Annie Besant

Effect of Being A Vegetarian

The body needs to be refined, to be improved, to be moulded into such a form and made of such constituents as may best fit it to be the instrument on the physical plane for man's highest purposes. Everything which tends in that direction is to be encouraged and cultivated, everything which goes contrary to it is to be avoided.

The physical matter in man is in exceedingly close touch with the astral. Each is to a great extent a counter part of the other, and coarseness and grossness in the physical body imply a similar condition in the higher vehicles.

The ordinary person lets his body build itself up 'anyhow' out of the materials supplied to it, without regard to their nature, caring only that they shall be palatable and 'agreeable' to his desires, and not whether they are suitable or unsuitable to the making of a pure and noble dwelling for the self.

If we are careless about the physical diet we build into our dense bodies solid particles of an impure kind, we attract to ourselves the corresponding impure kind of what we call the solid astral. On the otherhand, as we build into our dense bodies solid particles of purer type, we attract the correspondingly purer type of solid astral matter.

As we carry on the purification of the physical body by feeding it on clean food and drink and by excluding from our diet the polluting blood and flesh of animals, alcohol and other things that are foul and degrading, we also begin to purify the astral vehicle and take from the astral world more delicate and fine materials for its construction. The effect of this is not only important as regards the present Earth Life, but it has a distinct bearing also on the post-mortem state, on our condition in the astral world, and on the kind of body we shall have in the next life upon earth.

As the astral body is the vehicle of the emotions and passions, it follows that a man whose astral body is of the ruder type will be chiefly amenable to the lower and rougher varieties of passion and emotion; where as a man who has a fine astral body will find that its particles most readily vibrate in response to higher and more refined emotions and aspirations.

There can be no questions that it is the duty of every man to develop all his vehicles as far as possible in order to make them perfect instruments for the use of the soul.

All these vehicles, therefore, must be in the highest possible condition of efficiency; they must be pure and clean and free from taint. And, it is obvious that this can never be, so long as the man puts into the physicalbody undesirable constituents like flesh of animals, birds, reptiles and flesh of that of crustaceous creatures and molluscs which feed on carrion. How could bodies made of such materials be sensitive, delicately balanced and yet perfectly healthy with the strength of tempered steel such as is needed for all the higher kinds of work?

(Source: " Man and His Bodies" by Annie Besant)

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