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  • Primal and Spirituality

    I'm wondering how people have found the interaction and connection between eating Primal and their spiritual side of life (whatever that means to you)?

    I find a lot of the basis of Primal/Paleo eating comes from evolutionary and scientific evidence which can be somewhat oppositional to spiritual practice and insight.

    So I'm wondering if there are any 'spiritual' type people (ha!) here who have some thoughts on the issue.

    Oz

  • #2
    I believe that God created the world and everything in it, including ourselves. I believe we were designed to eat wholesome natural foods and that he provides for our every need.

    In following the primal way of eating (and other principles such as getting outside in the world of nature and sunshine), I feel I have aligned myself more with the way our Maker intended us human beings to live. Surely we were not made to survive on Happy Meals and goo produced in factories.

    I have also discovered greater peace, self control, tolerance which on one level astounds me, and on another level should not surprise me at all. I see it as confirmation that if we adopt His precepts in one area of life, the benefits are bound to spill over into other areas.

    I don't fully understand why the grains are not as wholesome for us as other foods, but put it down to combination of not being as they were originally due to artificial development etc and being intended more as subsistence in times of famine rather than a premium quality food for best health.

    Great topic.
    Last edited by Annieh; 03-15-2013, 08:56 PM.
    Annie Ups the Ante
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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    • #3
      I've studied Sufism for the last twelve years and the Primal lifestyle/blueprint does fall in step with it in many ways, such as to eat humanely raised (and humanely slaughtered) animals, to eat foods that are grown in a way that will not harm the earth or poison our bodies (organic), to only eat when you're hungry, to fast (there are a myriad of benefits to this both physically and spiritually), to play, work our bodies, and to rest. Certainly on my spiritual path there are specific and unique aspects that don't relate to PB, but for the most part, it fits. And I totally get your question -- I don't think I could follow it were in not in line with my spiritual beliefs. Thanks for for raising this topic!

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      • #4
        I've never found such things to be oppositional to spiritual inquiry/insight.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ozbuckley View Post
          I find a lot of the basis of Primal/Paleo eating comes from evolutionary and scientific evidence which can be somewhat oppositional to spiritual practice and insight.
          I'm a scientist.
          I'm also a spiritual, though not a reglious, person. I find absolutely no opposition between science and spirituality.
          Science is the 'how' of existence, and just because you know how something works doesn't make it not special...or even miraculous. I know it sounds cheesy, but I can honestly say the more I learn about how the world works the more amazing I find it.
          Last edited by s-piper; 03-15-2013, 09:45 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by s-piper View Post
            I'm a scientist.
            I'm also a spiritual, though not a reglious, person. I find absolutely no opposition between science and spirituality.
            Originally posted by zoebird View Post
            I've never found such things to be oppositional to spiritual inquiry/insight.
            I guess my suggestion that science/evolution does not glide with spirituality that well is when I hear the views expressed by people such as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins who claim there is no god. See: Sam Harris: There is No God (And You Know It) for example.

            Now, I'm not saying that believing in a God is needed to be "spiritual" or that all scientists share the same views as Dawkins for example. But any mention of anything non-concrete, immeasurable, etc such as 'the ground of being', 'oneness', etc can set many a scientist to roll his/her eyes are reply 'What the hell are you even talking about!? Stop using wishy washy, 'woo woo' kind of words'.

            I curious how much this attitude filters down through approaches such as Primal eating that rely, are backed, and supported by scientific and evolutionary evidence.

            Despite not believing in 'God', even Sam Harris is 'spiritual': “I see nothing irrational about seeking the states of mind that lie at the core of many religions. Compassion, awe, devotion and feelings of oneness are surely among the most valuable experiences a person can have,”


            Thanks for the discussion so far.

            Oz
            Last edited by ozbuckley; 03-15-2013, 10:42 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ozbuckley View Post
              Now, I'm not saying that believing in a God is needed to be "spiritual" or that all scientists share the same views as Dawkins for example. But any mention of anything non-concrete, immeasurable, etc such as 'the ground of being', 'oneness', etc can set many a scientist to roll his/her eyes are reply 'What the hell are you even talking about!? Stop using wishy washy, 'woo woo' kind of words'.
              I think that depends on a couple things.
              First of all, the person. You even acknowledged yourself that not all scientists are the same when it comes to personal beliefs. I can tell you for a fact there are many that ascribe to a certain faith and are observant (go to church, pray, etc.)

              Second, is that, no, ideas like that aren't going to go over well if you're trying to use them to refute either that particular scientist's work, or a widely accepted scientific principle such as evolution. I'm going to go into rant mode a little bit here, I'm sorry, but it's kind of unavoidable because evolution is really central to scientific understanding. Virtually nothing in the biological field makes sense without it. However, when you're living and working with that in a world where, according to some polls, nearly half of Americans don't believe evolution is even real, and there are childrens books talking about how man lived alongside dinosaurs...well, it's impossible not to get frustrated and just give up on debating with people who insist on talking about immesurable concepts in a discussion about scientific findings because it's like beating your head against a brick wall. You don't accomplish anything and it just stresses you out.
              BTW: I'm not exaggerating either of the things I mentioned.
              Nearly Half of Americans Believe in Creationism Over Evolution — Do You? (Poll) | TheBlaze.com
              Dinosaurs of Eden: Tracing the Mystery Through History: Ken Ham, Earl Snellenberger, Bonnie Snellenberger: 9780890513408: Amazon.com: Books
              Primal people should particularly love the book because, according to the author, not only were humans originally vegan but so were velociraptors! I truly wish I was kidding.

              Also a very unromantic reason is that, when it comes to people who are scientists professionally, you have to keep the professional part in mind. Most of us go into science for the love of it, but it's still a job. If you started debating capitalism in spiritual terms with a banker, or a business owner, or even a cashier you'd probably get eye rolls then too.

              However, one thing that I guess I wonder a little is why is it a problem that Primal finds it's roots in evolution and scientific fact? Why is that necessarily anti-, or at least outside, the relm of spirituality?
              Living more like your ancient ancestors seems very spiritual to me.
              Last edited by s-piper; 03-15-2013, 11:30 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by s-piper View Post
                However, one thing that I guess I wonder a little is why is it a problem that Primal finds it's roots in evolution and scientific fact? Why is that necessarily anti-, or at least outside, the relm of spirituality?
                Living more like your ancient ancestors seems very spiritual to me.
                I agree totally. There doesn't have to be a problem that Primal finds it's roots in evolution and scientific fact.

                I'm really curious about how many people find it difficult to attribute a spiritual perspective to Primal eating/lifestyle philisophy that is largely rooted in science/evolution, and how do they go about it?

                I guess 'spiritual' means something unique to each person, so it might even be a good idea for people to start their idea/experience of what 'spiritual' means to them.


                Just on a side note, I remember reading about a couple of hunter-gatherer groups (there was probably many more) that gave thanks/blessed the animal they had just killed - often calling it their 'brothren' for example. I guess the whole ceremonial style that marked the cooking and eating of an animal shows the level of respect, gratitude, and inter-connectedness they viewed the world with.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ozbuckley View Post
                  I agree totally. There doesn't have to be a problem that Primal finds it's roots in evolution and scientific fact.

                  I'm really curious about how many people find it difficult to attribute a spiritual perspective to Primal eating/lifestyle philisophy that is largely rooted in science/evolution, and how do they go about it?

                  I guess 'spiritual' means something unique to each person, so it might even be a good idea for people to start their idea/experience of what 'spiritual' means to them.
                  I think that's a great idea. Good thread!

                  Just on a side note, I remember reading about a couple of hunter-gatherer groups (there was probably many more) that gave thanks/blessed the animal they had just killed - often calling it their 'brothren' for example. I guess the whole ceremonial style that marked the cooking and eating of an animal shows the level of respect, gratitude, and inter-connectedness they viewed the world with.
                  I think that is so cool!
                  Also, it kind of made me realize something I've observed...this may freak some people out, but I work with rodents and a lot of researchers will at times talk to the animals. I remember one senior student I was working with was euthanizing her animals and she said "bye guys! I've been watching you for weeks" as she got them out.
                  I've since done that too. I wasn't intentionally copying her, I didn't even realize it was something I did until I thought about it.

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                  • #10
                    I think that since Godel, many scientists are resigned to never having a fully functioning model of the natural world. The natural sciences are and always will be unfinished business. That certainly leaves room for other ways of viewing the world. Of course, by its insistence on falsifiability, science can't give credit to those alternatives but there is scope for individuals to maintain several ways of looking at the world.

                    For me, it is enough to be marvelled by nature and to be calmed by spending time in it. I don't seek to explain that. Frankly I can't see what criteria I could use to accept any explanation of phenomena beyond science
                    Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                    Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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                    • #11
                      I'm looking forward at reviewing the Universal Masters paper by God et al addressing the question of "Life, the Universe & Everything" alas after getting access I will not be of corporeal body and be incommunicado, so you'll have to wait for your own copy.

                      But while here I tend to use one main rule.
                      "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
                      or put even more simply "Empathy"

                      I respect all and treat equally, from the smallest to the largest, I talk to people, not down to people, I use the test chainsaw test on pedastals, haven't found one that doesn't fall yet
                      If I ever feel myself rising to arrogance, I dive to ground rapidly and pledge my humility before there is any chance of "Humble Pie", I have eaten plenty in my past and it don't taste good.
                      I choose not to regret by choosing carefully, not always failsafe but I do as well as I can.

                      Plenty more, but that's a general idea.
                      "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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                      • #12
                        Depends what your definition of spirituality is! For some people spirituality means religion. To me, it means understanding life.

                        I was an atheist for a long time, so I can understand where Dawkins etc. are coming from. They're arguing against the religious idea of "god".

                        Personally I look at everything in terms of energy and consciousness. Things actually makes sense now.
                        "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                        In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                        - Ray Peat

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by s-piper View Post
                          Living more like your ancient ancestors seems very spiritual to me.
                          Yip. Living in a way that fulfils you is the most spiritual thing you can do imo.
                          "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                          In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                          - Ray Peat

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm a Quaker. I've made peace with the pacifist focus of my religion and the dead animal focus of my diet. The other members of my Meeting, not so much.

                            EDIT: Before the other modern cavepeople jump all over me, I want to just add that I'm a non-theist Quaker and there's more to the faith than just pacifism.

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                            • #15
                              My spirituality is informed by everything I encounter, sacred or secular, once-in-a-lifetime or mundane, and Primal is no exception. I was challenged by Primal in that I was a long-term vegetarian for ethical/spiritual reasons, and eating flesh and reading and being here at the MDA with all you meatheads would very quickly bring those same ethical concerns to the fore. Enter a steep learning curve about grass-fed/pastured, biologically appropriate feeding of the animals we raise, and nose-to-tail eating. And also learning that real Primal isn't about having Angus beef orgies on a weekly basis. Primal has answers for ethical concerns and is just as worried about BigAg and all that as vegetarians are, but I didn't know it going in.

                              The word "evolutionary" doesn't throw up any walls for me, as I happen to still be in a huge personal period of church-changing and personal worldview questioning, and got rid of knee-jerk reactions to most religious and spiritual "trigger" words a few years back (as pertains to those words and phrases that tend to make traditional Christians go off the deep end quickly).

                              As evidenced by that HUGE "You know you are Primal when..." thread, there is a soul-satisfying dimension to a Primal meal that cannot be denied. All those folks writing in are mostly describing a personal spiritual event, when it comes down to it.
                              I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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