In the Western world, we are used to being chastised and encouraged to eat foods that are good for us – that is – the fruits, vegetables, water, tea, grains, etc. that we put into our body to use for fuel and energy. However, the concept of “food” is much wider in many esoteric traditions. Food also refers to our experiences, environment, thoughts, and actions.
The music we listen to is “food.” So are the words we speak, or that we hear from others. Just as the food we eat can either nourish us, and keep our bodies and minds healthy, so do our experiences help to create us.
For, food is broken down into nutrients which make up our cells, that are then used to make organs, tissues, and hormones. We truly “are what we eat.” These constituents then have a profound effect on our thoughts, emotions, and experience.
Our food literally creates our consciousness. But this is also true for all the other “food” we put into our bodies – our relationships, the books we read, the places we visit, and so on.
Not only must we guard against putting unhealthy food into our stomachs, lest we disrupt our digestion, alter our gut flora, and create havoc within our immune systems, we must also guard against the thoughts, relationships, and other experiences we “consume.”
For example, positive people, who live righteous lives, who attempt not to steal and lie are good “food” for us. Books and movies that show the potential of human beings to live in accordance with spiritual laws, rather than those which show our baser proclivities – like war, violence, sexual predation, consumerism, etc. – are good food for us. This food may not feed our bodies, but it feeds our souls.
So many of the physical health problems we face today – from rampant obesity and disease, along with malnutrition – are also echoed in our lack of nourishing food for the soul. Our souls are starving for the nutrients they need to grow and flourish.
If we are constantly depriving our souls of good, fortifying “food,” then what else should we expect but a world which is so depressed that millions of our youth are taking antidepressants just to cope with society’s expectations of them.
In a world whose collective soul is starving – what should we expect but to see governments that put profit and collaboration with corporations ahead of the well-being of people. What should we expect other than endless war, planned obsolescence instead of sustainability? The pollution of every river, lake, and ocean? The dumping of toxic chemicals in our air, water and soil? And even the technocratic materialism which we see taking over almost every aspect of human interaction. The soul has been forgotten. We have lost the ancient knowledge that just as we must feed our bodies with nourishing food, we must also give nutrients to our Higher Selves.
If you aren’t sure if something is “good nutrition” for your soul, think of it like you do the food that you put into your body. Does it give you energy? Was it made sustainably, without putting stress on environments, and only taking, never giving? Do your relationships fill you up, or drain you? Do the movies you watch inspire you to be a better person, or leave you feeling depressed about the state of the world? Do the books, magazines, and news that you read fill you with hope and satisfaction, or make you feel powerless?
This “food is everything” mentality can even be applied to religion, science, and politics. Do these institutions fill you up with nourishment or cause a sugar-spike, that later drains you of your energy, creating a cycle of addiction in the process?
Everything is food. It is either providing you with healthy sustenance, or slowly creating a cancer that will literally eat you alive. Remember to eat well when you sit down to dinner, but also throughout the day. Are you also feeding your soul? If not, what can you do to give your soul the nutrients it so desperately needs?
What your soul needs may be as simple as a sunset, or as life-changing as a new career, or relationship. Take heed. What you eat, is what you are.