By eating properly we can acheive physical, mental and spiritual well being. Here is a guide to natural foods, bio dynamics and naturopathy.

by Leslie Kenton

I am often asked why I advocate that people eat a diet in which a high proportion of their foods are raw fruits and raw vegetables. I recommend this because I find for most Western people that if they take 75% of their foods raw, they gradually come to experience a whole new level of energy, where many of the both minor and major complaints that they have vanish, whether they be aches and pains, anxieties, or depressions.

Good Eating and Good Health

It is very, very important, I think, that you go to healthy eating in order to obtain from it whatever you need, in order to live at a higher level of well-being, with greater awareness, and to go beyond it. For what being healthy is really about is never having to think about health. I believe the goals of healthy eating, doing yoga, taking up a fitness course, meditation, deep relaxation and stress control should be to bring each one of us to the point where we no longer have to concern ourselves with being healthy.

Then health becomes what it is meant to be, a foundation, not an end in itself. The last thing in the world that I would ever ask anyone to do is to spend all their time thinking about how they should eat or what they should do to stay healthy. Sometimes people come up to me and say "I could never do all the things in your books." I say "I don't expect you to. Go to a
book. Find what works you in it. Use it. Then forget the rest."

Each one of us is totally individual, and the details of our diet and of the exercise that we need are individual too. So you need to find what works for you, make use of it, and then let go of it once it has done its job, and move on. For what food is about, what health is about fundamentally, is to establish a relationship for each one of us with life, where we are in a state of balance. That does not mean a static state; but immersed in a dynamic living process, in which we are able to relate with the whole of our being to the world in which we live.

Good eating is probably one of the most important requirements for good health, a way of helping to bring us to the centre of our own being, so that we are able to live at ease with our body and to experience different levels of reality in all their splendour. But nourishment doesn't just come through vitamins, minerals, proteins and fatty acids, and you cannot think of food only in biochemical terms.

When you look at food, you are looking at a whole energetic system. The food that we eat comes from our environment, it links us up with our environment, it gives us information. Some of the information is biochemical, in terms of vitamins, minerals, and so forth; some of it is energetic. It is the great volume of top quality information implicit in a diet high in raw foods which makes it so effective at rebalancing the body, so that you begin to experience your own being and your own centre and your sense of natural joy. For joy is natural to the human being; it is not something we have to create. It is there already! All we have to do is clear away whatever is in the way of our experiencing it.

We Are Connected to the Earth

But we need to broaden our awareness as well as to be really healthy. We have to be aware of the fact that we are taking this information from the environment; we are entirely supported by the Earth who is our Mother, who gives of her abundance with all of her being freely. It is so beautiful! I live in the country in Wales and I watch things grow; it's a miracle! There is a cycle that is created. We take from the Earth, with the foods that we eat; we give back to the Earth in nurturing the land, and (at least in "primitive" societies) in giving back our waste products and the products of our animals to her soil. Nature in her wisdom is able, about 99% of the time (which is pretty amazing) to rebalance the minerals in the soil, to be able to produce again new plants that we can eat again for a very high level of well-being. It's so beautiful!

What I came to realise, about two years ago, is that seeking to be healthy is not, as it is so often presented, a narcissistic thing. It leads to a growing sense of awareness of one's connectedness to the Earth. One of the first ways to experience this is to begin to experience our own centre.

I had an interesting experience when I was about 28. I had a very difficult decision to make, and I felt that I did not have the wherewithal to be able to make it wisely. I had a friend who said to me "Why don't you fast?" I said "Why should I fast?" He said "I just think it might clarify your mind; I think it might help you to make the decision." He added "you must never do it on your own." He was very wise, because fasting is an extraordinary state; therefore you need someone who is highly knowledgeable about it, just to act as a link with ordinary reality, if you do fast. So I said "OK." I must have had a glass of grape juice a day, mixed with water, for three weeks, 21 days. As I fasted, suddenly this image of myself, as a burdened, not very confident, not really very nice person, all fell away, and I experienced real nourishment, the sense of limitless joy and love. I really loved everybody. It was amazing to me. It was so ridiculous that I kept saying "This is weird!" I kept a diary of it because it was so extraordinary. Alas, after I broke the fast and had taken food for four days, I was back to normal, with my usual emotions!

What that fast taught me was very important. It taught me that, really, what we as human beings are all seeking is to come to the point where we experience that kind of state for most of the time in our lives. In my case, it took me another fifteen years before I started to live in that way for a good part of the time. Because my body was polluted, because I had to learn, because I had certain sensitivities to work out, I had certain adjustments to make in my life as well; believe me, it's not all biochemical! There were ways in which I was living that were wrong (there still are.) I had lots of things to learn on that level as well (and I still have.)

The Seeds of Unfolding

What is so wonderful about this sense of nourishment and joy, the natural joy that is ours, is that in each human being it is unique. There is within each of us a unique power which is like this: a plant has within its seed the form that the plant is meant to be. All that it needs to grow into that form is sunshine, air, water, and a good rich soil. Similarly, each human being, when he's born, has within him the seed of his own unfolding.

Unfortunately however, in our society, because of its many distortions, some of them physical, some of them psychological, some of them spiritual, we do not often have the opportunity for this seed within us to grow in the shape that is meant for us. So our "form" becomes distorted, not just our physical shape but our emotional and spiritual shape as well. Good food and other health techniques are really there in order to help us eliminate the distortions, so that our form comes to discover its natural shape again. What is so wonderful about the human body is that, the more it is used, the stronger and more wonderful it becomes. For within the human body is a wisdom that no scientist throughout creation (and believe me, we have had some brilliant scientists) has ever touched even a tiny part of. Because deep within, each human being knows, it knows its own forms, it knows its own potentiality and it knows how to heal itself. It's wonderful! Once you begin to experience this then you begin to experience nourishment at other levels as well.

The Joy of Sensory Awareness and the Imagination

When you go through the process of cleansing your system, say on a high raw diet, you begin first of all to have new sensual experiences: the colours you see are brighter, the smells you smell are more intense. Do you remember how wonderful the colours looked to you when you were a child? As we grow older, we lose that joy, we lose that capacity to respond, because our senses have been dulled, and because we live in a culture that, unfortunately, has a whole educational system that is against the senses being able to live.

We have programmed ourselves into an intellectual-based value system; we value only the intellect and verbal things. Why? Because in the 14th century, monks used the scholastic method of teaching to weed out, from the monastery, those novices whose intelligence was more sensual that verbal, because they were the troublemakers ... for they might upset the status quo! Really, they didn't make good monks! And no, without our even being aware of it, we are stuck with that educational tradition! So today, we have children with wonderful sensitivity, musically, kinaesthetically, with colour and light. But we are not really providing for them in our society and so are not really using their unique soul power, because our education system is limited.

Fear of Freedom

Many of us have lived so long with limitations that we have grown scared of the sensual response that begins to come when we begin to experience real health and joy. But once the body becomes less polluted and starts to clear itself, and you begin to experience life in a richly sensual way, you are also nourished by the Earth in that way. And this nourishment is every bit as important as the kind we get from vitamins and minerals in our foods. We also begin to experience our connectedness with the Earth. Probably the worst thing that has happened to us in Western society over the last 2,000 years is that we have lost our sense of connectedness to the Earth. As this happened, we were forced to create artificial systems of morality, for the following reason. You see, when one feels one's connectedness with the Earth, one feels one's connectedness with others, and at the same time as the body becomes more alive, the mind becomes more aware. In this state, you do not want to do harm; you want to nurture. You don't have to try it; it's not like virtue, it happens. It's normal. A child that is centred, happy and healthy is full of joy, and all of us could be "children" like that. We have just lost some touch with it. Health and healthy eating can help us rediscover it.

Once your sensory experience is heightened, so that you are actually relating very strongly and you are being here is the moment, smelling the scents, breathing the air, connecting with the people that you are with, then I find something else begins to happen, a deeper part of your being comes into play. It is the part that makes stories, the imagination. Children have the ability to look at all different kinds of things, all this sensory input that I have been talking about, and to pull it all together, to synthesise it: they make it into stories. They are always synthesising, always bringing together, whereas our society and our scientific tradition have tended to separate and to fragment experience. Only recently have a few far-sighted thinkers and scientists have begun to bring together all the different knowledge that we have in a way that begins to be unified, so it can be used to serve the wholeness of human life.

Realising Our Inner Powers Through Myth Making

There is a deeper level still, which you begin to become conscious of, and that is the level of myth making. We have within us powers which are far beyond our individual consciousness or 'ego', but that are very much us. You find, as you become more aware of first, the level of sensory contact and second, story making, the putting together of things, that you start to become aware of myths that you are living. By a myth, I do not mean something that's not true. I mean something that is like a story but has far more 'power'. A myth says so many things and speaks to us on so many different levels. For me personally, the myth of Prometheus is very important, because it is the myth of the hero, the real hero, who does what he knows to be right regardless of the consequences.

What happens, when you start to touch this deeper mythic layer of your being, is that you find that you have energies, abilities and power to enjoy and to serve life which you never dreamed you had. For myths are stronger than anything one can think up from one's mind. All of this to me is part of the process of realising one's potential for health which can start with healthy eating. In truth being healthy really means becoming whole. It starts, very often, with food, with the cleansing of the body, and leads to the experiencing of living on a different level. I strongly suspect that, beneath the mythic layer, is what we might call 'the ground of being', 'the source of life', or 'God'.

At the Deepest Level, We are All in Harmony

What is interesting is that, as you experience and move down through these levels and contact the energies available at these levels, you experience more and more connectedness with other people whose myths are different from yours, and you find you have more and more of the desire to do whatever you can to enliven the centre, the knowingness, the individuality of another person as well. Because, when a person begins to live from his own centre, he contributes dynamically and in harmony to society and to life as a whole; and he doesn't need rules to do so.

It's very much as though each of us is like a cell in a body; I don't want to do your job, and you have your job to do, but all of us have to work together in order that the organism, the Earth, our society, may live.

That is what is so beautiful, and to me that is what real health is about. When you begin to experience the totality of your being, you experience a joy that nourishes you deeply from within, a joy you can draw on and pour forth. It is not a question of giving; there is no question of giving. Ultimately, I suspect, there is no question of selfishness or unselfishness; it simply has to be done. Man is by nature creative. That which he is, when it is not blocked, pours  forth for the benefit of everyone, for life itself, as well as being extremely satisfying for him.

We Can Really Transform Our World!

I believe that we live in extraordinary times. We live in times where the pollution of the environment is unprecedented in the history of the world. We live in times where we, at any point, can blow ourselves up with nuclear weapons which we have produced. We live in times when the social order is breaking down, when we see destructive
impulses being expressed in a form that, even twenty years ago, we did not imagine. These things are happening. And yet, what is so exciting is that, Just as with a lot of people who have suffered some sort of illness, the illness itself has been the key to their finding the road to real health and to the unfoldment of their own form--their inner being--the expression of their inner nature. So it may be with our Earth. When times are as drastic as these, when there is so much to fight against, these are the exciting times, because it is now that we have something which we can take hold of and which we can change and, in changing, change our lives and change the lives of the children that come after us. Then we are creating real health.

Leslie Kenton is the author of "Raw Energy" (Arrow Books, London), a best-selling book about the merits of fresh uncooked foods. This article is based on her discourse at a health exhibition in London which was printed in "New Paradigms Newsletter" (29 Fairford Crescent, Downhead Park, Milton Keynes MK15 9AF, U.K.)
This article was published in New Renaissance magazine Vol.1, No.3