A Guide to Perfect Health
(and a guide to happiness)
Victory by capturing a prisoner)
by Michael F. O’Keeffe
Perfect health is natural. Happiness is also natural. When we live according to natural law, we are never sick, and there is no sadness. However, when we assume lifestyles that extend beyond the bounds of natural law, we develop ailments (diseases and injuries). Most affluent residents of our contemporary world culture have gradually (and unknowingly) adopted lifestyles that are beyond the bounds, and thus most of us experience bouts with various types of ailments, and consequently, we are headed toward years of increasingly ill health and unpleasant elderly years and an unpleasant demise.
Furthermore, most of us have become so accustomed to experiencing ailments and grief (resulting from our excessive lifestyles) that we accept these things as normal and inevitable. As a culture, we have lost sight of (forgotten) the fact that Nature intended for us to be both happy and healthy, and she provides all that we need to experience these.
We can recover lost knowledge. We all are capable of learning about, and adopting, lifestyles that promote perfect health and happiness. So, what do I mean by lifestyles that “extend beyond the bounds of natural law?” It’s simply this: Nature requires that we work with her – that we take from her all that she provides for us, without taking more than our rightful share. When we take more than our share, we are “out of bounds,” and by natural law, we suffer consequences – ill health and unhappiness. If we live within natural bounds we are healthy and happy.
Once one learns this truth (and believes) he or she has taken the first step toward health and happiness. The second step is to determine if you are out of bounds. This is easy. If you ever experience ill health, anxiety or mental stress, you are beyond the boundary lines. The third step is to identify all the ways that you are “out of bounds.” This step is difficult.
This brings us to the appetites. We all have appetites – mental, physical, and psychological. These serve us well. They help us learn, acquire nutrition, develop social relationships and procreate. The problem is, most of us are in the habit of over-gratifying our appetites. We are “out of bounds.” The person who is out of bounds is behaving selfishly, and is addicted. Addiction is the cause of all human unhappiness. Addiction unchecked often leads a multiplication of addictions, which in turn, lead to sociopathic behavior and terrible crimes. We need to identify our addictions, and rein them in. In a sense, we need to capture a prisoner.
Jesus taught his disciples how to capture a prisoner.
How to Capture a Prisoner
There is a war going on within each person. It is a war between the selfish self and the noble self, between the spirit self and the physical self. It is a war between the temporary part of each human being and the eternal part. It is a war between evil and good. Sinners and criminals are ones who allow the lower self (the body of desires) to win most of the battles. The responsible, venerable person is one whose higher self (the spirit-self) wins many of the battles. These battles simmer within every human being all the time, and sometimes they rage.
Jesus, the Lord, became Messiah because he lived a life on earth in which his higher, eternal, spirit-self won every battle. Not a single skirmish was ever lost – he lived a sinless life. He taught his disciples (who were sinners) how to turn their lives around: he taught them how to win every battle. The Lord taught that trying to win every battle individually is a noble endeavor, but there will certainly be many lost battles until the lower self has been taken prisoner. The lower self’s appetites, passions and desires are extremely strong – often too strong, and when a noble battle seems to have been won, the foe counterattacks, and snatches away what seemed like victory.
However, our Lord told his disciples about a strategy that will ensure success. He described a technique that works well. It is based on prayer and fasting. This method is direct and effective, yet he advised caution: he stated that we should prepare carefully, because the lower self’s desires are too strong to be arrested by casual effort. Thus, he said, “take stock of yourself before you start to follow me…and don’t look back. Remember Lot’s wife.”
Here is a description of the Lord’s technique: First, dedicate yourself to frequent prayer and meditation, especially when going to sleep; and be sure to ask God, our Father, for help. This is important – you cannot achieve your goal without divine help. Second, start winning some important smaller victories – overcome any obvious addictions (such as tobacco, drugs, alcohol, comfort food, between-meal snacks and excessive sexual gratification). This may take weeks, months, years (or even decades) – depending on your level of addiction and your willingness and determination to be victorious.
After you feel confident that you have won these smaller victories, it’s time to begin the third phase – to win a major victory: Limit yourself to only three small bland meals per day, and nothing between. What do I mean by bland? Cut out flavor intensive foods and flavor enhancers – pepper, onions, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard etc., anything that stimulates the tongue’s pleasure senses – that is, eliminate spices, sweet treats and all flavorings from your diet. And cut out temperature-intensive eating – consume only warm food and beverages, never hot or cold. And minimize (or eliminate) animal products from your diet.
After you have achieved this stage (without “looking back”) you will soon realize why the Lord said “take stock of yourself before you start to follow me.” You are now almost prepared to begin following him; however, you will find that it’s very difficult to maintain this diet. Your carnal self will protest and call aloud, demanding that you return to the pleasures of flavorings and temperature enjoyment, and between-meal snacks. However, if you disregard the lower self’s demands, and persevere for several months, you are finally prepared; and you will soon discover why the Lord described The Victory as being “like finding a treasure in a field.” You will begin to experience some unexpected heavenly benefits (even before you finally capture your foe).
Soon you will capture him and win the war, and you will incarcerate the vanquished prisoner, and restrict him to prisoner-rations (and you will gladly throw away the key).
This essay is based on 25 years of studying the Aquarian Gospel, and on 20 years of practice and preparation.