Choosing life


When CELINE FRÉSARD started watching videos of  THIERRY CASASNOVAS, her understanding of how the body works led her to draw a parallel between the body and the heart. To work well, the body needs to be cleaned – a cleaning of the cells through detoxification – and well nourished. And the heart, the seat of the soul, also responds to laws because the spiritual heart also requires cleaning and the nourishment of love. From this analogy, she learned that the body and the heart are gateways to deeper layers of Being. Here she interviews Thierry about his life, experiences and discoveries.

Fasting is a bit like becoming wise, withdrawing,
letting the inside act silently, secretly.
Like a sacred space that is taking shape.
Let the body do its work, do not hinder its regenerative work,
have confidence, and let go.
And to let go is to relax the mind, to put it at rest.
This is also what meditation invites us to do,
to calm down and to introspect.

Q: Hello Thierry. Thank you for welcoming this conversation with such enthusiasm. Could you tell us in a few words about your life and the events that led you to become so passionate about life?

TC: It is a fairly common story. As a child I was fine and I became an adult who was not well, to the point of almost dying at the age of 33. The prognosis was clear: there were only a few days left to live, and I was in a state of complete weakness, with tuberculosis, hepatitis and pancreatitis. I had put on 35 kilograms, didn’t assimilate anything anymore and threw up everything I ate.

Then there was a surge of life in me. I suddenly wanted to know why I had reached this stage, and especially how I could transcend this completely passive attitude to my health. A world where arbitrariness reigns and makes us powerless is a world in which disease happens in a random way, without anyone being able to do anything about it, and this does not match my worldview. I believe that the world is made up of meaning, laws and principles. By my faith too, I believe that we live in a world structured in a perfect and functional way, so it cannot harbor perversion and arbitrariness; that is impossible.

This need to find meaning in what was happening to me was decisive. You mentioned the parallel between the body and the heart; well I understood that we cannot consider one without the other; we cannot heal the body without including the spiritual, and vice versa.

I was dying, and at first this surge of life was like a dazzling feeling. I think that in a state of great weakness we have moments of hypersensitivity in which we are open to the more subtle dimensions of ourselves. There was a morning when my brain was literally turned upside down in a quarter of a second, and this is what dawned on me: “If you are in this state, it is because you are dying. And if you are dying, it is because your way of life has led you here to death. Choose practices that lead to life, and you will live!” Many years later I came across this verse from the Bible: “Choose life and you will live.

All of a sudden you think to yourself,
“In fact, I have something fabulous inside me.
There is nothing to understand and nothing to analyze.
I just have to obey.” Obey what?
The principle of the living,
which says that the more the body is left to rest,
the more it will be repaired.

It became so obvious what was leading me to death and what would lead me to life. This is how I started to examine my physical life, habits, way of eating and exercising, relationships with others, and spirituality. And I came across something I didn’t expect – I discovered life and living.

I became a worshipper of life, in the true sense of the word, in the spiritual sense of the word. My path was built around these questions: What is life? What is needed and what choices can we make to be alive? Because in the end we want to become truly alive, with greater vitality, so that our lives can flourish.

As a scientist, a physicist, I approached this research in a rational way, by observing and experiencing the laws and principles of life. I found extremely simple, obvious, common sense things that changed everything.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about these laws that govern the living?

TC: Yes, they govern all living systems. It is important to know that there is a fundamental difference between the living and the non-living, something that most of the time we do not realize.

We live in a world where we spend more time sitting in the car, in front of the computer, with a mobile phone in our hands, using machines all the time … and we start to consider our world through the characteristics of the non-living, while the nature of living beings has totally different characteristics.

For example, a principle of all living beings, whether plants, animals or humans, is homeostasis. This principle alone radically changes the situation, and has incredible power. The principle of homeostasis says that any living system spontaneously returns to a state of equilibrium. The state of equilibrium is the state of better functioning of the organism.

Q: In the absence of disturbance …

TC: In any case, disturbance must be reduced. If your body takes two steps forward towards balance, and then four steps back, the result will be two steps back. So disturbances are acceptable, as long as they are reduced for the result to be equilibrium. In any case, any living organism spontaneously returns to a state of equilibrium.

Sometimes people say to me, “Yes, but I have cancer.” In our society, cancer has a poor prognosis – it is the ultimate disease – so they stand in front of me and say, “How dare you tell me that my body can return to full health!”

So I answer, “Have you ever considered that the tumor may be a mechanism for your body to prevent you from dying, and if the tumor hadn’t been there you would already be dead? Would you consider it? Can you think of it as an adaptive mechanism? It was your body’s last resort to protect you from an internal toxicity it could no longer manage.”

Now, all of a sudden, their outlook is reversed. There is no longer any need to consider the body as something defective, which must always be repaired by specialists who will give all sorts of things to repair the dysfunctional body. That viewpoint has a kind of disgust for the living, and contempt for creation.

All of a sudden you think to yourself, “In fact, I have something fabulous inside me. There is nothing to understand and nothing to analyze. I just have to obey. Obey what? The principle of the living, which says that the more the body is left to rest, the more it will be repaired. This notion of rest is very important. We often think in relation to machines, and a machine at rest is a machine not used, whereas rest for the living is not that at all.

Think of a muscle: overuse leads to exhaustion and underuse leads to atrophy. We are not machines, so rest for a living being is neither overuse nor underuse, and the living being prospers when rest is used to its fullest extent. It is not leaving it in a corner on a chaise longue to vegetate; it is really using it properly. This is rest on the physical level, and then there is rest on the psychic plane and on the spiritual plane.

Living beings need peace on the spiritual level, rest on the physical level,
and quietude on the mental level, in order to prosper.
When these conditions are met, life explodes in us,
just as fire spreads in a pyre if the logs are well arranged.

What is rest, really? Finding it is also a lifelong adventure. In heartcentered meditation practices, we understand that this is also the peace that we are seeking. And peace and rest are sine qua non for life to prosper in us. It is as simple as that. They are absolutely necessary, the biological and physiological reality of our body and life. Living beings need peace on the spiritual level, rest on the physical level, and quietude on the mental level, in order to prosper.

When these conditions are met, life explodes in us, just as fire spreads in a pyre if the logs are well arranged. A small flame can become a fire that burns an entire forest, provided it is guided in the right way. The principle of fire is that it will gradually flourish, thanks to small twigs alighting quickly, bringing oxygen. If we start with large logs, the fire will go out very quickly. So there are principles and rules, and for our life it is exactly the same; if we respect these principles, life thrives in us.

Often my comments are caricatured with, “He has an answer to everything.” It is not me who has the answer to everything, it is the body, it is life that has the answer to everything. Because life spontaneously goes towards life; it is the nature of life to go towards life all the time.

Q: How can we promote a state of balance in this frenetic world? At what pace do we feed that fire? We can’t all live in the mountains and drink pure water, can we?

TC: I agree with you, there are steps. In fact, I think the important thing is not the speed at which you walk; the important thing is the direction. And also the manner, as one of the essential dimensions of health is peace and quiet. There is no need to approach these questions in an anxious way, thinking, “I have to renew everything, otherwise I will die,” etc.

It depends. There are people whose health is in such a state of deterioration that I tell them, “At this stage, there is nothing to lose. We really need to make radical changes, otherwise the little flame of life in you will soon be reduced to an ember. You don’t have too much time.” For these people, radical reform is needed at the root, but for most people things can be implemented gradually.

There are generally two modes of functioning of living organisms. The first is catabolic, the mode of reaction and adaptation to the environment, in which the body consumes resources and produces waste. The second is rest mode, in which the body repairs itself, goes towards homeostasis, towards the best of itself. In rest mode, the body eliminates waste and everything is cleaned up. The important thing is to maintain a balance between these two modes.

The problem today is that the world has become hyper catabolic, so we no longer have adequate moments of rest. I was thinking about it yesterday: with cell phones, there is no longer a moment when we are alone and bored. We always have something to read, to listen to, to do, to think, to look at, and to call someone back. On the mental level, we are in permanent hyper catabolism, the hyper solicitation of our mind.

The body, too, is constantly in hyperaction: maximum pressure at work, in our daily lives, pressure to earn money, pressure to educate children, anxiety about living conditions, anxiety about the evolution of the world.

The important thing is that we can say to ourselves, “Okay, I understand that this hyper catabolism is not sustainable in the long term, it is literally stifling life in me, so I will now take a new step every day in the direction of rest.”

For everyone it will be different: one will approach it first on the psychological level, through meditation, for example. I think it is an ideal way to calm the mind, to calm down this kind of delirious pedaling that is constantly spinning in the head and bring it back to the essential. At the heart in particular, it’s just perfect. I am from a Christian culture and Proverbs 4:23 of the Bible says: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” By meditating on the heart, you meditate on the source of life. It’s not nothing, it’s huge. You are connecting to the source of life.

Then there are those who choose to slow down hyper catabolism by thinking about their diet: “I will make sure that every day my diet is more nutritious, and that it is of better quality.” There are others who will slow down their pace of life. They will choose to work a little less, and have more time with their families.

I often ask the people I meet:
Whatever you do, whatever your choices in everyday life,
are you nurturing life in you and around you?
In fact, if you nurture life in others, you nurture it in yourself;
if you do good for others, you do good for yourself.
Do your actions nourish life?

Everyone will take a step forward in their own way. It is individual because, to put it simply, we each have different ‘causes of death’. For one, it comes from not getting enough sleep; for another, it will be guilt or remorse for things that happened years before; for a third, it will be indiscriminate eating; for a fourth, it will be to feed anger; and for a fifth it will be to overtrain physically, because even too much physical training leads to exhaustion. The principles are universal, but the implementation of these principles in everyone’s life is individual. We must discover and search for what in our lives pulls us towards death and understand exactly how to respond and change.

There’s a word I like very much. It has a strong religious connotation, but I would like to go back to its roots because it is very powerful. That word is repentance. Repentance means ‘changing the direction, the slope’. If you’re on the verge of death, you don’t have the luxury to just say to yourself, “Okay, I have to slow down a little,” you have to completely change the direction, make adjustments. You were following the slope of death, and now you are choosing the slope of life. Go at the speed you want, but choose life under all circumstances.

I often ask the people I meet: Whatever you do, whatever your choices in everyday life, are you nurturing life in you and around you? In fact, if you nurture life in others, you nurture it in yourself; if you do good for others, you do good for yourself. Do your actions nourish life? When you start despising someone in your head, making fun of them, do you feed life, either in yourself or in them? Whenever you feel guilty, do you feed life in yourself or in the other person? Every time you go to bed at two in the morning, after smoking cigarette after cigarette, do you feed life in yourself?

To nurture life, in any given day the result must be favorable to life, otherwise you will go in the direction of death. It’s simple but not simplistic.

Q: What if you’re too tired? It takes powerful energy to move in an upward direction. Even to think in the other direction requires a minimum of energy.

TC: Powerful energy? I don’t know. Take my case, for example. I was at the end of the end of physical exhaustion. I think energy is important, but more than energy I needed conviction, a revelation in a way, what I call a turning point in the mind. And if the mind has tilted, the body will follow, even if there is very little energy.

At first, you will go very slowly, but first of all you need this tilting. Look at the living thing, get to know it, understand it and love it, so that all of a sudden there’s a change in you: “Now I have the desire to feed life!” Maybe, at first, feeding life will start in a very small way on a daily basis, because we have very little energy, but we will still be on the right track.

For me, this turning point is really important. It is the fundamental difference between a speaker who speaks well and one who touches my heart. We keep talking about the heart after all. Our hearts were touched and it triggered this ‘boom’, this explosion, after which we never saw the world the same way again. This is what is called a revelation in spiritual terms.

And through this work, I aspire that everyone may experience this revelation – that everyone may discover life in the physical, mental and spiritual realms.

To be continued

To learn more:

Interviewed by CELINE FRÉSARD

Thierry Casasnovas

About Thierry Casasnovas

The author of many hundreds of YouTube videos on health and nutrition based in part on his personal experience. He started the Regénére movement in France, to help people towards a more natural approach to health and well-being.

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