Greetings. This is Austin Bridges welcoming you to the L/L Research Podcast, In the Now, Episode Number 72. L/L Research is a nonprofit organization dedicated to freely sharing spiritually oriented information and fostering community. Towards this end we have two websites: the archive website, llresearch.org, and the community website, Bring4th.org.
During each episode, we respond to questions sent to L/L Research from spiritual seekers like you. Our panel consists of Gary Bean, Jim McCarty, and myself, each of us a devoted student of the Law of One. Your questions allow us to explore the Law of One and related matters of metaphysical interest. We hope only to offer a resource that enhances your own seeking process.
Please know that our replies are not the final word on these subjects. We ask each who listens to exercise their discernment and be sensitive to their resonance in determining what is true for them. If you would like to submit a question for the show, please do so. Our humble podcast relies on your questions. You may either send an email to [email protected] or go to www.llresearch.org/podcast for further instructions.
Again, I am Austin and we are embarking on a new episode of L/L Researchers Podcast, In the Now.
Gary and Jim, are you with us and ready to go?
I think in the viewers or the listeners perception, the previous episode would have been our return. But for this, this is our return from a hiatus. There’s one on deck that’s been waiting to be published for a few weeks, so we might be a little bit rusty. Please forgive us if we seem like we’re out of sorts. But for instance, I don’t have the question right in front of me.
The question today? Want me to read it?
I actually can pull it up right now. Our question today comes from our dear friend Lana, who asks:
“Hey guys, I would appreciate it if you could speak about fasting as it is mentioned in the Ra material. If you would fast, how would you prepare yourself mentally and physically? What method would you choose and other things that you can come up with?”
And she adds:
“Thank you so much for doing a great job. I miss you a lot.”
Thank you, Lana. And we miss you as well.
Let’s begin by speaking directly to her question first and then move on to some discussion about fasting and related topics.
Gary, why don’t you start us off?
I’ve done some intermittent fasting recently, primarily for its health benefits. And by intermittent, I mean that there is a minimum amount of time that one goes without food such as 12 hours or something before they resume eating. I’ve read that doing that at least once per day is healthy. That aside, it’s been some years since I intentionally attempted to fast.
Early on in my spiritual path I would do a water fast. I think three or so days is my longest. I got so little out of it except in my youthful experience other than just feeling weak and feeling like my body was eating itself. However, were I to do it again in terms of the mental and spiritual dimension of it, I would start with Ra’s understanding in #41.21 where they say:
“This as all healing techniques must be used by a conscious being that is, being conscious, that the ridding of excess and unwanted material from the body complex is the analogy to the ridding of mind or spirit of excess or unwanted material.”
I imagine that you guys might have the full quote in your responses, but I’ll stop there because I want to focus on the conscious being part. I think the use of fasting is predicated not only on the conscious awareness of how the mind and spirit are linked to the body, but also on the consciousness of one’s patterns. I presume if you get to the point where you want to use a body discipline like fasting to rid yourself of something, you’ve worked with that pattern for some time because you’re aware of it within you. You have engaged in a long-term process of self-knowing and self-accepting, and you’ve approached yourself with love, acceptance, and gentleness.
Fasting shouldn’t be used as a tool of control of the self or dominating the self, or condemning one part of the self. You, in working with this pattern over a period of time, have just come to the determination that it is not serving your highest and best interest. You understand it as best as you can and have decided that you want to use fasting to rid yourself of this excess/unwanted material.
And so how would one do it then? Having worked with that pattern, like I said, one could set the intention and create a structure and a container to engage this process that would include the logistics of timing and what to do in terms of diet. And on that point, as to what to do in terms of diet, one would decide whether to do just a water fast or a juice fast, or to put nothing into your body, or to eat clay for the period.
People do that.
Yeah. Steve, our webmaster and good friend, goes on these clay diets. I think he literally eats bars of clay that is supposed to be really good. I don’t know anything about it, so I would do some reading.
I don’t think the specifics of whether one does water or juice or some other variety is what’s important. Rather, the important thing is the emotional and mental significance of the intention that’s invested. So, I’d choose one form.
But on the more important level, I would set the container to include the logistics of the days, the timing, and what I might be doing in my schedule. I would invest that container with the intention of what I want to achieve with mindfulness, awareness, and self-reflection.
Because we are very creative and powerful beings, I might throw in some other accoutrements of ritual into the mix that are symbolic. I don’t know. I’m about to wrap up here, but to try to be creative I might wear white during those days as a way to symbolize that I’m seeking to purify the self. This is one of an infinite number of examples of ways that you could enhance and reinforce and deepen the process by adding a symbolic gesture to the process.
But yeah, that’s pretty much my basic schematic of how I might go about it.
I like the idea of piling on the symbolic gestures.
Yeah, piling on is an interesting way to say it. I guess you could overdo it, too.
No, I think it would be effective. Jim, how about you? What do you think about Lana’s question?
I think it’s a question that has come up for me a couple of times. The way I would respond is to try to do better than I’ve done before. And that is in the preparation for fasting. I think I would become aware of what it was that needed to have a change. A different aptitude or a different attitude, I guess you’d say from me.
If it’s a thought form I need to get rid of, or more likely, what I would be doing is attempting to purify myself to move to a higher level of—I don’t know if “understanding” is the right word—since Ra qualifies it every time they use it. They say, “shall we say.”
It’s safe to use it in this group.
Ok, so I would want to move a little further along the spiritual path in some symbolic way that might actually have daily repercussions, resonances, effects. Once I have determined what it is I want to achieve, I would then see if I could find any deeper levels of meaning or ways of apprehending this quality that I would like to achieve in the meditative state, or in the fasting state. And once that has been determined and I know what it is I want to do, then I would set about coordinating a time period and a place for it.
I think along with the fasting, it’s important to change your routine so that you’re not doing the same things you’ve been doing while you’re fasting. I think we need to give more respect to the quality that we’re seeking to either achieve or to remove from our consciousness and do something that is more spiritually oriented such as more meditation, going for walks, engaging in some slow dance interpretive, and just letting the body do some expressing too, as well as the mind.
And then, like Gary said, determine what type of fast you want to do. I think either juices or water are probably the two real choices. I had one experience back years ago in November of 1983 where I didn’t drink enough water while fasting, which resulted in a kidney problem afterwards. Since then, when I’ve tried fasting, I’ve gone the other direction and created a problem for myself by drinking too much water. Meditation is always a part of any fasting I do. When I drink too much water, I would have to interrupt my meditation to relieve myself, and then come back and meditate some more and drink some more water. So, I haven’t gotten that balance down yet regarding just exactly how much water to drink or if it really matters.
I would like to change the environment and have the environment also be a symbolic portion of the fasting process. We know that the fasting is a symbol of attempting to either add something positive or remove something negative from our consciousness. I think that to carry that symbology a little further it would be a good idea to have a certain place for it to occur, such as in your home where you’re most comfortable. Here you can do other special things that are of a spiritual nature such as the reading of inspirational information or listening to inspirational music or, like I say, doing some sort of body movement that you could interpret as dance or just letting the body express itself—think of the quality that you’re working with, and then try to translate it into a body motion or movement.
So, I think that’s the way I would approach it at this point in my life.
How about you, Austin?
I like food too much to consider the question.
I’ve never tried fasting before. I do have thoughts and opinions about what I might do if I were to fast, but I’ve never actually dedicated myself and tried. I have gone on pretty strict calorie restriction diets to lose weight, but it’s always been from a negative mindset and not from like a spiritually positive mindset.
So, if I were going to do it in order to—as Ra would hint—purge some sort of toxic thought form or reprogram some sort of catalyst, I would go along Gary’s line of thinking about how it requires a conscious being, or somebody who is fully aware of what they are doing.
I think that in preparation for the fast I would take a good amount of time to meditate on exactly what it is I want to do while I’m fasting, and really explore the depth of what I’m trying to purge through the fast. I’d also make sure that, as Gary was saying, I have an accepting and loving relationship to it. Ra says that once it’s gone, it’s still understood that it is part of the greater self. So I think accepting that part that you were attempting to purge into your greater self is a really important aspect of fasting. Otherwise, it could potentially become a negative sort of thing, an expression of unacceptance of a part of yourself.
So, that’s what I would do leading up to it. I think that Jim’s talk about incorporating your body, different sorts of body movements, or changing your daily routine around the fast is really good. Because I’ve come to look at the body in a spiritual sense—not just the body itself, but the environment around the body as well—it seems like those are very linked and inseparable. I think what would really be effective is also purging your environment—really cleansing your environment—as you are fasting so that there’s a cleanse both in your outer environment and in your body. This could be really effective.
Gary brought up a nutritional aspect. Because I don’t have a lot of nutritional information, I did a lot of reading about nutrition on the internet. I did a deep dive and came up with some tips for fasting. One of them is basic calorie restrictions, which is what’s going to help you lose weight. Losing weight or losing the body mass is the analogy that Ra’s talking about, as well as purging toxic platforms.
What you want to hopefully do is to find a way to keep your other nutrients—the ones that don’t have calories. I think that green superfood powders would be really good for that. You just mix that in some water or some juice if you want to. But juice has really high sugar content and could spike your blood sugar, which I think would cause energy problems when you’re fasting.
The other thing I read is that that one of the biggest dangers while fasting is the damage it can do due to a lack of fat. Apparently, while it does have calories, our brains need fat to function. So, it might be good to take some sort of fat capsule like fish oil pills. I’m pretty sure there are vegan alternatives for that. To do these things while you’re fasting will help protect against a lot of the physical dangers of actual fasting.
So that’s pretty much all I have for this initial question on fasting. Any more thoughts from you guys before we explore a little deeper?
No, not for me.
Yeah. Before we move on, one quick point I want to make is that Ra also uses the adverb “carefully” in association with fasting elsewhere in the book. Austin raises a good point about why that is because there are physical dangers to fasting. I mean, just from a layman’s general point of view, you’re starving the body. So, one must be careful on a physiological level. I also think that “carefully” is connected—just to explore this just a teeny bit more—to the “conscious being” aspect. Like Austin has said, in the past he approached weight loss from a negative mindset. Fasting is not a tool that is effective or intended to be used, at least as Ra describes it, by one who is on a crusade against the self or one who is setting out to conquer the self.
In fact, I could see how fasting from a negative mindset could be useful to the negative polarity in that regard. But for those of the positive path who want to ensure maximum potency, fasting should be undertaken with a love towards itself. And as Austin was indicating, with love for that which one is wanting to rid oneself of. But, that’s all.
Yeah, when I heard you guys discussing my calorie restriction—like hardcore calorie restriction in the past—and how it’s done out of a sense of shame or from societal self-image expectations, it made me think that it’s really a motivation due to an unacceptance of self. So, it makes me wonder if that can actually be as powerful as the positive use of fasting, but instead has negative effects. Instead of purifying and unifying the psyche, instead it fragments it. So, there are a lot of different angles to fasting.
I think one of the interesting things that Ra said about fasting is how it can be a way of reprogramming our catalyst. Let me read the quote and then we can talk about the quote a little bit because I think it’s really interesting.
In discussion of fasting in #41.22, Don asks:
“Would this be like a conscious reprogramming of catalyst? For instance, for some entities catalyst is programmed by the higher self to create experiences so that the entity can release itself from unwanted biases. Would this be analogous then to the entity consciously programming this release and using fasting as a method of communication to the self?”
“This is not only correct but may be taken further. The self, if conscious to a great enough extent of the workings of this catalyst and the techniques of programming, may through concentration of the will and the faculty of faith alone cause reprogramming without the analogy of the fasting, the diet, or other analogous body complex disciplines.”
I want to get into exactly what reprogramming means in that context because they don’t discuss it in depth, but I do think it’s important to understand it. Jim, what would you say that reprogramming means in that context?
Well, I think that a person who discovered that they had certain repetitive thought patterns that they would like to get rid of that seem to almost have a life their own because they are either of a negative nature or make them see things negatively or feel things like depression that they don’t want to feel can, in some way, reprogram that type of mental experience. I think I would probably say they could do this reprogramming in the meditative state especially, but you could do it in contemplation as well. Apparently, the will—if it is strong enough—can do that. You can say that “I do not want this to be part of me any longer. This is no longer a part of my being. I hereby renounce it. Be gone.”
I think it’s basically like a magical ritual that you’re doing. And in magic, the definition is a changing of consciousness at will. So, what you’re really doing here with this is using the strength of your will to change a negative thought-form or pattern. And again, this not only takes a conscious seeker, but it takes one who has developed its ability to focus its attention so that it may bring its will to bear in a way that the entire mind/body/spirit complex then will respond according to the new desire to shed the old negative pattern and let it be gone. Although, as Ra says later on, you realize that it is still a part of your greater self. But, it is not a part of your mind/body/spirit complex here in this incarnation now.
So, that’s the way I would look at it.
Gary, how about you? Do you have anything to add to the concept of reprogramming?
Yes, really interesting thought. Good question. In trying to make my way through it, I think it’s helpful for me to first arrive at the starting point of seeing the layers of the mind. In that regard, Ra describes the mind as a tree quite a few times in the material. They indicate that in the trunk and upper portions of the tree, the Crown, the branches, and so forth, exists the conscious mind that is above the ground. Symbolically, the roots that are below the ground and connected by the intuition—which we presume is at the lower end of the trunk—are deeper layers of the mind that get larger and more collective the further one moves down into the ground.
For instance, you begin with the personal unconscious. Moving further below, you move into the racial mind, then the planetary mind—if indeed those two are different given the planetary circumstances. Then moving further you have the archetypal mind, which applies to the whole solar system, the whole sub-Logos, and then the bottommost layer, the cosmic mind, which includes the mind of the octave, the mind of the universe. Like Ra says, the mind contains all things.
So, my understanding of programming is that most of the mind and most of the programming is below the ground and is below the threshold of conscious awareness, which is where it’s operating. We as conscious beings—conscious more or less in the space/time environment of the incarnation—are navigating our way through our days responding to catalysts that is coming from that level and it’s the programming of those deeper layers of the unconscious that are structuring the catalyst and communicating the catalyst to us in certain pre-configured ways. Those pre-configured ways are often connected to our past incarnations and the lessons that we designed ourselves to learn in this incarnation, and our karma, and any other thing that has happened in the incarnation that got stored down there and caused programming.
One way to describe the path of spiritual evolution is the process of the conscious making the unconscious conscious or becoming conscious of the unconscious. It seems that Ra indicates that the conscious mind can harness the will, as Jim was describing, and, through faith, exercise the power that causes a change to the programming in those deeper layers such that the self then is operating according to a new instruction set or, you might say, a new program or a new way of relating, of being, and acting.
Ra indicates that one means of causing that programming is through body discipline, like fasting. But the further one advances along the path, one can cause that reprogramming without a symbolic discipline or any external action outside of will and faith itself, which has elements of concentration and intention and focus in there. I think that the faith in believing that it is all possible is what really connects to intelligent energy.
Then there are a whole host of other questions, too, about why one would want to cause reprogramming, and what can one reprogram, and what the effects are of reprogramming. But, those are just my initial thoughts on reprogramming itself.
Yeah. The question about why one would do that is interesting. It makes me think that if fasting is done with full consciousness like Ra says it would need to be, then that implies that you’re fully conscious of the desire to reprogram and that you become fully conscious of those things that you’re wishing to purge through fasting. And that means that you are essentially in an accepting place of it. If you aren’t fully conscious of what you are doing, then the fasting probably wouldn’t work, which implies that there is more to discover and more to accept about those aspects that you are attempting to purge.
It as if there’s a cycle that continues within our space/time for some reason. Even though you’ve removed the charge, the inertia keeps it moving. Fasting is a way to easily stop that movement because it doesn’t have any more resistance to the stopping that you’re trying to do to it. You have become fully conscious of it, accepted it, and it’s time to move on. Fasting is kind of a way to expedite the process. You’d have to wait for the universe to catch up, I guess.
Let’s see. So, did you have more to say, Gary?
Yeah. I want to share a quick thought before you move on to the next question. When you said “expedite the process” it got my mind thinking along the same lines. One can see the long arc of spiritual evolution as a sort of subtraction where distortions are falling away to reveal the true self that’s always been there. Ra says that distortions have an inevitability of falling away. The more that we know and accept ourselves, the more that distortions, on their own, just fall away when they’re no longer needed. It seems like fasting is a way to fast track that process.
But this connects to the word “carefully” again because the process of distortions falling away happens as a result of loving and accepting the self. And, like you’re saying, integrating into conscious awareness and synthesizing and unifying the self makes it so that which is not needed will fall away. So, exercising the selective discernment whereby you say that you want to consciously help fall away a particular programming or particular trait should really be undertaken very carefully because you’re exercising a certain sort of judgment there. And if it’s not fully conscious, like you were saying, it could be fighting the self or adding distortion.
Yeah, it could also be seen that fasting, instead of being seen as a means for expediting a spiritual process, could be seen as more of a period at the end of the sentence. If you’ve come to that point where you’re desirous of fasting to get rid of something, then maybe that is your final stage of becoming conscious and accepting of it. The decision to fast is just the natural progression of that falling away.
We have time to discuss a little bit about what I think is the other interesting part of fasting, which is the link between the body, the mind, and also the spirit. The way Ra essentially describes fasting working is when you lose body mass, part of your body falls away, and thus this part of your mind falls away.
Jim, you’ve been in a study of the archetypes, which I think might help reveal this link between maybe mind, body, and spirit. Do you have any insights into exactly why or how or just general thoughts about the link between the mind and the body?
Well, just a few – one or two. Before the veil, the body could be controlled by the mind completely. The pulsing of the blood in the veins, the beating of the heart, the breathing of the lungs were all under conscious control. But after the veil, hardly any of these functions are under conscious control. Now they are part of the parasympathetic nervous system and are automatically controlled, it seems, by the body itself. This has led most of us throughout the world to believe that the body only responds to physical stimuli—to being bumped or cut or fed or starved or whatever. But that, as Ra said, is emphatically not true. The body is most receptive to so many different impulses or thoughts from the mind because the body is—according to Ra—actually the creature of the mind.
The mind creates the body so that it can have a way of experiencing this illusion. Without the body, the mind cannot walk around and interact with the illusion. It has no beingness within this illusion. The body is like a noble steed that carries the mind around, which gives the mind a chance to experience catalyst, then process catalyst, and then use the catalyst to grow in a spiritual sense. If you look at the archetypical mind and body, you see that for the Significator of the Body is the Hanged Man or the Martyr. This symbolizes how the body gives of itself and sacrifices itself so that the mind can make a transition in consciousness within this third density illusion, and move forward into the fourth density.
So, everything the body does is a sacrifice for the mind. The body responds in other ways to the mind. When the mind has some problem where it is unable to appropriately or completely process catalyst, that unprocessed catalyst is given to the body by the subconscious mind so that the body will reflect that catalyst in a symbolic fashion—the catalyst that the mind has not been able to apprehend in its normal round of activity. Hopefully, you will then notice there’s something going on with the body that’s different and become aware that that is a symbol that represents catalyst that hasn’t been used. So, the body and the mind are very closely intertwined, and they really are twins in some respects.
That’s an excellent response. Gary, do you have any thoughts?
Yeah, really good response. I wanted to share something personal to this question instead of exploring it in the abstract. And very recently I undertook what on the surface seems like was a body discipline, but had very potent psychospiritual effects. And to share with you that process, there is a diet out there called the Whole30, which seeks to eliminate all those food groups known to cause inflammation in the body. Apparently, many of us are walking around with systemic inflammation that causes or is connected to a million conditions. The diet removes the food groups known to cause inflammation, which includes alcohol, sugar, dairy, grains, legumes, and a couple of others. I forget the list.
Thank God for my wife that she made this possible because it’s a logistical pain in the ass to get all this food together. So anyways, you do it for 30 days. You get rid of all those things. Spend 30 days getting to know your body a little bit better and then when the 30 days are up, you slowly reintegrate these food groups so that you can learn if your body has any inflammatory responses to these groups as you slowly reintegrate them. So, it’s designed to foster self-knowledge, too.
When I undertook this, I found that the benefits were far more than physical. On a physical level I definitely felt, and still feel, that my body is cleaner. It feels freer of toxin. It feels lighter and stronger. After a couple of weeks of feeling some detox happening, and a lot of mental fog and fatigue, the body definitely responded. But, it also caused a corresponding increase in mental clarity. It provided this high level of fuel for a project I undertook for L/L that was like 30 consecutive days of working weekends and nights on one of the most mentally intensive undertakings I’ve ever done. And I was in this space of strength because it overlapped with the Whole30 diet where I could do this.
When the Whole30 diet ended, I had more or less continued with the basic parameters of the diet. I’ve reintegrated grains, but I’ve stayed away from bread, stayed away from dairy, and haven’t touched alcohol in a couple of months. From the larger perspective, the diet became a purification of mind and body.
Let explain what I mean by that. I’m 38 now. I first kind of awoke to spirituality at 18 years old and discovered the Law of One at 20 years old. In that whole span of time, I have struggled with the way I relate to the material world and its offerings, whether that is food or intoxicants. I have used both as means to escape or find stimulation or gratification, and to mitigate against this existential pain that I live with. I’ve had this sort of attachment to these aspects of existence. From the Law of One’s perspective, there’s no wrong to it. Everything is appropriate at the appropriate time for the entity. But I’ve had a conflict and a struggle because I felt that these sorts of activities have kind of gotten in the way, so to speak, of my higher desires. Of course, they’re all part of the grand process. But to me, I feel like spiritual work involves a certain consistency. At least the work of the adept involves a certain level of consistency and focus and persistence, as if one is headed to the end zone with the ball. Not that there is ever a finish line, but headed towards a goal and then one fumbles the ball. That’s how I felt about drinking.
But the activities are perennially impossible to let go. This diet somehow allowed that stuff to fall away. I think it connects to the link between body and mind and spirit. It’s opened a way for my spiritual path to really become much more fully realized than it has ever been before. I feel more in my power. I feel more able to walk the spiritual path as I know is in my heart of hearts to do. That includes, of course, basic disciplines like meditation, as well as a certain quality of focus and a certain presence and mindfulness. It’s really been one of the greatest gifts of my life to undergo this process. Many thanks to Trish. I guess that’s it. That’s really long. Thanks, guys.
Thank you for sharing. I think that is a great example of this general link that fasting sort of engages. You didn’t necessarily fast because you were still eating regularly, but it was still the same sort of sacrifice that I think is present in fasting. Part of my final thoughts that Jim touched on, too, was the concept of sacrifice. I think that in some parts of the New Age community, there’s a very positive thinking. They don’t really like to talk about sacrifice. They basically would say, if you believe that you need to sacrifice in order to achieve something, then that will be true. And if you don’t believe it, then it won’t be true.
I may be proving their point, but I truly do believe that sacrifice is an integral part of the archetypes, the universe, and our overall existence. The body is the primary means of that sacrifice. Like Jim was saying, the Significator of the Body is the Hanged Man, which is sort of a symbol of sacrifice. The body essentially gives itself to the mind.
I think it is a sacrifice in itself to engage the body in fasting or to generate the sort of willpower it takes to do what Gary did in engaging with a purified diet by cutting out things that he has a tendency to desire but knows are not compatible with his path. You are stopping the body from going through these habits and these natural emotions that you mentally know are not good, but your body is basically saying, give me that. I want that. You have to sort of sacrifice the body’s desire in order to then engage this greater spiritual path.
I think sacrifice is a key aspect of fasting, and the link between the mind and the body. But I don’t have a very fine point to put on the end of that thought. So, I’ll ask you guys if you have any further thoughts before we close out?
No, I’m out of thoughts.
How about you, Gary?
I feel like there’s more to say, but maybe it’s not coming to me right now. So maybe next year, subsequent, we’ll revisit how this process is going.
Yeah, it’s a really deep topic. I’m sure we’ll get back to it at some point.
Jim, do you have any closing words for our listeners?
I do have some closing words, by golly. It’s been a while since we’ve been with you all. We’ve missed you, and I imagine you’ve missed us, too. We love you very much, please know that. It is such an honor to be able to speak with you and to share our life with you. We know that you share the same with us in a way that we’re not quite aware of, but still we know you’re out there and you’re cheering us on. We love you all very much. Take a little time out to give a smile to somebody, to wave, and to send a little love. There’s no better gift in this world.
You’ve been listening to L/L Research’s occasionally biweekly podcast, In the Now. If you’ve enjoyed this show, please visit our websites: llresearch.org and Bring4th.org. Thank you so much for listening and for supporting this podcast with your questions. And a special thank you to Lana for sending us the question featured in this episode.
If you’d like to hear us ramble on about a particular topic, please read the instructions on our page at www.llresearch.org/podcast. New episodes are generally published to the archive website every other Wednesday afternoon, Eastern time. Have a wonderful couple of weeks and we will talk with you soon.