Gluttony is one of those special words that means “different things to different people.”
Superficially we know it means over-indulgence in food. A glutton is a pig. Usually a fat pig. Gluttony is the extreme (exaggerated) enjoyment of food. Obesity usually follows.
Wikipedia says of gluttony:“…over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste. In some Christian denominations, it is considered one of the seven deadly sins—a misplaced desire of food or its withholding from the needy. Gluttony is not universally considered a sin; depending on the culture, it can be seen as either a vice or a sign of status. The relative affluence of the society can affect this view both ways. A wealthy group might take pride in the security of having enough food to eat to show it off, but it could also result in a moral backlash when confronted with the reality of those less fortunate.”
I don’t think of gluttony much, especially in the specific context of “indulgence.” I am aware of the bloating waistlines of modern man and I’m clearly aware of our flailing and excessive eating habits, which, coinciding with our inadequate levels of physical activity, have culminated in a populace which has lost all ability to control its hungers, both of the body and mind.
When I think of compunction to overeat, I don’t think of it in the biblical sense of sin.
Today I watched a video posted over on Rooshs’ blog in which he related a hypothetical (but representative of typical behavior) dialog between Roosh and the archetypal modern slothful and overfed urban dweller who has lost all ability to recognize or control caloric and nutritional intake and confounds the pleasures of taste with the rewards of emotional satisfaction. The dialog is very adept at deconstructing the myriad of ways in which people are apt to disguise their shaky eating habits in place of emotional succor.
After I watched the video, I thought of gluttony, the special word.
I began thinking of gluttony as it manifests itself in the modern technocrat human animal who hoggishly wallows in his own expanding pool of rump fat while siting under fluorescents all day. I think of today’s human who faces down daily enticements of physical and emotional pleasure, and more often than not, loses the battle because we are essentially lazy beings. Giving in to our weakness creates a desensitization which leaves us hungry for more in escalating pangs of craving and hunger but which can never be fulfilled.
You know what. I think it’s fair to say we live in an Age of Gluttony. I have a suspicion. I don’t have quantifiable proof, and besides, what kind of proof can you possibly furnish to highlight such an emerging psychological human trait?
But I believe this.
I look around and behold this society and I feel like a stranger. An alien. An intruder, even.
I don’t share the intrinsic values my peers do.
We live in an age of gluttony.
And here I will run with the definition of gluttony and mold it, mutate it, into a representation of my view of “gluttony” as seen from my perspective.
The standard of gluttony as manifested in overeating and compulsive food fixations is but one appendage of the gluttonous monster that is overtaking our species.
There is a deeper gluttony that is consuming us. A gluttony of the soul. Of the being.
Gluttony consumes itself. It proliferates.
Gluttony spews relinquishment of control.
Gluttony is not only indulgence in exorbitant amounts of food; gluttony is the surrender to powerlessness of the self. Gluttony can come in many forms but it always brings with it the vicious self-devouring circle of Want. Our Age of Gluttony can never be sated; seeking to fill the void, we eat not to eat, we eat to taste. We live not to live; we live to amuse.
Gluttony is not life, it is the absence.