Eat shit and live
In case it hasn’t become apparent, the main focus of all this discourse is to elucidate the value of collecting paradigms and gaining new perspectives. There are many ways this can be done and one way is to simply invert. When we come upon a problem work it in reverse and new things will start to appear. I am a fan of taking intense or extreme views and reimagining them in various ways and finding in doing so, I see that same thing differently.
Let’s take for example something that is fairly extreme, revolting in almost every culture, something that is taboo everywhere throughout the world, something like coprophagia or the practice of eating shit. Yup, we’re going there. I think we can all agree that eating shit is pretty out there and gross AF. So we are going to take that idea and flip and see what comes up.
It’s all natural shit
First and foremost let’s just acknowledge this does happen in the animal kingdom as most dog owners have at one moment or another witnessed their dog eat their own or another dogs…or cats feces.
As well it has been documented in wolf dens when a wolf is too old or sick to leave the den to defecate then the alpha wolf will eat the dung to protect the den from parasites as the gestation time for parasitic larva to emerge is longer than the digestion process of the wolf leaving any potential threat inside or outside the den.
As well there are baby Uromastyx a lizard that needs to eat the poop of their elders to gain the proper microbes to properly digest the food that they eat as adults. It’s sort of a type of pro-biotic for them.
The dark shit
Let’s also tip the hat so to speak to insanity whether it is a moment or prolonged periods it has been seen in people suffering from mental illness of one sort or another to eat shit.
And there is scatophagia where people will engage in the practice as a sexual act.
And of course, I felt like this would be grouped into this similar area, where one person may force another person in an act of domination and humiliation.
The light shit
Now for something a little less intense, in Toronto 2016 a restaurant called “Poop Café” where they serve…you guessed it, poop themed food like chocolate ice cream in a miniature toilet bowl. It’s food that would have some resemblance to poo, without it being straight up feces in a bowl. It’s generally quite cute and people seem to like it as the café has been open in Toronto since 2015 and it seems to still be going strong.
Then…there is Curry Shop Shimizu in Japan. This shop offers exclusively shit flavoured curry dishes and people love it. I can already hear some of you now asking “but how would one know what shit tastes like to try and make a dish that tastes like it in the first place”. Great question, I’m glad you asked. Well, as the story goes, Ken Shimizu was desperately trying to break into the porn industry and the only company to call back basically dealt with some form of scatophagia (eating shit). He jumped at the opportunity to get his foot in the door after a number of shoots he started preparing dishes at home that mimicked the taste of shit. The experiences lead from one thing to another and boom we now have Curry Shop Shimizu in Japan.
The spiritual shit
When we move into the realm of spirituality there are a few practices that involve eating sheisse, as the Germans might say. One example that comes to mind is the Aghori from India, which is a sect within Hinduism that follows the left hand path which is known for their antinomian practices. My understanding of this within Hinduism is the belief that we all came from the divine, who is pure and we are all at various stages of impureness which is karma that we are trying to remove to cleanse ourselves so that we may one day join with the source again to become whole. We come into this world with varying degrees of “impureness” and we can do things to cleanse and remove ourselves from karma or we can touch and do things that would make us unclean and some of those things that can make us unclean are things like touching dead human bodies and human waste. Within this belief there is what is known as the cast system and the cast system divides people into categories that you are born into and that the only way to transcend a level is through cleansing ourselves in this life of our karma and then through reincarnation can we come back into a higher elevation in the hierarchy. At the top of this list we have the Brahmins (priests and academics), then below that we have the Kshatryas (Kings, administrators and warriors), next we have the Vaishyas (artisans, tradesmen, farmers and merchants), after that there is the Shudras (manual labourers), and lastly right at the bottom there are the Dalits (the untouchables, homeless people). It’s generally seen within this belief/cast system you cannot ascend a level within this life, and because touching dead bodies and human waste can set you back those tasks are reserved for the very bottom of society the untouchables where they are seen as never getting out from that existential plane and so by that they are karmically unclean and by simply touching them you could accrue spiritual dirtiness. This belief prevents people from doing business with them as it could be seen by others that your store is dirty if someone were to see an untouchable coming out of your shop, even preventing proper medical care, as even the health care providers have concerns over touching them.
The Aghori’s belief isn’t seen as the divine is outside me and I am at various stages of cleanliness getting closer to the divine but rather that the divine spark is not without but within, and no matter what I do I cannot corrupt that which is divine within me, and with that beautiful philosophical inversion the Aghori have been providing medical care to the untouchables and providing care to arguably the people who need it the most and who receive it the least.
The Aghori will ritualistically consume things like their own urine and feces to defy the culture stigmas of corruptibility and to transcend biological and societal restraints to experience a truth of the divine. As Carl Jung said “modern people can’t see God because they won’t look low enough”.
The medicinal shit
Lastly we come to the latest and greatest in medical care for IBS and Crohn’s disease to name a few where due to our growing awareness of the gut biome and how the micro biome colonies inside us have an impact on our bodies and so someone had the fantastic idea to see what would happen if we took shit from a healthy individual and make it into a sort of McSlurry and give that sick person a shit enema to repopulate the gut and wouldn’t you know it, there were significant changes in the recipients health. Then someone had the brilliant idea to freeze dry that shit and put it into a capsule and now we can just swallow that shit instead of having it pushed up the rectum. So now we are swallowing shit for medicinal reasons. I mean of all the ways to get it into you this one is probably the least gross, maybe.
And there we have it, we have gone from don’t eat shit because its bad for your health to eating shit for our health.
All of this is not to encourage anyone to go out there and eat shit but rather the intention was to provide a multifaceted perspective of something that seemed to be so one dimensionally obvious, as in obviously don’t eat shit… And yet hopefully now we may have less of a visceral reaction to this idea and to start applying this multifaceted way of looking at things to our lives.
Until next time, Bon Appetite!