Mohanji has answered a lot of questions about food so far.Yet, this time he dedicated the whole blog to it. Always fresh and new, deepening our understanding to the ultimate liberation. Let us all resonate with these truths, digest them well and above all, live them.
Once again, some more food for thought. I was answering some queries of our Madhuban Restaurant (Satwic Vegetarian Restaurant in Gurgaon, India) team on food. I thought I should share with you the gist of discussion, which may provoke some thoughts in you, too.
Food that we consume each day is mainly of three kinds. Food for the body, food for the mind and food for the intellect. All our intakes are bound to have some effect on us. So, what we consume have a lot of say on what we are today!
Tangible food is helpful to sustain the body. It is meant for that. But, when food becomes recreation, or, if we eat because we are bored, restless or insecure, or just because we have nothing better to do, obesity happens. Since everything that goes into our system can be considered as food of some order, it happens on all three levels – such as body, mind and intellect. I shall explain this further.
We do consume food every day. We should – to keep the body alive. Body is the temple of our soul. So, we must take care of our body. And as we know very well that food is mainly of three kinds. Food for the body, food for the mind and food for the intellect. If we eat more than the body needs, it could cause imbalance in our system. It could result in indigestion and if we over-eat continuously, accumulation will happen in the body and the visible sign of that accumulation will be obesity.
If we feed our mind on too much data, emotions, feelings and information, clutter will happen and either constipation (gloom, depressive moods, etc.) or loose motion (outbursts of every kind) will happen. The staple diet for the mind is emotions. So, if emotions are not happening on its own in your life, mind will find ways to create it, for the mind to survive! We can see spontaneous quarrels over paltry, insignificant matters all around us. We can see people picking up arguments for nothing. We can also see people using intoxicants to “open up” a quarrel or to “make a point”, which leads to continuous emotional outbursts over a period of time.
The same happens with intellect. If we overload the intellect with knowledge, it becomes inactive. They often become theoreticians or they become impractical in the regular world. Sometimes, the more degrees you accumulate, the less practical you become. The bigger the clutter, the lesser the flexibility. An obese mind and an obese intellect are much more harmful to the person than an obese body.
Body has intelligence. It obeys its own order and it has nothing to do with the conscious mind. Bodily functions are auto-run by the sub-conscious mind. Thank God! Conscious mind usually only creates problems for the body, by indiscriminate inputs. It either becomes over-cautious and starves the body or eats emotionally and abuses the body. Body has its system of detoxing. It segregates, digests, uses the essentials and discards the waste. It runs this machinery without any fault, if only the mind does not interfere. Every anxiety and every fear the mind experiences affect our digestive system, too. This is beyond the faculty of our sub-conscious mind to prevent. These are sporadic and unplanned changes affecting the system. How can the poor, programmed sub-conscious mind beat it?
Mind also has its own way of cooling its system. Sleep is one. Total shut down is another. Some people just collapse and shut themselves down when they are overloaded with emotions. Mind also diverts its attention to something not-so-important – just to escape. Mind loves escapism. It hates facing bitter realities. This is why people usually do things that they “LIKE TO DO” rather than what they “HAVE TO DO”. It is a challenge that all those who want to liberate themselves must consciously observe. Are you doing things that you like to do, due to whatever reason or what you HAVE TO DO? If everyone does only what they have to do, life would be simpler, world would be better. When we only do what we have to do, we will also allow others to do what they have to do. A live and let live situation! Beautiful! But – Alas! We love to do what others do and also do only what we like to do, even if it is escapism from our immediate reality. And, when things go wrong due to our escapism, we blame others and try to escape further. How can we run this way? What can we run away from? Obesity is increasing in mind, and soon we will fall.
Forgetfulness or memory loss is one of the ways that the intellect detoxes. It even takes a step further, it deletes the memory completely or continuity completely or leaves insufficient fragments which never provide the effect or intensity of the subject matter. We may even completely forget the emotion or feeling related to the event, the person or the knowledge. Even if we consider the mind and intellect as two sides of the same coin, forgetfulness and memory lapses can be seen spreading beyond boundaries or walls of these. It is difficult to draw a clean line between these two.
Obesity makes us inflexible. It makes us heavy. It limits our mobility. Physical mobility, mental mobility and intellectual mobility. In these three levels we should be flexible and mobile. If you consider this well, physical obesity is probably not so bad as the other two. Mental obesity and intellectual obesity are really troublesome for a healthy living. An intellectually or mentally inflexible person will fall many times in life. Whatever toxins that make these two obese have to be carefully removed. Physical obesity is the only one immediately tangible and visible to senses. But, mental and intellectual obesity reflects all through in our character as well as daily life. When ego is high, we are heavy. Ego makes us heavier.
Sometimes we also see people carrying themselves with borrowed feathers. Just like a crow that stuck peacock feathers over its own and pretended to be a peacock, and fell flat when the real test happened, many people pretend to be what they actually are not and try to get away with it. This is a clear expression of insecurity or emotional obesity. Falsehood is definitely obesity of the mind. Anything unnatural in the character adds to obesity. It means this person is definitely prone to disease or a total shut-down. There are many people who are not-so-rich, but pretend to be and move in the rich circle. And when they fail to live up to their image, they borrow to continue their pretension and their whole family suffers various calamities in the bargain. Selfishness is also obesity of the mind. Anger, fear, jealousy, selfishness, treachery, deceit, recklessness, etc, etc. are all expressions of obesity. So, as I said, an obese body is much better compared to a crippled or obese mind or intellect. Physical obesity could be reduced through physical training and medicines. Mental and intellectual obesity are even more difficult because, you cannot see it in front of your eyes. You can only feel it in the character. And by default, we either glorify it or tend to ignore it as insignificant.
Overdose of knowledge makes people obese in their intellect. Ego is the result. Ego alienates. It makes them more and more rigid and inflexible. Discriminatory facility of the brain is a blessing if used wisely. It tells you that touching fire is not a good idea as it burns. It tells you not to tease a snake or a tiger. Such guidance keeps us in good shape and health. But, when discriminatory faculty is used for comparisons between two people, or to get upper-hand over another, or to cheat or kill another, it is a sign of disease. This is invisible obesity. It kills. It violates. It kills and violates character and destiny. It makes a mess of our life. This is why most of the soap operas and movies which portray cunning, violent, and treacherous people as its characters serve as poison to our mind and take the viewers away from purity in thoughts, words and action. It destroys our inherent innocence and goodness.
I think this is sufficient food for thought for the time. We can explain this for hours. But, the bottom line is, Beware of Obesity. Especially the obesity of the mind and intellect. This is very harmful for your existence. The “lean state” of mind and intellect is being simple, straight, pure and unaffected. Most of the physically obese are very good at heart. Those who are physically obese could be physically inflexible, but are not so disease prone as much as the mentally and intellectually obese are. We should be careful about our inputs, in all three levels – body, mind and intellect. This means, we should operate from the present, in the present at all times, during our waking state. We should gather sufficient strength to discard trash food in all three levels and embrace healthy food. Reduce compulsive input and stay healthy.
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