Szekely basic elements of nutrition. I learned in 1950 what is now being discovered, a simple obvious fact of nature. Nutrition is a transformer of consciousness and touches every point of our lives. In fact, when I look in the Health & Cooking section of a bookstore, I can see that the subject of food and nutrition is involved in politics and finance, in war and peace, in loveand hatred. Basically, all that has been written about nutrition from the point of view of the choice of food could be summarized in one page. I would say, buy food that is grown very near the place where you live, not something that is transported and preserved like a four-thousand-year old Egyptian mummy. ReadDiet for a New America by John Robbins and you will learn just about all you need to know about food choices. But we must be aware that it is not just what we eat that’s important; we must choose the food our body can metabolize. Now I don’t eat any animal food, and haven ‘t for a long time. I eat one egg once in a while, but no cheese or meat.
DJB: Is this for nutritional or for spiritual reasons?
LAURA First of all, I know the way that animals are treated, and they’re full of drugs. If I want to take drugs, I don’t have to take them through a cow or a chicken. I like to choose! The animals are killed when they are full of rage, when all the adrenaline is flowing. So it is for taking care of myself first, and also to protect the way animals are treated. I wrote at length about this subject in Between Heaven and Earth.
DJB: So you feel that if you eat an animal that was killed in certain way, then you would be absorbing some of that energy state?
LAURA Yes, we absorb the nutrition and we absorb the toxicity as well. Of course, the miracle is that our body eliminates much of what is harmful, but seeing the increase in degenerative diseases, even among the young, it is clear that there is a limit even to the immense wisdom of the body. I have been a few times, not very often, on a fast. After a fast, you are more sensitive and you will know pretty well what to eat. You will know that we all eat at least twice as much as we need.
RMN: We become very sensitized to what is healthy and what is not.
LAURA Oh yes; and you will eat much less and be better nourished when you eat simple food and enjoy it.
RMN: Do you believe in vitamins?
LAURA If you had a perfect environment, the perfect lover, and the perfect food, you obviously wouldn’t need any vitamins. But the way we live, with tension and noise and pollution, supplements are necessary. I studied the mega vitamin system and then I studied homeopathy, which are the two extremes. It is difficult to decide because the person and his or her situation has to be taken into consideration first. Even with vitamins, the basic question is in the relationship we have with them. For instance, when I was young, I could take niacin in large doses and it did me a lot of good. Now I can take only a little.
RMN: On the theme of mental health I would like to ask you a question about mental health institutions, which from my experience are often places for retreat and stasis, rather than transformation. Why do you think that during the past hundred years there has been so much theoretical advance in the science of psychology, yet the practical applications of psychotherapy don’t seem to have advanced that much?
LAURA Psychotherapy profits from the science of psychology but the basic difference, it seems to me, is that psychotherapy is understanding while psychology is knowledge. Psychotherapy is mainly a humanistic and artistic endeavor-psychology is involved in scientific research of actual human behavior–on the other hand the psychotherapist’s premise is that in all of us there are valuable latent qualities, which, given the opportunity, can emerge and flower. Apart from psychology I am thinking of the extraordinary series of lectures Aldous gave at USC and MIT on many subjects, not only psychotherapy, but also for the ecological situation as it was in 1959. Everything he previewed is here: in other words, the ecological situation is enormously worsened. Moreover, the inexpensive, practical methods he suggested have not been taken into consideration.
It has been said that it takes twenty-eight years for any good idea to be accepted. Well, thirty-three years have passed now and prestigious conferences about ecology are happening. We have to hope. We all have had the experience of giving a simple suggestion to a friend: take a one hour walk every morning; eat an apple last thing before going to bed and another first thing