the very source of our life: the air we breathe, the water, the food. We would pay more attention to the way other human beings are and feel. Service gives us a chance to be aware of that. Karen, my seventeen year-old granddaughter, just returned from a white water expedition, programmed according to the principles of Outward Bound, the greatest educational institution in the U.S.A., in my opinion. Karen told me that one day of the trip was dedicated to serve another person, who did not know who the serving person was; finding out would be the subject of the evening discussion. Karen said that she never had experienced in a group of teenagers such a profound peace, such quiet contentment. It is encouraging that a simple, inexpensive recipe is so effective; that teenagers, whose personal drama is so intense, can forget it for a day, and experience peace and contentment by serving.
RMN: What foundation needs to be laid for the spiritual to emerge?
LAURA The spiritual dimension of the human being is ever present, but often dormant, and emerges of itself as a natural consequence when we are ready–not as a goal to be reached. Spirituality has to have space to emerge; a flower cannot grow if overcrowded by weeds. Give it space and the flower will bloom on its own. When the body-mind has been attended to, then, as a flower free of weeds, the Higher Self will naturally emerge and service is part of its expression.
DJB: So you don’t draw much of a line then between the body, mind, and spirit?
LAURA Right. It is a continuum.
RMN: Have the techniques that you discuss in your books–movement techniques and ritual—been used by psychologists or psychiatrists that you are aware of?
LAURA In 1963, when Target was published, there was much demand to organize a national network for teachers. I resisted the temptation; I did not know how to organize, and above all, my life was full enough. The recipes are used by some therapists, sometimes classes are organized. Mostly people use them from the book–I had and have the most rewarding and touching reports of experiences from the letters I receive from friends I have never met who profit from the Recipes for Living and Loving.
RMN: Do you think that the methods you employ would be beneficial to a person with a serious imbalance like paranoid schizophrenia?
LAURA The Huxley Institute and the American Association of Orthomolecular Medicine have, since 1957, conducted studies on schizophrenia and have demonstrated that specific nutritional supplements, like Vitamin B3 and B6, Vitamin C, Zinc, and others are extremely helpful and, in certain types of schizophrenia, have brought recovery. I believe that a schizophrenic person would be greatly helped by being grounded through exercise, particularly if he would understand the principle I mentioned before: to exorcise, to cast off devils by exercise. Often a disturbed person thinks and feels that he or she is persecuted or invaded by dangerous vibrations, enemies or devils.
A method that he can use independently not only would ground him but also would give him that power he so desperately seeks so that he himself can get rid of his persecutors. He could not only feel, but even visualize the devils coming out of his muscles–move his muscles, and since he is the only one who can, he would achieve autonomy and self-authority. Of course this would not always happen, but why not give it a trial–particularly with the mesomorphic type; the person with a prevalence of musculature might feel a liberation by using himself in a self-beneficial way; of course, alert supervision is essential.
RMN: This is going into the next question. Many psychotherapeutic techniques are considered by orthodox practitioners to be in the realm of the paranormal, even though many have been shown to be successful. Why do you think there is so much nervousness on the part of scientists to investigate, not only the paranormal phenomena, but also alternative healing techniques?
LAURA An investment, whether intellectual or financial, gives us security. Scientists protect their investment of years of study and work. When something new and different emerges, this does not mean that the previous work loses its value. So in a way, the resistance you speak of is the fear of being wrong, is that way of thinking in separate camps, of “either/or” rather than considering what can be valuable in more than one view–normal and paranormal, orthodox, and alternative healing technique. We can use everything in this complex life we are living.
DJB: One of the things that brings the body-mind problem to attention is psychedelics. How have psychedelics affected your life?
LAURA It was an expansion. I wrote about it in a book about