MEDIUMS SHOULD BE VEGETARIANS
Silver Birch has previously expressed his opinion on the effect of vegetarianism on mediumship, and I asked him whether he would deal with the question more fully.
“I know I will be unpopular with some,” he said. “But if I have to tread on corns, then I must. There can be no argument that, for the ideal medium, abstinence from alcoholic liquor, from flesh foods, from tobacco and from anything which degrades the human body is better for the developing spirit.
The spirit can only express itself in your world through a physical body.
The higher the quality of the physical body, the greater can be the expression of the spirit. Therefore, anything which coarsens that body, anything which gives it wrongful stimulation, is a hindrance and not a help to the spiritual body, of which the physical counterpart is its temple. “Now you can answer the question for yourself Can the flesh of animals, can the stimulation of tobacco and alcohol help the unfoldment of psychic and spiritual faculties that you possess? Of course they cannot. Naturally, if these things are done in moderation, they will do little harm. But for the ideal medium, it is better that he should confine himself to the fruits of the earth.”
I then put a question that is often quoted by those who seek to justify the
eating of animal foods: “Is it wrong to kill animals for food and clothes,
when apparently it is nature’s way for animals to kill and eat each
“All these things are comparative and are all part of evolution,” said the
“We are told that Nature is red in tooth and claw. That is part of the evolution of Nature—and no spirit teacher has claimed that Nature has reached perfection, for Nature is still evolving. In the ideal—and I always answer what the ideal should be—it is wrong to kill for your food, for your clothing or for your shelter. But in an undeveloped world the full ideal cannot always be realised, but that is no reason why there should not be a striving towards the ideal, which is perfection. “If there must be killing, let it be painless. Abolish the cruelty. If you cannot in one step reach the stage where mankind knows that to kill for food is wrong, then make the killing as painless as you can. You are in a changing world and we are preaching ideals, ideals that we know are not possible of immediate attainment. But we should be failing in our mission as teachers if we did not give you an ideal to strive for. Your standards must be raised, not lowered.
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