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Gluttony versus Moderation

Gluttony versus Moderation


Gluttony versus Moderation
June 24, 2012
Jan Chase

PURPOSE: To encourage awareness of tendencies to over or under endulge and choose the wisdom of the middle way

BENEFIT: Balance in life, joy, health, happiness



Definition of GLUTTONY (Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary) 1
: excess in eating or drinking
: greedy or excessive indulgence

It is not uncommon for us to play games with ourselves to feed our habits of excess.

It is not uncommon for us to play games with ourselves to feed our habits of excess.

Charles Fillmore the co-founder of our Unity Movement talks about our need to develop 12 faculties or powers within ourselves. These are similar to chakra systems of the east. One of these POWERS deals with WSIDOM/DISCERNMENT and JUDGMENT.

Charles Fillmore: Twelve Powers of Man: Wisdom/Discernment/Judgment
…Intuition, judgment, wisdom, justice, discernment, pure knowing, and profound understanding are natural to man. All these qualities, and many more, belong to every one of us by and through his divine sonship. "I said, Ye are gods, and all of you sons of the Most High!" the Christ proclaims in us all. Paul saw Christ waiting at the door of every soul, when he wrote: "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee."
A quickening of our divine judgment arouses in us the judge of all the world. "The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable." When we call this righteous judge into action, we may find our standards of right and wrong undergoing rapid changes, but if we hold steadily to the Lord as our supreme guide, we shall be led into all righteousness.

…Wisdom includes judgment, discrimination, intuition, and all the departments of mind that come under the head of knowing. The house or throne of this wise judge is at the nerve center called the solar plexus. The natural man refers to it as the pit of the stomach. The presiding intelligence at this center knows what is going on, especially in the domain of consciousness pertaining to the body and its needs. Chemistry is its specialty; it also knows all that pertains to the sensations of soul and body. In its highest phase it makes union with the white light of Spirit functioning in the top brain. At the solar plexus also takes place the union between love and wisdom.

Gluttony Main article: Gluttony

(Albert Anker, 1896)
Derived from the Latin gluttire, meaning to gulp down or swallow, gluttony (Latin, gula) is the over-indulgence and over-consumption of anything to the point of waste. In the Christian religions, it is considered a sin because of the excessive desire for food for its withholding from the needy.[14]
Depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. Where food is relatively scarce, being able to eat well might be something to take pride in. But in an area where food is routinely plentiful, it may be considered a sign of self-control to resist the temptation to over-indulge.
Medieval church leaders (e.g., Thomas Aquinas) took a more expansive view of gluttony,[14] arguing that it could also include an obsessive anticipation of meals, and the constant eating of delicacies and excessively costly foods.[15] Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six ways to commit gluttony, including:
Praepropere - eating too soon.Laute - eating too expensively.Nimis - eating too much.Ardenter - eating too eagerly (burningly).Studiose - eating too daintily (keenly).Forente - eating wildly (boringly). From Buddhist 5 principles:
3) To undertake the training to avoid sensual misconduct. This precept is often mistranslated or misinterpreted as relating only to sexual misconduct but it covers any overindulgence in any sensual pleasure such as gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature.
From the Thai Forest Tradition Blogspot:
Why do seekers fast? It is because when there is gluttony, the mind is indeed clouded. The more attached to food a person is, the more difficult is for the person to seek and realize spiritual breakthrough.

That is why as monks during Ajahn Mun’s days go for pindapat (almsround) and ate whatever that were offered to them. If they do not get any food during almsround, then they just fast for the day- there is no emergency storage that they kept away. And living in jungles and remote areas are chillingly cold, especially this time of the year. I know because I’ve been there- you need lots of blankets, gloves, warm wool hat, jackets just to keep yourself warm. I cannot imagine how these monks had lived during the time when they only wear one robe and carry another as part of their tudong. That is why during that time, a lot of Masters were born- it is through hardship.

Jesus also teaches about the benefits of fasting and how to fast in Matthew 6.

16 "And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Then Jesus goes on to teach much as the Buddha did not to worry about having enough but to trust the Universe, God in all things.

Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?


When we think of Gluttony we tend to think about over eating. But there are other forms of gluttony, over-indulgence, over-consumption that we get stuck in.
What might some of these be? Sex, time, entertainment, work, resources: water, oil/gas,
Certainly we in America are over consumers not just of food, but of “stuff”, of the natural resources of the world.
In the United States:

Reducing consumption without reducing use is a costly delusion. If undeveloped countries consumed at the same rate as the US, four complete planets the size of the Earth would be required. People who think that they have a right to such a life are quite mistaken.

· Americans eat 815 billion calories of food each day - that's roughly 200 billion more than needed - enough to feed 80 million people.
· Americans throw out 200,000 tons of edible food daily.
· The average American generates 52 tons of garbage by age 75.
· The average individual daily consumption of water is 159 gallons, while more than half the world's population lives on 25 gallons.
· 250 million people have died of hunger-related causes in the past quarter-century — roughly 10 million each year.
· 700 to 800 million people, perhaps even as many as a billion, don't get enough food to support normal daily activities
· 250 million people have died of hunger-related causes in the past quarter-century — roughly 10 million each year.
· 700 to 800 million people, perhaps even as many as a billion, don't get enough food to support normal daily activities

Anything that we overdo with our time or our money or our bodies.
Why does it matter? How does gluttony affect us negatively?
1. We are poisoning our world and our selves.
2. We are using more than our share of resources, leaving others to starve.
I am not saying this is an easy global problem to solve.

But there are people who are working on it like Bono and other celebrities and organizations.

When we cut down our individual overconsumption, we can send some of our savings to them.

With Over consumption regret often comes personally or ecologically or humanitarianly.

Can you think of ways you over do, over consume that puts your life, not only out of balance, but distracts from your spiritual development.
We can also overdo religion to the point where it becomes an obsession.

Why do we behave in guttonous ways?
1. We are not using the wisdom of our Mind/Body.
2. We are expecting the outer to fulfill and inner need.
3. We are told to consume to save the country.
4. We have not developed right use of Pleasure and Pain
5. We have not found the Middle Way of the Master Teachers.
6. Others???
Imagine rowing down a river with lots of twists and turns in it.
· If you steer to one side or the other, you may run into hazards such as felled trees, sand banks, rapids and become trapped. Your journey is disrupted.
· If you steer down the middle of the river, you still bend and maneuver some, however, you go about ½ the distance and avoid many of the traps. Your trip is faster and more pleasurable.
· This applies to life as well.

· The middle road neither gets us stuck in the gluttony of over-consumption or the pleasure-denying and life-threatening position of asceticism.
· Our ability to be in the Middle Way requires us to neither be attached to feelings of pleasure, denying our ability to process pain, nor does it require us to deny or reject living fully.
· From the Middle Way, we live in the now moment and process with some skill both the pleasure and the pain in each now moment.



Everyday, maybe every minute we make choices about what we think, whether we feel with skill, and how we act.
It us choose the middle way in all things and allow joy and happiness to bless us in each moment.

Pleasure/Pain Skill

“Do not worry about what you will eat or what you will drink…” Jesus


Charles Fillmore: Twelve Powers of Man: Discernment/Judgment
Sensation, feeling, affection, and love are closely allied. Sensation is personified in the Edenic allegory as the serpent, the most subtle of the beasts of the field (animal forces alive in substance). The subtlety of sensation in its various guises is in its pleasure, the thrill that comes when mind and matter join in the ecstasy of life. When the desire for the pleasures of sensation is indulged and the guiding wisdom ignored, a realm of consciousness is established that regards the material universe as the only reality. The Lord, the knowing side of man, talks to him in the "cool of the day." In the heat of passion and the joy of pleasure, man does not listen to the "still, small voice," but in the "cool of the day," that is, when he cools off, he reflects, and he hears the voice of wisdom and judgment saying: "Where art thou, Adam?"
The "great day of judgment"--which has been located at some fateful time in the future when we all shall be called before the judge of the world and have punishment meted out to us for our sins—in every day.



"Unhealthy Food?"
A dietitian was once addressing a large audience in Chicago.
"The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago.
Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water.
But, there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and most all of us have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"
A 75-year-old man in the front row stood up and said, "Wedding cake."

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