Food has always been part of the human story. From Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv comes evidence of ancient meals prepared at a 300,000-year-old hearth, the oldest ever found, where diners gathered to eat together. Today most holidays are centered around food along with other aspects of the festivities. Birthdays, weddings and other major life events all have food as a major component.
Today the simple act of breaking bread has become a complicated matter of personal health, humanitarian concern, political commitment and public safety. Have we forgotten the true joy of eating? Who hasn’t thought from time to time about what personally delectable dish they would want to eat. But when it’s time to eat it, maybe we worry over its contents, or are reading/answering a text, talking excessively and then dropping the fork after the last bite without really savoring any of it. “Eating is the most intimate relationship we have with the environment,” explains Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Washington-based Center for Food Safety, which coordinates the Organic & Beyond campaign. “Three times a day, it’s how we can re-create the world. We can shape a different future for our children, for farmworkers, the landscape, wildlife, villages around the world, and genetic diversity.”
Kimbrell speaks of the environmental impact. However, Sadhguru, brings yet another component to the joy of eating.
Sadhguru: One must eat, but we must eat relishing the nourishment of what the food offers, with the gratitude of what it means to our life. Simply eating for the pleasure of the tongue determines how soon it comes back to eat us.
This is not to take away the pleasure of eating. The true joy of eating is that you are conscious of some other life willing to become a part of you, to merge and mingle with your own life and become you. This is the greatest pleasure that a human being knows, that in some way something that is not him has become willing to become a part of him. This is what you call as love. This is what people call as devotion. This is the ultimate goal of the spiritual process.
Whether it is lust, passion, devotion or ultimate enlightenment, it is all the same, it is just the scale. If it happens between two people we call it passion. If it happens with a larger group, we call it love. If it happens much more indiscriminately we call it compassion. If it happens without even a form around you, it is called devotion. If it happens in its ultimate scale, we call it enlightenment.
Food and eating is a demonstration of the oneness of the existence. This beautiful process is happening at your mealtime every day. Something that was a plant, something that was a seed, something that was an animal, or a fish, or a bird, just merging and becoming a human being is a clear demonstration of the oneness of the existence, of the hand of the Creator in everything that is.