Health and Life Today and through the Ages

By Johanna Smith B.Ed, Cert Early Childhood, Teacher, Rockingham, Perth WA.

I recently attended a Universal Medicine event day, where a photo from the 1960’s/70’s was presented alongside a discussion forum around health. This photo was of a group of young people who looked at ease with each other, had genuine smiles on their faces, were of a healthy weight range and their bodies reflected an openness and naturalness. The photo was really pleasant to see and reminded me of the feeling of being free in my body that I had when I was very young – something that could not be faked.

As a whole, we looked at the photo and shared what we saw before us. There was pretty much a consensus that this photo was sharing something that was not commonly seen in today’s society. It was not only showing how the individuals were, but it also revealed how they were with each other, how they felt and more importantly what they were reflecting about life back then. A way of life that, from this photo, seemed to support bodies to look and feel vital, engaged, open and ‘healthy.

Serge Benhayon then presented and facilitated us through a valuable workshop around the word ‘Health’. Much was discussed that was clear and made complete sense, yet some of it I had not really considered before.

The presentation and conversations in the workshop made me realise that the words ‘health’ and ‘being healthy’ relate to something we have now come to perceive as something that we ‘do’ in life – as one part of life. We have, over time, created this meaning to be what it is today and put ‘health’ into its own compartment, somehow separate from the whole of life. Therefore we are now living by a false – a bastardised – definition of ‘true health.’

We started by talking and sharing what ‘health’ means today and this created lots of discussion. Serge asked the group to split up and sit into age groups of 80 year olds, 70 year olds, etc., all the way down to under 20 year olds. Each group discussed and shared life, health and what it meant and looked like for them as they were growing up. After this we all came back together to share what we had discussed in our age groups with the whole group.

In order for us to get the true picture of ‘health through the ages,’ Serge asked us to share about health and life from our age groups, starting with the oldest group all the way down to the youngest group. This is where the whole group was able to see and feel ‘health through the ages’ – basically how we as a society have moved from what was depicted and evident in the photo shown, to what we see and feel in people’s bodies, behaviours and attitudes in and around health today.

Generally it was shared that the people who were in their 80’s, 70’s and 60’s did not really have a clear definition of the word ‘health’ back when they were growing up, except that the absence of sickness generally meant you were healthy. These groups shared things like serious illnesses – such as cancers, diabetes, mental illness – were rare and hardly spoken about; that life and health was one and the same and it did not carry its own activities or definition. Life’s activities back then were what kept you healthy and people didn’t make time to ‘be healthy’ or ‘do health.’ This point alone was very interesting to hear. Health back then was without definition but the way of life was what supported healthy bodies. So at this point there was no compartmentalisation of ‘health’ in life.

Then, as those in their 50’s and 40’s shared, we could start to see that some health fads were coming in; being healthy was getting promoted, but life in general still had more play and activity than it does today. This group shared that people did do sport and for that they exercised and kept healthy, people did have an awareness about eating habits, yet there still was not a complete division between life and health, even though it was starting to creep in. This group also shared that more awareness of some illnesses were creeping in and it was heart disease that was spoken about the most at this point.

As those in their 30’s and 20’s shared, the absolute shift and compartmentalisation of health was obvious along with the great deterioration in the way of life, relationships, behaviours and activities, and the dramatic increase of serious illnesses and diseases within it. This group shared that being healthy meant you went to the gym, went for a run, did aerobics, ate certain fad foods, were a particular image and fitted in, and so on. Yet health here all took place in isolation to life, was a part in life but not a natural part of a way of living.

This means that activities and behaviours that go completely against ‘true health’ – ones that in fact abuse the body such as drinking, excessive exercise, smoking, starving oneself, overeating, eating sugary and fatty foods, spending excessive time on technology devices, getting little sleep, working in drive and so on, can play out while the body that is doing them still considers itself ‘healthy’ because it spends some time at the gym or ‘doing health’ now and then. And so the lie of health today is revealed.

Meeting the criteria of the current compartmentalised perception of health today such as going to the gym, exercising and eating certain foods, does not mean that one is truly healthy. One could say that this mentality allows us in society to continue in our ill ways and deteriorate, without choosing to be aware of unhealthy patterns and behaviours, let alone look at the root cause of why we choose them. The lack of self-responsibility is then taking place because we collectively now ‘box’ what ‘health’ is. How can we ever consider that true health is about the ‘all of us’ – our mental health, our physical health, our way of relating to people, our confidence, feeling settled and supporting our body and ourselves in all areas so that we can be all that we are designed to be in life – if health today is a tick box exercise?

The thing is, we all have values and every human being on earth knows these deep down. True Health means we consider how we work, how we relate, speak with family and friends, the depth and quality of all our relationships and interactions, maintaining a consistency, respect, sensitivity and much more. It means we consider absolutely everything about us; how we are and most of all the fact that others are always on some level affected by what we think, say, do and express in life, just as much as we are. We may think whatever we like, but our bodies reveal the truth of our choices and the quality of the relationship we have with them, ourselves and life is the foundation for living in a way that is either harming or truly healthy.


Read more:

  1. Have you ever considered what is true health and wellbeing?
  2. Is the answer to our health right under our nose?  

464 thoughts on “Health and Life Today and through the Ages

  1. True Health means we consider absolutely everything about us, without acknowledging every aspect of how we live, we do complete disservice to everything we are.

  2. ‘True Health means we consider how we work, how we relate, speak with family and friends, the depth and quality of all our relationships and interactions, maintaining a consistency, respect, sensitivity and much more.’ I agree, health is not just staying physically well, our whole way of living is important for our wellbeing.

  3. It’s interesting that in the 60’s/70’s that there was no real concern about our health until someone got cancer, polio and measles, and yet in comparison to today it seems that everyone has a health issue or knows of someone close to them that has a serious health issue.

  4. There is a common perception that Elite athletes are seen as being the pinnacle role models of health and well being in our society. After all they have a team of health professionals watching their every move, supporting them with how they eat, checking their vitals etc. But I question if they really represent that pinnacle of health, because if this truly was the case, then why do they get cancers, anxiety, depression etc? Something from the equation is missing…And if we make an elite athlete our top standard and role model for health, does this mean that a person in a wheel chair for example, can never be healthy?

  5. People have different versions or different standards of health – there is the standard that says ‘if I don’t have cancer or another illness or disease then I am healthy’; and then there is the next standard that says ‘if I don’t have a cold of a flu this year than I am healthy’; and then there are the ones who say ‘if I do not smoke or drink then I am healthy’; and then there is again those who see health as exercising a lot, running and doing yoga etc etc. But very few if any talk about true vitality and joy and having mojo and purpose in their lives. It seems that this level of health and well being has been forgotten and even abandoned. Perhaps it is time we revived the original meaning of health by living it to the best of our ability.

  6. Quite strange if you think about the fact that we can consider ourselves healthy in today’s world because we go to the gym and do a work out, regardless of the fact that we might go out and drink alcohol and do drugs and party late on a weekend. And we excuse that behaviour saying we do not do it every night and that most of the time we make healthy choices. But what is it that makes us believe that we are in fact then healthy? Could it be that we have settled for a compromised definition of the word healthy?

  7. In medieval times herbs were greatly used and in modern times chemicals are the basis for medicines. For me herbs work with the body and feel more gentle. Pharmaceuticals have their uses but they also have their side effects. They also have the added burden of the energy under which they are manufactured and sold, clearly with profit in mind.

  8. There are so many versions of healthy. I used to think I was a healthy eater but still would experience symptoms that I knew were not 100% healthy, like runny/blocked nose, disrupted sleep, bit of a lower back pain sometimes, all things that maybe most people would consider acceptable because they didn’t impact life particularly. But my ‘healthy’ eating or my ‘healthy’ yoga didn’t really shift the symptoms. It was only when I came to understand the body with its energetic aspects, thank you Serge Benhayon, that I begin to make the changes needed in my diet and my approach to life, where no longer did my body need to communicate with those particular set of symptoms, yet, there is a constant communication from my body that I can be responsive to. That to me is true health – not that we are symptom free, but that we are responsive to the underlying messages from the body and choose to make changes that address the energetic/behavioural aspect of the symptoms aslong side the physical.

  9. I love listening to our elders and seeing these narrative snapshots – we can glean a lot of understanding of how the world was a couple of generations ago, and then understand the trajectory we are on from that perspective. But we can also know that same trajectory by looking around us and clocking what does not match what we know in our bodies to be a true way of living. The more truth /love I allow myself to know in my body, the more I see and understand around me.

  10. We are totally lost whilst we think we are living “true health” whilst we are overriding the Divine messages of our body.

    1. Ah, I love that Joshua, the addition of the word Divine – of course they are Divine messages and not just ‘messages’ when our bodies are made of the same matter as the universe!

  11. There is little that we see in our current world that is promoting true health from within. Everything is offered from the outside and interestingly enough, sold to us as a quick fix when what resides within is calling us to release the true vitality that we are all craving for.

  12. Health is unique to us, hence why a one-size fits all ‘health program’ will never work – each person at their own stage needs different bits to support them.

  13. Health has become a multi million dollar industry, everything is based on diet and exercise, yet we all miss the most important ingredient which is what we can do for ourselves by way of our everyday choices.

  14. What should be clear to us is we are moving further and further away from the truth and the trajectory we are plotting as a race can only lead to higher rates of illness, corruption and disease. Time to change our direction.

  15. We are always wanting to find a way that is better, in all aspects of life from fashion to technology to cars etc. With out trying to hold on to the ‘old ways’ and always open to evolving and expanding we could stop and reflect back like this blog offers how there is a vast difference as to how much simpler life used to be and this offering space to be where we were at and not seeking the next new and advanced things. It is so clear from generation to generation how it has become less and less the simplicity and being and more about a life of seeking and complication.

  16. We certainly live a very different way to how we used to, and this is very evident in our health and vitality. However it is possible to choose not to follow the norm and live a far more simple and healthy life that honours our natural way. We do not have to be a statistic.

    1. What you share here Rebecca is immensely powerful as it lets us consider that the way we live is our choice, we can change at any moment how we live and can choose to live in anyway we wish. What if we chose love as the basis of how we live?

  17. The reality of the past that health was part of the way we lived and not something separate that needs to be done is very revealing of the intensity we have created life to be now and the enormous rise in illness and disease, so common it has become normalised more and more each day. Serge Benhayon and the Way of the livingness is offering the world a way to come back to who we are with a joy, vitality and true health as part of our lives in every moment and the settlement this allows us from inside.

    1. Spot on Tricia – joy, vitality and true health are inter-related and you cannot have one without the other, and when you bring them all together, it is accessible to all, regardless if you are in a wheel chair or living with cancer. I know of some beautiful people that are vibrant and radiant and joyful and living with cancer, whilst others who have no illness or disease feel far less healthy in their body – this is an eye opener to what health truly means!

  18. We have raised the bar of intensity on this planet so high, on this I think we can all agree. And it seems that we still have further to go before we really take on board the horror that we have created, and just how far we are away from living the simplicity of who we truly and naturally are. Thank you Serge Benhayon for reflecting the Way of the Livingness in your every word and movement and in this showing us our true nature within.

  19. I think in some ways we are heading towards defining health by the absence of cancer or something immediately life-threatening, rather than having a connection with a true sense of joy, love and vitality in ourselves. When we drop our standards it’s like we’re normalising being less than who we truly are.

  20. We have to stop and consider what is nowadays considered health. When we do not have the joy, love, openness, vitality, sensitivity and acute observation of a young child, we are not well. If we think we are healthy, we are lying to ourself.

    1. Exactly I wonder what my daughter will understand health to be if she just observed the world around her? Very different from what I would have done when I was young and yet now we get to re-set the standard of health to be something far greater than just not having a terminal or serious illness.

  21. It is so important to have markers for where we have got to. The slide into ill health has become so normal that we have forgotten what a truly vital society looks and feels like.

  22. It’s fascinating how with each generation our understanding of well-being and health has changed. Personally I would have thought that ‘well-being’ was ‘well-being’ and that its meaning would be constant, but to discover its re-interpretation is a surprise. It makes sense that in every way we have changed the meaning of words and life over time to be something it originally was not.

  23. Health has been made into a commodity… You can buy health through vitamins, gym memberships and diet fads, but is it truly health if when those purchases do not actually contribute to settlement in the body?

    1. I’d say that’s an example of how we can think of doing health in a compartmentalised way rather than appreciating it is intrinsically linked with how we are in every aspect of our life…

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