no.33 Overeat











The context matters little. A meal with friends, a social obligation, a family reunion, a gastronomic tour of some rich and abundant part of France... all sorts of occasions lend themselves, in our opulent countries, to this banal conclusion: you have overeaten. You're not really comfortable. Your stomach is overfull, your head heavy, your mind blurred and your mouth furred up. Among the supplementary discomforts we might list headache, palpitations, hot sweats, hot and cold fevers, reflux and wind. 
The experiment consists in transforming this chance eventuality into a learning curve. Begin by putting to one side all considerations relating to your resolutions, and every spasm of resentment against the people who have landed you in this situation. Don't be angry with yourself or others. Face things squarely, as they are: you have eaten too much, more than your body can cope with without discomfort. It's a fact. And now, go with it. Follow without resistance or reflection the numerous fluctuations you are passing through: torpor, wakefulness, doziness, lucidity, heaviness, relative lightness.  
Attend to the slow struggle that has been engaged, inside your digestive tract, between this mass of ingurgitated food and the reconstitution of your body's metabolic balance. Once again: rather than suffering this discomfort as an unpleasant inevitability, turn it into the starting point of an exploration, albeit a somewhat crude one, of your relation to reality. 
Examine, for example, how your consciousness is modified by a stew, the particular torpor linked to a heavy fish pie, the hot flushes triggered by fried foie gras. The point of this is not to classify types according to their effect, but rather to follow the metamorphoses of your own identity along the gastric passages.
Clearly you are not 'the same' at any given moment in these circumstances. Just ask what becomes of us, with our fine speeches on free will, consciousness, personality, reason, the moral law and other vast questions, when some feculent or other can change the complexion of our universe, and a bit of fat can bring us low. Our sharpness of intellect gives up after a few platefuls. Something to bear in mind.   








Droit, R-P (2001) 101 Experiments in the Philosophy of Everyday Life