How You Eat Has a Direct Effect on Your Spiritual Growth
Science and spirituality on food, compassion and ascension
Whether we were raised in a religious background, or whether we learned it from the general culture of our world; most of us are familiar with the “ritual” of praying/giving thanks to the food we’re about to eat.
Our ancestors didn’t always have access to food, so we developed quite a strong relationship with it.
Eating is not only one of life’s most gratifying pleasure, but also a vital one — one without which, we wouldn’t live. If we pay attention to how our body behaves whenever hungry, how we respond to the perception of a meal we love, saliva production and so on — but even more importantly; how, almost unconsciously, voracious we are during the act of eating — it becomes clear that Mother Nature insists we eat. And no one messes around when mom talks.
What’s the difference between a dog, and a human being? I’m not talking about ears and tongues by the way. A dog cannot act beyond his/her “default settings,” like barking, having fun, being loving, sleeping, and so on. What about us? Well, we can bark, have fun, love, sleep, and we do it most of the time — no wonder why we’re such best friends with dogs… But we can also do more. We can land on the Moon, we can understand the Theory of Relativity, we can develop fiber optic technology, infrared goggles, et cetera.
While most of our animal and plant neighbors live within their predefined parameters; we, human beings, are gifted with choice — the choice to live as we already are, or to do something else — to use what we’ve got, and bring it to its next level of evolution.
And how do we do that? By looking beyond the boundaries of our instincts, beliefs, body and mental patterns, and so on. We can have sexual urges, we can be hungry, we can seek revenge, we can be unforgiving — that’s okay, it exists in us, it’s real — but what’s beyond these patterns/default settings?
Other life forms don’t have the privilege to question their ways; we do.
We’re gifted with the choice to explore possibilities that exist beyond our worldviews. We’re blessed with the ability to love those that are close to us, but also to love strangers, plants, stars, cats, and so on. We have the privilege of compassion, empathizing with others who live different experiences and yet, experiences that we can relate to.
Most of the time, those “gifts” of ours pop-up randomly in our lives, in moments of rare clarity. But their very existence means they’re within our reach, and that if we “look beyond” the seemingly limited — what we’ve always been accustomed to — we can access those dormant abilities, “activate them,” and evolve in the process.
Cleve Backster is known for “The Backster Effect,” which made him discover that plants, eggs and even sperm, all respond/react to how we think and feel about them. Having worked at the CIA; he became familiar with the polygraph, which was used to detect lies during interrogations. After his career at the CIA, and being fascinated with the polygraph, he went on to research on this instrument when an unexpected event that changed his life occurred. His secretary at the time bought a plant; Backster never had plants, and one day while working late at his lab, the idea of connecting the polygraph to his newly owned plant came to his mind. To his amazement, the plant didn’t have a flat pattern of electrical activity, one that suggested it was lifeless, but rather, one of surprising aliveness. While watching the plant in amazement, an event, which he writes about in his book “Primary Perception,” completely changed the course of his life:
About one minute into the chart recording, the tracing exhibited a short-term change in contour — similar to a reaction pattern typical of a human subject who might have been briefly experiencing the fear of detection.
What this means is that the plant felt “suspected.” To take things further, Backster tried dipping one of the plant’s leaves in hot coffee. Nothing happened. He tried tapping a leaf with a pen. Nothing.
Then, after about fourteen minutes of elapsed chart time, I had this thought: As the ultimate plant threat, I would get a match and burn the plant’s electroded leaf. At that time, the plant was about fifteen feet away from where I was standing… The only new thing that occurred was this thought.
The very moment the imagery of burning that leaf entered my mind, the polygraph recording pen moved rapidly to the top of the chart! No words were spoken, no touching the plant, no lightning of matches, just my clear intention to burn the leaf. The plant recording showed dramatic excitation. To me this was a powerful, high-quality observation… I must state that, on February 2, 1966, at 13 minutes, 55 seconds into that chart recording, my whole consciousness changed. I then thought, “Gee, it’s as though this plant read my mind!”
His research didn’t stop to plants. He experimented with eggs, food, and all kinds of things. Which, unsurprisingly, all expressed aliveness, and responded to intent. Whenever we have negative intentions regarding something or someone, it’s sensed. Whenever we have positive intentions, it’s sensed too. We feel people’s “vibes.”
Go, eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.
Most spiritual teachings, and religious procedures, encourage us to be grateful, to thank the Lord/God/Life/The Universe for our meals and everything we have. If people like Cleve Backster showed us that our environment responds to our intentions — how we eat, how we live, how we do everything, and our overall intention — must affect everything around us.
Dr. Masaru Emoto is known for having studied water, especially the effect of intention on water and how it responds to it. Through different photographs, he was able to capture water’s molecular structure in different settings.
Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that water dramatically changed its molecular structure according to the thoughts and emotions it received. If we send love and gratitude to water as an example, its structure becomes harmonious, and therefore life supporting.
Whenever emotions of gratitude, compassion or love are directed to water, its structure becomes harmonious. The opposite has also proved to be true. Whenever negative emotions are emanated around water, or directed at it — the structure becomes chaotic.
Being mostly composed of water ourselves: A fetus is 99% water, a new born baby around 90% water and an adult, around 75% water — the emotions we experience, and what we choose to give out into the world not only affects it, but it affects us too. Our relationship with life; people, the environment, the universe is a direct and living one — a sacred link through which we get to learn from one another, and get to honor/revere/respect each other.
yajna-shishtashinah santo muchyante sarva-kilbishaih
bhunjate te tvagham papa ye pachantyatma-karanat
Meaning: The spiritually-minded, who eat food that is first offered in sacrifice/offering to God, are released from all kinds of sin. Others, who cook food for their own enjoyment, verily eat only sin.
When we’re in harmonious states of peace, love, compassion, gratitude, as examples — our behavior becomes more stable, more harmonious, more ordered, more life supporting — which grounds and connects us to everything around us.
Such states make us more conscious, more present and in the moment. And with that presence, compulsive habits such as eating while having our thoughts scattered throughout worries and wishes come to a halt. The increased attention we bring to everything imbues our experience with aliveness.
This is what cancels the “sin,” spoken of in the religious scriptures above. On top of that, bringing more attention to how we eat also makes us eat slower, chewing the food well enough for the digestive system to have an easier time. Nutrients are absorbed faster. And we’re able to get back to work more quickly.
Science and spirituality were never meant to work separately. Both represent the masculine and feminine polarities that make up life as we know it. Used apart, imbalance is created. Merged together, life is created.
Higher principles, taught in different scriptures and spiritual teachings encourage us to look higher, and strive for perfection. How we’re accustomed to live and think makes the process a bit slower. But it doesn’t mean we’re stuck. Remember, we’ve been gifted choice. We have the choice to live as we do already, or to explore what may lie ahead.
We’re intimately connected to each other in ways we don’t always understand. We’re billions of beings living within this singular Earth after all. Realizing that we’re this one big family, and understanding how our feelings and thoughts impact others, and how theirs impact us — dissolves the belief in separation which made us suffer for too long.
Who would’ve thought that something as basic as eating could be a stepping stone towards spiritual flourishment? Living means just that, living every single instant of our lives, and going through each experience of our existence — as if it were the most sacred thing in existence — because it is.