The following text excerpts were taken from the work "Life and Teachings of the Masters" by Baird Spalding. Permission to publish the text excerpts of the following five chapters was kindly granted by Schirner Verlag (schirner.com), which owns the copyright for this work.

Once again many thanks ;-)

We would like to continue this chapter with the words of a wise person, which Baird Spalding recorded during a three-year stay at the foot of the Himalayan mountains. To the question whether death can be considered avoidable, it was answered with the words of the Siddha: "The human body has emerged from the individual cell, just like the bodies of plants and animals, which we like to call younger and less developed brothers.

The individual cell is a tiny, microscopic unit of the body. After an often repeated process of growth and division, this tiny cell finally becomes a perfect human being composed of almost uncountable millions of cells. Each of these cells has its particular function to perform in the body, but in the main it retains the characteristic of the individual cell from which it emerged. This individual cell can be considered as the light bearer of animate life. It transmits from one generation to another the latent fires of God, the life force of all living beings, a life force whose ancestral lineage is unbroken back to the time when the first life appeared on this planet. This individual cell has the quality of unlimited youth.

But what about the group cells that form the so-called body? The group cells were formed by the often repeated multiplication of the individual cell; they kept its individual characteristics, one of which is the just mentioned latent life fire, or eternal youth. The group cells, or the body, have the task of being the guardians of the individual cell, but only during the short span of a lifetime as you now know it.

The oldest of our teachers discovered by inspirational means the truth of the fundamental unity of the reactions of life in plants and animals. We can easily imagine how these teachers gathered their disciples around them under the broad branches of a banian tree and addressed them with something like the following words: Look at this mighty tree. The life process that is going on in our brother, this tree, is fundamentally the same as in ourselves. Look at the leaves and the buds at the tips of the branches of even the oldest banian tree, how young they are, as young as the seed from which the giant was born. Since the reactions of life are the same in plants as in man, man can certainly learn something from the experience of the plant.

Just as the leaves and buds at the tips of the branches of the oldest banian tree are as young as the seed from which the tree sprang, so the group cells of man, of which a body is composed, need not gradually lose their vitality and die, but can grow as young and evergreen as the ovum or individual cell itself. Indeed, there is no reason at all why your body should not become just as young and vigorous as the living seed from which it sprang. The wide-spreading banian tree, which is always a symbol of imperishable life, does not die unless by accident. No natural law of decay, no process of growing old seems to attack the vital energy of its cells in a dangerous way. And the same is true with respect to the human-divine form. There is no natural law of death and decay for man, except accident.

There exists no unalterable process of aging in his body or in his group cells-nothing that can slowly paralyze the individual. Death is a preventable event. Sickness is primarily non-wellness, that is, absence from well-being or santi, the fetching, joyous peace of mind reflected in the body through the mind. The process of aging, the general experience of man, is only an expression of his ignorance of certain diseased states of body and soul. Accidents can also be prevented by a correct mental attitude.

The Siddha say, "The tone of the body can be maintained in such a way that it resists contagious and other diseases, such as the plague and influenza, with ease by itself!" The siddha can ingest germs and prevent them from developing into disease. Remember that youth is the love seed of God, implanted in the human-divine form. In fact, youth is the divine in man; youth is spiritual life, beautiful life. It is the only life that lives and loves - the one, eternal life. Being old is unspiritual, mortal, ugly, unreal. Fear thoughts, pain thoughts and sorrow thoughts cause the "ugliness" that we call "old age.

Joy thoughts, love thoughts and ideal thoughts create the beauty called youth. Age is merely a shell in which the gem of reality, the jewel of youth, lies hidden. Practice maintaining the consciousness of childhood within you. Imagine the divine child that lives within you. Before you fall asleep, speak to your consciousness:

"I realize that within me is a spiritual body of joy, always young, always beautiful. Mind, eyes, nose, mouth, skin are beautiful and spiritual, and I possess the body of the divine child, which is perfect tonight."

Repeat these affirmations and meditate on them quietly while falling asleep.

When you get up in the morning, speak aloud to yourself:

"Well, dear ... (call yourself by your name), there dwells a divine alchemist within you." Through the spiritual power of these assurances, transformation takes place during the night and unfoldment from within. The spirit has permeated this spiritual body and this spiritual temple. The alchemist has caused dead and exhausted cells to decay and the gold of the new skin to appear in its imperishable health and loveliness.

Verily, where divine love appears, there is eternal youth. The divine alchemist dwells in my own body and continually creates new and beautiful child cells. The spirit of youth is in my body, this human-divine form, and all is well. A-O-M Shanti-Shanti-Shanti !

Learn to smile as kindly as a child. A smile coming from the soul is a spiritual relaxation. A true smile is something truly beautiful, the art value of the "inner immortal lawgiver". It is good to speak with conviction: "I send out a loving thought to the whole world. May all beings be happy and blessed !"

Before you go to your day's work, give yourself the assurance:

"Within me lives a perfect form, the divine form. I am now exactly as I wish to be. I imagine the beautiful within me every day until I breathe it into manifestation. I am a child of God; all that I need will be given to me now and forever."

Learn to imbue yourself with joy and affirm, "Infinite love fills my mind and floods my body with its perfect life." Make everything around you bright and beautiful. Cultivate the spirit of humor, rejoice in the sunshine.

You will understand that I am referring to the teachings of the Siddha. They are the oldest teachers known, and what they teach goes back thousands of years further than any history. They went among the people and showed them a better way to live even before man knew the simple arts of civilization.

The system of lawgivers sprang from nothing but these teachings. But these lawgivers soon turned away from the realization that God was speaking through them. Thinking that it was they themselves, their personalities, who were fulfilling the task, they lost sight of the spiritual and brought forth the personal or the material, forgetting that everything comes from the same source - God.

The personal views of these legislators gave rise to the great separation from faith and the great diversity in thought. This is what we understand from the Tower of Babel.

The Siddha have received throughout the ages the true inspirational methods of how God expresses Himself through every human being and through all His creations, in their realization that God is All and that God reveals Himself through all. They have never departed from this teaching. And in this way, they have received the great fundamental truth.