The beer, wine, and spirits industry is everywhere. An irreplaceable part of cultures worldwide, and gigantic source of revenue for multi-national companies, you can choose to “tie one on” just about anywhere in the world, from the biggest city to the sleepiest small town.
While almost everyone who has drank alcohol has experienced its physical effects in the form of a hangover, what about its non-physical consequences? As increasing alcohol consumption leads to higher rates of depression, disease, and suicide, what are the spiritual consequences of drinking?
The origin of the world “alcohol” sheds some light on this. Coming from the Arabic word “al-kuhl”, a body-eating spirit. From this same base word comes the English word “ghoul”, a demon that chose to eat human bodies (alive or dead). Vestiges of this can still be seen today in our term for distilled alcohol: spirits.
Our modern technology for distilling alcohol comes from the Arabic “alembic”, or pot still, originally used in alchemical pursuits. Originally calling their distilled liquid a “water of life”, ancient alchemists understood that alcohol could be used to extract the essence of living beings, such as plants, and store them indefinitely. Though alcohol is now consumed as entertainment world-wide, this original use gives more context for what happens when we indulge: We are sacrificing a bit of our life, our essence, in the process.
In fact, many modern-day spiritual experts have a profound view of what happens as we drink: Diluting our eternal essence, we open the door to all manner of evil spirits, giving them entry into our bodies (and bringing about the notoriously bad behavior that being intoxicated can encourage). These uncommon behaviors under the influence of alcohol may have more to do with the spirit than the body.
Though its physical effects are well known — depressing the nervous system, killing liver and brain cells, weakening the immune system, and many more — alcohol is still widely advertised and promoted by manufacturers around the world. Leading to a tremendous amount of deaths worldwide either directly or indirectly, we must ask ourselves: Who is it that wants us to keep drinking? And what do they stand to gain from our consuming alcohol?
Looking to the lessons of our ancestors, and the insights of our modern-day holy men and women, perhaps it’s time for us to take a closer look at who it is that is encouraging us to drink. Portrayed as the symbol of fun and excitement and youth, yet harming individuals and families in so many ways, is it not time to call for an end to alcohol’s mass consumption and promotion? I, for one, have chosen to abstain from alcohol — and found only good things in my life because of it.
Let’s stand together on this one, and walk bravely into a future more meaningful than our present.
Inspired by an article originally found here