Eating Your Way to Light by Rev. Christine Emmerling 11/22/2020 (text)
Eating Your Way to Light 11/22/2020
by Rev. Christine
The title of my talk today is “Eating Your Way to Light.” I thought this to be a good topic as this coming Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
A teaching of Christ Jesus, that I’ll be focusing on today is in Matthew 15:11, “It is not what enters into the mouth which defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, that is what defiles a man.” Continuing in 17-20, “Do you not know that what enters into the mouth goes into the stomach, and thence, through the intestines, is cast out? But what comes out of the mouth comes out from the heart; and that is what defiles man. For from the heart come out evil thoughts, such as fornication, murder, adultery, theft, false witness, blasphemy. It is these that defile a man; but if a man should eat when his hands are unwashed, he will not be defiled.”
Jesus the Christ is telling us that its more important to mind our thoughts; pay attention to what our thoughts are saying. Back in his day, unwashed hands was considered breaking a law. They had over 400 laws to follow each day to make their way to heaven. Our fearful, or stressful thoughts can do so much more harm to our body. Thoughts held long enough become spoken and acted upon can also do much harm to other people.
I’ve had to stop thoughts that have taken up residence by saying “cancel that thought” or “there’s no truth in that.” Then replace the thought with a good deep breath and some truth.
I’m sharing with you today from the book “You Are Gods” based on the teachings of Omraam Mikael Aivanhov. In the chapter titled “Learn to eat so learn to love” he describes how we can learn to love through the care we give to our eating. The following is from this chapter:
“Every day you prepare food and you eat, do you not? But you do not swallow everything that comes to hand. You sort things out first, because there is always something dirty or indigestible that needs to be washed off or discarded.
Human beings, who are more evolved than animals, go through this sorting process when it comes to food, but when it comes to feelings and thoughts they swallow everything. And it is worse still when it comes to love and sexuality. They do not know that this food – love – that they are about to eat and to give to their beloved to eat needs to be cleansed. If it is not, germs of disease and death, which their consciousness was incapable of discerning, will creep into their mutual exchange. Yes, death finds its way into a love that lacks consciousness, control, or light. And yet this is the love that is sung, praised, and glorified everywhere. So few people know any other kind.
You may be a little surprised that I compare love with nutrition, but the laws are the same. Why do man and women seek each other out? Hunger and thirst urge them on. They are hungry, they are thirsty, and they want to eat and drink.
Love is just like nourishment; the same needs and the same processes are involved. As I have so often said: when you eat you must forget everything else and allow yourself to think only of linking this process of nutrition with the whole universe, so that all these energies may serve not only to feed your physical body, but may also be directed upwards to feed your subtle bodies.
People who have not understood the process of nutrition will not understand that of love either, because they obey the same laws of spiritual alchemy. By eating automatically or simply for pleasure without doing any spiritual work, you are not preparing yourself to do any spiritual work during the exchanges of love either, and you will remain crude, limited, and dissatisfied...
By starting with nutrition, by learning to eat according to new rules, you will become capable of finding nourishment also in the fragrances, the emanations, the rivers that flow from the divine Source. Everything begins with a proper understanding of nutrition, from now on, therefore, endeavor to take it seriously.
Before you sit down to a meal you wash your hands, and although such practices are gradually disappearing these day you say a prayer. And since nutrition is a sacred act, it is preferable to get into the habit of eating in silence. In silence you prepare the right conditions to receive materials which will contribute to the construction of your physical and psychic organs.
When you take the first mouthful, chew consciously, for as long as possible, until it disappears in your mouth without your even having to swallow it. The state of mind in which we take the first mouthful is very important. It must be taken in the best possible frame of mind because it is this first mouthful that actuates all the inner cogwheels.
Never forget that the essential moment in any act is its beginning. The beginning gives the signal for forces to be released, and these forces do not stop half-way, they continue to the end. If we begin in a harmonious state, then all the rest will evolve harmoniously.
Eating slowly and chewing well aids digestion, of course, but you also need to be aware that the mouth, which is first to receive the food, is like a laboratory. It plays the role of a real stomach on a subtler plane by absorbing the finest – and therefore the most active – particles. It is the cruder materials that are passed on to the stomach. And then of course, since human beings possess not only a physical body but other bodies which are the seats of their psychic and spiritual functions (the etheric, astral, mental, causal, buddhic, and atmic bodies) the question arises of how they can nourish these.
I have said you need to chew your food well, but mastication is primarily for the physical body. To nourish the etheric body you need to add breathing. Just as air revives a flame – all you need to do is rekindle a fire is to blow on it – deep breathing during a meal aids combustion. Digestion is a form of combustion, as are breathing and thought.
The only difference is that the degree of heat and the purity of the matter varies with each process. It is good, therefore, to stop and breathe deeply from time to time as you eat, so that the combustion allows the etheric body to withdraw subtler particles from the food. And since our etheric body is the vehicle of vitality, memory, and sensitivity, it is to our advantage to allow it to develop properly.
As for the astral body, if feeds on feelings and emotions, elements that are even more immaterial than etheric particles. If you are sensitive you will feel that food is nothing other than a love letter written by the Creator. How could you ignore this letter? How could you not reply to it with love?
Just look at how men and women respond when they receive a letter from the person they love. They read it fervently, over and over, they are happy, they keep the letter safe... Well, I believe that food is the most eloquent of love letters, the most powerful, since it brings us life and strength. And to learn to read this letter is true communion.
Take a fruit; what does the Creator tell us through a fruit? He says: ‘I want you to become delicious like this fruit. At the moment you are hard, sour, and tough. You are not yet ready to be eaten, so you must educate yourself. Look at this fruit; if it is ripe it is because it has been exposed to the sun for a long time. Like this fruit, expose yourself to the sun, to the spiritual sun, who will see to it that all that is bitter, sour, and indigestible in you is transformed. It will also give you beautiful colors.’
This is what God tells us through the food we eat. So, by dwelling on your food with love for a few moments, you are preparing your astral body to extract very precious particles from it, particles that will change the quality of your feelings. And then you will feel the urge to behave with generosity and kindness. You will feel at peace and in harmony with nature and with human beings.
To nourish your mental body you must learn to concentrate on your food by reflecting on the fact that it is made up of energy particles not just from the earth, but from the entire universe.
If, therefore, you are more attentive, if you understand the richness and value of the food you eat, you will be able to receive and decipher the messages it conveys. It will tell you how the particles of which it is made up have crossed the universe, what beings have worked to make it grow, what entities have devoted themselves day and night to infusing it with such and such a property so that it my be useful to the children of God. It has even recorded the imprints left behind by all those who have worked in the fields or walked near it.
Indeed, the knowledge we gain by eating is a living knowledge, because it impregnates all the substance of our being. Do not be misled into thinking that it is sufficient to read, study, and think to develop your intellectual capacities. No, study and thought are vital activities, but they are not sufficient to feed our mental body.
Lastly, beyond their etheric, astral, and mental bodies human beings possess other, even subtler bodies. These are the causal, buddhic, and atmic bodies, the seats of the higher mental body, the soul, and the spirit, and these too need nourishment. You nourish them by allowing a feeling of gratitude toward the Creator to penetrate you.
This sense of gratitude will open the doors of heaven through which you will receive the greatest blessings, for gratitude is capable of transforming crude matter into particles of light which will be distributed in every part of you, in your brain, your solar plexus, and all your organs. You will begin to realize you have other needs and other joys of a higher nature, and greater possibilities for action will be open to you.
You will say: ‘But how? Does gratitude have such powers?’ Yes, because gratitude is the consciousness of what we owe to the Creator. And it is this consciousness, when it is focused on the food we eat, that is capable of opening up that food in order to release the energy it contains. In reality this process is identical to that we see in a nuclear power plant. If we really knew how to eat, a very few mouthfuls would be enough. We would draw enough energy from them to move the entire universe.
Like all living creatures, human beings eat to stay alive. But is there not another reason? Everything we do has more than one reason, one aim. Let us take an example very close to home. What do worms do? They swallow the earth and then expel it. By passing the earth through them in this way, they work on it in order to aerate it, thus making it richer and more fertile.
Well, human beings do the same with the food they eat. With their psychic and spiritual faculties they belong to a level of evolution far superior to that of the matter they absorb, and so, by passing through them in the process of nutrition, matter is enriched and refined.
As human beings, we must understand that we have been assigned to the noble mission of transforming and sublimating the matter of creation. We have been given the power to improve and embellish all that we eat, all that we touch. This is the task we have been set: to make matter pass through us in order to put a divine mark on it. Nutrition is a process of the highest alchemy. That of spiritualizing everything, deify everything.
Nutrition, as I understand it, reveals all the secrets of the universe to me. To me it represents a limitless world. From now on try to take the time to eat according to the rules of divine science, for in this way you will also learn to transform your sexual energies into energies of light. We need to eat to maintain our health, but without neglecting the mental work through which we transform energy by directing it heavenward. Once you have learned to do this, you will have a firm foundation from which to progress to other regions, in particular to the regions of love.”
To quickly summarize: The act of eating is a prayer to God.
1. We prepare ourselves in washing – washing of hands and then food, with thoughts of love and gratitude; this washing is the clearing away of any lowly thoughts.
2. We then bring our thoughts to the divine, acknowledging the divine nature of all the food we are to partake.
3. Have gratitude, a thankful heart for what is presented; for all those who have helped to grow, prepare and serve this food that is set before us.
4. We stop and breathe, take in the beauty and aromas, until you can see a finer light - the astral and etheric energy, the God energy of the food.
5. Eat slowly – savior, consciously chew every bite as the food of God – truly loving it.
6. Stop and Breathe between bites - the breath of God uniting with our food.
7. When completed give thanks for all the blessings received, and that the new energy shall go towards good works.
The following is a prayer we can say before eating, or in some traditions is called saying grace:
“The food of which we are going to partake is your gift, O God, pure Divine Substance, and the fruit of the labor of many beings. We are grateful for it and bless it. May it give us strength, health, joy – and may it increase our love. So it is. Amen!”