I enjoy eating. I oftentimes eat a lot even when I am not hungry. When I feel a need for some comfort, out comes the popcorn or the cookies. Or I’m just in the habit of putting something in my mouth as I watch the Brewers on TV or some romantic drama with Mary.
I completely forget that food is my closest physical connection to God.
That’s what Yoga says: All physical life is composed of earth, water, fire, air and space, which flows directly from the Source of Life, called Brahman (Consciousness). These elements, unlike in the Christian Tradition, are the essence of God-made-manifest in Yoga’s understanding. They are, to use the Christian theological term, the Incarnational Presence of the Divine. These elements make plants and seeds for vegetarian humans and animals. These animals, then, are eaten by humans and other animals. These foods become God’s physical presence within our bodies. The divine life in them is passed onto the animals and humans that eat them.
We eat God’s life force—most of the time.
However, the Yoga Tradition says that some things that we eat are dull and heavy and not life-giving. These are called tamasic foods. These are foods that have artificial ingredients made from the body parts of dead animals. The ingredients become heavy bricks in our stomachs. These are foods that never decay and have an almost eternal shelf life. Not even the former living enzymatic bacteria are alive in them. The “biotics” of life are even missing. These are foods with preservatives in them that kill the life-giving organisms and enzymes that give our bodies spiritual energy. These are the foods that give us artificial energy from their refined starches and sugar-based substances.
The essence of God’s physical presence, because there is no actual life in the food, is not encased/enfleshed in these foods. Therefore, that divine life is not passed onto the animals and humans that consume and digest that food. We and they gradually experience “chronic wasting”. The physical essence of our human bodies is gradually depleted of the substance of God—God’s living earth, water, fire, air and space.
All living food sustains all aspects of our life and is sustained by the Source of Life, God. So, all living food invigorates us with God’s life when it has life within it. That essence of life feeds us physically, mentally and spiritually because God’s life flows through it.
The yogis believe that we must eat food that retains this life within it, not food that is lifeless.
As I look around me today, I see a lot of people who eat a lot of dead things—chips, dead animals, cookies, cakes—and drink a lot of beverages–liquor, soda, sport drinks— that create a sense of life within us but that are really false life-givers. Our “food” stores have complete aisles of such “ingestibles”.
Thankfully, the Spring growing season is upon us and I can again renew my commitment to fresh, locally grown food. Mary and I can even reestablish our practice of sprouting. Thankfully, too, the farmers’ market reopens soon. There’s even a group of people who are establishing a Farm2Table Co-operative in downtown Fond du Lac (farm2tablefdl.com). These 65 owners/members need more people to join them so they can develop enough equity to establish a storefront in Downtown Fond du Lac.
The Divine Mother wants to give us life through the food we eat. Now all we have to do is make the effort to sustain that life in our food and in ourselves and in our eating and drinking habits.