“They do not eat meat either, on the grounds that the divine substance has fled from the dead or slain bodies, and what little remains there is of such quality and quantity that it does not merit being purified in the stomachs of the elect. They do not even eat eggs, claiming that they too die when they are broken, and it is not fitting to feed on any dead bodies…Moreover, they do not use milk for food…” – Augustine, De Haer 46:103-113, Faustum 16

I think the key to anything is BALANCE

too much of one thing is always bad. Extremism in any form is bad.

Asceticism has its place but once it has gained what it was meant to do, loss weight, cleanse the system, gain spiritual insight etc. It should be dropped. Total asceticism imo is largely insane.

Take a group who I wont mention by name, they deny caffeine in their lives. Fine, a sensible option you’d think yes? Caffeine is bad, it raises the blood pressure, is highly addictive etc etc etc. So denying yourself caffeine is a sensible option, and thus is holy. But is it?
“I’m often asked, ‘well, as a vegan, what do you eat?’ which seems like such a strange question. What do non-vegans eat? Meat, cheese, milk, eggs? Vegans eat everything else. Indian food, Chinese food, Mexican food, Thai food, Japanese food, African food, and so on, and so on.
“Whether I’m having a pan bagnia sandwich (olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, basil and onions, on ciabatta bread) at Teany, my restaurant, or having marinated exotic mushrooms with mixed baby greens and an orange vinaigrette in Paris, or having fajitas in Los Angeles, or vegan Chinese food in lower Manhattan, or vegan Pad Thai in Melbourne, or etc etc – I’m always a very happy eater.
“Primarily I’m a vegan for ethical reasons, but if the truth be told it’s the culinary aspect of veganism that has sustained me for 16 years of animal-product free living.” –Moby (muscician)

God is ALL, all that IS, WAS and WILL be…there is nothing that is not God. Does this mean then that if we are concentrating on caffeine and denying it we are concentrating upon the divine? Or are we focusing upon ourselves? Who should we be focusing on?

Asceticism is thus a useful tool, but like all tools once used should we not pick another? Just because eating soup with a spoon is better than a fork, should we use the same spoon to paint walls with? With the logic of extremism, yes, we should paint walls with a spoon.

Now bearing this in mind we must also consider that every one’s dietary needs are important and DIFFERENT. No two people have the exact same digestive system. Some people thrive on meat, others do not. Myself I eat meat three or four times a month. Coupled with how meat is produced along with the fact I have been surrounded by vegetarianism all my life, I cannot in all conscious promote the eating of meat. But no one can gain gnosis FOR another. Each must decide in their own hearts what is right for them.

Raw vegetables are great. I love raw carrots and tomatoes. Unfortunately I love potatoes. Eating raw potatoes make you sick. There is no two ways around that. So what are we faced with? BALANCE…. Let us not make it a crime to actually cook food. Cooking brings so much to our table. The interaction of preparation, herbs, spices, colors, smells and tastes. Food and cooking food are ever so holy things. Let us celebrate what the divine has given us, not become extremists. Of course this does not mean we should ingest poison deliberately; arguably mass produced meat is a poison. For some Alcohol and drugs are a poison. Each must decide for themselves unless we seek to paint walls with a spoon forever and ever.

“In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they’re the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer, author, Nobel 1978

Of course the cooking of food does have repercussions:

Johns Hopkins Hospital reports:

“The combination of heat, water and oxygen is disastrous to vitamins and minerals. Cook all foods at a very low temperature (below boiling) so as to retain the vitamins and minerals. Unless we eat food properly prepared, we suffer from inferior physical development, mental instability, low endurance and lack of resistance to infection”.

For more of the above and suggestions on cooking, vegan and vegetarian Gnosticism see:

http://essenes.net/vcook.html

http://essenes.net/index-isis.htm

http://essenes.net/subindex3.htm

The Buddha said:

“If a man can (control) his body and mind and thereby refrains from eating animal flesh and wearing animal products, I say he will really be liberated.”

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