Cheetos for the Soul

Mass production turned food into poison. 

As an example, let’s take the Frito-Lay corporation’s process of converting of a perfectly nutritious ear of corn into a preservative-laden, neon-orange cheese puff. The resulting product isn’t merely some empty calories, it’s a mildly toxic substance that you can’t stop eating. 

Yes, the problems of Cheetos have been established. And yet, undaunted by near-certain type II diabetes, the general populace snacks on. Blame the corporate machine. Blame our ravenous appetites. But this is basically the situation.

Here’s a recent development: the phenomenon has extended beyond food into the domain of spirituality. Just as we crave satiety, we also crave insight on the big questions in life. We salivate over the promise of perfectly aligned chakras, and drool over a complete liberation from suffering.

A slew of products have been produced, packaged, and distributed to satisfy this more esoteric sort of hunger.

Instagram gurus and meditation apps. Weekend workshops and essential oil pyramid schemes. We’ve become experts at refining spirituality into individually wrapped, bite sized portions for the modern seeker on the go. 

And as long as you keep snacking, you don’t feel hungry.

But I often wonder: Does this mass produced spirituality provide lasting nourishment for the heart and soul? I think much of it is merely a quick hit of highly concentrated and artificial enlightenment. Enticing witchcraft that promises liberation but ultimately leaves you feeling hungrier and emptier than ever. 

In other words, perhaps all this stuff is simply spiritual junk food. Cheetos, but for your soul.

Read More