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purification & vegetarianism

Nov 21, 1993 03:17 PM
by Leonard E. Cole

     Brenda Tucker - purification practices - 08-nov-93 message

          You asked <Has austerity found its way into your life in the
     form of vegetarianism, abstention from alcohol, cigarettes,
     drugs?>  I don't think "austerity" is the appropriate word to
     characterize the life style implied by the elements you list,
     especially when healthful, delicious vegetarian food is available
     in such abundance and the health hazards associated with alcohol,
     and use of tobacco and drugs are so well known.  In other words,
     eating a vegetarian diet and avoiding the other items mentioned
     does not appear to me to be a life style of austerity.

          How is this related to [spiritual] purification?  I don't
     know.  It is well known that H.P.B. smoked cigarettes a great
     deal, although we don't know what was rolled in the paper she
     smoked, and Mahatma Morya "used" a pipe, although we don't know
     what was in it.  Both of them appeared to have been reasonably
     well developed in the spiritual realm.  Assuming they both used
     tobacco, it is difficult to say whether they would have been even
     more highly evolved if they had abstained.

          I am glad to share information about life style practices in
     this household.  My wife Rauha and I have been vegetarians for
     quite a while, I for 39 years, and she for 47.  In fact, she
     introduced me to vegetarianism in 1954 when we met.  I had never
     heard of such a thing before, but I was an easy convert.  After
     we married in 1955, we first practiced "lacto-ovo" (included
     dairy products and eggs), but in recent years we have mostly
     avoided them.  Why are we vegetarian?  For a variety of reasons:
     respect for other sentient forms of life, health, ethics, ecolo-
     gy, to mention a few.

          We drink a glass of wine occasionally, maybe once or twice a
     month.  We could easily give it up if there was a compelling
     reason to do so.  We do not smoke and never smoked habitually,
     just a little experimenting many years ago.  The only drugs we
     take are by prescription, Rauha by a homeopathic doctor, and I by
     allopathic.  Our physical conditions that require drugs are not
     life threatening and seem to be under good control.  So we are
     content with our life style.  Would you like to tell us about

     Arvind Kumar - purification & vegetarianism - 08-nov-93 message

          I appreciate your many thoughtful comments.  You asked
     <Where did the teaching in theosophy about vegetarianism come
     from, is it in any book?>  I don't know, but I guess it becomes a
     matter of individual conscience as one becomes more and more
     aware of the impact our life style has on our fellow creatures
     and on our home, planet Earth.  To live as healthfully as possi-
     ble and as unobtrusively as possible seems to me to be a worth-
     while goal.

          Regarding your daughter Rita's problem with vegetarianism, I
     would like to offer some words of encouragement.  It IS possible
     to live healthfully and vegetarian.  Many people are doing it and
     have been doing it for many years.  It may require some reading
     and study to ensure one is eating a healthful, nutritious diet.
     DIET FOR A SMALL PLANET is an excellent reference book. Vegetar-
     ian Times is an excellent monthly magazine.  There are many books
     and magazines available on the subject of vegetarianism.  One
     thing to take care about is to eat a variety of foods, vegetables
     (cooked and/or raw), grains, nuts, and fruit.  Only a very few
     should be avoided, e.g., palm oil and coconut.

          Another thing to watch out for is vitamin B12.  An adequate
     supply of this vitamin is generally not found in vegetarian
     foods.  We get ours from a product called "Yeast 550," formulated
     and distributed by Nutritional Specialties, Inc., Anaheim, Cali-
     fornia 92805, and sold in health food stores.  One level table-
     spoon daily mixed in fruit juice provides a wealth of vitamins
     including 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12.
     Unfortunately, the yeast also contains minuscule amounts of honey
     (bee vomit) and the dairy product "whey," but we haven't found
     another source of vitamin B12 that is "pure."

          So, Rita, may I wish you success in your vegetarianism
     quest.  If you have questions, please ask.  I am not an expert on
     this subject, but I still might be helpful.

     Best wishes,

     Leonard E. Cole     CompuServe 71664,3642

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