What it is to be a Substance? and What it is to Exist? We need to establish knowledge about the man and the world on a firm basis and the information it provides must be tested for its accuracy and consistency with an external reality. We have to make the fundamental distinction between the living and the non-living matter. The scientific advances of the 19th and 20th centuries reinforced the materialistic position concerning the basic similarity of organic living and inorganic physical matter. The man is viewed as a product of natural evolution and is thought to be subject to the same laws of Physics and Chemistry or mechanistic principles.
We need a methodology to study philosophy and to understand philosophical statements. Logical Positivism, also known as Scientific Empiricism aims to clarify concepts in both everyday and scientific language. It describes analysis of language as the function of philosophy. This analysis of language and of concepts is important to understand questions of belief and ideology which affect what we think we ought to do individually and socially. I use this method of ‘Applied Philosophy’ to analyze the concept of Spiritual Optics, the Spiritual dimension of the relationship between the man and the substances he consumes as food.
SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION:
Life comes into existence when energy-yielding molecules and energy-demanding molecules come together in a spiritual relationship.
In my analysis, the Science of Nutrition reveals the purpose of food as that of a spiritual medium that fosters unity between man’s body, mind, and soul.
WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE FOOD:
To define food as any substance consumed to provide the nutritional support to an organism is incomplete as it fails to describe the totality of the relationship between food and its consumer. I describe the Seven Dimensions of the man. These are, 1. The Physical, 2. The Mental, 3. The Social, 4. The Moral, 5. The Spiritual, 6. The Creative, and 7. The Rational. I define Whole Food as substances consumed by the man to provide support to the Seven Dimensions of the man. Hence, Whole Food is defined as the Spectrum of Seven Colors.
WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE SELF:
The man is constituted as a Physical being that is made up of about 100 trillion individual, independent building blocks or living cells that are structurally and functionally differentiated as the tissues, organs, and organ systems of the human body. Each living, individual cell is thermodynamically unstable. It means that the living system that is represented by the cell will dissolve into its non-living molecules and elements if not supplied energy from an external source.
Food provides those energy-yielding molecules to energy-demanding molecules that constitute the Physical being. Food is used as a general term to describe substances consumed by man for nourishment. Food is defined as any substance which a living organism can convert into its own living substance from which it grows and develops new tissue, manipulates energy, etc., using a process called ‘metabolism’. The term ‘nutrient’ is explained as a substance that serves as food, or provides nourishment. The term ‘nutrition’ refers to the process of feeding or being nourished. As mentioned earlier, all the tissues and organs of which the human body is composed, consists of building blocks called cells. Every cell contains a spherical body called nucleus and a ground material, living substance, or living matter called ‘protoplasm’. The most striking characteristic of protoplasm is its vital property called ‘Nutrition’. In Human Physiology, the term ‘Nutrition’ is used to describe the ‘power’ which protoplasm has of attracting to itself the materials that provide energy, and the substances for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter or extracellular environment. Man must feed himself and yet he depends upon the ability of cells to recognize the specific nutrient substances and take action to absorb them and process them for further use. Nutritional Science describes three major functions of food; 1. food generates energy for growth, maintenance and activity, 2. food supplies agents like vitamins and others that are needed to make or to help enzymes which carry out a variety of cellular processes, and 3. food provides the building materials like proteins and amino acids that are used for building cells and tissues of the body. The essential human nutrients are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins. Human body cannot synthesize some of these nutrients and they must be supplied. To make this easy for understanding, human foods are divided into classes and the basic nutritional goal is to have a ‘Balanced Diet’ with items from all of the major Food Groups to perform all the living functions such as the uptake and conversion of nutrients, making, breaking, and repairing of organic molecules, production of energy, and regulation and coordination of various metabolic sequences.
WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE NUTRITION:
The term ‘WHOLE’ is often used to describe something that is entire or complete to signify that it has all the elements or parts constituting the entire amount and it is not broken, damaged, or defective. The term ‘WHOLE’ also means auspicious, healthy, or uninjured and not diseased. We need to define the human being as a Whole Person, Whole Self, or Whole Dude to understand the complete entity that exists as man. There are Seven Dimensions of Whole Person: 1. Man-the Physical Being, 2. Man-the Mental being, 3. Man-the Social being, 4. Man-the Moral being, 5. Man-the Spiritual being, 6. Man-the Creative Being, and 7. Man-the Rational Being. These seven components have to come together to establish the reality of man’s biological existence in the physical world. In the context of ‘Whole Food’, we must find qualities that fit into this description of being ‘Whole’ and its ability to perform all the functions that are attributed to Food.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE HUMAN
There is a huge growing concern about the substances that are added to food by food industry. The concern involves the use of synthetic or artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Food that may contain artificial colors, artificial flavors and chemical preservatives may not promote good health and are even suspected to cause injury or disease. Hence, the concept of ‘Whole Food’ demands the exclusion of such artificial colors and flavors and all synthetic preservatives from the food products used by the man for his physical well-being. Even when chemicals are not added to food, there is a concern about chemicals like synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and hormones that are used by the food and agriculture industry. It calls for understanding the term called ‘Natural Food’. To be called ‘natural’, food must not be exposed or tainted by chemicals that are not ‘naturally’ present in the substances that are consumed as Food. This concern is often reflected in the demand for ‘Organic Food’ that calls for the exclusion of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and growth hormones in the production of food. Apart from these considerations, the use of additives to change the taste, texture, and appearance of food have caused several health-related concerns. Some of them relate to the use of artificial sweeteners, and the use of partially hydrogenated oils. To qualify as ‘Whole Food’, it may require the exclusion of artificial sweeteners and the so-called ‘transfats’ from food. This concern is also extended to genetically modified organisms or GMOs that have become common. The genetically modified trait may impart some benefit to the substance and yet it may not qualify to be described as Natural Food or ‘Whole Food’.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE SATISFACTION:
The man is constituted to exist as a Mental being. The man relates to himself, his physical body with the help of his thoughts and moods. The man often tries to discover his ‘essence’ or true identity not in his physical, living substance, but by knowing his ideas, thoughts, and imagination which describes his physical identity. These mental concepts that relate to identity are always associated with feelings and moods that give meaning to the living condition or living experience. Food provides substances to constitute the physical components of the body and it also affects man’s thoughts and moods. The problems related to a man’s feeding behavior will not be eliminated by supplying him what is defined as ‘Balanced Diet’. The health problems associated with food consumption and caloric intake seem to persist even when the man consumes ‘Balanced Diet’. It calls for further understanding of the functions of Food and we have to define the term ‘Whole Food’ by sharing the ‘Whole Story’ about Food and its role in human life. There are two important aspects of Food that are not taken into consideration by Nutritional Science. The Law may require that food products that are sold by retail food stores or grocery stores must provide adequate ‘Nutritional Information’. The products are labeled to provide information about the ingredients, allergens, and nutritional facts to help the consumer of food to make an informed choice about the food that is consumed. Such nutritional choices are helpful and yet there is a problem about the Food. The concept of ‘Whole Food’ gives recognition to the role of Food apart from its function to supply the nutrients. Food must provide satiation or the experience of mental contentment or psychological satisfaction from its consumption.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE COMMUNITY:
The man is constituted to exist as a Social being. The man’s growth and development demands social support. The man as a biological living entity can only be described as an association of trillions of individual cells or as a multicellular organism. At the same time, there are about 10 times 100 trillion microbes that inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract. The man is a natural host and there is a mutually beneficial relationship between man the host, and the microbes that reside in his body. During the entire course of his life, the man shares his food and drink with the guests who have taken residence in his body. These guests perform the function of an internal organ system and are important for the man’s health and well-being. Man will always exist as a member of a Biotic or Biological community without any chance of true independence. This understanding is promoting the consumption of foods that are popularly termed as ‘PROBIOTIC’.
The man to support his health and well-being has to consume some living organisms on a regular basis to replenish the microbes that are lost due to excretion. Food plays a vital role in the development, and the maintenance of social interactions, and social relationships.Food-directed activities of man often need social situations and social bonding. Food has the intrinsic ability to nurture a relationship between the provider of the food and the food consumer. At the same time, there is a direct emotional relationship between man and the Food he consumes. The man derives emotional satisfaction called ‘Satiation’ when he consumes Food. It contributes to satisfaction or a sense of mental contentment to shape his living experience. The man lives to experience satisfaction or mental contentment by gratifying his desires or cravings. Food craving is very important part of a man’s life and biological existence. Balanced Diet may or may not provide the psychological contentment that man wants to derive by consuming Food. Such satisfaction demands social bonding between man and the food and between man and his provider of food. Hence, we have to develop our understanding of Food as a medium or as a substance that has the potency to develop and form relationships, association, connection, and bonding between man and his social community and environment in which man exists, and by the consumption of ‘Whole Food’ man may find ‘Whole Satisfaction’ in his living experience.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE RELATIONS
Apart from nutrition, a man consumes food for psychological satisfaction or to derive a sense of emotional contentment, and for the benefit of other individuals. A pregnant woman consumes food to provide a direct benefit to the baby growing in her womb. This placental connection between a mother and her fetus establishes an anatomical relationship and a social relationship and social bonding between the two, both during the duration of pregnancy and after the delivery of the baby. The man’s feeding behavior and feeding activities are influenced by social, and external environmental factors. Both, the timing of feeding, and the choice of food are affected by social facilitation. Food-directed activities in social situations demonstrate the ability of food to establish a connection between a food provider and the food consumer. Hunger and Satiety operate the physiological mechanisms related to food intake. The psychological, and emotional contentment derived from food is related to Social Bonding and Social Relationships that are fostered by Food. I describe spirituality as a relationship based upon sympathy, understanding, affection, feelings of care and Love. Food has the intrinsic ability to nurture a spiritual relationship between the provider of the food and its consumer. There is also a direct emotional relationship between a man and the food he consumes. The causes for excessive or overeating are not yet fully understood. Overeating could be a symptom of boredom or mental frustration. For many persons who indulge in overeating, the craving to eat is very strong and is similar to the craving for alcohol in the alcoholic and for a cigarette in a person addicted to tobacco smoke. The physiological mechanisms of hunger and thirst cannot fully account for the feeding behavior of a man. Just like lust, and greed, the man has psychological desire or craving for food and develops an intimate relationship with the food and drink he consumes. However, the man can always express his craving for food in a spiritual context and seek the satisfaction provided by knowing the nature of God-Connection.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE ECOLOGY:
The man is constituted to exist as a Spiritual being. The term ‘spiritual’ refers to relationships that are based upon feelings of sympathy and understanding. The man has to define the spiritual basis of his relationship with the rest of the biological community and the physical environment that is common to all of them. Ecology is the Science that is concerned with the relation between organisms and their environment. ‘Food Chain’ in Ecology describes the sequence of transfers of matter and energy from organism to organism in the form of food. Food is the medium through which interrelatedness, interdependence, and the interconnectedness of organisms that are members of an Ecological System is expressed. A balanced growth of organisms that are connected in an Ecosystem demands the concept of ‘Sustainable Development’. Natural resources have to be used wisely to sustain the qualities of environment that support living systems. The man needs food for his nourishment and to find this nourishment, the man should also stop the environmental pollution and degradation that may upset the delicate Ecological Balance that operates in Nature. The manner in which a man acquires energy-yielding molecules from his environment will ultimately define the man’s definition of Food.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE MORALITY:
The man is constituted to exist as a Moral Being. He is intrinsically endowed with a nature that displays the ability called discernment. He has the ability to choose right conduct and right behavior as he has the ability to discern right from wrong, and distinguish good from bad. This human nature called discernment is related to the nature of the living substance or living matter called protoplasm. I have described its vital property called the Power of Nutrition. It uses this power with a sense of discernment. Protoplasm while attracting substances found in its external environment, it uses a very selective uptake process. Some substances are accepted and tolerated and some are rejected. It expresses intolerance to the presence of certain substances and its response may even cause a severe and sometimes life-threatening allergic reaction. The man has no ability to consume all substances as Food. He has to know about good and bad food choices, and he has to know as to which food is right and as to which food is wrong. The human beings acting individually and collectively have developed ‘Food Culture’ and Food Traditions to express their moral and ethical principles in all of their food-directed activities and behavior.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE SPIRITUALITY:
Food is defined as any substance which a living organism can convert into its own living substance or living matter called protoplasm, the physical basis of Life. This substance could be viewed as a spiritual substance as it has the potency to formulate functional harmony and mutually beneficial relationship among the cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems that grow and develop using the energy and organic molecules synthesized by protoplasm. The concept of ‘Whole Food’ will naturally include the concept of Food as a Whole Spiritual Substance that must be treated with respect and devotion. Such an attitude of respect and devotion would help the man to use Food as a Spiritual Medium to establish a Connection, a Relationship, an Association, a Partnership, and Bonding between the Food Consumer and the Divine Providence.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE COVENANT
Salt is universally used as a seasoning and as a preservative of food. Salt enjoys a special status among all food substances that a man consumes. The status of Salt as a life-giving and life-sustaining substance is well-founded. The intimate connection of Salt with the idea of a “COVENANT” or a binding relationship between man and God, and between man and man is recognized in all human cultures.
The idea of “a covenant of salt forever” is found in The Fourth Book of Moses, The Numbers, Chapter 18, verse 19: “It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.” Similarly, The Third Book of Moses, The Leviticus, Chapter 2, verse 13 reads: “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings, add salt to all your offerings.” The special status enjoyed by salt is reflected in the phrases popularly used in the languages of different people; “Untrue to Salt”(Persian), “Trespass not against the Salt”(Greek), “There is Salt between Us”(Arabic), “Injury or Harm to Salt”(“Namaq or Namak Haram” – Indian). Jesus very effectively communicates the relationship between the status of salt and the nature of man. The nature of man is understood in terms of his behavior, character, and conduct. It is expected of a man to display respect, faithfulness, and loyalty in his relationship with other persons where the relationship is established by the covenant of salt. Jesus directly instructs people to reject any person who has lost the fundamental characteristics of character and integrity and states His view by comparing the man to salt. By accepting food, by consuming food, and by deriving nourishment and sustenance from food, the man has established a binding relationship forever with his food provider.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE TRADE
In recent times, the concerns about the buying, the marketing and selling of food items by the food retail industry has developed into ideas such as ‘FAIR-TRADE’, ‘ECO-TRADE’, and WHOLE TRADE guarantee. There is a growing genuine moral and ethical concern to support the living conditions of people and communities involved in growing Food. There is a growing interest to consume Food that is called ‘LOCAL’; food that is grown or manufactured in the local communities. The man must consume Food for his living and he may have to do it in a morally and ethically responsible manner. These concerns have generated the demand for ethical and compassionate treatment of all animals used as Food for human consumption. Food and Agriculture Industry are developing standards for Compassionate Treatment of Animals. The concept of ‘Whole Food’ includes the moral and ethical principles that man would apply to define his food-related behavior.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE LIFE:
I define the term ‘WHOLE FOOD’ as follows taking into consideration the five aspects of the role of Food in supporting the biological existence of the man in his community, and environment. Indeed, no man is truly capable of an existence that excludes the social community and the physical environment in which he exists:
1. Whole Food provides the nutritional substances for the Physical well-being of man and supports his living functions.
2. Whole Food provides the psychological satisfaction, the mental contentment that a man needs to support his Mental well-being.
3. Whole Food provides the stimulus for social relationships and social bonding that a man needs to support his Social well-being.
4. Whole Food provides the ability to a man to express his moral and ethical principles to support his Moral well-being.
5. Whole Food provides the Spiritual basis for the man’s relationship with Divine Providence to support the Spiritual well-being of man.
Whole Food comprises of the nutritional substances that support a man’s Physical, Mental, Social, Moral, and Spiritual well-being. These five components of well-being are important to generate the experience of Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in human Life. There is no Joy in Life and there is no Happiness in Mind, and there will be no Love in Heart until man finds Peace, Harmony, and Tranquility in the Living Experience. I say that, Whole Food gives man the experience of Whole Life; a Life of Satisfaction, Contentment, and Happiness.
WHOLE DUDE -WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE SPECTRUM
The man is constituted as a Created Being. Creation is not a mere past event. The creative mechanisms, and the creative processes continue to operate and support the man’s existence in today’s world. The man is constituted as a Rational Being and he discovered the rational basis for choosing to literally eat the Rainbow Colors of Food. I say, I Love Whole Food and what do you want to say? Kindly share your thoughts and views about the concept of ‘Whole Food’.
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