You are what you consume

brooke-lark-jUPOXXRNdcA-unsplashBecause it’s literally the nutrients in what we eat that fuels the cell reproduction and adds to the physical mass and make-up of our bodies, garbage food = garbage fuel = garbage production = garbage body. Healthy fuel = healthy body etc. The more important issue I want to highlight however is that it’s not only food we consume. We also consume information through our various senses like sight, sound & smell.

There’s no known possible way we can track, process and utilise the entirety of the information we consciously consume on a daily basis. There’s way too much going on. Our brains for example process visual data something like 60,000 times faster than text, yet our brains must filter that data to the value of current utility. There’s way too much going on and if we don’t have present use for any particular data our brains effectively look past it all for the things we can presently use. The vast majority of daily data  consumed even consciously, is forgotten or dismissed.

dataconsumption2An interesting study done on the average American’s information consumption all the way back in 2008 by Bohn & Short indicates on a daily basis we each consume about 34 gigabytes of data. That’s like watching nearly fifty 720p or 700MB movies each day! That’s insane. The reality however is that we consume it all in a great variety of ways, and those numbers are very likely an underestimation compared to our current times, in my opinion.

So what about unconsciously? Audibly, most of us have a limited range somewhere between 20-20,000Hz but when it comes to conscious use the window is even much smaller than that. If we’re playing a standard guitar we’re likely using something like 6% of even that tiny range (80-1200Hz). Anything that falls outside of the audible range remains around us, bumping into and through us, but we’re nearly entirely oblivious to it. Visually, we’re somewhat aware of what’s between violet and red yet again remaining blind, in a day to day capacity, to the ultraviolet, infrared, cosmic, gamma, x-ray, microwaves, radar, radio waves etc that remain flowing both all around and through us constantly.

We consume data through the energy of what’s around us in ways we’re yet to fully understand. Did you know that atomically the human body is primarily made up of hydrogen? Did you also know the enormity of scale in the hydrogen’s distance between the nucleus and the electron field’s boundary equates to it being more than 99.99% empty space (or better defined as ‘not the atom’s mass’ being <0.01% as it’s still ‘filled‘ for lack of a better term, with the electron’s field). Even if I am potentially more dense than others, the human body remains far less solid and far more ‘porous’ than most of us realise.

P  Have you ever put a bright light (for example the torch on your phone) up to the back of your finger and realised you could see the light shine all the way through to the other side? Ever wondered how x-rays work? Infra-red goggles? I think it’s safe to say that our ‘being’ is constantly ‘consuming’ much more than we consciously realise as we’re exposed to who and what radiates around us on a unceasing basis.

Point being, just like consumed food has potential nutrients, consumed data and energy of any kind can also amass to form a part of our being, especially when we intentionally entertain any particular idea or concept we’re exposed to. Information’s nutrient is truth. To what degree we’re effected by what we ‘consume’ is often extensively debated, but that we are effected, seems too unwise to ignore in my opinion, especially when considering the enormity of our consumption and exposure.

Some food can be better for us than others. More fresh, containing more nutrients and creating more function within the consumer. Diminished function being produced when more contaminated due to pesticides, preservatives or artificial additives etc. When we question the integrity of what we eat, we want to know where it came from and what process it’s gone through to get to us so that we can do what we can to filter and make the most of it. If we want clean, unprocessed, fresh food perhaps we would be wise to look for it at clean sources that try to minimise processing in their contaminants or that are found locally so we can examine the source if needs be.

Similarly when we receive information we would be wise to question the same things.  If we want to consume edifying truth we would be wise to look for edifying information from edifying sources. Perhaps where they try to minimise processing in their own bias or perhaps allow people to examine the source themselves if needs be etc. 

There are countless varieties of food with each containing an even more countless combination of nutrients. Information’s truth, even more so. When the body is deficient in a particular nutrient, consumption of the specific food containing the required nutrient is the logical approach to addressing the deficiency. The same should ring true when we’re hungry for information. A problem that exists in both realms however, is that we are capable of ignoring the specific nutrient required entirely and solely address the hunger. This is gratification.

We’re even capable of consuming until the warning siren of the nutrient deficiency (the hunger) has been muffled out by the warning siren of over-consumption (feeling so full we’re lethargic). While gratification prioritises feeding the hunger caused by the deficiency, edification prioritises correcting the deficiency flagged by the hunger.

I propose that any dysfunction in any of the ‘parts’ that constitute our being (mind, body, spirit, heart etc whatever you want to call them) exists due to an absence/corruption of truth. That which was more true has somehow been replaced by that which is less true as evidenced by that which was more functional becoming less functional.

dyu-ha-nGo-UVGKAxI-unsplashThe progress of life and the development of one’s being therefore summarised as ‘compiling truth within us’. We become a ‘better’ person as we add truth to our being or refine the truth that’s there, therefore increasing the degree to which we function, subsequently increasing our capabilities and potential as a person.

How we add truth to our being therefore becomes a very important question not only for helping ourselves but also for helping others. Gratification prioritising the silencing of hunger for truth over adding it and edification prioritising adding truth over silencing the hunger for it. For this reason we must give consideration to the reality that we live in a flood of gratifying opportunities. We would be wise to minimise our exposure to content we’re unprepared to engage in filtering. It’s for this reason I want to build an ‘edifying market‘ or a library of edifying content so that when we feel the need to ‘unwind’ for example through consumption at the end of the day, perhaps we could at least have an easily available edifying selection.

If our primary daily practice is ignoring or silencing warning signs, we can very quickly become very good at being completely desensitised and ignorant of warning signs altogether. Instead, if our primary daily practice is getting to the heart of the hunger and addressing the truth/nutrients our being is craving, we can also very quickly become very good at personal development; increasing our functionality and personal capabilities.

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