The Short Cut to Regeneration Through Fasting/Chapter 5


The Emotional Fast

There are two sides to the Emotional Fast and each faster must determine for himself on just which side is his particular need.

There are those who need the fast for emotional discipline and still others who need it for complete and perfect self-expression. There are many who have never in their lives done the things which they really wanted to do; they have shut out all sentiment, all softness, all sweetness,–never loafed with their souls: “They have starved their heart; walked where beauty was a thing apart; sought to face in straitened bounds the soul which should be free,–treading the dusty road of common sense while all the forests sang of liberty”.

These are longing with a mighty desire to be fed just once from the hand of self-satisfaction and to do, say and be just what they would love to be. To those we say “Go have they will, whatever it be, and though there lie at last but wrecks along the shore of thy tempestuous sea, yet thou shalt know that thou hast lived thyself, and peace will come to thee”.

We need have no fear in sending these timid creatures out to seek that thing of things for which their souls long. They never want anything that will harm them, sometimes it is the simplest thing which will make them happy; their innate timidity, which has kept them repressed all their lives, has at the same time kept them from developing their biggest selfhood; they need a larger fling into experience, and fasting opens the door to larger opportunities. What they call liberty will be to the really free people simply a smaller form of bondage.

If you belong to their class, then while you fast whatever it is that will make you altogether happy, madly inspired, sweet, tender and loving, seek that thing and build into your consciousness all the life more abundant that you can. Pour a world of sentiment into the old dwarfed, thwarted selfhood which you are fasting to displace. Sentiment is the food of the soul.

The one who cannot thrill with the rapture of being alive and who does not have the passion of his selfhood, is dead before he starts. It takes warm, pulsing life, inflowing through every channel and outflowing over many lines, before the body, mind and envioronment will become one.

“It something to have been the best beloved for a little while, to have walked hand in hand with Love and to have seen his purple wing flit once across your smile” and it is something more than a mere passing self-indulgence to stand where we take our wants masterfully in our hands and declare for freedom, self-satisfaction and delight in life.

Through this new level of human living we get a new contact with power. We cease to block the spiritual channels in our own being, through which we not only have life but may have it more abundantly.

The other side of these instructions are for the sentimental emotionalist who has so saturated his inner senses with indulgence that he knows nothing of a strong emotional control. Sex belongs to the emotional side of nature much more than to the physical or the mind.

Celibacy is the first step for fixed emtional control. The celibate learns not to yield to the erotic sensations either of mind or body. There are many who have been so long slaves to their slightest emotions that unless all the fine sensual sides are consciously satisfied, they are unhappy and morose.

Weakness is no part of the real plan of emotion, only the softness that is flexible so as to give a normal response to every situation. Whenever one enters an office where heavy perfumes, burning incense, luxurious couches, cozy exotic corners and alluring pillows are a part of the business scheme, he can know that he is in the presence of a sensualist whose greatest weakness is his over-stimulation of his emotional senses.

This individual, when he fasts, should hunt the lonely mystic cell where bread and water, hard floors to sleep upon and all things unlovely and unpleasant in appearance are his daily companions; these would offset his naturally over-intensified emotions and give him spiritual backbone.

It was the false interpretation of this part of man’s being that brought out the penance system of the past, the hair shirt, the self-floggings,–the utter self-negation became the letter of the law.

There is just as much need of emotional control today as in the past, perhaps more, for the present age is rather one of more than less self-indulgence, but seeing the spirit of the law, man need only go as far as he finds it necessary to fulfill his true spiritual being.

The true growth of the soul is painless and there is no pain when dicipline is made to become a conscious selection and not a hard, brutal correction.

The Emotional Fast, then, is for complete emotional satisfaction or for complete emotional denial and control. There are no diseases in the world harder to displace from the flesh than those brought on by abnormal emotional states.

We get a list of neurasthenics from a mental plethora, but we get a great multitude of mental and nervous diseases and psychasthenics from the depolarized emotional multitude. The power of the body is in the things of the body. The power of the mind is in the things of the mind, and the power of the emotions is in the things of the emotions. Thought demands that it shall have legitmate and normal expression, so does emotion; feeling must pass to outward manifestation and that which is outwardly expressed must pass inward into some thing too deep for words.

Through fasting we may established a normal balance and come back into that place of exquisite emotional sensation, where every moment of our life is full of a sort of unexplained exaltation, which the mystics call “bliss.”

Under this new power, the flesh body takes on a new radiance; it becomes beautiful with some subtle, occult radiance half-defined. Beauty is a perfect balance in the flesh of all of life’s finer forces. Without this one may have points of beauty but not a real physical radiance. It is this balance which gives one a “striking,” “attractive,” or “magnetic” personality. It is powerless to try to win one’s way with a physical body cold as ice, void of magnetic currents. Life must speak to life on all planes and it demands a rapturous response, whether it be from a physical, mental or emotional embrace.

The question of “Why do I not attract?” is answered; magnetize yourself with the warm glow of true emotion; live it in all things and through all things; not trashy sentimental gush, but that true, gentle sense of understanding and appreciation; then fast, holding this concept, and slowly you become a magnet attracting to yourself whatever you fling your desire around. It is the heart that wins and all practised arts of cold mentality and the force of physical power, become as nothing before the warm, true flush of an inspired soul.

“God measures souls, by their capacity of entertaining His best Angel–LOVE. Who loveth most, is nearest kin to God.”

Emotional Technique

One entertains a thought and it passes into the imagination and reacts upon the feelings. The emotional fast demands that we clean up our moods. Induce the state of mind and feeling we want to live in and come away from all dark, gloomy feelings, forebodings or melancholy. Cultivate joy; laugh, leap, dance, run, smile, sing and be happy. “Except ye become as a little child ye can in no wise enter into the Kindom of Heaven” is just as true today as it was when the Master said it. Return again to the light heart of youth, if you do it with tears in your eyes and a smile that you cultivate. Come out from under your load of responsibility; slip it onto the universal shoulders. Often after a true fast we will find that it has slipped off forever.

There is no use worrying over anything, no use carrying such heavy burdens. Life may be easy and the first place to make it so is in the mind and emotions. You may have to fast more than once to arrange your whole universe, but just for the fast time as if it really existed and take all the emotional rapture you can out of it.

What if you do live in a fool’s paradise? Just live in it long enough and it will be true. The “Land of Make Believe” is the only real world anyway, and whenever we are supra-human enough in the face of apparently overwhelming conditions to idealize the real, we must come by the very law of ideality itself to realize the ideal.

So while we fast we build for ourselves a new world made beautiful by our own inspired thinking and feeling and we let go of the sober, settled human lines of distress which have seared the brand of poverty, lack and pain into our flesh and our environment.

Like a stag at bay in a jungle way
We turn on our human life;
We will be free or no longer be,
With courage our hearts are rife.
The trophies of Hate and the rags of Fate,
We fling in the face of Time;
We have worn them through, they will not do
For the soul that is born to climb.
A new day is here and we have no fear
Of the path, be it gold or dust;
We have paid the cost for the battles lost
And the spoils belong to us.
We will have and hold till the want grows cold
Our hearts’ divine desire;–
If the sun goes down in a crimson frown,
Let it light our funeral pyre.

This is the unswerving emotional attitude for the initiate and when we fast, magnetizing ourself again and again with the rapture of being alive, the emotional body swings free into the divine law of finer functioning and body, mind and emotion receive the great magnetic, electric, radiant currents flowing through our centers. We are a new mold around which the higher intelligence of a higher world swings into order. We can say “Peace be still” and at our command the wild emotions or the unexpressed sea of our urging soul–beats its waves into repose. The Peace that passeth all understanding is our own.