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Beyond the Science Diet

Mar 02, 1997 04:38 PM
by RIhle

The recent discussions regarding vegetarianism etc. have been interesting;
unfortunately, I do not have so much to contribute in way of a "final
conclusion," since I am still basically an experimenter when it comes to
diet--more or less an ever-changing "pill-and-powder" person, as one of my
friends calls me.  I do, however, think that "Psychogenesis" might be of
ancillary interest here--not in terms of  ~what~ one should eat, but rather,
in terms of the Levels of consciousness which could be involved with one's
approach to eating.

As many of you know, I believe that Psychogenesis is already a major
component of THE SECRET DOCTRINE and related writings.  HPB does not name it
as such, of course, but it seems to be the natural term to add the
psychological perspective to Cosmogenesis and Anthropogenesis.  It seems
important, however, to understand ~psyche~ in its original Greek-root sense
meaning "soul" rather than the loose variety of ways modern psychology often
renders it.

Psychogenesis is literally the process by which the soul "grows" or
"generates" itself into the various Degrees of advancing Self-awareness
necessary to remain present and perhaps "mediate" the various Levels of
consciousness an individual can be in from moment to moment.  To have a soul
at any particular Level simply means that one has not transmogrified the Self
(Atman, Undifferentiated Consciousness, ultimate sense of "I AM") into 100%
that Level of consciousness--i.e., that a "Divine Remainder" is still present
as "Silent Watcher."

>From a theosophical point of view, then, the important difference among
individuals seems to be not in their IQ's, erudition, physical or emotional
traits, etc.; rather, it is at what increasingly subtle Level of
consciousness do they necessarily lose all awareness of themselves.  Since an
advance in the Degree of the soul tends to "pull up" the preferred Level of
consciousness that a person regularly utilizes, it might be worthwhile to
look at four possible Levels and their implications for eating:

DESIRE-FEELING LEVEL:  A person simply desires a particular food and then
either eats it or isn't able to eat it for some reason.  In terms of
consciousness, the person is either temporarily egoically united
("I-deluded") that he or she is the desire for the food, or if thwarted in
the indulgence, egoically united with the emotional feelings of frustration,
jealousy, deprivation etc. because he or she cannot eat what is desired.
 There is no actual mental component the ego-formations which come into being
here; however, "ex-post-facto" thinking can be involved --i.e., rationales
can be developed to justify eating what one desires (e.g.: "When you are
dead, there is no more chocolate.")

DESIRE-MENTAL LEVEL:  Here, the desire-tainted mental nature actually becomes
the basis for ego-formations (rather than simply using rationales as servants
of desire-feeling ego-formations).  One example of desire-mentalism in eating
might be vegetarianism based upon sympathy for, or desire to help, the
animals.  Another might be a body-builder's diet where taste of the food is
secondary to its usefulness in service of the desire to have a body with
great muscle mass and little fat.  Logic prevails at this Level;
unfortunately, it is logic which serves a specific desire-purpose.

MENTAL LEVEL:  This is the Level of pure dispassion and the "Science Diet."
 It might be argued that it is impossible to approach eating in a perfectly
mental manner since ~some~ desired outcome--overall health, feeling of
well-being, etc.--must still be involved.  Perhaps the "desire" for the
non-specific, general, all-inclusive, optimum functioning of
everything--energy, physical, emotional, mental, and Spiritual--must be put
in a different category from desire-mental desire.  Who knows?  In any case,
~experimentation~ and ~dispassionate analysis~ are probably key ideas at this

SPIRIT-MENTAL LEVEL:  This is the theosophical Level.  A person utilizing
this type of consciousness would probably DIRECTLY APPREHEND (but possibly
not be able to support with reasons satisfactory to others) exactly what and
where, and why and when and how, and who (requested by Chuck) . . . to eat. .
. .

Is there really a Spirit-Mental (Buddhi-Manas) way of eating?  I believe so,
but it is really only conjecture on my part.  I, at least, have never been
~aware of myself~ eating in such a way.  You see, to ~ensoul~ ("imbue with a
soul") such a high Level of consciousness (remain aware of yourself while you
utilize the consciousness) would mean, from the Psychogenetic view, that you
would have to be experiencing at least ~savilkalpa samadhi~ (the Atma-Buddhic
Soul in awareness of itSelf).

Furthermore, if I ever do reach such a moment, it is doubtful that I will be
interested in finishing my dinner, anyway--irrespective of how many starving
children my dad used to say there are in China. . . .

("Name one," I once answered him back.)


Richard Ihle

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