Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Had Enough Therapy?: Lust and Appetite

Now that we have overcome sexual repression, we have developed a neurotic relationship with food. Not just a neurotic relationship, but a neurotically religious and spiritual relationship with it.

We believe that we are what we eat and that eating grass and twigs does not merely put us in closer touch with nature, but is better for our bodies.

Most religions have rules about what to consume and what not to consume, when and where. But, we no longer believe in such superstitions. We are all proud to be atheists. As for the spiritual experiences that religion provides and that atheism does not provide—see William James’ The Variety of Religious Experience—we practice food rituals anyway. Only, they are missing any reference to religion.  Or better, they are devoid of any reference to Western religions.

Do our sexually uninhibited ways have something to do with our obsessions with dieting and with eating healthy? Does one the appetite for food have anything to do with the appetite for carnal relations?

We do know, for example, that people who suffer depression can lose both of their appetites. And we also know, as Julian Baggini explains in the Guardian that in British culture food that tastes good is generally considered to be bad for you… that is, sinful.

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