taken with the sweet compliments the chef

From Ineffability, Simplicity and the Pleasure of Bitterness. Letter to students Therapeia 2 2018

The Pleasure of Bitterness.

Caffeine. Nicotine.
The bitterness on my tongue
When I say mean things I do not mean.
The bitter taste of defeat
When I am rightly beat and put in place.

Mean it when you say it.
bitter (adj.) Old English biter “having a harsh taste, sharp, cutting; angry, full of animosity; cruel,” .. from suffixed form of PIE root *bheid- “to split” (Old English bitan “to bite;” see bite (v.)). Evidently the meaning drifted in prehistoric times from “biting, of pungent taste,” to “acrid-tasting.” Used figuratively in Old English of states of mind and words.

Mean Something Else.
Bitter End (n.) In lexicons of sea language going back to 1759, the bitter end is the part of a cable which is round about the bitts (the two great timbers used to belay cables) when the ship is at anchor.

Get it in.
An espresso, even with too little honey is still strangely pleasant.
Chocolate over 70% should only be eaten in small amounts.
90% chocolate is unpleasant
98% is only possible for those sainted few, the pious and the prostitutes.

Good Bitter Best.
Cocoa. Grapefruit. Cider vinegar. Wasabi. Horseradish. Turmeric. Saffron. Cardamom. Ginger. Broccoli. Cabbage. Arugula (Rocket). Watercress. Kale. Most green leafy stuff actually.
There is a wealth of information and proselytising about why bitter foods and spices are best for your body.

Soul bodies.
‘We don’t have bodies to analyse, we simply are bodies. We are lived bodies. We live our bodily being, and we are beings living through our bodies. Psyche is body, The body is happening of our visibility.. Body is the mode through which we are present to soul and, at the same time, the means through which soul is present to the world… Body and soul are not entities but perspectives, contingent upon each other.. The body is the ‘third term’.. between consciousness and world.’
Ronald Schenk, The Sunken Quest, the Wasted Fisher, the Pregnant Fish. p17-19.

Hand out.
If bitter is good for the body,
And bodies are the expression of the soul,
Then bitter must be good also for the soul.

That’s simple.
Not easy.