Friday, April 22, 2016
by Daniel Raitses
Our health is intimately related to what we eat, and how we eat it. The biggest crisis we’re facing today is that we’re losing our collective knowledge of how to consume our stuff of life. How do we interact with the natural world around us to maintain harmony cultivating the things that keep us alive, while managing the processes that produce them? A lack understanding, and most importantly connection, to what is actually feeding us surely has reflected in the state of our health, this state being directly relatable to our consumption habits. We live through consumption. We consume outside life in order to maintain our own. When we look at the ever-changing consumption habits of today, it’s clear that we’ve lost this connection to the cycle of life. This cycle, present in the tiniest micro-chasm to the universal macro-chasm, is the basis for harmony. For the truest expression of knowledge – what is called evolution [knowledge building upon and reacting to knowledge] – this natural harmony is in place. When this harmony is broken and connection to the life cycle is disrupted, the ultimate loss occurs, we break from evolution, from the progress of knowledge; it might not be a full break, but any deviation is urgently significant.
As the universe expresses itself, and we on earth experience it and live it, our greatest efforts must be in trying to connect with its harmonizing force, its natural life cycle. We have a unique stance as beings capable of relatively high levels of self-awareness or consciousness, due largely to our pragmatism in utilizing the natural forces. Harnessing fire to create high-energy food requiring less energy to digest, creating agri-cultural civilizations, amongst many other miraculous technologies, are only a few examples. Humans can, through observational and intellectual means, consciously steer themselves in the direction towards further evolution. Our instincts and traditional habits can be looked at as nothing more than the mechanisms through which life, reacting to knowledge, functions towards realizing an evolved state of itself. We’re attracted to healthy, strong people that give us a sense of security in one way or another. Our palates, and those of many other species, are drawn to the enchanting qualities developed in cooking foods; those countless alchemic reactions giving way to complex aromas and flavors that impart a deeper satisfaction than when eating uncooked foods. Consuming these cooked foods means less energy spent on digestion, and that, in turn, allows for that surplus to be used in building bigger brains, devising more efficient ways in which we could get our energy, our life.
So the current epidemic of poor health, mostly linked with poor digestion, is also a tragedy of the break in our evolution. We couldn’t possibly evolve towards our higher selves if our habits and lifestyles create such epidemics of illness. If fact, if we had lived, physically and mentally, and ate as we do now, 500 years ago, I doubt that I would be sitting here to write this. I don’t think we would have continued to make it this far. And as it seems that all life is doing but one thing, evolving, taking steps forward based upon current and past experiences, I think we best ought to get ourselves back on the evolutionary track that brought us where we are. That same track which lead us to become the most conscious earthlings is still there, and for the first time we can even recognize its presence and origins, all we have to do is look up from our plates to see it.
Originally published on www.ayurvedafirst.org on Friday, April 22, 2016.