When I think about any particular thing, I like to play with different “zoom levels”, and therefore many symbolic representations appear in my mind. Today I would like to offer a few levels of perspective about this thing we call coffee. One could say coffee is a nice symbolic representation of the way humans tend to view relationship. To themselves, to the world, to one another, to life itself.
What is coffee? It is a seed (commonly referred to as a bean) which comes from a fruit. That fruit is produced from a plant which has caffeine running through its entire system. The most concentrated area of this caffeine is in the seed, which is why it is harvested and used to make the favorite morning beverage of choice for the average modern citizen. An interesting thing to note about this plant is that the caffeine acts as a natural pesticide, which it uses to protect itself from both pests as well as competing plants. How does it do this? Well, caffeine is a toxin which causes the nervous systems of herbivorous insects to stop producing essential enzymes. At large enough doses this causes paralysis and eventually, death.
The coffee plant accomplishes leveling the playing field of competition from other plant species through dropping its leaves and fruits to the ground. When this happens, a small amount of caffeine is released into the soil and inhibits the growth of other non-coffee plant seeds. Not only that, but the effects of consuming the caffeinated flowers creates an addiction in pollinators, which ensures that those bees continue to prefer the coffee plant flowers over other flowering plant species, thus increasing their chances of reproduction.
Talk about a buzz.
Considering all of these things, what is the nature of the coffee plant? One could say it is to protect and defend, to dominate and produce favorable conditions over natural order, and to create dependency. All of these things greatly increase an organism’s chances of survival. Is this, perhaps, reminiscent of any other species on this planet?
It is not a wonder why modern society absolutely worships this plant. This seed. This way of being — it is a mirror. The reflection is both addicting and admirable from the perspective of ego. We can’t stop staring at ourselves, and perpetuating this aspect of our existence. We love it. We can’t get enough. We aren’t even “ourselves”… without it. Defense. Domination. Dependency. We would be lost without coffee. Many of us couldn’t work — couldn’t produce — without coffee. Couldn’t even wake up without coffee! Couldn’t “think straight”. Couldn’t “deal with our lives”. Couldn’t run our businesses. Couldn’t manage our households. Couldn’t create…
Where would ideas or actions come from, if not for coffee? This is the attitude many people unconsciously adopt into their psyche. There is such a deep, deep dependence on the energetic “blood” of this plant; many people drink it obsessively, like walking vampires. They simply cannot imagine their lives, or their current level of perceived functioning without it.
Is that health? Is that, wellbeing? Is that… wise?
To depend on the effects produced from a toxin, derived from a plant. That is a drug, dear friends. That is the nature of addiction. Even though society has deemed this drug “acceptable” (“distinguished” even), and one therefore will not get locked away in prison for unceasingly consuming it — it is still no different than any other substance which produces temporary relief from perceived suffering. Since society is so fixated on “production”, coffee is worshipped and encouraged, whereas heroin is demonized and discouraged. Nobody built a business while drinking opium-tea each morning, so it would seem.
And so, society encourages and subliminally programs its citizens to consume it. In all the modern fashion-modeling photos on the internet and instagram, many people are holding a to-go coffee cup in their hand. As if it’s an essential accessory to their outfit or product. To their identity. Society is telling us, “coffee makes a statement about who you are” in this subconscious programming. And that person is cool, sexy, desirable, high-energy, interesting, fun. A “go-getter” who is intellectually superior. Or perhaps a “hot mess” who’s great in bed. Whatever identity it can latch coffee onto in a susceptible individual is a win for two reasons. One, it produces a desire and demand for more coffee, which equates to more potential profit (with the byproduct of destruction to natural bio-diversity). Two, it produces a dependency — both on a particular identity construct, and on a desired physical effect. This means, it siphons the power away from the innate being and natural rhythm of an individual, and transfers that power and rhythm to the coffee. “I’m a coffee drinker”, they say. The coffee and the identity are inter-dependent.
One unknowingly becomes a slave to the coffee plant, at the cost of their natural way of being (and perhaps, their self-value).
Now, for those whom are addicted to this plant, this is not meant to be a judgement. It is only looking at the nature of the plant, and relating that nature to humans and society. And to the relationships humans hold with the world at large, both inside and outside of themselves. Those who are addicted to any substance, spiritually, do the bidding of that substance. They enact the nature of that substance upon their subjective reality, which produces certain objective effects which they are meant to then “realize” in their conscious mind. This is relationship. This is how it works. One becomes that which is capable of “channeling” the nature of whatever it is one “takes into” themselves. This plant is a tool, a teacher. It is communicating through you, to you.
But one must be willing and available to listen, in order to receive the wisdom. And it would be a wise thing to respect it — to place boundaries relative to what one wishes to materialize in their individual life, as well as in the lives of the collective.
This may seem like a dramatic analysis, but a person might find a great deal of treasure in attempting to look at the objective effects on both the internal and external environment resultant from this “I NEED coffee” ideology. I could list them, but for what? As far as logic is concerned, humans will always find reasons to either support or reject those affirmations which are associated with aspects of their ego/identity relative to their attachments. One only needs to change their proximity to something in order to see it differently. And one only needs to shine light into their subconscious mind in order to discover the “why” correlating to thoughts, emotions, adopted identities and behaviors. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, good or bad.
It is a matter of cause and effect.
It might be of benefit to ask oneself, “What is the cause of this thought/emotion/identity/behavior, and what are the effects those things enact upon my subjective reality?”
…then, “What are the effects which the results of those things enact upon objective reality?”
That is a route one may take to become honest with oneself. That is a route with which one may check-in on his or her alignment with nature, both intrinsically and extrinsically. Because ultimately, deep down, we all know what is in alignment. It just seems, more often than not, we tend to choose what “feels good” or what gives us a sense of “relief” right now, rather than take the time or effort to look into or become curious about those thoughts/emotions/identities/behaviors which we are avoiding, or truly desiring. Rather than to think about long-term reverberations.
All of this isn’t to say that dependency, in and of itself, is unwise. It is only to inspire the individual to honestly ask themselves, “From where does this dependency arise?”
And, “Does it serve me? — or — Do I serve it?”
But first, coffee.
…or, maybe not.