinence could have a positive effect on the spirit then a less severe restriction followed over a longer period of time – throughout life in fact – in the form of a particular food regimen, could have equally beneficial results. Among these many regimens the most well known is the vegetarian diet that produces a moderating effect on man.

A substantial consumption of meat works as a stimulant on human beings. It renders them more active, excitable, even aggressive and violent. On the other hand, a diet without animal meat is known to greatly loosen the connections between the spirit and the body. Generally speaking, material interests are not very strong and physical passions diminish. It becomes easier to exercise self-control and to overcome desires and impulses. Thus a certain openness towards higher things is facilitated.

Many people today who follow special diets for health reasons also note similar changes. Shortly after putting their new eating habits into practice they discover that their diet has an effect on their spirit as well. Among many of them, the search for improved health is their primary motivation but later transforms into a search for personal development…through nutrition. It is not unusual to hear these people talk about all of the spiritual progress they accomplished following the change in their eating habits. Is this progress genuine and is it really a result of the food they eat?

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