I was over at Tapati's "Uppity Women" site and read her article "Hare Krsna Women: Blending Cultures In The Hare Krsna Movement". Something she wrote really struck me, and I wanted to say something about it on this forum. She wrote:
"The idea of "pollution" as it is called in India, or "contamination" as we called it, was something we gradually internalized. Even though I have not been following all of these rules for some time--consciously--I still eat with my right hand and when I cook I wash my hands almost continuously, so firmly have I been conditioned. I can consciously override these standards, as when I use both hands to eat a large sandwich, but I must do so deliberately."
I find that I have the same thing going on. Even though my religious orientation is one hundred percent Roman Catholic now, there are ISKCONy habits that have stuck with me, even all these years later. Like Tapati, I do the habitual, constant hand washing all day, but especially while cooking. I also still:
am squeamish about eating with my left hand
don't taste food during preparation, even to check the seasoning, though I'm not intending any "offering" for it
don't wear shoes in the house, but leave them in a special shelf by the front door
use a lota (plastic watering can, actually) and wash with water after going to the bathroom instead of using toilet paper
cook with hing instead of onions and garlic unless a recipe absolutely requires the latter
when I can manage it, drink without touching the glass touch to my mouth, doing that devotee thing of holding my face back and pouring the liquid in from a height (not really possible with a ceramic mug, though; it's easier with those stainless steel glasses from India, a few of which I still have and use).
ISKCONers would tell me that I hold on to these habits because I'm still an "eternal servant of Krsna" (though I deny it and fight it) and still given to sattvic tendencies. Others would say it's pure conditioning, like Tapati mentions, irrational superstitions left over from overtraining.
Do any of the rest of you find yourselves still habituated to these devotee-esque behaviors? Which ones?