Four Nutriments

We need to be responsible for the nutriments we take in,
avoiding poisons in the most obvious cases,
and in the more subtle cases avoiding
whatever is likely to harm us.

Buddhism distinguishes four classes of nutriments:
Food, Sense Impressions, Volition/Will, and Consciousness.
For each, we need to carefully monitor and control
which nutriments we ingest.

Food is clearly important.
We must not ingest food containing toxins or poisons.
We should be careful of chemicals or additives;
drugs are particularly dangerous.

Sense impressions while more subtle are still important;
for example we should avoid viewing pornography and brutality.
More generally we should avoid sense impressions
that inflame our cravings and passions.

Volition is still more subtle.
We influence our will, and can do better
for example by learning not to want things that harm,
and not to encourage inappropriate desires or fantasies.

Finally, consciousness is most subtle,
since our desires influence our consciousness.
Many of our beliefs and values are inherited;
neurosis and fears subconsciously influence values.

Both our conscious and subconscious can be influenced
and taken care, see for example the eightfold path in
Basic Buddhist guidelines listed in my
Buddhism in a Nutshell

Basic Buddhist guidelines are listed in my Buddhism in a Nutshell
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