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Blog Post

Digesting What We Have Received

Published July, 2024

Consumption and Release

When we are focused on consuming, we rarely know the art of digestion and release. Yet without digestion and release we are a slave to unconscious consumption. Our only means of release becomes purging. Conversely, a well-digested person can feel nothing but joy for all experience. It is vital to put every experience that impacts us through a rigorous digestive process, and a crucial component of that process is to make the time it takes to integrate our experience slightly longer than our consumption. The challenge is, we like to keep our consumption unconscious because we do not want to be indebted. We go into shame, looking away from desire and consumption, or denying the extent to which it is occurring.

Unconscious Consumption

We thus consume under the radar—from food to sex to spirituality to seeking approval and attention—and assume that if we close the eyes of our consciousness while we are consuming, if we do not admit our consumption even to ourselves, we are no longer accountable. Yet there are always consequences and repercussions to consuming, and, while many of these may be positive, if we try to escape payment, we negate the true gift of what we have been given.

Reward in Digestion

Our true reward is in digestion. The pleasure-based consumption is what we have to do to produce enough energy to perform the digestive portion, which is where the real enjoyment is found. The task is to develop the craft of graciously acknowledging to the world what we have received without diminishing it. We acknowledge the sway it had over us and the love we have for the experience. To the extent we can communicate, we are paid in full for our experience. Full enjoyment of an experience—including the expression after—is the only payment.

Avoidance of Payment

Most people are so unwilling to make the payment that they end up working to consume more, or restricting and depriving consumption so as to not have to work. Digestion operates on the law that anything freely received must be freely given. Tumescence sees the goodness of life as scarce, so it needs to hoard. Whatever is hoarded turns to rot and we miss the gifts revealed in digestion.

Release and Acceptance

When we go through an experience that has us become more ourselves, part of the digestion is releasing aspects of the person we once were in order to graciously accept what we have received. The tumescent mind creates the idea to always seek relief through consumption rather than through emptying out.

Tumescent Mindset

When we look at the world through the tumescent mind, everything is uncomfortable, so we seek to numb our feelings of discomfort. We cannot even begin to imagine that what is causing the feeling is all the undigested material in the mind. The thought of not having something to distract us looks painful because then the only option would be to look at the undigested material. Tumescence always thinks more is better—digestive emptying looks like poverty.

Denial of Receipt

So, to keep resources we erroneously think we need, we deny that we have received anything. We say that we did not get what we wanted, that we did not want anything in the first place, that we were given something we did not want or request, that it was forced on us, that we were given more than we wanted and were harmed as a result, that we did not realize until we were in it that we did not want it.

Avoidance of Responsibility

That kind of thinking, without acting on our own behalf, is a way of denying what we received. When none of these ploys work, we blame another person by saying we couldn’t handle what we received and aren’t obliged to pay and should be compensated for the fact that we could not handle what we received.

Living in Eros

To live in Eros is not merely acknowledging the excellence of everything brought our way through the payment of our attention and connection. Instead, it is living energetically—leaning in by doing our best to always pay a little bit more than the asking price of an experience. To the deeper self, emptiness is the reward. Until we live in that emptiness, though, we need resources to find our way there.

Developing Emptiness

Our goal is to keep developing this facility in ourselves until we can fill what is empty outside of us so that it, too, can find its way home. This also helps to radically empty the senses that contain the residue that creates reactivity. If we desire less reactivity in our life, we empty ourselves and what we are left with is equanimity that can drain what is reactive.

Essence of Love

Love is not a filling but an emptying. It is only when we remove everything that we realize what we are truly made of.


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