Whatever ye are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this life: but that which is with Allah (God) is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord: [Quran 42:36]
Bees swarm and form new colonies when conditions become congested. The colony generates a new queen and the old queen flies away followed by a large part of the colony.
The congestion of a human society is a byproduct of its appetites. It, too, has dissipating consequences. Without a guiding spirit, the society consumes beyond surfeit and becomes bloated in thought and action.
The scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar. – [Confucious The Analects]
A prosperous society easily falls into myopic introspection, finding great value in trivial matters. Enchanting trinkets encase the intellect. Distracting novelties delight the senses. Everywhere sundry ornaments, physical and cerebral, offer entertainment that disarms reason and restraint.
In a culture where the landscape is dotted with shrines to the Golden Arches and an assortment of Pizza Temples, fasting seems out of place, out of step with the times. In fact, fasting has been in general disrepute both in and outside the Church for many years. [Richard J. Foster, The Celebration of Discipline, p. 47].
The society’s congested intellect is reflected in its politics, economics, arts and sciences. Creative thought becomes stymied by traditions and layered customs. The society falls in love with itself, cultivating the status quo, while its chairmen, experts and superstars pursue vanities with pompous decorum.
Affirming transcendent values requires Divine awareness. A society without faith is as a hive without a queen. Its work is in vain, without purpose or future. By fasting regularly, we can cull our excesses and dissociate ourselves from needless indulgence. This spiritual exodus allows us to discard our weighty shackles and leave temporarily our abode of congested senses.
The fire you kindle in your stomach is making your brain like a heated furnace. . . Your animal passions should be starved, not pampered and fed. The congestion of blood in the brain is strengthening the animal instincts and weakening spiritual powers. [Ellen G. White, Counsels on Diet and Foods, page 102, paragraph 1, Physiology of Digestion, Letter 142, 1900, 156].