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.
For example, photosynthesis represents the most important non-optical function of Light instituted by Providence in support of the existence of Life on Earth. The prevention of Obesity demands the formulation of a correct and valid theory of Food.
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE SCIENCE
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 and Divine Providence using a corporeal substance called Protoplasm or Cytoplasm.
The definition of 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 for the generation of food involves a creative mechanism operating the fundamental Light and Matter photochemical interactions.
WHOLE FOOD AND THE WHOLE THEORY
I define the term ‘WHOLE FOOD’ as follows taking into consideration the seven dimensions 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.
6. The creative dimension of the man is reflected by the imagination and the skills deployed by the man in the preparation of his food and the artistic presentation of the food.
7. In the final analysis, the man as a Rational Being will choose to eat to live with a purpose rather than to live to eat without any purpose in life.
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 and the human existence.
OBESITY-THE PROBLEM OF EXCESSIVE EATING:
The word ‘obese’ is derived from Latin word “obedere” which means to devour (ob + edere means about + eat). Obesity is the result of excessive eating. Obesity is the commonest effect of continued over consumption of calories. This blog post intends to explore the preventive principles that could be applied to curb the behavior that leads to excessive eating. Preventive principles could be different from principles used in the treatment of obesity. Prevention of excessive eating would be of value in the clinical management of obese patients but should not be viewed as a curative regime. Obese patients may need other interventions apart from restriction of dietary intake. In my opinion, the prevention of obesity involves the ability to formulate eating behavior that is consistent with inner cues of hunger and satiety.
Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder of modern times. Obesity can occur at any stage of life. Obesity in childhood and adolescence has become common and is viewed with a sense of alarm. Obesity is defined as a condition in which there is an excess deposit of fat in (and on) the body with an increase in body weight more than 10 percent above the normal for the age, sex, height, and stock or clan. Body weight is a valuable screening measure for obesity. The measurement of body weight is the simplest and the least direct method of measuring the fat content in the body. It must be very carefully noted that we have tools to measure body weight and that we have no tools to measure or estimate the sensations called Hunger and Satiety. Hence, the preventive principles are not evidence-based, and are only reason-based. It will not be practical to provide consistent results while we depend upon criteria such as Hunger and Satiety which are not measurable quantities that could be stated using a precise, scientifically accurate method. To deal with the problem of obesity, we have to deal with the issues of Hunger and Satiety to regulate feeding behavior and to control caloric intake. Patterns of eating behavior and physical activity are influenced by social, cultural, and economic factors. Hence, obesity is a complex issue but the complexity should not stop us from preventing the problem of excessive eating. Genetic factors may influence total body fat and its distribution. However, the epidemic of obesity is not caused by the prevalence of a defective gene or genes.
Readers may like to view the Map of Hypothalamus using the hyperlink provided by Healthline.com: HUMAN BODY MAPS – HYPOTHALAMUS The brain mechanisms involved in feeding motivation include a complex network that involves the Limbic System that controls the emotional states and the Hypothalamus at the base of the brain. Hypothalamus has nerve centers sensitive to changes in blood chemistry, water, products of digestion and temperature. A nerve center called Ventromedial Nucleus is described as the ‘Satiety Center’. It is the clearing house for satiety signals. Lesions in this area cause gross overeating or hyperphagia. The nerve center in the lateral hypothalamic area is described as the ‘Eating Center’ or ‘Hunger Center’. It facilitates feeding responses. Electrical stimulation of this area elicits voracious feeding and lesions in this area cause prolonged noneating or aphagia. Glucose receptors are present in the cells of the above nuclei which monitor the level of the circulating blood glucose in order to produce the appropriate response. Excessive eating can be controlled by direct electrical stimulation of Satiety Center.
Internal changes that initiate behavioral changes are commonly termed ‘Drive’ or ‘Motivation’. Hunger is a sensation associated with various physiological changes that stimulate the drive to search for food. Most people are familiar with the sensation described as hunger pangs. The responsiveness of the brain mechanisms for feeding is governed by messages reporting the nutritional state of the body. Responsiveness is higher with increasing lack of food in the body. The contents of these messages are primary determinants of the level of feeding motivation. Hunger and Satiety represent high and low levels of feeding motivation.
FOOD AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION-THE WHOLE REGULATION
Life depends upon a virtually uninterrupted supply of materials for its metabolism. For purposes of survival, metabolic expenditure cannot exceed food intake for very long period. In principle, feeding must proceed throughout life at a pace equal to that of metabolism. In many cases, food intake does not closely follow caloric expenditure. It is permissible for food intake to lag when there are reserves in the body. Discrepancies between intake and expenditure leads to distortion of the basic pattern of caloric regulation. The capacity of the digestive system may set a limit on nutrient supply to the body. Such limitations play a role in human feeding behavior. In man, the capacity of food-gathering and of the digestive system exceed the demands of metabolism. The man has the inherent physiological capabilities and anatomical capacity to consume food and calories in excess of his normal metabolic requirements. It should not be a surprise to observe a similar predisposition to obesity among human pet animals like dogs and cats.
The lack of fuel in the body can be corrected by intake of food that provides energy. Ingested food (calories) passes from 1. the mouth to 2. the digestive tract to 3. the blood stream, and then to 4. storage sites such as liver and fat tissues. These four regions are continuously monitored using a variety of receptors:
1. Organs for taste, smell, and touch in the mouth region. 2. Distension receptors or mechanoreceptors in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract that monitor the volume. 3. Chemoreceptors that monitor the nature of contents of the blood stream. 4. Receptors in Hypothalamus and Liver for monitoring of fat tissues.
The signals converge on the brain mechanism for the feeding motivation using nervous and humoral or chemical pathways. The signals have two kinds of effects; 1. if signals from the four regions report increased fuel contents, the feeding motivation is lowered and satiety is raised, and 2. if taste, visual, and smell receptors are stimulated by palatable food the feeding motivation is increased. The signals for satiation override the signals for hunger and feeding stimulation. Food intake stops when feeding motivation drops below a critical level. When food is catabolized, it causes fuel depletion. Gastric emptying and emptying of Colon and Rectum also stimulate hunger sensation causing resumption of feeding. Once feeding is resumed, intake is enhanced by the positive effects of food stimulus. The interplay of positive and negative feedbacks from food intake tends to maintain a balance between caloric intake and energy output so that body fuel content or body weight in fully grown individuals remains constant. Few people adjust their food intake to meet their needs on a daily basis. The excess Glucose that is not utilized by the body is stored in the Liver as Glycogen which is further converted into fat. The excess amount of fat remains stored in the body fat tissues. The control of the amount of energy reserve in the fat tissue and the nature of control system is not fully understood. The physiological stimuli and changes associated with hunger could be stimuli for coordinating the long-term regulation of the reserve energy. However, it must be noted that a man can accumulate energy reserves and yet experience hunger sensation that is normally generated by a lack of fuel in the body.
FOOD AND ENERGY-THE WHOLE BALANCE
Exercise consumes carbohydrates and most of the fat. Obesity or excess fat accumulation is the consequence of imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Obesity develops if physical activity or energy expenditure becomes very low and the person is not able to reduce food intake or energy intake. In modern times, people are able to obtain their food with little or no physical effort. New sources of power do the work formerly carried out by human muscles. Large number of people spend time without physical activity. People have appetites and are seldom really hungry. A very small excess of calories if habitual, can lead eventually to a large accumulation of fat. It has been reported that if a person eats a slice (20 g) of bread that is not needed each day or goes by car instead of walking for 20 minutes, the daily extra 48 KCal or 200 KJ will build up over 10 years to 20 Kg of fat deposited. In simplest terms, obesity is the outcome of consistent consumption of more calories than are required to meet the energy expenditure of that particular person.
FOOD AND OBESITY-THE WHOLE PROBLEM
The causation of obesity is still difficult to explain. There are differences between obese and non-obese individuals in respect of hormone secretion and metabolism. Endocrine changes at puberty, during pregnancy, and at menopause may contribute to obesity at these stages of life. The effects of obesity are better understood than the causes of obesity. In Medicine, obesity is described as a clinical condition with several probable causes. Some of the organic pathological causes of obesity include endocrine disorders such as hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism and hypogonadism. Hormonal changes associated with menopause, Anterior Pituitary tumor causing Cushing’s Syndrome, Dercum’s disease (Adiposis dolorosa), and Frohlich’s Syndrome (Posterior Pituitary Deficiency) are causes of obesity. In a few obese individuals, psychiatric mood disorders such as depression and anxiety could be present. Depressed or anxious patients or the emotionally deprived may seek solace in food and such emotional factors play a role in the predisposition towards excessive eating. Overeating could be a symptom of boredom or emotional frustration. In mental diseases, bizarre disturbances of appetite, taste , and food preference may be seen. Some well-known examples are Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia. Self-imposed starvation may develop after bereavement or after disappointment in love. It must be understood that the functions of food include that of obtaining a sense of emotional satisfaction apart from satiation of hunger. The most important and the most universal cause of obesity among otherwise normal people is overeating and lack of exercise.
The prevalence of obesity has increased worldwide in the past ~50 years, reaching pandemic levels. Obesity represents a major health challenge because it substantially increases the risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, fatty liver disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, dementia, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea and several cancers, thereby contributing to a decline in both quality of life and life expectancy. Obesity is also associated with unemployment, social disadvantages and reduced socio-economic productivity, thus increasingly creating an economic burden. Thus far, obesity prevention and treatment strategies — both at the individual and population level — have not been successful in the long term. Lifestyle and behavioral interventions aimed at reducing calorie intake and increasing energy expenditure have limited effectiveness because complex and persistent hormonal, metabolic and neurochemical adaptations defend against weight loss and promote weight regain. Reducing the obesity burden requires approaches that combine individual interventions with changes in the environment and society. Therefore, a better understanding of the remarkable regional differences in obesity prevalence and trends might help to identify societal causes of obesity and provide guidance on which are the most promising intervention strategies. (Blüher, M. Obesity: global epidemiology and pathogenesis. Nat Rev Endocrinol 15, 288–298 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41574-019-0176-8
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE SATISFACTION
The word desire or craving involves the feelings to wish, covet, or long for something. Similarly, the word appetite describes a desire to satisfy some craving of the body. The term greed describes excessive desire especially for wealth or food. The term lust describes a passionate sexual desire without idealized or spiritualized feelings. The word glutton describes someone who indulges excessively in eating and drinking. All of these kinds of passionate desires or appetites have a common feature. The behavior that is attributable to greed, lust, and gluttony could be influenced by man’s sense of contentment. The role of contentment could be explained by understanding the following quote from the Books of The Old Testament, The Ecclesiastes, Chapter 5, verse 18:
“Then I realized that is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him – for this is his lot.”
While it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, the acts of gratification; eating, and drinking may not provide a sense of satisfaction that is complete and that overcomes the craving for food and drink. Contentment is the factor which determines as to the degree of gratification that is needed for producing the effect called satisfaction. The man can choose to set the bar called contentment at a high or a low-level and experience the effect called satisfaction while seeking gratification of his desires. To conquer the insatiable enemy called desire, to achieve the result called satisfaction, one must overcome the senses, the mind, and intelligence which are the sitting places of desire. To accomplish the purpose of restraining the senses, the mind, and intelligence, we must know the man as the Whole Organism. I divide man into two categories; 1. The Self (the Lower-Self)that represents the man as a physical, mental, and social being, and 2. The Knowing-Self ( the Higher-Self)that represents the man as the moral, and spiritual being. The Knowing-Self is the Higher-Self and hence it can exercise control and restraint over the Lower-Self which includes the physical body, the sense organs, the mind and intellect, which are the seats of all passionate desires.
In obese people, eating is less often determined by internal cues like hunger and satiety. For many obese people, 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 problem of food cravings is a significant factor in the management of obesity. The failure to respond to a dietary plan that restricts food and caloric intake is often caused by the inability to overcome food cravings which leads to non-compliance. The eating or feeding behavior is influenced by the man’s sense of contentment. A person who lives in a state of self-contentment experiences a little less hunger and experiences a sense of satiation or satisfaction more easily after a routine meal. Such a person who is self-contented is not prone to food cravings. He may not need a dietary plan and may not need to count the calories he consumes. He is more likely to maintain a steady body weight without the requirement of changing the level of physical activities. The man has the ability to set his expectations at a level and experience contentment with what he has. If there is contentment, the desire for food and drink is easily satisfied. A contented man is more likely to meet the daily requirements of calories for optimal physiological functioning without gaining body weight. The prevention of obesity could be helped by a proper understanding of food, its nature, and its functions.
Food is a substance eaten for nourishment. Food serves functions other than nutrition. Food plays a vital role in the development, and the maintenance of social interactions, social relationships, and is the fundamental basis for the man’s spiritual relationship with a source of energy and its provider which sustains life and existence.
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE LIFE
Food describes any substance which a living organism can convert into energy and new tissue using the process of metabolism. The body fluids surrounding each cell are the immediate source of nutrients. The nutrients supplied by food are either used as building blocks in synthesizing large molecules or they are oxidized producing a form of energy that is further used for powering the activities of the cell. To maintain life, an organism not only repairs or replaces (or both) its structures by a constant supply of the materials of which it is composed but also keeps its life processes in operation by a steady supply of energy. The Living Systems must be supplied energy for continual synthesis of new organic molecules and to replace or to repair broken organic molecules. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Dean of the Harvard Medical School (1847 to 1882) defines life, “To live is to function; and that is all there is in living.” At the cellular level, the living functions include uptake and conversion of nutrients, synthesis of new molecules, production of energy, and regulation and coordination of metabolic sequences.
The processes of synthesis and breakdown of the organic molecules of the cell are termed metabolism. Metabolism is divided into two categories; 1. Anabolism- it describes the processes of maintenance and growth, and 2. Catabolism- it describes the processes that breaks down molecules to release energy. The Living Cell depends on a virtually uninterrupted supply of materials for its metabolism. The Living Cell is a thermodynamically unstable system. This means that without a continuous input of energy, a Cell will degrade spontaneously into a nonliving collection of molecules. Food supplies organic molecules and other substances as nourishment to sustain life. Life is characterized by the presence of complex transformation of organic molecules and by the organization of such molecules into successively larger units of protoplasm, cells, organs, and tissues.
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE POWER
All the tissues and organs of which the human body is composed, consists of building blocks called Cells. Each Living Cell contains soft, gelatinous, semi-fluid, viscous, clear or translucent, colloidal living substance or matter called Protoplasm or Cytoplasm or Cytosol. A most striking characteristic of protoplasm is its vital property of ‘Nutrition’. Nutrition is described as the ‘power’ which protoplasm has of attracting to itself the materials that provide the energy, and the substances for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter/environment. Nutrition, as a biological function and activity, is the evidence for the operation of Consciousness at cellular level. The Living Cell is conscious or aware of its own existence in its given environment, it is conscious or aware of its energy dependent state of internal condition, and consciously uses its power of nutrition to attract substances from its immediate environment. The Living Cell displays its living functions while it exists as a conscious entity. The Cell Death is characterized by the absence of the power of nutrition, and in the absence of energy input or food intake, the Cell dies. Consciousness and Food are related to each other. Consciousness gives the power of attracting Food and Food provides the ability to live with Consciousness which is the most important characteristic of life. The human organism exists because of the functions of the trillions of cells. The purpose of consciousness is to foster functional unity of the multicellular organism and establish it as an individual. This conscious individual experiences hunger, and thirst which provide the drive or motivation to initiate his feeding behavior. Each individual cell uses its own power of Nutrition to attract the nutrients from the body fluids that are present in its immediate environment. Certain metabolic disorders and conditions like Diabetes are associated with problems of food intake at cellular level. The man may feed himself, and nutrients like glucose accumulate in the blood stream and fail to provide the nourishment needed by the cells. Similarly, there are several mental diseases that are associated with a variety of eating disorders, and bizarre disturbances of appetite, taste, and food preference.
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE NUTRITION
The Biological Membrane, the Cell Membrane or the Plasma Membrane separates the living cell from its environment and from other cells. It helps to maintain a constant ‘milieu’ in which intracellular reactions occur. The Plasma Membrane allows a highly controlled exchange of matter across the barrier it poses; some compounds are able to pass through the Membrane easily, others are completely blocked. Food must provide adequate amounts of all chemical elements needed by the Cells. Of the approximately 35 elements known to occur in cells, four (Oxygen, Carbon, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen) make up about 95 percent of the cell weight. Nine elements (Calcium, Phosphorus, Chlorine, Sulfur, Potassium, Sodium, Magnesium, Iodine, and Iron) contribute about 4 percent of the cell weight. The remaining 20+ elements together constitute less than 1 percent of cell weight and are called trace elements because they occur in minute quantities. However, many such as Copper, and Zinc fulfil vital functions. Animal cells do not have the ability to synthesize certain complex organic molecules from simple inorganic compounds. Certain large organic molecules that serve as building blocks that must be supplied by food are known as essential dietary components. They include Vitamins, Essential Amino Acids, and Essential Fatty Acids. The man has restricted synthetic powers as compared to the bacteria and hence needs greater number of essential foodstuffs. The man derives energy solely from the breakdown of complex organic molecules, mainly Carbohydrates and Fats. Fuel for the maintenance of life comes from other living organisms or their products. Human life ultimately depends on the existence of green plants that can use inorganic source of energy such as Solar radiation. Terrestrial life depends upon an extraterrestrial source of Energy. All terrestrial organisms live as energy dependent entities and live by establishing a relationship with a source of energy.
WHOLE FOOD AND THE WHOLE CONNECTION
The man exists because of a “Connection.” In nature, a man exists as an energy seeker or heterotroph. The human existence becomes possible only when a man is connected to an energy provider. This biological connection to a source of energy is made possible when biological information is implanted in the single, fertilized Egg Cell which begins its journey to grow and develop into a new organism. If Sun is viewed as a source of energy for all life on this planet, the man is not directly connected to that source of energy. The man exists as a multicellular organism and each cell derives its energy from powerhouses called mitochondria; the intracellular membrane bound organelles found in all living cells.
The mitochondria have the necessary biological information to transform oxidative energy into a form of chemical energy that the cell could further use for its living functions. In nature, the man obtains food from other organisms. Only the green-celled plants known as autotrophs can directly convert light energy into chemical energy that they can further use.
The man is connected to these Chloroplasts of green plant cells that have the ability to trap Sun’s light energy. Sun’s energy is an extraterrestrial source of energy and it is provided to man by the intervention of Chloroplasts and the Mitochondria which man directly acquires from his mother’s Egg Cell. These biological mechanisms are put in place and they operate outside the intellectual or physical abilities of the man. In my blog post titled, ‘The Divine Mother of Life, Energy, and Knowledge, I describe the mother as the source of life, energy, and knowledge, which is often described as the Cytoplasmic Inheritance.
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE BONDING
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 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 connection between 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 man and the food he consumes. The causes for excessive or overeating are not yet fully understood. The physiological mechanisms of hunger and thirst cannot fully account for the feeding behavior of 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, a 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 AND 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 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 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 Old Testament Book of 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 Old Testament Book of 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 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. “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13)
By accepting food, by consuming food, and by deriving nourishment and sustenance from food, the man establishes a binding relationship forever with his food provider.
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE RELATIONSHIP:
Jesus Christ describes Himself as the Spiritual Food of man. In the Gospel according to Saint John, Chapter 6, verse 35, Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Further, the Book of John, Chapter 6, verse 48 also reveals the purpose of Jesus, “I am the bread of life. I am the living bread that came down from heaven.” Virtually all Christian Churches celebrate the practice of Communion such as Mass, Eucharist, or Lord’s Supper in some form or the other.
The First Epistle of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 10, verse 31 instructs, “so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Apart from the satisfaction of hunger and thirst, man uses food and drink to derive a psychological satisfaction by establishing a spiritual connection with God who is the ultimate Food Provider.
In all religious traditions and cultures of this world, food is associated with God. Food is used in the ritualistic worship of God, food is offered to God, and food is consumed in the name of God. Most religious festivals involve the use of food in celebration of God’s Mercy, Grace and Compassion. Food is traditionally used as the medium for fomenting a spiritual relationship with God.
WHOLE FOOD AND WHOLE UNITY
The Indian tradition describes Food and Drink as God and man the consumer of Food and Drink is also described as God. The man must view food as a spiritual substance; spiritual nourishment provided by the LORD God Creator and that devotional attitude towards food would provide nutrition, psychological satisfaction, and social bonding which is complete and wholesome. The creation of Earth, and the Status of Man in nature are the fundamental attributes of the Divine Being and His Divine Powers. The physical, mental, and social well-being of a man is nourished by food that formulates the man’s spiritual relationship with food and the food provider.
WHOLE FOOD AND THE WHOLE PRINCIPLES OF OBESITY PREVENTION:
1. The man has to eat and drink all his life. 2. The man has a predisposition to obesity as his anatomical structure and physiological functions may not prevent excessive consumption of calories even when the body has satisfactory energy reserve. 3. The man derives nutrients, psychological satisfaction, and develops social bonding by using food. 4. Food when used as a spiritual medium, provides a complete sense of satisfaction and leads to contentment in life. 5. The man has the ability to control his senses, his feelings, and his intellect by acquiring knowledge about food. The Higher-Self can regulate the feeding behavior of the Lower-Self. 6. The man can choose and set limits to his experience of contentment in life. He can set the level of expectation in a manner that the gratification of his desires produces the effect called satiation or satisfaction to defend his physical, mental, social, moral, and spiritual well-being.
Rudi acknowledges his German heritage and describes it as the Rudolf-Rudi Connection at Whole Foods for he discovered the spiritual connection between man, food, and Providence. Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet are connected by a material substance called Protoplasm, or Cytoplasm, a divine plan to provide nourishment to Life.
SPIRITUALITY SCIENCE – THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION:
Life comes into existence when energy-yielding molecules and energy-demanding molecules come together in a spiritual relationship. The Science of Nutrition has to state that Food serves the function of being a spiritual medium that fosters unity between man’s body, mind, soul and the external source of matter and energy.
WHOLE DUDE – WHOLE FOOD:
WHAT IS FOOD?
The man is constituted as a Physical Being that is made up of about 100 trillion individual 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 a 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.
The 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.
WHAT IS WHOLE FOOD?
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 human being as a ‘Whole Person’ to understand the complete entity that exists as man. There are five aspects of ‘Whole Person’:1. Man – the Physical being, 2. Man – the Mental being, 3. Man – the Social being, 4. Man – the Moral being, and 5. Man – the Spiritual being. These five 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 need to find qualities that fit this description of being ‘Whole’ and its ability to perform all the functions that are attributed to Food. There is a huge growing concern about the substances that are adding 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 man for his nutrition. 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 ‘Whole Food’.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE SATISFACTION
The man is constituted to exist as a Mental being. A man relates to himself, his physical body with the help of his thoughts and moods. It seems that 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 describe his physical identity. These mental concepts that relate to identity are always associated with emotional feelings and moods that give meaning to the living condition or living state. Food provides substances to constitute the body and it also affects man’s thoughts and moods. The problems related to man’s feeding behavior will not be eliminated by supplying him what could be defined as ‘Balanced Diet’. The health problems associated with food consumption and caloric intake seem to persist even when 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. There are two roles performed by Food and the concept of ‘Whole Food’ may have to give recognition to the role of Food apart from its function as the supply of nutrients. Food has to 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 could only be described as an association of trillions of individual cells. At the same time, there are about 10 times 100 trillion microbes that inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract. 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, 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 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’. 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. Man derives emotional satisfaction called ‘Satiation’ when he consumes Food. It contributes to psychological satisfaction or a sense of mental contentment to shape his living experience.
Man lives to experience satisfaction or mental contentment by gratifying his desires or cravings. Food craving is very important part of 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.
FOOD = ENERGY = LIFE = WHOLE ECOLOGY
Man is constituted to exist as a Spiritual being. The term ‘SPIRITUAL’ refers to relationships that are based upon feelings of sympathy and understanding.
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 supports living systems. Man needs food for his nourishment and to find this nourishment, man may have to stop environmental pollution and degradation that may upset the delicate Ecological Balance that operates in Nature. The manner in which man acquires energy-yielding molecules from his environment will define man’s definition of Food.
WHOLE FOOD – WHOLE MORALITY
Man is constituted to exist as a Moral Being. Man is intrinsically endowed with a nature that displays the ability called discernment. Man 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 or cytoplasm. 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 cause a severe and sometimes life-threatening allergic reaction.
Man has no ability to consume all substances as Food. Man has to know about good and bad food choices, and man has to know as to which food is right and as to which food is wrong. 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.
In recent times, these concerns have developed into ideas such as ‘FAIR-TRADE’, ‘WHOLE-TRADE’ and ‘ECO-TRADE’. 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. 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’ would include the moral and ethical principles that man would apply to define his food-related 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.
In my analysis, the corporeal substance or living matter has a spiritual dimension 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 Spiritual Substance that must be treated with respect and devotion. Such an attitude of respect and devotion would help 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 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 man in his community, and environment. No man is truly capable of independent 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 man needs in support of his Mental well-being.
3. Whole Food provides the stimulus for social relationships and social bonding that man needs in support of his Social well-being.
4. Whole Food provides the ability to man to express his moral and ethical principles in support of his Moral well-being.
5. Whole Food provides the Spiritual basis for man’s relationship with Divine Providence to support the Spiritual well-being of man.
Whole Food is the nutritional substance that supports man’s Physical, Mental, Social, Moral, and Spiritual well-being. These five components of well-being are important to have 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 Whole Food gives man the experience of Whole Life; a Life of Satisfaction, Contentment, Happiness, and Joy.
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’.
The Rudolf and Rudi Connection at Whole Foods, Ann Arbor can be best described as the concept of Whole Spirituality, the three dimensional spiritual relationship between the multicellular human organism, food, and the Divine Providence.
SPIRITUALISM – THE CELL THEORY OF SPIRITUALITY:
In Biology, cell is the basic or fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things or it is the building block of life. Let me begin with my respectful tribute to some of the people who contributed to ‘The Cell Theory’, one of the foundations of Biological Sciences. Cells were first observed in the 17th century shortly after the discovery of the microscope. Robert Hooke, british curator of instruments at The Royal Society of London, during 1665 coined the word cell. Dutch microscopist Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) made over 247 microscopes and examined microorganisms and tissue samples. He gave the first complete descriptions of bacteria, protozoa (which he called animalcules), spermatozoa, and striped muscle. He also studied capillary circulation and observed Red Blood Cells.
Improvements in microscopy during early 19th century permitted closer observation and the significance of cells had received better understanding. Matthias Jakob Schleiden (1838), german botanist, Theodor Schwann (1839), german physiologist, and Rudolf Virchow (1855), german pathologist, and others made important contributions to the Cell Theory that describes cell as the building block of all Life.
The Cell is the smallest unit in the living organism that is capable of carrying on the essential life processes of sustaining metabolism for producing energy and reproducing. Many simple, small, single-celled organisms like Protozoa perform all life functions. In higher, complex, bigger, multicellular organisms, groups of cells are structurally and functionally differentiated into specialized tissues and organ systems. Thus, the Cell Theory includes the following foundational principles of the Biological Sciences:
1. All living things are made up of cells. Cell is the most elementary or basic unit of Life.
2. Cell is a fundamental unit of structure, function, and organization in all living things including plants and animals.
3. Cells only rise from division of previously existing cells.
4. All cells are similar in composition, form, and function. All cells are basically the same in chemical composition (in spite of variations) in organisms of similar species. For example, all the solid tissues in the human body can be shown to consist largely of similar cells; differing it is true, but that are essentially similar to an Ovum.
5. The cells exhibit functional autonomy. The activity of an organism depends on the total activity of ‘INDEPENDENT’ cells.
6. Energy flow (metabolism and biochemistry) occurs within cells.
7. Cells contain hereditary, biological information (DNA) which is passed from cell to cell during cell division.
THE CELL THEORY OF SPIRITUALITY:
The basic or fundamental unit of life in the human organism is derived from the fertilized egg cell that eventually develops into a complete organism. The most significant feature of similarity between the cells of the human body is the presence of a soft, gelatinous, semi-fluid, granular material inside the cell. This substance known as Protoplasm or Cytoplasm, or Cytosol is similar to the ground substance found in the Ovum or the Egg Cell.
This viscous, translucent, colloidal substance is enclosed in a membrane called Cell Membrane, Plasma Membrane or Biological Membrane. A small spherical body called nucleus is embedded in the Protoplasm of the cell. The three essential features of any living cell in the human body are that of the presence of protoplasm, the nucleus, and the cell membrane.
PROTOPLASM – THE GROUND SUBSTANCE OF SPIRITUALISM AND SPIRITUALITY:
I seek the existence of Soul or Spirit in a substance that is basic to life activities, and in a material that is responsible for all living processes. I, therefore, propose that the understanding of the true or real nature of this ground substance of all living matter will help man to discover peace, harmony, and tranquility in all of his internal and external relationships while man exists in a physical environment as a member of a social group, social community, and Society. In this blog post, I would like to pay my respectful tribute to Jan Evangelista Purkinje and Hugo Von Mohl for their great contribution to the scientific understanding of the living substance, living material, and living matter.
Purkinje conducted his research on human vision at the University of Prague and later on, he served there as a Professor of Physiology (1850-69). He went to Germany and was appointed the Chair of Physiology and Pathology (1823-50) at the University of Breslau, Prussia. There Purkinje created the world’s first independent Department of Physiology (1839) and the first Physiological Laboratory (Physiological Institute, 1842). He is best known for his discovery of large nerve cells with many branching extensions found in the cortex of Cerebellum of the brain (Purkinje Cells, 1837). He discovered the fibrous tissue that conducts electrical impulses from the ‘pacemaker’ called Atrioventricular node or A-V node along the inside walls of the ventricles to all parts of the heart to help in Cardiac contractile function (Purkinje Fibers, 1839). In 1835, he invented and introduced the scientific term ‘Protoplasm’ to describe the ground substance found inside young animal embryo cells. He discovered the sweat glands of the skin (1833); he discovered the nine configuration groups of Fingerprints used in biometric identification of man (1823); he described the germinal vesicle or nucleus of the unripe ovum that now bears his name (1825), and he noted the protein digesting power of pancreatic extracts (1836).
Hugo Von Mohl named the granular, colloidal material that made up the main substance of the plant cell as “Protoplasm” in 1846. Purkinje invented the word, but Hugo gave more clarity, understanding, and knowing the nature of this ground substance. He viewed cell as an “elementary organ” and in Physiology he explained Protoplasm as an organ of Motion or Movement, Nutrition, and Reproduction. It is the preliminary material in cellular generation. He was the first to propose that new cells are formed by division of preexisting cells and he had observed this process of Cell Division in the algal cells of Conferva glomerata. His observations are very important to understand the Cell Theory that explains cells as the basic building blocks of Life. He was the first to investigate the phenomenon of the stomatal openings in leaves.
Protoplasm is a complex, viscous, translucent solution of such materials as salts and simple sugars with other molecules, mostly proteins and fats, in a colloidal state, that is dispersed but not dissolved in one another. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen constitute more than 90 percent of Protoplasm. It exhibits properties such as Protoplasmic Streaming or Cytoplasmic Streaming or Motion that is called “Amoeboid Movement.” It has the intrinsic power to change its shape and position. It has the power of Nutrition by which it can attract and obtain the materials necessary for its growth and maintenance from surrounding matter/environment. These functions involve acquiring, processing, retaining, and using information to perform tasks in a sequential manner for a predetermined purpose and hence describe Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence. The terms Soul and Spirit belong to the materialistic realm where the Physical Reality of man’s biological existence is established. I have not yet discovered any good reason to use the terms Soul and Spirit as a metaphysical or transcendental Reality.
The Ground Substance of Spiritualism and Spirituality. The vital characteristics, the animating principles of Protoplasm could be known by observing Amoeba proteus. The Living Substance works as an organ of Motion or Movement, as an organ of Nutrition, and as an organ of Reproduction to generate new cells which have a life span of their own. In these physiological functions, I describe the characteristics such as Cognition, Consciousness, Memory, and Intelligence as spiritual attributes of Life as they bring functional unity and harmony in the interactions between different parts of the same individual organism while it exists in an environment as a member of a biological community.
THE SPIRITUALITY OF SUBSTANCE, FUNCTION, ORGANIZATION, ACTION, AND INTERACTIONS:
To establish the biological existence of the human organism, I add the concept of Spiritualism and Spirituality to the Cell Theory. The Single Fertilized Egg Cell has ground substance that is of Spiritual nature and the Spiritualism and Spirituality consists of the following functional, and organizational characteristics:
1. The Cell is Conscious of its own existence and knows its internal condition and knows it external environment.
2. The Cell is intelligent and it has the cognitive abilities like perception and memory to acquire information, to retain information, to recall information, and to use information in the performance of its complex tasks in a sequential manner.
3. The Cell has the ability to show characteristics such as mutual cooperation, mutual tolerance, and display functional subordination and subservience while being independent.
4. The Cell grows, divides, and develops into a complete organism while it acquires substances and energy from an external environment. The power of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm to attract matter found in its external environment is called Nutrition. The Cell continuously transforms matter to build matter of its own kind for its own benefit to sustain its existence with its own identity and individuality. The Organism represents a social group or a biological community of Cells. The Spiritual nature of Protoplasm/Cytoplasm brings this functional harmony and unity in the Social Group or Biotic Community of Cells by bringing together its Essence and Existence.
5. The Cell Theory is incomplete for it does not describe the conditioned nature of the Cell’s existence. The Cell represents a Living System that is thermodynamically unstable. It requires a constant supply of matter and energy from its external environment to sustain its living functions. The concept of Whole Spirituality formulates the connection between the Cell and its external source of matter and energy.
The theoretical claims about Spirit and Soul, the religious and philosophical doctrines of Spiritualism and Spirituality must be verified using the Cell Theory that defines the human organism. To describe Soul or Spirit as nonmaterial or immaterial Self will not help man to know the real or true man.
Whole Foods, Whole People, and Whole Planet come together in a Wholesome Relationship as God is the Energy Provider, the Original Source of Matter and Energy for Life.