Serial Lesson 154
From Course XIV, Occultism Applied, Chapter 4
Original Copyright 1944, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light
Subheadings: Foods for Keeping Young Food Combinations Pleasure in Eating Extracting Electromagnetic Energy From Foods Sunlight Clothing Summary of Physical Measures Youthful Thinking Avoid Monotony Keep Active Occult Considerations
Birth Charts: Beardsley Ruml Chart Ralph Waldo Trine Chart
How to Keep Young
AS every condition and event affecting physical life is due to the interaction of inner-plane thought-cell activity with the physical environment, it is apparent that in maintaining youth both of these factors should receive adequate attention. Youth, of course, pertains not merely to the body, but equally to the intellect and the emotions. While it does not necessarily follow that one who well retains his youth will live to great age, it does seem reasonable to assume that those who do live long lives have within themselves qualities which are advantageous in retaining youth. And it so happens that even though no comprehensive astrological research as yet has been attempted relative to those who remarkably retain their youth, such research has been conducted relative to 80 men and 70 women each of whom lived more than seventy years.
The analysis of the charts of these 150 individuals, and the conclusions reached, constitute Chapter Four of the book, BODY DISEASE AND ITS STELLAR TREATMENT. This analysis reveals that Mars thought cells in any association with Sun thought cells, Mars thought cells in any association with Moon thought cells, Jupiter thought cells in harmonious association with either Sun thought cells or Moon thought cells, active Sun thought cells or active Moon thought cells, each and all are conducive to length of life.
This in turn signifies that deliberately cultivating the aggressive type of thinking in association with thoughts of significance or thoughts of domestic life, cultivating an attitude of faith and good cheer relative to thoughts and events affecting the significance of domestic life, and cultivating thoughts of significance and thoughts about the domestic life will aid in lengthening any person’s life. And because such thinking thus cultivated does lengthen the life, and has no age producing proclivities, we may be sure that the cultivation of such thinking, together with other thinking which is typical of youth, will greatly assist any individual to keep young.
Any amount or any type of thinking alone, however, will not keep a person young; for what the thoughts can accomplish depends upon the amount of resistance encountered in the physical environment. Youth is not merely a particular desirable state of mind and feeling, but is also a particular and desirable state of the body. Body and mind have outgrown childish incompetence, they are prepared for the joys and responsibilities of maturity, but they have not yet acquired the physical disabilities, the dulling of interests, and the lack of emotional response of old age. Youth is not signified by years. Instead, it is represented by that period of life during which, apart from years and birthdays, maximum efficiency is present. And not only because of the opportunities for personal development, but also because of the possibilities in aiding the cosmic work, it is a period which should greatly be prolonged.
And it can be greatly prolonged through proper selection of foods and other physical environmental factors, and through the cultivation of properly selected thoughts and emotions. What is sought in making such selections is to keep the body active, supple and resilient, the mind keen, enthusiastic and forward looking, and the emotions strong, sensitive and harmonious. Regardless of years, any person having such a body, mind and habitual emotions is young.
Foods for Keeping Young
It was pointed out in Chapter 3, Serial Lesson 153, that as the chemical composition of people is different, their chemical requirements in the way of foods also differ. And the chart of birth with the progressed aspects at the time, together with physical observations, indicate the foods of which a given individual at a certain time has special need. These foods, because they assist in maintaining health and vigor, also aid in keeping young. But as important as special foods are to individuals with a definite thought cell, and therefore chemical makeup, it may be pointed out that in spite of any foods provided them all plants and animals higher in the biological scale than single celled organisms finally grow old because they cannot get rid of the products of combustion. The ashes from the fires of life gradually accumulate and clog the organic engine. Even the arteries of the human machine become impregnated with such impurities, harden and fail properly to perform their functions. No longer getting their accustomed nourishment from the blood stream, the tissues necessarily shrink from lack of food, and the skin that covers them, no longer held in place by vigorous flesh, wrinkles to adjust itself to a smaller area. It is thus obvious that proper elimination is one key to physical fitness and is an essential aid to keeping young.
As youth implies a vigorous physical body let us consider the relation of fuel to fatigue:
According to the Nutrition Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution the net efficiency of the human muscular system in relation to the fuel burned is slightly more than 21%. Steam engines have a net efficiency of from 15% to 25%. In a muscle is fuel brought by the blood and stored as glycogen, or animal starch. When the muscle is used this fuel is consumed, and after it is used up the muscle uses the sugar in the blood to continue its work. If the work is excessive, such as to call out the so-called second wind of the athlete, the adrenal glands secrete adrenaline into the blood, and this not only tends to neutralize the various toxins formed by fatigue, but causes the liver, which is the emergency fuel bin of the body, to release its glycogen into the blood stream as simple sugar. The adrenaline also speeds up the circulation so that the toxic acids formed by muscular activity are more rapidly carried away from the muscle, and the muscle is more quickly supplied with the simple sugar now in the blood for fuel.
When a muscle is used until the lactic acid and other toxins it contains are excessive it will no longer work and is said to be too tired. A little rest, however, enables the blood stream to carry away these fatigue products and supply the muscle with new fuel, and it is again ready for work. If overworked, a muscle may recover very slowly, but a muscle is rarely damaged permanently through over exercise, as repairs are readily made. But a muscle may be, and often is, permanently damaged through lack of exercise. When not exercised the waste products are not carried from the muscles properly, and the circulation being deficient it does not receive sufficient nutrition from the blood stream. Consequently the muscle weakens, grows flabby and subject to disease, and may even atrophy and become incapable of use. To prevent such conditions violent exercise is not necessary, but some sensible exercise is. Such exercise as is afforded by outdoor games or indoor setting up exercises increases the circulation, toning up the muscles and strengthening the internal organs. Keeping the muscles supple and well nourished is a valuable physical measure for prolonging the period of youth.
This necessary nourishment is not obtained, however, unless the chemical elements and vitamins that go to make up the human body are supplied in the food. The human body contains no alchemical laboratory for transmuting carbon into silicon or sulfur into potassium. Not only each of the sixteen chief elements that go to make up the physical constitution, but various other chemicals and compounds in less amounts must enter the body as a part of the food we eat. If we get no iodine, for instance, there is trouble with the thyroid gland, and goiter develops. Iodine is abundant in sea foods, and those eating such foods do not have goiter. But whole sections of the world that are removed from sea foods and other means of getting iodine foods are now recognized as goiter areas in which this trouble is prevalent.
In addition to vitamins and small amounts of elements other than these sixteen, such as copper and nickel, the human body is made up of and requires for its maintenance, oxygen, carbon, sodium, sulfur, silicon, hydrogen, potassium, phosphorus, iron, fluorine, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, manganese and iodine. While a list of the foods containing each of these elements may easily be compiled, it would serve no practical purpose as many of the elements are common to the ordinary diet. Instead, we need to know the foods that are needed to keep the blood stream slightly alkaline and thus avoid easy fatigue and acidosis. These are given in a table in Chapter 3, Serial Lesson 153. And we need to know what vitamins and what other foods are specially needed by a given individual most of the time, and what vitamins and what other foods are specially needed by most people at specific times in their lives. These special food requirements are explained in Chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10, Course XXI, Personal Alchemy, Serial Lessons 222-225.
In these lessons is indicated why an individual with a certain planet prominent and afflicted tends, because of the strain on certain endocrine glands, to need certain vitamins and elements, and what foods to eat to get them. And in them is indicated why an individual at the period of his life when a progressed affliction forms to a given planet needs—because of the tendency of the aspect to stimulate or depress the action of certain endocrine glands and thus disturb the chemical balance of the blood stream—more than the normal amount of certain vitamins and certain elements, and in what foods these vitamins and elements may be found. These lessons also indicate those who should refrain from eating certain foods, and the periods during which other people who usually can eat these foods with impunity, should refrain from eating them.
The information thus revealed by the birth chart and progressed aspects is of vast benefit not only to those who wish to keep young, but also to those who wish to keep in good health. But the foods which are the special requirements of a given individual, and those of which he will have special need at definite periods in his life, can be ascertained properly only by one conversant with astrology. To those who have no access to this vastly important information it may be pointed out that the selectivity of the nutritive system is highly specialized. In general, if we need certain vitamins and elements and eat foods containing them, unless we are very ill, these vitamins and elements will be extracted and proper use made of them. If, therefore, instead of confining our diet to a few staples, we vary our diet so that we eat at different times many kinds of food, we may be reasonably sure not only that such variety will afford the necessary vitamins and elements, but that these will be assimilated and properly used. Yet even when thus assimilated these afford energy only when brought in contact with oxygen. Therefore, as pointed out in detail in Chapter 3, Serial Lesson 153, proper breathing is necessary for health; and it is also necessary to retain youthfulness.
The foods that may beneficially be eaten at one meal are also worthy of some thought. As individuals vary in their reactions to foods, general rules are misleading, and one should rely more upon observation and experience. Nevertheless, acid fruits do not combine well with either starches or meat when eaten at the same meal. Bread and meat when eaten together with no vegetables make a poor meal because both are acid producing. They need the alkaline producing vegetables to balance them. Several different kinds of starches eaten at one meal, due to their different reactions to digestion, tend to cause fermentation. If potatoes are eaten, for example, it is better not to eat rice or bread. If rice is eaten, it is better to eat no bread or potatoes. Such starchy combinations, however, seem to be well handled by a strong active stomach.
At times there arises the custom of using bran bread and bran in the form of cereal. Its use has two results of some importance. It dilutes the food with roughage that both enables the stomach to handle the other food better and through its bulk discourages the eating of too great a quantity of rich and nourishing foods. And through its irritating effect upon the lining of the intestines it increases their peristaltic movement and thus acts in the capacity of a laxative.
Bran, however, has no food value to the human system. It is chiefly cellulose. Horses and cows have an extra stomach in which cellulose is broken down preparatory to digestion and assimilation. But man has no such organ, and its effect when taken into the human system is almost entirely mechanical. Irritating the walls of the intestines stimulates their activity. Too much irritation leads to inflammation. Some people can eat bran and bread made from the flour of the whole grain of wheat not too finely ground in a hand mill. The lining of the alimentary tract of other people is so sensitive that the eating of bran bread, or such whole wheat bread from which the bran has not been removed, leads to very serious intestinal inflammation. A better laxative for most people, although the seeds increase peristaltic action also through mechanical irritation, are figs either fresh or dried. They may be eaten just before retiring at night when constipation is severe. In addition to their laxative properties they are high in food value, being unusually alkaline in reaction.
Now in addition to eating the proper foods in the proper combinations there are at least two important occult principles that may be utilized to extract a greater amount of energy from them. One has to do with the pleasure in eating, the other with extracting the electromagnetic energy from the foods.
Pleasure in Eating
Pleasure, other things being equal, is constructive. The attention of the physical cells, the nerves and the organs are directed harmoniously to that which is pleasant. If no pleasure is experienced in eating, the attention of the unconscious mind and the attention of the cells and nerves are not directed to the food. And if at the same time, through the consciousness being directed to some problem or painful thought, the attention of the cells and nerves is directed to some other interest, it is as unlikely they will perform their work well as it is that a workman in a factory will perform his work effectively if his mind is preoccupied with a baseball game or with discords that have arisen in his domestic life.
Worry, anxiety, anger or other emotions that are allied to emergency attitudes of the mind release adrenaline into the blood stream. This chemical withdraws the electrical energy and the blood from the organs of digestion and assimilation, leaving there not enough for the proper handling of the food. Other painful thoughts, through endocrine secretions, tend also to prevent the proper chemical conditions that enable the food to be handled effectively. And even if the mind is merely occupied with other matters, or if eating is looked upon merely as a necessary and perhaps annoying duty, full value will not be extracted from the food. To get the most nutriment from the food, and to insure its proper digestion, only the most pleasant things should be thought of while dining, and the attention should be directed repeatedly to the fine flavor and other attractive qualities of the food. Such an attitude will stimulate the cells of the alimentary tract to keen expectancy, and they will be alert to do their work in the most effective manner.
If such habits have been formed that the stomach and bowels do not perform their functions properly, it is well to use the law of suggestion to advise them just what is expected and just what they should do. Remember, these involuntary functions are all under direction of the unconscious mind, or soul. Through negligence, or because of improper treatment, they may become lax in their duties. But if, before each meal, they are talked to in a firm manner and told precisely what work is expected of them, they will respond, take the orders, and again become excellent workers. Talk to them just as you would talk to a person employed by you. Let them work out the details, as you would a competent workman. But make it very clear, in each instance, exactly the result you expect. If the orders are given clearly and firmly they will not disappoint you.
Extracting Electromagnetic Energy From Foods
The life principle of organic things is electromagnetic in nature. And if it is recognized that the foods contain such energies, and an effort is made to utilize them, this life principle which is so essential to keeping young and vigorous may be extracted from them in far greater measure than is customary. This may be done by taking a few minutes about an hour after each meal to center the attention on the body and to visualize the electromagnetic energy being extracted from the foods and sent along the nerves to the various portions of the body, at the same time tensing the muscles slightly.
A quick relief from fatigue may be had by several times a day standing before an open window, breathing deeply while the mind is focused on extracting the electromagnetic energy from the surrounding space, clenching the fists, flexing the arms, and alternately bending the legs at the knees. Then stand for a few minutes before going back to work and visualize the electromagnetic energy being extracted from the food.
The cells of the body are miniature batteries and, as explained in Chapter 3, Serial Lesson 153, the oxidation of the nitrogen fraction of these cells releases the electrical energies which run the body and make brain work possible. But in addition to the normal generation of electrical energies in this manner, it is possible through the process just described, or through other methods of tuning in on them, to utilize the principle of resonance to acquire additional electromagnetic energy from foods, from the surrounding space, and from living vegetation. In the method here described, after the exercises, stand for a few minutes before going back to work and visualize the electromagnetic energy being extracted from the food. This keeps tuned in on its wavelengths. The physical exercise squeezes the impure blood into the larger veins which carry it to the lungs. The deep breathing furnishes oxygen for generating electrical energies and for eliminating impurities. And the mental attitude, through proper tuning, not only enables the electromagnetic energy to be extracted from the foods, but distributes it to all parts of the body.
The importance of the vitamins has already been stressed. The plants which manufacture most of these feed only in the presence of sunlight, the ultraviolet rays of which act on the plant chlorophyll. Sunlight, including these ultraviolet rays, is in fact very high frequency electromagnetic radiations. And in addition to permitting the photosynthesis by which green plants extract carbon from the air, and by which they manufacture various vitamins, these high frequency electromagnetic waves are able to manufacture Vitamin D in the skin of man. Vitamin D is produced through the irradiation of various sterols, one of which is found in the human skin, and another of which is found in yeast.
To maintain health and youth the vital ray responsible for photosynthesis and the manufacture of Vitamin D must enter the human body by direct exposure of the skin to it, or through vitamins in the food. And it should be noted that this vital ray does not pass through glass, and is effectively screened out of the atmosphere that is clouded with smoke, as is the case in winter in some of our large cities. Furthermore in our more northern cities, there is little of the ultraviolet ray that penetrates the atmosphere in winter even at midday and under favorable atmospheric conditions. This absence of the vital ray is in part responsible for the lower vitality and increased death rate in winter. Sunlight is also one of the best-known exterminators of pernicious bacteria.
This beneficial vital ray of the sun not only fails to pass through glass, but will not pass through many of the substitutes for glass that do permit lower ultraviolet rays to pass through. That is, between the visible ray and the vital range there are ultraviolet vibrations of little therapeutic value. Exposure to the direct rays of the sun that pass through such transparencies as are approved by the U. S. Bureau of Standards has a vitalizing effect upon the human system. When such exposure to the vital ray is impractical, the next best thing is to take pains to get plenty of Vitamin D in the food.
But even exposure to sunlight may be overdone. I am not referring to sunburn, which may be very serious, but to the effect of the ultraviolet rays upon the brain. There is a fad at the present time to go about with the head uncovered. This, no doubt, is all very well in temperate climates, or even in lower latitudes when there is abundant hair. But in the tropics it is suicidal. Even as far north as Los Angeles, where many young men go about in midsummer with close-cropped hair and no hats, its practice is open to question. Ultraviolet rays are very penetrating, and too much exposure to them tends to deterioration of the nerve tissue.
The Negro, who developed in the tropics, has the bones of his skull much thickened to prevent the ultraviolet rays from penetrating to the brain. Some students of the subject hold that the failure of the white races to maintain a high and aggressive culture in the tropics, except by sending in new blood constantly from temperate regions, has not been due to the heat, but chiefly to the deteriorating effect of the intense ultraviolet rays of the tropics upon the white man’s brain and nervous system.
The fact one does not feel the rays at the time received is no criterion of their effect. It was once thought that the X-rays and the rays from radium were harmless because they were not felt. Yet they are now known to destroy tissue much exposed to them. Sunburn, likewise, is not felt at the moment the chemical change is taking place. The pain arises afterward. Sunlight, including the vital ray, is essential to man’s well being, but like almost everything else, there can be too much of it as well as too little. Discrimination should be used to get the right amount.
Keeping in mind the therapeutic value of both sunlight and fresh air, it will be apparent that our homes and the building where we work should be properly ventilated, and should permit, when practical, the entrance of sunlight. They should protect us from the cold in winter, the heat in summer, and from the dampness at all times. Dark spots in them encourage disease germs, as do places unreached by fresh air; and dampness is favorable to the development of fungi (molds, etc.) some of which are not friendly to man.
The clothing worn also should be selected with similar requisites in mind. Clothing should, no doubt, protect from the inclemency’s of the weather, but at the same time should not deprive the skin of proper air circulation. It is true that experiments have proved that the slight increase of carbon dioxide common when a crowd remains, as for a lecture, in a small room, although carrying plenty of germs, is not as detrimental to human welfare as it was once thought to be. In such a room a person yawns and grows sleepy, and even feels faint; but experiments show this is not due to the excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but to the increasing heat about the body, and perhaps the odor of perspiration and exhaled breath. This excess heat is chiefly confined to the air spaces between the body and the clothing. Pure air would be better, but even the air that is in such a room if kept vigorously in motion by electric fans conveys the heat from the body rapidly enough so that the stifling sensation, as well as the yawning and sleepiness, vanish. This result, which has been carefully tested, would indicate that in designing clothing some care should be used that there is opportunity for the air properly to circulate between the clothing and the skin.
Summary of Physical Measures
To sum up the physical measures for keeping young: There should be proper variety of foods, so that they will afford all the elements and vitamins necessary to build and maintain the human body, the food should not contain too much of the acid and thus fatigue-producing compounds and enough of the alkaline and thus fatigue dissipating compounds. There should be enough, but not too much, and in sufficient variety of the muscle replacing proteins. The food should be partaken of in proper combinations, eating should be made a pleasure, and the electromagnetic energies should be extracted from the food and from surrounding space. Proper breathing is essential. Sunlight, within certain limits, is beneficial and, because organs not used tend to atrophy, the physical body should daily receive exercise. This tones up the system and keeps the muscles supple.
The mind, unlike the body, does not gradually clog up with refuse and finally refuse to function. It is true that when the physical body has advanced to a point where disintegration sets in that the brain begins to lose its power. But such physical disability of the brain may usually be postponed to shortly before death. Ordinarily, unless it is permitted to atrophy as any organ will atrophy through disuse, the brain continues to function with all the keenness of youth up to a very advanced age. Any person who keeps abreast of the times can call to mind a host of brilliant intellects no longer young in years but still vigorous in function who attest that brain power need not flag with advancing age. Some of these people are no longer supple of body, but their minds still grapple efficiently with the world’s important problems.
The brain does atrophy with disuse. But if given proper exercise daily it will continue robust even after the limbs have lost their power to support the body.
One of the most obvious attributes of youth is the eagerness with which it seeks knowledge. Children are noted for their curiosity, for the persistence with which they ask questions. Nor is the mind that continues to ask questions, that eagerly attacks new problems, old. It maintains its youth, and through its youthful effect upon the body, contributes to the vigor of the latter. If we would remain young, let us eagerly seek new information.
To keep the mind from running in a set groove, and at the same time to give it healthy exercise and fresh interests, it is well each year to take up some definite course of study, some branch of knowledge with which to become familiar. There are many branches of science with which some acquaintance may be made, in addition to occult subjects. Or some definite amount of intellectual application may be outlined in connection with some study in which it is desirable to become proficient. Unless one has some definite physical exercise to take, one is all too apt not to get sufficient physical exercise. And unless one outlines some definite intellectual accomplishment, and sets aside sufficient spare time for its attainment, the mind, likewise, is apt to be neglected. Not only should it be exercised daily by application, at least for a short time, to serious thought, but the topic of thought should be changed from time to time and new fields opened up; for when a brain is unable, or refuses, to accept new ideas, so stiffened with age that it cannot change its opinion, its youth has passed and likewise most of its usefulness.
Not only is youth curious, but also intensely enthusiastic. There is a keen zest for life and activity. Therefore, if youth is to remain with us, not only must we be intently alert for new information, but we must be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm, in addition to being a youth preserving quality, is also essential to any great accomplishment. The really big men in all lines of life are noted for their enthusiasm.
Furthermore, enthusiasm is largely a matter of habit. Some people become so negative and listless that only the most unusual occurrence, or the most artificial conditions such as those that obtain in the night clubs, arouse emotional interest. Others, more fortunate, can so invest the common place duties of their lives with interesting qualities that they are eager for each new day, to see what it will bring. And, after all, there is something interesting about everything we contact, if we will put forth the intellectual effort to discover it. By looking for the interesting things, and thinking about the pleasant factors that are present in all we do, we can cultivate enthusiasm.
Aside from this enthusiasm for our daily work, there should be some avocation to which we can apply ourselves out of work hours and toward which we are spontaneously enthusiastic. A hobby is a good thing in more ways than one, not the least of which is its influence to build enthusiasm.
Youth plays. And when the play spirit is gone man is no longer young. After the energies have been directed in a certain channel for a considerable period of time, due to well recognized psychological and physiological laws, there arises a lack of responsiveness. This is noted even in reflex actions; for if a stimulus be repeatedly applied to a nerve at short intervals, the resulting reflex—such as flinching from a pin-prick—grows feebler and feebler. But after a short period of rest the reflex gains its normal strength.
When a person works persistently and intensely at some occupation during ordinary work hours, his attention becomes so absorbed in it that his thoughts continue to be occupied with it after working hours. His mind is still occupied with its problems when he should be resting. But if he is interested in some form of recreation, this interest is strong enough that while engaged in it he no longer thinks of his more serious problems, and his brain gets a chance to rest. Just as a nerve, after a period of rest regains its original responsiveness, so the brain occupied with some recreation becomes rested in that department used in daily work, and regains its powers successfully to attack the important problems.
Nor is this the whole story of recreation. During work hours objective consciousness is focused on the solution of certain problems. The intense desire to find a satisfactory solution directs the unconscious mind to searching for such a solution. But while the thoughts continue to stir up vibratory whirlpools in the mind about the matter the unconscious finds it difficult to select the various elements concerning it and bring them together in proper relation. And while the objective thoughts are thus radiating positive vibratory rates the unconscious finds it impossible to bring the results of its findings to the notice of objective attention. But if the objective mind becomes engrossed with some dissimilar subject, with some form of recreation, the unconscious mind gains a calm and impartial view of the factors of the situation, both those recognized by the objective consciousness and those perceived by the astral senses. When the solution is completed, the preoccupation with something quite dissimilar gives the unconscious the opportunity to project the thought of the solution into the region of objective consciousness. The idea flashes suddenly into consciousness while the mind is engaged with something else.
Most of the big executives in the business world make use of this principle in solving their important problems. That is why they take so many afternoons for golf. Business magazines advise executives to play more and stay in their offices less. It is now well recognized in high business circles that the solution to the most intricate problems of management and procedure more frequently than not pops into the mind while playing golf or occupied with other pleasant recreation. All the factors known by the objective mind are given intent consideration before leaving the office. The matter is thought out as thoroughly as the objective mind is capable of thinking. Then the executive takes down his hat and announces he will have the afternoon off. He feels confident the solution to his difficulty will come to him. He puts it from his mind, and thinks only of the game he is playing. All at once, without warning, the answer to his dilemma flashes unannounced into his mind. His afternoon at play has made his company more money, through the new idea, than a hundred days of routine office work.
In addition to being so good an investment from the financial standpoint, recreation is essential if the spirit of youth is to be retained. Play is not wearing because there are no inner remittances to break down. A thing becomes work because some part of the mind does not want to do it, and in addition to the energy spent in the work, the part of the mind that does want the work done must overpower the part that is opposed to it. This often requires more energy than the activity involved in the work. By making of it something of a game, that is, creating accessory interests in it, most work may be made play. And because play is the attitude of youth, such a manner of working aids in keeping young.
It has been found through carefully devised tests applied to industrial workers that the most deadening thing in ordinary life is monotony. Watch a group of children. They are doing first one thing then another. There is a constant change of interest and of movement. Routine work, unless offset with plenty of recreation in which there is change, swiftly kills. To do the same thing over and over without deviation develops a habitual set of actions that become so dominant that they prevent flexibility. Like the nerve that is repeatedly stimulated at short intervals, the routine worker loses the ability to respond to the normal stimuli of life. Monotony is the quickest pathway to becoming old.
Habits are our best slaves, but unless developed wisely they also become tyrannical masters. Those things that are essential should be built into ourselves as habit systems; but in nonessential things there should be left freedom for initiative and change. Every now and then it is well to do something different. Go to a different kind of entertainment than that commonly enjoyed. Take a different route to the office. Move the furniture into different positions about the room. Do something different; for the most vital element in survival is adaptability, and this depends upon the ability to change. Change also is the foe of monotony, and by routing monotony we stave off old age.
Not only do children change from one interest to another with much rapidity, but they are, while awake, ceaselessly active. They run to and fro, first interested in this and then in that. Life and activity are closely related. When activity ceases life departs. But youth is full of interest and activity.
How often have I witnessed, in the Middle-West, a farmer who had worked hard all his life and made enough to live in comfort without further labor, sell his farm and come to town to take life easy. He expected to live fifteen or twenty years at leisure. But, perhaps, he lived only two years, or possibly three, until the grave claimed him. No longer active, no longer keenly interested in accomplishment, taking it easy after establishing habits of hard work. Such change is too much for the body to stand. The lack of interest loosens the hold on life. Many a man have I known, apparently hearty and sound, to die thus in a few years of idleness.
Business men, too, who retire from work often fill early graves. But business men are awakening to the fact that old age and death tread close on the heels of idleness; and more and more when they retire from business they take up something else that keeps them both active and interested. Those who have accumulated wealth often devote their later life to spending it for human betterment, finding in this the necessity for the exercise of their abilities, as well as an adequate interest.
Retirement from active life is the great chimera. To retire from active life is to court old age and death. But one who has enough money need not continue to pile it up. There are a thousand avenues, each of great interest, by which an individual of ability may benefit, at least in some small measure, the human race.
As the years accumulate it is not wise to place the strains upon the body that could be borne in earlier life. Violent exercise is dangerous to persons beyond 40. The body is a physical machine, and there is wear upon its parts. An old automobile may outlive and accept more use than a new one, if it is given proper care and the new one is strained to the limit. But an old car should not be driven under the stress that a new one will easily stand. Nor will an old human body stand the violence that a young one does, nor should it be expected to do so. But it may outlive the young one both in years and in usefulness, if not subjected to undue strains. Athletics are for the younger person. Yet there are many things that the older may do, and if he would stave off decrepitude he should not fail to keep active within these bounds of safety. Activity is a means of retaining youth.
Youth lives in the present, with a keen anticipation of future joys and attainments. With nothing to look forward to, life fades. The past should occasionally be reviewed; for it affords lessons that become a background for present decisions. But dwelling much in the past is retrogressive, it is a symptom of old age.
To live in the present and keenly anticipate the future, as does youth, is natural when one has some definite work to accomplish. So long as life lasts there should be something of interest to be done, some worthwhile work to be accomplished. When life’s work is done we are useless logs in the stream of life, and are apt quickly to drift to the shore that is other than physical. The zeal of life is to do something. And if that something is of benefit to mankind, even to a few persons, it gives to accomplishment a satisfaction and interest otherwise unknown. Those who die in harness are apt to keep their youth and prolong their lives far beyond those who shift the harness to other backs.
The region in which old age first will manifest in our lives need not remain a mystery. The human machine will wear most, and will break first, in that part of our makeup denoted by the worst planet in the chart of birth.
To prolong youth, therefore, the thought cells thus mapped should be reconditioned and given a harmonious trend by applying to them the proper mental antidote, as explained in Course IX, Mental Alchemy. To build up the weakest section of the personality is to postpone disintegration.
At the commencement of this chapter (Serial Lesson 154), I mentioned certain types of thinking that will prolong the life and assist in keeping young. And without mentioning that change and novelty are ruled by the Moon, and that intellectual activity is ruled by Mercury, I have indicated that harmonious thinking and acting according to the nature of these two planets of youth aid in keeping young. The third planet of youth is Venus, and the thought-cell activity mapped by it, and the cultivation of its harmonious thoughts and feelings, other things being equal, are as important as all the other thinking combined in its effect toward retaining youth.
Mars and Venus rule the gonad glands, whose hormones are more important than any others in their power to rejuvenate the other glands and the cells of the body. Harmonious aggressive thinking in association with thoughts of significance and thoughts of domestic life will lengthen the life and prolong the youth. This means that through a positive attitude no feeling of failure, despondency, fear or humiliation shall be permitted when the significance is attacked. When a mistake is made it can be laughed off, after admitting it, and instead of feeling humiliated the individual can feel that next time he will be able to handle the matter successfully. And it means that courage and constructive ability be used in protecting the young and helpless.
Saturn—whose discordant thought cells express as selfishness, despondency, fear, worry, anxiety and discouragement—is the planet of old age, and Venus is its natural antidote.
Venus rules love, art, music, beauty and romance. It governs the feeling side of life. When feeling has fled, life also has vanished. Seriousness, gravity, responsibility, reflection and the constructive attributes of Saturn are necessary qualities exercised at the right time. But they are not conducive to youth.
To associate with old people (Saturn people) is to grow like them. To be with the young and take an interest in their activities is to adopt their years. To chase out worry and care with merrymaking is to discourage the reaper with the scythe.
Love is a natural attribute of youth. Almost any person of mature years, as I have witnessed time and again, who falls desperately and successfully in love sloughs off at least ten years. Heavy emotional strains, and violent passions of any kind should be avoided by those of advanced years. Through the hormones released into the blood stream they lower the power of the glands properly to respond later, and may raise the blood pressure to a point where the cerebral capillaries, not so strong as once they were, rupture, resulting in a “stroke.” But the milder experiences of the pleasant emotions give the glands just the exercise they need to keep vigorous and healthful.
If we would prolong youth to the utmost, in addition to selecting as youthful environment as practicable, we must avoid, as far as possible, undue tensions, disagreeable thoughts, and inharmonious feelings. The association with the color yellow, the number 6, names and objects with the Venus vibration, and with harmonious music can be used to give the Venus thought cells additional activity. And, applying the most fundamental of all occult laws, we should habitually think of ourselves as in that state of energy and youthfulness which we desire to retain.
But why should life and youth be prolonged? To have a home, to enter into marriage and raise children under present standards, and to move within a selected social circle, people in early life often put forth great effort. But the majority after reaching these modest ambitions stop progressing. Life becomes a routine performance at this level. Instead of advancing from one level of accomplishment to another, stepping higher and higher, as nearly every person has ability to do, most are content to stop at the level reached at thirty years of age. The result is that at thirty years of age they begin to lose their youth; for when progress stops youth disappears with it.
Beardsley Ruml Chart
November 5, 1894, 1:30 p.m. C.S.T. 91W40. 41N59.
(Data from his father.)
1915, B.S. degree at Dartmouth: Sun inconjunct Jupiter p.
1917, Ph.D. University of Chicago: Sun inconjunct Jupiter r.
1919, Secretary The Scott Co., Pa.: Sun conjunction Venus p, both conjunction M.C. r.
1921, Assistant to President Carnegie Corp. of New York: Sun conjunction Venus p, both opposition Pluto r.
1922, Director Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial: Sun conjunction Venus p, both opposition Pluto r.
1929, Dean Social Science University Chicago: Sun semisquare Saturn p, Mercury inconjunct Jupiter p.
1943, author of controversial pay-as-you-go tax plan: Mercury trine Mars r.
Ralph Waldo Trine Chart
September 9, 1866, about 1:00 a.m. LMT. 89W22. 42N02.
(Data from astrological student.)
1891, A.B. Knox College: Sun semisextile Saturn p, Mercury opposition Neptune r.
1892, graduate student John Hopkins: Sun opposition Neptune p, Mercury square Mars p.
1893, A.M. degree: Sun opposition Neptune r.
1896, wrote What All the World’s Seeking, next to his most popular book: Sun semisextile Sun, Sun square Mars p.
1897, wrote In Tune With the Infinite, most popular of his many books: Sun semisextile Sun, Mars sextile Sun r.
1908, wrote On the Open Road: Venus trine Neptune r.