The Spectrum of Eating-Consciousness
by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D.
Head Minister, "Amplifying Divine Light in All" Church
I offer these sketches with a smile and no truth claims whatsoever.The whole blog is meant mainly to be thought-provoking and humorous. I confess that I wrote it with particular people in mind, whom I was describing...... The descriptions jump around "zones," and obviously put into words what someone at that level could not verbalize.
It is SOOOOO partial. I invite others to add and expand.
This was written within my own version of the Spiral Dynamics spectrum, definitely not the new Wilber terminology. NOTE THAT TURQUOISE AND TEAL IN PARTICULAR ARE DIFFERENT HEREIN from the current Wilberian labels.
A complete descripiton on this subject could be a whole lot longer, but this gives a flavor :). This description includes both individual-developmental and societal-evolution level aspects, but not in any complete or systematic coverage of either aspect. I have hardly at all addressed any of the many related matters such as one's relationship with one's body, the whole psychology around feeling nourished, the interpersonal and individual-developmental aspects of food and eating, issues of the soul not fully accepting embodiment, etc. I wish to emphasize that many factors influence eating; level of consciousness on the spiral, as portrayed below, is only one factor.
Definition of Eating: what is eaten, how much, when, in what settings or contexts, with whom, for what reasons, and what it all means to the person. (That is meant to cover all four quadrants, whether it actually does or not.) Not every aspect of the definition is covered for every color; I have just given a few of the most unique or prominent features for each color.
Remember like all spiral-of-consciousness matters, these descriptions for the different levels are not either-or; some aspects of earlier levels are integratable into later levels. I have deliberately included some of what might be regarded as healthy and some of what might be regarded as unhealthy aspects of each level, any of which can be carried into the worldviews of people predominantly at more mature levels, as healthy "transcend and include" or as unhealthy shadow. A future version of this blog might have more of the former, the healthy aspects, to help us understand the value of them throughout development.
Below are descriptions mostly the the actual experiences and feelings and motivations around eating, more than (but not ignoring) the concepts people have about eating.
Not every person at each level has all of the consciousness described for that level.
As with everything I write, the point is not whether my characterizations are accurate as to the level-label I have given them; the point of the exercise is to contemplate our own and others' consciousness around eating and become more aware of it.
I eat pretty much whatever I can get my hands on. I eat pretty much whatever is available, handy, and easy to get, like from machines at work or the trees around me. I eat whatever I can afford or the foodbank has. I eat whenever I can get eatables. I like to have eatables available all the time.
I go by habit or instinct or what I see others eat, in deciding what is OK to eat and what is not; I don't think about that issue.
I won't eat what I don't like. Period. I spit it out if I taste it.
I don't think about the effects or results of eating; I eat because I see others eat and it's something that brings some pleasures. I am not thinking about health, or cultural aspects, or longevity, or survival. I don't really have a concept of "food" or any ideas of what happens to the stuff after I chew it up, or why I am eating in the first place. I see things and I put them in my mouth and chew them and swallow them. That's the extent of my concepts of "food" and "eating."
Some people are allowed to take food away from me, and I am allowed to snatch food from some others. Sometimes I eat alone, and sometimes with others, no difference.
I don't prepare food in any way, either by cooking, grinding, or whatever. I do select which parts of plants I will eat, and I do peel my bananas.
I eat with rituals, like blessing the food. Blessing the food means I or the medicineperson/shaman put good spirits/energies into it and take bad spirits/energies out of it.
Sometimes I eat for specific ritual purposes, for the effects of the food and the eating process on my relationship with the spirits. Eating with kinfolk is best, and eating can be a ceremony for us.
I bless and thank the animals I eat, for giving their lives for mine, as they have spirits, as everything does.
Some foods are inherently sacred and others are not. All foods are provided by the spirits when they are smiling on us and when we have done what we could to get them to smile on us.
Different foods are the job of men and of women. Some foods are recommended for one or the other, or forbidden to one or the other. Men and women have different roles in the various ways we obtain and prepare foods, by hunting, gathering, carving, drying, cooking, grinding, mixing, etc.
We mix various foods together to make stews, graincakes, etc.
Feeding people is a way of showing welcoming and caring; accepting food is a way of allowing oneself to get integrated and accepted into a group.
Some foods can be literally transformed into something else, by those who work with spirits [bread and wine to flesh and blood of Christ.]
Some things people can take in give them unusual experiences, enabling them to enter the spirit realm or communicate with spirits better; these things are reserved for those whose role is to interface directly with spirits, or special occasions.
Some drinks, properly prepared, give me unusual experiences, make me happier and give me a pleasant buzz in my head, and sometimes a hurting head, later.
I eat what I damn well please. I eat what tastes good. I eat what I crave, and however much I want.
If the food is not the temperature I prefer, I won't eat it at all. If it's not the right flavoring or preparation or texture, I won't eat it at all. If it's not in my favorite dish or bowl, forget it.
I eat foods that reflect my status in the power hierarchy: common foods or special foods, high-status foods like spices, chocolate, imported teas, and white refined flour, white refined rice, white refined salt, and refined sugar. I like to be seen eating foods and in circumstances that show others how much power I have. I like to be seen in the best restaurants where the maitre d' knows me. I eat the foods and in the ways that my socioeconomic class eats.
I enjoy eating foods that require elaborate prepration that someone else has prepared.
Roles concerning food and eating are quite varied and distinct; I do only my own role.
Sometimes I enjoy participating in or watching various eating contests, like to see who can eat the most sausages in three minutes. There can be winners in eating!
Life is dangerous so I sometimes eat and put on weight to be sure to have enough.
I eat what the authorities tell me to eat. I eat kosher. I eat no meat on Fridays. I eat plain food because I should not indulge my senses or get too much pleasure from eating.
I eat the foods that my culture or religion eats; those are the best foods. I use the eating settings and habits my culture or religion or group has.
I eat what's "in" with my ingroup, my peers.
I thank my God for providing food and ask my God to bless the food so I may be more conscious of my God.
Some foods are symbolic representations of abstract ideas.
Women are cooks; men are chefs.
I eat what and how science and medicine say is good for bodies, health, longevity. Science and medicine say certain foods are good or bad for my health, so I will make some attempt to eat that way. Science and medicine say food should be clean, and I should eat food with clean hands. I will make some attempt to eat that way.
Because science and medicine do, I begin to distinguish what is nourishing food from what is "empty calorie" food. But this is mostly conceptual understanding, a rule for me to follow.
I eat on the run, because I am so busy. Eating is not a priority.
I enjoy convenience, processed foods. Isn't science wonderful??
Things are getting better and better with respect to food and eating. Progress is marching on. We need to keep up with the latest.
Food and eating are big business now; I want my share of that.
Eating to Get Ahead is a fine book I recommend.
Honey, we need to invite the boss and my department over for dinner.
I eat what gives me pleasure. I eat comfort foods. I eat what my friends give me. I like to eat with my friends and family. Eating can be a bonding experience.
Eating together is a good way to get to know someone.
I like to try new and different foods. I enjoy the variety of ethnic foods available.
I eat with consciousness of where the food came from. I like to eat locally-grown foods from humane and sustainable agricultural practices. I eat organic food because it supports organic farmers who are mindful of the earth.
As a man, I am expanding my role in the food preparation process, and ejoying the ability to cook for my partner. I also enjoy the independence of being able to cook for myself.
I can't eat comfortably knowing others elsewhere are starving.
I treat my body as a precious, valuable, unique individual, a complex Being who is in my care. I get to know my particular body and what benefits or harms it as a unique individual. I eat with awareness of the effects of what and how I eat on my particular body as it is right now.
I make an effort to know and use what scientific and medical knowledge is available about the effects of various foods on various bodies, and I try to individualize it for myself. So I choose mostly foods that truly nourish my body, provide it with nutrients. I tend to avoid foods that science or medicine regards as toxic to bodies in general.
I eat for a variety of reasons at various times. Mostly I eat for health and longevity, but sometimes for comfort, for sheer sensory pleasure, or for sociability.
I eat with awareness of the entire context of where my food came from and how it got to me, and I am grateful to every force of nature, every plant, every animal, every invention and process, and every person who contributed to bringing this food to me.
I allow my consciousness around eating to shift and evolve. I am expanding what the various aspects of eating mean to me, and I am expanding my practices around and relationship to, those various aspects.
I eat what my body/soul intuitively wants right now, which might be different from what I crave or what I enjoy, and might or might not match what science says is good for everyone, or what was good for me yesterday.
Eating is a process by which I experience the integration of body, mind, and spirit. All these are included in my choices around eating, and I experience my foods and my eating as multi-dimensional processes, involving physical, mental, emotional, social, and transpersonal or spiritual experiences. I am aware that subtle energies pervade my foods and water, depending on where they came from, and who has been involved with them, and I am learning to shift those energies to be more beneficial to my own self.
I love eating with others because it creates a field of loving bonding energy.
Eating and all the life experiences associated with it are for me among the great joys of being in embodiment. I experience them as a form of communion with all of life, with All That Is, in material and nonmaterial realms. I am nourished by the Divine or Kosmic subtle energies in foods and water, as much as by the molecules and physical aspects.
I appreciate that food and eating are a special part of the experience of being in this life-form.
THIRD TIER--TEAL (what we might call Enlightened or God-realized)
My body and Self are optionally material, so it doesn't ultimately matter what or when or how I eat or don't eat. My body is nourished and renewed by the Light and Love energies it is composed of, by the vibrations of All That Is. I am One with all I take in, and I transmute the vibration of everything I take in to match the highest vibration of my body, so when I eat physical food, I am eating Love and Light that I am nothing but. I am composed of the same energies as the foods I eat, in fact, we are not separate, we just differing frequencies of the same energies.
I accept and allow and enjoy all that arises in my embodiment around eating and food, including my choices and desires and aversions and concerns.
Consciousness-expanding comments and critiques invited, remembering this is a tidbit, not meant to be a meal. LOL
by Rev. Alia Aurami, Ph.D., Head Minister, Amplifying Divine Light in All Church
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