Food, Exercise and Physical Care
Questioner: Questions that come up quite a bit are ones that have to do with the body. So let’s indulge some of these thoughts for a little bit. The first part of the question is: Have you noticed that you agree with certain foods more than others or are you totally free with body needs or complaints? The second is: Do you exercise? And part 3 of this same question is: Would you comment on how to deal with the fact - if you will - that we have a body here in this plane requiring physical care?
Speaker: For me, the guidance that I heard is to ‘eat what is served’. You might say that the only way you can say that that is meaningful is that the Holy Spirit’s curriculum is highly individualized. The Holy Spirit can prompt you in terms of dietary needs and what would be most helpful in your journey wherever your mind seems to be in the spiritual awakening. For me it’s been a reflection of the workbook lesson in ACIM… I will step back and let Him lead the way. That has played out for me in terms of food in the sense that the Spirit said that not only was I to just accept and eat whatever was offered, but the main focus of that was to join in love …to join with your brother... and don’t let anything such as food come in between you. There was to be no debate or have a sense of being separated off by food or by what can be eaten and what cannot be eaten. It was saying to join fully with your brother and sister and don’t let food be an obstacle. And in terms of dietary requirements, those are still part of the ego belief system.
I recall beginning to work with the workbook lessons… lesson 50 ‘I am sustained by the love of God’. It really pointed out beliefs in pills and money and protective clothing and all kinds of defenses. I was glad that Jesus was so specific about these kinds of things because I really wanted to go deeper in my mind training and then I came to lesson 76, ‘I am under no laws but Gods’. He mentions nutrition in there specifically. I realized that I had to question my beliefs in everything I believed about nutrition. I had learned a lot through seemingly growing in this world and from studying at the university for ten years. I had to let go all of the beliefs about healthy foods. I had to let go of beliefs about cholesterol and polyunsaturated fats, calories…things that seemed to prove the digestive system and so on and so forth. I really had to come to that place that I do not know what anything is for and please show me how to join with my brother and sister and let go of these thoughts and doubts and concerns about nutrition. That’s how it progressed.
I would say that for the question about exercise…that is the same thing as well. Exercise is a belief and I certainly was involved with it for a quite a few years all the way down to seemingly being a professional tennis instructor and belonging to health clubs and doing a lot of exercise routines, running a mini marathon and so forth. I was concerned about cardiovascular fitness and weight training. It came to a point where even the tennis and everything was just used as symbols when I was speaking to groups about the parables of letting it go and learning to open up to God’s love. In the end, in the ultimate sense, exercise and nutrition are just concepts.
Health, if you come at it in a practical way, is inner peace and therefore health involves the thinking. So health is purely a mental state of mind that seems to be reflected in the physical. There is no inner or outer in enlightenment. Mind is unified. We can’t say that the inner world of thought influences the outer world of matter because everything is mental and nothing is physical. In that state, which is the state of enlightenment, you really don’t have a care or thought for the body. Its really putting full attentiveness to your purpose and that’s very practical.
To round out these series of questions: as you really care for your mind, everything that seems to be included in what the world would say involves care of the body (i.e.: transportation, washing), is taken care of. Food is given; it’s a backdrop for joining. You don’t have to refuse things because it’s like people relax. I always use Jesus as my learning model because he still seemed to walk the planet when he was here and he still went through the same bodily processes as far as urinating and defecating and putting loaves of bread and fish in his mouth. He seemed to look like a lot of human beings. Even though he would say things like, ‘I have manna that comes from the heavens’, when the apostles were concerned if he had enough to eat because he had eaten over hours or days, still the symbol was used in way that people could relate to him. I was talking with the group here that if Jesus never put anything in his mouth and never seemed to drink anything or defecate or do the things that we would say are normal human processes, he would appear as an alien. It would be like… ‘What planet are you from and what makes you think that I could learn your teaching because you are not like me?’ I would say that even though Jesus in one sense transcended the physical laws he still seemed to do things that looked pretty human and that was actually very, very helpful. As a learning model you learn from somebody that you relate to and not from somebody that you perceive as an alien that just got dropped here from another planet.