“Patriotism is the fond memory of food eaten in childhood.”
~ Lin Yu T’ang
This statement is very profound. Extended to its logical conclusion it means that our national identities could actually be represented by:
- American - The Hot Dog
- French - The Baguette
- German - Sauerkraut
- Philippines - Chicken Adobo
- Spain - Paella
- Morocco - Couscous
and so on...
You don't have to agree with Lin Yu T'ang's statement, but you must admire his logic. He's saying that the symbols on our flags are only stand-ins for the things that really bind us together, namely the foodstuffs we grew up with and cherish — those guilty pleasures that unite us, that send us out as a group to do battle against one another. He's hinting it would actually be more honest to send us out under the banner of The Hot Dog or The Cheeseburger or The BLT than an arrangement of abstract symbols: stars, bars, triangles, crosses, moons, and other glyphs.
We identify with our cravings; we form societies around them and as long as we inhabit bodies, we never quite get over them, to the point where the images of our favorite foods are always foremost in our minds at times of stress, boredom, or respite.
For example, in the service and required to walk a 4-hour guard duty shift on shipboard or on land late at night, what did my thoughts eventually turn to? Not — was someone going to jump out of a tree or mow me down.
I kept my eyes and ears open on duty; I was vigilant, but at the end of a long shift, I always seemed to conjure up the image of a bowl of cornflakes, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a cheeseburger. I asked others what they thought about during their tour on guard duty. Always the same refrain: food fantasies, some special dish. We might not — each one of us — crave the exact same dish, but the choice always came from a common taste pool: the dishes Americans identify with.
That's why it's so difficult to be a traitor; most people cannot renounce the foods they grew up with. Think about the things that tie you to your roots and food comes up big. For most people, it's in first, second, and third place. Not only do we identify with foods, we become adept at justifying their consumption, in spite of the danger inherent in many of our favorites.
Over 40 years ago my awakened Kundalini displaced my exploratory relationship to drugs with something much more powerful, but it never completely purged my affection for the foods I loved as a child. For many and most, food is the final addiction.
Today I eat so completely differently. 90% raw. I haven't eaten a cheeseburger in 30 years; I couldn't digest one. Same goes for most of the foods I used to pine for on those long, lonely tours on guard duty. I no longer think about them, but I do understand how dangerous they are and I do understand their attraction.
Each one of us inhabits a different body, with different tastes and different cravings. Imagine if we were bodiless, beings of pure spirit. All of these cravings, all our longings would disappear. They will disappear as soon as we become pure spirit, which inevitably we will.
How do I know this? My experience with Kundalini revealed it to me. It is our evolutionary path. Without bodies there are no needs, no cravings, no addictions, no war, no negative emotions. Today, we cannot envisage such an existence. That's fine. Before we travelled to the moon, many thought it impossible, or never thought about at all.
It's not for next week or next month. We must survive centuries of challenges, but eventually we will shed those elements that bind us to our earthly limitations. Our bodies being one of them. The first step can be taken now.
“I didn’t arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind.”
~ Albert Einstein