Article 68: Coffee and the concepts of East-West harmony
In the process of asserting its identity from the way coffee is enjoyed, the West has gradually discovered more clearly, and more modestly, the civilization of the East.
Convection between Eastern and Western civilizations
Anthropology has discovered and determined that Ethiopia – the original land of coffee trees is also the original homeland of humans to recognize Homo Sapiens. In ancient Ethiopian folk beliefs, coffee was not only for drinking but also for sacrifice and for eating. Coffee beans play a fundamental role in the Buna Qalmaa (blessing), Zar rituals (exorcising evil and healing), and Waaq (Gods) offerings. Later, Sufi Muslims inherited and implemented the coffee ritual in the nights of Dhikr’s meditation to worship Allah.
From the very beginning, coffee has been projected by people on their wishes and even supplications into the mysterious universe. From the function of awakening, coffee as energy helps people to wake up in the dark night to realize the meaning of life and get closer to the extraordinary world.
In the middle of the 17th century, when it was officially introduced to Europe and spread to the Americas, coffee opened the way for the minds of European and American intellectuals to promote their intellect and creativity needed to form a society of knowledge. Coffee for the West from the beginning has been heavily ideological: to accumulate capital, increase labor efficiency to create a new life. The industrial revolution, the scientific revolution ushers in a new era – a world transformed by discoveries, inventions and technological achievements… Humans have moved from the place of following the heavens, the logic of nature toward the ambition to master nature and to become invincible. Technology has become a “new religion” that holds the key to a utopian dream.
By the middle of the 20th century, after two world wars, was the “age of extremism”, starting the process of young European and American generations questioning the meaning of economic growth for social development. Many creative people at the time believed that the creative energy nature was still being suppressed within each person and it was necessary to examine the real aspirations, emotions, and actions of people for “planetary healing”.
On the other hand, scientists have made new discoveries about the primordial origin of matter and the nature of existence, leading to a fundamental change in the way people perceive the world as well as the relationship between man and the universe. From the Einstein Café – the residence of the great physicist Albert Einstein in Bern (Germany), the theories of special relativity (1905) and general relativity (1915) were developed, which broke out many “big bangs” in the contemplative thinking, exploding the boundary in the perception of opposites between reality and illusion, between time and space, between energy and matter, between existence and void, between subject and object, between logic and intuition, between the minimum and the maximum, and also between the East and the West.
In 1960, the famous psychoanalyst Eric Fromm and Zen scholar Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki discovered a close resemblance between the basic dimensions of Zen Buddhism and psychoanalysis. In 1975, physicist Fritjof Capra wrote “The Tao of Physics” – one of the precious books carefully selected to include in the field of Science in the Life-Changing Foundational Bookcase by Founder – Chairman of Trung Nguyen Legend Group Dang Le Nguyen Vu – to demonstrate the magical fusion between modern physics and Eastern mysticism. Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933) also confirmed the influence of the Vedas in his scientific approach. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the father of the theory of the collective unconscious, and physicist Wolfgang Pauli (Nobel Prize in Physics in 1945) explained the wonderful harmony between East and West, between knowledge and intuition, between science and art with a model called “Unus mundus” referring to the depth of consciousness.
From discovering the epistemological similarities of the West with the East, scientists have found in Eastern philosophy a worldview that illuminates the dilemmas of matter. The West, from the point of antagonism with the East, has re-recognized the contributions of Eastern civilization to human culture, from philosophy, theology, to mathematics, astronomy… In other words, The West turns to the East mainly to find its own identity and origin: “turning east” for the West is understood as a process of returning to the origin.
Coffee and the journey to the East
With the popularity of the above trend, in the field of coffee consumption has developed a number of genres and forms that were not available before. The most prominent are Coffee Based Body Treatments, which can be briefly called body-nourishing coffee; and Regenerate Coffee, which means mind-nourishing coffee.
Body-nourishing coffee includes the use of all coffee extracts and preparations (picked fruit, split seeds, roasted seeds, leaves, flowers, branches, grounds) in the field of physical therapy. There are more than 8,000 published medical studies on the relationship of coffee to physical health that have shown a positive effect of coffee consumption on cognitive performance, emotional well-being and improved energy levels.
Since 2002, many large corporations such as Ritz-Carlton, George V, Marriott, Sangri-La, Hyatt and Hilton have used coffee products in their coffee body care regimens (collectively referred to as “coffee body”) in many resorts around the world, providing an atmosphere of “turn in, tune in, drop out” which means “go inward, listen to your inner self and let go of defilements”. Coffee body care has also evolved in tandem with Ayurvedic physiotherapy – a traditional Indian system of medicine aimed at keeping mind, body and spirit in balance and preventing diseases. In a way, body coffee and Ayurveda are a form of “turning east”.
Mind-nourishing coffee sets the characteristics of the product, the signature of the space and the specialty of the service based on helping people achieve 4K consciousness: “knowing the flavour, knowing the savour, knowing the transcendence, knowing the immanence”, which, in the Eastern parlance, is the four knowings of “hương – vị – linh – huyền”.
The knowing of flavor and savour is through the recognition and evaluation of the pre-taste and aftertaste of coffee, which recognizes the origin, harvest, production, roasting and grinding method of the product. Knowing the transcendence is to feel the desires, dreams, and messages of the people who made that coffee product. And knowing the immanence is to be aware of one’s own dynamic expectations as expressed by the cup of coffee that we are enjoying. That is, to know one’s own true mind, only then can one reach the magical, mystical level of recognizing the subjective form from the objective form, recognizing the true mind (the projected version that can be perceived) from the various dynamic forms, which is the immanence of reality and enlightenment, reaching the level of the mind in harmony with the mind in Eastern meditation.
In short, coffee to nourish the body or coffee to nourish the mind is to enjoy coffee to understand more about yourself and life around you. It is also the way to help people absorb the concept of “spiritus mundi – the spirit of the whole world”.
THE REAL COFFEE
ROASTED ONLY FOR PEOPLE OF WISDOM!
Source: “The Philosophical Way of Coffee” – copyright by Trung Nguyen Legend