Spiritual 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.