We wish to take the occasion of the shortest day to notice that many religions mark this important event in various ways: Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah, and so forth. Often the significance of this time is overlooked in the rush to commercialization and the debate over which religion best serves humankind.


Only the naive would consider December 25, 0000 as the actual birthday of Christ. Rather, symbolically, we see with the arrival of Christ the bringing of more and more light into our lives. This is an occasion for joy in the realization that we may anticipate a fresh beginning for our crops, our relations with one another and in our spiritual lives.

We (Rosanna and James) wish all of our friends and readers a joyuous celbration of this important event, no matter their religious beliefs. We further extend our wish for a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year and we pray that our readers will be blessed with good health and vigor to accomplish their life’s purpose.

On this occasion we would like to share with you a bit of our correspondence with Rhonda, a girl of 18, with wisdom beyond her years.

She wrote:

“My mother and father have recently started eating and living macrobiotic. As they are relative beginners they find it difficult to explain the benefits it has on their spirituality rather than their physical health.

Do you have any comments on this?

Thank you

Rhonda xxx”

We replied [edited]:

“Dear Rhonda,

Thank you for writing and for a very good question. Have you subscribed to our newsletter? If you do you will see a little about that subject mentioned in the WISDOM section of the letter we are publishing later today or tomorrow at the latest. [December 16, 1998]

It is also a question worthy of further thought and discussion and we are considering a further answer, perhaps as the subject for a future newsletter, so thank you for the inspiration. We are constantly in search of such topics for discussion and you have suggested one that is close to our hearts.

Our bodies are our instruments and their condition determines the way we see the world. We are all spiritual in our makeup, that’s what we are, in fact, materialized spirit. It’s not that one becomes more spiritual, it’s that one becomes more conscious of the fact that we are spirit. In order to lift the veil that lies over our consciousness certain practices have been proven effective, both esoteric and practical.

To be truly healthy one must have awareness that we are spiritual beings and we must also become aware that as energy beings we must consume energy to create the energy which we exhibit in our daily lives. This is manifested in our ability to do work and to create and unfortunately, much of it is wasted on useless emotions, and other ways we all know too well.

It has been well known to humanity that there is a certain way of fueling this instrument that we inhabit that provides maximum to the system with minimal interference with the ability to perceive the outside world with emotions under control and not altered by the food we consume. This is the macrobiotic way of looking at diet. To maintain this equanimity it is necessary to be mindful that our organism requires food in balance and that, if it is denied this balance, it will suffer. Illness may manifest as either emotional or physical, but it is usually the indicator of a failure in balance of the food that is consumed by the individual.

Macrobiotics assumes that it is much easier to maintain this delicate balance by eating mainly food from near the center of an imaginary balance beam that has salt and meat at one end of the teeter-totter and sugar and soft dairy at the other end of the scale. Everything we consume has a place along this scale that is labeled YIN by the Orientals on the sugar (acidic) end of the scale and YANG (alkaline) on the salt end. Our job as advocates of the Macrobiotic way is to teach about this delicate balance and to show people that maintaining this balance is the secret to maintaining physical and emotional health.

Similarly Sufism, which is not religion and is compatible with any religion, is a method for maintaining balance in the way we think and act to consume this energy that we have ingested. If you go to the bookstore on our website, you will see a button . If you join this list you will see a daily offering of wisdom that discusses this balance. Discussion is strictly limited to the topics in these daily postings and participation is not required unless it is directly on topic. Most people find that deep consideration of these ideas is very worthwhile for a few minutes each day.

No belief is required in either the Sufi or Macrobiotic ways of thinking. One must rely on actual experience. It doesn’t have effect to talk about these things unless one is discussing the actual practice of living this way. The Sufi way is to learn balance and control of the various centers of energy in the body and to project this control in a balanced and useful way to our neighbors in this world. Practicing Sufism is attempting to develop a point of view that is outside of and not influenced by the egoistic and animalistic tendencies which lie within each of us. From this viewpoint too, we develop the awareness that the physical world is simply the manifestation of spirit and that everything and everyone is the product of this manifestation which is all interconnected. Breathing consciously, concentration and meditation lie at the heart of Sufi practice. Sufism is learning to think with the heart and not the head.

Yoga too, is a system for developing awareness of this balance that is required to live happily and healthfully. There are thousands of books on this subject and the beneficial effects are well known. We will not concern ourselves further here with this subject, except to say there are many kinds of yoga and it is easy enough to see the benefits of any of them with regular practice and the exercise of will power. Many volumes have been written in this philosophy about the relationship of diet to physical and mental health.

Well, sorry for the length of this diatribe, apparently it IS the next newsletter. I hope this answers your question. We send it with our warm regards and best wishes for a prosperous and happy New Year.” [And to ALL our beloved readers]

James McCaig & Rosanna Martella

“The macrobiotic way of life recommended by the ancient wise people and practiced widely for physical, mental and spiritual development consists of the following arts; the way of eating, the way of breathing, and the way of daily life. Because a human being is part of his environment, and has evolved through biological development covering more than three billion years on this planet, his physical, mental and spiritual conditions are based upon what he consumes from his natural environment and his food. The way of eating is the most essential factor for his development.”

Michio Kushi, THE BOOK OF DO-IN (ISBN 0-87040-382-6)

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