History of Fasting

Theory of Fasting

The Technic Of Fasting

The Hygiene Of The Fast

Natural Therapy



THE PROCESSES by which dead food is transformed into living matter within the animal body are purely chemical in character, and, for the reason that these operations are accomplished involuntarily, they are in a sense mechanical. In essence the purpose that food serves in the organism is that of furnishing material for the rebuilding of cell structure when the latter has become exhausted by the destructive effect of work performed. The changes involved in the preparation of food for conversion into living tissue are sufficiently familiar to preclude description here. But the act of digestion involves an effort that is at once nervous and muscular, and in it energy is liberated, utilized, and dissipated, and, in so far as the expenditure of what may be called nervous force is compensated, a balance is maintained.

If, however, the process of digestion is permitted to proceed to a point beyond actual reconstructive need, chemical action and reaction are thrown out of poise, and the result is disease. And, too, when the system is surfeited with sustenance, energy that should be utilized for other important metabolic purposes is necessarily employed in the attempted disposal of matter in excess of what is needed for replacement of used tissue. Some of this material is absorbed by the assimilative processes, and surplus thus accumulates in circulation and in the cells of muscular and organic tissue. The liver, laboring to its functional limit, segregates and casts out what it can, and its largely increased bilious product, together with undigested matter in the intestinal tract, if not promptly evacuated, ferments, germ soil is provided, and absorption of toxins proceeding from active decomposition and from evolved bacteria occurs rapidly and continuously. Small wonder that, in the circumstances, natural avenues for the passage of energic force are clogged, that imperfect functioning occurs, and that disease follows!

Only that portion of digested food that is assimilated can be used for the repair of cell structure; the remainder is refuse that not only adds dead weight to the body, but that, in its disposal, vastly increases the labor of every vital organ. There succeeds a waste of energy that is shown in diminished digestive and assimilative power, with resultant lowered vitality. And any disturbance either of the function of digestion or of that of assimilation sends into the circulation blood-forming material that is elementally deficient, a condition that assures defective tissue nourishment.

A review of the physiology of the passage of the blood through the body evidences that health is synonymous with perfect blood quality and circulation. Given a pure blood supply properly delivered, the products of converted food are carried to their varied destinations, and cell waste is gathered and promptly eliminated. The maintenance and well-being of the animal body is directly dependent upon the normal performance of the process outlined.

An examination of human fecal discharges in the average instance reveals conditions that are conclusive. Undigested food is discovered, digested food products and old feces are present, and, dependent upon the dietetic regimen and the preliminary processes of digestion as carried out by the individual, the odor is more or less offensive. Normal refuse from properly masticated, correctly digested food, not animal in origin, is not disagreeable in odor. Again in the average case, when daily examination of bowel passages is continued for a time, assurance is gained that all ingested food is not digested; that the colon is not completely cleared of waste even by regular daily movements; and that fermenting matter defiles the interior to a degree scarcely to be accepted as a fact.

A movement of the bowels each day is never a certain indication of a clean and healthy alimentary canal. Sufferers from digestive troubles often assume that, because the bowels are regular in action, the evacuations must be complete and sufficient. This assumption presumes physiological ignorance, for in these subjects usually the rectum alone, daily filled with a mass of waste forced downward by that which is retained in the colon, is relieved of its contents. If, after such an evacuation, a full enema is administered, indubitable evidence of extreme internal filth will be produced. Post mortem dissection of the colon in the average cadaver but adds weight to the substance of the statements here made, for fecal matter of more or less remote production is discovered lodged in the sacculations of the organ and upon its walls. In these circumstances during life, a movement of the bowels takes place through the center of a fouled tube.

Food in its preparation has long been made subservient to the sense of taste; taste engenders appetite; and appetite in turn engenders excess. Attention is again called to the distinction to be made between appetite and hunger. Most human beings never know the sensation of true hunger, but feed their bodies at the habit-call of abnorma1 desire. And because of almost universal violation of the natural law of nutrition through overeating, the latter vice, apparent though it be, and distressing in its effects as it is, calls for correction as does no other in the long list of offenses against nature.

From time to time many earnest seekers have advanced beliefs and theories tending to develop a panacea for disease, but thus far without success. It is conceivable that disease may be eradicated from the world, for nature deals but in cause and effect, and the tendency in all life is towards perfect bodily balance, without which health is not. One truth, however, may here be succinctly stated: disease in all of its forms may be prevented, and in many instances, once developed, it may be cured. And the first and paramount law of its prevention is discovered in the rule that governs the quantity as well as the quality of the food supply of the human body.

In the life of man tradition, inheritance, and education combine to foster and preserve doctrines that are misleading. And in no manner is this so well illustrated as in the application of orthodox methods for the relief of bodily ills. To accept human testimony, even conscientious human testimony, as easily as men usually do is to be gullible. And this is true of the testimony of science as well as of that of the general observer. The worth of what we put into our minds or into our stomachs is of consequence to us all, and nothing can be more of a satire than the fact that, during an age when science and invention have done so much for the material world, our bodies included, the processes of the human mind, the nature of our ideas and beliefs, are so neglected that few of us ever think of our own capability of giving testimony that is true; and still fewer of us pay any attention to the daily intake of the testimony of others, which is sometimes consciously false, but which many times is more or less unconsciously inaccurate.

One reason for this lowering of mental guard is that most men possess gregarious intellects. If what is advanced seems to concur with whatever the mass mind believes, the common way is to accept it. No effort is required. Or, perhaps, there is the desire to believe--that dangerous and almost universal quality of the intellect. Because of this, one often accepts a fallacy and rejects a truth. Because of this, one reaches out for fads--mental, medical, mysterious--which give hope that the blame for weaknesses may be passed to some agency other than our own. And because of the gregarious mind and of the desire to believe, the power of mere assertion acquires its potency.

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