I love food. I did not realize how much until I began this little experiment.
Recently I wrote about thinking of food as a software program; if DNA is code, then the zeroes and ones you put into your system through nutrition chemically effect the information in your cells and your system “operates” differently.
This was pounded into my head by my health coach and holistic healer friend Darko Juric who used another computer analogy – “garbage in, garbage out” to drive the point home.
This week I am going a step further – I am embarking on a three day “juice cleanse” to flush out my system and remove toxins – I suppose this would be the equivalent of a virus and malware scan and presumably a system “update” for my operating system.
Day 1: Made it to my afternoon nap with lots of thinking about lunch. Took an Epson salt bath which refreshed me and gave me a bit of energy but no desire to go out and need lots of trips to the bathroom. Have Wimbledon to watch on DVR in the evening but the conditioning of building my evening around dinner is a distraction.
I watched a movie I had recorded – “The Prestige” – about two rival magicians who try to top one another, and one of them seems to do “real magic” – using advanced science – he contacts the historical figure Nicolai Tesla whose knowledge was so advanced that he was ruined by his rival, Thomas Edison.
Day 2: When I woke up I felt like crap, but then I remembered that this is the same way I feel on most days when my eyes first open–lethargic. I got moving by going out and turning on the air conditioner and PC, and cleaning the litter box, and discovered that the first water of the day was Aloe Vera – Mental Clarity.
I drank and got liquid into my system and my mood improved. I continued my routine of starting slowly and giving myself space, and noticed that the absence of “real” food was again very conditioned, and mental. My body did not feel hungry or even that weak.
I considered “normal” food and realized that the main aspects I was missing was chewing and biting – which I would be able to do again in another day and a half. There was also the issue of “taste;” but again I knew of taste mainly as a mental “concept,” as my friend Michael Jeffreys would say.
Michael had also advised me to “be the scientist” and I was approaching this experience as an experiment: what if my body is sluggish due to toxins and sludge that a cleanse would flush out? Wasn’t it worth a try? And how would “I” react in the face of discomfort, fatigue, irritability and craving for a hamburger?
I soon realized that food or “meals” were simply conditioned intervals in my day that gave it meaning and structure. Sometimes they were a container for social interaction but often they simply “filled up” other kinds of emptiness which I could notice and accept – certainly for a couple of days.
The activity of preparing the meal, planning it and even shopping again gave my day structure.
(I realize that those who work a full schedule and raise families are saying, “what is with this guy, how does he have so much time to fill” – consider how these conditioned behaviors fill your day and what might happen if they were suddenly gone. Right now I am quite fortunate, but not long ago the sudden disappearance of these structures made me very anxious).
When I was tour guide I noticed how some people were very uneasy on “vacation” unless they planned many activities which they were able to report back on their return. Only a few just soaked in freedom.
In many ways these “meal intervals” are a pointer to how much reality is “pure information” – and again mirrors the “virtual or encoded” software of our computers. How is that, you say?
Well if our life were a computer animation that was “programmed”, these intervals would be the “key frames” between we unconsciously fill space with automatic activities unless we are “present.”
Without key frames, life becomes “meaningless” but as you “deconstruct” reality you realize that all such meaning is “overlayed” onto a Life that is simply empty of “real” meaning.
For example, where are the lines of latitude and longitude, or borders between countries or states, on our actual planet?
As we look deeper, as I am trying to do in this cleanse, more and more of our habitual understanding of a world that in of itself is devoid of actual “concepts” falls away, and yet a deeper clarity of a far greater intelligence emerges. My body functions without the habitual movements—I breathe, move, eliminate and even think. And most important, without the habitual interludes of distraction, Life keeps moving.
In another day I can have a “real” breakfast.
Day 3: Upon arising I went to the fridge to see what today’s juicery looked like and decided to start with a Lavender Phenol water – having no idea what it was. I found it delightfully refreshing and got me going, with the added realization that my cleanse would end today.
For “breakfast” I am having a concoction of Kale, Cucumber, Parsley, Celery, Spinach and Romaine, while dreaming of an omelet, pancakes or bagel, lox and cream cheese…
In terms of bodily awareness, I had a headache yesterday and it got worse when my DVR failed to record Wimbledon, and the Tennis Channel gave away the results at the opening of the evening broadcast.
But I could hear rumblings all through my digestive track as my stomach asked “WTF”?
But I have a sense that my intestines, colon and kidneys were expressing a bit gratitude that the usual crud was not going through the system, and that they were getting flushed and cleaned.
At least I hope that was what was happening.
It reinforced the sense that we identify so strongly with our thoughts (and in this case my thoughts are gravitating toward FOOD) that we forget the significance of our “hardware”.
Everything internal is connected by design (let’s not get into the religious argument here) – and of course the internal and external are basically mental constructs anyway. Seen from a higher perspective, our “physical” existence is part of EVERYTHING although we tend to sense ourselves as separate, vulnerable, frail and potentially victimized entities unless we support our “selves” with sustenance – food, drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, money, power, fame and of course, food.
And the notion of food is far reaching—embracing the social aspect of meals and all of its ramifications.
Another powerful insight on this cleanse that my female friends don’t seem to appreciate is the potential healing quality of irritability and complaining. Dark humor brings an inner smile as I realize the absurdity of various situations, and the fact that I apparently chose to do this is incredibly ironic to me.
Of course that brings up the conundrum of “who” chose, and free will. That one will give me another headache.