Earth, Water, Air, and Fire


“Classical elements” typically refer to the pre-scientific concepts in Ancient Greece, of earth, water, air, fire, and aether, which were proposed to explain the nature and complexity of all matter in terms of simpler substances. The concept of the first four “elements” has, for thousands of years, been the basis of many ideologies, from astrology to homeschooling! And if you were raised an Adventist Christian, you may have already stopped reading after just the title of this blog, having been taught that these ideas were “of the devil.”

But when this “four elements” concept was mentioned in church yesterday, my immediate thought was that these four “elements” are clearly analogous to four of the “8 Laws of Health” which are so important to Adventist Vegetarian Diabetics: Nutrition (food comes from the earth), Water (the next most important “element” to nutrition), Air, and Sunlight (the sun is made of fire, am I right?). But what about the remaining four of the 8 Laws of Health? I saw these easily as two yin-yang sets: Exercise/Rest and Control/Trust.

I consider Exercise to be the third most important of the 8 Laws of Health, with the ideal goal being 10,000 steps (or 5 miles) a day of walking. And the flip side of that is Rest (or sleep), whatever is right for you, whether it’s 7 hours or 10 hours.


The Control/Trust duality is a little more esoteric but it’s clearly a yin-yang concept. Ellen White’s original word was “abstemiousness,” defined as “sparing or moderate in eating and drinking; temperate in diet.” NEWSTART uses the word “Temperance,” maybe just because they needed a convenient word for the first “T” in the acronym and maybe to emphasize the distinctly Adventist Christian abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Still, the first definition of “temperance” is “moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control.” Ah, yes, Control! For diabetics, the first concept that comes to mind is “portion control.” (More about that in another blog post or article. Also more about the word “moderation” which I feel has no place in diabetes management because it’s way too vague.) I see Trust as the opposite of Control, a necessary balance in any life but especially a diabetic’s. Regardless of whether you choose to trust in God/Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, the Great Spirit, the Universe, or no one but yourself, trust is a letting go of stress and trusting your divine power, whoever or whatever that is, to reduce stress levels in your life as much as possible as stress is definitely a factor in high blood sugar.


So there you have it. Regardless of what you, personally, think of yin-yang, earth-water-air-fire, or the writings of Ellen White, it is clear that the “8 Laws of Health,” however you choose to define them, are a universal truth for diabetics!

For a more detailed description (and more references) to the “8 Laws of Health” as related to diabetics, see



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