Vanity thought #1189. Gluttony

Earlier this year there was a documentary on TV called “7 Deadly Sins” that deals with, as the title says, deadly sins. So far I’ve watched only Gluttony but I’m sure I’ll explore the rest of it, too, perhaps excluding lust.

It’s produced by the guy who created “Super Size Me”, an experiment where he would eat nothing else but McDonald’s meals for one month, accepting a “super-size” option every time it was offered. He gained 11 kg and suffered a number of other problems, one of the doctor comparing the effects to severe binge alcoholism.

For gluttony episode of the series he chose two powerful spokesmen plus an unusual take on the after effects. First up was John Basso, a restaurateur on a mission to teach people that his food is bad for their health. He serves burgers and fries and high calories sodas and he makes them extra, despicably unhealthy. He was on an off the news for the past couple of years and every time he drives this same point home.

Each burger patty is accompanied by five slices of bacon that they do not drain of cooking grease, plus cheese and other stuff, and their French fries are fried in pure lard. The names are telling, too – It’s a “Bypass burger” and “Flatliner Fries”. The biggest, Quadruple Bypass Burger, has four patties, twenty slices of bacon, and four times the calories recommended for a whole day. Eat one and they’ll wheel you out in an actual wheelchair, as per restaurant’s theme – you are a patient, waiters are nurses, orders are prescriptions, and the owner is a doctor. Those who weigh over 160 kg are entitled to a free burger, on the house.

Notable restaurant’s achievements include death of their 260 kg spokesperson at the age of 29, heart attacks suffered by customers right at the restaurant, and all kinds of what normally would be considered bad publicity. But, strangely, that’s what drives the sales. People love it exactly for that – unadulterated promotion of gluttony at any cost.

The “doctor” has created an image for himself as some sort of a health crusader, trying to teach people about dangers of eating fast food, but they just don’t listen. Once he was interviewed on TV and he brought a plastic bad with actual remains of one of his dead customers. It was there, right on the table in front of the camera, ashes of someone who died eating his food, and people still ignore his point.

In this documentary he starts with the commercial featuring his now dead spokesman and he begs people to wake up and realize they are fat, not “plus size”, not portly, but fat, and they should lose weight or “Hurry up, die, and be done with it.” Later on he says that he doesn’t want to be popular, he wants to infamous and hated and he tries everything to be as despicable as possible.

Do people listen? No! They take it as a challenge instead. Why? Many just like the risk, like to brag that they have eaten these burgers and survived, but otherwise it’s just gluttony, and to display its power the producer presented 320 kg adult entertainer “Darling Nikky” talking about her love of food.

She goes on and one describing everything she likes and how it makes her feel “orgasmic”. I don’t know where they found her but she is a quite disgusting character in every respect. Well, she is friendly and cheerful but that’s about it, after that it’s “me me me” and “what I like to eat and how it makes me feel”. Charging people for looking at her body is how she makes her living. Google search doesn’t bring anything resembling porn but, at 324 kg she looks like a certified freak and some people apparently have a thing for that. Her current “boyfriend” features in this documentary, too.

Then we are shown the end of all these stories – how mortuaries deal with obesity. They make extra big coffins and such, but the worst part is the cremation – obese people to not fit in regular size furnaces, and when they are burned their melted fat starts dripping out. Picture that! They also have to be burned at lower temperatures so as to avoid potential “grease fire”.

Anyone is still up for eating? Extreme sense gratification is so gross we should always be aware of the path we step on every time we indulge ourselves. Human form of life is not meant for that.

This is what we have trouble accepting – human form of life is meant for total, complete, absolute renunciation of all sense enjoyment. Forget the materialists, it just doesn’t occur to them, but as devotees we still think “this can’t be true, there has got to be another way”.

We talk about yukta-vairāgya, we talk about prasādam, and it’s true, if we engage our senses in serving Kṛṣṇa we do feel being gratified just the same, but that is still not the purpose. Kṛṣṇa is the master of the senses, they are meant for His enjoyment, not ours, even the senses themselves are not ours, we just lay claim to them under the influence of false ego.

Being properly engaged in service gradually purifies our senses but in this case it’s not the process, it’s the result that is important – all sense gratification must eventually be renounced. Until that happens we can’t expect bhakti to blossom in our hearts. We can’t expect love and devotion for Kṛṣṇa to manifest in our lives.

Every time we catch ourselves thinking “oh, that feels good” is the time we shut down the door to inner Vṛndāvana, door to Kṛṣṇa. It could be food, it could be a soft bed, it could be a nice looking woman on a street – anything. This has got to stop.

There’s no way we can understand Kṛṣṇa’s desires if we are still interested in what our senses want instead, and if we don’t understand Kṛṣṇa, how can we serve Him? How can we satisfy Him? How can we lead our lives in a way that brings a smile to His face?

About that – people shown in this documentary are a glaring example why Kṛṣṇa has absolutely no interest in material life. He cannot possibly love us for what we are trying to be here – sense enjoyers expressing themselves through gross matter. Yesterday I talked about compassion – there could be no compassion for these material shells, it would only be a material sentiment. We need to see pure spiritual souls underneath, understand why Kṛṣṇa needs them, and then we can talk about compassion towards Kṛṣṇa who has been bereft of His legitimate loving relationships with these “people”.

I’m more and more inclined to agree that compassion is not “oh, these people do not have Kṛṣṇa” but rather “oh, Kṛṣṇa is deprived of their service, how can we help Him.” At this point I tend to think that love for other living entities is an unnecessary distraction. We should love only Kṛṣṇa, and relate to all others through His love for them, not directly.

OTOH, it’s not how we are told to relate to other devotees so there need to be some adjustments to this proposal. All in a good time, I hope.

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