A response to Stanley Bass and Others on the Art of Ehret’s Transition Diet
The following is an excerpt from Prof. Spira’s new eBook Spira Speaks: Dialogs and Essays on the Mucusless Diet Healing System, find it HERE—
When one does a Google search on Arnold Ehret, an article named “Fruit: Friend or Foe” by Dr. Stanley Bass used to appear toward the top of the results. In the article, Bass reflects on his experimentation with fruit dieting and fasting. After being influenced by local naturopathic doctors at a young age and reading many authors from the Back to Nature/Natural Hygienic Movement, such a John Henry Tilden, Bass began to fervently experiment with radical dietary changes. He did intensive fruit juice and water fasts without the necessary aid of a slow, rational transition. Later in his life he, then a nutritionist, learned of the Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System. However, his interpretation of Ehret’s dynamic system was that humans are fundamentally frugivores. As many of his raw-fruitarian aspiring peers before and after him, he disregarded the proposition of the TRANSITION DIET, and tried to implement radical periods of all fruit eating. He then experienced many negative symptoms, including bleeding of the gums, and ultimately the loss of teeth. Later, adopting more of a raw-foodist approach, he lived on fruits, vegetables, nuts, and avocados–the latter two being mucus-forming. It should be noted that at no point did Bass’s description of his radical dietetic endeavors resemble a rational and effective application of Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System
Many students of the Back to Nature/Natural Hygiene movement notice that many of the pioneering fruitarian thinkers went through intensive periods of elimination which sometimes scared them away from their pursuit of natural living, or even worse. Many of them reverted to the nutrition mythology of Western dietetic theory and blamed the fruit, or the lack of other nutrients, for their debilitating conditions. And today, many of those who claim to be ‘fruitarians’, raw-foodists, or vegans dive in to such diets head first, and feel great for while only to experience tremendous FALLS (i.e. intensive and potentially dangerous periods of elimination/
Although Ehret was a fruitarian thinker who asserted that a mono-fruit diet is the best for humans, he by no means suggested that people in our pathological condition can achieve such a level immediately without a considerable amount of dietary transition and PRACTICE of the Mucusless Diet. Many health seekers hear of fruitarianism and aspire to just jump right in without an extended period of transition. Using the Mucusless Diet Healing System as a means to save a terminally ill patient is different from using it as a transitional lifestyle to achieve superior health. The principles are the same, but they must be applied a bit differently by relatively able bodied health seekers vs. those who are chronically ill and on their death bed. Ehret wrote his articles, which resulted in the Mucusless Diet Healing System & Rational Fasting, geared toward saving the lives of deathly ill patients after his experiences saving thousands at his sanitariums. Meanwhile, he was experimenting with living the principles of his transition on a long-term basis. Such experiences greatly influenced his application of the healing system to his patients, who were basically only using it on a short-term basis to save their lives. The distinction between short and long-term applications must be understood when learning to adapt the principles of the transition to achieving long-term goals.
How long will the transition take?
One question I often ask people to ponder is how long ago they think they had two fruitarian parents in their bloodline? We all have fruitarians in our bloodline, yet many of us must travel through some scary ancestral pus and mucus to get to them. This is where an intensive investigation into the history of your own bloodline and GI tract can help you to better understand how long it might take you to accomplish certain levels of physiological freedom. We all have various amounts of mucus constipation on the cellular level, and our transitions will look very different based upon our unique situations. My father is from Trinidad where living on mangos from the trees outside—while not being able to afford much meat or anything else—was a reality of his childhood. In the islands, there was no one around trying to say that you need protein or that you cannot live off fruit. Mangos were on the trees and that is what was eaten by folks who did not have access to anything else. A totally different reality; one much closer to nature. Consequently, many elders on these islands do not resemble those I’m accustomed to seeing in the US, as they are often fundamentally healthier and seem to live much longer with less afflictions (which is quickly changing as KFC and Taco Hell become modern mainstays in such countries). At any rate, my Father’s childhood fruit eating certainly contributed in a positive way to my physiological aspirations of pursuing the Mucusless Diet. On the other hand, I was a particularly egregious omnivoric overeater of the worst kinds of mucus-forming foods growing up. 100% S.A.D (Standard American Diet)! The latter situation forced me to become very studious and analytical about every facet of my transition. If I wanted to save myself, I knew that I would need to put serious thought into practicing the diet.
Intuition and Intellect
I feel right at home during periods of extended fruit eating, but in times of mucuslean eating I have found that I have certain cravings that are particularly challenging to overcome. In those instances, my intuition is obstructed and I need to rely more on my own intellectual analysis. But, through detailed considerations of my own transitional process, based upon Ehret’s principles, I have been able to make it through situations that may have otherwise derailed me. Given the attributes and challenges of my own bloodline, I learned that I need to allow for a good balance of intuition and intellect to be successful with practicing the mucusless diet. People who might start out physiologically cleaner than I, may have a far more advanced sense of intuition than I did when I began. Such individuals may not need to rely as heavily on their intellectual understanding of the process, but let their body’s guide the process the majority of the time. But some of us who are not physiological geniuses, and who have gotten so far away from nature that they may not be able to ‘feel’ the idea of the diet at all, intellect can save the day. Such individuals can cultivate and rely on their ability to think and reason.
When Brother Air first told me that he went a year eating nothing but fruit, I felt what he was saying deep in my soul. It touched me on a fundamental level. The proposition of fruit eating humans uncovered a memory of who I really am and where I come from which I had simply forgotten. As I continue to experience the transition first hand, this internal knowingness grows stronger and stronger. Brother Air says that he had a similar ‘ah-ha’ experience when he read Lesson V of the Mucusless Diet. “Your body is an air-gas engine” touched him deeply. The mere suggestion uncovered an internal knowingness that sparked his intuition.
But, for those who might not be able to ‘feel’ Brother Air’s news about fruit eating, fasting, air-gas engines, or mucusless dietm one’s own internal Socratic dialogues of reason and rationality can help to better understand what can no longer be naturally ‘felt’. Are humans frugivores? If it is possible for some primates to live on fruits, and humans are presumed to be the most ‘evolved’, then why can humans not also live on fruit alone? If humans could eat only fruit, would it not be the most rational of diets—both physically and ethically? What process must mucus eating humans go through to return to a fruit-based reality? Is it possible that mucus-forming foods are not only unnecessary for human life, but the very foundation of human illness? Given the fundamental errors in the history of scientific thought (paradigms—see Thomas Kuhn), to what extent is our modern understanding of metabolism and nutrition fundamentally flawed and dangerous? How did social, cultural, and political contexts influence the foundation of Western dietetic and medical theories? If breath is fundamental to life, and my nose periodically becomes constipated by mucus, can this process be viewed as an emergency signal from my body to stop eating mucus, and FAST?
In addition to uncovering how reasonable and rational the propositions of the Mucusless Diet are, intellectual interrogation of the transitional process can greatly inform and enhance the decisions made by a practioner. In the way that an aspiring composer may systematically analyze the music of other great composers, or a young painter work on a particular set of traditional and modern drawing techniques to enhance their skills, the Mucusless Diet Healing System practioner can benefit from a vigorous analysis of the principles and processes of the transition diet. Overall, not unlike an improvising jazz musician, intuition and intellectual prowess can be joined by the aspiring health seeker to create a wonderful symphony of physiological art.
All in all, most people have an unrealistic perspective of how sick they are and how long it will take to permanently transition to higher levels of physiological liberation. After two years of living on fruit with intensive sessions of fasting, Ehret ended up eating meat again (resulting in his famous bloodletting experiment). This experience suggests that Ehret had much more transitioning to do to get to the point where eating meat would have not been an option. For me, eating meat is now like drinking Clorox bleach—it is just not a part of my world as food to potentially be eaten. After 5 years of living on mostly raw fruits, Dr. Robert Morse—great modern-day healer, naturopath, and student/advocate of Ehret’s work—broke his extended period of raw fasting with a piece of fish. His own reflections about the early days of his dietary change toward a raw, fruit-based reality, indicate that he did not spend a long time slowly transitioning. I mean not to criticize these pioneers, but reference their experiences so that we might learn from them, and put into proper perspective how long and challenging a rational transition really is.
Stanley Bass was way too filthy to try and do the kind of extended fruit fasting that he did without expecting some intensive, and even dangerous, results. No one told him not to eat mucus-free vegetables in a systematic manner with fruit. No one told him that it is a sin to use cooked mucus-free vegetable menus to control and SLOW DOWN his elimination (at least not Ehert). No one said that even some cooked mucuslean menus are prohibited during the beginning of such a lofty dietetic undertaking.
Learning to control one’s elimination is fundamental to the Art of the Transition. Bass, Fry and many other fruitarian thinkers and aspirants tried to progress faster than their mind and bodies would allow. Ehret often said “nature’s mills grind slow,” and he clearly says that he does not recommend extended fruit or water fasting for most patients. Especially for those who have never been through any kind of transition diet. Yet, many assume that Ehret means radical fruit and water fasting, which he does not. Ehret’s healing system is not immediate raw-foodism, mono-fruit diet, or irrational extended water fasting, but a SYSTEM that coordinates the use of raw and cooked mucusless and mucuslean menus—in concert with short and long term periods of RATIONAL FASTING—to safety and effectively transition off of all mucus-forming foods. Yes, raw-fruit-mono diet is identified to be supreme, yet we must earn this level of excellence. Not over night, but only after having paid reparations for the wrong that we, and our relatives, have done to our bodies all the days of our life. The key to sustaining the diet on a long term basis is the mastery of the Art of Transition. Whether it is through intuition, intellect, spiritual awakening, or scientific understanding, emancipating oneself from eating pus and mucus must be a top priority for those interested in physiological freedom. And after generations of mucus-eating ancestors, it will simply not happen overnight. There is no shortcut around the transition. As Brother Air often says, “you can be on the transition diet for more than 30 years if you need to be, but you will still be here.”
Peace, Love, and Breath!
[for more of Ehret’s thoughts on the subject see my article on Ehret and Raw-foodism see HERE]
This article began as a discussion on the Prof. Arnold Ehret Facebook Support Group. I would like to thank all members of the group for fostering such a high level of discourse about the Mucusless Diet.
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)