Recently someone asked me how I could possibly create theological and spiritual connections to the most random of ingredients. The secret, I shared came from a unique theological idea I became exposed to in seminary in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. In one of his books, he argued that everything in the physical world can convey a higher spiritual meaning. Swedenborg called this similitude between physical and spiritual realities correspondences.
It is this notion of correspondences, which has helped me to see the spiritual lessons behind foods such as waffles, spaghetti, artichokes, basil, cheese, chili powder, dates, French fries, hot dogs, and this week jellybeans.
Jellybeans, once commonly associated with Easter, are now available year round and in a wide diversity of flavors. Not only do some people enjoy eating them, but also some people, such as former President Ronald Reagan argued, "You can tell a lot about a fellow by his way of eating jelly beans"
Bean World, a website devoted to all news about jellybeans shared these insights about how people eat jellybeans.
(1) Taking each flavour on its own and savouring it for as long as possible before biting into it and allowing the taste to positively explode in your mouth, sweeping you away in a wave of ecstasy and swallowing the thoroughly explored texture of the jelly bean at leisure.
This takes a confident person who knows where their next Jelly Belly is coming from. You are also someone who truly understands the pleasure of tasting the full variety of these delicious jelly beans and exploring your true taste horizons. You are highly intelligent, courageous, witty, and a wonderful human being. You are almost certainly ready to move to the next taste stage.
(2) Combining different flavours of Jelly Belly to create different recipes and astonishing flavours.
Obviously deeply creative you are able to use your intuition and imagination to invent interesting new tastes and flavours. You are almost certainly artistic, sensitive, and generous in nature. Integrity is important to you and this combination makes you popular and much loved amongst your friends and family.
(3) Eating several random flavours at a time, chewed quickly and gulped down in a hurry.
Perhaps you have a certain impulsiveness or tendency to impatience? The colours and variety of Jelly Belly jelly beans and the informative menu that accompanies them stress that each little bean is a taste gem all of its own. Mix them up all together without a thought? Why deprive yourself of the total taste experience? You may tend to be a little on the emotionally retentive side.
(4.) Focusing on one single colour and eating them all in one go.
This suggests a tentative character that wants to be adventurous but stops short of going the whole bean. There's no doubt that mixing different colours of jelly beans can produce an interesting combination of tastes. However, limiting the scope of your enquiry in this way suggests unnecessary constraint and perhaps even a predisposition to nervousness or anxiety. Go out a bit more on Saturday nights instead of staying in, tidying up your sock drawer.
(5) Eating your jelly beans in the dark.
This doesn't say much about your sense of taste but much enjoyment will be lost by not being able to appreciate the beautiful colours of Jelly Belly jelly beans. You have a streak of self-denial in your character. Eating in the dark is a rarely appreciated pastime and you are probably an unusual person with strongly held private views, which you are not inclined to share. This makes you secretive, possibly even a little strange.
(6) Only ever eating your favourite flavours, several at a time in great big mouthfuls.
Did you know that eating a SINGLE Jelly Belly jelly bean gives the same intense experience as eating several of the same flavour at the same time? If so, this way of eating Jelly Belly may be a defensive action to protect your best beans being nicked. Are you weighed down by insecurities and suspicions? If these fears are justified, consider hiding your beans and eating them one by one in private, and at your leisure.
(7) Hiding your beans in very obscure places, and then forgetting where you hid them,
Yes, well this is a difficult one. You could always devise a code and leave notes for yourself under the bed. Try not to keep changing hiding places - this is just another sign of paranoia. Decide on a safe place (disguised as watermelon pips for instance) and stick with it.
(8) Never even trying the flavours you think you may not like.
Life may feel too short to subject yourself to bad experiences but in reality just how many Jelly Belly jelly beans out of 100 are you truly not going to like? Our research shows that the average Jelly Belly aficionado seldom has more than 5 flavours on their no-go list and this is after they've all been tasted. Also, they remain open minded and go back and try them again from time to time. Tastes change. If you find yourself excluding many untried Jelly Belly flavours, you may be a specially determined character. Some may even say blinkered. You probably don't like surprise birthday parties and have eaten the same breakfast for the last 5 years.
(9) You can only ever eat your jelly beans with your best friend.
This shows a somewhat insecure character but one nonetheless of generosity and charm. If your best friend is a living human being with whom you share many laughs, opinions, memories and good times, then it naturally follows that sharing your jelly beans with them will be an essential part of your friendship. Jelly Belly shares your joy. If on the other hand, your best friend is an inanimate object who never answers back, it may not be a bad idea to get out a bit and share your beans with others.
(10) Eating your jelly beans with a knife and fork.
Very skilled. To do this properly takes a lot of practice and many people can't be bothered frankly. If you are able and, more importantly, enjoy eating Jelly Belly in this way it could turn into a great dinner party trick. Perhaps you like to be the centre of attention and are a great extrovert? The reverse is true if you do this behind closed doors. This analysis also applies to those who eat their Jelly Belly by throwing them in the air and catching them in their mouth.
Personally, for me, when I eat my jellybeans, I not only allow the beans to slowly dissolve in my mouth as I chew them savoring them for what they are, but I am also chewing on what they have to teach me about myself and life. Using the above criteria, I am a Type 1 and 2 Jellybean eater. I do have my favorites, but I am not afraid to try any flavor or to combine them like ingredients in a recipe. I do, however, like to let it sit in my mouth for a moment, sucking on it as if it were a life saver, before biting into it and beginning the process of chewing it into its next form of existence.
I was sharing this with a friend, who said, “Well that sounds like how you are spiritually. You celebrate and live a fusion of wisdom traditions. You are amazing. I think you are intelligent, articulate, and on a constant journey towards enlightenment. Therefore, this makes you a type 1 jellybean personality spiritually. You are also sensitive, caring, compassionate, and sharing. You always come from a place of honesty and love and this is why we love you. That is why I think you are also a type 2 jellybean personality spiritually.
Our conversation about spiritual jellybean personalities left us giggling and me thinking that perhaps I should do a special event – jellybean tasting and reading. What do the jellybeans have to say about you and your life?