Nature provides one and only one way to produce sustainable health. That way is to lovingly and thoughtfully perform those ordinary acts of living, those sacred duties which it has ordained we all must perform. It would be insane to deprive any life form of water and then seek a cure for the symptoms of water deprivation. It is equally insane to hope for health without performing the activities essential to our health: eating, moving, thinking and relating. We are created to love and enjoy living itself, to imbue our human activities with all our love and intelligence. Do this and you will not have to search elsewhere for beauty, meaning and joy.
Living with a sick, exhausted body hurting with pain, or a worried, overactive mind, or with deceitful, angry, violent relationships is a living hell. Any other hell is hypothetical, and probably unnecessary. Conversely the experience of a healthy body, joyful mind and kind, caring relationships is heavenly. It is our nature to long for health on all levels. Without it we ever feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied...we know something absolutely essential to us is missing.
Man’s eternal quest is for that elusive “something” that will permanently satisfy us. Fame, money, power, talent, intelligence, youth, beauty… none of these satisfy our yearning. The ability to produce a healthy body, a happy mind and loving relationships is something that qualifies as truly “meaningful.”
There are specific activities that nourish and sustain health. These activities are common, simple to understand and everyone experiences their benefit. Our body is formed by food, movement and rest; our mind by thoughts and emotions; our relationships by our interactions with others. You can readily experience the power of these common, simple activities. Overeat at one meal and eat moderately at another and tell me which is more beneficial. Eat only apples, salads and fish for three days. Follow that with three days of pizza or Mcdogfood and report back. Or try staying at the office an extra hour each day then, the next week spend the hour dancing or working out. Or, one night sleep for as long as your body desires. The next get up two hours earlier than usual. Not one sane person would be confused as to which of these activities are beneficial and which are harmful.
Why then would anyone choose to harm themselves more than once? Obviously we must be compelled by factors other than intelligence. Perhaps desire, fear, hatred, lust, gluttony, envy, greed or laziness? Just as smoking predisposes us to disease, so does every self-injurious action repeated daily over years. Although this may seem somewhat obvious, the fact is there is almost universal failure to recognize the causal connection between our wholesome behaviors and our state of health. The causes of health and disease remain a mystery to most health professionals. This cultural ignorance is one taproot of our national crisis in “health” care. If one does not understand the causes of health or disease how could they possibly fail to end up in crisis?
The causes of health and disease are inseparably linked to the actions which are essential to human life on this planet: eating, moving, thinking and relating. It is impossible to be alive and not perform these actions. In its miraculous design, nature has linked our health and happiness to the common actions we all perform. These simple, mundane activities are living arts; the very art of arts: creating healthy, happy, kind human beings. Like all arts we improve through study and practice under a skilled teacher.
Those untrained in these arts of living are unable to discern the difference between skillful and unskillful performance. To the unschooled it appears we all eat more or less the same, walk, breathe, think and feel the same. But I promise you it is not so. Years, lifetimes of serious education are required to master one’s appetites, to be able move and breathe with poise, to tame our unmanageable emotions and thinking, and to relate compassionately and honestly.
If people were taught even the slightest appreciation of the power of their own actions it would transform our culture and world. It is because we are completely unaware of our innate power to self-heal that we misuse it and become diseased. We then search feverishly and futilely elsewhere for some “cure” for our self-generated disease. It is as if we were ignorant of the value of sunlight and water in growing plants and so we began a quest to find a new means to grow plants without sunlight or water. Where would we even begin to look for such a fantasy? In DNA? Bacterial cell walls? The Amazon? The refrigerator? It makes no difference where we look, because what we are looking for is a fantasy. It only exists in our minds.
Our “experts” are absolutely baffled about how to resolve our national health crisis. Why? Because they are looking for a substitute for sane living. They are looking into genetic engineering, technology, organ transplants, cloning… everything except mastering our own actions. The problem appears baffling and unintelligible precisely because it is. It is impossible to ever know where to look because there is nowhere that such an answer exists. In the same way as it is impossible to grow plants without sunlight and water. It is equally impossible to be healthy and happy without doing the actions that produce this. We are seeking the fruit of right action without the action.
If a pill were invented that could produce the same benefits as a restful night’s sleep or a strengthening workout its’ sales would break all records and remain forever in demand. The fact that such pills have never been produced and never will be does not in the least diminish our feverish search for them. We are a culture hypnotized by fantasies. We believe in, pursue and worship fantasies. The more distant, foreign, unintelligible, and mysterious the fantasy, the better. We are brainwashed since childhood to ignore and undervalue the healing power of what is natural, simple and readily available to us.
Give yourself to what I am suggesting here. If you do, you will discover the universal healing power flows to you through your ordinary actions. Your actions are the only power you have. Cease using your own power against yourself! Stop acting as your own enemy. Become a true friend to yourself. Don’t be seduced by the delusions of our sick culture. Refuse to believe that the power to transform your body, mind, and relationships lies outside you. Decrease your thinking, talking, and reading about the fantastic power of pills, therapies and scientific breakthroughs. Stop being hypnotized by fantasies.