Does what we eat have any bearing on our spiritual lives?

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Yahisha
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Does what we eat have any bearing on our spiritual lives?

#1 Postby Yahisha » Sat May 23, 2009 6:59 pm

Greetings to all,

Here is a quote from a Gnostic author that I would like to share, whose identity I will keep anonymous, it reads,

"no matter what any of us achieve in lofty diatribes, spiritual awakenings, gnostic insight, visions, dreams, samadhi, bhakti union, or out of the body experiences, and no matter how far up the Ladder of Light we are either in formal or actual initiation, if we have not compassion and if we have not a pure vegan foundation to our life then we are as nothing and we are no where in regards to climbing up the mountain of initiation, for she that lives off the needless suffering of other creatures cannot be considered truly good."

Over the years I have personally experimented with various dietary regulations & restrictions based on the notion that adherence to such will further enhance my spiritual life and level of realization/God Consciousness. In the end, however, I found that my diet be it vegan or omnivorous had no effect on my state of consciousness whatsoever.

It seems that there is trend in various religious streams like certain forms of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Gnosticism that promote the principle of ahimsa (non-violence) as a way of life and advocate various forms of vegetarianism to further achieve this end. Buddhists and Jains are notorious for going to great extremes to avoid inflicting harm or injuring living beings by covering their mouths with cloth and sweeping wherever they are going to step to avoid killing insects, for example. So it seems to me that when we take the principal of ahimsa to its most logical conclusion it would indicate that we not interact with the material world at all, as to do so would mean to risk inflicting certain injury and suffering to another being.

While I support non-violence and see vegetarianism as a logical way to embrace such, I am not inclined to make a religion out of it because it is impossible to live in this world and cause no harm here. Every time we walk on grass we kill insects, when we drive our cars we accidentally kill animals, we even have to kill plants in order to eat them as they are merely another manifest form of life. Unfortunately the very nature of life here is that one being exploits another for its own survival making the world one giant predatory cafeteria, and biologically speaking, we as human beings are a microcosm of this macrocosm of predation.

Lacto-vegetarians condemn omnivores; vegans condemn lacto vegetarians; fruitarians condemn vegans; etc, etc, etc, it’s all rooted in duality, in my opinion. Our existence here is a paradox, we desire peace and non-violence but are uniquely entangled in a world where in order to exist injury and suffering must be inflicted. It is unavoidable, and thus I merely see no reason to ‘spiritualize’ diets of any sort. The vegan still causes harm in order to sustain his/her existence like the flesh-eater. So does one being a vegan qualify he/she as being truly good as the anonymous author I quoted earlier believes? This brings to mind the following statement made by Yeshua when he said,

"10And he called the people to him and said to them,"Hear and understand: 11it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person." 12Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" 13He answered,"Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit." 15But Peter said to him,"Explain the parable to us." 16And he said, "Are you also still without understanding? 17Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20These are what defile a person."

If I understand Yeshua correctly here it seems in a certain manner of speaking that he is saying that regardless of whether we put an apple or chicken into our body they both share the common destiny of being excreted as feces. Quite a sobering thought when I think of it in this way really. So I would say that what we eat has no bearing on the inner state of our heart & soul or on our eternal heritage as Sons and Daughters of the Most High.

If anyone finds this topic to be one of interest I would love to hear everyone’s opinion on the subject.

Much Love and Light in our Lord Yeshua and Lady Magdalene,

-Yahisha

Brooke

#2 Postby Brooke » Sun May 24, 2009 4:10 am

Greetings in the Light of the Spiritual Sun !

Indeed, there is something to what you've said. Becoming a vegetarian doesn't make us more spiritual or enlightened. More important than any outer or exterior appearance is what's going on within the internal or interior life. As one wise teacher has said, What does it matter whether or not you eat pork if you behave like a pig-man or pig-woman ?

I consider myself a Sophian Gnostic and Follower of the Way, but I do partake of meat, primarily fish and chicken just because it's healthier.

However, I respect and appreciate those who have given up meat as part of their spiritual journey or just because they think it's less violent and more humane. As part of humanity's evolution -- and the awakening of our human spirit -- we are becoming more cognizant of how we treat our Earth Mother and her earthly angels. That is a good thing, a sign of humanity opening up. (Of course, some cultures have practiced this for a long time but this is a fairly new "trend" in Western society).

What is also important for me when we eat -- whether animal or vegetable -- is that we thank our Mother for nourishing and sustaining us with all of her earthly gifts. Sophians believe that when we consume these gifts from the earth we are taking in the spiritual sparks that those beings held. So, if we are thankful and respectful when we consume these sparks -- and we truly believe this in our hearts -- then we are paying homage to the Mother and the beings themselves.

Yes, when we walk on grass we may be killing insects -- this is part of the dance of life ... and death. But how do we walk? What is in our hearts? That is what's important. I think many of those who sincerely approach life by being better caretakers of our earth -- by recycling and foregoing meat in favor of vegetables -- are walking the walk of their human spirit coming into fuller realization. But those who walk the earth cognizant and respectful of our connection to the Sacred Unity -- and eat meat with respect and walk with respect for God's creation -- are also walking in step with our Holy Mother and the greater awakening of their Human Spirit.

That, my friend, is what's important.

Shabbat Shalom!
Brooke

Yahisha
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#3 Postby Yahisha » Sun May 24, 2009 7:09 am

Shalama Brooke,

It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

But how do we walk? What is in our hearts? That is what's important.

Amen and thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Blessings...

- Yahisha

Tau Malachi
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Freedom in Christ

#4 Postby Tau Malachi » Mon May 25, 2009 10:13 am

Greetings in the Light of the Messiah!

Yes, truly, our diet has little to do with the development and evolution of our soul or consciousness, or our self-realization in Christ, and according to Master Yeshua what we eat is not an issue, but rather, our intentions, our thoughts, speech and behavior are what matters – it is what we hold in our heart that is the issue in the Divine Life. This is made clear in a story told in Acts about a vision that St. Peter had concerning foods. Visiting among gentiles he was concerned about Jewish dietary laws, and sought to abstain from eating profane or non-kosher foods. In a vision, however, he was shown all different kinds of four-footed creatures, reptiles and birds, and he was told to eat from what was presented to him. Naturally he objected, responding that he had never eaten anything unclean, but a heavenly voice in the dream tells him, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” This happens three times in his vision, and upon coming out of the trance state he has a very different attitude and teaching regarding foods and diet.

It seems perfectly fine to me if a person pays attention to their diet to have a healthier body, and I can respect the person inclined to be a vegetarian and such because they do not like meat, or because concerned about animal people and wish to cause the least suffering possible, but to propose that this or that diet, in an of itself, will bring about spiritual progress, or that anything external will bring about the realization or enlightenment of the soul in and of itself, and that it cannot be done any other way, I cannot agree with – that just seems like more of the same old age dogma and religion to me, whether put forth by a Western or Eastern tradition.

More than because of what is said in Christian and Gnostic scriptures, though, I cannot agree because I know better in my own experience – I’ve known profoundly realized and powerful individuals who followed no dietary restrictions whatsoever, and in my own lifetime I’ve followed no dietary restrictions and it has never compromised my spiritual and mystical experiences, or my ability to pray, meditate or perform sacred ceremony in the least.

Of course, what I’d sharply disagree with are dogmas that suggest self-realization, enlightenment or nearness to God is dependent upon some dietary restriction – if, however, a person elects to use diet as a spiritual practice, and does not attempt to impose their practice on others in a self-righteous and dogmatic fashion, I do completely respect their choice and way of spiritual practice. I do not doubt that it might be helpful to some individuals, and I do believe that we ought to do whatever works for us – that’s the Sophian view of the spiritual life, we sojourn the path in the way we each resonate with, all as we feel guided to do, taking up spiritual practices that are useful and beneficial to us.

St. Peter’s vision is really very interesting, for it is not just about freedom from the law in Christ, but it is about being present with people and loving people in Christ, and really being able to connect with others to share the gospel of truth and Light Transmission – and it is also about humility and dispelling the klippah of self-righteousness.

It does go deeper still, though, for while we seek to realize and embody our energetic being or soul, reintegrating the body and soul in this life, and while we do seek to embody the Light-presence (Christ) and the Light-power (Holy Spirit), the aim is the generation of the spiritual body, the body of light, and a transcendence of the necessity for physical or material incarnation (the resurrection and ascension) – the physical body is an impermanent vehicle through which the soul can be actualize and realized, and is good, but we do not want to be overly identified with this name and form, and our personal history, nor overly identified with this world.

We are here in the world, but in Christ we are no longer of this world – we are of the Pleroma of Light, the eternal realm.

It is our intention, and our thoughts, emotions, words and deeds that generate our spiritual body, and the awakening of the Fiery Intelligence in us – not what we eat or drink.

If some special diet helps us generate mindfulness and the presence of awareness, then perhaps it may be of some help, but it is not necessary. Prayer and thanksgiving, and invoking God’s blessing upon our food, will also serve to do this, and then eating in gratitude and mindfulness, with a conscious intention to uplift the sparks of what we eat and reintegrate them with the Light Continuum (Yahweh).

The real question isn’t what we eat or drink, but it is how we use the life-force we take in, how we live our lives in Christ – when we live in a conscious way, and die in a conscious way, then we uplift and reintegrate the sparks we take in.

This reflects the view of our Christian Kabbalah.

The Life Divine is really very simple and does not need to be made complicated by all manner of religious rules and dogmas. It is this: Go within and live within, and open to the Holy Light from above – receiving the influx of that Holy Light, the Mother’s Force, let it illuminate your mind, heart and body, and seek to live in harmony with that Light-presence and Light-power, all according to the knowledge, understanding and wisdom granted to you in Christ.

The Life Divine in Christ is nothing more or less than this.

May we be blessed and empowered to live in Christ, liberated from bondage to the law and religion, free in the good grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi
Sophia Fellowship
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

IshiYahu
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#5 Postby IshiYahu » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:21 pm

Beloved Sophian Sangha,

I have found the compass of Ayurveda to be an invaluable resource in making decisions about what and how to eat in a way that supports the cultivation of non-dual awareness. The rishis certainly had deep insight into this matter and left us with a wealth of wisdom on the gunas or qualities of manifest nature and how we can honor and keep them in balance. With that said, this is a "crazy wisdom" tradition and adepts of the Tantric teachings, such as Nagarjuna, tend to disregard anything conceptually formed, or calculated, in favor of the flavor of basic spaciousness.

Over the past six years, I have experimented with fasting, live-foods, the ingestion of metals (alchemy), and plant-spirit teachers, in order to effect and awaken "the fiery serpent intelligence." I find that I function optimally on all levels when I maintain a "ritually purified" body-mind temple. Through Ayurveda, I have come to identify myself as a fire (pitta) dominant being and I continue to learn ways to dance with my particular elemental condition. Certain foods and activities bring me into balance and others can be aggravating. It amazes me how well mapped out this process is and with skillful application and most importantly- intention - I continue to find ways to transmute any situation into an opportunity to cultivate "Bodhicitta" or "Christ Consciouness."

Though they are two seemingly different ends of the spectrum, I find myself seeking to integrate the crazy-wisdom practices such as "chod" or ego-severance with the peaceful path of the Essenes and Sufis. I can see how being focused solely on the preservation of the body can be a vanity trap, preventing the actualization of the True Light; yet this is a precious human re-birth which we must use skilfully so as to break the samsaric cycle.

May we learn to extract the Gold of Primordial Wisdom from the all-pervasive suffering of cyclic existence, cutting-through ego-attachement and awakening the heroic resolve of those gone-beyond, Yeshua, Miryai, Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyal.

In the Light of the Messiah,
IshiYahu


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