What we feed grows.
That is a general law by which we can all abide.
There are many kinds of food that we put into our organism and attention to nutritional whole food is the way to stay healthy. We take care of our body by feeding it the right balance of vitamins and minerals through unprocessed foods free of pesticides, herbicides and hormones.
There are two other foods that are essential to our health as human beings and without which we could not live.
The second is air. We cannot last more than a few minutes without it circulating through our system and into our brain. However, there is something more we share in the air that we breath that becomes soul food. These are finer particles of which we partake consciously and intentionally.
When I take a conscious breath, aware that I am aware and aware of the air I breath, aware of the sensation of that breath something more feeds me. I take in a finer substance that has been there for eternity. This substance feeds my consciousness. I experience presence through conscious breath. This practice becomes my gateway between the inner and the outer.
The third kind of food is impressions and we would most certainly die without them. Solitary confinement, for example, can illicit hallucinations and mental illness. Our sensory perception feeds all of the many parts of us, and most importantly, feeds our attention. When we work to notice what is really going on around us and inside of us, we develop a new kind of attention which becomes food for our transformation.
This is how Self Observation becomes the key for feeding ourselves a higher and more refined diet. If our impressions are constantly filtered by automatically processed responses and habitual reaction, we are giving our soul nothing but Cheetos and Coke.
Our brain is like a binary computer and meant to function as a survival mechanism. Through analysis, comparison and memory, our experiences as children are filed away as good or bad, safe or unsafe according to its survival benefit. This is what created “I like this and I don’t like that” based on what created “safe” regardless of if it was harmful, cruel or crazy.
Through our education and our society, we have primarily developed the thinking, this binary computer as the primary intake system. The formatory apparatus, as it has been referred, has taken control!!
If we don’t learn how to take in pure organic impressions of what is happening, then we get our stock answer, “the processed food”. The filing system takes over, performs search and retrieval and pulls out the memory file which says that thing has been labeled bad, we react and we can no longer objectively see what is in front of us.
Let’s give an example that will help us see how this center, the intellectual center, works. We may have had a parent who had high demands or was extremely critical. As we did things not to their liking, we learned that our actions were bad even if they were authentic and soulful to us. Formatory apparatus filed away certain behaviors that pleased them (good behavior) and ones that didn’t (bad behavior). However, those certain “good” behaviors may have been denying ourselves something in order to please. We continue that habit through various forms like eating disorders, overworking, lack of self care and the whole myriad of self sabotage because that is our habitual “safe”, “being in control”, and “being loved”. We don’t realize we are under the influence, drinking the same old libation that got us “love” a long time ago.
The emotional center also feeds us impressions, but we may not realize that it too has its set of automatic habitual responses that have been neurologically grooved into our system. It works in conjunction with the thinking center and provides a reactional feedback loop almost impossible to escape unless we learn to observe it.
The emotions are energy moving through our bodies; vibration on many levels and play a big part in our survival. We feel emotion as love, empathy, or sorrow and we experience all kinds of negative emotion like anxiety,fear, self pity, confusion, overwhelm, worry, depression, elation and happiness as real. However, many of us think emotion instead of feeling it, analysing good or bad which means judgement and then adjusting the emotion accordingly. For example, you may react to something someone says because it has kicked off an automatic association that is no longer valid. You cannot hear objectively what that person is saying because the stock emotional response has already been retrieved by the thinking. Thus emotions get all caught up in a habitual thinking-emotional complex.
The third means of taking in the soul food of impressions is the body. We can sense our body and it can also take in information about thought, emotion, environment, nature and beyond. When we are angry, we can sense our chest tighten or our jaw clench, and adrenaline rush. Our body may become hot, tense, detect distress or relax. We may sense these aspects of emotion instead of feeling the emotion. Our body can also sense the energy of thought in the way it races or sense the way it acts on our body and our concentration.
We cannot think sensation but when we use intellectual center to find sensation, it can make us believe we are observing something in our body that is really relegated to the thinking only. Most of us are totally unaware that we are doing this because we can articulate what is going on inside of us. It is most often from the perspective of the thinking.
So…you can see that there is much work to be done to see if we actually sense our body, feel our emotions or think our thoughts. We are all inclined to feed ourselves predominantly from one center if we haven’t oriented ourselves to developing attention. Our spiritual work is to notice how we take in information as impressions through each of these modes.
To take in things objectively is like eating a beautiful array of organic colored vegetables. It feeds expanded awareness which then grows.
When we are present, there is a synthesis of impressions from all of these different parts and we begin to see what is deep inside of us from a new perspective,; one that is free of our conditioned responses.