For a number of years now different companies have removed sugar from their products and replaced it with other alternate forms of sweeteners. One of the products that are often used is aspartame. This is an artificial sweetener that has been found to be not only unhealthy, but also dangerous.
However, my area of interest and insight is not in the area of nutrition. So here I will explain what I believe are some of the psychological consequences.
The common approach of removing sugar and using another substance is to naturally encourage people to carry on buying their products. And as the amount of sugar contained is lower than it was before; it means that people can not only consume the same amount, but more of the product.
On the surface this sounds like a wonderful idea; to be able to eat the same amount or more with Zero consequences.
Here, one need not exercise any self control when it comes to eating. One can now let go and allow their cravings to take over. And this is without even looking at the question of why so much sugar is being consumed to begin with.
As well as the consequences this will have on one’s health, it supports the illusion that one’s actions have no consequences. And that one can do what they will without anything happening.
It also inhibits one’s ability for self control. One’s own ability to control is atrophied and this leaves one at the whim of their bodily cravings. This also means that one is both vulnerable and open to the marketing of the world.
Where Does It Go From Here?
One of the things that is going to occur and is occurring from this is that peoples own psychological development is being arrested.
The ability to have self control and to be aware of one’s actions having consequences then becomes unrealised.
On one side we have the fact that people are trying to sell products that are unhealthy and know that people often have very little self control. But on the other side we also have the fact that the consumer knows that these products are unhealthy and yet can do very little about it because of their lack on self control.
So is it a case of they must be stopped and tougher laws must be brought in or must one take personal responsibility here?
Where Did It Begin?
The question that I ask is: how did this idea that one’s actions have no consequences arise? And where does this lack of control come from?
I believe that in order to understand this or at least try to understand where these two aspects might have originated from; we need to look at the area of childhood development. And how these aspects come together to form the ego mind.
Because, I believe that although this could be seen as being created completely by society; it also has its beginnings at an individual level.
During ones younger years there is very little attention and awareness of consequences. This is partly because at that age a child has very little power to begin with. And only experiences power as a result of the caregiver’s responses.
It then based on the quality of these responses that determines how empowered this child will grow up to be. If the child is validated and mirrored for example; the child will then form a functional self image and a connection to itself.
This means the ability to be aware of one’s inner processes; thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations. If this connection is not created because of neglect or through different forms of abuse; the child is likely to become disconnected and disassociated from its own self.
Here the child will become an adult that is unaware of what is going on inside and also what is going on outside. This can then create the tendency to act carelessly, and this is because one is acting from a perception of powerlessness.
The Ego Mind
After this early conditioning the ego mind will then identify with what happened all those years ago and form a perception. This perception will then colour and shape every aspect of one’s life.
So even though as an adult one has power, one can easily regress to the earlier stage in their life when this wasn’t the case. And this is because this perception can create the illusion that one is powerless and has no control or influence.
The experience of having no control is often a consequence of not having the right nurturing in childhood and goes hand in hand with being made to feel powerless.
If the validation and mirroring, as mentioned above, is not adequate the ego mind will hold onto this perspective until one becomes the observer of the mind and is no longer enslaved by it.
The perception of having no control will take on many forms. And this is because of the way the ego mind functions. It works in polarities and so there is often the likelihood of extreme behaviour.
So based on feeling completely out of control within, unless one is aware and can observe the mind there will be the tendency to be externally controlling. This is the minds way of compensating for the lack of control within. And of course, this can also show up as having no control and being completely influenced by the outside world.
It would be easy to judge the companies and to say that these products should be banned. However these companies are ultimately giving people what they want. The part that wants these things might not be conscious or a real reflection of what one needs, but it is fulfilling a demand. What one wants is often more important than what one needs.
And I believe that this is a demand that can either be changed through people becoming conscious and processing their past or it can be changed externally.
The externally approach usually results in the government and other figures bringing in laws and regulations; which is often the only way that change happens. This approach doesn’t usually lead to real growth and merely covers up the real causes.
What this also does is take away personal responsibility and with that goes personal power and freedom. Because the more one is being told what to do externally, the less likely one is going to think for themselves. And if someone else is making the decisions they will have the right to decide how another spends their time.
And if one doesn’t think for themselves and relies on another person they are not exercising their own power of choice. The relationship is then tantamount to the child parent dynamic.
This means that the pattern continues; with the outer worlds power increasing, while ones inner sense of being powerless continues to grow.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.