Amy Thinks Deep

philosophy for the curious soul 

Spiritual Binging

                Binging is not a new concept for counselors or those who struggle with consuming hours with one compulsive behavior. Binging is when a person eats excessively for a time that amounts to more than the normal healthy amount usually consumed by the individual with a short amount of time. It is an act that can be triggered by emotional or psychological distress. This is why many licensed psychologists work with eating and other compulsive disorders. Eating disorders can be hidden to great extents and can come in many forms. Eating can have equilibrium – or a norm; it is a long term process of balance of several factors. Sometimes the balance needs more, sometimes less. Eating to balance may be appropriate, but eating to compensate or gain extra can be quite unhealthy, not only in physical ways, but in spiritual and psychological ways as well.

                Inspired by the line in the famous prayer “Give us this day our daily bread,” the line itself gives a metaphorical guideline to discover spiritual feeding needs and habits. Binging, rumination, purging, etc – these physical metaphors can be applied to spiritual nutrition and growth. Just as many can eat to compensate for physical comfort or discomfort, so the same happens spiritually. Any spiritual person’s “cup” can be filled with Spirit and have it “runneth over” (Psalm 23:5) and, seemingly, no longer need food or drink for a while, in a spiritual sense. Physically this is not healthy; neither is it for emotional and psychological health to dramatically overcompensate emotions or mental activity. Too much within a given time can lead one into imbalance and distress.

                Times can determine bounty or famine. The Bible story of Pharoah’s dream – seven skinny and seven fat cows – metaphorically represented seven years with plenty of harvest and seven years of famine. Though this is an actual historical event, it can be applied in a spiritual sense. Souls can go through times that seem like extra – good times, close with God, spiritually bright, clear-headed, etc. When one meditates or prays more than usual, it can be considered much like a spiritual high. Likewise, the metaphor of binging (taking in much more than one’s usual spiritual feeding in a shorter amount of time) can be applied to spiritual health.

                Waves of ups and downs in spirituality are not necessarily unhealthy, but should be considered in spiritual status and how it contributes to holistic growth and equilibrium.  It is spoken for that binging/purging cycles are discouraged for physical health. Likewise, dramatic changes in the spiritual status may not help long term in other areas of holistic growth.

                Spiritual growth is personalized for every individual. One day, spiritual health will be advanced enough to conceptualize “binging” and other feeding processes as it applies to spirituality and life in that regard. This is not to claim that spiritual binging is healthy nor unhealthy. As the Tao philosophy purports, all of life grows from balance. All that grows supports life in any measure: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. One must remain balanced and concerned about each avenue of their individual growth, not to binge on any measure, but rather to consider each kind of growth in moderation. 

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