The food we eat evolves in our digestive systems to maintain our health while the things the body cannot make use of involves and is jettisoned out (if our stools remained in our bodies, we would succumb to all kinds of diseases).
Same with the air that we breathe in each day. “Air” is a higher form of food, without which we would die within minutes. Air also contains more elements and effluvia than we are aware of.
According to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, air brings in more nourishment to our bodies than physical foodstuffs. He also stated that our lungs absorb different substances out of the atmosphere—according to our various states of mind and its passions.
George Gurdjieff took this concept of breathing as a form of “eating” even further. He commented that if we exhale important elements out of our lungs because we have ignored our spiritual challenges, these elements are not only jettisoned out of our lungs, but failing to fulfill their intended and providential purpose of feeding a higher, spiritual consciousness in us, involving in the atmosphere to form various contagions (like viruses).
In other words, when we care only for ourselves, we take in less atmospheric elements (Swedenborg called these rarefied elements “atmospheric salts”) than when we sincerely care for others. So when humanity becomes less spiritual, we create the very conditions in the atmosphere that nurture diseases, especially those that infect the lungs (which represent negative influences that adversely affect our understanding and rational minds). Evidence for this sorry state of affairs is that these diseases and contagions are not foreign, but have a built-in affinity for thriving within the organic structure of our lungs (as though they were coming home to roost).
Such profound knowledge will take part in the future of medicine.
Our actions (and passions) determine our health—on many, many levels.