Updated: Feb 17
The Fruit the Builders Rejected
Eating and digestion is the transformation of ingested substances into usable energy. The view of western scientific materialism is that humans are entirely a physical being which runs on physical fuel. There is a prescribed amount of calories with a recommended daily amount of each macronutrient (Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Lipids) and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals). Religions, Spiritual modalities, and Complementary and Alternative medicines known to the East and other cultures do not acknowledge that this physical body is our only and sole energy in the world. There is a vitality, or spirit responsible for all transformations of matter taking place. In addition to our physical body there is a soul. That which is food for the soul is the real means by which life is spirit breathed, rather than one purely lived for the desires of the animal body. Hunger is the Yin to the Satiation of Yang. The animal body hungers for the fulfillment of its organic composition, the soul hungers for a meaningful existence. In Kabbalah, all of the plants and animals on which one feeds, are physical creations of the desire of the original soul (Adam), in the higher worlds these are manifestations of the souls desired nutrient.
Genesis 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
As there is no fruit on the earth which is eternally satisfying the soul always hungers for more, leading to what Buddhists call Tanha (thirst, or craving). If our soul could eat the fruit of eternal satisfaction it would not be fettered to exist corporeally, there would no longer be a nutrient or desire for a nutrient keeping us in the world of mortality, the world of desire, samsara. The Eucharist is eating and swallowing the acknowledgment that one is already full in his heavenly nature, while on earth one still hungers. In eating and hungering one misses the mark and is identified with the flesh. In practicing fasting, by abstaining from food one becomes more full of the Incorporeal. Buddha and Christ are both known to have extensively practiced fasting, uniting with their physical essence as Enlightened (Buddha rebuked on the doctrine of asceticism later) and as God the Father. Both these figures are sometimes portrayed emaciated, being not but skin and bones.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
When one partakes of a spiritual path, a discipline, or a past time, it becomes as one of the trees in the garden, one wishes to share in the fruit and seed of that tree. When one judges any of the trees in the garden according to the Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil then it becomes a sin, and then one is kicked out and no longer able to take of any of the trees therein. That person may become as a phoenix and rise again, being reborn as someone who has partaken of knowledge of Good and Evil, and is allowed back into Eden, they have gained the wisdom of discernment.
So the mortality of man is a parable of the nature of his soul, his hunger for fulfillment in the flesh comes to an end someday, but the hunger of his soul does not come until that day in which he is part of the eternal.
Daoism identifies this dual nature operating in creation as the trigrams Kan and Li, Water and Fire. Kan is Yang in between two yins, symbolizing his eternal nature trapped in the world of yin and desire on all sides. Li is yin between two yangs, the illumination of the temporal within the eternal. In making a hexagram of the two; Li on top of Kan is called Before Completion, the state one exists in when pursuing anything outside of you, Kan on top of Li is called After Completion, where the piece sought after in the life is returned to eternal providence. When eating or hungering one is in Before Completion, after eating and when full one is in After Completion. The Daoist Immortal is able to freely travel between the worlds of Yin and Yang, partaking and still remaining in purity, they are like Adam and Eve in Eden. In the Daoist context, the less one relies on food, the more one transmutes into a body of Qi, or energy. Fasting doesn't diminish energy, it actually frees it.
My inspiration for writing this came from observing the holy days of Lent, I've long been a believer that humans can receive or come into eternal life. While I did not completely fast any day, I was more mindful of consumption, and lessened the amount and portion of eating on several days and nights. I also drank a large amount of water. There were times where hunger got the best of me and I ate, but I observed no strict prohibitions. Hunger can be reined in with attitude and focus on the goal of eternal life. In sin hunger is exaggerated, one wanders farther and farther from God given fulfillment. In thankfulness for every moment, every breath, every bite, the energy travels farther, it becomes like water, carving away the stones. When one feels forced to keep commandment, you are always on the verge of being cast into hell, when one is always thankful and loves to keep precepts, then the true holy life is upon you.
The deluded mind mistakes food for the necessity by which life lives, the enlightened mind knows it is a temporary delight. Science has gathered a lot of evidence of fasting having the ability to clean up ones body, whether this is evidence of a spiritual truth or a scientific mechanism waiting to be discovered in greater detail is open to subjective interpretation. To me it seems water is better able to grant life and upgrade ones energy. If you do a fast or observe a special diet, water remains essential. One dies without water much quicker than one dies without food. Water is the most fundamental nutrition, it is the conduit for all life as known on the earth to exist.
When it comes to literal dieting, food should be remembered within the individual context in which you eat, it is a means to an end, before, after and inbetween, where you source it, how you prepare it, and what it contributes too. Perhaps it is a reward to your animal body for all its toil to the spiritual master. I personally recommend food closer to nature, based on the scientific assumption that the body was designed to handle only the Macronutrients and Micronutrient substances, and anything extra is polluting. In addition dietary protocols and stepping up ones intake and reverence for water, I also recommend learning physiology and biochemistry. Learn how ingested nutrients are utilized. What is in the domain of your flesh comes under your control. Try sinking into the innate bodily processing of food with intention for where you want that energy to reach and join with. At times a bit of comfort food can be nourishing for the soul, so long as you have the fire to transform it. Whatsoever you eat, whether meager or abundant, be thankful for it.