You no doubt know people who struggle with making dietary changes—or maybe you, yourself, have found at one time or another that breaking up with a food or substance is very hard to do. Food affects consciousness in very powerful ways, and you have to be mentally prepared to take a step forward by shifting from one way of eating to another. We came to this earth to learn many things, to overcome all kinds of obstacles and to move forward. Food is an arena in which this evolutionary pattern is being played out in a spectacular panoramic way.
Food affects consciousness, and some people are not ready to move along. It can be so hard for a six-pack, Nacho person to shift to papayas and mangoes, as both the tastes and the effect on consciousness are so different, that some might feel like they’re falling off the edge of the earth. They then hurry back to the familiarity of their comfortable diets and the familiar consciousness of the couch potato or the strong earth-bound man or woman. Now this is not to imply that there is anything wrong with this. In truth, “it is what it is.” We can put aside value judgments so that we’re compassionate enough to see the “perfection” in it all.
Food & Consciousness
Hindus constructed a specific system delineating the effects of foods on consciousness. They classified foods as tamasic, rajasic, or sattvic. Tamasic foods are stultifying and heavy, such as overcooked food, alcohol or drugs. If you’ve ever passed out or witnessed someone passing out after a Thanksgiving meal, you can instantly see that the effect of the meal was like a ton of bricks on consciousness. Rajasic food is stimulating and can make you restless and overactive. In this system, highly-spiced foods and vegetables like onions and garlic are considered irritating to the body and mind. Sattvic foods exert a calming and uplifting influence, such as fruits and vegetables that emerge from blossoms and have a spiritual vibration.
Truly, food carries vibration, as does every living thing. Sattvic foods carry expanded amounts of prana or life force, also called Shakti or consciousness or The Force. You have to be ready for sattvic foods, as they can move you to a level of consciousness that might leave you, like Alice in Wonderland, wondering which way is up and which is down. That’s why you might hear people say that they need their meatball pizza; it’s familiar and grounding, and it helps them feel safe in their own place in the universe.
But when someone is ready, then beneficial life-transforming shifts can be accomplished. You just have to stay alert and tuned to that readiness. Let’s take a closer look at how food affects consciousness.
As you no doubt know, food can affect moods. It can affect the neurotransmitters of the brain. It can have an impact on blood sugar, which can make you weepy or diabetic or nervous or angry. Food affects behavior. Observe a drunken post-football game party versus a picnic with strawberries, cantaloupes and figs. How many children have been quieted down when their parents took them off Oreos and Hostess Ho Ho’s? Apples and almonds have soothed their little souls.
Food is also used for comfort, as you most likely know first hand. People identify certain foods with comfortable states of body and mind—even though the “comfort” may be an illusion. People often have trouble giving up the “comfort foods” such as chips, bread and pasta that they ate growing up. Also, high-carbohydrate foods may have a biochemical tranquilizing effect. To me, this is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s words from Macbeth:
“Look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it.”
In the same way, nighttime snackers, chain smokers, and sugar junkies are enticed by the seeming comforts and benefits of their addictions. They are not ready to move to a new level of life yet. They may find out that they’re being duped by the powers that be, such as the big cookie makers who drug them with sugar to make a profit. As a former sugarholic, it’s a great challenge to stay objective about the big companies who are fostering food addictions, but again, “it is what it is.”
Food Addictions Happen
People get addicted to foods and substances emotionally and physiologically. Their foods and substances keep them at a familiar level of consciousness, and yet these addictions are often ruining their lives. Sometimes people see the connection between food and consciousness. They know the consequences of the junk food or the pills. Ultimately, they’re learning important lessons, and the divine timing for moving on may not yet have arrived. When you’ve truly had it with the old ways, you’re finally ready to move on. That’s a great golden moment in which nothing is as important as making shift to the next level of life. It comes when the time is right.
There are other consciousness states connected with food. Ecological consciousness, for example, awakens you to the ways in which your habits are affecting the rainforests and the oceans. You may then be ready for a shift. Political consciousness is another—in which you become aware of how the big players are making policies and pies and cakes for the rest of us. One day you may say, “I’m not going to take it—not going to eat it—any more!”
Prayer and sacred consciousness is another level, in which you understand food as “prasad.” This is a Sanskrit word that means “a gift from God.” This is a consciousness of blessing everything you eat and drink and of giving thanks always. It’s about seeing how fortunate you are to be blessed with your beautiful food, especially when so many on the globe have so little. It’s about living in this gratitude and joyfulness as often as you can remember to do so. It’s also about having compassion and acceptance for those who are doing things differently. he readiness to shift consciousness determines when people shift their habits and patterns. It’s also about remembering that we are all in the perfect place to learn whatever we came here to learn.
And if you can determine whether your chosen food is a drug or an elixir of the spirit, you will have moved forward in consciousness as you live with awareness on Planet Earth.
Marilyn Gordon is a hypnotherapist, transformational teacher, writer, healer, and internet messenger. http://www.lifetransformationsecrets.com , http://www.hypnotherapycenter.com ; http://www.thewisemind.com . (c)2009
(C) 2009 Marilyn Gordon