On Life & Nourishment

To deeply ponder life is healthy. Join me for a worthy exercise as we contemplate life on Earth in this week’s bulletin.

7 points

  1. Scientists agree to remain in wonder regarding the origin of life on Earth. They can’t figure out how life could have generated here. They wonder if life could have erupted out of a primordial soup sparked by lightning perhaps. They put forth ideas that it could have started in a “volcanically active hydrothermal environment”, for example. But they don’t know and can’t prove a thing. It remains a mystery. One widely considered theory states that life is not likely to have originated on Earth. Maybe life hitched a ride to Earth on a meteor and the perpetuation is what we are a part of. Does life on Earth have a cosmic origin? It’s arguably science’s biggest mystery.
  1. Let’s look at the phenomena. Life is connected to time. To know a living object you have to know it over time. All living things come into being and fade away. Cycles and rhythm are inherent to life. Life is expressed in great degrees of variety.
  2. Earth’s mineral, rocky nature is lifeless. The mineral world represents one Kingdom. Plants are a separate Kingdom. They are literally a different world, one that depends on water and one that contains life. Plants consist of a special interaction of life with mineral substances. The living plant consists of minerals transformed by life, which again is postulated by many to be originally foreign to Earth.
  1. From the geocentric viewpoint, the Earth is at the center, and the universe is the periphery. It’s the same as the human-centric view: Me in here, and the world out there. Life may be present at the center point, it may be present on Earth or present in the human, but its original source appears to be not from the center but from the periphery.

    If that’s the case, we would be able to look to the cosmic periphery to see or feel a great source of life. Now ponder with me the nourishment that life on Earth gets from the Sun! The Sun plays the central role in photosynthesis and in life of Earth! Sunlight is closely connected with life. The Sun quickens all life on Earth.
  2. If we are just as much Sun force as we are Earth force, we are not as contained or as isolated as we think we are. We need the periphery for our nourishment. The identity of any living being on Earth is just as much about the peripheral cosmos as it is about the Earth (the center).

    If that’s the case, the organizing principles of all we create should be modeled after these facts. Systems that are too weighted on a central structure have low “life” power. Healthy decentralization is an important principle for keeping a system connected to the lively flow. Balance of center and periphery is also an important healing principle. Life encourages the power to be in the hands of the people!
  1. Our metabolic nourishment is connected to how we stimulate our life organisms by ingesting foreign life. Our life forces are strengthened by overcoming the life forces we ingest. The quality of life in our food determines its value for us. Nutrition is an act of overcoming a foreign challenge. This is true whether we’re eating the plant material itself or eating animal muscle or organs that contain plant material that was predigested for us by the animal.
  2. Predigestion is smart if your digestive prowess is limited for some reason or another. Another form of predigestion is cooking (heating). The raw plant is more demanding on the digestive process than meat. Early digestion via masticating (chewing) and salivating is an underappreciated part of the digestive process. Chew your food a lot. Grandmothers everywhere agree with this message.

Now here is an advanced nutrition lessonwhere we bring in light metabolism. It’s only 4 quick points. Hang in there with me: 

  1. Our living structure has two main systems which are complete opposites: the nervous system on one end (contraction pole) and metabolism on the other (expansion pole). There is a third system that integrates them; it’s made up of the heart and the lungs. This third system alternates between contraction and expansion.

    This is a concept of the threefold human body as brought forward by Rudolf Steiner’s important penetrating insights into human physiology.
  2. The way the two opposite poles interact is a story of cooperation and connection. It’s reminiscent of the Earth’s relationship with the Sun, of center and periphery.

    It’s also reminiscent of the old tale about Heaven and Hell. The story goes that Heaven and Hell are the same: there’s enough nourishment for everyone, and the rules are simple: you cannot feed yourself. Heaven, where people receive nourishment, is created by our ability to share and receive. Heaven is created by love and kindness. Hell is a place devoid of cooperation and devoid of nourishment. Life and nourishment originate in cooperation with those outside ourselves.
  3. So follow this through. The metabolic pole takes in life in the form of food. The metabolism breaks down the food and builds up the blood. The blood stands as the peripheral system for the nervous system. From that vantage point it is the main source of nourishment for our brain and nerves.
  4. The opposite pole to metabolism and digestion, the nervous system, takes in light through the senses. These forces form the periphery of our metabolic system. Sensory input is ultimately an underappreciated nourishment source for the metabolic organs. In all we have said here it makes sense because the peripheral system provides the nourishment. Therefore, it’s possible to see that light feeds our metabolic organs.

Takeaway point

The quality of our sensory input has an important influence on our health just as much as the food we eat. 

Consider the sunlight filtering through leaves in the forest or the quality of light at sunrise or sunset. Contrast that to the fluorescent lights in a big box store.

The sun’s warmth on our skin or words of reassurance are non-digestive nourishment. This is light nourishment and it comes in through the senses.

Mind your sensory “diet”:

  • the more we are indoors as a culture, the more our metabolic health has deteriorated
  • Just like you’re aware of ultra-processed food, be aware of ultra-processed sensations like artificial lighting, screens, etc. The latter are just as taxing on physiology as ultra-processed food. 
  • Understand quiet time and nature visits as important detox efforts. 
  • Beethoven is healthier than death rock, which is actually a genre of music. At least it’s aptly named. But, in all seriousness, Mozart and Beethoven are like fresh veggies from your own garden. And now you know why.