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Fast, Faster and Fasting - what might be the connections?

We often hear from one another how fast time seems to be passing, and attribute the sensation to our busy lifestyles. And we seem to be going faster, ostensibly beyond our control. We might therefore need some fasting, some resistance to the external and even internal insistence on going faster. The culture of fast and faster within which we live is unlikely to change, but we can choose fasting from over-reliance on supposedly measurable progress as an appropriate means for slowing ourselves to a balanced manner of living that accomplishes more with less, especially less in the way of stress.

Fasting from particular foods often helps us gain increased control over our appetites which seek for more and better things to eat. Fasting from our inclinations to ever more activity is a reliable means for becoming free of dominance by a “have-to” mentality that might have infected us. We might, for example, have internalized the expectations of others, resulting in an ultimately ruinous manner of living which coincides with fast and faster. We can deal properly with the expectations that others have for us if we reflect on them in particular, not in general. We are responsible to ourselves and everyone else for making decisions rather than reacting to requests that might at first appear to be duties that stem from our responsibilities. Fasting from a fast and faster mentality is somewhat counter-cultural, but enables us to set priorities that we can fulfill rather than becoming frustrated by trying to do everything.

Fasting usually means refraining from something that is attractive to our physical senses, in favor of obtaining a higher good, thereby satisfying our interior senses. For example, we might decide to not eat a favorite food at some time, either for the sake of good health or to have an experience that puts us into solidarity with those who do not have the food options that we do. In a similar, but applied sense, we could choose to fast from consulting our cell phones and other such devices as frequently as we do in order to gain control over a possibly unconscious sense of obligation that has no foundation in terms of our true responsibilities to others and to ourselves.

If we reflect on our regular activities, and notice some that are accompanied by pushy or otherwise uncomfortable feelings and that consistently lead to acting faster and faster, we have found a habit that calls for a very helpful kind of fasting. When we take more control over one or more of the routine parts of our behavior that have become somewhat compulsive, we gain self-respect that is not just good for us, but conveys an appropriate sense of peaceful centeredness that is helpful to those around us.

Fast and faster evoke notions of speed, while fasting has no apparent connection with rapidity. But when we find the quality of our lives diminished by an over-hurried series of daily activities, fasting from even a small portion of whatever we might have mistakenly undertaken as obligatory will enable us to see our way to recovering a realistic and healthy norm.

Fast and faster moderated by fasting: a Lenten option.

 Last Updated 2/17/18