Context is so important. In fact it is crucial to appropriately understand ourselves in our world. Our venture, Relational Nutrition, would benefit from a little context as well. As we try to make sense of our lives as well as our trajectory of health, context — which is another way of expressing interconnectedness — serves us here too.
Our current worldview, the one a lot of mainstream healthcare — and consensus reality– obeys can be traced back to Descartes/Newton who saw the body (and the universe) as a machine whose parts could be interchanged — replaced with new ones when they broke. Before that the worldview most folks were influenced by had it’s origins with Hippocrates, later Galen and St Paul, where the body was cast in a dualistic framework, a battleground where good and bad fought it out — even in the body. This has a residual presence in our world with the all out attack on germs with hand sanitizer available everywhere. As well as the obsession with reinnoculating probiotics at every opportunity. Fecal transplants are a remarkable and effective example of that orientation AND restoring probiotic viability in our microbiome points to the deeper reality as well as understanding of interconnected dynamic web where we rely on these hopefully symbiotic relationship to digest, assimilate and protect us. All happening with the grace and elegance of a symphonic orchestra or better yet an exquisitely healthy rain forest where everything is in communion LITERALLY thru the mycelium that keeps the living matrix vibrantly alive.
This conceptualization of the living matrix points and returns us to the earliest understanding of reality — dating back to approximately 50,000BC where the body was seen as an interconnected web AND part of the interconnected web of life. This relatedness extends throughout the body and into the surrounding environment informed by the partnership model of culture according to Marija Gimbutas, where everything was seen as connected – like those cute little probiotic critters teeming either harmoniously — or fighting in our microbiome.
Back then, consciousness probably didnt even get a chance to differentiate — or get compartmentalized or fragmented into our facebook-sound bite culture. I imagine it was akin to the states of unitive consciousness available to the modern explorers of altered states of mind ??using tools and plant medicines. This consciousness has eroded, or more accurately, been slowly obliterated, by the dominator culture that sees everything including the body as something to be controlled, subjugated, exploited, raped, used…
* Thanks to Susan Weed for her pioneering work identifying the Wise Woman Way that I am calling the Culture of Nourishment.