Are you a human creature (an animal by nature) with a Spirit, or are you a Spirit living and dwelling within a human body? This is a question you might ask ourselves daily.
In a world where everything is handed to you without having to have foraged, gleaned, sowed, manufactured, or harvested—we tend to take the cycle of life for granted.
We exchange our money for ground beef without ever noticing or caring how the meat was once a newborn calf, grew up on a farm, perhaps treated humanely or not, then fed through the manufacturing machine to be cut up into parts and then ground up, cooked with onion and cheese, put on a savory bun with lettuce and tomato, so that you might never know or care about how this meal arrived.
This same part of our brain that craves certain food or sex or whatever you happen to be passing at the moment is generally the reptilian brain, often know as the fight or flight mechanism of the brain. This part also controls our thirst, sexual desire, and our fears.
I’m inclined to believe that if we believe that we act as if we are more a human body that has a Spirit, rather and a Divine Piece of Spirit dwelling in human-ness, then we are so going to act on our basest desires most or all of the time without giving it a single thought. Can you actually grow spiritually without observing yourself and discovering a more humane way to live without hurting others and yourself?
I recently had a conversation with a client who told me about a hero of his. This hero who also has his own podcast was once a vegan. He now believes that we should be more hunter gathers and kill for ourselves so that we can connect with our human side. We would, in his estimation, be better for it and have the food that the earth needs to give us. We, in turn, would get the understanding of how to be better people as a result. I’m sure there is more to his thinking than this, but I was drawn to my client’s thoughts about this man’s theory that I described above.
Yes, we should understand our human self. This bears much import in the human/spirit paradigm. If we don’t know from what we came from, we will never know the direction we need to go, which in my estimation is toward the light.
In other words, I don’t want to be animal or operate on my reptilian brain, my deepest fight or flight part of my brain. This is the part of my humanity I seek to overcome as a Spirit being. I want to see my less than humane desires and overcome them or find a better way to be happy, content, and at peace, without harming the earth and animals.
Look, if you have read this far in this blog, you may be telling yourself that this is a blog about veganism. It really isn’t. This is a blog about growing spiritually, beyond the confines of your human body. If you stay in tune with your body and its desires, don’t judge them, but treat them more as if they are a child under the watchful eye of an adult supervisor, you would be more inclined to see that the quart of ice cream might not be the best for you, even though you crave it. You may well see that that someone else’s wife isn’t the person for you because you are already married and don’t need to have sex with two people, even though your body may crave it.
Not everything that we walk past at the store or in life is for our best interest or our spiritual growth. In fact, most of what we pass is actually teaching us a lesson, if we let it.
I missed my lunchtime. It’s now dinnertime and I still haven’t eaten. I’m a vegetarian and pass a group of friends having a cookout on my way home. They offer me a hamburger. It smells familiar. I’m ravenous and the cow is already dead. Should I really think twice about sating my desire?
Of course, you should. You became a vegetarian or a vegan for a reason. How far from the salad bowl is the burger? How far from the burger is a skewer of veggies? Couldn’t those other choices satisfy you, as well? But, you are just too hungry to reason with yourself.
You eat the burger after not having meat for a year. It felt amazing chewing it and going down your throat to your starving stomach. You had forgotten what it felt like to sink your teeth into a juicy, bloody burger with cheese, mustard and pickle. Maybe you really aren’t a vegetarian. Maybe you’re a carnivore who must have meat to survive, you think.
Then, after the hunger is over, similar to the way you felt when you had sex out of your relationship—that one time—you felt guilt and remorse. Your human desires beat you. They took a sledge hammer to your will.