Today’s blog is, for some, a contentious subject. In many spiritual circles, particularly the non duality and advaita scenes, they won’t talk about the body because, well, we don’t have one.
As far as they are concerned ultimate truth is all that matters, and in ultimate truth there is only consciousness. So if there is only consciousness why pay any attention to that which is an illusion? Just leave the body alone and don’t get caught in the distraction and addiction to that which is false.
Sounds true? Sounds right?
Well after my own investigations, self inquiry, and experience of being totally cut off from my own body most of my life, and returning to my body over a long healing period, I think I can shed some light on this matter and give it some perspective.
I see life from both sides of the spiritual fence. I go to a lot of Satsangs as my wife is a spiritual teacher/author and she holds regular meetings (I am her videographer – one of my many roles!) – so I get quite an insight into the kinds of people that are searching for answers to deep questions.
And of course I have written my own book of healing and been on a long and deep journey myself, AND speak to a lot of clients about body/mind/emotion issues.
Here are some of my observations.
We search for spiritual solutions to practical problems much of the time. Thats a heck of a thing to say but I can’t help but say it.
Often I see people who are cut off from their emotions and their bodies sitting in Satsang, searching for spiritual answers, asking, ‘Who Am I?’ If they get answers, and this is the big problem, the answers they get stay in the mental realm and do not become visceral, in the body, grounded and real experiences. If the answers are not embodied they are not real, they do not become living realities. And so the trouble develops that these answers stay spiritual theories, not practicalities. We can have all the theories we like, but what we need is a spirituality that delivers practical, liveable, life changing truths.
For spiritual realisations and truths to become living realities we have to address two things.
The body and the emotions.
I am what might be called a ‘Top Down Bottom Up’ kind of guy. What? Sounds weird right?
Put simply, I address all issues, whether they are ‘spiritual’, mental, emotional, physical, or existential, in the same way.
I address the roots, i.e. the cellular body and gut, and the mind/spirit, the inquiry into what is real.
That means I acknowledge and attend to the body.
If you have read my previous blog, and I would encourage you to do so:
you will know that I experienced inner harmony and mental, emotional and spiritual balance when I attended to the body and detoxified it. I became a grounded and clear seeing person.
Really, its like a blind spot in the modern western disenchanted spiritual seekers psyche. They look everywhere for answers, but fail to look where the roots of the problem might be. Sometimes the solution to alienation and disillusionment can be as simple as getting real grounded in the body, detoxifying it, nourishing it, and balancing the internal energy system.
Sometimes it looks like human beings would rather do anything, would rather endure all sorts of discomfort, would rather experience disconnection and lostness, than acknowledge they have a body and it needs support and rebalancing.
Maybe they secretly know that if they address the body then ipso facto they will have to address their emotions. And most people, many of them spiritual seekers, don’t want go anywhere near their emotional baggage..So they find someone, a guru, who says,’There is no body, and emotions are an illusion that need no attention,’ and so suddenly ‘poof!’ as if by magic 30, 40 or 50 years of emotional and physical trouble disappears, because they have realised its an illusion better ignored…
I have some bad news about this line of argument…It doesn’t work.
If you really imagine that a lifetime’s worth of visceral wounding and pain, emotional trauma and psychic battering that has buried itself in the body armouring, tissues, cellular intelligence and nervous system, is just going to yield because you ‘think’ its an illusion you are living in a fantasy. It just ain’t like that. Reality is a bit more persistent than that.
The relative world exists guys, and we are all in it. Yes its an illusion. But its a very real one, and it lives and breathes through the body that is your access point to this dimension. Deal with it.
You can’t ‘spiritualise’ the body away, it’s just not that easy.
Only the master who utterly and totally transcends space and time, who becomes fully enlightened once and for all can safely live beyond caring or even attending to the body. (And yet even they, most of them, DID attend to it. Ramana Maharshi did, Jesus did, Buddha did)
So enough said, rant over. What is the answer that I am proposing?
Its simple. Wherever you are at, ill or not: Heal Your Relationship with Your Body. Get Holistic.
Attend to your body on the cellular level. Clean it up, detox it, and then nourish it as naturally as possible.
Attend to emotional disturbance, recognising that there are wounds that need healing, fears that need letting go of, and troubles that need resolving.
Attend to the mind through spiritual practice and self inquiry.
Be patient and diligent in all areas of life.
Think holistically, not spiritually.
Accept that you have a body that needs some love and support.
It will then serve you, and harmony and groundedness will happen. Its simple. Try it.
Thanks for reading!
If you enjoyed this blog, please consider subscribing to receive updates, and don’t forget to share the love!.