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Friday, October 24, 2008

Pleasure and Pain

I think we are supposed to enjoy pleasure and find ways to eliminate pain. It seems only natural. If you are experiencing pain it is telling you there is something to fix. The longer you ignore it, the louder it usually gets.

Let's say you have a pain in your knee. You might first go get a pain reliever like ibuprofen. You take a pill, the pain goes away. Then it comes back. Day after day it starts to get worse. Then you might decide to take more action because it is painful to be in pain. You might recognize that knees are often related to kidneys and you do a kidney cleanse or take herbs and eat foods especially for kidneys like a nice black bean stew, aduki rice and sea vegetable salad. After several days, the pain goes away. Once the pain is gone, you most likely don't think about it much at all. Once it is gone. It is just gone.

I think that is how one woman can have many children. She forgets the pain of the births and remembers instead all of the glorious pleasure of having a new baby. Both men and women are wired to seek out pleasure for the survival of the species. When survival is no longer an issue. The indulgence of pleasure can sometimes bring us back to pain.

Sugar seems one of these (is there a word for this phenomenon?). Sugarcane is sweet. Fruits are generally sweet. Chewing grains and beans more thrall brings out their sweetness and many vegetables too give us a sweet flavor. That is, they have a nice sweetness when our taste buds are acclimated to these sorts of foods.

Industrious man then created processing. Quick, convenient and concentrated with flavors. Flavors that you couldn't even get with traditional cooking because with processing one, could have flavor enhancers or concentrations. It takes approximately three feet of sugar cane to make one teaspoon of sugar. The teaspoon of sugar is very sweet. As we get used to such concentrations, the original cane can taste bland and boring. Fresh fruits become far less enticing as cakes, pies and candies satisfy the desire for this kind of pleasure.

Then eating more processed foods creates more and more acidity, mineral imbalance and disease in the body, creating more and more pains once again. When I ask people to initially start eating simple whole foods they get disgruntled. The food tastes bland to them as they are so used to strong tastes. Then, the more they eat simple foods, the better they become and the health can recover once again. Why wait for the pain? How about starting to reconnect with simple pleasures in each day and the sweetness in life that is freely given.

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