What is the reality behind reality?
The second health area I want to touch upon concerns the elderly. Ideas of retirement fall generally into the same pattern, for hidden within them is the belief that at one time or another as a specific age, your powers will begin to fail. These ideas are usually accepted by young and old alike. In believing them, the young automatically begin the gradual conditioning of their own bodies and minds. The results will be reaped.
In your society, particularly, given over so thoroughly to the pursuit of money, such beliefs bring about the most humiliating situations, especially for the male, who has often been told to equate his virility with his earning power. It is easy then to understand that when his capacity to earn mistaken away he feels castrated.
Now: Generally speaking, those who advocate health foods or natural foods subscribe to some of the same overall beliefs held by physicians. They believe that diseases are the result of exterior conditions. Quite simply, their policy can be read: “You are what you eat.” Some in this group also subscribe to philosophical ideas that somewhat moderate those concepts, recognizing the importance of the mind. Often though, some strong suggestions of a very negative character are given, so that all foods except certain accepted one’s, are seen as bad for the body, and the cause of diseases. People become afraid of the food they eat, and the field of eating then becomes the arena.
Moral values become attached to food, with some seen as good and some bad. Symptoms appear, and are quite directly considered to be the natural result of ingesting foods on the forbidden list. In this system, at least, the body is not insulted with a bewildering assortment of drugs for therapy. It may, however, be starved of very needed nourishment. Beyond that the whole problem of health and illness becomes simplistically applied, and here food is scrutinized. You are what you think, not what you eat — and to a large extent what you think about what you eat is far more important.
What you think about your body, health and illness will determine how your food is used, and how your chemistry handles fats, for instance, or carbohydrates. Your attitudes in preparing meals are highly important.
Physically, it is true, but again generally speaking, that your body needs certain nourishments. But within that pattern there is great leeway, and the organism itself has the amazing capacity to make use of substitutes and alternates. The best diet in the world, by anyone’s standards, will not keep you healthy if you have a belief in illness.
A belief in health can help you utilize a “poor” diet to an amazing degree. If you are convinced that a specific food will give you a particular disease, it will indeed do so. It appears that certain vitamins will prevent certain diseases. The belief itself works while you are operating within that framework, of course. A Western doctor may give vitamin shots or pills to a native child in another culture. The child need not know what particular vitamin is given, or the name for his disease, but if he believes in the physician and Western medicine he will indeed improve, and he will need the vitamins from then on. So will all the other children.
Again, I am not saying, “Do not give vitamins to children,” for within your framework this becomes nearly mandatory. You will find more vitamins to treat more diseases. As long as the system works it will be accepted — but the trouble is that it is not working very well.
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