The sensuality of moderating the senses

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Food is a tool we use to fashion life but it’s not a substitute for it. It’s necessary but not sufficient for fulfillment by itself. Sensuality as a purpose for living is really a philosophy of stunted ambition.

Sensuality is the fullest expression of the self; say what you will about it it may well be our most sincere activity. We often like to keep this expression hidden as there’s nothing fake about it, nothing we can control to display our best face.

Such is the habit of sensuality ingrained in us it may take many years to orient ourselves away from food as entertainment, as a parody of fulfillment and instead move more toward life itself.

This loss of sensuality should not be mistaken for the withdrawal of “living in your head”. The objective way of living is intensely physical and uses our senses more fully and precisely than ever before. We become more engaged not less with the world around us. Objective compassion is akin to empathy but higher and wiser in that it sees what’s best for the whole rather than taking only a partial viewpoint.

One finds that to reduce sensuality in one activity is to reduce it in all activities, rather like the drawing of a well lowers the water level for all nearby wells. Sensuality retreats so letting fuller and sharper senses move in to replace it.

In truth sensuality is both reduced and transferred as senses rearrange and compensate. For example a relaxed walk in the open air can gain sensual charge; the taste of the dusty trail on the soles, the cool scented air on the skin as you ingest the clear light.

Insight as art and science