We are renewed (made new again) through death. This is as true for civilizations as it is for individuals. Reform, modification, more exercise, a better diet, good intentions and cosmetic procedures cannot make us new again. Were it not for death, we’d be zombies sleepwalking through an endless senility.
Diet is derived from the Greek word for ‘a way of life’. We achieve spiritual weightlessness to the extent we drop the past and forgive everyone for everything. This is how angels fly.
When there’s no ‘hard’ in our lives, no challenge or difficulty, we become soft as over-boiled potatoes. Take our diet. When we abandoned raw hard-to-chew food in favour of soft, processed food, our facial structure changed. We were handsome once.
It is not poetic license to say we are luminous creatures. We eat the sunlight that plants convert into starch for our dietary benefit. Thank you, rice. Thank you, grains. Thank you, sun.
Inedia is not simply a cultural titillation. It’s a finger pointing to our dysfunctional relationship to food—to wild excesses of sugar and salt; to fast and modified food; to wastage, spoilage and methane-belching animal farms; to eating disorders and childhood obesity; even, I suppose, to the weird ubiquity of weigh scales.