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(Over)eating

January 17, 2007
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“Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food. But to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.”–Hippocrates, M.D., 460-377 B.C.

This precept seems to be quoted a lot by fasting supporters, yet, they failed to mention where the quote came from. I am not able to find the source either. So if anyone does know, please tell me.

Our society today has the tendency to prescribe you a pill whenever you do not feel well. I grew up expecting the doctor to give me some medicine of different colors, and later also some injection. I believed that the subcutaneous injection (usually contains tetracycline) would certainly benefit my recovery. So I was really surprised the first time I paid a visit to a Dutch doctor when I catched cold. He merely came with a good advice, ‘Take rest.’ Later I found out that despite our great achievements in medicine, we still got no remedy for viral infection. Antibiotics, one of the most wonderful discoveries of our time, kill bacteria and not virus.

Believe it or not, a few years ago when I was still a freshman in spiritual life, I mentioned to some professor that I would like to do research on the physiology of meditation. The professor came with another advice, ‘Why don’t you look at some more concrete measurements, e.g. which cytokines are produced by meditators? If they are indeed beneficial for our health, we could put them in some (wonder) pill and give them to the patients.’ I did not know what to say then, he utterly missed my point. I would like to understand meditation through the currently acceptable scientific methods, how mind could influence your whole (well) being. Yet, he was more interested in creating a new drug. I left the room and never came back.

We are urged to eat more, even at this very moment there is advertising on TV promoting some supplements.Yet, have you ever considered the possibility that we might be better (healthier) if we eat less?

Once a girl told me her story concerning (over)eating. She had intestinal inflammation which got really bad that she had to stay in hospital. The doctors were puzzled since they could not find the cause nor gave her the right diagnosis. No medicine could help her either. So they sent her home. However, she said she read somewhere that avoiding animal products might ease her problem. She became a vegetarian and voila! She got rid of her inflammation. I was still an omnivore at the time but her story did impress me.

Now I am a vegetarian. However since a few weeks it seems like that my body asks for more, it ‘begs’ me to lose some weight! First I had to give up meat, since a few months I could not tolerate coffee, and now this…

They say that to develop in sprituality is a wonderful quest since it is an endless journey, a terra incognita, you could always learn more. I guess I have to listen to the outcry of my spiritual self, and give up another ego (read: my desire to eat the quantities of food that maintain my weight).

To booster my self motivation, I remember reading some sentence concerning ego. Too bad I don’t remember where I read it, possibly some sermon of Meister Eckhart, the one titled ‘From whom God hid nothing’. Correct me if I am wrong.

There is always some ego that you can give up.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 8, 2007 03:02

    Membaca tulisan-tulisan Shinta… sepertinya Shinta (jika Suluh boleh menilai) mengutamakan “way of life”… seperti juga banyak orang mengikuti jalan yang Shinta ambil, walau tentunya dengan ragam wajah yang berbeda… nice…good luck… keep smile:)

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