A student once asked a Zen master how to practice Zen. The master replied “Rest when you’re tired, and eat when you’re hungry.” Following such simple advice is a difficult thing to do! After all, we often eat for a variety of reasons, other than hunger — we feel bored, stressed-out, restless, sorry for ourselves, etc. And when we eat, our mind is not on the food, but on our problems, future plans, and anxieties. Apropos, is the title of a seminar that Dr. Dillof has presented on the philosophy of eating: “Fulfilled or Filled Full?” Needless to say, food cannot be a successful surrogate for a fulfilling life. Failing to realize this, we attempt to fill the emptiness within with food. That is the origin of eating disorders.
|Thanks to therapy, she is no longer anorexic.
Of course, not all eating disorders involve overeating. Anorexia is a different type of eating disorder. Anorexics starve themselves because even the slightest fat on their body appears to them as evidence of a gluttonous egotism and, therefore, as immoral. Here, again, a person is not simply eating when hungry, but has an altogether different agenda, one involving moral issues.
The philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre suggested that a person’s relation to eating reveals everything about him or her. The foods we crave, as well as those we detest, how we like our eggs prepared, how we arrange the items on our plate, and other seemingly trivial details — once deciphered — can be a valuable source of self-knowledge, as revealing as any inkblot. If, after illuminating your relation to food, you were to change what you eat and how you eat, everything else in your world would begin to change.
Food can, therefore, be a very fruitful avenue for self-discovery and for self-transformation. Dr. Dillof can help you understand the philosophical significance of your food preferences. Such understanding will, hopefully, end your eating disorder and change your life.
Hungry for insight? Dr. Dillof offers philosophical counseling, by phone and in person. For information, call him toll-free at: 1-888-737-5724 or local at: (502) 458-7171 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. The telephone can allow for an intense conversation. Why, then, drive to a session — in the rain, snow, cold and dark — spending money on fuel?
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