2. Energy Flow, Fasting And Mind Control
Vital force is essential to recovery. When a person is tired, s/he will eventually be compelled to lie down and go to sleep and, normally, such a one will sleep until such time as the cerebral centers recognize that the body has regained sufficient electrical (vital) force to fuel life’s usual activities. In health, s/he will awake in due time. We cannot sleep too much but, obviously, we can sleep too little.
In the last century Russell Thacker Trail, M.D. pointed out that nothing is remedial—that is, conducive to the healing process—except those conditions which economize the expenditure of the forces of the sick organism.
Most people agree that the only real curative agencies are those decreed by nature. Hereward Carrington, Ph.D. reminded us that this is so, then we should look to nature: to the animals in the wild, to observe what they do. How do animals live, what do they do when injured or when sick? He further pointed out that, in every instance, we find that when animals live in a congenial environment, they eat their own food; they abhor and refuse all “foreign” food and, in sickness, they, more often than not, refuse food, often for days and, in severe cases, for weeks. Eventually, weakened but recovered from their ailment, they begin to forage for food. Instinctively, animals know when it is time to eat and when they should refrain from eating and thus begin to conserve their bodily energy through the process of sleep. Instinctively, and prompted no doubt by the sensation of thirst, they also drink a far greater quantity of water than they usually do. In other words, in sickness or injury, they resort to fasting. There has never been a time in all of recorded history when man did not fast, for one reason or another: to attain spiritual, mental or physical excellence and, at times, to achieve a worldly objective. Obviously, mankind would not have consistently fasted unless he derived considerable benefit therefrom. We find the rationale for such benefit from what Trail said: namely, that if healing is to take place, then the available vital resources must be permitted to be focused on that effort and not directed elsewhere in all manner of extraneous pursuits.
It is well known that the digestion of food requires a vigorous mechanical effort which can exhaust not only the overworked muscles which comprise the alimentary canal, but also the vital resources in supplying the means of digestion. The process requires a well-stocked larder of secretions and enzymes for the efficient completion of the highly-complex chemical resolutions required to change the larger food molecules into organic molecules of a size suitable for transport across and through the cellular
barriers of the mucous membranes and thence into the bloodstream of life.
These secretions are not just there. They have to be manufactured, stored and transported, processes which expend vital force. Dr. Robert Beaumont, M.D., in working with the wounded French trapper, Alexis St. Martin, found that whenever the man was ill, any food eaten would simply lie in the stomach for periods as long as 40 hours, during which time it was not digested but rather subjected to fermentative and putrefactive agents. This remains a vivid demonstration of the fact that the control center in the brain knows full well when food should not be taken into the body and sends out the dictum by urgent means (via the autonomic nervous network) to cease the digestive effort because there is a greater need in illness: that of physiological rest during which time the resources of the body can be conserved with the energy redirected into more appropriate channels, to the healing of wounded and/or ailing parts.
Dewey, Densmore, Trall, Jennings, Upton Sinclair and others all recognized that, during abstention from food, minimal bodily activity goes on and, consequently, there is little “wear and tear” on the organism in general, a fact which, as a direct consequence, would, under cerebral guidance, permit the fasting individual to subsist on his/her own resources even for a few months, while, at the same time, the necessary energy, supplied through appropriately chosen channels, is directed to the areas where a need exists.
Herbert M. Shelton, in his book Natural Hygiene, Man’s Pristine Way of Life, quotes Dr. Isaac Jennings discussing a fast being taken by an acutely-ill child, as follows:
“There is now little action of the system generally, and consequently, there is but little wear and tear of machinery; and like the dormouse, it might subsist for months on its own internal resources, if that were necessary, and everything else favored. The bowels too have been quiet for a number of days, and they might remain as they are for weeks and months to come without danger, if this were essential to the prolongation of life. The muscles of voluntary motion are at rest and cost nothing for their maintenance, save a slight expenditure of safekeeping forces to hold them in readiness for action at any future time if their services are needed. So of all the other parts and departments; the most perfect economy is everywhere exercised in the appropriation and use of the vital energies.”
It is this ability of the living organism, and man is no exception, to self-direct the digestion of its own tissues during periods of abstinence from food from outside sources, combined with the inescapable fact that, when ill, animals, including man, tend to lose their appetite and are thus forced into abstinence that leads us to conclude that fasting is a method decreed by nature to conserve body energy by reducing normal activity for the purposes of redirecting available energy to more essential purposes. It would appear that this is a concept and fact of sufficient importance to be brought to the attention of our ailing clients. It is one of those things that makes sense. The fact that fasting is a sensible procedure when illness or injury exist is further supported by another clearly observable phenomenon—namely that, unless the brain cells have been so damaged that they cannot function any longer automatically, up until the point of cessation of cellular activity, death—the mind remains in control of all bodily activity, the autolysis being carried out in a precisely-defined order or urgency: first, the elimination of excess toxic materials which are either already in solution or capable of being made ready for elimination; then, the fatty tissues, wherever located, these to be followed in due course by the disintegration and elimination of wens, tumors, diseased parts in general; healing; all long before vital muscular supports and/or organs are broken down.
The last point which serves to give credibility to fasting as a naturally-given means of healing is that before vital organs even begin to disintegrate, the fasting individual, usually experiences the sensation of hunger which is frequently extremely intense; sometimes, less so. Additionally, the tongue assumes the pink color indicative of a cleansed blood and the secretions begin their more normal free flow.
Often by this time, the individual has been reduced to a skeletal condition. However, it is the amazing ability of this skeletalized structure to commence and sustain the rebuilding of its own tissues while, at the same time, the energy grows, that can really captivate the mind.
All these factors combined should put the coup de grace to all illogical objections to fasting, which by being voiced at all, demonstrate fully the lack of all logic. The final product, with normal weight established, reveals the extent of the body to restore itself to an amazing degree of wellness. And, amazingly too, is the fact that the exercise of normal bodily functions will actually hasten the process of rebuilding. The entire process, from start to finish, is under exact mind control.
Knowledge of these fundamental organic truths can often assist a doubting client to give over his/her childish misconceptions in favor of adult conclusions, these to be followed, in due course, by adult behavior in that the client makes his/her first initial mind acceptance of the rationale of fasting. Mind control of the total self, more often than not, will open the way for bold new experiences; perhaps even acceptance by reluctant clients of fasting as something for them to consider as they evaluate the options specifically open to them.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Energy Flow, Fasting And Mind Control
- 3. The Hygienic Experience
- 4. What We Have Learned Thus Far
- 5. The Learning Process Can Vary From Person To Person
- 6. Case Studies
- 7. Useful Assigments For Reluctant Fasters
- 8. The Elderly Client And Fasting
- 9. The Learning Experience
- 10. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Health Secrets of a Naturopathic Doctor by M.O. Garten