Philip, I too am impressed by your account and by your choosing to share it.
You described well some of what I experienced when, after twelve years in Catholic schools I quit Catholicism. I felt like I was about to leap into an abyss and I refused to not leap. It turned out to be the best thing I'd ever done for myself.
I wish you well.
Duality of being is another of those fallacies given as a gift from ancient philosophers and modern fundamentalists. It means a state of two parts.
Dualism can refer to moral dualism, conflict between good and evil; mind-body or mind-matter dualism presents a continuation of dear old Aristotle and Plato who perceived multiple souls and all their manifestations and of course Rene Descartes with his dualism of splitting mind from body. He claimed the mind represented consciousness and intelligence as separate from the body. Even the Chinese separated existence into Yin and Yang, physical and spiritual.
It doesn’t take very much thinking in scientific terms to discover these concepts are flawed. They just do not stand up to what goes around us every day. Some people have good and evil within them, creating cognitive dissonance for everyone, including the individual. Notions of separation into physical and spiritual represent further constructs of the imagination constructed in the human mind.
One can define spiritual being as an un-seeable, un-hearable, un-touchable being that has superhuman power over Earth and all its inhabitants and who communicates in ways that cannot be verified. A constructed devil imposes evil thoughts and events on life, and there are constructs of angels, divas, explanations for unexplainable events. These kinds of spirituality fill in the gaps of things we haven’t figured out yet. Like, how can something come from nothing? Or from where did like come?
Another kind of spirituality has relation to our sensory organs, i.e. seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling with our heart and feeling with our gut (intuition). This spirituality has its roots in a sense of wonder of being conscious of ourselves and the environment around us, they are those simple and difficult questions children and inquiring adults have, it is the sense of concern as we see individuals, families, communities and all living things on Earth face serious threats to health. It is the ability to see problems as they develop, think about options to solve them, and then to take action to make improvements. It is the ability to discern events, recognizing potential problems before they develop.
Descartes split the body from the mind and then ignored the mind. He didn't feel; he only half-was.
Ooppss! That should have been, "from where did life come?
Oh the pleasures of food! Putting rhubarb and strawberry sauce over vanilla icecream, or vinegar on spinach, or bacon in potato salad, or blueberries in pancakes, or balsamic vinegar syrup over strawberries, or butter and chives on baked potatoes, or homemade chicken soup, or stroganoff with fresh green peas, or macaroni and cheese with toasted white bread crumbs, or eating beans in the garden before they get to the kitchen, or having raspberries the neighborhood children pick, or popcorn on a cold winter night, or raw sugar and heavy cream in my morning coffee. These are the pleasures of life.
Frederic Patenaude wrote that food is just fuel, what you do with your life is what matters. I say that it is not the case that the purpose of eating is to derive enjoyment from the action of putting so called delicious things into your mouth. Not to spoil your fun, but logically, food is not a real activity, it is just a body function. I mean, you don't try to prolong or derive enjoyment from the action of expelling waste from your body so why turn another body function into a big production just because we are supposed to see each other do one body function but not another body function? What about fun hobbies and activities like bowling or sports, games, crafts, places to visit, books to read, music to hear, and so on? Can you still have a nice life even if you never ate the junk you are currently addicted to again?
Yours is certainly a different approach to food. So tell us what brings you pleasure? What do you like to do that keep you refreshed and renewed.
Interesting that you perceive the food I like as "junk" ... well, I suppose it is to some people; you wouldn't have any fun at my house, I raise food and eat it. I don't like sports or games. I did like to travel and did research in 32 nations of the Earth. I read voraciously, love music, like family and friends in my kitchen as we stir up what ever we harvest.
Frankly, I kind of enjoy the excreting part too, not that I want any company when I partake in that activity. I just enjoy my system being open. Sleep is good.
So, I eagerly await your preferences.
Michael, can it be that Frederic Patenaude's cooking is worse than mine?
And this: a man I once worked with opined that having sex is seriously overrated and taking a crap is seriously underrated. I understood; he and his wife didn't get along very well.
Joan, you have some intriguing combinations there.
Try black pepper ice cream. In a three-cup recipe, use half the sugar and add a tablespoon (or a bit more) of fresh-ground black pepper.
Y'all should try wasabi ice cream. It sounds rather frightening, but it is quite delicious and refreshing... almost more of a sorbet. The paste you get in the US is often not wasabi at all, and fresh wasabi is very, very tasty in its own right. If you ever get the opportunity for fresh wasabi (rather than paste) or wasabi ice cream, do try it out.
Some people like to tip-toe around religion and religious doctrine, and I wonder why we continue to have that timidity? Whether based on Abrahamic faiths, or eastern mysticism, stories of magic may be stories of facts ... I don't think so. A virgin birth, or a resurrection, or a transformation of elements from water to wine make no sense, cannot be replicated, and can't be falsified. We listen to stories that are more than 4,000 years old and believe them. Why? Or stories of modern appearances of ghosts, or past lives, or toast that looks like jesus and we are gullible enough to accept them just because someone says these things happened. The thinking of a wishful child transformed into adult wishful thinking. The stories woven around Buddha are no better then woven tales of Jesus or Mohamed, or Pat Robertson and his ilk.
I say, call into question all such claims. Demand proof or get away from me. How many times have I heard how god of jesus "saved" someone; give me evidence. Frankly, I have little toleration for faith-mongers or faith-peddlers.
You know, the Earth is 4,540,000,000 years old; I have used up 77 of those years. I don't want to spend one more minute with mongers and peddlers.
I tiptoe past polite xians and I don't kick crutches from under people with sprained ankles.
Impolite xians? I tell them religion is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on humankind.
If I'm feeling Machiavellian I say "The more people who wait for happiness in another life, the fewer people I have to share this life's happiness with."