To Veg or Not to Veg

To Veg or Not to Veg

The question.

Is a vegetarian diet healthier than a meat diet?

I was amused by John’s dissertation on the subject and there is a lot of truth in what he says. From an angle of nutrition and health many meat eaters fare better than the vegetarians.

Here is the main problem with switching to a vegetarian diet. When one goes vegetarian the body misses its regular supply of protein and this causes a starvation for oxygen. This causes many vegetarians or partial vegetarians to overcompensate by eating more starchy food, eggs and cheese. These meat substitutes often are less healthy than the meat they have given up.

On the other hand, if the vegetarian has a high concentration of living foods in his diet he can be healthier than the meat eater – providing he gets a good natural supply of minerals and this is often lacking in the most “living’ diets.

I read about a study some time ago where they analyzed the health and longevity of Seventh Day Adventists who are vegetarians, the Mormons who abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea and compared them to the general population.

It turned out that the Mormons fared a little better than average, but interestingly a later study showed that moderate wine drinkers fared better than the Mormons. – note that word moderate.

The study also revealed that the Seventh Day Adventists did better than the Mormons, but the significance was only a couple percent.

Does it make any difference whether or not one eats meat if he is on he spiritual path?

Kudos goes to Mark for finding a good Alice A. Bailey quote on the importance of a vegetarian diet for the “applicant.” But notice that Cynthia comes back with this:

“According to AAB in The Rays and Initiations re: Rule 6 (p. 124-127), a vegetarian diet is necessary for applicants in the beginning stages for purification and other purposes. However, she points out that life cannot really “be taken.” So once a person has advanced a little further upon the path and stands at the doorway of initiation, then vegetarianism and other physical disciplines are no longer necessary since the person is, at this stage of his development, in no danger of being controlled by his physical appetites.”

Actually, one of the few criticisms made of the AAB books is that DK seems to be that he is inconsistent on his teachings about vegetarianism. What is the real truth here? After all, some of the greatest initiates in our history have been meat eaters.

The fact is that as a seeker approaches the second initiation (and the first to a lesser degree) a lot of new energies come into play that are difficult for the seeker to handle. During this period it is essential that the vibration of the physical body be enhanced through a purificatory diet. This may also be required for the third initiation, but overall the soul will guide the applicant here.

After the initiations are passed and the disciple is between initiations the eating of meat may be permissible and even desirable to aid the disciple in certain types of work among the masses.

So for those of you who feel strongly impressed by your souls to be strict vegetarians this would be a sign that you are preparing for a new initiation.

For others of you who are obviously on the Path, but are not so inclined this would indicate that this is a period of application and hard work for you to accomplish certain goals as directed by your soul.

In my life I have gone the whole spectrum of diet for various purposes and at present I do eat meat to keep the vibration of my body low enough to keep me centered in the practical world so I can achieve success promoting this work. Later, when this type of attention is not required I may switch to a more refined diet.

As far as the morality of eating meat goes DK gives this practical answer.

He states that the killing of an animal for food does not interfere with the purposes of God. When a human life is taken the killer interrupts the path of the soul whereas when an animal life is taken the path of that life is not disturbed.

In other words, the real harm in the murder of a human is that, time is lost and plans from a higher level have to be changed. Because the animal is not self conscious the taking of his life has little effect on goals from his oversoul.

I do not think the animal rights groups realize the negative effect that would be produced within the animal kingdom if we all turned into vegetarians tomorrow. All the cattle, chickens, lamb, pigs, etc. would lose their source of sustenance and would suffer enormous depravation and death.

Overall, their association with the human kingdom is very stimulating to their evolution.

Few realize that there is a correspondence between the humans taking the life of animals and the Christ demanding that we humans be willing to give our lives for the higher good if necessary. In this way the disciples are sacrificed to the kingdom of God just as truly as the animals are sacrificed to the human kingdom.

Overall, a good piece of advice with diet is to avoid judgment and the feeling of superiority that we see evidenced by many. Our fellow seeker may be eating meat or on some vegetarian diet because of the will of his Higher Self. If our associates are at a point where they are to change their diet they will feel it internally. Some will feel and resist and others will follow.

Here is a quote from Alice A. Bailey on the subject:

I am convinced that there comes a phase in the life of all disciples when they must be vegetarians. In the same way, there must come a life in which a man or woman should be a celibate. This they must be in order to demonstrate that they have learned control of the physical nature. Once they have learned that control and once they can no longer be swayed by the appetites of the flesh, they can be married or not married, they can eat meat or not eat meat as seems best to them and as their karma may indicate or their circumstances dictate. Once that has been proven, the situation is altered. The physical disciplines are a phase of training and when the lesson is learnt they are no longer needed.      Unfinished Autobiography, Page153

And here are some words from DK:

No set diet could be entirely correct for a group of people on differing rays, of different temperaments and equipment and at various ages. Individuals are every one of them unlike on some points; they require to find out what it is that they, as individuals, need, in what manner their bodily requirements can best be met, and what type of substances can enable them best to serve. Each person must find this out for himself. There is no group diet. No enforced elimination of meat is required or strict vegetarian diet compulsory. There are phases of life and sometimes entire incarnations wherein an aspirant subjects himself to a discipline of food, just as there may be other phases or an entire life wherein a strict celibacy is temporarily enforced. But there are other life cycles and incarnations wherein the disciple’s interest and his service lie in other directions. There are later incarnations where there is no constant thought about the physical body, and a man works free of the diet complex and lives without concentration upon the form life, eating that food which is available and upon which he can best sustain his life efficiency. In preparation for certain initiations, a vegetable diet has in the past been deemed essential. But this may not always be the case, and many disciples prematurely regard themselves as in preparation for initiation.  Esoteric Healing – Page 334

The moment, however, that an inner orientation towards the world of higher values takes place, then the etheric or vital force is brought into conflict with the lowest aspect of man, the dense physical body, and the battle of the lower pairs of opposites takes place.

It is interesting to note that it is during this stage that the emphasis is laid upon physical disciplines, upon such controlling factors as total abstinence, celibacy, and vegetarianism, and upon physical hygiene and physical exercises. Through these, the control of the life of matter, the lowest expression of the third aspect of divinity can be offset, and the man set free for the true battle of the pairs of opposites. Esoteric Psychology Vol II: Pg 309

March 18, 2000

Copyright by J J Dewey

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