Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The best explanation of fasting I've come across...
Here we are on the eve of the traditional Lenten season. In fact, by the time I finish writing this, "Fat Tuesday" will be over and Ash Wednesday will have begun. This begins the forty days leading up to Easter when many Christians of all kinds of traditions fast in some way. Whether you choose to fast at this time or not, I thought I'd share excerpts from the best explanation of fasting I have come across...from Stephen King's classic novel, "The Stand",
"The casting away of things is symbolic....When you cast away things you are also casting away the self-related others that are symbolically related to those things. You start a cleaning out process. You begin to empty the vessel.
"...take an intelligent...man. Break his TV, and what does he do at night? ...now take away all his books, all his friends and his stereo. Also remove all his sustenance except what he can glean along the way. It's an emptying out process and also a diminishing of the ego.
"If you read your Bible, you'll see that it was pretty traditional for these prophets to go out into the wilderness from time to time...the time span given for these jaunts was usually forty days and forty nights, a Hebraic idiom that really means 'no one knows how long he was gone, but it was quite a while.'
"Now think of yourself as a battery. ...everything you think, everything you do, it all has to run off the battery. Like the accessories in a car.
"Watching TV, reading books, talking with friends, eating a big dinner...all of it runs off the battery. A normal life...in Western civilization (is) like running a car with power windows, power brakes, power seats, all the goodies. But the more goodies you have, the less the battery can charge. True?
"Well, what we've done is to strip off the accessories. We're on charge."