This was one of the most difficult questions I’ve ever asked. Do I have to (gulp) give up my morning cup o’ joe? Take a sip with me and let’s read on.
Me: Okay. Let’s talk about my favorite thing. Caffeine. What are your thoughts about caffeine and its effect on the spiritual, physical, mental and emotion bodies? Be gentle, because you’re going to have a tough time prying my white knuckled grip from my cappuccino right now.
Erik: Well, first, for a healthy person, caffeine sucks, because it fucks you up, because it changes your vibrational quality, and if you’re trying to be spiritual or if you’re trying to get down and meditate and really hone into the vibrations to get all Zen, then that shit’s gonna ruin it.
I quickly go through a mental inventory, looking frantically for some ailment that would take me off the “healthy” list. Nada. Damn.
Erik: Now, if you’re whack-a-noodle—
“A-ha!’ I think. ‘There is hope!’
Jamie (to Erik, giggling): Shut up. Wait. I gotta gather myself. Whack-a-noodle.
Jamie and I laugh.
Jamie (giggling): Oh, for the first time I get to agree with Erik that he sounded queer!
Me: Ah oh!
Jamie: He said that to me and he goes, “That sounds so queer.” He didn’t mean it in the gay terminology.
Me: He just meant he sounded stupid?
Jamie (chuckling): He won’t even acknowledge me.
Erik: If the person’s body needs the caffeine to be mentally and emotionally clear, like it’s taken almost as a medicinal quality, then the quality for that person is going to take them to a place where they can be more spiritually awakened and Zen. So, you have to identify: Are you the kind of person who, when you drink the caffeine, you get jittery or high from it? Then you don’t need it. You’re over-doing it for your body. You’re over-saturating it. Pull off of it. Don’t do it.
I check my fingers. No trembling. Yay. A second cup is in order for a celebration.
Erik: Do a decaf. There’s still fucking caffeine in that shit. They’re lying to you.
Jamie laughs, then sighs. I can almost see her shaking her head and thinking, “What are we going to do with that boy?”
Me (nervously asking for a second opinion): So, do I need my daily cappuccinos, or should I back off?
Erik: Let’s meet in the middle, Mom. Cappuccino. Singular.
Hmm. I’m going to have to get a bigger cup.
Me (sounding dejected): Okay. Instead of two. Dammit. All right. I can do that. (Muaah ha ha. He need never know.)
Erik: Because notice, after you have the one, you feel all working, in balance.
Me: Mm hm. That’s true.
Erik: And that’s a great thing. When you take the two, it’s almost like this slight overdose where you’re trying to really rev up, but you can rely on other systems in your body to help you rev up. So, to the masses—
Jamie: He has one arm up in the air.
Erik: –to the masses, if you feel jittery when you have caffeine or you feel like you have a miniature high, you are taking too much and you need to stand up, be good to yourself, and get off that shit, or move on to something a little lighter like a green tea.
Me: Oh! Okay.
Erik: For those of you who can have that cup of coffee or whatever your addiction is, caffeine-wise, and you feel completely fine after having it, then you haven’t overdosed your body. Your body is absorbing it and using it as a supplement—as a way to stay chemically balanced.
Me: M’kay. Sounds right.
Jamie: Yeah. That’s cool. I have to start paying attention to that.
Me: Me, too. I never have focused any awareness on it, but I’m pretty sure I don’t get the jitters with coffee, and I can sleep like a log even if I drink it right before bedtime.