To really get to grips with bodily urges, to dismantle and elude these reflexes one has to get into the machine code of our programming, the habitual thoughts conscious or unconscious that direct our feelings and actions. The continuous conscious combination of the measurement of the tangible with the awareness of the intangible provides a powerful synergistic one two punch to any dark motives hiding in our psyche. It constructs both an external and an internal framework for a practice of consumer consciousness.
The act of consuming cannot be divided off from everything else in our life. We can make great efforts to separate it but ultimately we eat as we are. Our choice and manner of eating betrays all our secretive thinking that we hide from others; it’s disguised autobiography. Mental disorder will be manifested in our urges towards food and it’s these actions that reveal the truth not what we say or try to appear. Confusion chooses confusion and chaos works outward from the inside.
The urge to eat more than we physically need can be overpowering but framed in a larger pattern of thinking it can be tamed, made a toy of greater forces. Considering what the mind goes through every day it’s little wonder the body is sometimes collateral damage. Merely being aware of our hectic thoughts will slow them down and with little effort enable less destructive physical patterns to lock into place.
An alertness fueled by hunger works against both the instinct for the mind to sleep and the body to consume. By bringing consciousness to our acts, by shining light in the dark corners we bring order to thoughts and their consequent actions. Even small baby steps in this realm become giant strides for our well-being.
When we bring a fuller consciousness to eating we can’t help but bring it to all our activities. A fuller consciousness of living is perhaps the purpose of existence.
A slight hunger is a small price to pay for an increased alertness that gives the possibility of fuller more effective and happier living. If nothing else it’s a more elegant way of being.
Awareness is the brake on the runaway train that is the hyperactive mind. A slowing mind is less likely to create a synthetic hunger, a deficit more of the spirit than the body. We often discover that what we thought was genuine hunger was really just a mood that passed over like a shadow of a cloud on the hills.
We often discover that what we thought was genuine hunger was really just a mood that passed over like a shadow of a cloud on the hills.
Once a commitment to consciousness is made mild hunger is part burden and part release, the lifting of a cloud of obscure dullness. That there may be physical benefits too is no more than a bonus.
Like an exercise regime eating restriction produces some slight if persistent physical dissonance but without any corresponding psychological stress. It may even ease any existing conflict as becoming more attuned to physiological processes supports a similar attentiveness to psychological ones, a healing force for the mind. Mental awareness will be cause then effect and then cause again of any program of eating awareness, a virtuous circle indeed. As two hands that wash each other the psychological and the physical are locked in a cycle of cause and effect, so much so that where one ends and the other begins is hard to say.
In confining the innate urge to eat we have created a physiological imbalance, a vacuum that strains to be filled by something else. That substitute is a gain in consciousness itself. In equilibrium we become as psychologically drawn to the rationing state as we’re physically resisted by it. The greater mental clarity and well-being awarded us is a prize we probably weren’t expecting. One may find that the gain in mental well being is quite equal to the physical one.
Are we building a better body, a better mind or increasingly, both at the same time?
One of the revelations of healthful existence whether physical or cerebral is that it’s more a process of exclusion, of deletion rather than addition. Through our ambitions and ceaseless motion we’ve been conditioned to become adding machines, layer upon layer of thoughts and activity. Truly less is more.