Monday, November 9, 2009

The Three-fold Process of Consumption

Humans, as well as most living beings of which we are aware, are biologically constructed in a manner which necessitates that physically, they must devote all of their time to the process of consumption of air, water, and food. This process is a cycle, divided into three sub-processes: ingestion, digestion, and excretion. The cycle mirrors that of the material universe – the phases of expansion and contraction, divided by momentary, reflective “pauses.” Given Man’s organic and constant involvement with the consumption process, it is inevitable that this three-fold process serve as a pattern for the more developed psychological processes in which the individual is engaged, as well as the more complex historical processes undergone by human society as a whole.

Ingestion, the experience of choosing, tasting, and accepting the formerly external object to be consumed, is the individual’s first revelation of and union with, the world of external phenomena. This novel and unfamiliar experience, an acceptance and exploration of an active principle outside of the self is the origin of one’s spiritual and philosophical perspective.

Digestion involves the breaking down of the ingested object, and the absorption of those elements which the body can use. In a sense, digestion is a transitional process, partaking of both ingestion and excretion. It occurs between digestion and excretion, yet partakes of both, because it involves the body’s absorption and casting off of the ingested object. It also occurs between excretion and ingestion, however, in that a “meta-ingestion” and “meta-excretion” proceed before the actual consumption of an object, a choosing and rejecting of prospective objects to be consumed. Digestion may be said to be an "administration" of ingested objects.

Excretion is the process of getting rid of those elements which the body cannot use. That which cannot be exploited by the body is determined to be valueless and is excreted as waste, although it becomes part of a larger "trickle down" process, in which it is consumed by lower organisms.

(c) Copyright 2009 by A. Rogolsky

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