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Vivekananda: "When a man dies, there is a dispute. One party declares, that he has gone for ever, the other insists, that he is still living. Which is true?"   ----   "It is a significant fact that all religions, without one exception, hold that man is a degeneration of what he was."   "Evolutionists seem to entirely contradict this assertion. According to them man is the evolution of the mollusc..."
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The following lecture was delivered by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of an Indian saint, Sri Ramakrishna, in London around 1899.
This remarkably clear presentation of one's true spiritual nature has inspired me to reproduce it from his book "JNANA YOGA" published in 1939, with permission from The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center.
Other of Vivekananda's works are available from The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York.
IMPORTANT: Copyright The Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center - so you may not copy this article for any use, except personal, without their permission.

Dr. Stanley Bass
Feb. 2000

Swami Vivekananda:

(Delivered in London)

Swami Vivekananda Great is the tenacity with which man clings to the senses. Yet, however substantial he may think the external world in which he lives and moves, there comes a time in the lives of individuals and of races, when, involuntarily they ask, "Is this real?" To the person who never finds a moment to question the credentials of his senses, whose every moment is occupied with some sort of sense-enjoyment - even to him death comes, and he also is compelled to ask : "Is this real?" Religion begins with this question and ends with its answer. Even in the remote past, where recorded history cannot help us, in the mysterious light of mythology, back in the dim twilight of civilisation, we find the same question was asked, "What becomes of this? What is real?"

One of the most poetical of the Upanishads, the Katha Upanishad, begins with the enquiry: "When a man dies, there is a dispute. One party declares, that he has gone for ever, the other insists, that he is still living. Which is true?" Various answers have been given. The whole sphere of Metaphysics, Philosophy and Religion is really filled with various answers to this question. At the same time, attempts have been made to suppress it, to put a stop to the unrest of mind which asks, "What is beyond? What is real?" But so long as death remains, all these attempts at suppression will always prove to be unsuccessful. We may talk about seeing nothing beyond, and keeping all our hopes and aspirations confined to the present moment, and struggle hard not to think of anything beyond the world of senses - and perhaps, everything outside helps to keep us limited within its narrow bounds. The whole world may combine to prevent us from broadening out beyond the present. Yet, so long as there is death, the question must come again and again, "Is death the end of all these things to which we are clinging, as if they were the most real of all realities, the most substantial of all substances?" The world vanishes in a moment and is gone. Standing on the brink of a precipice beyond which is the infinite yawning chasm, every mind, however hardened, is bound to recoil, and ask, "Is this real?" The hopes of a life-time, built up little by little with all the energies of a great mind, vanish in a second. Are they real?
This question must be answered. Time never lessens its power; on the other hand, it adds strength to it.
Then, there is the desire to be happy. We run after everything to make ourselves happy; we pursue our mad career in the external world of senses. If you ask the young man with whom life is successful, he will declare that it is real; and he really thinks so. Perhaps, when the same man grows old and finds fortune ever eluding him, he will then declare that it is fate. He finds at last that his desires cannot be fulfilled. Wherever he goes, there is an adamantine wall beyond which he cannot pass. Every sense-activity results in a reaction. Everything is evanescent. Enjoyment, misery, luxury, wealth, power and poverty, even life itself, are all evanescent.

Two positions remain to mankind. One is to believe with the Nihilists, that all is nothing, that we know nothing, that we can never know anything either about the future, the past, or even of the present. For we must remember, that he who denies the past and the future, and wants to stick to the present, is simply a mad man. One may as well deny the father and mother and assert the child. It would be equally logical. To deny the past and future, the present must inevitably be denied also. This is one position, that of the Nihilists. I have never seen a man who could really become a Nihilist, for one minute. It is very easy to talk.

Then there is the other position, - to seek for an explanation, to seek for the real, to discover in the midst of this eternally changing and evanescent world, whatever is real. In this body which is an aggregate of molecules of matter, is there anything which is real?
This has been the search throughout the history of the human mind. In the very oldest times, we often find glimpses of light coming into men's minds. We find man even then, going a step beyond this body, finding something which is not this external body, although very much like it, much more complete, much more perfect, and which re-mains even when this body is dissolved. We read in the hymns of the Rig-Veda, addressed to the God of Fire who is burning a dead body, "Carry him, Fire, in your arms gently, give him a perfect body, a bright body, carry him where the fathers live, where there is no more sorrow, where there is no more death."
The same idea you will find present in every religion, and we get another idea with it. It is a significant fact that all religions, without one exception, hold that man is a degeneration of what he was, whether they clothe this in mythological words, or in the clear language of philosophy, or in the beautiful expressions of poetry. This is the one fact that comes out of every scripture and of every mythology, that the man that is, is a degeneration of what he was.
This is the kernel of truth within the story of Adam's fall in the Jewish Scripture. This is again and again repeated in the Scriptures of the Hindus; the dream of a period which they call the age of truth, when no man died unless he wished to die, when he could keep his body as long as he liked and his mind was pure and strong. There was no evil, and no misery; and the present age is a corruption of that state of perfection.
Side by side with this, we find the story of the deluge, everywhere. That story itself is a proof that this present age is held to be a corruption of a former age, by every religion. It went on becoming more and more corrupt, until the deluge swept away a large portion of mankind and again the ascending series began. It is going up slowly again, to reach once more that early state of purity.
You are all aware of the story of the deluge, in the Old Testament. The same story was current among the ancient Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Chinese and the Hindus. Manu, a great ancient sage, was praying on the banks of the Ganges, when a little minnow came to him for protection, and he put it into a pot of water he had before him. "What do you want?" asked Manu. The little minnow declared, he was pursued by a bigger fish and wanted protection. Manu carried the little fish to his home, and in the morning he had become as big as the pot, and said, "I cannot live in this pot any longer." Manu put him in a tank, and the next day he was as big as the tank and declared he could not live there any more. So Manu had to take him to a river, and in the morning the fish filled the river. Then Manu put him in the ocean, and he declared, "Manu, I am the Creator of the Universe. I have taken this form to come and warn you that I will deluge the world. You build an ark, and in it put a pair of every kind of animals, and let your family enter the ark, and there will project out of the water, my horn. Fasten the ark to it, and when the deluge subsides, come out and people the earth." So the world was deluged, and Manu saved his own family and two of every kind of animal and seeds of every plant. When the deluge subsided, he came and peopled the world and we are all called "man," because we are the progeny of Manu.

Now, human language is the attempt to express the truth that is within. I am fully persuaded, that a baby whose language consists of unintelligible sounds, is attempting to express the highest philosophy, only the baby has not the organs to express it, nor the means. The difference between the language of the highest philosophers and the utterances of babies, is one of degree and not of kind. What you call the most correct, systematic, mathematical language of the present time, and the hazy, mystical, mythological languages of the ancients, differ only in degree. All of them have a grand idea behind, which is, as it were, struggling to express itself, and often behind these ancient mythologies are nuggets of truth, and often, I am sorry to say, behind the fine, polished phrases of the moderns, is arrant trash.
So, we need not throw a thing overboard because it is clothed in mythology, because it does not fit in with the notions of Mr. So-and-So, or Mrs So-and-So, of modern times. If people should laugh at religion because most religions declared that men must believe in mythologies taught by such and such a prophet, they ought to laugh more at these moderns.
In modern times, if a man quotes a Moses, or a Buddha, or a Christ, he is laughed at; but let him give the name of a Huxley, a Tyndall, or a Darwin, and it is swallowed without salt. "Huxley has said it," that is enough for many. We are free from superstitions indeed! That was a religious superstition, and this a scientific superstition; only in and through that superstition came life-giving ideas of spirituality; in and through this modern superstition come lust and greed: That superstition was worship of God, and this superstition is worship of filthy lucre, of fame or power. That is the difference.

To return to mythology. Behind all these stories we find one idea standing supreme - that man is a degeneration of what he was. Coming to the present times, modern research seems to repudiate this position absolutely. Evolutionists seem to entirely contradict this assertion. According to them man is the evolution of the mollusc, and therefore what mythology states cannot be true.
There is in India, however, a mythology which is able to reconcile both these positions. The Indian mythology has a theory of cycles, that all progression is in the form of waves. Every wave is attended by a fall, and that by a rise the next moment, that by a fall in the next, and again another rise. The motion is in cycles.
Certainly it is true even on the grounds of modern research, that man cannot be simply an evolution. Every evolution presupposes an involution. The modern scientific man will tell you that you can only get the amount of energy out of a machine which you have previously put into it. Something cannot be produced out of nothing. If a man is an evolution of the mollusc, then the perfect man, the Buddha-man, the Christ-man, was involved in the mollusc. If it is not so, whence come these gigantic personalities? Something cannot come out of nothing.
Thus we are in the position of reconciling the scriptures with modern light. That energy which manifests itself slowly through various stages until it becomes the perfect man, cannot come out of nothing. It existed somewhere, and if the mollusc, or the protoplasm is the first point to which you can trace it, that protoplasm, somehow or other, must have contained the energy.
There is a great discussion going on, as to whether the aggregate of materials we call the body, is the cause of manifestation of the force we call the soul, thought etc., or whether it is the thought that manifests this body. The religions of the world of course hold that the force called thought manifests the body, and not the reverse. There are schools of modern thought which hold, that what we call thought is simply, the outcome of the adjustment of the parts of the machine which we call body. Taking the second position, that the soul or the mass of thought, or however you may call it, is the outcome of this machine, the outcome of the chemical and physical combinations of matter making up the body and brain, leaves the question unanswered.
What makes the body? What force combines the molecules into the body form? What force is there which takes up material from the mass of matter around and forms my body one way, another body another way, and so on? What makes these infinite distinctions? To say that the force called soul is the outcome of the combinations of the molecules of the body, is putting the cart before the horse. How did the combinations come: where was the force to make them? If you say that some other force was the cause of these combinations, and soul was the outcome of that matter, and that soul, which combined a certain mass of matter, was itself the result of the combinations, it is no answer.
That theory ought to be taken which explains most of the facts, if not all, and that without contradicting other existing theories. It is more logical to say that the force which takes up the matter and forms the body is the same which manifests through that body. To say therefore that the thought forces manifested by the body are the outcome of the arrangement of molecules and have no independent existence, has no meaning; neither can force evolve out of matter.
Rather is it possible to demonstrate, that what we call matter does not exist at all. It is only a certain state of force. Solidity, hardness, or any other state of matter can be proved to be the result of motion. Increase of vortex motion imparted to fluids gives them the force of solids. A mass of air in vortex motion, as in a tornado, becomes solid-like and by its impact breaks or cuts through solids. A thread of a spider's web, if it could be moved at almost infinite velocity, would be as strong as an iron chain, and would cut through an oak tree.
Looking at it in this way, it would be easier to prove that what we call matter does not exist. But the other way cannot be proved.

What is the force which manifests itself through the body? It is obvious to all of us, whatever that force be - that it is taking particles up, as it were, and manipulating forms out of them - the human body. None else comes here to manipulate bodies for you and me. I never saw anybody eat food for me. I have to assimilate it, manufacture blood and bones and everything out of that food. What is this mysterious force? Ideas about the future and about the past seem to be terrifying to many. To many they seem to be mere speculation. We will take the present theme. What is this force which is now working through us? We know how in old times in all the ancient scriptures, this power, this manifests-tion of power, was thought to be of a bright substance having the form of this body, and which remained even after this body fell. Later on, however, we find a higher idea coming-that this bright body did not represent the force. Whatsoever has form, must be the result of combinations of particles and requires something else behind it, to move it. If this body requires something which is not the body, to manipulate it, the bright body, by the same necessity, will also require something other than itself, to manipulate it. So that something was called the soul, the Atman, in Sanskrit. It was the Atman which through the bright body, as it were, worked on the gross body outside. The bright body is considered as the receptacle of the mind, and the Atman is beyond that. It is not the mind even, it works the mind, and through the body. You have an Atman, I have another, each one of us has a separate Atman, and a separate fine body, and through that, we work on the gross external body. Questions were then asked about this Atman, about its nature. What is this Atman, this soul of man, which is neither the body nor the mind? Great discussions followed. Speculations were made, various shades of philosophic enquiry came into existence, and I shall try to place before you some of the conclusions that have been reached about this Atman. The different philosophies seem to agree that this Atman, whatever it be, has neither form nor shape, and that which has neither form nor shape must be omnipresent. Time begins with mind, space also is in the mind.
Causation cannot stand without time. Without the idea of succession there cannot be any idea of causation.
Time, space and causation, therefore, are in the mind, and as this Atman is beyond the mind and formless, it must be beyond time, beyond space, and beyond causation. Now, if it is beyond time, space and causation, it must be infinite. Then comes the highest speculation in our philosophy. The infinite cannot be two. If the soul be infinite, there can be only one Soul, and all ideas of various souls - you having one soul, and I having another, and so forth, - are not real. The Real Man therefore is one and infinite, the omnipresent spirit. And the apparent man is only a limitation of that Real Man. In that sense the mythologies are true, that the apparent man, however great he may be, is only a dim reflection of the Real Man, which is beyond. The Real Man, the Spirit being beyond cause and effect, not bound by time and space, must therefore be free. He was never bound, and could not be bound. The apparent man, the reflection, is limited by time, space and causation, and is therefore bound. Or in the language of some of our philosophers, he appears to be bound, but really is not. This is the, reality in our souls, this omnipresence, this spiritual nature, this infinity. Every soul is infinite, therefore there is no question of birth and death. Some children were being examined. The examiner put them rather hard questions, and among them was this one:
"Why does not the earth fall?" He wanted to evoke answers about gravitation. Most of the children could not answer at all; a few answered that it was gravitation or something. One bright little girl answered it by putting another question: "Where should it fall?" The question is nonsense. Where should the earth fall? There is no falling or rising for the earth.
In infinite space there is no up or down; that is only in the relative. Where is the going or coming for the infinite? Whence should it come and whither should it go? Thus, when people cease to think of the past, or future, when they give up the idea of body, because the body comes and goes and is limited, then they have risen to a higher ideal. The body is not the real man, neither is the mind, for the mind waxes and wanes. It is the Spirit beyond, which alone can live for ever. The body and mind are continually changing, and are, in fact, only names of series of changeful phenomena, like rivers whose waters are in a constant state of flux, yet presenting the appearance of unbroken streams. Every particle in this body is continually changing; no one has the same body for many minutes together, and yet we think of it as the same body. So with the mind; one moment it is happy, another moment unhappy; one moment, strong, another weak;an ever-changing whirlpool. That cannot be the Spirit, which is infinite. Change can only be in the limited. To say that the infinite changes in any way is absurd; it cannot be. You can move and I can move, as limited bodies; every particle in this universe is in a constant state of flux, but taking the universe as a unit, as one whole, it cannot move, it cannot change. Motion is always a relative thing. I move in relation to something else. Any particle in this universe can change in relation to any other particle; but take the whole universe as one, and in relation to what can it move? There is nothing beside it. So this infinite Unit is interchangeable, immoveable, absolute, and this Is the Real Man. Our reality, therefore, consists in the Universal, and not in the limited. These are old delusions, however comfortable they are, to think that we are little limited beings, constantly changing. People are frightened when they are told that they are Universal Being, everywhere present. Through everything you work, through every foot you move, through every lip you talk, through every heart you feel.

People are frightened when they are told this. They will again and again ask you if they are not going to keep their individuality. What is individuality? I should like to see it. A baby has no moustache; when he grows to be a man, perhaps he has a moustache and beard. His individuality would be lost, if it were in the body. If I lose one eye, or if I lose one of my hands, my individuality would be lost if it were in the body. Then, a drunkard should not give up drinking, because he would lose his individuality. A thief should not be a good man, because he would thereby lose his individuality. No man ought to change his habits, for fear of this. There is no individuality except in the Infinite. That is the only condition which does not change. Everything else is in a constant state of flux. Neither can individuality be in memory. Suppose, on account of a blow on the head, I forget all about my past; then, I have lost all individuality; I am gone. I do not remember two or three years of my childhood, and if memory and existence are one, then whatever I forget is gone. That part of my life which I do not remember, I did not live. That is a very narrow idea of individuality. We are not individuals yet.

We are struggling towards individuality and that is the Infinite; that is the real nature of man. He alone lives, whose life is in the whole universe, and the more we concentrate our lives on limited things, the faster we go towards death. Those moments alone we live, when our lives are in the universe, in others; and living this little life is death, simply death, and that is why the fear of death comes. The fear of death can only be conquered when man realises that as long as there is one life in this universe, he is living. When he can say, "I am in everything, in everybody, I am in all lives, I am the universe," then alone comes the state of fearless. To talk of immortality in constantly changing things is absurd. Says' an old Sanskrit philospher : It is only the Spirit that is the individual, because it is infinite; no infinity can be divided; infinity cannot be broken into pieces. It is the same one, undivided unit for ever, and this is the individual man, the Real Man. The apparent man is merely a struggle to express, to manifest, this individuality which is beyond, and evolution is not in the Spirit. These changes which are going on, the wicked becoming good, the animal becoming man, take them in whatever way you like, - are not in the Spirit.
They are evolution of nature and manifestation of Spirit. Suppose there is a screen hiding you from me, in which there is a small hole through which I can see some of the faces before me, just a few faces. Now suppose the hole begins to grow larger and larger, and as it does so, more nod more of the scene before me reveals itself, and when at last the whole screen has disappeared, I stand face to face with you all. You did not change at all in this case, it was the hole that was evolving and you were gradually manifesting yourselves. So it is with the Spirit.

No perfection is going to be attained. You are already free and perfect. What are these ideas of religion and God and searching for the hereafter? Why does man look for a God? Why does man, in every nation, in every state of society, want a perfect ideal somewhere, either in man, in God, or elsewhere? Because that idea is within you. It was your own heart beating and you did not know, you were mistaking it for something external. It is the God within your own self that is propelling you to seek for Him, to realise Him. After long searches here and there, in temples and in churches, in earths and in heavens, at last you come back, completing the circle from where you started, to your own soul and find that He, for whom you have been seeking all over the world, for whom you have been weeping and praying in churches and temples, on whom you were looking as the mystery of all mysteries shrouded in the clouds, is nearest of the near, is your own Self, the reality of your life, body and soul. That is your own nature. Assert it, manifest it. Not to become pure, you are pure already. You are not to be perfect, you are that already. Nature is like that screen which is beyond. Every good thought that you think or act upon, is simply tearing the veil, as it were, and the purity, the Infinity, the God behind, manifests itself more and more. This is the whole history of man. Finer and finer becomes the veil, more and more of the light behind shines forth for it is its nature to shine. It cannot be known; in vain we try to know it. Were it knowable, it would not be what it is, for it is the eternal subject.

Knowledge is a limitation, knowledge is objectifying. He is the eternal subject of everything, the eternal witness in this universe, your own Self. Knowledge is, as it were, a lower step, a degeneration. We are that eternal subject already; how can we know it?
It is the real nature of every man and he is struggling to express it in various ways; otherwise, why are there so many ethical codes? Where is the explanation of all ethics? One idea stands out as the centre of all ethical systems, expressed in various forms, namely, doing good to others. The guiding motive of mankind should be charity towards men, charity towards all animals. But these are all various expressions of that eternal truth that, "I am the universe, this universe is one." Or else, where is the reason? Why should I do good to my fellow-men? Why should I do good to others? What compels me? It is sympathy, the feeling of sameness everywhere. The hardest hearts feel sympathy for other beings, sometimes. Even the man who gets frightened if he is told that this assumed individuality is really a delusion, that it is ignoble to try to cling to this apparent individuality, that very man will tell you that extreme self-abnegation is the centre of all morality. And what is perfect self-abnegation. It means the abnegation of this apparent self, the abnegation of all selfishness. This idea of "me" and "mine" - ahanka'ra and mamata'- is the result of past superstition, and the more this present self passes away, the more the real Self becomes manifest. This is true self-abnegation, the centre, the basis, the gist of all moral teaching; and whether man knows it or not the whole world is slowly going towards it, practising it more or less. Only, the vast majority of mankind are doing it unconsciously. Let them do it consciously. Let them make the sacrifice, knowing that this "me" and "mine" is not the real Self, but only a limitation. But one glimpse of that infinite reality which is behind, but one spark of that infinite fire that is the All, represents the present man; the Infinite is his true nature.

What is the utility, the effect, the result of this knowledge? In these days, we have to measure everything by utility, by how many pounds, shillings and pence it represents. What right has a person to ask that truth should be judged by the standard of utility or money? Suppose there is no utility, will it be less true? Utility is not the test of truth. Nevertheless, there is the highest utility in this. Happiness, we see, is what everyone is seeking for, but the majority seek it in things which are evanescent, and not real. No happiness was ever found in the senses. There never was a person who found happiness in the senses, or in enjoyment of the senses. Happiness is only found in the Spirit. Therefore the highest utility for mankind is to find this happiness in the Spirit. The next point is, that ignorance is the great mother of all misery, and the fundamental ignorance is to think that the Infinite weeps and cries, that He is finite. This is the basis of all ignorance, that we, the immortal, the ever pure, the perfect Spirit, think that we are little minds, that we are little bodies; it is the mother of all selfishness. As soon as I think that I am a little body, I want to preserve it, to protect it, to keep it nice, at the expense of other bodies; then you and I become separate. As soon as this idea of separation comes, it opens the door to all mischief and leads to all misery. This is the utility, that if a very small fractional part of human beings living today can put aside the idea of selfishness, narrowness and littleness, this earth will become a paradise tomorrow; but with machines and improvements of material knowledge only, it will never be. These only increase misery, as oil poured on fire increases the flame all the more. Without the knowledge of the Spirit, all material knowledge is only adding fuel to fire, only giving into the hands of selfish man one more instrument - to take what belongs to others, to live upon the life of others, instead of giving up his life for them.

Is it practical? - is another question. Can it be practised in modern society? Truth does not pay homage to any society, ancient or modern. Society has to pay homage to truth, or die. Societies should be moulded upon truth, and truth has not to adjust itself to society. If such a noble truth as unselfishness cannot be practised in society, it is better for a man to give up society and go into the forest. That is the daring man. There are two sorts of courage. One is the courage of facing the cannon. And the other is the courage of spiritual conviction. An Emperor, who invaded India, was told by his teacher to go and see some of the sages there. After a long search for one, he found a very old man sitting on a block of stone. The Emperor talked with him a little and became very much impressed by his wisdom. He asked the sage to go to his country with him. "No," said the sage, "I am quite satisfied with my forest here." Said the Emperor, "I will give you money, position, wealth. I am the Emperor of the world." "No," replied the man, "I don't care for those things." T'he Emperor replied, "If you do not go, I will kill you." The man smiled serenely and said : "That is the most foolish thing you ever said, Emperor. You cannot kill me. Me the sun cannot dry, fire cannot burn, sword cannot kill, for I am the birthless, the deathless, the omnipotent, omnipresent Spirit." This is spiritual boldness, while the other is the courage of a lion or a tiger. In the Mutiny of 1857, there was a Swami, a very great soul, whom a Mahomedan mutineer stabbed severely. The Hindu mutineers caught and brought the man to the Swami, offering to kill him. But the Swami looked up calmly and said: "My brother, thou art He, thou art He !" and expired. This is another instance. What good is it to talk of the strength of your muscles, of the superiority of your Western institutions, if you cannot make Truth square with your society, if you cannot build up a society into which the highest truth will fit? What is the good of this boastful talk about your grandeur and greatness, if you stand up and say, "This courage is not practical." Is nothing practical but pounds, shillings and pence? If so, why boast of your society? That society is the greatest, where the highest truths become practical.
That is my opinion, and if society is not fit for the highest truths, make it so, and the sooner the better. Stand up, men and women, in this spirit, dare to believe in the Truth, dare to practise the Truth!
The world requires a few hundred bold men and women. Practise that boldness which dares know the truth, which dares show the truth in life, which does not quake before death, nay, welcomes death, makes a man know that he is the Spirit, that, in the whole universe, nothing can kill him. Then you will be free. Then you will know your real Soul! "This Atman is first to be heard, then thought about, and then meditated upon."

There is a great tendency in modern times to talk too much of work and decry thought. Doing is very good, but that comes from thinking. Little manifestations of energy through the muscles are called work. But where there is no thought, there will be no work. Fill the brain, therefore, with high thoughts, highest ideals, place them day and night before you, and out of that will come great work. Talk not about impurity, but say that we are pure. We have hypnotised ourselves into this thought that we are little, that we are born and that we are going to die, and into a constant state of fear.

There is a story about a lioness, who was big with young, going about in search of prey; and seeing a flock of sheep, she jumped upon them. She died in the effort and a little baby lion was born, motherless. It was taken care of by the sheep and the sheep brought it up and it grew up with them, ate grass, and bleated like the sheep. And although in time, it became a big, full-grown lion, it thought it was a sheep. One day another lion came in search of prey, and was astonished to find that in the midst of this flock of sheep was a lion, fleeing like the sheep at the approach of danger. He tried to get near the sheep-lion, to tell it that it was not a sheep, but a lion but the poor animal fled at his approach. However, he watched his opportunity, and one day found the sheep-lion sleeping. He approached it and said, "You are a lion." "I am a sheep," cried the other lion, and could not believe the contrary, but bleated. The lion dragged him towards a lake and said, "Look here, there is my reflection and yours." Then came the comparison. It looked at the lion and then at its own reflection, and in a moment came the idea that it was a lion. The lion roared, the bleating was gone.
You are lions, you are souls, pure, infinite and perfect. The might of the universe is within you. "Why weepest thou, my friend? There is neither birth nor death for thee. Why weepest thou? There is no disease nor misery for thee, but thou art like the infinite sky; clouds of various colours come over it, play for a moment, then vanish. But the sky is ever the same eternal blue." Why do we see wickedness? There was a stump of a tree, and in the dark a thief came that way and said, "That is a policeman." A young man waiting for his beloved saw it and thought that it was his sweet-heart. A child who had been told ghost stories took it for a ghost and began to shriek. But all the time it was the stump of a tree. We see the world as we are. Suppose there is a baby in a room with a bag of gold on the table and a thief comes and steals the gold. Would the baby know it was stolen?

That which we have inside, we see outside. The baby has no thief inside and sees no thief outside. So with all knowledge. Do not talk of the wickedness of the world and all its sins. Weep that you are bound to ace wickedness yet. Weep that you are bound to see sin everywhere, and if you want to help the world, do not condemn it. Do not weaken it more. For what is sin and what is misery, and what are all these, but the results of weakness? The world is made weaker and weaker every day by such teachings. Men are taught from childhood that they are weak and sinners. Teach them that they are all glorious children of immortality, even those who are the weakest in manifestation. Let positive, strong, helpful thought enter into their brains from very childhood. Lay yourselves open to these thoughts, and not to weakening and paralysing ones. Say to your own minds, "I am He, I am He." Let it ring day and night in your minds like a song, and at the point of death declare: "I am He." That is the Truth; the infinite strength of the world is yours. Drive out the superstition that has covered your minds. Let us be brave. Know the Truth and practise the Truth. The goal may be distant, but awake, arise, and stop not till the goal is reached.
"amazing long-lived natural doctor!"


My First Water Fast
I was startled by the statement that all colds, fevers and influenzas were nature's attempt to free the body of disease. I devised an experiment to test this - click here
Fruit - Friend or Foe?
He lived on nothing but grapes - By the 32nd day, his gum was bleeding - one of his teeth fell out. He exclaimed: My God, I am detoxicating my teeth - click here
Symptoms to Expect when Improving Your Diet
This initial letdown lasts about ten days, and is followed by an increase of strength, a feeling of diminishing stress and greater well-being. - click here
How Diseases are Cured
Dr. Shelton: - It is high time to learn about the causes of disease and of the "complications" that so frequently develop under regular care - click here
The Time-factor in Recovery
Dr. Shelton: - Why do we expect to get well in a hurry of a condition that requires a life-time for its development? - click here
Sequential Eating
Any quick digesting foods must wait till the slowest digesting foods leave the stomach - a process which can take up to 6 or 8 hours. - click here
How Important is Diagnosis?
Once the truth of how to live is understood, the process of illness can be reversed more or less painlessly by intelligent living - click here
How to Live 100 Years
If you follow a minimal diet you can achieve super nutrition. Let's look at Luigi Cornaro, who at age 35 was weak, sick, and dying - click here


How to Solve Problems
The following method, ancient in its origin, has been practiced by several civilizations dating back for thousands of years. - click here
Causes of Addiction to Habits
The key which unlocks the mystery of why most habits are difficult to break lies in the understanding of the stimulation and depression mechanism. - click here
How to Overcome Temptations
The very moment an undesirable craving has entered your consciousness, DON'T struggle with it. Absolutely REFUSE to consider its existence - click here
Attentive Eating
A subject which can radically change a person's life in all of its aspects - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. - Attentive eating. - click here
Energy in the Body
The lift we get from drinking coffee, or the expression of strong emotions - is the expenditure of energy, not its accumulation - click here
Energy, Feeling and Thought
The person who feels depressed or negative most of the time is low on the energy level scale and needs to increase rest and sleep - click here
The Energy Principle in Healing - New Concepts
All healing and regeneration is in ratio to the amount of energy which is available - the more energy, the more detoxicating healing - click here


Three Generations of Hygienists
These children, the skeletal development wasn't right, the dental arches were not well-formed, teeth came in crowded - click here
In Search of the Ultimate Diet
I put a group of mice on a fruitarian diet. But they didn't seem to be eating very much fruit, and they certainly weren't crazy about it - click here
The Ideal 100% Raw Diet
My aim here was to try to find a diet of 100% raw foods that mice and equally humans could live on, with all the factors needed for excellent health - click here
Vegetarian Diet & Food Plan
Dr. Cursio: - it represents more than 55 years of this brilliant nutritionist's experience as one of the greatest teachers in the field of Natural Hygiene - click here
Vegan rats die early & have low energy
When the vegetarian male died it was 22.8 months old. The omnivorous male had accomplished the same amount of work when it was but 6.9 months old. click here


Primitive Man - His Diet and Health
The duration of life is long, the people being yet strong and vigorous as they pass the three score and ten mark, and living in many cases beyond a century. click here
Vilhjalmur Stefansson: Adventures in Diet
I have lived in the Arctic for more than five years exclusively on meat and water ... I tried the rotten fish one day, and liked it better than my first taste of Camembert. During the next weeks I became fond of rotten fish. click here
Aajonus: Primitive Diet Example
After 12 years eating raw meat and never having had any more than a little diarrhea, I learned to relax and not fear raw foodborne bacteria and parasites. click here
Dr. Shelton: How Much Protein?
There is a delicate balance between carbohydrates and proteins, to which we have to conform - disease and degeneration resulting from failure to conform. click here
Drs. Eades: High-Carbohydrate Problems
An anthropologist examining skeletal remains of early man can tell immediately whether the bones and teeth belonged to a hunter-gatherer (mainly protein eater) or a farmer (mainly carbohydrate eater)..." click here
Dr. Rosedale: Insulin's Metabolic Effects
The actual rate of aging can be modulated by insulin... We should be living to be 130, 140 years old routinely. click here  
Insulin's Crucial Role: insulin article 2   What is mTor? insulin article 3
Cancer & The Warburg Effect
The theory is simple: If most aggressive cancers rely on the fermentation of sugar for growing and dividing, then take away the sugar and they should stop spreading. click here
Swami Narayanananda: Food And Drink
Many sects and people have very crude ideas about food and drink. In India, some narrow-minded and bigoted people have much hatred for non-vegetarian diet. click here


The Ten Health Commandments
Thou shalt lift thyself up through obedience to all of Nature's laws, and help thy brother to attain the same. click here
The Truth Behind All Religion
God is not punishing us with illness and disease. Our suffering is due to our ignorance of food's relation to health and happiness. click here
Practicing with Certainty
People who are told they have emotional problems are suffering from thinking problems. Their emotions are working fine. click here
Vivekananda: Man's True Spiritual Nature
Let positive, strong, helpful thought enter into their brains from very childhood. Lay yourselves open to these thoughts, and not to weakening and paralysing ones. click here



If you are sick, read:
How Diseases are Cured
The Time-factor in Recovery
How Important is Diagnosis?
How to Live 100 Years
What Symptoms to Expect when Improving Your Diet
My First Water Fast

If you have a hard time changing habits, read:
Causes of Addiction to Habits
The Power of Habit Explained
How to Overcome Temptations

If you are suffering from depression or low energy, read:
Energy, Feeling and Thought
Energy in the Body

If you are trying to overcome an addiction, read:
Causes of Addiction to Habits
The Power of Habit Explained
How to Overcome Temptations
Energy, Feeling and Thought

If you are trying to lose weight, read:
(about low-carb + raw diets as the correct strategy:)

The High-Carbohydrate Diet and Related Health Problems
Insulin's Metabolic Effects (Why eat less carbohydrates?)
How much weight-loss on raw juices vs. fasting?
Preventing Cellulite - the Diet Solution
(about overcoming the physical 'sugar' craving:)
Causes of Addiction to Habits
What Symptoms to Expect when Improving Your Diet
(about the emotional battle:)
Attentive Eating
How to Overcome Temptations
Energy, Feeling and Thought

If you don't want to change your diet, but still become healthier, read:
Sequential Eating
How to Live 100 Years
Energy, Feeling and Thought
Energy in the Body

If you are looking for the ultimate vegetarian diet,
- or have been damaged by veganism - read:

With Three Generations of Vegetarian Hygienists
In Search of the Ultimate Vegetarian Diet
Fruit - Friend or Foe?
The Ideal 100% Raw Diet
Natural Hygiene Vegetarian Diet & Food Plan
Sequential Eating
What Symptoms to Expect when Improving Your Diet

If you are looking for a non-vegetarian diet that will give superior health:
Primitive Man - His Diet and Health
The High-Carbohydrate Diet and Related Health Problems
Insulin's Metabolic Effects (Why eat less carbohydrates?)
New Concepts in Nutrition, Health and Rapid Healing of Illness
Primitive Diet Example
Sequential Eating
What Symptoms to Expect when Improving Your Diet

If you expect or have children, read:
Birth Defects can be Avoided!
What You do when You Vaccinate
How Diseases are Cured

If you want a better sex-life, read:
Energy-Karezza - fascinating & powerful sex
Enjoying Superior Sex Your Entire Life - radio interview
Energy-Karezza book excerpt

If you are new to Natural Hygiene, read:
How Diseases are Cured
The Time-factor in Recovery
How Important is Diagnosis?
My First Water Fast
New Concepts in Nutrition, Health and Rapid Healing of Illness

This website is a good example of Natural Hygiene - a 150+ year old self-empowering healing and health philosophy that was started by medical doctors - but almost forgotten in the 20th century.
Learn why it is now becoming mainstream again. Learn more about why no-drugs healing methods are not only cheap, but vastly superior.
Visit the organization   International Natural Hygiene Society - where Dr. Bass is one of the founders.

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