Let me tell you a story… Once upon a time there was a man called Nick. He thought he had things pretty figured out, until one day, a mysterious delivery from Uber Eats, pushed him over the edge…
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I was thinking about how to start this episode… and all I could think of was F*%^$!, Sh^!*,F*%^$!, Sh^!*.
Seriously… that’s how I feel right now. Really fucking human. It’s hard to pinpoint where the past couple of weeks went off the rails, but I think it was actually to do with enlightenment. I know that sounds weird, but I am blaming enlightenment for how I am feeling.
If you have heard my episode 25, I ‘Think’ I Was Enlightened, you will know that last year I was gifted an experience of extended bliss. What I call my Jesus moment. The problem is, I find myself wanting to be back there, sometimes at any cost.
So let me tell you a story…
It all started in Nepal. I found myself leading up to that trip really starting to feel an aversion towards animal protein. I don’t think it was so much about compassion towards other living things, as I have always felt like a conscious omnivore with the choices I have made about the source of my animal products, although, if you are vegan you may argue it doesn’t matter what choices you make, you are still taking life… and to some extent, I agree, but that’s a whole other topic for another day because how do we define life? Anyway. In Nepal, I could not for whatever reason bring myself to eat animal protein.
If you are new to this show, you may hear me reference Jesus a lot… this is not because I subscribe to Christianity, but because I see him as a symbol of love and heart. In The Essene Gospel of Peace, Book One, Jesus apparently taught the following…
But I do say to you: Kill neither men nor beasts, nor yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life and from death comes always death. And everything which kills your bodies kills your soul also. And your bodies become what your foods are, even as your spirits, likewise, become what your thoughts are. Therefore, he who kills, kills his brother. And from him will the Earthly Mother turn away, and will pluck from him her quickening breasts. And he will be shunned by her angels, and Satan will have his dwelling in his body. And the flesh of the slain beasts in his body will become his own tomb. For I tell you truly, he who kills, kills himself, and whoso eats the flesh of slain beasts, eats of the body of death. For in his blood every drop of their blood turns to poison; in his breath their breath to stink… And their death will become his death.
Wow. How freakin heavy is that?! To be honest I find it hard to believe that he would have written in that way. It feels awfully judgmental for a man who was about non-judgment. I mean, I don’t know what makes me feel more compassionate… taking an animals life in order for me to live? Or imagining that beautiful plant, still in a state of respiration, gradually slowing down it’s breath of life as it is overcome either by the heat of cooking or the heat of digestion. But amongst that strong rhetoric, Jesus, not mine, lies how I have been feeling.
I am 10 years into my meditation practice. Along the way, I have been told by many practitioners that one day I will stop eating animal protein… I never believed them. I feel anything that rules something out altogether must be viewed through the lense of extreme. Nevertheless, I have been feeling this way, and perhaps it is part of the purging process you go through after you wake up and dedicate your life to spiritual pursuits. But that’s just the thing… my spiritual practice is a part of my life. And amongst all that is me having a very human experience. I see my work as a musician, a podcaster, filmmaker and entrepreneur as still an expression of my spirituality, but in order to execute, I have to be very human. Operating in this 3-dimensional relative field, especially today where we live in cities and function almost with technology as an extension of our body, we have to be grounded in this dimension. We have to be human.
So the universe sent me a funny test last week… I cringe at the thought of revealing this by the way, but hey, isn’t it I who talks about radical honesty?
I was at home, alone, and a delivery man buzzed our apartment. I am used to getting multiple deliveries per day, so this was nothing out of the ordinary. Up walks this guy, who is on the phone not able to talk, and he hands me a brown paper bag. Again, a very normal thing to happen so I didn’t question it. This bag, however, turns out to be an Uber Eats delivery for someone called ‘Nick’, at my address. I have never ordered Uber Eats, but here is this bag of tasty hot food, scrumptious aromas wafting across my nose, lighting up that primal part of my brain.
I knocked on all doors thinking there was some mistake, but no one answered. After about an hour of trying, because I felt bad for the person who might be going hungry, I thought, bugger it, I am going to take a look what’s inside. It was a beef burger from a cafe down the road… literally, 3 min walk away so no idea why anyone would order Uber Eats… there was also sweet potato fries and a Kombucha. Now, this was a big fat juicy burger with cheese, massive beef patty, some insanely delicious smelling sauce and just about everything you can think of all bundled up into a tempting parcel.
Was this a test? I knocked again on all the doors.. still no answer! I even called our landlord… he had no idea who it could be and he knows everyone in the building.
So… I went from gluten, dairy and red meat free… to smashing the whole god damn hamburger. It was so good. I ate with no guilt, recognising this as some unique challenge to either… a) eat it and show I can feel fine on any foods and it’s more about the state of your mind that affects the way you feel, or b) to not eat the god damn hamburger.
And what happened? About 6 hours later I got food poisoning. No, it wasn’t emotional, it was full on food poisoning. Or was it my body acknowledging that this food did not vibrate at the same level as what I normally consume? I have no freaking idea. All I knew is that it was coming out much faster than it went in.
Food is such an interesting challenge. I feel such a strong pull towards a more monastic life where I can just be in peace, meditating. Or maybe just become a farmer and pick custard apples for a living? But I love the relative. I love my wife, my son, my music, you. So in order to operate as a highly functioning individual who executes project after project, I must embrace my humanity. 5 weeks without animal protein and I was feeling so light. I had lost weight that I didn’t want to lose to be honest. My meditations were deep, yet light. However, my daily tasks of executing across multiple projects just did not seem to flow. I was convinced I was on the right track with this new found animal flesh free life, but if I was, surely it would only have enhanced my ability to live my purpose and get shiz done? From an Ayurvedic perspective I was becoming far too Vata. Too airy. I was floating without direction, being blown around by the winds of relativity. Does that serve me? Sure, if I was on my own, on a mountain, I could afford to float into the ether, but here, now, I have the work of my spirit to do, and that spirit needs to be grounded in this earthly realm to get shiz done.
One of the pillars of Wisdom is Witnessing, or becoming the Witness. I was witnessing this all play out as if watching a movie. I could see where this was headed, but the experiment was too fascinating to stop.
I fear there may be no resolution for you the listener, no uplifting and inspiring message. But I know that many people struggle with similar feelings of being torn between their Human ‘Beingness’ and their Human ‘Doingness’.
I guess I wanted to express that it’s ok to feel lost. That you are never lost. You are always finding your way. The keywords being ‘your way’. We all have such a unique journey. Perhaps one day I will be able to operate with light, aka plants, as my only source of fuel. But right now that doesn’t serve me. I need to give myself a break and acknowledge that this game of life has been perfectly set up to test me. That pesky universal polarity keeps popping its head up. While I feel the calling of ascension, I also feel the calling to be grounded and serve in a very human way. That requires grounding. And that may sometimes mean, you just gotta have that goddamn hamburger!