Saturday, April 27, 2019

Transcendent Diet

by Michael Grosso:

Diet in ancient Greek refers to one’s way of life. What you eat,  how you exercise, the kind of society you keep, etc. Diet assumes you’re capable of self-discipline.  Looking for an art form you can practice?  Look no further than the raw material handed to you called daily life. Your ‘diet’ is the art you practice to shape your day to day existence.  Could there be any higher art form?

A good diet should cover both mind and body. Now one problem we all know about is obesity—but there are two kinds of ‘obesity’. Some folks are not literally fat, but their minds might be ‘overweight’.  They might need to lighten up mentally. Their ‘obesity’ lies in the medley of thoughts and emotions that drive their minds. This kind of obesity is easy to conceal; that of the body is quickly exposed, even to the casual observer.  

So, as far as diet, or rules of living, I would pay attention not just to body but to mind. We can be overweight with our thoughts, opinions, dogmas, and feelings that often add little if anything to our well being.  I would consider a diet geared toward transcendence.  It would exclude all useless thoughts, bad moods, negative associations.  It would not obsess over things we cannot control.  It would avoid imagining dangers and enemies that don’t really exist. But it would be resolute in action when necessary.

Epictetus knew it was less what happens to us but how we interpret what happens that makes all the difference. Who but ourselves can guard against the toxic mental inputs we have to deal with daily? Losing mental weight is as refreshing as is shedding those unnecessary pounds that weigh us down.

Going on mental as well as physical diets is the only way to lasting good health. A prolonged fast will detoxify the body and can rejuvenate the body.  A prolonged mental fast will energize consciousness and could trigger unknown powers we latently possess.  

It seems a paradox to say that a flourishing life is based not on the addition of anything but on the subtraction of almost everything.  Also a paradox is that the symbol of enlightenment is not something but no thing. 

To get ourselves into the mindset for this transcendent diet, we have to be ready to break old habits and sail beyond logic. There are people who push things toward the outer limits—people who fast from food, sleep, and bodily satisfaction and from all mundane thoughts, feelings, and desires.  Strangely, if they do this to an intense degree, ‘impossible’ things may occur such as levitation, bilocation, inedia, instant healings, and a host of other supernormal wonders.

It’s a fact of history. These are the effects of a diet of mind and body practiced by yogis, mystics, prophets, and other consciousness explorers.  All the technical gadgets at our disposal today can in some ways make our lives richer and more interesting. But overall the noisy materialism that dominates our world today has caused us to forget whole dimensions of reality.  That same materialism drives the greed, callousness, and inhumanity of corporate capitalism that worships wealth and power over life in all its forms.  With its back against the wall, humanity may find itself going on a transcendent diet.



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