Back in 2011 I learned from my mentor at the time, Dr. Robert Morse, about the “four primary processes” involved in converting the matter of food into the matter of the body. As I learned, when these processes are impaired, the body as a whole begins to suffer and our symptoms are the evidence of these impaired & dysfunctional processes.

Where I differ from Dr. Morse (and most detox practitioners) is in the context for which these four processes apply. For the students of Dr. Morse, the application is solely in the body, and discussion regards the creation & alleviation of the symptoms & suffering within the body.

For me, the application of these processes is in the context of the grander body, the body of life, and the discussion that interests me regards the alleviation of the symptoms & suffering within our life.

My intention with this post is to illuminate the direct connection between suffering and how we relate to life itself, through the lens of these four processes.

So, let’s begin with the four processes…

1. Digestion
2. Absorption
3. Assimilation/Utilization
4. Elimination

If you’ve studied with Dr. Morse or studied cleansing and detoxification than you understand the paramount nature of these processes.

During the Morse phase of my journey, my understanding of disease creation & uncreation was solely focused on matter, on substance, on the physical body. Naturally, I understood these teachings to be speaking of the transformation of food from one form to another…as was being taught to me.

As my journey progressed, as I evolved, and as the depth and breadth of my understanding expanded through the pearls of direct experience, I came to discover that the alchemy of food was one and the same as the alchemy of life.

At the heart of alchemy is transmutation—the changing of form.

In time, I noticed how the four processes applied to life as much as they applied to the transmutation of food.

In terms of contextualizing this process with regards to food, it’s quite simple. What we eat, we become. Food becomes the body, and whatever remains and/or is unnecessary, we eliminate—at least in an ideal world.

Yet regarding life, what exactly am I speaking of when I speak of transmutation?

What are we consuming exactly?

Well, let me tell you.


We consume life via the food of experiences—the substance of life.

Some experiences are sweet, some are sour, others are salty, and some are bitter, pungent or astringent...or any combination of these 'tastes'.

The rhetoric in the detox community goes something like, “fruits and veggies are abundant! A single mango tree can feed thousands. We are designed to feast on the fruits of nature, on the fruits of life!!”

Yes, I agree, nature is abundant…and yet the question remains...how abundant is your tree of life?

Are you feasting on life? Or are you fasting from life, abstaining from life, refraining from the Smorgasbord…? A worthy question to ponder.

With that, let’s discuss the first process, digestion, which as most of us know, begins in the mouth.

Do you drink your solids and chew your liquids, as the Ayurvedic proverb dictates? And, how well are you drinking and chewing the experiences of your life?

And, what good is a feast of mangos…or a feast of life experience if you’re not digesting the contents of your consumption?

...and what about quality and quantity.

Well, regarding quantity…for some Burning Man is a feast and for others, an evening sound healing is a feast. Regarding quality, for some, a hike in Central Park is cause for a celebration where for another anything other than hiking the backcountry of Colorado isn’t worthy of being called a hike.

As you can see, quantity and quality are both subjective and relative to the individual.

The equation that determines what you eat and how much you can, want, and choose to eat is highly complex with many variables, but is primarily dictated by the relationship to yourself...and to life itself.

For some digesting Burning Man is no issue, for others digesting Burning man would be no different than eating watermelon with a steak… a total digestive disaster.

As I’ve observed (and experienced) a clear sign of digestive disorder in the context of life, is cognitive dissonance, which is defined as “the mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values. This discomfort is triggered by a situation in which a person’s belief clashes with new evidence perceived by that person.”

We each have a threshold for digestion (of food), but more importantly of life experience, before the activation of cognitive dissonance.

As we cleanse ourselves of all that is obsolete and outdated, not just in our physical body, but in the actual body—the soma, the field of our unconscious—our digestive threshold expands as does our ability to receive more of the abundance of life.

This takes work..and doesn’t just happen by drinking celery juice every morning, eating only watermelon for 40 days, or drinking Grape Juice for 108 days, as examples.

So, digestion. Got it? Good.

#2 - Absorption.

To what degree are we absorbing what we digest? Which, by the way, for most is only a fraction of what is actually being consumed.

We may consume an experience, like a music festival in Costa Rica, but only digest a fraction of that experience, dictated by the upper limits of our self-awareness.

Equally as important, what fraction of that digested experience are we actually absorbing?

Furthermore, what does it actually mean to absorb a life experience?

To absorb is to take in. The question then, is to what degree are we taking in the experiences of our life? How present are we to what is...?

Are we lost to memories and wounds of the past, triggers in the present, and projections into the future? Or, are we in the timelessness of the now? Are we distracted by the stimulus of our environment? Or are we so present, that our environment dissolves into the nectar of pure awareness? Are we boxing ourselves into a scripted version of self or are we allowing life to penetrate and dissolve all scripts…granting us access to the energy of pure potentiality?

As you can see—and I hope feel—there’s an assortment of variables that dictate how much of life we can and do absorb. For some, there’s little to no absorption, whereas for others there are moments of total absorption (and dissolution) into the unbounded essence of the moment.

#3 - Assimilation.

To assimilate is to integrate. The question here is, to what degree do you integrate what you take in? Are you on repeat, consuming one experience after the next, fundamentally unchanged? Or, have you changed—and if so, how do you know? What’s different about you? What's different about how you relate and orient to yourself, to the world, or to the next experience you’re considering consuming? What have you actually assimilated and more importantly, how do you utilize that in the context of your relationship to life?

#4 - Elimination.

Ahhh, my favorite, I thought we’d never get here :{)

To eliminate is to let go, to release. Here, as above, quantity and quality come into play. So, here's the million dollar question. What is the quality and quantity of your bowel movements? To what degree are you holding onto beliefs, projections, stories, concepts and ideas, wounds, assumptions, limiting interpretations, distortions of perception, and so on…that you need not carry any longer?

To what degree are you holding onto the excrements of your experiences? Attached to the waste matter that no longer serves you or your life… the shit that’s literally accumulating, stagnating, and blocking your flow, the flow of life, in and through you, as you, for you, by you.

The myths, mysteries, misconceptions, and misunderstandings about cleansing & detoxification—and the processes involved—run extraordinarily deep.

So deep that most never get beyond the superficial levels of detoxification or cleansing...nor attain the holy grail of the healing they seek. Again, this is a journey, rather than a destination and each individual is on a highly nuanced and astronomically unique journey.

To heal our body we must heal our life and ironically to do so requires an unrelenting willingness to die...to all fabrications, illusions, and distortions of self and world.

So, are you fasting or feasting on life—and how well are you digesting, absorbing, assimilating, and eliminating what you consume? To heal, we must open the pathways of consciousness by addressing the ways we struggle or resist the metabolization of life.

To heal is to live and to live is to feast.

For the buffet of life has no limit on quantity, quality, or taste.

Only we do.

If your mind isn't at least partially fried by what I've shared, then reread this post until some fuses blow.

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