Soul and Body

When we get sick, our identity, who we are, our essence might feel threatened.

In “His Dark Materials” trilogy, Philip Pullman says there is no God so we create heaven ourselves. In regards to our spirit, he says we come from and belong to the evolving universe. Perhaps so many have read this trilogy because it openly speaks about our souls. After it won various awards, we could say the man can write. But also that many of us, along with John Milton in Paradise Lost, wonder who our essence belongs to.

Since so much of our culture puts the definition of identity on behavior, it makes it seem that brain patterns define humanness. How do you see yourself? We all agree that our brain is part of our body. The question of soul comes in to play.

Some believe that the soul is a brain pattern. We might not agree that there is a difference between soul and body (or the brain). But if we did, could we even agree that the body is just that, a house for it, as Mr. Pullman says? This inconstant body, this betraying brain, this changing mind?  We’ve got more bank than that.

This is important to sus out. In the immediate sense, it tells us where to go if you need help. Temple? Doctor? Gym? It will affect your self-view when you go through physical loss. It will affect your hope when you haven’t felt like yourself in years.

Who are we if we need to take medication to behave like ourselves? The question I often hear is, am still me? Do I grieve the loss in order to accomodate the new sick me who has tremors and fear of public places? Then when I get better and lose an arm in a car accident do I need to change my view of my identity again? Then after I get better and get to know the new me, I get breast cancer and undergo a mastectomy. Now who am I? Now I’m old and eat with a wooden spoon and my kids take away my drivers license. I get dizzy at the hospital I used to work at and fall and hit my head in front of colleagues I once mentored. Who am I?

Many people I talk to think, like Pullman, that when they die their soul disperses amongst all the spiritual and material matter across the universe.

I have become comfortable with my own answer. My spirit belongs to and is in the care of Love, which is stronger than any change that happens to my body.

Self Care Tip #23 – Find your identity. Be a friend to yourself.

2 thoughts on “Soul and Body

  1. Absolutely agree, Sana.
    Only when we take our identity a a body does the concept of loss and death appear real in our experience. But most of us do this. We look out through our eyes and see a Universe that appears ‘out there’ and in doing that feel seperate and vulnerable (our very personal experience of ‘hell’)

    And yet we can so easily see that this is not true. If we take just a few moments to be quiet and become aware of thoughts as each one arises and falls away in our mind it becomes quite obvious that we are not anything that can be defined by thought, that can be conceptualised, or learnt about. But we don’t need any of that because in any instant we can call upon and experience this that we Are — this Presesence of Awareness that is aware of our thoughts right now (and also aware of feelings and physical sensations).

    And if we sit still a few moments longer, to become familiar with this Presence (let’s call it our ‘Holy Beingness’) where are the edges when we try to find them? Where is the place where the presence of my H.B. stops and yours H.B. starts? There are no boundaries , who we Are is shared experience. This is how we can truly heal. And try and find a point where this Presence started or where it might end. We cannot do that either, space and time are limitations exclusive to the world of form. As we sit, grounded in this Presence of Beingness, all things we are aware of change except this Awareness itself . This is who we Are. It has no form or demarcation of any kind, and yet it is more palpable and real that anything that can be sensed.

    Now think for a moment Sana what we have to do, to make believe that our a body is our Identity instead of a learning/communication tool . First we have to imagine that our Mind (H.B.) is a ‘thing’ in order to believe that it can be contained within a another thing. Then we imagine Mind contained within the cavity we call our skull. Then, and only then, we can assume the bodies limits are our own.
    It is this little innocent child’s game of playing ‘what if’, where we imagined what it would be like to be a seperate little thing, that we stepped out of the garden of Eden and seem to get stuck ‘in here’ looking out through the body’s eyes at a Universe that appears external to us. But in reality it never happened. We are still One. There is no ‘in here’ in here… although we can pretend there is by imagining a space severed from wholeness and then ‘stepping’ over that demarcation to experience what it would be like on the inside! This is the power of mind that, in this imaginary act of seperation, we deny…. and in doing so image a power (a God) that now appears to exist outside of us. And so now, ‘created in His own image’ is jut a pretty phrase that cannot possibly be taken seriously.
    So, because there is no such thing as ‘in here’ there is nowhere we are not. The Universe exists within our Mind and is a perfect reflection of what we want it to be — a place where we can project our hidden guilt (‘prodigal son’ story!) onto others, a stone we hide our light under.

    Time for a change, don’t you think? Time to let our light shine, eh Sana! 🙂

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