My personal connection with diet and spirituality
When I was 20 years old I broke out in psoriasis all over my body. Normally psoriasis plaques mean there is some sort of chronic inflammation, so I went to the doctor. Of course, he wanted to put me onto all sorts of prescription pills. Because that’s what doctors do. Anyway, it wasn’t until I looked at all the side effects that come with taking these drugs that I realized the benefits greatly outweighed the risk. There had to be another solution.
I immediately started searching the web for solutions. At that time the internet content for psoriasis cures was still somewhat slim. Timidly I landed on a page dedicated to the Prophet Edgar Cayce. For your information, I’m not one to fall easily into any cult mentality. Seriously, I just wanted a solution to this problem and I would take it from anywhere that I could get it.
Cayce had been touted as the “sleeping prophet.” Somehow he came upon his ability to predict the future due to a curious accident when he was a child. Due to this brain injury, he had prolific visions. These visions gave him the power to foretell things like medical mysteries and even world war 2. I wasn’t entirely bought but I didn’t have much to lose here.
The diet was simple. It started with a juice cleanse that developed into your average rudimentary anti-inflammatory diet. Coincidentally this diet also suggested a sort of meditative bath and on top of that my mother also asked that I go to church with her and pray about it constantly. Normally I didn’t go to Church or meditate but since the circumstances dictated it I decided I had no choice but to try everything.
Over the next 6 months, the restrictions in the diet opened my mind. The world took on this new sense of clarity. Through determination and action, I was able to not only cure my psoriasis. I was also able to grow spiritually.
Diet and Spirituality What is the relationship?
There are a lot of reasons why I think that diet and spirituality can go hand in hand. For one, being able to practice self-control goes a long way in spiritual development. Diet, when combined with exercise, can drastically increase self-control and overall well being. When your mind and body are thoroughly optimized, then I believe it provides a shortcut to your spiritual development.
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The mind/body effect on diet and spirituality
Consequentially, Philosophers, and spiritual teachers alike have all known of the mind/body connection.
“To the despisers of the body will I speak my word. I wish them neither to learn afresh, nor teach anew, but only to bid farewell to their own bodies-and thus be dumb.
body am I, and soul-so saith the child. And why should one not speak like children?
But the awakened one, the knowing one, saith: Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body.”
-Thus Spake Zarathustra
There is however some rationale behind mind-body therapies. That is because these therapies use the body to affect the mind. Typically the mind-body therapy has to do with yoga, taichi, qigong, etc. Ultimately though food can be an active therapy in affecting the body which in turn impacts the mind.
Fasting Diet for Spiritual Awakening
During the holy month of Ramadan, fasting is from sunrise to sunset. People wait until sunset to eat a large meal and a lighter meal before sunrise. The fasting period for Ramadan is approximately 12 hours (depending on the geographical area.)
Ramadan also prohibits water and intake of any liquid whatsoever. So its a nil per os regimen.
Superfoods and the Supernatural
Nutrition plays a central role in prolonging your life. There have been several studies that show how diet greatly decreases your chances of contracting diseases. One of the key players in this role of nutrition is to look at the role of Superfoods. Foods that prolong your life give you almost superpowers. With this added health, you’ll find a greater sense of well-being.
Kharma & Hindu Vegetarianism
Hinduism exercises various restraints on certain foods. That is, mainly meat. The main reason for this prohibition is due to the karmic cycle. Eating meat requires taking the life of another life form.
Christianity and Spiritual food
In some cases, there is a deep symbolic connection between diet and spirituality. By all means, it was of course the forbidden fruit which gave Adam the knowledge of good and evil. In this regard, there’s a purely sacred element to the ritual of food. To bring this back around to Christian/Abrahamic mythology, take a look at the eucharist. In this ceremony, all of the followers of the church congregation drink wine and a piece of bread. Wine and bread become an iconic sacrament of their divine deity: Jesus Christ.
Conclusion: Diet and Spirituality what is the relationship?
Overall I don’t think there is any traditional spirituality based around diet. In modern western society, there certainly are a lot of competing theologies based around consumer capitalism. Many of these health-conscious businesses provide a symbolic order which implies spiritual development. However, due to the dialectics of commodity fetishism, we have to be skeptical about these metanarratives. With time, though I think we will be able to further investigate the health-conscious movement and its inherent spirituality.
Regardless of those conclusions, it’s clear that diet is used as an aid to modally effect spirituality in some way. For me personally, I find that being able to control one’s diet also allows one a sense of self-control and mindfulness. Either way, Jesus Christ recognized the importance in maintaining the body.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
-1 Corinthians 6:19
There is no better way to keep the temple clean than with a healthy diet.