As we near the end of the twentieth century, the new age remedies and spiritual magic bullets seem to be multiplying exponentially. As our societal dis"ease" slowly develops a tolerance and resistance to each new pill, opportunity is rich for astral hucksters and pyramid schemes that prey on the disillusioned masses. The "soul" food consumer’s motto must be "let the buyer beware" as we settle into a different paradigm of bodymind healthcare.
Bill Wilson, a cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, noted that while some people had dramatic mountaintop spiritual experiences, most of us are apt to have a gradual increase in consciousness, or as William James put it, an awakening of the "educational variety." The solution lies in staying consistently on the new path, leaving behind destructive attitudes and behavior, keeping a constant eye toward the observation of reaction to the environment, and generally seeking support from the like-minded. In order for us to have sufficient momentum for an ongoing awakening, all aspects of the bodymind must be included; we need do more than talk the talk. Almost fifty years ago Moshe Feldenkrais boldly stated, "I contend that all successful [psycho]analysis, whatever technique is employed, is invariably accompanied, and probably preceded, by an alteration of posture and a change of muscular habit both in body and face."* True awakening must come from the very core of our being and proceed in all directions.
What is it we want from spirituality? We look for stability, or better said, balance, since living requires movement. (As spiritual beings we move towards evolution or involution; the idea that we can remain the same is an illusion.). It could be said that our overall diet is unbalanced, that some nourishment is lacking, leaving us empty and looking for something to fill us. Many of the quick fixes are like spices, convincing us temporarily that we are consuming something different. However, for the long term we need an entirely different substance. This is called metanoia, a new way of thinking, or if you like, of digesting impressions.
Now that we are getting an idea of what we are hungry for, we can start looking for recipes. There exist many traditional methods of preparation and even some updated versions that are easier to translate or digest. Since we need nourishment on many levels, we can omit the ones that are specific, or specialty dishes. It has been said that man cannot live on bread alone. This leaves us with esoteric truths in the form of parables and mathematical formulas. For us to have a balanced diet, I recommend a variety of recipes, of course combined to taste or digestibility.
The question remains as to how we prepare the bodymind to assimilate this food. Our junk food diet has left our palate in a state of confusion. Receiving gentle guidance honoring the unity of all aspects of the bodymind will empower this awakening, which is an ongoing process that requires maintenance, to begin. Consider using support groups and bodymind practitioners to help you gain momentum in this process. Soup’s On!
* Moshe Feldenkrais, Body and Mature Behaviour, 1949. P. 129.