|Copyright 1906 by H. W. PERCIVAL|
MOMENTS WITH FRIENDS
How can vegetarianism prevent concentration of the mind when vegetarianism has been advised in order to attain concentration?
Vegetarianism has been advised for a certain stage of development, the aim being to subdue the passions, control the desires of the body and thus prevent the mind from being agitated. In order to control desires one must first have desire and in order to concentrate the mind, one must have a mind. That portion of the mind which is incarnated in the body, affects that body by its presence and is in turn affected by the body. The mind and body react on each other. The body is made up of the gross food taken into the body, and the body serves as a background or lever for the mind. The body is the resistance with which the mind works and becomes strong. If the body is a vegetable body instead of an animal body it will react on the mind according to its nature and the mind will be unable to find the resisting power or leverage necessary to work with and develop its strength and faculties. A body which feeds on mush and milk cannot reflect the strength of the mind. The mind which acts on a body built up on milk and vegetables becomes discontented, irritable, melancholic, pessimistic and sensitive to the wickedness of the world, because it lacks the power to hold and dominate, which power a strong body would afford.
The eating of vegetables weakens the desires, it is true, but it does not control desires. The body is only an animal, the mind should use it as an animal. In controlling an animal the owner would not weaken it, but would, in order to get the greatest use out of it, keep it healthy and in good training. First get your strong animal, then control it. When the animal body is weakened the mind is unable to grasp it through the nervous system. Those who know have advised vegetarianism for those only who already had a strong, healthy body and a good healthy brain, and then, only when the student could absent himself gradually from densely populated centres.
A Friend [H. W. Percival]