There is a major spiritual decision for you to make about your spiritual vehicle (also known as your body). This decision is whether a purpose in your life is to transcend your body or live the teachings of your body. If you choose a goal of transcending your body, it is my opinion that you are on a detour that might last several lifetimes.
It makes no sense to me to believe that I have this body to neglect, to harm, or to let atrophy. Earth school is a miraculous system of lessons for us, including bodily lessons. Yet, if you believe that we are here to transcend the reincarnation cycle by enlightenment or other means, then your body becomes relatively unimportant, and poor care is likely given to it.
Many so-called spiritual folks often act out such thoughts as, "Oh, I pursue spiritual things, my body is of the lowly physical plane." The result is an overweight under-exercised spiritual vehicle that shows its ill health by high blood pressure, high heart rate, early strokes, early diabetes, early heart attacks and early death. Often I find that those who are claiming to be transcending their bodies are also busy proclaiming, "Everything is spiritual." This is true from one perspective; hatred and neurosis and disease are spiritual because all that is can be considered spiritual. But hatred, neurosis and disease are packaged lessons for us to learn from, not lessons to avoid in what I see as a misguided choice to try to transcend the body. I find it illogical and a bit crazy-making to try to believe that we are embodied here for the purpose of transcending our bodies. It seems instead that we are to live in them, vigorously and joyously, for as long as we are here! If your body does not feel alive and vital, then what are the bodily lessons that you need to learn?
Look at your teacher's body! Many spiritual teachers have bodies that are overweight and lack a spring in their steps. They have poor posture and avoid vigorous exercise. They give the excuse that they are transcending their bodies. This makes no sense to me, for the time to transcend the body is at our deaths. Until then, I believe we need to learn our Earth-School body lessons.
In Chapter 2, I introduced the idea of human bodily measurements that show tension. To summarize briefly - high pulse rates, high blood pressure and low extremities' temperatures are indicators of inner tension. If you ask your favorite teacher about such personal measurements, an honest straightforward reply would be what I would hope for, instead of the all-too-likely "I am transcending my body" response.
I think of Stalking Wolf (Brown, 1994) and his physical capabilities even into his nineties. He was often running through the Pine Barrens of New Jersey with two teenagers, who had some difficulty keeping up with him. Moreover, in his mid-nineties he is reported to have actually run on his final journey into the desert. Not only do I consider Stalking Wolf one of the most spiritually gifted people of the twentieth century, but also that his ancient body was a spiritual vehicle with capabilities that bordered on the miraculous. I think too of Krishnamurti teaching into his nineties, Milton Trager doing bodywork in his late eighties and Louise Hay in her eighties reporting that she feels that she is getting healthier. They were/are spiritual folks with active ancient human bodies.
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "The judgments that usually cause us the most difficulties and distress are those that (1)judge situations/ others as right or wrong, (2)judge situations/ others as good or bad, or (3)judge situations as possible or impossible."|