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Arnold Kauffman smiles by the cash register at Arnold's Way

On Being the Light and Love

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Stories from Arnold's Way by Arnold Kauffman - Fruit-Powered Digest

It is fall 2013, when by all conceivable possibilities of what to do, where to go, how to live and how to retire at the young age of 66, one would think these matters would represent a majority of my thought processes, having been through the rigmarole of life. Meaning the ups and downs, when moments were so dark, so beyond reason, I was living on threads of hope, just waiting for a sign, any sign, that this darkness would soon fade away and a new dawn would begin.

It is under these auspices of knowing that I write of my monthly 30-Day Raw Challenge. In this program, I literally give a meal and green smoothie away for free or next to nothing for those seeking help, inspiration or a guiding hand to improve their quality of life. In my infinite wisdom, we have responsibility to not only ourselves but others. It’s the nature of who we are. What affects me affects others. On that level, I have no choice in the matter. It’s the way I live and the way I was raised. I was totally blessed.

Reading all my words, listening to the beating of my heart, following my thought processes and watching my actions, you would think I was raised with a silver spoon in my mouth. You would think I was raised in a loving, caring family, with riches galore. You would thinnk I was raised in a beautiful house with beautiful things, surrounded by the greenery of life, with the trees growing tall and the lawn cut shortly.

Arnold Kauffman with Sean at Arnold's Way
Arnold Kauffman (left) enjoys a light moment with Sean, a participant in his special October 2013 30-day program for men. Photos by Miike Pifer, illustrator of Arnold’s book Seven-Point-Seven.

What you would think and the actual reality are worlds apart. I was raised as most Americans are in a poor, dysfunctional family, having no father and raised by a mother who worked long and hard hours to support her only son. What she didn’t have in time, she had in words and actions. This became my salvation. I was raised deep in the ghettos of Philly, where we learn the hard way—everyone for themselves, and don’t trust anyone or you could be next. This was my upbringing.

From those experiences of 17 years, I learned why the nature of who we are is based on love. Those early years were my grounds, my roots for sharing with others. Back in the day, each day I was alive and not beat up was a blessing. Each day, I had to calculate what streets to walk for fear of getting beat up. Those rules that were ingrained in me in the early years still apply to this day. I share and live by these rules. Although puny, white, Jewish and alone, I learned the rules of survival, taking responsibility for myself and not depending on anyone else for support.

Each of us—no matter how much apart—stands alone in the end. So I use my love for myself and my strength to look at ourselves. What is best for our bodies? What are its basic rules for survival? Is it looking for a constant war with digestion? Poor choices can cause hours, if not days, of digestion hardship. Poor choices put every cell in survival mode to keep acid waste from entering into the core of its life force. We, as humans, have total responsibility to ourselves primarily. Otherwise, we cannot be of service to others. I take my skills of survival and feel blessed for each moment.

Arnold Kauffman poses with Demetrius
Arnold with Demetrius, another participant in his special October 2013 30-day program.

As I entered high school, I felt the difference. Each day I made it through was a blessed event. Although it wasn’t a survival for life, it was a hard test mentally. My friend, being a raw foodist is the test beyond tests. We are alone. We are fighting ourselves almost daily against everyone.

At the age of 66, I live a life harmonious to my being, light and love. I ask nothing from others, only of myself, allowing myself to ask of others when needed. I give the 30-Day Raw Challenge on this basis. Hour after hour, day after day, month after month, I share, I cajole. I see the light of what could be. Each moment from high school to the realization that there is a truth within us that demands excellence. So I continue my path. I am guided by the light of love, survival and responsibility.

We each have our own demons that continuously work without rest to lead us astray from our true nature of light and love. So we are given a choice continuously. Do we give in and be taken over by the polluting of life? I dare say no. I live my life with that knowledge and open my doors daily to create a program based on the principles I learn. Each action by the body is a sign of strength, nobility and keeping the integrity of the body intact and at optimum health.

I was raised in the ghettos of Philadelphia, the challenges of an elite high school and the rigmarole of being a sailor during the Vietnam era. I was married for 33 years and lived through the Yom Kippur War, in which Israel was moments away from being totally annihilated. My wife and I were told point blank, “If you stay in this country, we cannot guarantee your safety.” All those choices. All these life-factor choices in which hope, inspirations and building self-esteem could’ve been seen as a hardship, with me as a victim, as a million other choices flow deep into the abyss of worthlessness. So many damn excuses. In my 30-day class, I hear it all: relationship problems, pain, loneliness, self-pity. So many excuses.

Arnold Kauffman smiles by the cash register at Arnold's Way

What we teach is what could be, not what is. We teach what we forget, no matter how bad it is on the outside. Our bodies, internally, have a job to do. All 75 trillion cells work together for perfection, unity and peace—they don’t want to be in a state of war. Our bodies understand truth and lies. As soon as you cook a food above 115 degrees, you destroy much of the life force of the food—meaning the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, essential fatty acids. These become denatured and cannot be used much by our bodies. This food becomes acid waste.

The rules I learned in the ghetto become radiant, alive and aware. The body wants to survive and seeks a way for the waste to be stored safely away or, better yet, be pushed out. As I eventually left the ghetto, high school and Vietnam War and prayed for peace during the Yom Kippur War, each party used its knowhow for survival, greed and power. In each scenario, it did not work. As our body seeks peace, so does the world.

In my own little way, I share peace and love in my community. I share the joy of living a raw food lifestyle with a focus on fruits and greens. I share the joy of giving meals and a green smoothie away for free or almost free. I am well-versed in the laws of the universe. I understand the karma of life cycle. What you give generously without expecting anything in return you get back more generously.

It is on this basis I give my 30-Day Raw Challenge. I have no choice in the matter. What affects me affects others. I am guided by the laws of nature. If I want to live in a world free of war and disease, I have to be the light for myself and share the light so it, too, can be shared. When one tiny light sparks, the whole world will see. Listen and follow the laws of nature. There is no choice. Otherwise, it won’t work.

Until we meet again.

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