THE SPECTRUM OF DIET: INTEGRAL TRANSFORMATIVE NUTRITION
This work is called The Spectrum of Diet: Integral Transformative Nutrition, which is an Integral approach to Diet, Nutrition, and Health.
What follows is my brief synopsis of The Spectrum of Diet, which I have been developing/writing for the last three years, and really began to take form two years ago when I began studying Ken’s work while finishing my MA in Vegan/Live Food Nutrition with Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD (one of the presenters for this year’s Integral Spiritual Experience, New Year’s 2010 in California) and working as his Research Assistant on There is a Cure for Diabetes.
We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. – Alfred E. Newman
In the postmodern west, most of us are dietarily confused, caught between a dizzying carnival of make-believe mythic cereal-box and fast-food characters, reductionistic-science flavorist-created Excitotoxin-laden foods superstimulating our biochemistry, ad-agency sexed up electric kool-aid commercialization, conflicting scientific studies professing the importance of food and lifestyle – no, genes! – on our health. We live in a wasteland of food and nutritional/medical/holistic health approaches, in bad need of a good map, a vehicle (better than the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile) to navigate the territory, with directions more fundamental, and all-inclusive...
THE SPECTRUM OF DIET
Inspired by the Integral Approach of Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute, and using my expertise (both personally and professionally) across the Spectrum of Diet, from Junk Food (I used to pour sugar in my Coca-Cola) all the way to Raw/Live Plant-Based and Juice Feasting (my center of gravity is on Raw/Live, and I developed Juice Feasting), I have used Ken's AQAL map as a guiding means to develop The Spectrum of Diet: Integral Transformative Nutrition.
When you count all the foods, diets, and advocates out there, what you find are dizzying thousands of possible dietary permutations—many of which give you a piece of the puzzle, but don’t offer much help in putting their own suggestions into a larger dietary perspective. One is left without a map of the territory, and is therefore often lost in a dietary wasteland for decades, still no better suited in understanding how far up the Spectrum one needs to go—or can go—to transform their health challenge, and in short create increasing order and depth as a holon.
Every dietary methodology in existence will fit predominantly into one stage, or level of the Spectrum of Diet. While many diets and practitioners will advocate higher levels or condone “moderation” at lower levels, we should think in terms of the center of gravity of a diet or practitioner. As we will discover, when it comes to prevention of disease, and particularly reversal of our health challenges, the conventional understanding of moderation and its’ attractive appearance of intelligent balance is anything but prudence and wisdom, and more like arrested development, RH reductionism, quadrant absolutism… Even integrative nutritional approaches generally lack an understanding of UL and LL developmental states and stages.
A GROWTH HIERARCHY
The Spectrum is a growth hierarchy, essentially based on a continuum from low life-force foods to high life-force foods, or shallow food holons to deep food holons (or Deep Foods, as I call them), with benefits that tetra-arise AQALLY, including the intentional, physical, cultural, and social). For our discussion here, this hierarchy is suited to westernized cultures who have progressed—ha-ha!—far enough to have seen the near simultaneous arising of both ends of the spectrum, Twinkees to Spirulina, Junk Food to and Raw/Live Plant-Based and finally Juice Feasting (which is more of a periodic Life Practice).
A CRITICAL METHODOLOGY
The Spectrum of Diet, once established, becomes a critical methodology for assessing the nutritional approach of practitioners or even activists (social or cultural) aiming to heal specific conditions (individual, collective, ecological, etc). Every practitioner or advocate will find their center of gravity somewhere on the Spectrum of Diet, and that can help us identify where they are doing well, and where they may be partial vis-à-vis goals of health in any quadrant, line, level, state, and type.
SHORT SYNOPSIS OF MAIN POINTS
To give a short synopsis, I am illustrating the following in an Integral Nutritional Embrace for The Spectrum of Diet:
- The developmental line of nutrition unfolds as a stages progression, involving a values shift from self, care, universal care or me, us, and all of us. (Yes, I am aware that it does not follow the typical progression of other developmental lines, because in this case everyone does not start at stage 1, but seeing nutrition as a line of development is a very, very useful orientation. One could argue, however, that with toxic mother's breast milk, Similac, and mothers feeding their kids Coca-Cola that we are almost starting at the Junk Food level).
- Each stage of the Spectrum of Diet involves including and transcending, with the subject of one stage becoming the object of the subject of the next, and playing out the four factors for vertical transformation, Fulfillment, Dissonance, Insight, and Opening.
- Looked at from the perspective of The Great Nest of Spirit - food is lower, and thus more fundamental to higher growth and development up the Great Nest. If nutritional development is not taken into account, it can act as a stage pathology that will prevent higher growth.
- The predominant orientation to diet and nutrition is translative (make me happy with whatever food I want) as opposed to transformative (help me develop my health, AQAL).
- Health is more importantly an ability instead of a state. Health is the ability of a Holon to maintain and restore order, and not merely a state of apparent wellness.
- A food or dietary approach that honors the most depth in each quadrant, and considers the development of other developmental lines and their stages, states, and types are Deep Foods.
- We can also speak of diet and nutrition in terms of Depth and Span: Caloric Span and Nutrient Depth. The western diet has pathological Caloric Span, and insufficient Nutrient Depth. The higher we move up the Spectrum of Diet, the more appropriate the Caloric Span is, and the deeper the Nutrient Depth can be.
- Flatland nutrition is the predominant methodology in the western world - and is RH reductionism that arose with orange modernity.
- Foods that themselves are deep holons, and maintained as such through growth, delivery, and preparation will maintain order of the human holon.
- The Law of Complexity and Consciousness is definitely in play when it comes to food and its effects on human development - including stages of consciousness.
- There exist potential stage pathologies, dietary shadows, and disowned dietary voices at every level of the Spectrum of Diet.
- Boomeritis Diet and Nutrition is rampant.
- Every non-pathological nutritional practitioner speaks the truth from level of the Spectrum of Diet from which they are speaking.
- The Spectrum of Diet, because of its approach using Integral Methodological Pluralism, does serve as both a developmental sequence and a Critical Methodology including every dietary approach ever practiced, helping us understand the multiplicity of dietary methodologies, their place in the SOD, and thus where they are right, partial, and confused.
- When it comes to masculine and feminine types, masculine freedom eats what it wants (leading to more opportunist male eaters and very hard-won nutritional discoveries among men), and feminine fullness can find itself fused with food (leading to more eating disorders among women and more conscious eating among women)
- The media and much of society does not know the difference between prerational dietary madness (such as the bulimic vegan) and postrational dietary excellence (such as a dedicated Raw/Live Plant-Based eater).
- There are means to encourage and accelerate nutritional development through stages, without creating stages pathologies, and part of that involves The Spectrum of Diet’s proper placement in ILP.
OUTLINE FOR THE SPECTRUM OF DIET
The outline for the Spectrum of Diet: Integral Transformative Nutrition by is as follows:
Part I: Integral Transformative Nutrition
A synergy of AQAL and diet, nutrition, and health, including the points illustrated above. This section is a blend of the Art, Morals, and Science, and while the headings and much of the writing is coming together, the Art of presentation is stil being worked…
Part II: The Spectrum of Diet
Junk Food / Enjoyment
Fast Food/ Efficiency
Standard American / Communion
Whole Foods / Nutrition
Vegetarian / Kindness
Vegan / Compassion
Raw/Live Plant-Based / Integral Transformation
Juice Feasting and Juice Fasting
An Integral Nutritional Vision
Part III: ILP / Healthy Development and Transformation
Will discuss ILP practices and refer to Integral Life Practice recently published by Integral Books
Part IV: Western Diseases: An Integral Spectrum of Diet Approach
Breast and Prostate Cancer
Allergies, Colds, and Flus
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Appendices such as Spectrum-Specific Resources....