Religious leaders are spiritual chefs

yumSpiritual leaders do for the soul what restaurant chefs do for the stomach. And it is no accident that mental learning and physical eating can share similar terms—like ruminating, swallowing whole, chewing on something or tasting something. The word appetite can be used for emotional craving.

The human intellect treats information just like the stomach treats worldly aliment. Eating and digestion seem to be a strikingly similar (mimetic analog) living process to the human mind appropriating data into its memory, thought, worldview or belief system.

It is the job of spiritual leaders of all religions to make their doctrines and teachings as appetizing as possible—preparation for assimilation. Such teachers start with the ingredients (God’s tenets) to save souls. But when complete, their messages or sermons are a carefully blended presentation of these different ingredients in a creative way that intensifies the hunger and thirst of a listener’s innermost being.

One can indeed say that on a higher spiritual level, people hunger for love and thirst for truth. We have even allowed such transformative dynamics (correspondences) to enter our language when we use phrases like food for thought.

“Coming to the table” is also a metaphor for mutual discourse and sharing.

Sacred texts, like the Holy Bible, also use this interplay between terrestrial food and spiritual food. The manna in the desert and Christ’s Last Supper are just two examples of using food to convey a more rarefied heavenly teaching that God sustains and nourishes our inner life.

Scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg offered the world an exhaustive presentation of how the sacred stories and narratives of the Lord God’s Holy Word can be elevated to satiate our inner angel.

I have reason to believe that human society will not change for the better until it learns to include this elevated form of dining on its menu.

http://www.staircasepress.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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