So man's life is not dependent on bread alone
Being mentally identified with food and body, man forgets that if the inner life-energy fails him, no amount of dieting or oxygenating the body can enable him to live. If the stomach of a dead man is stuffed with good food and his lungs are inflated with oxygen, he does not revive. Outwardly, food helps to keep life in the body, but life-force is maintained from within, and when the Cosmic Current fails to supply from within, no outward aid is of any avail.
Those who never fast—do not know that man can live by the word of God, or energy flowing from God. Jesus fasted forty days in order to convince himself that his soul had risen above the bodily conditions. That's why he uttered—when he was tempted by the material hunger-consciousness "Man shall not live by bread alone," etc.
Hence the earlier stages of a weeks' fasting are marked by hunger, but as the days of fasting multiply, less hunger and more freedom from food are distinctly felt. Why? Because the soul is unconsciously made to depend on the inner source of supply by a forced denial of the external source of supply of food. But this method of fasting is only one of the physical methods of rising above the consciousness of matter. No spiritual aspirant should indiscriminately indulge in long fasts without expert advice. Partial fasting, by omitting one or two meals a day, or by a day's fasting every week, done with the sole purpose of forgetting food, and followed by deep meditation, is helpful in spiritual realization.
The Christian Scientist generally employs strong imagination, developed by study of "Science and Health," in order to heal his physical diseases and convince himself of the non-existence of matter. But there is a more powerful element in man, says the Hindu teacher—the Will—by development of which, man can convert his body into a dry battery, charging his body with life-current from within by the Cosmic Source, and living without food, chemicals, or medicine. This requires long practice, and is difficult, but the easiest way is to learn to treat the body like a wet battery and live more by the Vital Force charged by the Will from within, and less by material food.
The Will is the great inner generator of energy into the body. When one is unwilling to do his daily work —one feels a lack of energy in the system. Whereas when one works incessantly but willingly, he feels full of energy within the body. Imagine if a man lying down quietly on a sofa, does not will to move his limbs or muscles or does not will to imagine or think or feel, and goes on remaining in that passive state, can he live? No.
Hence the body movements and physical processes are initiated by Will, consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, when one learns the higher metaphysical method, living by Conscious Energy and Will, he can then know that mind-power is self-contained and may live without being conditioned by the requirements of the body.
Then comes the method of learning the art of concentration by which one can transfer the attention —at will— from the body —to the soul in order to destroy the gross identification of the soul with the body—for this identification is the sole cause of the soul's ascribing to itself all the frailties and diseases of the body.
In order to fix a broken bone, the doctor, a child of God, with the help of God's material laws, has developed an almost perfect method of bone fixture. Then why ask a suffering layman to wait for a mental method of bone fixture, which only the highly developed ones, acquainted with the law of materialization and dematerialization of atomic vibration and body tissue, can perform. Until belief in mind-power is converted into exact knowledge, the layman is in danger of disillusionment. Merely ignoring a disease by belief in health would not prevent the progress of a disease, for the operation of God's physical laws are just as true as His mental laws. That's why many have died of disease —though they believed in mental healing. In order to be absolutely sure of mental healing, one must regularly develop his powers. Jesus was always sure of His healing because He had studied and knew what He was doing.
The inspired Hindu teachers are thoroughly in accord with the basic principles of Christian Science. But they express themselves differently. Instead of saying, as the Christian Scientist does, that matter does not exist, they say —matter is materialized mind-force, and scientifically prove this statement by their power of materialization and dematerialization of matter.
Science has demonstrated that all matter is composed of vibration. The ninety-two elements of matter, which enter into the composition of all the universe, from stars to human beings, are nothing but different forms of electronic vibration. For example, in ice —we find coldness, weight, form; it is visible. Melt the ice; it becomes water. Pass electricity thru it; it becomes invisible H2O, which, analyzed further, is a form of electronic vibration. Hence, one may scientifically say that ice does not exist, even though it is perceptible to our senses of sight, taste, feeling and so forth. In reality its essence is invisible electrons or forms of energy. In other words, that which can be dissolved into invisibility cannot be said to have valid existence. In this sense, matter can be said not to exist, but only in this sense, because matter does have relative existence, i.e., matter exists in relation to our mind and as an expression of the invisible electronic forces which do exist, because they are unchangeable and immortal. Just as the child could not be born without the parents, so matter is dependent on mind for its existence. It is born out of Divine Mind, and is perceptible to mortal mind; in itself and of itself, it has no reality and no existence. Hinduism supplies the missing link between Matter and Mind as being energy, just as the missing link between invisible H2O gas and ice —is water. Water and ice are both manifestations of invisible H2O, with only formal existence ...transitory appearance. Similarly, conscious mortal mind and matter are the formal manifestations of Divine Consciousness, with formal existence; but essentially, only Divine Mind exists.
In a very interesting booklet by Swami Abhedananda on "Christian Science and Vedanta," the following observations are made: "Christian Science, by denying the existence of matter and mortal mind, denies the existence of the phenomenal world and reduces it to nothingness. This difficulty does not arise in Vedanta philosophy, because it does not deny the existence of matter, mind, and everything that is on the phenomenal plane. Altho it tells us that the world is unreal, that matter is unreal, mind unreal; still it recognizes their existence, but adds that that existence cannot be separated from the absolute existence. If Brahman, or the absolute existence, be all in all, then everything that exists on the phenomenal plane is in reality Brahman, or the absolute Truth. The reality of the chair, the table, the earth, the sun, moon, and stars, is the absolute existence, is divinity itself. The reality in you, in me, and in all living creatures is the same as the absolute reality of the universe; only, on account of names and forms, the One Reality appears to be many. As, for instance, the one substance clay, appears thru diverse names and forms in numberless varieties, such as pots, jars, bricks, etc., so the One Absolute Reality, when clothed with varying names and forms, appears to be sun, moon, stars, animals, vegetables, etc. . . .
"The names and forms have of course no Absolute Reality, but they have Conditional Reality; or, in other words, they exist in relation to our minds. The world is real, according to Vedanta, but at the same time it is not as it seems to be; it is not that which appears to us at the present moment. This is what is meant by 'illusion' in Vedanta. For example, here is a chair; the substance of this chair is the Absolute Reality, because the Absolute Reality is All-Pervading and One. It is in you, in me, in the table, and in everything, and that which gives reality to the chair ...is one with the Absolute Reality. But the chair appears as chair only so long as it is clothed with the name and form of chair. If we can mentally separate the name and form from the substance of the chair, that which will be left —will be common wood; take away the name and form of wood —atoms and molecules will remain; take away the name and form of atoms and molecules —there will be nothing but Eternal Energy, and that is inseparable from the Absolute Substance. In this way, if we can mentally separate the names and forms from the substance, all phenomenal objects can be reduced to one substance which is the Absolute Reality of the universe. . . .
"In this age of agnosticism and materialism, Christian Science has done an admirable work, in making people realize that this phenomenal world of ours is like a dreamland, and that all objects of sense are nothing more than objects seen in a dream. This is no small gain for Western minds; because the more we realize that this world is like a dream —the nearer we approach to Absolute Truth. In this respect, what Christian Science is at present trying to do in this country, has been done by Vedanta in India for centuries. Furthermore, Christian Science has rendered a great service to humanity by demonstrating the power of the mind over the body, the power of Spirit over matter. Altho this fact was in no way new to the spiritual teachers, sages and best thinkers of every country, still in no other country and at no other time had there ever been so well organized a movement as that started recently by Mrs. Eddy under the name of Christian Science. Like Vedanta, it has brought health to many diseased bodies and rest to may diseased minds.
"The power of healing is the property of every individual soul. There have been many remarkable healers in every country—among the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Mohammedans, and those of other religious creeds. It is a great mistake to think that the power of healing comes from any outside source or from belief in this or that. It is developed by living a right life in accordance with the moral and spiritual laws of nature. . . . If we read the religious history of the world carefully, we find that long before the birth of Christ, the same healing Power of the Mind or Spirit was practiced by the followers of Buddha —with marvelous success. Wherever Buddhist missionaries traveled they healed the sick without using drugs. The yogis in India also use no drugs in curing disease, but rely entirely upon the spiritual power which they acquire thru right living and the practice of Yoga. . . . The power of healing is universal and cannot be confined within the boundaries of any one creed, sect, religion or book."
Resuming our discussion of mind and matter: We find that the blind or non-intelligent electronic forces of creation, in order to be Creative Teleological Agents, contain within themselves the vibrations of the Universal Conscious Life-Force, which in its turn —came from the vibrations of God's Divine Cosmic Consciousness. God said, "Let there be light," i.e., the Creator vibrated in His consciousness and It produced light or energy, and flowing conscious light of life-current and electrons, which further vibrated more grossly and became the diverse subtle forces of Nature, which in their turn became the gross ninety-two elements of matter that constitute the material universe.
To the human consciousness —matter is both real and perceptible. But man has discovered thru theoretical investigation, thru logic and thru certain experiments (such as being able to convert a visible piece of ice into an invisible force) that there is a permanent and unalterable creative force behind all the transitory and illusive forms of material creation. This truth may be grasped just as we grasp the fact that the ocean exists ....though its waves have no permanent existence, being just the passing formal manifestations of one great substance. The waves cannot exist without the ocean, but the ocean can exist without the waves. So matter cannot exist without Divine Mind-Power, but Divine Mind-Power can exist without matter. These concepts can be intellectually grasped, but they cannot be realized until one has learned the conscious method of converting matter into conscious energy and conscious energy into Cosmic Consciousness, as Jesus could and as many Hindu Saints have been able to do. To such Enlightened Ones, mater does not exist because They can see the whole unchangeable ocean of Spirit beneath the slight rippling waves of creation.
The Universe has been spoken of in Vedanta and Yoga philosophies as God's dream. Matter and mind, with the universe, planets, and the human powers of feeling, will and consciousness, the states of life and death, disease and health, the gross surface waves and the subtle under-currents of material creation, are realities according to the Law of Relativity governing this dream of God's. All the dualities perceived thru the Law of Relativity are real to the dreamer, to the ordinary man in the world who plays his little part in the great dream of God. To escape from these dualities, one must awaken from this dream into eternal God-wakefulness. We cannot change God's dream just by imagination or denying matter, or by accepting life but rejecting death, or by seeking health and fleeing sickness. One state is as much a part of its opposite state as the two sides of the same cloth. The dualities are part and parcel of each other. The man who sees his body different from mind, who cannot dematerialize his body into Electronic Energy, who cannot see the inconsistency of rejecting medicine but accepting food, or denying sickness but affirming health, is a man still under the delusion of the dream-world. Just as the ordinary man has dreams which seem real for a time, but lose their reality when the man emerges into the ordinary waking state, so it is possible for every one to awaken some day from the seeming reality of the present world-dream, and live in the eternal Cosmic Consciousness of God.
The super-man, He who has consciously awakened in God by transferring and expanding His consciousness into the world of unchangeable reality, He alone can realize this creation as a dream of God; He alone can say matter has no existence. Thru a long series of self-disciplinary steps, thru the different paths of Yoga, or thru any method of spiritual perfection, thru service, love, wisdom and self-effacement, the Aspirant climbs beyond the clutch of dualities and the impermanence of all created things, into the incomprehensible grandeur of His true Being.