Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Pt. II

Powerful, thought-provoking and moving. Remember, this was written in 1939 and is just as relevant now as it was then, if not more so.

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration Last Page

One of our modern tendencies is to select the foods we like, particularly those that satisfy our hunger without our having to eat much, and, another is to think in terms of the few known vitamins and their effects. The primitive tendency seems to have been to provide an adequate factor of safety for all emergencies by the selection of a sufficient variety and quantity of the various natural foods to prevent entirely most of our modern affections. Their success demonstrates that their program is superior to ours. An important advance in modern international relationships provides for exchange of professorships and, thus, interchanges of wisdom. We have shown a most laudable and sympathetic interest in carrying our culture to the remnants of these primitive races. Would it not be fortunate to accept in exchange lessons from their inherited knowledge? It may be not only our greatest opportunity, but our best hope for stemming the tide of our progressive breakdown and also for our return to harmony with Nature’s laws, since life in its fullness is Nature obeyed.

As I have sojourned among members of primitive racial stocks in several parts of the world, I have been deeply impressed with their fine personalities, and strong characters. I have never felt the slightest fear in being among them; I have never found that my trust in them was misplaced. As soon as they had learned that I was visiting them in their interest, their kindness and devotion was very remarkable. Fundamentally they are spiritual and have a devout reverence for an all-powerful, all-pervading power which not only protects and provides for them, but accepts them as a part of that great encompassing soul if they obey Nature’s laws.

Ernest Thompson Seton has beautifully expressed the spirit of the Indian in the opening paragraph of his little book “The Gospel of the Red Man”:

The culture and civilization of the White man are essentially material; his measure of

success is, “How much property have I acquired for myself?” The culture of the Red man is fundamentally spiritual; his measure of success is, “How much service have I rendered to my people?”

The civilization of the White man is a failure; it is visibly crumbling around us. It has failed at every crucial test. No one who measures things by results can question this fundamental statement.

The faith of the primitive in the all-pervading power of which he is a part includes a belief in immortality. He lives in communion with the great unseen Spirit, of which he is a part, always in humility and reverence. Elizabeth Odell in the following lines seems to express the spirit of the primitives,


Flat outstretched upon a mound

Of earth I lie; I press my ear

Against its surface and I hear

Far off and deep, the measured sound

Of heart that beats within the ground.

And with it pounds in harmony

The swift, familiar heart in me.

They pulse as one, together swell,

Together fall; I cannot tell

My sound from earth’s, for I am part

Of rhythmic, universal heart.

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~ by notrous on April 9, 2009.

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