The Reality Institute

Why-to not eat:

Despite the fact that many may consider it to be an enjoyable activity, eating may not always be on someone’s plate at a given moment. They may be in-between meals or in-between jobs. Either way, the reasons for not eating can be a bit more complex than they may seem. Let’s dig in.

If you’ve been the subject of a recent root canal, your ability to eat may be pretty much out of the question until those chompers heal. For the mean time, you’ll be able to swallow, but mastication may be against the doctor’s recommendations and you’ll need to get your nutrients in liquid form, directed to your gut through a straw.

Some folks will avoid food in order to lose weight. At the less extreme end of the spectrum, periodic self-starvation is known as “dieting”. When the activity is pursued to the extent that medical professionals deem it unhealthy, it is referred to as “anorexia”. This practice is particularly common among women in patriarchal, capitalist societies because being thin has become associated with beauty in those societies and such a high value is placed upon a woman’s appearance.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, about 795 million people out of the 7.3 billion people on the planet, or one in nine, suffered from chronic undernourishment from 2014 to 2016. This number likely isn’t meant to describe one in nine people as anorexic, but instead that these people lack access to food. The organization also estimates that about 1.3 billion tons, or one-third, of the food produced for human consumption every year gets wasted or lost.

While many people are aware of this issue of “world hunger”, it appears that powerful people, institutions and structural mechanisms are preventing the problem from being addressed. Wealthy countries waste about as much food as sub-Saharan Africa produces per year. As an individual, you might decide to give your sandwich to someone forced to live on the street, but that won’t address the other 794,999,999 people lacking lunch on a regular basis.

In some religious rituals, food or specific foods may be avoided for a designated period of time. Sometimes tied to a cultural tradition established thousands of years ago, this practice, known as “fasting” (not to be confused with “fisting”), may be performed as an act of devotion to a more supreme being (fisting may be performed for the same reasons).

Why-to not eat for religious reasons:

It’s rumored that Jesus Christ, the son of the supreme deity in the Christian religion, fasted in the Judean Desert for forty days and forty nights. The tales of Christ’s experience don’t explicitly mention any use of hallucinogenic substances, but he does seem to have some very surreal visions that may have provided insight into what he perceived to be his role in the Universe.

Going without food for long periods of time doesn’t typically lead to hallucinations, however it’s possible that, as Jesus starved himself during that time, he began to obsess over food. This combined with rays of light bent by the desert sky to produce the illusion of a distant object could have caused Jesus to experience visions of a tempting demon near the horizon.

With brilliant red skin wavering in the Judean sun, the beast might have played with Jesus’s sense of reality. Voices within could be heard from without, beckoning Christ to transform surrounding stones into loaves of bread.

“Come, Christ!” the creature might have screeched. “Scarf down these leaden loaves. Satiate your taste buds with these rocks, M’Boy!” Hungry though he may have been, Jesus is said to have relayed some religious explanations for not eating the stones, a loyalty to his God/father. This may be where the phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” originated.

Next, he hallucinated, rumbling out of the earth around him, a glorious temple—likely seen as a tall rock or something along those lines in the consensus reality—and climbed to its peak. The phantasm attempted to goad him into jumping. He shrieked, “Jump, Boy! Our God, your Supreme Father, will send his angelic slaves down to rescue you.”

Trembling from hunger, Christ maintained his wits, however, and decided not to jump, no matter how many slaves the demon promised him. Wavering in the sunlight, the scaled beast then led him to a tall mountain, caked in dirt and baked in heat. The straw beneath his feet poked into Jesus’s sandals, as he wearily ascended the limestone summit on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he saw the world below. Rocks and shrubs morphed into kingdoms.

“This dominion is yours, Boy,” the brute whispered into the young Jew’s ear. “Overthrow the rule of the Romans and take the crown. Have your heavenly kingdom here on planet Earth. All you have to do is worship me in return.”

Jesus Caesar—not the savior, but the politician, the ruler—benevolently institutes his own religion on the land. Cosmic consciousness becomes the rule of law and no one gets to the father except through him. Jesus, the Son-God and Emperor of the Roman Empire, greets the plebeians as the daylight breaks over the horizon and preaches his sermon on the mount:

“Blessed are the rich in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the strong, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the just, for they will show justice. Blessed are the warriors, for they will be called children of God,” Emperor Christ bellowed.

Of their worldliness, he said, “You are the salt of the earth. Lose your saltiness. It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Of the deed of murder, he proclaimed, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that murder can be okay sometimes. I’ll let you know when.”

Of neighbors, he relayed, “Don’t settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. It’s more interesting for the audience that way.” He added, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, you can’t always trust your neighbor either.”

Of infidelity, he muttered, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that adultery is okay when I do it.”

Of vows, he equivocated, “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, sometimes things come up and you can’t fulfill your vows.”

Of revenge, he lauded, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ That’s a good one.”

He recalled, “About the needy: sometimes they actually have a fine horse and cart that they go to after collecting alms in the road. One time, the apostles and I followed one home and he lived in one of the finest huts I’ve ever seen.”

He pontificated, “Store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where you can use them. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. The world then took his advice, raping, rummaging and pillaging. They sent ships vast distances to colonize the planet and kill those who stood in their way. They set up camps in which to house those they didn’t like. They enslaved those that were of some use to them.

Somewhere along the line, the stock market was born and it went up and down with Jesus’s whims. He garrisoned the planet with military outposts and covered every landmass with hordes of people. He laid concrete highways from border to border and built factories that spit smoke into the air.

Soon, the gases eroded the invisible ozone layer and became trapped in the atmosphere, causing the planet to quickly overheat as the ice below melted and the seas raised. Weather patterns were unpredictable, drowning entire island nations and wreaking havoc on coastlines. In the summer, the warmer towns burst into flames. In the winter, the colder towns were frozen in ice.

Jesus Caesar set up shop on a communist island and built a fort there where he tortured Muslims to the extreme ends of comprehension, sodomizing them and electrocuting them and burning them with cigarettes. He made them stand in uncomfortable positions while naked, simulated drowning, kicked them in the gut so they fell on their hands and knees and then rode them around like dogs shouting slurs in Arabic. He watched them cry and wince and bleed and vomit and waste away in their own shit while a doctor nearby ensured that they were just alive enough to not die and a lawyer ensured that it was all on the level. He did and continued doing this until they starved themselves.

Why-to go on a hunger strike:

With the exception of a few Buddhists capable of reversing their blood flow and tagging out of the physical world for a few years, it is a well-known fact that food is necessary for the survival of all organisms. Therefore, one of the biggest reasons not to eat would be to deny one’s own survival, to threaten one’s own death.

A hunger strike leverages this fact of life when no other recourse for action is possible to have one’s demands met. Most often used by actors with little power over their circumstances, a hunger strike is meant to invoke feelings of guilt in the hearts of onlookers, while also pushing one’s body towards extinction so as to make power holders culpable in one’s death.

For this reason, you’ll often see hunger strikes occurring in the most nightmarish of scenarios, such as prisons and detention centers where human beings are held captive in inhumane conditions and subjected to the abuses of their captors. This includes the immigrant detention centers utilized by the United States to house people who may or may not have obtained the proper paperwork for residing in the country, as well as Guantánamo Bay, a U.S. military prison opened in 2002 on Cuban soil where inmates are detained indefinitely without trial and, in many cases, severely tortured.

Why-to close Guantánamo Bay prison:

At the Guantánamo Bay prison, the captives have been routinely beaten, tortured with barbed wire and broken glass, sexually assaulted, held in solitary confinement, exposed to extreme temperatures and more. With no explicit prospects of freedom, six prisoners have committed suicide and 25 others have tried a total of 41 times so far.

Why-to reduce the footprint of United States military bases around the globe:

The United States currently has upwards of 800 military bases—including facilities large and small, CIA black sites and vacation resorts—across 38 countries around the globe. This compares to other countries, such as Russia, Japan and the U.K., which, when combined, total about 30, giving the U.S. about 95 percent of the total bases worldwide.

Whereas, there are no foreign bases on U.S. soil, the United States government does not have an issue with installing its own bases in other nations. Despite the fact that they may be in foreign countries, which have their own sets of laws and cultural mores, the actions of U.S. personnel in these countries are not often subject to foreign laws due to status of forces agreements made between the U.S. and the other nation. In turn, military personnel may commit crimes, such as drunk driving and sexual assault, in other lands, but are not held accountable outside of the military’s own justice system.

For instance, in 2002, two sergeants from the Second Infantry Division at Camp Casey in Dongducheon, South Korea drove a sixty-ton tracked vehicle drove down a narrow two-lane road through a small village and crushed and killed a pair of thirteen-year-old girls on the way to see a friend. Though the Korean government wanted to try the sergeants in Korean court for manslaughter, the U.S. did not hand them over, referencing the status of forces agreement signed with the country during the Korean War. The soldiers were then tried in American military court for “negligent homicide” for “negligently failing to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle” before being exonerated.

The incident resulted in what was described by one BBC reporter as “the biggest anti-American protests the country has seen in recent years”, with over 50,000 people protesting at various U.S. military sites around Seoul. As protesters demanded that justice be served and that U.S. forces leave the country, the protests became so intense that fire bombings occurred and one U.S. army officer was stabbed, though he later recovered.

Though the Korean War officially ended in 1953, the United States has maintained its presence there, claiming the need to protect against a potential threat from neighboring North Korea. The military presence has become so permanent that the U.S. Department of Defense even owns a hotel in Seoul, the Dragon Hill Lodge. Built out of a mess hall and recreational facility for general officers during the Korean War, Dragon Hill Lodge is now a resort hotel, co-located with the Yongsan Garrison, that serves thousands of guests per year, including military, DOD and their family members.

In these places that may be inadequately described as “hell holes”, there is very little that a prisoner can bargain in exchange for better treatment. By slowly starving themselves, en masse, prisoners threaten a slow suicide with the faint hope that someone higher up fears repercussions from being complicit in the prisoners’ deaths.

In the case of Guantánamo, these hopes were overshadowed by the dark hearts of the prison’s management, the U.S. Navy, Department of Defense and President.. When captives went on hunger strikes in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2013, the detention center would force-feed them once their body mass indexes fell below a healthy range. The practice, which was performed on over 65 people to date, involves driving Ensure into the prisoner’s nose through a tube. In some cases, the captives would have their arms, legs and head restrained.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama once acknowledged that “we tortured some folks”, but, despite promising to close the prison numerous times, he failed to do so before he left office at the end of his second term in 2017.

And maybe there are times you might not pursue eating because you just aren’t hungry.

“Why-to not eat” Recap:

Why-to not eat:

  • Dentist
  • Dieting
  • Anorexia
  • Unequal distribution of resources
  • Religious fasting
      • Why-to not eat for religious reasons:
        • Gain insight from hallucinations
          • Why-to hunger strike:
            • Invoke feelings of guilt
              • Why-to close Guantánamo:
                • Indefinite detention
                • Inhumane conditions
                • Torture
                • Forced feeding
                  • Why-to reduce U.S. military footprint:
                  • Imperialism
                  • Death
                  • Drunk driving
                  • Sexual assault
                  • Environmental pollution
  • Loss of appetite

Why-to recap why-to sections:

After exploring why to pursue activities, it has become apparent that the whys behind any given activity can become quite involved. So involved, in fact that, by time you’ve finished considering those whys, you may have lost track of why-to consider why-to pursue the activity in the first place. In order to help us keep our reasoning a bit more organized then, we will provide a section recap for each activity that is explored.

Why-to embolden keywords throughout why-to sections:

To further help us organize our whys throughout each section, it might make sense to embolden keywords related to those whys as we go along. May the bold font first help catch your eye and then encode those whys in your memory for future use or, if you need to refer back to this guide, it will be easier to find the why when returning to a previously read chapter.

“Why-to recap why-to sections” Recap:

Why-to recap why-to sections:

  • Organization
    • Why-to embolden words:
      • Catch the eye
      • Encode words
      • Easier referencing

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