Seekers’ Guidelines: Everything Is Food

posted Dec 2, 2012, 2:26 PM by Interfaith WS

            For five years after turning twenty-three, Stanley lived in an ashram in upstate New York. A confict with the swami-in-charge ended in his departure and a loss of faith. Now he sought to make sense of it all.

            “There are so many do’s and don’ts,” Stanley said. “Don’t watch TV. Don’t read novels. Don’t wear polyester. Don’t hang out with worldly people. What an unnecessary regulation of our lives! Is it not enough to get up early, meditate, and stick to a vegetarian diet?”

            Darshani: Everything is food, not merely what you chew in your mouth and digest in your stomach. In P.D. Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous, Gurdjieff explains that air and impressions are also food. Sounds that enter our ears, sights we see, objects we smell, taste and touch, objects that touch us, and thoughts that enter our minds from forces near and far – all are food. These foods consist of force fields that impinge upon and alter the force fields that flow through and around us.

            From your studies with the swami, you probably learned that we have three bodies: physical, subtle, and causal. Every food force that we take in also has three bodies. Its grossest dimension feeds our gross body; its subtle dimension feeds our subtle body; its causal dimension feeds our causal body. Whether we are conscious of it or not, at every moment in our lives, the forces we imbibe are feeding all the planes of our existence.

            An orthodox rabbi once told me something interesting that relates to this idea. He said that written in a Hebrew scripture is this dictum: “when you go to see a holy man, do not wear a garment of mixed fibers.” The rabbi did not know the reason for this injunction. Sages in the East would say that in the presence of a master, one should make oneself as receptive as possible to the master’s fields of force. For example, one’s body should be still, one’s mind silent. One should eat nothing and wear nothing that would adversely affect the reception of those finer forces.

            Spiritual seekers try to attune themselves to the highest possible vibrations, to subtle and powerful forces. So the most important aspect of spiritual work is purification: preparing both body and mind to receive higher forms of energy.           

            Do’s and don’ts help weed out harmful foods in myriads of forms. To the extent that we consciously control our intake, to that extent we progress. If we do not take such measures, we may move one step forward in an hour’s meditation, and six steps backwards for the next twenty-three hours. It would be like pouring water into a bucket with a big hole in the bottom.