Nourishment

May 6, 2016

“To keep fed is the service of the person to the body. To be nourished is the body’s right, and it is required for any serious or productive self-inquiry because it is, in some ways, fundamental to our own blossoming. We are required to serve the body throughout its existence. Nothing ever came of self-denial or self-reproach, that is, the denial of the body’s needs and the judgment of those needs. Rather it is when we are fed that we find that subtle fullness which food did not create but rather that it uncovered and allowed. To serve the body with love and its accompanying nourishment is to lay the groundwork for a still mind, a flexible perspective, and a deep self-investigation. But nourishment is not only for the body, though that is required to even begin; nourishment is also for the individual soul. I do not mean the soul that is one and everyone’s, that which is without time and without need, but the soul of the individual person, that which aggregates and complicates and is finally and ultimately purified and clarified. That requires its own nourishment. That soul requires self-expression, and in that expression is nourishment. That soul requires self-investigation, and in that curious search there is nourishment. That soul requires risk and surprise; it requires the discovery of the world it inhabits; it requires the exercise of its senses and the accumulation of experience—and in all of these things there is nourishment. And that soul requires, too, stillness, the absence of experience and thought, emptiness, vacancy, and lack. In all of these, just as surely, there is nourishment. We are not complete, not healthy, and not spiritually sound unless we are nourished. The structure of our lives here requires the nourishment of both body and soul, and it is within and because of that structure that we become, at last, free of all confines and limitations. Nourishment is, of course, another limit on our being here, but it is one that leads to limitlessness, the thing which makes possible its opposite. Treat your body and your soul as if its nourishment mattered, and serve yourself in all the ways that you must, without resentment or skepticism or fear. The whole body, the complete soul—these give rise to the very thing you have most deeply yearned for. Eventually they release you from all need, but only after careful tending and much deep and sincere love.”

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